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When former Councilman David Alvarez was pushing the city to adopt development regulations in Barrio Logan to protect residents there from harmful industrial pollution, one of his top allies outside of government was Georgette Gómez, then an organizer with the Environmental Health Coalition.
When he ran for mayor, she was one of his top supporters — and the region’s business community lined up against him and argued that his support for the Barrio Logan community plan was a threat to jobs across the region.
Eight years later, Gómez and Alvarez are locked in a heated campaign to represent the 80th Assembly district — and the business community that spent big to keep him out of the mayor’s office is now spending big to send him to Sacramento.
The race has developed into something of a preview of races we could see a lot more of as Democrats assume uniform control of government here, as Andrew Keatts reports in a dive into the race. With the collapse of the Republican Party as a viable contender in more districts, groups that used to align with them could now arrange themselves into new factions that fit into Democrat-on-Democrat races.
But the race, the former councilwoman told Keatts, has also ended her friendship with Alvarez.
“For me, it was a real relationship, but now it’s become, ‘who is the real David Alvarez?’” Gómez said. “I thought I knew him, and I thought he meant well for our communities.
Alvarez declined to be interviewed for the story. But in a previous interview, he said one of the actions that she took issue with — his lobbying for a shipbuilder in National City, after working to defend Barrio Logan from them — was proof of what he said throughout the Barrio Logan campaign: he was never against the shipbuilding industry; the shipbuilding industry’s argument in Barrio Logan just never made any sense.
“I wouldn’t call it ironic, though maybe to the outside world it is,” he said in 2020. “But as time goes by, and I’m still young, it’s just fascinating how everything is interconnected in this world.”
Opinion: San Diego Needs to Address Senior Homelessness
Results from the annual homeless census showed a 10 percent increase in homelessness countywide. It also revealed that one in four residents experiencing homelessness are adults 55 and older, with the oldest person surveyed being 87 years old.
In a new op-ed, Paul Downey, CEO of the nonprofit Serving Seniors, explains why this population is different and what local leaders must do to help.
“Any solution for homeless older adults needs to address their reality,” he writes. “Congregate shelters don’t cut it. Imagine a 70-year-old woman being asked to sleep in a top bunk bed, in a room with much younger people, many of whom are suffering from addiction or mental illness.”
Nearly half of the seniors counted in this year’s census became homeless within the past year. Based on Serving Seniors’ own research, Downey argues that shallow rental subsidy programs and other resources targeting older adults can help prevent homelessness and are more cost-effective than street clean-ups.
Get Your Live Pod Tickets
It’s official: Chula Vista City Councilmember Andrea Cardenas and Steve Garcia, host of the Emo Brown Podcast, will join us June 9 at Novo Brazil Brewing in Chula Vista for our next live podcast recording.
We’ll break down all there is to know about South Bay politics, including the key races we’re following.
In Other News
- Police investigated anonymous threats to local schools Thursday morning, two days after an 18-year-old gunman killed 19 students and two teachers in Uvalde, Texas. Several Poway Unified School District schools were placed in lockdowns in the morning as a precaution. Police said there would be extra officers at schools on Friday. (Union-Tribune)
- KPBS spoke with local parents and school leaders about the shooting at the elementary school in Texas. “I was simply gutted, devastated, just couldn’t understand this incomprehensible act committed on children. I broke down in tears,” one parent told KPBS.
- Community activists called on politicians, business leaders and residents to recommit to bridging deep racial divides and policing reforms on the anniversary of George Floyd’s death. (Union-Tribune)
This Morning Report was written by Andrew Keatts, Megan Wood and Andrea Lopez-Villafaña.