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California ‘Equity’ Reopening Metric In Effect, 53rd District Race Between Gómez And Jacobs, Props. 15 & 25 Break Down, KPBS GM Retires And New Poetry Collection From Kazim Ali

 October 7, 2020 at 5:39 AM PDT

Speaker 1: 00:00 A new equity metric aims to level the playing field of COVID risks. Speaker 2: 00:04 The overall rate within the County must be somewhat similar throughout the County that you don't have a disparity going on. Okay. Speaker 1: 00:12 I'm Alison st. John, along with Maureen Carvana, this is KPBS midday. Speaker 2: 00:16 Addition Speaker 1: 00:25 Candidates to replace Congresswoman Susan Davis are vying for voter attention, Speaker 2: 00:29 Getting creative, doing similar events, and just trying to find ways to connect with people. Virtually texting, communicating with voters through social media and utilizing the power of social media, really, Speaker 1: 00:43 And KPBS general manager, Tom Carlo announces his retirement. That's all I had on midday edition every week. All eyes are on the triggers that determine whether we can reopen more businesses in schools, or if we must retreat again in the face of COVID California added a new trigger to the list of conditions that must be met before we can advance from the second tier, the red tier to the orange tier that would allow more businesses to open. It's called the equity metric, and it goes into effect today. It's an effort to level the playing field of how covert affects different communities here to help explain what it is and how it could help is dr. Kimberly Brower, the vice chair for public health education at UC San Diego. She's an infectious disease epidemiologist who has researched how living in a marginalized community affects the transmission of infectious diseases. So dr. Brower, thank you for joining us. Speaker 2: 01:36 Thank you very much for inviting me. Speaker 1: 01:38 So now what is this new trigger that San Diego needs to meet in order to advance to the next tier for reopening? Speaker 2: 01:44 This is a health equity index that's been added for all of California counties with over a hundred thousand people. And this is just one of a variety of indexes that counties need to meet in order to open further this health equity index won't trigger a backsliding in tears, but in order to move forward, the most disadvantaged neighborhoods in a County must not lag far behind all the other parts of the County. So in other words, the overall rate within the County must be somewhat similar throughout the County that you don't have a, a disparity going on. So Speaker 1: 02:28 How big is the disparity currently, you know, between the, the number of infections and deaths in disadvantaged communities in San Diego? How does it show up? Speaker 2: 02:37 Well, uh, unfortunately this virus has really been insidious in some of the most marginalized communities. So, so economically marginalized, as well as racial and ethnic groups that have traditionally not had the best access to healthcare. So in San Diego, um, 62% of our COVID-19 cases have been in the Hispanic or Latin X population. Also the, um, Pacific Islander population has been especially hard hit. So both of these groups have approximately four times the rate per hundred thousand cases as whites do in our County. African Americans have also been quite hard hit with twice the rate rate as whites. So what would the requirement be if they're low four times more likely to be infected now, where would it have to be in order to move up to the next tier? They're hoping in general to move to the next tier that you have no more than seven new cases, per hundred thousand countywide, and now they want to start making sure that that metric is being seen in a variety of neighborhoods, not just overall at the moment, there's still tweaking some of the regulations in regards to how they're actually going to determine this, but right now they've divided it based on a California healthy places index. Speaker 2: 03:59 They're going to look at the census tracks in San Diego with, um, the lowest income and, uh, housing and social and economic indicators and compare it to the rest of the County. So in other words, the low lowest core child to the rest of the County. So this is an incentive to be investing more resources in the more disadvantaged communities. What more do you think needs to be done here to, to level this playing field? You're right. This is a great incentive to get investment in these communities that have been hard hit by a variety of, um, disease conditions with lower access to healthcare in general, you know, right now about half of the COVID tests in the County, if you look at it by race, about half of them are being conducted amongst whites. And so this would be a way to try to level the playing field, to make sure that everyone is having access to a free and easily accessible testing, as well as linkage to care afterwards. So, um, it's a way to put the resources where it will have the greatest effect, right? Because whites currently make up less than half of the population. So correct about 45%, no, at least one San Diego County supervisor Jim Desmond of North County is very much opposed to this new trigger. Here's what he said on his YouTube channel yesterday. Speaker 3: 05:22 The very businesses that, uh, mr. Newsome has been, has closed and is kept closed, or, and at least on a limited basis, uh, the restaurants and hotels and the service