Politics

FOUR THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT THE NEWSOM RECALL DEBATE WITH REPUBLICAN CONTENDERS

By Ben Christopher and Laurel Rosenhall, originally published Aug. 5 at Calmatters

Photo: Republican candidates John Cox, Kevin Faulconer and Kevin Kiley participated in debate, along with John Ose, who later dropped out after suffering a heart attack. Larry Elder, who leads in polls, did not attend.

August 31, 2021 (San Diego) -- In what could be the only primetime TV debate of the recall campaign, Republicans John Cox, Kevin Faulconer, Kevin Kiley and Doug Ose go after the governor and appeal to Fox News voters. [Editor’s note: Ose later dropped out after suffering a heart attack.)

After months of build-up, California voters got their first prime-time glimpse at the major candidates vying to become governor in the upcoming recall election. 

Some of them, anyway. 

In the first — and conceivably only — debate before ballots begin hitting mailboxes later this month, Gov. Gavin Newsom, the focal point of the Sept. 14 election, sat out Wednesday night’s event.

COUNTY REDISTRICTING COMMISSIONERS VISIT EL CAJON

Supervisorial district 2 may be split due to population increase; urban and rural residents voice concerns

By Mike Allen

Photo:  Ramah Awad of Majdal Center in El Cajon provides comment to the county’s Independent Redistricting Commission.

August 30, 2021 (El Cajon) -- The process of redrawing boundaries for San Diego County’s five supervisorial districts is underway and the independent commission that will determine those lines visited El Cajon Aug. 26 to listen to the public.

SEVERAL CAJON VALLEY STUDENTS AND FAMILIES ESCAPE AFGHANISTAN, FATE OF OTHERS UNKNOWN AFTER DEADLY ISIS ATTACKS NEAR AIRPORT

Update August 31, 2021:  One local family with three Children in the Cajon Valley district has been left behind after the U.S. troop withdrawal,  10 News supports. A district spokesperson said they are exploring ways to bring them home.  The other Cajon Valley familes have been safely evacuated and some students are now back in school. 

 

Over 104,000 civilians have been evacuated by U.S. in past 10 days; airlifts continue despite bombings as Biden vows retaliations against ISIS

By Miriam Raftery

Photo courtesy of the Pentagon: U.s. Air Force personnel help evacuate Afghan civilians at the Kabul airport on Aug. 24

August 26, 2021 (San Diego’s East County) – After today’s deadly terrorist attacks near the Kabul airport, concerns are heightened over the fate of some Cajon Valley Union School District students and their families. Around two dozen students and their families who traveled to visit relatives became trapped in Afghanistan after the Taliban takeover, the district announced earlier this week.

Today, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports that four of the local families have escaped and two have arrived safely in Southern California. But the whereabouts of five other local families, including 14 children, remains unknown.

FDA APPROVES FIRST COVID-19 VACCINE FOLLOWING EIGHT MONTHS OF EMERGENCY AUTHORIZATION

By Miriam Raftery
 
August 25, 2021 (Washington, D.C.) - On Monday, August 23, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the first COVID-19 vaccine, which was previously authorized under emergency use authorization standards since December 2020. Listen to FDA media call regarding the announcement.

CANDIDATES FOR SHERIFF TO APPEAR THURSDAY IN VIRTUAL FORUM

Martinez and Myers to present their visions for the Sheriff's Department, answer questions from frontline Deputies

East County News Service

August 25, 2021 (San Diego) -- The 2022 Sheriff's Race kicks off Thursday with candidates appearing at their first forum on August 26 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. hosted by the Deputy Sheriff's Association (DSA) of San Diego County.

Both candidates have years of experience in the San Diego County Sheriff’s organization: Kelly Martinez, current Undersheriff, and retired Sheriff’s Commander Dave Myers.

The event will be live-streamed on the DSA’s Facebook Page.

SUPERVISOR REDISTRICTING HEARINGS ANNOUNCED: AUG. 26 IN EL CAJON AND MORE

By Miriam Raftery

August 24, 2021 (San Diego) – How should redistricting lines be drawn for San Diego County’s supervisorial district?  The County of San Diego Independent Redistricting Commission is hosting pre-mapping public hearings to hear from residents.  The hearings will be held both in-personal and virtually online. 

For East County residents in District 2, currently represented by Joel Anderson, a hearing is set for Thursday, Aug. 26 at 5:30 p.m. at the Ronald Reagan Community Center, 195 E. Douglas Ave. in El Cajon. Meeting link for Aug. 26 El Cajon hearing.

