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What is Politifest?
It’s Voice of San Diego’s annual public affairs summit. Launched in 2011, Politifest focuses on issues affecting San Diego communities. During election years, we focus on candidates and ballot measures. In non-election years, we highlight the most important topics that drive public policy and community conversation.
Politifest features a robust schedule of debates, panels and one-on-one interviews with experts, and provides a platform for residents to raise their voices, ask tough questions and delve into important issues.
Law & Justice
This year’s summit — which will take place virtually from Oct. 18 – 22 — will examine law enforcement and justice in San Diego through the lens of transparency, community, accountability and politics.
Schedule of Events
Monday, Oct. 18 • 5:30 – 6:45 p.m. PST
Moderated by Jesse Marx, VOSD associate editor
Smart Tech and Accountability
The San Diego region has seen an explosion in devices capable of watching and listening to the public. Bolstered by federal funds, these projects are typically pitched as environmentally friendly ways for cash-strapped governments to reshape the urban landscape or respond more efficiently to emergencies. But many of these technologies were developed as tools of counterinsurgency abroad and are experiencing mission creep at home. So what does that mean for the people who live, work and travel here? And what lessons can be learned from the community pushback?
Tuesday, Oct. 19 • 5:30 – 6:45 p.m. PST
Moderated by Kelly Davis, San Diego journalist
Addressing Sentencing Disparities
A California Commission put out a series of recommendations in February to address extreme racial sentencing disparities in the state, some of which may become state law by the end of the year. Do these policies go far enough to address disparities caused by things like sentencing enhancements and incarceration over traffic offenses?
Wednesday, Oct. 20 • 5:30 – 6:45 p.m. PST
When Tough on Crime Goes Wrong: A Conversation with Aaron Harvey
Six years ago, San Diego prosecutors tested the limits of a relatively new state law by making a shocking argument: that if any person in a group committed a crime, other members of that group could be held responsible too – even if they had nothing to do with it. The case threatened to send Aaron Harvey to prison for life, and it had much bigger ramifications for the world of criminal justice in San Diego. In this discussion, former VOSD managing editor Sara Libby sits down with Harvey to revisit the case and how it’s affected his life and beyond.
Thursday, Oct. 21 • 5:30 – 6:45 p.m. PST
Debate: Who Should Be Sheriff?
Moderated by Scott Lewis, VOSD editor-in-chief/CEO
Friday, Oct. 22 • 5:30 – 6:45 p.m. PST
Policing Homelessness: What Role Should — or Shouldn’t — Police Play in Addressing Homelessness?
Moderated by Lisa Halverstadt, VOSD reporter
San Diego police officers have long played a leading role in the city’s homelessness response. In recent years, enforcement affecting homeless people has surged. Advocates and the city’s 2019 homelessness plan have urged the city to consider dialing back the police department’s role. We’ll talk to police and advocates about the current realities on the ground, changes in recent years and the role police can and should play in addressing homelessness.
Questions about Politifest?
Julianne Markow: email@example.com | (619) 550-5664
Sponsorships & Partnerships
Ashley Rodriguez: firstname.lastname@example.org | (619) 550-5670
Thank you to our sponsors
University of San Diego College of Arts and Sciences
The San Diego Foundation
City of San Diego Retired Employees’ Association
Iredale & Yoo APC