Politics

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.

STATE SENATE PASSES TWO JONES BILLS TO CRACK DOWN ON PORCH PIRATES AND CREATE COMBINED HUNTING-FISHING LICENSE

By Miriam Raftery
 
June 2, 2021 (Sacramento) – In today’s partisan environment, it’s tough to get legislators to agree on anything. But two bills by State Senator Brian Jones (R-Santee) have passed the California Senate unanimously.

LA MESA CITY COUNCIL PLANS FOR SPECIAL ELECTION TO REPLACE DR. WEBER

By Alexa Oslowski

May 31, 2021 (La Mesa) - The La Mesa City Council is on track to fill  Dr. Akilah Weber’s former seat with a special election, but the date remains uncertain. The vacancy occurred after Dr. Weber won a special election to the state Assembly, filling a vacancy left when her mother, Shirley Weber PhD, was appointed Secretary of State.

The Council has until a June 18 deadline to announce an appointment process or call for an election, under the city charter. But on April 27, the Council meeting ended in no decision after a 2-2 vote, with Mayor Mark Arapostathis and Councilman Bill Baber in favor of an election and Councilmen Jack Shu and Colin Parent in favor of an appointment.  So the Council agreed to postpone its decision until the May 11 Council meeting.

On May 11, a still divided Council agreed to monitor the California Secretary of State's office for announcements of the recall election for Governor Gavin Newsom, since a special election for Dr. Weber’s seat would be less costly if timed to coincide with the statewide recall race and should also generate higher voter turnout.

BIDEN HONORS FALLEN VETERANS AT ARLINGTON, ASKS NATION TO HONOR THEIR MEMORY BY ASSURING DEMOCRACY WILL ENDURE

By Miriam Raftery

May 31, 2021 (Arlington, Va.) – President Joe Biden laid a Memorial Day wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery, where he said we “remember those who gave their all in the service of America, in the service of freedom, in the service of justice.”

CONGRESSWOMAN JACOBS EXPRESSES CONCERN OVER AFGHANISTAN PEACE PLAN, PAKISTAN'S ROLE DURING FOREIGN AFFAIRS HEARING

East County News Service

May 23, 2021 (Washington D.C.) -- Congresswoman Sara Jacobs (D-CA-53) expressed concern over the prospects of a peace deal in Afghanistan during Tuesday’s House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on the US-Afghanistan Relationship earlier this week. At the hearing, Congresswoman Jacobs directed her questions to The Honorable Zalmay Khalilzad, Special Representative on Afghanistan Reconciliation, U.S. Department of State.  

CONGRESSWOMAN JACOBS INTRODUCES LEGISLATION TO IMPROVE CHILD CARE FOR MILITARY FAMILIES

Congresswoman Jacobs is lead co-sponsor of Military Child Care Expansion Act, filed by Congresswoman Speier
 
May 21, 2021 (Washington, D.C.) – Congresswoman Sara Jacobs (D-CA-53) has joined Congresswoman Jackie Speier (D-CA-14), Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), and Congresswoman Stephanie Bice (R-OK-5) in introducing H.R. 3121, the Military Child Care Expansion Act, legislation to address the child care crisis facing military families. 

CONGRESSMEN ISSA, JOHNSON INTRODUCE BIPARTISAN BILL TO REDUCE PRESCRIPTION DRUG COSTS, UNLEASH MEDICAL INNOVATION

By Miriam Raftery
 
Photo: Creative Commons by ND via Bing
 
May 21, 2021 (Washington D.C.) -- Congressman Darrell Issa (R-San Diego), the ranking Republican Member of the Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet, announced last week with his Democratic counterpart, Subcommittee Chairman Hank Johnson (GA), the introduction of the Affordable Prescriptions for Patients Through Improvements to Patent Litigation Act, amending the Biologics Price Competition and Innovation Act of 2009 (BPCIA). 