Other hearings are slated for other districts, as well as a general hearing on Sept. 25 at 1 p.m. in Spring Valley

Below is the full schedule of upcoming events and locations:

VOTING BY MAIL IS SIMPLE, CONVENIENT, SECURE

By Tracy DeFore, County of San Diego Communications Office

August 23, 2021 (San Diego) - As mail ballots start showing up in mailboxes around San Diego County, the Registrar of Voters office is encouraging voters to act on their mail ballot and vote early.

More than 1.96 million mail ballots for the Sept. 14 California Gubernatorial Recall Election were sent out to registered voters last week.

ADVOCATES PRESS FOR NEW CELL-PHONE RADIATION LIMITS AFTER COURT VICTORY

Safety standards for radiofrequency radiation from cell towers and wireless devices are based on studies done only on adults, not children

By Suzanne Potter, Public News Service (CA)

Photo by Kevin Mottus, California Brain Tumor Association

August 21, 2021 (Washington D.C.) - Wireless safety advocates are calling on the Biden administration to develop a policy on safer cell-phone technology in the wake of a new ruling in federal court.

OFFICE OF CONGRESSMAN DARRELL ISSA TO HOST SMALL BUSINESS AND NON-PROFIT CYBERSECURITY WEBINAR AUG. 25

Source:  Congressman Darrell Issa

August 20, 2021 (San Marcos) - The Office of Congressman Darrell Issa (CA-50) will host a free online cybersecurity webinar for small business owners and organization leaders August 25, 2021 from 11:00 – 12:00pm PT. The Chief of Cybersecurity for the Western United States from the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) will conduct a detailed briefing and answer attendee questions.

BIDEN-HARRIS ADMINISTRATION INVESTS TO IMPROVE HEALTH IN RURAL COMMUNITIES

East County News Service

August 20, 2021 (Washington D.C.) -- The Biden Administration has announced actions to improve the health of rural communities by making billions of dollars in American Rescue Plan funding available expand telehealth in rural and other under-served communities, help rural hospitals and medical providers meet COVID-19 needs, expand Medicare to include dental, vision and hearing benefits, and expand Veterans’ Administration (VA) training for rural providers, among other key goals.

BIDEN ASKS SUPREME COURT TO BLOCK ORDER TO REINSTATE `REMAIN IN MEXICO’ POLICY FOR ASYLUM SEEKERS

By Miriam Raftery

August 20, 2021 (San Diego) – The Biden administration today filed an emergency request with the U.S. Supreme Court requesting the high court to block a Texas judge’s order to reinstate the controversial Migrant Protection Program (MPP). Reuters reports.  The program was ordered via an executive ordered issued by former President Donald Trump in early 2019 and required asylum seekers to remain in Mexico while awaiting the outcome of their asylum cases in U.S. courts.

The Biden administration discontinued the policy, but U.S. District Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk, a Trump appointee, last week found that the Biden administration violated procedural laws and acted “arbitrarily” by failing to consider some benefits of the program.  However, Kacsmaryk stayed his decision for a week to allow the Biden administration to appeal.

AS TALIBAN SEIZES CONTROL IN AFGHANISTAN AMID U.S. PULLOUT, CONCERNS GROW FOR EVACUATING AFGHAN ALLIES AND U.S. CITIZENS

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Boeing C-17 carrying 640 passengers out of Afghanistan, via Air Mobility Command 

August 20, 2021 (San Diego) – San Diego Congressional members and residents with ties to Afghanistan are voicing concerns over the Biden administration’s actions in the wake of a rapid Taliban takeover in Afghanistan following pullout of most U.S. troops.  Chief among the concerns is how to provide safe evacuation of thousands of Afghans who aided American troops, as well as their families, in addition to U.S. citizens, nonprofit workers, journalists and others still in Afghanistan and at risk of losing their lives to vengeful Taliban forces.

CONGRESSWOMAN SARA JACOBS VISITS MEALS ON WHEELS, HELPS DELIVER FOOD TO SENIORS IN SPRING VALLEY

Volunteers are needed at Meals on Wheels 

By Miriam Raftery

 

August 10, 2021 (Spring Valley) – One in 10 seniors in San Diego County  is experiencing hunger and nearly half of local seniors live alone. Today, Congresswoman Sara Jacobs toured the Meals on Wheels facility in San Diego, then joined Meals on Wheels local president Brent Wakefield to delivery food to Spring Valley seniors – Margaret, who is 98 years young, as well as a military veteran, Larry, and his wife, both 90.