type jobs are mostly those lower income type jobs. And he's kept those people out of work. Uh, so, you know, and unfortunately a lot of them live in, in, um, disadvantaged communities. And unfortunately, if they don't have a job, they can't get healthcare, they can't, then they, they don't get the possibly they get more of the virus. Speaker 2: 05:54 So supervisor Desmond is arguing that this trigger requirement could actually hurt the disadvantaged neighborhoods more. Um, what, what's your reaction to that? Well, I understand the concern. Everyone wants to open the economy as quickly and safely as possible. And what this new measurement says is yes, let's reopen our economy, but let's proceed safely. Let's ensure that these essential workers are protected. So although it may slow down slightly our, um, ability to completely open. Um, as I mentioned at the start, it's, um, not a way to go backwards. We're still gonna remain at the same tier based on this index, but it will let us, um, combat COVID in a much smarter way so that if we pour our resources into the areas to hardest hit these workers who, you know, would love to start working full time in all sorts of neighborhoods within the County, um, we'll have a much better chance to get to work and stay there rather than having to go through this cycle of opening and closing. Speaker 2: 07:05 That makes sense. But the, the North County that Desmond represents has a lower rate of infections and they of course are frustrated by the new restrictions on their businesses. So from their perspective, you know, they ask why should North County restaurants be restricted to just 50% occupancy because people in South County are getting sick. So how do you counter that argument? I would say infectious diseases, no, no borders. So within a small geographic area, you're going to have a lot of mixing of populations, people living in one community and working in another. And just because residences in one area, um, have had at least in recent weeks, a lower infection rate, it doesn't mean that it can, um, quickly increase again. So this is a way to try to ensure that we're going to open safely and that we can open for a longer amount of time. Speaker 2: 08:01 If we make sure that we address basically all the, you know, if you think of the fire analogy, all the hot spots and really pour resources into those areas. And again, it's not closing anything that's currently opening. It's just taking a step back, looking at the general picture of COVID within our County and making sure that all areas are meeting certain thresholds just to prevent this exponential rise again, as people begin to mix more, right then leveling that playing field. Dr. Brower, thanks so much for being with us, right. Thank you. We've been speaking with dr. Kimberly Brower, the vice chair for public health education at UCF. Speaker 4: 08:49 Two Democrats are facing off where the 53rd congressional seat next month. Sarah Jacobs is an antipoverty advocate, who was the granddaughter of Qualcomm co-founder Irwin Jacobs. And in the spirit of full disclosure, or when Jacobs is a major supporter of KPBS, Jacob's opponent is current city of San Diego council, president Georgette Gomez, KPBS reporter Matt Hoffman introduces us to them Speaker 5: 09:15 A lot has changed for both candidates since campaigning in the March primary. When the nation was not facing pandemic restrictions. Sarah Jacob says it's not so easy without a lot of face to face contact Speaker 4: 09:25 We're phone banking at getting creative, doing zoom events, and just trying to find ways to connect with people virtually Speaker 5: 09:33 Oh, Jade Gomez says her campaign has also been leveraging technology to reach voters. Okay. Speaker 4: 09:38 Communicating with voters through social media and utilizing the power of social media. Really Speaker 5: 09:45 The two Democrats are vying to replace another Democrat representative, Susan Davis, who is retiring from her 53rd seat. After 20 years, Speaker 4: 09:53 I consider myself a practical progressive, and I know that the only way we're ever able to get anything done, but especially in Washington is by building coalitions Jacobs Speaker 5: 10:03 In the state department, during the Obama administration, Speaker 4: 10:06 A lot of voters really value the fact that I have experience working in the federal government, working on federal policy issues that I have experienced on both the domestic and international issues that will be coming in front of Congress. Speaker 5: 10:21 Gomez says voters need someone who understands them at a personal level and says, because she grew up poor, she can relate to people going through tough times. Speaker 4: 10:29 I've lived personally live housing insecurity. And one time in my life growing up, pretty humbling with very little resources, having parents that had multiple jobs, but they still, at the end of the day, we were living paycheck by paycheck. Speaker 5: 10:44 Gomez considers herself a progressive, but says her time on city council proves that she can work with Republicans like San Diego mayor Kevin Fox. Speaker 4: 10:52 We introduced the eviction moratorium protecting renters in our businesses. Along with the mayor, we created a business relief program. Speaker 5: 11:02 Let's say COVID-19 relief for businesses and individuals will likely be a major priority for the next Congress. They say the cares act, which brought stimulus checks and money for struggling businesses. What's