Politics

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.

GUBERNATORIAL RECALL ELECTION: YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED

By Miriam Raftery

Photo courtesy of San Diego’s Registrar of Voters

July 8, 2021 (San Diego) – Republican-backed efforts to recall Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom have secured enough signatures for a recall election, which will be held on September 14. In San Diego County, all voters will receive ballots in the mail, but will also have the option to vote in person over several days.

VIRTUAL MILITARY SPOUSE EMPLOYMENT WEBINAR AUGUST 12 HOSTED BY CONGRESSMAN ISSA’S OFFICE

East County News Service

July 8, 2021 (San Diego) -- The Office of Congressman Darrell Issa (CA-50) will host a free online military spouse informational webinar  on Thursday, August 12  from 11:00-12:00 p.m. The Department of Defense will provide an overview of the extensive career and education resources available to military spouses, including the launching of an online “My SECO” (Spouse Education and Career Opportunities) portal.

JACOBS’ REQUEST FOR $1 MILLION IN CHILD CARE FUNDING FOR SAN DIEGO COUNTY INCLUDED IN FY 2022 HOUSE APPROPRIATIONS BILL

East County News Service

 

July 8, 2021 (Washington D.C.) -- Congresswoman Sara Jacobs (CA-53) announced that she has secured $1 million in federal funding for the County of San Diego Child Care Expansion Fund in the Fiscal Year 2022 Financial Services and General Government (FSGG) Subcommittee Appropriations bill. 

ASSEMBLY HUMAN SERVICES COMMITTEE APPROVES TWO MEASURES BY BRIAN JONES

Legislation would prioritize social workers to receive PPE during pandemics and help protect kids from child labor traffickers

East County News Service

July 4, 2021 (Sacramento) -- Two measures, authored by Senator Brian W. Jones (R-Santee), were both unanimously approved June 30 by the Assembly Human Services Committee. 

EL CAJON ANNOUNCES FOUR REDISTRICTING HEARINGS

Source: City of El Cajon 

June 30, 2021 (El Cajon) -- The City of El Cajon City Council will host a series of public hearings to gather input as part of its redistricting process. Cities with district-based elections must evaluate and adjust City Council voting districts every ten-years following the US Census to ensure that each district has roughly the same number of residents. 

SUPERVISORS UNANIMOUSLY APPROVE BUDGET WITH PRIORITIES ON EQUITY AND OPPORTUNITIES FOR ALL

East County News Service

Photo: County Administration Building, courtesy of San Diego County News Service

June 29, 2021 (San Diego) – San Diego County’s Board of Supervisors voted unanimously today to adopt a $7.23 billion revised budget for fiscal year 2021-22. The adopted budget responds to voices in the community and follows a Framework for the Future that will fundamentally change County operations, with significant funding to address justice system reform, racial justice, health and environmental equity, homelessness, and economic opportunity.

“This is a budget that meets the needs of all our residents,” County Chief Administrative Officer Helen Robbins-Meyer said,  adding that the budget is “stretching, but maintaining a prudent and responsible fiscal position.” 

The budget reflects new priorities in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic that caused hardships for many San Diegans and also reflects the board’s shift to a 3-2 Democratic majority after decades of Republican control, though all five Supervisors backed the revised budget.

'INCREDIBLE VICTORY' FOR TRANS RIGHTS: SUPREME COURT REJECTS SCHOOL BATHROOM CASE

"Our work is not yet done," said one ACLU attorney, who noted that the organization is "continuing to fight against anti-trans laws targeting trans youth in states around the country."

By Brett Wilkins, Common Dreams, published under a Creative Commons license

Photo: Plaintiff and trans-rights activist Gavin Grimm at 2019 trans rights rally in San Francisco, creative commons image by Pax Ahimsa Gethen

June 28, 2021 (Washington D.C.) -- In what civil rights advocates hailed as "an incredible victory," the United States Supreme Court on Monday declined to hear the case of Gavin Grimm, a former Virginia high school student who in 2015 sued his county board of education over its policy of denying transgender pupils use of restrooms corresponding with their gender identity.

HARRIS VISITS GUATEMALA, MEXICO IN FIRST FOREIGN TRIP AS U.S. VICE PRESIDENT

Source:  Voice of America

Photo:  Photo: Vice President Kamala Harris in Guatemala City, via her Twitter feed

June 28, 2021 (Guatemala/Mexico) - The United States is set to announce Monday new measures to fight drug smuggling and trafficking as Vice President Kamala Harris meets with leaders in Guatemala to discuss migration and security issues. 

