A city of San Diego worker puts a "No Camping" sign on Commercial Street in the outskirts of downtown on July 31, 2023.
A city of San Diego worker puts a "No Camping" sign on Commercial Street in the outskirts of downtown on July 31, 2023. / Photo by Ariana Drehsler

Monday was the first day San Diego police could enforce the homeless camping ban.

This new ban was championed by San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria and Downtown City Councilmember Stephen Whitburn. It’s made to crack down on specific areas of the city where street camping has proliferated and “sensitive areas,” like schools. (Read more about that here.)

Voice senior investigative reporter and podcast noble Lisa Halverstadt has been following this ban since its inception. This week she surveyed common camping areas to see how the city and police curbed outdoor campsites and affixed new warning signs.

Plus: Halverstadt broke the news that the city’s largest homeless services provider — Father Joe’s Villages — is in hot water. The San Diego Housing Commission, which works in concert with the City Council, demanded the provider address a series of serious issues, including facility concerns and a disproportionate suspension of residents.

On the pod, Halverstadt shared the most recent details she could find on the ban, the city’s new shelters and Father Joe’s Villages’ issues. Follow all things Lisa at vosd.org/lisa.

Hasan Out

This week, transportation leader Hasan Ikhrata announced his leave, effective December 2023.

Ikhrata’s served as executive director of the San Diego Association of Governments since 2018. It’s been a colorful and contentious legacy as he’s sought to help local leaders reckon with climate goals, inspire “big moves” and right the ship after an agency scandal.

On the pod this week, hosts Scott Lewis, Andrea Lopez-Villafaña and Jakob McWhinney discuss Ikhrata’s tenure, how politics changed around him and the driving fee that divided everyone.

Mailers In

The aforementioned driving fee was top of mind for County Supervisor hopeful Amy Reichert, who sought to vilify the “driving tax” in a District 4 campaign mailer.

Just ahead of the special election to replace Nathan Fletcher, Lopez-Villafaña picked out one mailer that claimed the race’s most high-profile candidate, San Diego City Councilmember Monica Montgomery Steppe, wanted to defund the police.

Lopez-Villafaña explains the claims, brings us back to the anxiety-inducing era of summer 2020 and assesses Montgomery Steppe’s record on police funding.

Music On

McWhinney wants your vibes. As one of the stalwart authors of the Morning Report (our most popular product!), McWhinney is going to start offering subscribers local songs that slap.

This week, it’s the dreamy and refreshing, “Seahorse” by Jackie Mendoza. Enjoy. Send McWhinney your favorite locally made song and a couple lines from your heart: jakob@vosd.org.

Listen Now

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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 nate@vosd.org.

Join the Conversation


  1. My name is Dan Smiechowski, a bad name in San Diego. I am a candidate for mayor. Among other things, I advocate the banning of all scooters in this once great city. I advocate for private property rights which belong to you, not MISTER Gloria. 868 405 5118 DAN

    1. Advocate for private property rights by banning privately owned scooters? LOL. Or maybe advocate for private property rights for landowners to build whatever dense residential housing they choose? LOLOL.

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