a good time. Speaker 4: 11:12 It's clear. We need a lot more. And I have been really disappointed that Congress hasn't passed another assistance package. I'm truly am hoping that they move forward, that they can put their, the, the, the, the division to the side, because this is not the time to be playing politics. This is the time where we need to lead Speaker 5: 11:34 No secret. There's a lack of affordable housing in San Diego in our County has one of the highest homeless populations in the nation to address the housing crisis. Jacob wants to provide emergency assistance in the form of housing vouchers and rental aid increase our federal homeless dollars and add a rental tax Speaker 4: 11:50 That's credit so that any family who paid more than 30% of income on rent gets assistance through the tax code. Then we need to build more affordable housing, Speaker 5: 11:58 How and where to build that affordable housing are largely in the hands of local governments. Some of which have been resistant to new units, Speaker 4: 12:05 But what we can do at the federal level is leverage public dollars to incentivize and push for more private investment. Speaker 5: 12:12 Whether it's building low-income units or housing for people who are homeless Gomez says it starts with hearing from the committee, Speaker 4: 12:18 Make sure that you're out there talking to your constituents and saying, this is why it's important that we make our backyard available in order. I mean, people want us to resolve the, uh, the issue related to people living in the streets, but the only way we're going to resolve it is not through rocket science. It's. We need to build units. We need to ensure that we have the necessary resources and that's where Congress needs to come in. Speaker 5: 12:44 Climate change is also something on both candidates. Agendas, Gomez says she supports governor Gavin, new sentence, recent executive order for all new cars in California, to be zero emissions by 2035. Speaker 4: 12:54 That's something that we should be as a congressional members. We should be thinking about adopting as well. It should be a national model. Speaker 5: 13:04 Jacob says Newsome's mandate has to be doable, and she wants to see an entirely energy clean economy by 2030, Speaker 4: 13:09 We need huge investments in new green technology. A poll from last month shows Jacobs with a double digit Speaker 5: 13:15 Lead over Gomez, but in that same poll, nearly 40% of voters who responded were still undecided. Matt Hoffman, KPBS news. Speaker 6: 13:23 Joining me is KPBS reporter, Matt Hoffman and Matt. Welcome. Hey, Maureen, on the issues, it seems Jacobson Gomez agree on most points, but their personal styles and life experiences are very different. Is that what this race is about? Speaker 5: 13:39 I think it's, it really depends on who you ask. You know, I think the Gomez campaign would like to frame it as sort of a big David and Goliath sort of a battle here. But, um, I, I really, you know, I think it's going to come down to voters and it's, it's really unclear. There's a lot of name recognition here. Right? We have the city council, current San Diego city council, president Georgette Gomez, uh, going up against the, one of the Jacob's family names. And it's really unclear where voters are going to go this November. Speaker 6: 14:03 Now, can you tell us a little more about the backgrounds of these two candidates? What did Sarah Jacobs do at the state department and what has she been doing since? Speaker 5: 14:12 Yeah, so she joined the Obama state department as a contractor and the Bureau of conflict and stabilization operations. And I asked her about this and she said her work revolved around conflict zones and East and West Africa, uh, working on some presidential initiatives, uh, some security sector assistance, uh, some violent extremism. Um, and then she served as a foreign policy advisor to Hillary Clinton during her presidential campaign. Um, and later on, ended up running for the, uh, for Congress in the 49th congressional district, Mike Levin beat her out there. Speaker 6: 14:38 You ordered Gomez says that she comes from an impoverished background. How did she get into politics? Speaker 5: 14:45 Gomez describes herself as a sort of grassroots community organizer, you know, who grew up in Barrio Logan. Um, as you heard, they're heard in the story you referenced, you know, came from a low income household. And she thinks that those experiences, you know, growing up in that community help her relate to voters. And some of those struggles that they're going with, um, she ended up going on to work for the environmental health coalition, uh, where she, you know, championed climate justice. She says, um, and she was also on some, you know, redevelopment planning committees and district nine, uh, which is the current city council seat that she serves. And she just thinks that, you know, the next step to help people is going to Congress Speaker 6: 15:18 About the comparative war chests of these two candidates. It's been reported that the already wealthy Sarah Jacobs has gotten a lot of Jacob's family donations and has been helped by wealthy family, friends as well. What do we know about that? Speaker 5: 15:32 Yeah, so we know that a fundraising deadline just passed and we should have by the, by the middle of the month, the most updated numbers. But if you go to the FEC data, if you go to their website, you can look at both candidates and see how much they've