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Barrio Logan Referendum To Be Ruled On By Judge Next Week

Above: Environmental Health Coalition executive director Diane Takvorian speaks at a press conference announcing the lawsuit outside of the San Diego Hall of Justice.

Aired 11/26/13 on KPBS News.

The fate of a citywide referendum over the hotly contested Barrio Logan community plan is now in the hands of a San Diego Superior Court judge.

Barrio Logan’s new community plan was approved by the San Diego City Council in September after five years of community stakeholder meetings. But that wasn’t the end of the drama surrounding the first zoning plan for the largely low-income Latino neighborhood squeezed between Interstate 5 and the ports.

The community saw the plan as a win: a compromise with business interests that also protected residents from living next to industrial waste. But maritime industry leaders say the new zoning — which would require new ship supply businesses to get a permit before setting up shop — would end up killing jobs. So they started a signature-gathering campaign, trying to overturn the plan in a citywide vote.

But there was a problem: many people reported incidents that signature collectors were misinforming voters about the plan. That’s illegal, which is why the Environmental Health Coalition is seeking a temporary restraining order to keep the referendum from ever reaching the ballot.

After two separate days of hearings on the case, Superior Court Judge Jeffery Barton has said he will rule early next week on whether the referendum can proceed.

In order to win the suit, the EHC will have to prove that was a systemic campaign to mislead and lie to voters in order to get their signatures. The maritime industry said that their paid signature gatherers were well informed on the details of the plan.

If Barton does not grant the restraining order, the city council will have to decide whether to put the plan on a ballot, an expensive prospect. The other option would be for the council to overturn the plan and go back to the drawing board.

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Avatar for user 'BARRIO LOGAN'

BARRIO LOGAN | November 26, 2013 at 4:55 p.m. ― 3 years, 4 months ago

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Avatar for user 'Eddie89'

Eddie89 | November 27, 2013 at 9:03 a.m. ― 3 years, 3 months ago

Yeah, I was accosted by one of these signature gatherers in front of a Trader Joe's and when I declined to sign his petition, he got angry and belligerent with me because I challenged the lies he was telling me to try to get me to sign this petition.

What do you think you're going to get when you "pay" people to gather signatures? And they probably had a quota to fill and a bonus for whomever got the most signatures. You don't think that they're going to do and say whatever it takes to get those signatures?

Of course they will! Laws be damned, they want their money for those signatures!

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Avatar for user 'CaliforniaDefender'

CaliforniaDefender | November 27, 2013 at 11:18 a.m. ― 3 years, 3 months ago

Many in Barrio Logan work at NASSCO and the rest of the marine industry. That is the only reason Barrio Logan exists today.

When the marine industry gets fed up with them and leaves, where will they work? Or will they just sit there and complain about welfare and food stamps?

More likely, they'll follow the companies to Long Beach, rent an apartment next door to one, and then complain again.

I'd like to see the entire San Diego Bay cleaned up which means the shipyards must go, the Navy must go, and Barrio Logan must go. Make the entire bay a clean, safe, and enjoyable place to be.

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Avatar for user 'JeanMarc'

JeanMarc | November 27, 2013 at 11:55 a.m. ― 3 years, 3 months ago

Barrio Logan is the shame of our city. It is extremely dangerous and saturated with gang members and other bottom-feeders. Bulldoze it all. We don't want that kind of "culture" in this country.

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Avatar for user 'CaliforniaDefender'

CaliforniaDefender | November 27, 2013 at 12:26 p.m. ― 3 years, 3 months ago

And that culture breeds the aggressive and hateful militant images you see underneath the Coronado Bridge.

If only they wished to work with San Diego and join our community, rather than always fight against us. But that isn't their way.

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Avatar for user 'JeanMarc'

JeanMarc | November 27, 2013 at 12:37 p.m. ― 3 years, 3 months ago

Yeah, their beautiful culture of gangs, prostitution, and violence. That trash graffiti under the bridge makes the area look so ghetto. I cannot believe they put that poster with graffiti on it under the podium in the picture for this article. Sorry, but graffiti and tagging will never be a form of art. It represents gangs and violence and an anti-assimilation attitude.

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Avatar for user 'Advocate4HBD'

Advocate4HBD | November 29, 2013 at 2:31 p.m. ― 3 years, 3 months ago

One day we give thanks for the blessings and the next day we show our true colors. JeanMarc and California Defender: It's clear that you know nothing about Mexican American culture or about the struggles of the reisdents of Logan Heights. Freedom of speech guarantees us all the right to say what we feel even if it is rude, culturally insensitive and hurtful to others. I am a Chicana and I am also an American. As a Chicana, I can tell you that I am not taken aback by your sense of privilege and cultural superiority. As an American, I can tell you that I'm ashamed of you, of your ignorance and your blatent racist backwardness in this day and age.

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Avatar for user 'CaliforniaDefender'

CaliforniaDefender | November 29, 2013 at 5:33 p.m. ― 3 years, 3 months ago

Thanks for the reply, Advocate4HBD.

I am quite well versed in Mexican culture and the history of Logan Heights. Your arrogant suggestion to the contrary is a baseless.

I also have no sense of being privileged, unless you think middle-class is privileged. Nor have I ever viewed the Californian culture as superior. Special, unique, and worthy of preservation and celebration? Absolutely! But not superior.

The sense of superiority is more the domain of those who use the militant term "Chicano/a" to signify their aggression. This is evidenced by your immediate flood of insults with your very first post on KPBS.

If you want to be ashamed of ignorance and "blatent racist backwardness in this day and age", you should look in a mirror.

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