San Diego Unified’s board of trustees has one very peculiar distinction, our Jakob McWhinney discovered. The trustees have voted unanimously on every single item to come before them in 2023. And this incredible level of agreement is nothing new.
Depending on who you ask, San Diego Unified’s unanimity is a very good or very bad thing.
Hot Takes: Board members say the unanimous votes are reflective of their shared values and help them run the district more smoothly. But the board’s critics say the unanimity isn’t reflective of the community’s values. They say it comes from the outsized influence of the local teachers union in elections and that it stifles debate.
The last big divisive year for San Diego Unified’s board? That was 2019, when the board had a whopping seven divided votes.
Unity is a good thing, one detractor said, “except for when it’s what we’re seeing here, which isn’t a consensus reached by exploring all the different factors that go into making a decision.”
Reruns Department: Former Mayor K-Faulc for County Supe
San Diego hasn’t seen its last of former mayor Kevin Faulconer.
Faulconer announced Tuesday he would run for the County Board of Supervisors in 2024. Faulconer will try to capture a seat which encompasses the majority of San Diego’s coastline and is currently held by Terra Lawson-Remer.
In recent months, as he clearly geared up for a campaign, Faulconer has been trumpeting his efforts on homelessness while he was mayor. Faulconer argues that by increasing shelter capacity, while firmly enforcing encroachment laws against homeless people, he was able to bring down homelessness in San Diego.
We evaluated Faulconer’s homelessness doctrine – which he has described as “compassionate yet firm” – as well as several other defining storylines of his time as mayor as he was leaving office in 2020.
- Faulconer’s real estate debacles
- When Faulconer started taking homelessness seriously
- The elusive results of Faulconer’s YIMBY policies
Oh and Terra Lawson-Remer? She didn’t seem too fussed about Faulconer coming after her seat.
“Kevin Faulconer was a complete failure as mayor,” she tweeted. Our Scott Lewis previously noted Lawson-Remer was “gleeful” at the prospect of running against K-Faulc, in his Politics Report newsletter. (FYI, you have to donate $35 to read the Politics Report and you really should.)
Judge: County Jail Death Records Are of Public Interest
News outlets got a win Tuesday. (After the rough news on Monday, they needed it.)
U.S. District Court Judge Jinsook Ohta wrote, “The public unquestionably holds an interest in the operations of the county and county jails, which are both supported by tax dollars — especially when they have resulted in the numerous deaths and injuries of San Diego residents detained in custody.”
The county’s lawyers plan to appeal the decision.
Catch Up: The Union-Tribune reports that nine people have died in custody this year. Twenty last year and 18 in 2021. And the state counts 185 deaths at San Diego County jails between 2006 and 2020.
In Other News
- The City Council plans to crack down on companies that damage San Diego’s streets when they perform work such as laying cable and repairing pipes. (Union-Tribune)
- San Diego County kicked off its “Cool Zones” program again this year. The program designates 33 sites across the county, including libraries, where people can cool off during extreme heat. (KPBS)
- Some trails in Cleveland National Forest will be closed due to extreme heat. (NBC 7)
- After months of disruptions in schedules, which have impacted tourists and commuters, rail service between San Diego and Los Angeles will resume Monday. A temporary wall has been built in San Clemente to keep the tracks safe and the landslide from progressing. Amtrak will have 10 daily round trips to Los Angeles. (U-T)
The Morning Report was written by Will Huntsberry, Andrea Lopez-Villafaña and Kathryn Gray. It was edited by Andrea Lopez-Villafaña.