raised. Uh, Sarah Jacobs, uh, has raised a total of three and a half million dollars. Now that's through reporting period through the end of June. And if you look at Sarah Jacobs, um, out of that three and a half million dollars, um, 3 million, 2.9 million to be exact, um, is coming directly from her. So she's, uh, self-funding a lot of her campaign, um, has raised more than half a million dollars in individual contributions. Um, and yeah, you sort of hit on at Georgia Gomez with a lot less contributions. I mean, we're talking 1.1 million, so I'm at least through the end of June, almost a $2 million fund fundraising advantage for the Jacob's campaign. Um, obviously there are a lot of that money coming from Jacobs herself. Speaker 6: 16:20 Tell us about endorsements, who's supporting for instance, Georgia at home. Speaker 5: 16:25 Yeah. So Georgia Gomez has a wide variety of support. I mean, we're talking from the state democratic party, California nurses association, and number of unions, um, including FCIU California, one of the big ones, um, but also some really big names. So we're talking about, you know, senators Elizabeth Warren, Senator Bernie Sanders, um, also a broad coalition of a local elected support, um, Congressman Juan Vargas, assemblymen Todd, Gloria, Somali woman, Loraina Gonzalez, as well as the number of local city council members and mayors throughout the County. Um, and Jacobs similar, you know, she's the, uh, has support. There has been some sort of controversy with Jacob's using the phrase endorsed by California Democrats, but she says, look, I'm endorsed by the current California Lieutenant governor. Um, she's endorsed by Democrats from California. So she argues that there's really no beef there. Um, also for Jacobs, uh, Congresswoman Katie Porter, who's made a lot of headlines endorses her, um, some other representatives throughout the country. Um, and in groups like mom demands action, uh, the East County chamber of commerce, democratic woman's club, um, and Jacobs also has a handful of city council members from across the County, endorsing her Speaker 6: 17:26 Has retiring Congressman Susan Davis endorsed either candidate. Speaker 5: 17:31 She has not endorsed either candidate Maureen. And we saw that in the primary as well, too, when they were more than a dozen people running for this seat, you know, people were wondering is an endorsement going to come and know, and she basically through a spokesperson says that she doesn't think that the person leaving, you know, that the incumbent should decide her successor. Speaker 6: 17:48 Now that 40% undecided that you mentioned in this district, it's, it's significant are Gomez and Jacob set to meet in any forums or virtual forums that might help voters decide. Speaker 5: 18:01 Yeah, Maureen, they have been doing a number of forums just in the last few weeks and it's been increasing as we get closer, you know, a month away now from the November election. And, uh, we do know that they have another one coming up on October 19th. That's hosted by the league of women voters. That's at 7:00 PM. Um, and that's going to be a virtual zoom one. And it's sort of an interesting to see these, these zoom debates, seeing, you know, what the candidates put behind them, um, where they're doing it in their home, if they're doing it in their office, doing it outside. Uh, so that's at 7:00 PM and that's on October 19th hosted by the league of women voters Speaker 6: 18:32 Mount. Once you call us a contentious rate, Speaker 5: 18:35 I would say that it's getting contentious. I mean, if you talk to political scientists, I mean, there's two Democrats running in a highly democratic district. So they say that these two Democrats are going to try to, you know, distinguish themselves as much as they can from each other, especially when they have some overlapping positions. Now we saw just recently the Georgette Gomez campaign put out a sort of attack ad also linking Jacobs to Trump's tax cuts for corporations. So we might see more of that as it goes along. And I talked to some of those political scientists and they say, uh, you might not see some of that come out of the Jacobs campaign if they really do have such a big lead in this race. Although we know that was just one poll of 500 people last month, um, we don't know what they're in poli, but what their internal polling shows. So it'd be really interesting to see as we get down here in the stretch, um, what the sort of polling shows, and if we see some, uh, attack ads or some mudslinging, so to speak between these two candidates, Speaker 6: 19:23 I've been speaking with KPBS reporter, Matt Hoffman and Matt. Speaker 5: 19:26 Thank you. Thanks Maureen. Speaker 1: 19:29 You're listening to KPBS midday edition. I'm Alison st. John, along with Maureen Kavanaugh, California voters who are being asked, whether the state should end cash bail, as a way for people accused of crimes to secure their release before a trial, it's a system that most on the left agree is racist and unfair. So why are some progressive civil rights groups siding with the bail industry and law enforcement to keep bail in place? KQBD is politics, correspondent, Marisa Lagos reports. Speaker 6: 19:57 It's not often that you see progressive groups on the same side of an issue as bail agents, prosecutors, and police, but John rifling of human rights watch in LA joins the bail industry and saying proposition 25 would do more harm than good. That's not to say