Skip to main content

LATEST UPDATES: Tracking COVID-19 | Racial Justice | Election 2020

Coronado Mayor: Can We Agree Surfing Shouldn’t Be Illegal?

Coronado Mayor Richard Bailey speaks about stay-at-home orders in Coronado, A...

Photo by Matt Hoffman

Above: Coronado Mayor Richard Bailey speaks about stay-at-home orders in Coronado, April 19, 2020.

The mayor of Coronado wants to see if there are some outdoor activities that can be enjoyed while still following social distancing guidelines.

"Can we all agree that surfing shouldn’t be illegal?" Richard Bailey, the current mayor of Coronado asked.

Bailey recently saw a video of a lone surfer being chased by authorities near La Jolla and it got him thinking.

"How can it be true that that individual was posing a public health risk to anyone at all?" he said.

So Bailey launched, a petition asking for a “common sense” approach to enforcement of state and county orders. The website does say it is paid for by Richard Bailey for Mayor 2020.

"How come if I’m properly social distancing on the sidewalk that’s OK, but if I’m kayaking the bay, that’s illegal?" Bailey said. "And so just trying to square up those inconsistencies."

RELATED: Only Sheriff, San Diego Police Have Cited Non-Essential Businesses For Staying Open

Bailey agrees physical distancing is important to slow the spread of the virus, but he believes residents are getting frustrated with how state and county orders are being enforced. The San Diego County Sheriff and San Diego Police have both ticketed people in violation of the governors order. SDPD said most of it's citations come from the beaches, bays and parks — but the department did not cite anyone at a protest against the governors stay at home orders on Saturday.

"Ultimately, we need the public’s trust if they are to remain compliant with these social distancing guidelines for the foreseeable future," Bailey said. "So the best way to ensure that public trust is to put forth common sense policies. Policies that criminalize watching the sunset or kayaking the bay or fishing with your family, those erode the public trust."

Those in violation of the governor’s stay at home order face up to a $1,000 fine and or six months in jail.

Bailey said he will submit responses to his petition to state, county and city officials.

Listen to this story by Matt Hoffman.


San Diego News Matters podcast branding

KPBS' daily news podcast covering local politics, education, health, environment, the border and more. New episodes are ready weekday mornings so you can listen on your morning commute.

  • Need help keeping up with the news that matters most? Get the day's top news — ranging from local to international — straight to your inbox each weekday morning.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Photo of Matt Hoffman

Matt Hoffman
General Assignment Reporter

opening quote marksclosing quote marksI am a general assignment reporter for KPBS. In addition to covering the latest news and issues that are relevant to the San Diego community, I like to dig deeper to find the voices and perspectives that other media often miss.

Want more KPBS news?
Find us on Twitter and Facebook, or sign up for our newsletters.

To view PDF documents, Download Acrobat Reader.