University of California San Diego in La Jolla on Feb. 14, 2023.
University of California San Diego in La Jolla on Feb. 14, 2023. / Photo by Ariana Drehsler

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The new University of California academic worker contract is the culmination of a historic strike in higher education. It’s been hailed as a landmark deal. But its approval was not unanimous. 

As Jakob McWhinney and Tianrui Huang report, despite the wage increases, new protections and benefits, some workers were upset that teaching assistants in Berkeley, San Francisco and Los Angeles got additional money while their colleagues in places like San Diego and Santa Barbara did not. 

They worry that a two-tier wage system could harm — or at the very least complicate — solidarity in future negotiations. 

The union cited a higher cost of living in those areas. San Diego, however, has some of the highest home prices in the country while its median income is below that of many other metros. 

Read the full story here.  

North County Report: Escondido Spent Most of its General Fund Homeless Dollars On Police

Escondido City Hall / File photo by Adriana Heldiz

Escondido city staff released a report on how the city’s general fund homeless dollars were spent last year, and some residents weren’t happy.

According to the report, the city spent $2.05 million from its own general fund on homelessness efforts last year, and 70 percent of that went to the Escondido Police Department, specifically the Community Oriented Policing and Problem Solving unit, or COPPS. 

These are officers that often deal with calls for service involving homeless people and try to refer homeless people to resources for housing, mental health support and addiction recovery.

Escondido did spend $10.2 million worth of grants and federal funding last year on homelessness prevention, permanent supportive housing and emergency shelter.

But residents still questioned why the COPPS unit was so heavily funded using general fund homelessness dollars when the Escondido Police Department’s total budget was $49 million last year – the largest portion of the city’s overall budget.

Read the North County Report here.

County: City Needs More Restrooms, Handwashing Stations to Combat Hep A 

Porta potties near Plaza de Panama at Balboa Park
Porta potties near Plaza de Panama at Balboa Park on Nov. 1, 2021. / Photo by Adriana Heldiz

The city of San Diego is pledging to identify possible locations for additional portable restrooms and handwashing stations following a directive from the county to respond to a small spike in hepatitis A cases and prevent further spread.

The county’s deputy public health officer sent a letter last week to the city’s chief operating officer ordering the city to deploy more restrooms and handwashing stations, step up sanitation procedures where unsheltered residents gather and analyze locations of homeless camps and “work to provide housing or provide frequent cleaning.”

City COO Eric Dargan responded Wednesday saying the city is exploring locations for additional restrooms and wash stations, will continue already stepped-up sanitation practices and is working with outreach teams and others to “maximize available resources to those willing to accept placement and services.”

Read the full story here.

In Other News 

  • The Union-Tribune reports that the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department doesn’t plan to ban the use of restraints known as hogtying, though it has revised the training required for the device. This decision comes after the county agreed to settle a civil lawsuit brought by the family of Lucky Phounsy, who died in 2015.
  • San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria announced Wednesday that the city is leasing a shuttered motel in Barrio Logan to eventually shelter homeless families. The 42-room building would provide shelter to up to 164 individuals. (KPBS, City News Service) 
  • Times of San Diego reports that Janessa Goldbeck, a veterans advocate and CEO of Vet Voice Foundation, has announced her candidacy for the San Diego County Board of Supervisors. She plans to run for the District 4 seat, which is being vacated by Nathan Fletcher, who is running for state Senate. The Politics Report a couple weeks ago floated potential candidates for supervisor that could kick off a game of political dominoes.
  • It’s going to be a cold, windy week. Already on Wednesday, trees were uprooted, schools were closed and hundreds lost power in the county because of gusty winds. (Union-Tribune) 

The Morning Report was written by Jesse Marx, Tigist Layne, Lisa Halverstadt and Andrea Lopez-Villafaña. It was edited by Jesse Marx and Andrea Lopez-Villafaña.

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