CONGRESSWOMAN JACOBS ANNOUNCES FUNDING TO LOCAL CITIES AND SCHOOLS FROM AMERICAN RESCUE PLAN

East County News Service

 

May 20, 2021 (San Diego) --This week, the U.S. Department of the Treasury and the U.S. Department of Education announced the specific relief totals available to state and local governments and postsecondary institutions as part of the American Rescue Plan, which was passed by Congress and signed into law by President Biden in March.

SUPERVISORS VOTE 3-2 TO BLOCK EVICTIONS; LANDLORDS SUE COUNTY

By Miriam Raftery

Photo, left: Supervisor Joel Anderson organized a press conference opposing the measure

May 15, 2021 (San Diego’s East County) – An association representing landlords has filed a lawsuit against San Diego County and County Supervisors, one week after the Supervisors voted 3-2 to enact a temporary ban on most evictions during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

East County Supervisors Joel Anderson and Jim Desmond opposed the measure, with Anderson joining several East County city officials in a press conference speaking out on behalf of rental owners. Supervisors Nathan Fletcher, Nora Vargas and Terra Lawson-Remer voted in favor of the ordinance, which drew nearly five hours of impassioned testimony on both sides.

SANDAG LEADERS PRAISE GOVERNOR'S FUNDING BOOST FOR CALIFORNIA INFRASTRUCTURE

East County News Service

 

Photo: Hasan Ikhrata, SANDAG Executive Director

 

May 14, 2021 (San Diego) – Governor Gavin Newsom has issued a May budget revision, following news of the state’s windfall $75 billion surplus despite the pandemic.  The May revision includes an unprecedented investment in critical infrastructure through California.

SANTEE PUTS BRAKES ON COMMUNITY CENTER AND COMMUNITY CHOICE ENERGY PROGRAM

By Mike Allen
 
Photo:  llustration of the long-planned Santee Community Center, via HMC Architects
 
May 14, 2021 (Santee) -- The ongoing pandemic has forced everyone, including local elected officials, to reevaluate their previous plans.
 
That’s what happened May 12 when the Santee City Council pressed the pause button on two long-planned decisions, building a community center and joining a Community Choice Aggregation program.

COUNTY BOARD MEETINGS OPEN TO LIMITED IN-PERSON PARTICIPATION

By Tracy DeFore, County of San Diego Communications Office

May 13, 2021 (San Diego) - A limited number of people can attend and provide public comment in person at the County Board of Supervisors meetings next week as long as certain COVID-19 safety measures are followed.

LA MESA COMMISSION OF CITYWIDE COMMUNICATION HOLDS BRIEF MEETING

By Briana Gomez 

May 12, 2021 (La Mesa) -- La Mesa’s community relations division hosted a Commission on Citywide Communication meeting in late April via Zoom. Commissioners began by answering questions about internet access, linguistics, and education. The main concern was improving how to get information out to residents following the COVID-19 pandemic and the riots that plagued La Mesa last year.

EAST COUNTY PEOPLE’S FORUM CITES DISPARITIES IN VACCINE ACCESS, CONCERNS OVER REDISTRICTING

By Briana Gomez

May 9, 2021 (El Cajon) - The East County People’s Forum launched by the East County Justice Coalition took place over Zoom on May 4, 2020. The Coalition launched a call for transparent & inclusive city planning in El Cajon.

SUPERVISORS APPROVE ANDERSON MEASURE TO IMPROVE NOTIFICATIONS TO COMMUNITIES REGARDING SEX OFFENDERS

By Miriam Raftery

May 9, 2021 (San Diego) – San Diego County’s Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a measure to increase public notification regarding locations of registered sex offenders and proposed placements of sexually violent predators in communities. Supervisor Joel Anderson introduced the measure, which was amended at the request of Supervisor Jim Desmond to also include Native American communities.

Anderson says that existing notifications “do not provide adequate notice to communities where sex offenders will be located.” In a written statement to the board, Anderson indicated that after sending questions to the District Attorney and Sheriff regarding the placement process and notification procedures, “there are inconsistencies and omissions in the answers we received.”

