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Housing and land use have been a big point of distinction between the Democrats running in District 6, the only open seat this election on the San Diego City Council.
But identity is also a major factor, as the district is home to the highest concentration of Asians and Pacific Islanders, many of whom have fought for decades to see themselves reflected in positions of power. One candidate is Asian, the other is not.
The attempt to create an Asian empowerment district in San Diego goes back decades and culminated in 2014 with the election of Chris Cate, who’s termed out. When a commission set about re-drawing the lines of the district last year, advocates warned that the AAPI population needed to be as high as possible.
Turnout in the June primary was lower than many had hoped, suggesting that an Asian empowerment district doesn’t guarantee Asian representation. Rather, as Jesse Marx reports, it’s part of an ongoing effort to increase civic participation and boost the chances of an AAPI voting bloc.
IB Mobile Home Dispute Now an Issue in Mayor’s Race
A mobile home and RV park in Imperial Beach has seen its share of political organizing in recent months. It’s now bleeding into the mayor’s race.
Last week, Republican Shirley Nakawatase’s campaign reported two donations totaling nearly $10,000 from sources tracing back to an owner of Miramar Imperial Beach Mobile Home and RV Park.
Nakawatase told Marx that the money came in through her website and she has no plans to give it back in the face of criticism by park residents and one of her political opponents.
Last week, the City Council agreed to draft an ordinance extending rental protections inside the park, where residents are forced to move out every six months for at least 48 hours or face eviction. Elected officials are expected to consider that ordinance on Wednesday and take a vote.
Nakawatase said she hasn’t taken a position on the ordinance but wishes the city didn’t need to intervene.
Train Services Suspended Indefinitely Due to Coastal Erosion
The Metrolink and Amtrak train services between Orange County and San Diego have been suspended as of Friday because of slope movement on the bluffs beneath the tracks at San Clemente. Amtrak also suspended its service between Irvine and San Diego
The tracks are part of the 350-mile LOSSAN rail corridor that travels between San Diego, Los Angeles and San Luis Obispo, and are the only viable rail link that connects San Diego to Los Angeles and the rest of the U.S.
Erosion on the bluffs has continued to be a growing concern along the coast, including here in Del Mar.
Voice of San Diego’s most recent North County Report takes a deeper dive into the plan to move Del Mar’s train tracks from the bluffs and into an underground tunnel, but that won’t be until 2035.
Meanwhile, the Del Mar bluffs have seen several slope movements, bluff collapses and even the “great train wreck of 1941.”
Politics Report: About Those Train Tracks (and More Bill Walton Fallout)
This week’s Politics Report (only for Voice of San Diego Members) has more background on why SANDAG officials may see a silver lining in the disruption of the train service: They’ve been trying to make the case that they need billions of dollars to move the tracks, especially in Del Mar, as outlined above.
Also in the greatest newsletter about San Diego politics sent out on Saturdays: Scott Lewis and Andrew Keatts pulled together a blow by blow (with some new blows) in the feud between the legendary basketball player and San Diego son, Bill Walton, and Mayor Todd Gloria, who Walton said must go because of the worsening homeless crisis.
The Politics Report can be read here if you are a member and if you have trouble connecting, you should email firstname.lastname@example.org. Make sure your message is in all capital letters.
In Other News
- The sailor accused of starting a fire aboard the amphibious assault ship Bonhomme Richard two years ago was acquitted of all charges by a military court-martial last week. (Union-Tribune)
- San Diego’s minimum wage for all employers will rise from $15 to $16.30 an hour in January. (Union-Tribune)
- San Diego Magazine profiled a group of volunteers with Border Kindness who leave water, food, and clothing in canyons, mountains, and desert flats known to be frequented by migrants. The magazine also wrote about the rise of the doctor-turned-social media star, as telehealth during the pandemic pushed healthcare in new directions.
- The Union-Tribune reports that attorneys involved in 101 Ash St.-related lawsuits are awaiting final Superior Court rulings following attempts to try to avoid trials in two conflict-of-interest cases aimed at an ex-city real estate adviser and a case alleging the 101 Ash lease violated the state’s constitutional debt limit. For a primer on all the lawsuits, check out this guide.
The Morning Report was written by Jesse Marx, Tigist Layne and Lisa Halverstadt. It was edited by Andrea Lopez-Villafaña.