Tijuana River
A tributary near the U.S.-Mexico border where sewage from Tijuana flows through. / Photo by Adriana Heldiz

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For over a year now, Congressional members from California have been trying to peel back a piece of sticky red bureaucratic tape that threatens to stall a solution to pollution plaguing beachside communities at the U.S.-Mexico border.

Now Reps. Juan Vargas and Sara Jacobs are taking another crack at it. 

All Congress has to do is pass a piece of legislation that allows the transfer of $300 million between the bank accounts of two federal agencies. Sen. Dianne Feinstein tried to do it. Even the president put it in his budget. 

The two Congressmembers hope the legislative fix will make it through the House and U.S. Senate under a spending bill for the State Department. And not a brick can drop on building of a bigger, better border wastewater treatment plant to handle more sewage spilling from Tijuana into San Diego until that’s done. 

Click here to read more about their plan

Why Mike Davis Matters

An illustration of San Diego scholar and activist Mike Davis by Carolyn Ramos for Voice of San Diego
Mike Davis / Illustration by Carolyn Ramos for Voice of San Diego

When the news spread a couple weeks ago that San Diego scholar and activist Mike Davis was going on palliative care, it generated an outpouring of support online. And for good reason.

Davis, as Jesse Marx writes in his Fine City column, is a giant of urban theory whose work reveals uncomfortable truths about the way cities operate and to whose benefit. Marx gives special attention to “Under the Perfect Sun,” a people’s history of San Diego that Davis co-wrote with a pair of City College professors.

The book tells stories of rebellion and repression and takes aim at the city’s boosterism and mythology. The projection of affluence, they argue, has stifled meaningful examination of the underlying social extremes and made the task of any liberal reformer harder.

Culturally and politically, quite a bit has changed since the book was published, but class and racial struggle are still very much with us — perhaps now more than ever with skyrocketing housing costs and homelessness. Davis has spent his career encouraging readers to consider not just economic inequality but economic power, and to see that our future isn’t pre-determined.

Read the rest of Marx’s appreciation here.

In Other News

  • The U.S. Embassy has issued a security warning against travel to Tijuana and Baja amid escalating violence between cartels and Mexican security forces. (KPBS)
  • The City Council later this month could weigh a proposal that would force private contractors seeking building permits from the city to disclose details about their business and employees, an effort supported by local labor unions in hopes of discouraging wage theft. As the Union-Tribune reports, the local construction industry warns it could depress housing production
  • A new study has found yet another way to demonstrate how severe the region’s shortage of housing units is: there are an average of 24 applicants for every rental unit, CBS 8 reports. It was 14 applications per rental unit this time last year.
  • Last month, Orange County-based Brewery X won an auction to purchase San Diego’s Modern Times Beer out of a court-approved receivership, but as the Union-Tribune reported Thursday, they’ve since dropped out, clearing the way for Maui Brewing Co. to purchase it for $15.3 million instead.
  • San Diego gas prices dropped yesterday for the 22nd consecutive day, NBC 7 San Diego reports.

The Morning Report was written by MacKenzie Elmer, Jesse Marx and Andrew Keatts. It was edited by Andrea Lopez Villafaña and Megan Wood.

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