SIX CANDIDATES QUALIFY FOR BALLOT IN LA MESA CITY COUNCIL SPECIAL ELECTION

By Miriam Raftery

August 9, 2021 (La Mesa) – La Mesa voters will have six candidates on their ballot for a Nov. 2 special election to fill the vacancy left by Dr. Akilah Weber’s election to the state Assembly. Some candidates who pulled papers did not qualify or dropped out, and one is a last-minute entry.

Here are the six candidates who have qualified:

BY THE RULES: A BASIC GUIDE TO VOTING IN CALIFORNIA'S GUBERNATORIAL RECALL ELECTION

By CalMatters staff, CalMatters

CalMatters is a public interest journalism venture committed to explaining how California’s state Capitol works and why it matters

Photo:  An early voting sign at the San Diego County Registrar of Voters office in Kearney Mesa in November 2020. Photo by Chris Stone

August 9, 2021 (Sacramento) - California voters are being asked whether to recall a Governor for only the second time in the state’s history. Here’s what you need to know about the process.

WHILE CONGRESSWOMAN JACOBS TAKES STAND FOR RENTERS, REP. ISSA DEMANDS INVESTIGATION OF BIDEN FOR EXTENDING EVICTION MORATORIUM

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Congresswoman Jacobs speaks at midnight rally outside Capitol, calling for an eviction moratorium to protect renters.

August 7, 2021 (San Diego) – This week, the Biden administration issued a temporary ban on evictions across most of the U.S. in areas with high rates of COVID-19, an estimated 90% of the nation. Biden took the action despite questions over its constitutionality, after Congress allowed an eviction moratorium to lapse due to lack of Republican votes in the Senate to prevent millions of Americans from potentially winding up homeless.

POLICE OFFICERS GIVE DRAMATIC TESTIMONY TO CONGRESSIONAL PANEL ON CAPITOL INSURRECTION

 

“This is how I am going to die.” – Capitol Police Officer and Army veteran Aquillino Gonell, on his thoughts after insurrectionists beat him, sprayed him with chemicals, and called for his execution.  

View video of full hearing: https://www.c-span.org/video/?513434-1/capitol-dc-police-testify-january-6-attack

By Miriam Raftery

July 28, 2021 (Washington D.C.) – Four l police officers gave emotional and at times, tearful testimony yesterday before the House select committee on the January 6 insurrection, revealing how the mob violently assaulted, tortured, and nearly killed law enforcement officers defending the Capitol 

The officers endured beatings, eye gouging, tasering to the head, death threats, and lasting injuries. Much of their testimony was backed up by newly released body cam video footage showing supporters of Donald Trump brutally attacking the officers, who implored Congressional members to assure that everyone responsible is held accountable.

The House committee includes Republicans Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger, along with Democrats. Senate Republicans filibustered any effort to appoint an independent bipartisan commission as was done to investigate the 9/11 attacks, so Speaker Pelosi appointed members of both parties and invited House minority leader Kevin McCarthy to name additional members. But after Pelosi vetoed two of his six picks because of conflicts of interest, since the two could be called as witnesses and possible conspirators, McCarthy withdrew all six of his nominations and refused to name others.

Both McCarthy and Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell have said they did not watch yesterday’s hearing, citing other business commitments. But for much of the nation that tuned in to watch, the evidence presented was deeply disturbing.

Below are highlights of the officers’ testimony:

PRO-ISRAEL RALLY HELD IN EL CAJON; PALESTINIANS MARCH IN PROTEST

Arabs, Jews, Black community, Latinos, and Whites divided between both groups

Story, video and photos by Briana Gomez

Photos, left: Latinos for Israel, photo by Briana Gomez, pro-Palestinian marchers, photo by Gary Fields

 

View a special ECM video report: https://youtu.be/YT4tOLvpGYA

 

July 27, 2021 (El Cajon) – Pro-Israel and pro-Palestinian groups held large rallies Sunday afternoon in El Cajon that remained peaceful, though outside groups provoked skirmishes nearby. 

Shield of David hosted a “Stand with Israel” rally at 3 p.m. at Prescott Promenade in downtown El Cajon featuring Mayor Bill Wells and keynote speaker Mike Pompeo, former Secretary of State under the Trump Administration.The event hosted a variety of other speakers as well as entertainment and Israeli food.  It attracted about 1,000 Jews and supportive community members who wanted to stand united against rising anti-Semitic violence, celebrate Israel, and listen to the speakers.

