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Roundtable Reflects On Faulconer’s Choices, Lorena Gonzalez’ Bills, Riding Uber

KPBS Roundtable

Reflecting On Faulconer's Choices And Gonzalez's Busy Year

Audio

Aired 8/22/14

Faulconer's Choices, Lorena Gonzalez, Water Bond, Rideshare

HOST:

Mark Sauer

GUESTS:

Scott Lewis, Voice Of San Diego

Katie Orr, Capital Public Radio

Megan Burks, Speak City Heights

Transcript

Will Faulconer Choose To Lead?

Plans for the Plaza at Balboa Park, Barrio Logan and the expansion of the Convention Center all went down in flames due to legal mistakes or organized opposition.

The city’s revised minimum wage ordinance, passed by a super-majority of the City Council over Mayor Kevin Faulconer’s veto, can already feel the heat from a signature-gathering campaign for a referendum to do away with it.

What will the mayor do about this attempt to negate the City Council vote? Go along? Lead the opposition? Tell them to stand down?

And what about the Convention Center expansion, now that an appellate court ruled the funding mechanism was a tax-increase that hadn’t been voted on? Will the mayor opt to get it on the ballot or cozy up to an alternative idea? In other words will he lead, or follow along?

The Water Bond And Lorena Gonzalez' Busy Year

Gov. Jerry Brown and lawmakers have agreed on the scope of a water bond for the November ballot. The bond was originally to be $11 billion, but by agreement was reduced to $7.5 billion and includes funds for dams and reservoirs for surface storage.

Freshmen legislators are often quiet in their first terms as they figure out who to work with and how to get anything (at all) done. Not the case for San Diego Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez.

Gonzalez sits on five important committees and chairs another. Her bill on disclosure rules for annuities has been signed by the governor. Her bill on paid sick leave for all employees has passed both houses and is in conference. And her bills banning some fundraising by school administrators and prohibiting HOAs from fining residents who replace lawns with low-water plants are on the governor’s desk.

San Diego Taxi Drivers Getting A Lyft

San Diego cabbies are leaving cab companies in droves, abandoning expensive cab leases in favor of driving for a rideshare app like Uber or Lyft.

Drivers accepted by those companies may use their own car or lease a vehicle, either of which is far less expensive than the current taxi lease fees cab companies charge drivers.

Cab companies don’t make money on the riders, but on the drivers. Leasing a cab can cost a driver up to $400 a week, rain or shine, sick or well. One SDSU study found a large percentage of cab drivers netted just $4.45 an hour. The Metropolitan Transit System, which oversees cab companies, says it's $16.50 an hour.

Leasing a town car can cost a driver around $190 a week, and Uber gets a 20 percent cut of whatever the drivers take in.

There is at least one bill circulating in the legislature to regulate how rideshare companies do business. AB 2293 would require the companies to have commercial insurance. The California Public Utilities Commission is requiring background checks for drivers.

One negative for rideshare drivers: If customers give a driver a bad rating, the company may shut off his app.

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