he's a big fan of the bail industry, Speaker 5: 20:16 Parasites that are there, but the blood wouldn't be available to them. If it wasn't for judges and law enforcement Speaker 6: 20:23 Rifling believes that the system voters are being asked to replace bail with isn't fair either. He says it gives those judges way too much power to decide who leaves and who stays in jail before a trial. He's concerned that the risk assessment tools judges will be using to gauge whether someone has a public safety risk could be biased themselves. And he's unhappy that probation departments will be in charge of overseeing people who are released before their, I can't Speaker 4: 20:48 Predict what will happen, but I can say that the system they've set up is going to allow for expanded incarceration and expanded pretrial supervision, including electronic monitoring, all which is going to lead to more incarcerated proposition, 25, his backers say that's just not true. John Bowers is the budget advocacy director for the criminal justice reform group, Californians for safety and justice. It is going to reduce the number of people held in County jail, pretrial awaiting trial bounders points to a study by the public policy Institute of California, which found that if prop 25 passes, more people would be released from jail sooner. The debate kicked off two years ago, when lawmakers passed a bill, making it illegal for courts to keep someone in jail, if they can't afford bail, they replaced it with a system that generally requires people arrested for misdemeanors to be automatically let go before trial. Speaker 4: 21:44 And for those accused of violent felonies to be kept in jail, those accused of lower-level felonies would go before a judge who could keep them in jail or put conditions on their release, say drug treatment, or a weekly probation. Check-in Santa Barbara provision, chief Tanya Heitman, whose County has been experimenting with alternatives to money. Bail says the changes make sense. We know that money bail make us safe, allowing people to stay connected to their families, to continue working. That's what's going to enable them to be successful and improve our community. Overall, the 2018 law never went into effect because the bail industry gathered enough signatures to put the question before voters, it's a referendum on the legislation, meaning a yes, vote on prop 25 would let the bail reform law take effect. And a Nova would overturn the law and prohibit the legislature from taking up the question again, the bail industry is funding the opposition, but they're being helped by some groups on the left who say, prop 25 will simply hand too much power to judges. Speaker 4: 22:48 Judges who have biases of their own into ramen is a former public defender. Who's now vice president of advocacy and initiatives at the Vera Institute of justice in New York. She argues, there's no reason to think that judges would behave differently because prop 25 still gives them the power to hold people in jail. When it comes to public safety across the board, we tend to just use our discretion to detain. That's what the system has historically done. Supporters say, prop 25 may not be perfect, but it's still a huge step in the right direction. And one California can only improve on if it's past Speaker 1: 23:23 It was KQBD politics, correspondent, Marisa lagos' this year, California voters have a shot at overturning. One of the most notorious propositions of recent decades or part of it. Anyways, proposition 15 on the November ballot would increase property taxes on corporations undoing a key component of prop 13. That 1978 landmark ballot measure was sold to voters as a way of helping homeowners. But critics say it's still a big blow to state school funding and was a boon to companies. We explore why commercial property was included in the original measure. KQBD politics editor. Scott Schafer takes a look at why commercial properties was even included in the first place. Speaker 7: 24:07 1978 inflation was running high and it was driving up property taxes paid by California homeowners and a political gadfly in Southern California was honest. We have a new revolution against the Speaker 1: 24:21 Arrogant politicians Speaker 7: 24:24 And insensitive bureaucrats. Jarvis collected enough signatures that year to place a massive property tax cut on the ballot. Proposition 13 on KQ EDtv that year, he framed prop 13. This way that people that are being heard are the elderly people on limited incomes who have spent all their life earning a home and their state is taking them out in droves. And this is what this is about, but in that same KQBD appearance, San Francisco, assemblyman, Leah McCarthy noted the corporations were also going to get huge tax breaks under the Jarvis measure. Let me give you an example of some of the business, uh, cuts that would result Pacific telephone would have a $130 million cut standard oil, 13 million Southern Pacific, 12 million. They didn't ask for the cuts, but mr. Jarvis is kind enough to give them to them. Prop 13 did not distinguish between residential and commercial property, but Joel Fox who worked for Howard Jarvis said California had always treated commercial and residential property the same way. Speaker 7: 25:25 So in writing an amendment to the constitution on property taxes, it was just simple to maintain what was already in the constitution. In fact, business groups, opposed prop 13 and gave money to defeat it. But since