A counter rally took place at 2 p.m. at El Cajon City Park led by Palestinian Youth Movement (PYM) in collaboration with other activist groups like Jewish Voice for Peace. Leaders of these groups leveled criticism at organizers of the pro-Israel rally, which they viewed as divisive at a time of intense conflicts between Israel and Palestine, including recent bombings.

LIBRARY EXPANSION ON AGENDA FOR LA MESA CITY COUNCIL

Agenda also includes proposal to create a task force to promote arts and culture in La Mesa

By Miriam Raftery

July 25, 2021 (La Mesa) – A proposal to form a task force to look at options for an expanded library will be on the agenda for the La Mesa City Council on Tuesday, July 27.   You can submit comments up to 300 words  to be read aloud at the Council meeting by the City Clerk; comments must be received by 4 p.m. Tuesdy at comments@cityoflamesa.us. Live public comments can also be made via Zoom.

The current La Mesa Library was originally intended as an interim step, after the old library was torn down to make way for a new police station. But the cash-strapped city never raised the anticipated funds for a larger, contempoary library and county matching funding evaporated. But many residents are advocating for the city to live up to its promises to residents.

The issue has sparked lively discussion on the La Mesa Happenings forum on Facebook.

CROWDED FIELD OF CANDIDATES RUNNING FOR LA MESA CITY COUNCIL SEAT

By Miriam Raftery

July 25, 2021 (La Mesa) – Candidates have until August 6 at noon to file papers to run for La Mesa’s City Council in a November special election. The field is growing crowded, with eight candidates who have pulled papers to run so far, though one told ECM he has decided to drop out.

The candidates are vying to fill a vacancy left by Dr. Akilah Weber's election to the state Assembly. The election follows a turbulent year that included civil unrest and the COVID-19 pandemic.

In alphabetical order, the eight candidates who have thus far filed papers to run  are:

U.S. LAUNCHES AIRSTRIKES ON SOMALI AL-SHABAAB TERRORISTS, DRAWING CRITICISMS FROM SOME IN CONGRESS

“I have concerns about the legal justification of the recent strikes, particularly as they seem to have been conducted without White House approval.” – Congresswoman Sara Jacobs

By Miriam Raftery

July 24, 2021 (San Diego) – The Pentagon has launched two airstrikes this week targeting combatants with al-Shabaab, an al-Qaeda affiliated terror group in Somalia. The air strikes come after a six-month pause in airstrikes that were halted after Joe Biden replaced Donald Trump as U.S. President.

San Diego has the second largest Somali population in the U.S., with approximately 10,000 Somali immigrants, KPBS reported last year.

LOCAL IMMIGRANT ADVOCATES SPEAK OUT ON DACA COURT RULING

"Our contributions to this country are innumerable. Yet, there’s no path to citizenship for us. We pay taxes, build the economy, and contribute to our communities during a pandemic. Yet, we are rejected and insulted once more. Every day that we live without a path to citizenship, is a day filled with anxiety and fear.” -- Dulce Garcia, an undocumented immigrant and attorney who chairs the San Diego Immigrant Rights Consortium.

By Miriam Raftery

July 22, 2021 (San Diego) – San Diego immigrant advocates are reacting in shock to a federal judge’s ruling which orders the Biden administration to halt approval of any new Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) applications. The judge also issued a stay temporarily protecting those already granted DACA protections from deportation – but warned that Congress must act to make protections permanent, or the stay might be lifted.

DACA was created through an executive order by President Barack Obama, protecting thousands of young people brought to the U.S. illegally as children to stay here, hold jobs and attend school. Known as “Dreamers,” many have been here nearly their entire lives. The ruling creates an uncertain future for 305,000 DACA recipients and another 854,000 eligible for DACA in southern border states, according to the Southern Border Communities Coalition. Some have been in the U.S. for many years, and some are now married or parents of U.S. citizens.

ISSA LEADS BIPARTISAN EFFORT TO REAUTHORIZE "JOHANNA'S LAW" GYNECOLOGICAL CANCER AWARENESS CAMPAIGN

Source:  Representative Darrell Issa

July 21, 2021 (Washington, D.C.) - Congressman Darrell Issa (CA-50) announced today that he is now an original cosponsor of legislation to reauthorize “Johanna’s Law,” which supports federal campaigns to raise knowledge and awareness among women and health care providers about gynecologic cancers. 

