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San Diego Mayoral Candidates Discuss The Issues In KPBS-UC San Diego Forum

 October 9, 2020 at 11:39 AM PDT

Speaker 1: 00:00 Candidates Todd, Gloria and Barbara brave face off in a UC San Diego KPBS, mayoral forum. I'm Maureen Kavanaugh. This is KPBS mid day edition in today's special broadcast. The candidates address a wide range of San Diego issues, including the city's housing. Speaker 2: 00:31 Cause I think we have to lead by example. We all have to do our fair share to make sure we address our housing affordability crisis. Particularly as it applies to them. Speaker 1: 00:39 One of the population are homeless. It's fine. Updating our community plans, getting the community engaged and giving developers in the community. Certainty about what's going to build get built. Where, where are the candidates for San Diego mayor? Stand on the issues. That's ahead. On mid day edition today on mid day edition, we present a special broadcast last night, UC San Diego and KPBS held a mayoral issues forum with San Diego candidates, Todd, Gloria and Barbara Bray. The forum was moderated by KPBS, Metro reporter, Andrew Bowen, with additional questions from three panelists representing UC San Diego. The goal of the forum is to help voters understand who the candidates for San Diego mayor are, what they stand for and who best represents their interests and the interests of all San Diego ones. Each candidate was given two minutes to answer questions with a possibility for rebuttal here's KPBS, Metro reporter, Andrew Bowen, Speaker 2: 01:39 According to the city's most recent housing inventory report, San Diego built less than half the number of homes it needed over the past decade. Just to keep up with population growth, both of you say you support building more housing, especially near public transit, but specific housing proposals often run into community opposition because of everything from traffic impacts to view corridors to shadows and opposition is often toughest. When the housing is for low income people or the homeless, I'd like each of you to point to something in your record that shows your willing to support new housing and new density. Even when there's community opposition, we'll be starting with council member Barbara. Speaker 1: 02:20 Thank you, Andrew. And it's exciting to be here tonight at UC SD on zoom. I'm very proud that I worked at UCS de ferment for 10 years. Uh, when the connect program was first established and connect was established in 1985 to help start high tech and biotech companies. I was there for the first 10 years and, uh, the foundation of UCS D is based on social and economic and environmental justice. Uh, neither Todd nor I would have been able to live in LA Jolla in the 1960s when you CSD was started, um, it will was off to people of color and to Jews and I happened to be Jewish. So here's what I will do as mayor regarding housing. Cause it's clear, we need to produce housing so that when all of you graduate from SD, you will stay here because we need your talent. Speaker 1: 03:15 First, we need to revamp our development services. Department. Time is money and it simply takes too long to get a permit. Second, I will continue to support increasing density along transit. And as a council member, I'm proud that I have done that in several communities, including mission Valley, uh, the Marina Boulevard district, where there was some opposition from the community, uh, in the midway district and coming in the fall is Kearny Mesa, which wants to add 30 to 35,000 more units housing units because they want to be the little Italy for the Asian community. And this is the best way to add more housing at all income levels to San Diego. It's by updating our community plans, getting the community engaged and giving developers in the community certainty about what's going to build get built where third, because of the pandemic, we're going to have opportunities for adaptive reuse of office and commercial buildings. As housing, as more people continue working remotely and businesses need less space, and this is much cheaper than building new Speaker 2: 04:23 Council member Brie. I'm afraid that's a, that's your two minutes. We're going to turn now to assembly member Todd Gloria. The question again is to point something, point to something in your record that shows you're willing to support new housing and new density, even when there's community opposition. Speaker 3: 04:38 It's a great question, Andrew and I it's a specific one. And let me give you a specific answer. And I also want to thank you CSD and KPBS for this opportunity and Andrew for moderating to your specific question. Yeah, I mean, I have long been a champion for more housing and that is often a difficult position to take particularly in the face of community opposition, but I do it with the recognition that too many San Diegans cannot afford the rent can't perceive any able to buy a home in our community. And as a consequence, don't see a future for themselves here in San Diego. That is true for the students at UCF whose educations we help subsidize maybe not enough. Uh, but still we subsidize