it passed residential and commercial property taxes have only gone up more than 2% when a property was sold. But how selling a property was legally defined was left to the legislature and her San Francisco Democrat, Willie Brown. I wrote the implementation process after it had been passed by the voters as chairman of the assembly revenue and tax committee. Brown wrote the law defining exactly when a commercial property would be reassessed. He says, now they blew it. We should have said anytime. There is a change in the ownership of the property through any means that constitutes a transfer for reassessment purposes. Under the legislature's rules, a commercial property was only reassessed when 50% or more of the property legally changed hands and big corporations have benefited ever since prop 15 on the November ballot would close that corporate loophole, reassessing commercial property and basing the taxes on current market value, not what cost to buy it. Speaker 7: 26:44 Business groups, oppose prop 15 saying that raising taxes in the middle of a recession is a bad idea, but Manuel pass store director of the USC program for environmental and regional equity notes, that things have changed in California since prop 13 passed slashing funds for public schools and services. The question is, are we to California that passed prop 13, our way to California, that wants to reevaluate that. I think that investments in young people, if prop 15 passes many will say, it's the end of an era that ushered in a California tax revolt. That was KQBD Scott Schaffer. Speaker 6: 27:28 Who do you know who's worked for the same organization for 47 years? Well, even if you know anyone who fits that bill, he or she is sure to be a rare bird, our own rare bird, KPBS, general manager, Tom Carlo, who has the distinction of serving nearly 50 years at the station is now getting ready to fly the coop. Mr. Carlo has announced his retirement effective at the end of the year. And not only does it mean a sea change for our broadcast station, but also for the KPBS community throughout San Diego, that Tom Carlo has encouraged and supported for decades. Joining me is KPBS general manager, Tom Carlo, and welcome. Speaker 7: 28:12 Well, thank you very much, Maureen. Wow. What a nice opening you did there? Speaker 6: 28:17 Well, it was retirement though, a difficult decision for Utah. Speaker 7: 28:22 It was because I've always felt I've had the best job in the world working for KPBS for 47 years and, uh, very close to 12 years, uh, as general manager, you know, I am getting a little older and getting close to 70 pretty soon. And, uh, I just felt it was time to, to have the new leaders of KPBS. Take us to another level over these next couple of decades. Speaker 6: 28:48 What was your first job? If I may ask you when you came to KPBS and what was the station like back? Speaker 7: 28:53 Yeah, well, I started in September of 1973 and I was a student at San Diego state. So, um, I got on the production crew, uh, in the studio. So I was helping to put upsets, hang lights, run camera. And I was making a dollar 89 an hour, which was minimum wage cause I had just gotten married and uh, we had a little boy on the way who's now 46 years old. And uh, so I tried my best to do whatever I could at KPBS. The station, KPBS, TV and radio was watch much smaller in those days. Uh, we had about 20 full time employees and about 20 part time. And I remember arriving at everyone was still excited because within the previous year we had just converted from black and white television to color television and we weren't a news operation and we really didn't have a very big audience, especially on radio and to see where KPBS now is reaching over 1.2 million people a week on the multi platforms that our content is on the recognition we get as being a very trusted news operation, that's unbiased and objective, and to see how we have grown to close to 180 employees now, um, I just want to say thank you to the current team and, and the staff before us, because they've really put KPBS on a tremendous trajectory. Speaker 6: 30:24 Well, during your time as general manager KPBS, well launched a nightly newscast, you saw personnel grow, you saw the newsroom union unionize and technology change drastically KPBS must've changed in ways that you could never have imagined when you became general manager 12 years ago. Is that right? Speaker 7: 30:46 You know, when I became general manager, I was, I started on February 1st of 2009. Um, I saw the previous eight years struggle immensely as a TV and a radio station because something called the digital technology revolution was taking audiences away from these traditional media distribution platforms. And for us at KPBS, I wasn't general manager at the time, but in 2001 with the stock market crash in nine 11, we had a tremendous downturn and again, in 2006 and then in 2008 with the stock, I mean with the recession starting in the mortgage crisis. So when I became general manager, I knew we had to change our complete business model. So I just said, you know what? I think there is a void in this community of serious local journalism on other platforms. And that's when I made the decision and the vision to take our radio news and expand it and put it on TV, on demand podcast and digital and social media. Speaker 7: 31:52 So we converged TV and radio and digital and converging into one content producing division. And we started to train all of our journalists