FIVE THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT NEWSOM'S BUDGET DEAL WITH LEGISLATURE

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

Photo via CA Governor's office

June 28, 2021 (Sacramento) - California lawmakers voted tonight to approve a record-busting state budget that reflects new agreements with Gov. Gavin Newsom to expand health care for undocumented immigrants, spend billions to alleviate homelessness and help Californians still struggling through the pandemic. 

LEMON GROVE APPROVES EXPANSION OF CANNABIS BUSINESSES, APPOINTS PLANNING COMMISSIONER IN FOUR-HOUR MEETING

By Angela Kurysh
 
June 24, 2021 (Lemon Grove) – Despite a policy set over a month ago to keep City Council meetings in Lemon Grove to three hours or less, the most recent meeting on Tuesday, June 15th, started at 6 p.m. and adjourned at 10 p.m.  Hot items included approval of an ordinance to allow a broad range of cananbis businesses and name a new city manager.
 
Although there were many items on the agenda, including the interviews and appointment of the City’s new Planning Commissioner, Council was not able to go over every item, due to time constraints.

WITHOUT BEAR OR REALITY TV, SAN DIEGO'S KEVIN FAULCONER RUNS A SERIOUS CAMPAIGN FOR GOVERNOR

By Ben Christopher, CalMatters

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

Photo:  Kevin Faulconer after an election victory in 2016. Photo by Chris Stone

June 20, 2021 (San Diego) - Kevin Faulconer is not the guy with the bear. 

You’re thinking of John Cox, the mild-mannered Republican and unsuccessful 2018 gubernatorial candidate who spent much of May palling around the state with a 1,000-pound Kodiak named Tag, hoping to siphon off some of the bear’s star power in his effort to unseat Gov. Gavin Newsom in the all-but-certain recall election that could be as soon as September.  

REP. SARA JACOBS NAMED TO NEW CONGRESS PANEL MODELED AFTER ONE BY FDR IN 1930S

By Ken Stone, Times of San Diego, a member of the San Diego Online News Association 

Photo:  Sara Jacobs. Campaign photo from 2018 congressional race

June 18, 2021 (Washington, D.C.) - Rep. Sara Jacobs of San Diego has been named to the new House Select Committee on Economic Disparity and Fairness in Growth — one based on an FDR panel in the Great Depression, her office said Wednesday.

JUNETEENTH BECOMES FEDERAL HOLIDAY, COMMEMORATING END OF SLAVERY

By Miriam Raftery

Photo via C-Span

View video of bill signing:  https://www.c-span.org/video/?c4967194/president-biden-signs-bill-making-juneteenth-federal-holiday 

June 17, 2021 (San Diego) — President Joe Biden today signed into law a bill making June 19, known as Juneteenth, a federal holiday.  The measure was passed by the Senate on unanimous consent yesterday and approved by the House of Representatives on Wednesday by a 415-14 vote. 

COUNTY OFFICES TO REOPEN TUESDAY

Masks still mandatory in certain County facilities, including healthcare settings and all facilities serving as “Cool Zones.”
 
By Gig Conaughton, County of San Diego Communications Office
 
Photo: Guardian of Water Sculpture outside San Diego County Administration Center - Courtesy: County of San Diego
 
June 14, 2021 (San Diego) -- Starting Tuesday June 15, all County of San Diego offices and facilities will reopen to the public.
 
Hours of operation may vary at different departments and people are recommended to check ahead.
 

SARA JACOBS COAUTHORS BILL TO RESTORE AND STRENGTHEN U.S. LEADERSHIP IN INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS

East County News Service

 

Photo: Creative Commons via Bing

 

June 13, 2021 (Washington D.C.) -- Congressman Joaquin Castro (TX-20), Chair of the Subcommittee on International Development, International Organizations, and Global Corporate Social Impact, and San Diego Congresswoman Sara Jacobs (CA-53), the subcommittee’s Vice Chair, introduced the Restoring U.S. Leadership in International Organizations Act of 2021. This legislation would boost America’s diplomatic presence at the U.S. Mission to the United Nations and incentivize American diplomats to serve in international organizations, helping to restore and strengthen U.S. global leadership. 

CALIFORNIA REPARATIONS TASK FORCE STUDIES LEGACY OF SLAVERY, DEBATES DIRECT PAYMENTS

By Jackie Botts, CalMatters

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

Photo:  Dr. Shirley Weber of San Diego testifies during her confirmation hearing as Secretary of State. Photo by Anne Wernikoff for CalMatters

June 13, 2021 (San Diego's East County) - For more than three decades, Black members of Congress have introduced legislation to study the lasting harms of slavery on African Americans, and propose remedies. Year after year, the federal proposal languished.