in a Candra diploma in may show you a door because we're not willing to give you a place to live. Speaker 3: 05:18 And June you're set up to the question. You mentioned that the hardest kind of housing site is often housing for very low income San Diego. I would say specifically for the formerly homeless. That is true. When I was on the city council, I was able to place two homeless shelters in my city council district. You know, people often talk about putting housing in other people's district. They're often extremely reluctant to do it in their own. And I'll give you an example of connections, housing at sixth and eight in downtown San Diego, a former, uh, office building that was converted into new housing housing for formerly homeless. That was extremely controversial. And I did what I used to do. I've always done in my leadership style, which is to bring people together, identify what the concerns are, do my very best to address them and get the project done. Speaker 3: 06:03 When we cut the ribbon on that facility, that houses over 200 homeless San Diego ones. And we'll be doing that tonight. Uh, I did it with a great amount of pride recognizing it that it was not without objections, but they were able to address most of those objections. And Andrew, I would point out that a part of that compromise with the community was the establishment of a community advisory board to make sure that neighbors would have the opportunity to continue to weigh in on the operations of that facility. Years later, I'm proud to tell you that that board no longer feels the need to meet because it is integrated well into the community. The other one I did was the aspire center and the 2100 block of San Diego Avenue. Just a few blocks from my home. I say this as examples, these are hard projects, but they're it to get done. And it's how we will end chronic homelessness in our community. Speaker 2: 06:44 Good assembly member, council member, Bree, would you like to comment at all on a assembly member Gloria's remarks or anything about either of your records on housing? Speaker 1: 06:53 I would just like to add that I want to enforce our existing laws against short term rentals. Students used to be able to live in the beach communities during these falls, winter and spring months, and then tourists came in the summer and that option is not available to them anymore, uh, because of Airbnb and other short term rental operators. So that is an important part of my housing plan as is starting, um, an assistance plan for first time, home buyers, Speaker 2: 07:20 Assembly member, Gloria, anything else to add to Barbara breeze remark? Speaker 3: 07:24 Again, I would point out that adding additional housing and communities like Marina and mission Valley and midway district and Kearny Mesa are not communities that council member Bree directly represents. I'd also would point out that her district is one of the only two that do not have any permanent supportive housing units, either planned, constructed, or underway. And I think that that's troublesome because I think we have to lead by example. We all have to do our fair share to make sure we address our housing affordability crisis, particularly as it applies to our most vulnerable population are homeless. Uh, I've been willing to lead by example. I will do that as mayor. Right? Speaker 2: 07:58 Thank you. Assembly member. We're going to turn now to our UCS D panelists and I promise this won't be the last opportunity for either of you to address the issue of housing. Um, our first panelist is Abby Reuter. Abby, go ahead and ask your question. Speaker 1: 08:12 I am the associate vice president of local affairs and associated students at UC San Diego. My question is recently there have been questionable incidents in San Diego regarding both the smart streetlights program being used to track down protestors as well as the recently repealed 1918 municipal code regarding seditious language, which led to fines against predominantly people of color for simply cursing in public as mayor. How would you ensure that San Diego is a city that protects the constitutional rights of all people, including the passionate young people on the front lines of social justice. Speaker 2: 08:45 Thank you, Abby assembly member Gloria, we'll be starting with you. You have two minutes. Okay. Speaker 3: 08:50 You rightfully point out some of the challenges that were recently unveiled at the city. And I would say in the issue of technology in particularly surveillance of our citizens, particularly citizens that are innocent and not a subject of any kind of concern in law enforcement is a concern that I have. The city has had a pattern and practice of acquiring technology without considering how it wishes to use that policy. How will respect the privacy of the innocent and what it'll do in terms of the storage of the information that is collected. The smart street lights is one example, uh, but, uh, the use of license plate readers, uh, stingrays and other kinds of technology has repeatedly shown the city, uh, is not, uh, got real challenges on how it chooses to use this technology. We shouldn't have policies before acquiring