SUPERVISORS VOTE 4-1 TO REPEAL “RACIST” LAW AND MAKE IT EASIER FOR TRIBES TO BUY BACK ANCESTRAL LANDS

“It is time to get rid of this racist law against Indians in San Diego.” – Bo Mazzetti, Chair, Rincon Band of Luiseño Indians (photo, left)
 
By Miriam Raftery
 
May 6, 2021 (San Diego) – San Diego County Supervisors voted 4-1 yesterday to repeal a 1994 board resolution which required blanket opposition to all tribal requests to add land to their reservations under the federal fee-to-trust process.

SUPERVISORS SPLIT ON SUPPORT OF GEORGE FLOYD POLICE REFORM BILL

By Miriam Raftery

Photo, left, by Henri Migala:  protest in La Mesa on May 30 called for justice for George Floyd

May 7, 2021 (San Diego) – San Diego County’s Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to endorse the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, a federal police reform measure aimed at improving law enforcement accountability and addressing racial disparities. Supervisors split 3-2 on the issue, with East County Supervisors Jim Desmond and Joel Anderson opposed while Supervisors Nathan Fletcher, Terra Lawson-Remer and Nora Vargas supported the action.

JOHN COX, CANDIDATE FOR GOVERNOR, SLAMMED FOR BRINGING LIVE BEAR ON CAMPAIGN TRAIL

By Miriam Raftery
 
Photos via Cox campaign
Updated May 10 with statement/action alert from Bobbi Brinks, founder of Lions, Tigers and Bears in Alpine
 
May 6, 2021 (San Diego) – California gubernatorial recalls have long been likened to circuses. Now Republican candidate John Cox from San Diego’s north county has added to the circus-like atmosphere and drawn criticism from animal rights activists for hauling a Kodiak brown bear along on his campaign trail.

JONES’S MEASURE TO PROTECT FOSTER KIDS FROM CHILD LABOR TRAFFICKING UNANIMOUSLY PASSES SENATE

Source: Senator Brian W. Jones
 
May 4, 2021 (Sacramento) -- A measure authored by Senator Brian W. Jones (R-Santee), based on recommendations of the California Little Hoover Commission and the Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking, was approved unanimously by the State Senate. 

ISSA SLAMS PENTAGON DECISION DENYING PERMIT FOR “ROLLING TO REMEMBER” VETERANS’ RIDE ON MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Annual motorcycle ride honoring veterans in our nation’s capital; Creative Commons image by Cristiano Del Riccio via Wikipedia

May 3, 2021 (Washington D.C.) – Veterans’ groups and members of Congress are criticizing the Department of Defense for denying a permit request to use the Pentagon parking lot as a staging area for the annual “Rolling to Remember” motorcycle ride. The ride organized by AMVETS, a veterans’ organization, honors fallen American soldiers, prisoners of war and those missing in action, as well as calling attention to the crisis of veteran suicides.  

FAULCONER, COX COME OUT SWINGING AS NEWSOM RECALL QUALIFIES FOR CALIF. BALLOT

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

Photo:  Gov. Gavin Newsom was elected governor in 2018 with almost 62% of the vote. Image from video

May 2, 2021 (San Diego) - A Republican-led effort to recall Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom has garnered enough valid signatures to make the ballot, California election officials said Monday. Newsom tweeted a video hitting the recall: “Stop the Republican recall. It’s a power grab.”

SUPERVISOR ANDERSON CALLS FOR ENVIRONMENTAL EQUITY FOR EAST COUNTY COMMUNITIES

By Miriam Raftery

April 30, 2021 (San Diego’s East County) – In honor of Earth Day, Supervisor Joel Anderson posted a video on YouTube urging his colleagues to support environmental equity for all residents. 

In the video, Anderson noted that his District 2 in East County has often suffered a disproportionate share of negative environmental impacts, from wildfires to air pollution.