FOUR WOMEN RUNNING FOR LA MESA CITY COUNCIL, FIFTH CANDIDATE DROPS OUT

By Miriam Raftery

Photo, left to right: Mejgan Afshan, Letitia Dickerson, Patricia Dillard, and Laura Lothian

July 20, 2021 (La Mesa) – So far, the lineup of candidates seeking to serve on La Mesa’s City Council have one thing in common: all are women who filed papers to run for a vacancy on the Council left when ex-Councilmember Akilah Weber won election to the state Assembly.  Dr Weber, a Democrat, was the first Black woman to serve on the Council.

The filing deadline opened July 12 and will close on August 6, so more candidates may yet file. The candidates who have filed to run so far are:

EL CAJON HOLDS FIRST REDISTRICTING MEETING, RAISES CONCERNS IN ARAB, MIDDLE EASTERN AND NORTH AFRICAN COMMUNITIES

By Briana Gomez

July 19, 2021 (El Cajon) - The first of four redistricting meetings in El Cajon took place last Wednesday.

Local governments redistrict every 10 years to reflect a change in local population. The redistricting plan will affect how residents elect their council members.

RALLY AGAINST ANTI-SEMITISM IN EL CAJON JULY 25 TO FEATURE FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE POMPEO, MULTI-FAITH LEADERS AND MAYOR WELLS

By Miriam Raftery

July 17, 2021 (El Cajon) – In response to an all-time high number of violent attacks on Jewish people and synagogues in the U.S., a rally titled “We Are Israel” will be held on Sunday, July 25 at 3 p.m. in Prescott Prominade Park at 201 East Main Street in downtown El Cajon.

SITE MANAGERS NEEDED FOR IN-PERSON VOTING LOCATIONS

By Tracy DeFore, County of San Diego Communications Office
 
July 13, 2021 (San Diego) -- The Registrar of Voters is seeking temporary site managers to operate an assigned in-person voting location for the Sept. 14 California Gubernatorial Recall Election. Site managers earn $20 per hour and work approximately 125 hours over a five-week period.
 
For the upcoming election, in-person voting locations will be open for four days instead of one. The Registrar’s office will hire election workers rather than use volunteer poll workers because training is more extensive for the expanded time period.
 

DO YOU WANT TO RUN FOR LA MESA CITY COUNCIL TO REPLACE DR. WEBER?

Candidates can file from July 12 through August 6

By Alexa Oslowski

July 9, 2021 (La Mesa) - On November 2, La Mesa will be holding its all-mail ballot election to replace Dr. Akilah Weber, who left the City Council to serve as the 79th District State Assemblymember. The person elected will serve until the end of Dr. Weber’s City Council term on November 8, 2022.

The nomination period opens on July 12, 2021, and closes on August 6, 2021 at 12:00 p.m. Candidate packets will be available in the City Clerk's Office, which is located at 8130 Allison Avenue in La Mesa. To schedule an appointment to obtain a Candidate Packet, please contact the City Clerk's Office at 619-667-1120.

SAN DIEGO UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT POISED TO PILOT “BOOST DEMOCRACY” PROGRAM, IMPROVE PUBLIC ACCESS TO MEETINGS

By Miriam Raftery

View press conference

Photo: Shane Harris President of People's Association of Justice Advocates speaks Thursday at announcement as San Diego Unified School District Board President Richard Barrera looks on. (Photo via SDUSD)

July 9, 2021 (San Diego) – San Diego Unified School District's board of trustees is poised to become the first public agency to adopt a “Boost Democracy” proposal by Rev. Shane Harris, President of the People’s Association of Justice Advocates. During its July 13 meeting, the board will test out allowing members of the public to receive a text message on request shortly before an agenda item they wish to speak on comes up. Harris hopes to have other government agencies across our region and nation follow suit.

Harris said that COVID-19 turned public meetings into a telecommunications platforms through online programs such as Zoom. “People engaged, people woke up, and people spoke up” about concerns ranging from COVID-19 to their children’s education.  “The central place that something going on was at these public meetings....One of the things I saw during this time was a breakdown in efficiency. It made government meetings more accessible,” since people could call in from where they were at, “but it did not make government meetings more efficient.” He said he saw mothers caring for children, activists and business owners calling in for meetings and waiting hours sometimes to speak on agenda items.

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