this kind of technology, making sure that it's a community driven process that is open and transparent. Speaker 3: 09:38 And again, that we can respect the privacy of our residents, uh, to, uh, go further in your, uh, in your question, you know, I strongly support people's constitutional rights to be able to express themselves. Uh, and that is very different from what is being, I think what you're concerned and what sometimes has been enforced upon, uh, Abby I've put forward a racial justice plan available on my trying to address some of the inequities. I think that you're referring to, um, I think it's incumbent upon the next mayor to understand that we have to empower our communities, respect our constitution and make sure our city is lifting up the privacy of its citizens. Not pushing it down. Speaker 2: 10:13 You assembly member, a council member breathe. The floor is yours for two minutes. Speaker 1: 10:16 So as a council member, I have voted to support legislation that will establish an independent commission to review all our current technology and any new technology that the city plans to acquire. I supported it at the public safety and livable neighborhoods committee, and we're now waiting for it to come to the full council. I think that the public has an important role to play in advising the city on what technology is appropriate, what isn't and how it should be used. And we're very fortunate to have experts from UCLA who participated in helping to draft this legislation. Um, my roadmap to recovery, which we released in June working with a group of community leaders and small business owners from all over the city addresses the historic inequities that San Diego gins have faced and provides a detailed outline on how I will address them the seditious language ordinance. It was interesting. I mean, I didn't know it existed. And as soon as the city council found out that the police department was using this ancient ordinance, uh, we passed a law to get rid of it. And we did it very, very quickly. It happened just a few days ago, so I certainly respect constitutional rights and the ability of residents to oversee what we do with technology. Speaker 2: 11:39 Thank you, council member. Our next UCS panelist is Julia Adrian. Julia, go ahead. I'm the vice president of external affairs Speaker 1: 11:47 Of the graduate student association. And as the COVID-19 case rate decreases in San Diego, more and businesses wheel Schools and childcare centers and not reopening at the same pace. And this leads to a childcare crisis that is affecting women disproportionately. And it is clear that the city needs to step in and provide Speaker 4: 12:05 Support for schools and childcare centers. What are some of the plans Speaker 1: 12:09 Have for this issue, especially to provide free or subsidized childcare? Speaker 4: 12:14 Thank you, Julia. This question first goes to council member Bree Speaker 1: 12:17 Back in 1993, I was a single mom with two daughters, eight and 11, and a house that was about to go into foreclosure. So I empathize a great deal with working moms because I was dealing with well, and I was fortunate. My children were in school. You know, we weren't doing remote learning as many families are having to do today, but I was dealing with all the issues of before school and afterschool and how to take care of them on a limited income. So here's what I will do as mayor. First of all, as a council member, I've supported putting $5 million of our federal stimulus money into childcare for essential workers. It's clear, we need closer collaboration between the city and the County and the private sector to make more childcare options available. One thing we can do is make it easier to start a childcare business in terms of what are the rules and regulations. Uh, we can use philanthropy. I think there's much more we can do by bringing philanthropy together with the city to start a seed capital fund for families who want to open childcare facilities in their homes and may need access to money to do some improvements in their homes. So this is key for our economy. It's key for working families to make sure that we have quality childcare that they can afford. Speaker 4: 13:39 Thank you, council member, uh, assembly member, Gloria. The question again is about, uh, what you would do as mayor to address the childcare crisis. Thank you for the question, Julia. And I would point out that our economy will not reopen until our children are able to go back to school and parents that are looking to go back to work. Uh, I have spent the last number of months working with various community leaders to develop my recovery plan. We call it back to work as D it's available on my website at [inaudible] dot com and Julia you'll notice that the first recommendations actually involved schools, learning and childcare, and it's, again, it's a recognition. That's diverse people, stakeholders that worked over six months to come up with this proposal, all acknowledged that our education is so important for the reopening of our economy. What can the city do? Speaker 4: 14:24 Well, again, check out that plan. You'll see a lot of details in there, but I