San Diego City Councilmembers during a meeting on Jan. 10, 2023.
San Diego City Councilmembers during a meeting on Jan. 10, 2023. / Photo by Ariana Drehsler

The San Diego City Council voted this week to declare housing a human right in the city.

The resolution didn’t change any city policies and isn’t legally binding. So, what gives?

“This resolution is an opportunity for us to commit to doing better and for the community to hold us accountable to that commitment,” said City Council President Sean Elo-Rivera.

With a public commitment and a hint of accountability, will this decision compel city leaders in the future to act faster, better, stronger? In this episode of the VOSD Podcast, hosts Scott Lewis, Andrew Keatts and Andrea Lopez-Villafaña discuss the declaration and grapple with implications it may (or may not) have on the city’s immediate housing crisis.

About that Walkout

As ardent Voice pod fans are surely aware, SANDAG is experiencing some turbulence.

The San Diego Association of Governments — kind of a United Nations for local cities — is buckling under the weight of its weighted-vote politics. The transportation agency often uses a voting mechanism that gives more power to more populous cities. But smaller cities are over it.

This week, Lewis, Keatts and Lopez-Villafaña dish on the recent drama which peaked when several small-city representatives walked out of a meeting in protest. The moment also offers a chance to review SANDAG’s recent history and look to the horizon as SANDAG tries to right itself.


The teachers union at San Diego Unified School District got together this month to tell leaders how they feel about its new universal kindergarten program (often called UTK).

Following the state’s lead — but way ahead of schedule — the region’s largest school district opened up to all 4-year-olds. And it’s been a rocky start, according to Voice education reporter Jakob McWhinney.

Teachers argue the curriculum is virtually nonexistent, the supplies inadequate, the training insufficient — and they’re understaffed.

McWhinney joined the pod this week to report what happened at that emotional meeting between teachers and leadership and what school stakeholders are saying about the brand new grade.

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Nate John

Nate John is the digital manager at Voice of San Diego. He oversees Voice's website, newsletters, podcasts and product team. You can reach him at

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