San Diego Unified Office SDUSD
The San Diego Unified School District headquarters / Photo by Adriana Heldiz

San Diego Unified hasn’t had a hotly-contested school board race since 2016. The five-person board is currently filled with members supported by the local teacher’s union — and as candidates each of them easily defeated their opponents.

But this year’s race for District C, which covers San Diego’s coastline, is heavily competitive — at least when it comes to money, reports Will Huntsberry. 

The latest campaign filings show Becca Williams, the sole Republican in the race, has seriously outraised and outspent her opponents. Williams has raised nearly $50,000 and spent nearly $30,000. 

Most campaign spending goes toward advertising and political consultants. 

Cody Petterson, the union-backed candidate, has raised about $20,000 but only spent roughly $3,000.

The other Democrat in the race, Lily Higman, has spent significantly more. Higman has raised $10,000 (loaned herself another $10,000) and spent roughly $16,000. 

Perhaps in recognition of Petterson’s lackluster spending, union officials stepped in this week. On May 3, they spent $18,500 on political mailers supporting Petterson. 

Meanwhile, union officials haven’t spent anything yet on their preferred candidate for District B, Shana Hazan. Hazan has seriously outraised and outspent both her opponents. 

For each school board race, the top two vote getters in June’s Primary Election will move on to the General Election in November. 

Read more about the candidates’ spending here.

Today in Sobering Homelessness News

Tents lined up along 17th street in downtown San Diego on Aug. 18, 2021. / Photo by Adriana Heldiz

Every month, the Downtown San Diego Partnership conducts a census of homeless residents sleeping outdoors downtown and its outskirts. The results of the business group’s latest count were particularly sobering. They show just how much homelessness is booming downtown.

The census conducted in the early hours of April 29 tallied 1,474 unsheltered people and 452 tents. By comparison, the group counted 875 people and 302 tents last April.

Wondering about homelessness outside downtown? The Regional Task Force on Homelessness expects to release the results of its February countywide point-in-time count later this month.

  • inewsource broke the news that a county hotel program sheltering vulnerable homeless residents during the pandemic could end a month early after the termination of a crucial hotel contract, leaving the county scrambling to find temporary or permanent homes for the 34 people remaining in the program. The program had been set to continue through June, but a county spokesman said an Old Town hotel gave the county 30 days’ notice that it wants to end its contract.

In Other News

  • Asylum processing at U.S. ports of entry has been largely closed for years due to a pandemic policy, but Customs and Border Protection has begun processing asylum seekers on a case-by-case basis. (Union-Tribune) 
  • Developers and housing advocates see an opportunity in the redevelopment of publicly-owned real estate surrounding the Sports Arena. But KPBS reports that as the city debates proposals, affordable housing for the middle class appears to be falling again by the wayside.
  • State agencies are demanding that the Navy finish cleaning up the remains in San Diego where hazardous materials were dumped and set on fire decades ago. (Times of San Diego) 
  • City News Service reports that the San Diego city attorney’s office won an appeal in its suit challenging a state mandate that required local water districts to pay for mandatory lead testing at schools. 
  • San Diego has been spared from mandatory water cuts throughout Southern California. That’s a good position to be in. But as U-T columnist Michael Smolens argues, it makes messaging a bit tricky for local officials who simultaneously assure customers the water is there but be smart about its usage. 

This Morning Report was written by Will Huntsberry, Lisa Halverstadt and Jesse Marx. It was edited by Andrea Lopez-Villafaña and Megan Wood.

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