believe that we can provide regulatory relief to make adequate childcare businesses easier to permit by the city. I believe we can advocate in Sacramento for other licensing reforms that couldn't allow us to actually get the inventory of childcare slots that would hopefully do two things. One is making it more likely you can find something that your child could go to and second, make it more affordable for you to actually do it. Uh, but Julia, I think the back of the matter is, is that what we need is additional federal stimulus to make sure that childcare slots and schools are adequately funded. I think it's terrible that our federal government has continued to drag its feet, not having passed substantial, uh, stimulus and relief efforts from, uh, since March. Uh, and I would hope that we can use the bully pulpit of the mayor's office to lend our voices, to make sure additional federal relief, uh, is sent as communities as council number. We mentioned $5 million was done previously, but as you all know, that goes, that doesn't go very far in terms of the need in the community. So additional relief at the federal level is necessary. Some red tape cutting is, is appropriate at the state level. It's a regulatory relief at the local level. I could, I can see, uh, we would increase the inventory and make it more likely our schools can be open and therefore our economy can be open. Thank you, assembly member, our third panelist from UCF and his professor Marissa Abrahana Marissa. Speaker 1: 15:48 Hi, I'm professor of political science and I'm also the interim provost of Warren college. My question is the following. According to San Diego regional economic development corporation over the last two decades, San Diego's economy has more than doubled in size. Meanwhile, the typical household has seen its income increase at roughly half that rate and every economic recovery has increased systematic poverty and widen inequalities in our black and Latin X communities in the United States as mayor. How would you ensure that opportunities in San Diego's post pen 10 big economy are available to every San Diego and ensure that no group is left further behind. Speaker 4: 16:29 Thank you, Marissa counter assembly member, Gloria. The floor is yours for two minutes. Yes. Thanks Marissa. And I appreciate you putting this recovery in the context of equity. It is clear that pandemic has laid bare the incredible inequity in our community. And I've tried to spend my career in public service trying to address these inequities, whether that's trying to increase the supply of housing. That's affordable to one of the members of our community to being the author of our cities, uh, minimum wage and paid sick days ordinance, which helps to provide a little more money for folks who work hard in this community and give them the ability to stay at home when they're sick with regard to their recovery. And again, I'd refer you back to my back to work SD plan available on my website at [inaudible] dot com. An equity lens is important here. Speaker 4: 17:12 When we look at our regional unemployment levels, uh, the rate is roughly 10%, but we recognize it in certain San Diego communities. Again, particularly communities of color, uh, the unemployment rate is significantly higher. I think what that means is that we have to focus our attention on relief efforts. Our worker retraining our unemployment assistance in those communities where the need is greatest. Uh, that also could go back to the previous question, making sure that as we look at where we create additional childcare slots, uh, that those are again concentrated in those areas where workers are desperately trying to get back to work. Ultimately, I think our challenge going forward is to not take the situation as horrible as it's been, uh, and just try and go back to the way we were. It's incumbent upon us to try and build this back better. And by doing it with the recognition that different communities are being treated differently prior to the pandemic. Speaker 4: 17:58 And that that inequity is likely to get worse. If we do not enact policies that consider this again, my experiences in public life have been really focused on trying to address those inequities. And I believe as your mayor, I can help lead an inclusive recovery that will take in those inequities and do our very best to try and level more of the playing fields to provide more opportunities. I say this as someone who has lived the opportunities our city has, has to offer particularly young men of color, I'm interested in making sure those pathways of opportunity remain open for more young people. Thank you, assembly member council member Bree. The question again is about, uh, equity in the recovery from COVID-19. Speaker 1: 18:36 So you CSD is responsible for the growth of the innovation economy in San Diego, and that's where I've spent the last 30 years of my life. And this is the world that creates high paying jobs and good service sector jobs around them. And historically these jobs have not been available to young people growing up South of interstate eight as mayor. It is my commitment to change that that is why my office will