CONCERNS VOICED OVER MARIJUANA INDUSTRY EXPANDING IN LEMON GROVE

By Angela Kurysh
 
Photo: Creative Commons via Bing
 
June 13, 2021 (Lemon Grove) – Lemon Grove is one of two cities in East County that allow marijuana dispensary businesses. The Lemon Grove City Council has been discussing the possibility of potentially adding more of these shops around the city. At last Tuesday's City Council meeting, residents expressed their concerns on how these businesses will affect the future of their community. 


EL CAJON COUNCIL MOVES FORWARD ON RESIDENCY REQUIREMENTS FOR CANDIDATES, POLICE DEESCALATION AND COVID-19 REOPENING PROTOCOLS

By Briana Gomez

 

View City Council meeting: https://elcajonca.new.swagit.com/videos/122576

 

Photo:  Vice Mayor Gary Kendrick, screenshot from Council video

 

June 11, 2021 (El Cajon) – At its June 8 meeting held in person at 50 percent capacity, El Cajon’s City Council addressed several major agenda items including encouraging transparency in elections by assuring that mayoral and council candidates live in the districts where they run.  In addition, Council members present voiced unanimous support for using $100,000 from the city’s reserves to fund de-escalation training for police and a half million dollars of federal funds to launch a pilot program to outsource responses to non-violent emergencies to social workers. 

ISSA, VARGAS LEAD BIPARTISAN CONGRESSIONAL DELEGATION VISIT TO OTAY MESA PORT OF ENTRY PROJECT

Representatives Issa, Vargas, Jacobs, Levin and Peters also  conducted key meetings with local, state and federal U.S. officials

East County News Service

Photos via SANDAG on Twitter

June 11, 2021 (Otay Mesa) -- At the invitation of Congressmen Darrell Issa and Juan Vargas, the San Diego Congressional delegation – including Congresswoman Jacobs and Congressmen Mike Levin and Scott Peters – visited the Otay Mesa Port of Entry II project to view construction progress and receive briefings on the facilities and port operations.

JONES MEASURE TO PROVIDE PPE TO SOCIAL WORKERS PASSES ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE

Source: Senator Jones’ office

Image: Creative Commons via Bing

June 10, 2021 (Sacramento) -- Legislation authored by Senator Brian W. Jones (R-Santee) to provide personal protective equipment (PPE) to social workers has been unanimously approved by the Assembly Labor and Employment Committee.

Jones’ Senate Bill 549 will guarantee that social workers, once declared essential workers during a state of emergency, will be given priority to receive health and safety equipment necessary to do their jobs. Despite being declared essential workers during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, most social workers have not been prioritized to receive health and safety equipment. As a result, they have often had to work from home online or in-person in unsafe conditions.

LEMON GROVE CITY COUNCIL MEETINGS RETURN TO IN-PERSON, WITH NO VIRTUAL OPTION

By Angela Kurysh

 

June 6, 2021 (Lemon Grove) – Lengthy Lemon Grove City Council meetings conducted remotely have come to an end. As of Tuesday, May 18 Council meetings have returned to being held in-person and virtual options to attend the meetings have been eliminated. 

ACTIVISTS URGE CITY TO REJECT UTILITY FRANCHISE DEAL WITH SDG&E

Some experts say ratepayers could be on hook for up to $20 under
loophole in proposed law
 
By Miriam Raftery
 
June 5, 2021 (San Diego) – On Tuesday, the San Diego City Council will have its second reading of a proposed utility franchise agreement with San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E). But a coalition of public interest,  environmental and racial justice groups are calling on the Council to overturn its earlier 6-3 approval of the plan. Only four votes are needed to block the agreement, since a supermajority of two-thirds is required for passage.

DOCTOR WEBER INTRODUCES PANDEMIC TASK FORCE BILL IN LEGISLATURE

By Miriam Raftery

June 5, 2021 (La Mesa) – East County’s newly elected Assemblymember Akilah Weber, a medical doctor and former La  Mesa Councilmember, this week introduced her first authored bill, Assembly Bill 1207. It would create a “Pathway Through Pandemic Task Force” to collect and analyze California’s COVID-19 data and develop a response plan for future pandemics.

SANTEE ASKS ISSA TO OPPOSE GUN CONTROL BILL

By Mike Allen

 

June 2, 2021 (Santee) -- On the same day that a San Jose rail yard employee fatally shot nine of his co-workers before killing himself, the Santee City Council unanimously voted to send a letter to Congressman Darrell Issa opposing a bill in Congress that would place more controls on gun ownership, including more stringent background checks.

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