and said, you know, now we're going to produce stories and they're not just going to go on radio. They're going to also have a chance to reach audiences on TV, on demand and in digital and social media, our newsroom grew. And, uh, you know, we've been talking to over 40 people that actually think it's getting closer to 50. And that was 12 years ago when we had about 15 people in our newsroom. Speaker 6: 32:27 Well, as you know, Tom, uh, COVID-19 has had such a big impact on the station. People are working from home, including myself, including you, some positions have been cut or back and SDSU is offering a buyout for some senior members of staff. I'm wondering, is that why you decided to retire at this time? Speaker 7: 32:50 Well, it is a factor and you know, I'll be honest. Uh, there is a, an early exit program and, uh, I, I felt the timing worked in conjunction with us completing the, uh, uh, the money we needed to construct and renovate our building. And, um, I have to say that, uh, in February we were riding high on our 12th straight year of tremendous growth and covert hit us all in March. And, uh, like any other organization or business, we had our challenges and our difficulties, especially in our corporate area, our corporate support has dropped dramatically and we had to make some tough decisions in may to cut back on the staff, but we have to live within our means our revenue has, has declined a little bit, but the good thing is, is our audience has, has grown tremendously. So, um, you know, I was kind of trying to time everything for my retirement to make sure that the building project would start, make sure there was some stability in our, in our, in our finances, in our budget. And even though we're a little bit smaller organization or somewhat stable right now, and the early exit, uh, program was, was an incentive for me to pick the date right now. Speaker 6: 34:12 Well, now that you're leaving KPBS, we'll have a woman as acting general manager and Nancy Worley. The first time a woman will be leading KPBS. And that seems like part of the overall renewed commitment to diversity that the station has been embarking on. Can you tell us about that effort? Speaker 7: 34:31 Well, um, I'm, I'm actually very pleased on how our diversity has grown over the years. I think we still have a long ways to go almost all of our, of our anchors and hosts are either women or people of color are focused on our podcast series this year. Like, like rad scientists with dr. Margo wall and, and, uh, my first day are all focusing on diverse people. Uh, we're getting more diverse people in our, on our, uh, our news team. I think we have always to go, and I'm really thrilled about Nancy getting this appointment. She's been on an excellent job. And, um, I do think we have, we can even do better though, Speaker 6: 35:18 Tom, thank you for all your efforts for this station through the years and enjoy your retirement. Speaker 7: 35:24 Thank you very much, Maureen. Speaker 6: 35:26 I've been speaking with KPBS general manager, Tom Carlo. This is KPBS bid day edition. I'm Maureen Kavanaugh with Alison st. John poet and UC San Diego literature. Speaker 8: 35:38 Professor Cassa. Molly is out with a new book of poetry. The voice of Sheila Chandra is Ali's seventh collection of poetry and 20th book it's named after a popular Indian singer who lost her voice Cozumel. Lee spoke with KPBS arts editor and producer Julia Dixon Evans about the work, the title poem of this book, the voice of Sheila Chandra is inspired by a musician who lost her ability to sing. Can you tell us a little bit about Sheila and why her story and the way she expresses herself means? Speaker 9: 36:14 Um, Sheila Chandra is an amazing singer. She sang a range in the earlier part of her career. It was more, you know, pop songs and ballads and things like that. She sang on the Lord of the rings soundtrack, for example, [inaudible] but she really transitioned into singing influenced by Indian classical music, including drones. A lot of her body of work is drones and a certain type of Indian vocalization called conical where the singer imitates a drum or imitates percussive sounds. And I just became really interested in all of the different qualities of a voice and all of the different sounds a human voice can make. So in 2008, when Sheila Chandra developed a very rare neurological condition called burning mouth syndrome, she was no longer able to sing. She is functionally mute from that syndrome, although she's still able to speak and very, very limited quality. And so I also became interested in the concept of silence and the qualities of silence and sound and what of sound lives in silence and what of silence lives in sound. And so the poems themselves try to explore that from many directions. Speaker 8: 37:59 Can you read a few stances from that poem, the voice of Sheila Chandra? Speaker 9: 38:05 Yes, I sure. Well, um, and so these sonnets all use, um, various different, um, unlike the classical sonnet, which has a single turn in the middle of the poem, these poems, um, these sonnets actually turn multiple times within the single poem. And I also explore using rhyme and repetition, et cetera. Some of the qualities of the drum carried cacophony world wheel into the human one, small voice box pool midnight, we went into the sea, expecting our prayers might carry themselves across the silver slammed surface would be answered or do they answer pale cut of prayers, do not answer