President Ronald Reagan / Photo via Shutterstock

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In his second piece in a two-part series, Voice of San Diego contributor Randy Dotinga continues unspooling the history of abortion care in the region.

In 1967, almost all abortion was illegal in California. Being a Republican or Democrat had nothing to do with which side you were on, the state’s highest judges were quiet on the matter, and foes of abortion were more likely to oppose war than advocate violence.

Then the landscape shifted. Major players included a governor who’d become a conservative Republican president, a landmark state court case with ties to the San Diego region, and members of a fundamentalist Santee church who transformed into domestic terrorists. 

Click here to read more about San Diego’s abortion history.

Issue of Escondido’s Pension Debt Takes Center Stage at Council Meeting

Escondido’s unfunded pension liability was the topic of a heated conversation at a recent city council meeting.

Pension liability is the difference between the total amount the city owes to retirees and the amount of money the city actually has to make those payments.

In 2020, 30 percent of the city’s pension was unfunded, making the city “high risk,” according to the California state auditor.

The city is considering putting a sales tax measure on the November ballot in hopes of addressing its growing projected budget deficit, but one council member said the city isn’t being transparent enough about its $300 million unfunded pension liability.

He argued that, since Escondido’s unfunded pension liability is where most of its projected debt is coming from, the issue should be highlighted more to the voters.

Read more about why the city’s pension debt is causing concern.

Hotel Workers Strike Ends

The Hilton Bayfront / Photo by Megan Wood

We got confirmation late on Wednesday night that the hundreds of Hilton Bayfront workers represented by Unite Here Local 30 who’d formed a picket line in the morning had reached an agreement with management. The details weren’t immediately available, as the agreement still needed to be ratified, but it came hours before the official kick-off of Comic-Con at the nearby Convention Center.

Bolstered by a tight labor market and rising cost of living, the union has been negotiating with hotel management for months and generating support from elected officials. As of last week, the hotel management was offering a 50 cent per hour increase, causing the workers to vote overwhelmingly in favor of strike authorization.

According to the union, the workers on Tuesday came down from their initial demand to $4 over a two-year period, but the hotel countered with $2.50 over 18 months. The union has also insisted on the hotel returning to its pre-pandemic policy of cleaning rooms on a daily basis, which would ensure more hours for the housekeepers.

As the Union-Tribune reported Wednesday, the two sides reached an impasse after 13 hours of talks on Tuesday.

“We can’t allow hotel workers to continue suffering in a billion dollar industry,” Brigette Browning, president of Local 30, said in a press release Wednesday morning. “These workers are ready to fight for what they deserve.”

In a statement on Wednesday afternoon, Karla Visconti, a spokesperson for the hotel, said it’s currently in negotiations with the union for a new agreement: “We are continuing to welcome guests and have contingency plans in place to ensure operations run as smoothly as possible. We are confident that the hotel and the union will reach a fair agreement that is beneficial to both our valued Team Members and to our hotel.” 

The Comic Con website still lists two dozen panels at the Hilton Bayfront.

In Other News 

This Morning Report was written by Jesse Marx, Jakob McWhinney and Tigist Layne. It was edited by Megan Wood.

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