Andrea St Julian speaking in front of crowd
Andrea St. Julian, co-chair of San Diegans for Justice / Photo by Adriana Heldiz

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The San Diego City Council took a big step Monday to creating a new commission to oversee allegations of police misconduct, but the biggest champions of the city effort aren’t satisfied.

San Diegans for Justice, the group that authored the 2020 voter-approved ballot measure that obligated the city to create a more robust oversight commission, and other community groups argued the ordinance the city wrote to form the commission leaves too much to interpretation.

“The community came out and asked for a number of amendments,” St. Julian told Kelly Davis. “With the exception of one very small amendment, not a single amendment was taken up or even discussed.” 

The City Council unanimously approved the ordinance. Council President Sean Elo-Rivera praised Councilwoman Monica Montgomery Steppe’s work to get the ordinance where it is.

“Accountability is the cornerstone of a just society,” said Elo-Rivera in a statement. “That accountability must apply to everyone — especially the most powerful.”

The ordinance is now subject to negotiation between the city and the police union. When that’s completed, the Council will need to vote on it once more.

As Davis reports, a police union lawsuit against the city’s previous oversight commission over a report it released on a controversial shooting significantly hindered the group. A union lawyer said the lawsuit had rendered the group “irrelevant.”

Read Kelly Davis’ full story on the new Commission on Police Practices here.

On Deck at Council: Street Vending Rules 

Mylor Davis, owner of Pots & Pans clothing, prepares his sewing machine on Wednesday, Nov. 17, 2021, in Ocean Beach. The street vendor sets up a booth almost ever week to sell his custom designs. / Photo by Andrea Lopez-Villafaña

The day is finally here. The San Diego City Council is set to consider long-awaited rules for where, when and how vendors can sell goods on San Diego’s sidewalks. 

The proposed rules on deck today lay out a permitting process for street vendors, establish an enforcement avenue and ban vendors from operating in certain parts of the city. 

Beach community members and business owners have raised concerns over the growing number of vendors on sidewalks and public spaces since the state set out to decriminalize street vending. They argue that vending in certain areas has become a public safety issue and creates unfair competition for brick-and-mortar stores. 

Advocates and street vendors are not completely against the city adopting rules. They want clarity on how to legally operate, and get support from the city to grow their micro-businesses. But they also worry that some rules will keep them out of popular areas in San Diego or have negative consequences on vendors.

California’s Sidewalk Safe Vending Act, SB 946, prevents cities from cracking down on vendors for reasons unrelated to public health, safety and public space access. As a result of this new law cities across state were forced to create new rules or tweak current ones. 

Watch the meeting here.

Holding Ourselves Accountable for Climate Change

A new report from the United Nations Monday found global emissions are set to increase by almost 14 percent over the current decade. Similarly, we learned last week that San Diego won’t reach its most ambitious climate goal of net zero emissions by 2035, even if everything goes according to plan.

But, as MacKenzie Elmer explains in her latest Environment Report, this new information shouldn’t be discouraging. These studies show that the region is doing science-backed work so we can pinpoint which sectors of society need the most work when it comes to climate, she said. It’s the first, necessary step in holding ourselves accountable.

“Citizens should wield the scientific findings of both the UN and San Diego reports as tools for making political decisions at the polls,” Elmer writes. “And instead of despair, find a handful of climate-healthy habits to add to your regimen.”

Read this week’s Environment Report here.

In Other News 

  • State officials announced Monday that schools and childcare facilities will not have to require masks indoors after March 11. San Diego Unified trustee Richard Barrera told the Union-Tribune the district will not change its indoor mask requirement until the county no longer has high levels of COVID according to federal guidelines. Leaders in other districts, however, like La Mesa-Spring Valley and Carlsbad Unified, said they would make masks optional as soon as possible.
  • San Diego and other municipalities across California have been extending tax relief to cannabis businesses in response to complaints that the state isn’t doing enough. Industry reps argue that high taxation at all levels of the supply chain is choking their ability to compete against the illicit market. (MJBizDaily) 
  • The Union-Tribune reports that the county is taking a different approach to how it responds to mental health calls by sending mental health clinicians instead of law enforcement officers. Critics of the latter response have argued that officers are more likely to escalate mental health emergencies than crisis experts. (This story is for subscribers only) 

This Morning Report was written by Andrew Keatts, Andrea Lopez-Villafaña, Megan Wood and Jesse Marx.

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1 Comment

  1. having a link directly to the council meeting is excellent.
    otoh, how did FOUR writers miss this: Coastal cities continue their assault on Oceanside’s groins.

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