like back into the dark water. What are those stripes of light across the room, a shape that evaporates upon waking what language cannot hold onto what you cannot hold onto. Speaker 8: 39:18 Thank you. Each of these pieces plays with language in a way that feels really interwoven and familiar to the rest of the book. Can you tell us a little bit about how these individual works feed into each other? Speaker 9: 39:33 So the book itself is three long poems, and then there's little fragmented poems that kind of intersperse or act as pauses in between. And the notion was that the big long poems would kind of set up at this glacial pace and glacial architecture, the sign along reality. And then the little poems that happened in between the interstitial poems would be very dramatic and shake things up in a thunderous way. And the sonnets of Sheila Chandra, all it's the constant echoing throughout the three long poems are all extremely different in physical form. They look very different. If you were to flip through the book, you would see some have extremely long lines, some have very short lines. Um, the final poem has all these textured components where the letters are scattered across the page. Um, and so it's important to me to really try to explore all different dimensions of a speaking voice in a poem as well. Just like the singing voice can be explored in so many different directions. When you, when you have a singer like Sheila Chandra or, uh, Tanya Tagaq, uh, the Canadian throat singer or Lila downs or Bjork or Yoko Ono, um, singers who really explore the range of what a voice can do, um, who move all, you know, through ranges. Um, it's quite unusual. Speaker 8: 40:52 Can we talk a little bit about whispering for David Berger? You weave together these narrative threads about several people, including burger, a victim from the 1972 Olympics massacre and more including the narrator. Can you tell me a little bit about what this work tells us about time and space and bodies together? Speaker 9: 41:18 These, it just, all of these different strands started weaving themselves together. And I became very interested in the Islamic concept of kiss, which is often translated as fate, but, uh, unlike the notion of a cause and effect a simple like linear cause and effect for every action, there's an equal and opposite reaction, which is also from physics, the Islamic concept of kismet, that's the multiplicity of factors. They exist in a universe that all impact each other. And then the concept of entanglement from quantum physics tells us that the past affects the future and the future effects the past. And then, so I was myself thinking about how do you contend with a violent past, you can't erase it or unmake it. And then I thought, or can you, you know, so the poem itself became this active gesture towards trying to, I don't know, create some magic. I thought way there has to be a way to not erase history, but recreate it in some way that will allow us to live Speaker 8: 42:19 These pieces that are entrenched in these specific times. And also the more timeless way that they're all linked. What does it mean to release this book into the mess of 2020? Speaker 9: 42:34 I mean, it's like, I did not plan it, first of all, you knew this was going to happen, but we are really in a freefall and what's the, what the strangest part of it is. We're in a free fall, but we're all, we're also all riveted in place. We are all removed from each other. We are, we are shielded. Ideally if we're being responsible, we're shielding ourselves. And, uh, we're living in really close quarters at our families. And then the chaos that sort of rains, it's a very tense time yet. It's also a time of stillness in a way. It feels like a calm before a storm type of situation. Um, although the storm exists, you know, like when, when, um, you know, when George Floyd was killed and it was just sort of this flashpoint of turning point, sometimes these events are part of, um, they're part of an ongoing pattern, but for some reason, a single event crystallizes, we often think about history turning on, uh, a weird dime of, uh, some kind of breaking point that has nothing to do with what came before, what, what came after it, the idea of the historical event, but really it isn't like that. Speaker 9: 43:40 It is more like the concept of kiss Smith, where there's a never ending chain of happenings that grow and develop and change. And then at some point, yes, the seed breaks ground and comes out into the world Speaker 8: 43:55 That was poet chasm, Ali speaking with KPBS arts editor, Julia Dixon Evans, his new collection, the voice of Sheila Chandra is out now. And for a list of forthcoming readings, visit [inaudible] dot com.

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In addition to the state’s color-coded reopening tier, a new metric goes into effect Tuesday to require counties to reduce infection rates in communities harder hit by COVID-19. Plus, a look at the 53rd Congressional District race between Sara Jacobs and San Diego City Council President Georgette Gómez, both Democrats vying to replace outgoing Rep. Susan Davis. Also, Californians are asked to reexamine the cash bail system and the property tax loophole on the November ballot. A look at Propositions 15 and 25. In addition, KPBS general manager Tom Karlo is retiring after 47 years at the station. And, a new poetry collection by San Diego Poet Kazim Ali explores sound, time, history and fate.