Who Made This Year's 'Voice Of The Year' List?
Speaker 1: 00:00 At the end of the year, we like to take stuck. What were those events issues? People who drove our thoughts and conversations. Voice of San Diego continues its tradition of making those assessments on the local level. Who in San Diego made a difference, caused a controversy and perhaps shape the future. They are our voice of the year 2019 list consists of politicians, civic leaders, and ordinary citizens whose voices were heard this year in San Diego. Johnny me is Sarah Libby, managing editor of the voice of San Diego and Sarah, welcome to the program. Speaker 2: 00:35 Thank you for having me. Speaker 1: 00:37 Now your first choice for voice of the year is someone who has yet to become a household name in San Diego. It's Hassan, it karata the new director of the San Diego association of governments. And his choice as I read it, is not so much for what he's actually done, but for the debate. He's provoked over San Diego's future. Is that right? Speaker 2: 00:58 You're absolutely right. So with this list, we always set out to choose the people who kind of kickstarted the biggest discussions in San Diego about our region and about how we want to live. And I think that this year there was no question that it was Hassana Krato even though he's not a household name, you've probably heard conversations about whether we should widen highways, whether we should fix our transit system, whether we should raise taxes to fix our transit system, you know, how to improve transit to the airport and bike lanes. And all of those conversations, uh, were kicked off by Hassan Prada. Speaker 1: 01:35 Here's a clip from an interview mid day edition did with his Sonic Krato earlier this year. Speaker 3: 01:39 Honestly, your listeners need to know that lowly change that will make San Diego fans live. They're kind of the garages or some of them at least is a state of the art transit system. A system that we haven't seen in a San Diego, a system where if it's not as convenient, is more convenient than the car. A system that's priced right that people are guaranteed a safe, reliable on time arrival on departure. Speaker 1: 02:07 So, where does his plan for this overall transportation system stand and what should we look for in the coming year? Speaker 2: 02:15 Yeah, so it's still very much up in the air. A lot of the details and you know, the price tag we're still not sure about. So you know, he absolutely could fail at this big grand vision for a transit system that competes with, uh, driving, uh, we don't know that yet. You, you see, the MTS transit system is trying to raise taxes, um, to improve, uh, their services and he supports that and says it will be kind of one piece of his plan. And so whether that effort fails will be a big thing to watch. Speaker 1: 02:47 Another pick on the voice of the year list is also there because of her stand on growth. San Diego city council member bopper Bree. Speaker 2: 02:55 Yeah. We were really kind of amazed at how Barbara Aubrey has almost handedly been able to define the mayor's race. Um, you know, even though her opponent, Todd Gloria has probably more endorsements and more money, her stance on neighborhoods and growth and protecting single family homes has really been the dominant conversation in that race so far. Speaker 1: 03:20 And you included a victim who became the voice of the Poway synagogue shooting rabbi Israel Goldstein. Why was he chosen for this year's list? Speaker 2: 03:29 Yeah, so like you said, a lot of people on our list are civic leaders and elected officials who sort of use their platform to speak out. And other people are members of the community who sort of landed in the spotlight by circumstance. And he's absolutely one of those, you know, he didn't set out to be under this national spotlight, but the shooting at the synagogue put him there and he became this very, you know, outspoken voice of unity in the face of a really tragic situation. Speaker 1: 04:00 Do you have a favorite voice of the year recipient? Speaker 2: 04:04 Uh, I don't know that I do, you know, assemblywoman Lorena Gonzales, uh, is always a contender for being on the list because she tends to take on really explosive issues. And this year that was more true than ever. So you saw her at the center of this fight over whether to reclassify workers who are part of the gig economy and make them employers or employees, excuse me. And that debate is still, you know, at the highest level we've seen, we've seen efforts to overturn the law. It's being challenged in court, it's going to be challenged at the ballot box. And so that will continue to be just a major conversation over the next year. And you also saw her, um, once again step into this fight over whether to reform vaccine mandates, which was an incredibly explosive conversation throughout the year that you know, erupted in all these fights at the Capitol. And so she's always somebody who's just kind of, you know, in the center of a lot of controversies. Speaker 1: 05:03 And you also list the doctor who was at the center of that debate over medical exemptions for school vaccinations. Speaker 2: 05:09 Yeah. Earlier this year we were reporting, we reported that this doctor who has a medical practice in South park was kind of quietly doling out these medical vaccine exemptions. And she ended up writing exemptions for a third of the children in San Diego unified who are excused from those vaccine mandates. And so she sort of unknowingly in doing that, kicked off this whole effort to reform who is allowed to have those exemptions. Speaker 1: 05:39 Education played a big factor in your naming of the voices of the year 2019. Tell us about the people from education on the list. Absolutely. Speaker 2: 05:48 So Kia, Shauna, Christopher is another person who's not a household name. She's a guidance counselor at Porter elementary school in Lincoln park. And she came to us and really blew the whistle in a way we don't often see with a school officials and said that, you know, the conditions at her school, if they existed in a place like LA Jolla, people would have caused an uprising. So she said that students there were not getting services that they were legally entitled to. Um, there were a number of public safety concerns, parents breaking up fights when they drop their children off for school. And so the fact that she was willing to be so outspoken about what she was seeing on her campus, uh, we thought really made her a strong contender for this list. And some other education related folks on the list were the men who came forward to ACU school board member, Kevin Biser of sexual harassment and assault. Now he's still on the school board, although a number of people have called for him to resign. Um, but them coming forward and starting that conversation, we thought really, you know, change things in San Diego this year. Speaker 1: 06:56 How did Navy seal Edward Gallagher get on this list? Speaker 2: 07:00 Yeah. So as soon as every year there is somebody who's part of a big national conversation that has roots in San Diego. And this year I think that was absolutely the case with Eddie Gallagher. You know, the Navy seal who was accused of war crimes and then became this kind of poster child for president Trump and Duncan Hunter to say he was mistreated. And so, you know, just the conversations around the military justice system and when it's appropriate for the president to intervene. I think Eddie Gallagher was absolutely at the center of those conversations this year. Speaker 1: 07:34 Does making this list help with the year and better perspective for you? Speaker 2: 07:38 It absolutely does. You know, we have a pretty singular focus on who was starting big conversations, and so we don't really set out to honor people for their positions or what they've done throughout the year. We're really looking for who, you know, sparked a big dialogue about the future of San Diego. And so when you put it through that lens, um, it's really interesting every year to see who ends up on it. Speaker 1: 08:04 And our listeners can read the entire 2019 voice of the year firstname.lastname@example.org and I've been speaking with the voices managing editor, Sarah Libby, Sarah, thank you so much. Speaker 4: 08:16 Thanks so much. [inaudible].