include a school engagement coordinator. And we will start with school South of interstate eight and develop structured relationships between schools and employers with a focus on STEM, science, technology, engineering, and math, which, and also other employers like the old globe or the city of San Diego. So that from a young age, children understand the opportunities that are available to them. And as they get older, they get access to paid internships. Speaker 1: 19:29 And it has been my vision for many years that the innovation economy will move downtown, making these jobs more accessible to residents South of eight, who can get there on public transit. And it's happening right now, more quickly than I ever would have imagined with the revitalization important Plaza for tech and biotech and with the purchase of the Manchester complex downtown, which is going to be a biotech center. So that is why I believe my private sector experience at this moment in time is so important to make sure that as we capitalize on these opportunities, that they benefit all San Diego. It's a second piece of my economic development plan is a biopharmaceutical manufacturing center sector center in Otay Mesa because of the pandemic. A lot of this manufacturing is going to come back to the United States and Otay Mesa is a perfect place. A MiraCosta college has a biotech manufacturing certificate program. Speaker 1: 20:31 We already have a biotech manufacturing cluster in North County. I think putting something like this in the South Bay again, is going to create more good paying jobs for which you do not need a college degree. And again, good service sector jobs around you don't necessarily to be a scientist or an engineer to benefit from the innovation economy. Uh, you can be a doctor, a lawyer, a banker, an insurance agent, a janitor, a hotel worker, a restaurant worker. All of these people benefit. We have a growing innovation economy. This is the future of San Diego. This world continued working during the pandemic, not only working, but growing is my background Speaker 2: 21:14 Council member Brie. We're going to stick with you for a moment. Last as of last week, you were still undecided on one of the most important measures on the city's ballot, which is measure a, this is the bond measure and property tax increase that would provide $900 million in funding for affordable housing. I believe when we last spoke, you mentioned that you planned on filling out your ballot and submitting it as soon as you got it. So given that ballots are arriving this week, can you tell us how you voted on measure a or how you plan to vote and why? Speaker 1: 21:44 So our ballot arrived yesterday. I have not had time to vote, but I will be voting in the next week. Um, I have not yet decided how to vote on measure a, the positive is that it does provide a seed capital funding for more affordable housing. Uh, the negative is that it increases real estate taxes, and I voted to put it on the ballot and I was actually the key vote to get it on the ballot. It required six votes, and I knew without my vote, it would not get on the ballot for San Diego to be able to decide on. But as we, the council talked about it that day, my colleagues who represent district South of eight, it did express concerns that how this would impact homeowners in their districts, how it would impact renters in this district, because this increase in property taxes could be passed on to renters. So I understand the importance of providing this housing. That is why I have a very comprehensive housing plan. It's why I've supported the state programs that are allowing the city to use state money. And I will thank my Todd for that state money to helping make that possible, to buy hotels, to turn into housing units. But I still haven't made up my mind on whether to vote for measure measuring Speaker 2: 22:59 Thank you, council member assembly, member, Gloria, sticking with measure a for a moment you support it, um, and alluding to some of council member, breeze comments. Uh, many opponents of this measure say that right now is we're in the depths of a recession. San Diego ones just can't afford to pay a proper, uh, property tax increase. Other critics say that the city and the state should work to lower the cost of building affordable housing before raising taxes to fund more of it. Why do you disagree with those arguments and support measure a because creating the kind of housing that we need, uh, requires a public subsidy. Uh, this subsidy is not going to be achievable with a onetime allocation for the state of California or from simply lowering the cost of construction. This is the kind of, that has to be in place Speaker 4: 23:46 For decades in order to allow these units to work and to actually move people from our streets and into permanent supportive housing. You know, Andrew, this is a difficult time to do this kind of measure, but as I've traveled the city and talk with San Diegans and practically every neighborhood, their number one concern in spite of all of what is going on right now is our homelessness crisis. And they're demanding decisive action on this particular issue. The council