IN ADDRESS TO NATION, BIDEN LAYS OUT AMBITIOUS PLANS FOR MIDDLE CLASS JOBS, EDUCATION AND ECONOMIC RECOVERY

By Miriam Raftery

View full speech: click here 

April 29, 2021 (Washington D.C.) – One hundred days into his presidency, Joe Biden addressed Congress and the nation last night in a speech that laid out the most ambitious goals since Franklin Delano Roosevelt after the Great Depression. 

ISSA ADVOCATES FOR CALIFORNIA ROADWAY IMPROVEMENTS IN 2021 SURFACE TRANSPORTATION PACKAGE

Congressman seeks funds for highways 52 in Santee, 78 at I-5, and 11 at Otay crossing

East County News Service

April 28, 2021 (Washington D.C.). — Yesterday, Congressman Darrell Issa announced CA-50’s Member Designated Projects submissions to the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure (T&I) for deliberation in the 2021 surface transportation reauthorization legislation.

EAST COUNTY JUSTICE COALITION HOSTS VIRTUAL FORUM MAY 4 ON REDISTRICTING AND COVID-19 ACCESS

East County News Service

April 28, 2021 (San Diego’s East County) – You’re invited to participate in a People’s Virtual Forum 4 Justice on Tuesday, May 4 from 5:30 to 7 p.m.  This resident-organized community forum will cover the redistricting process and COVID-19 access for black, indigenous people of color (BIPOC) in East County, including access to quality education for all children during and after the pandemic.

CONGRESSWOMAN JACOBS HOLD VIRTUAL WATCH PARTY FOR BIDEN ADDRESS TO CONGRESS TONIGHT

Local child care provider Shaunte Brown will be Jacobs’ virtual guest

April 28, 2021 (San Diego) -- Congresswoman Sara Jacobs (CA-53) will hold a virtual watch party for President Biden’s address to the Joint Session of Congress tonight at 5:30 p.m. Pacific Standard Time.

At tonight’s event, Congresswoman Jacobs will speak and invite constituents to share their thoughts on what they hope President Biden will discuss in his remarks.

SENATOR JONES' MEASURE TO SAVE OFF-HIGHWAY VEHICLE COMPETITIONS IS ON A ROLL, CLEARS SECOND COMMITTEE

East County News Service

 

File Photo:  Senator Brian Jones, an avid off-road enthusiast 

 

April 27, 2021 (Sacramento) --  Senate Bill 227, a measure by Senator Brian W. Jones (R-Santee) to save off-highway vehicle (OHV) competitions in California, cleared the Senate Natural Resources & Water Committee. 

 

 “SB 227 had another successful committee hearing with more bipartisan backing for our efforts, this time from the members of the Senate Natural Resources & Water Committee,” said Senator Brian W. Jones. “We’ve worked hard for the past two years with OHV stakeholders and affected governmental agencies, including State Parks and the Air Resources Board. SB 227 is a true consensus measure that will allow OHV competitions to continue operating and being a strong part of the recreational economies in rural and suburban California.”

CONSUMER REPORTS ENDORSES BILL TO PROTECT PUBLIC FROM TOXIC PFAS “FOREVER CHEMICALS”

Consumer Reports Investigation Found PFAS Contamination Widespread in U.S. Tap Water

East County News Service

April 21, 2021 (Washington D.C.) -- Consumer Reports (CR) is calling on Congress to pass legislation just introduced by Representatives Debbie Dingell and Fred Upton that aims to protect the public from the growing health threat posed by PFAS “forever chemicals.” PFAS are widely used by manufacturers to make products resistant to stains, grease, and water, and are so pervasive that 95 percent of all Americans have trace amounts of the chemicals in their blood.

The bill mirrors the PFAS Acton Act of 2019, which passed with a bipartisan vote in the House, but did not advance in the Senate before the end of the last session.

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