was right to put this before the voters and ultimately it's the voters choice on what they wish to do. But as someone who has spent his career working on affordable housing issues, I understand the power of having a local funding source to construct over 7,000 units of housing. I understand the power that will give us to go to Sacramento and to Washington D C and to get our fair share of state and federal resources in order to help build more units. Speaker 4: 24:35 And at this difficult economic time, I understand the importance of creating thousands of good pain, construction jobs that will help get San Diego back toward earning a solid wage and be able to provide for their families. Andrew, at the end of the day, this is one of the biggest issues facing our city. We need bold decisive action to move us forward, to actually take care of this problem. I believe measure AA is properly matched to the size of the challenge that we face. And that's why I'll be casting my vote in favor of it when I get my ballot, which I have not received yet. Speaker 2: 25:03 Thank you. Assembly member, moving on to climate change, according to the UN intergovernmental panel on climate change, the world has about 10 years from now to dramatically reduce carbon emissions and avert the worst impacts of climate change, including droughts, wildfires, extreme weather, and mass displacement and migration, San Diego's own climate action plan passed in 2015 has been called a model for other cities, but particularly when it comes to reducing our dependence on the automobile, which is the largest source of emissions in the city, progress remains stubborn as the city embarks on updating. It gets its climate action plan this year. What do you think should change? And should we set a legally binding target of carbon neutrality? We'll start with you assembly member Gloria. Speaker 4: 25:48 Thank you, Andrew. And your viewers may know that when I previously served as our city's interim mayor, I had the honor of offering our city's landmark climate action plan. And it has been, it was a career achievement of mine to be able to get that passed by the city council on a unanimous bipartisan vote, what we did with that particular climate action plan, but something that other cities at the time had not done. And some criticized us for being too bold in adopting a 100% renewable energy target to 20 for the year 2035. But I would point out that other cities, the state of California, six other States, Puerto Rico have all followed our lead. And I'm excited that, uh, Joe Biden has included a 100% renewable energy goal in his presidential platform. My point is this Andrew, when San Diego leads other people follow. Speaker 4: 26:34 And I think that is incumbent upon us to continue to lead when it comes to climate action, to your questions, I'm open to the legally binding provision that you is a part of why we wrote into the regional climate action plan, a five-year check-ins to make sure that we're incorporating best practices, uh, new information and new technology. And then importantly, I think you hit it exactly right. Andrew, when I look at what we've been able to do, the climate action plan has birthed our community choice energy program that is going to help us procure clean energy. It has sparked a conversation around housing. It is so necessary, but where I see us not meeting our marks is where, when it comes to transportation and I would use the authorities, provided the mayor, uh, under assembly bill eight Oh five, which provides a chance for the mayor of San Diego to be a leader at SANDAG, to align our regional transportation plans and match the climate action goals, uh, to make sure that I have leadership position to actually make that real. Um, I think it's extremely important. I think it's incredible. Our current mayor does not use that authority, but I promise, uh, San Diego that if given the chance to serve as your next year, I will use that authority to drive real change when it comes to climate action, particularly as it relates to transportation. Thank you. Assembly member, council member Bree. Again, the question is as the city embarks on updating its climate action plan, what do you think should change? And should we set a legally binding target of carbon neutrality? Speaker 1: 27:51 Yes. Uh, I think we should set a legally binding target of climate neutral of carbon neutrality. Um, there are a lot of exciting things happening with our climate action plan right now. Uh, first of all, San Diego community power is underway as a council member. I voted to establish San Diego community power, which will be investing in new sources of renewable energy and giving San Diego consumers a choice of where they buy their electricity. Um, and we pay the highest rates in California, and that is unacceptable. Second part of my plan to meet our climate action plan goals is about establishing employment centers, closer to where people live downtown in Otay Mesa, closer to where we already have public transit. Uh, it's very exciting that the blue line is going to be done by the fall. By the end of 2021, I have visited the stations that are being built on the UCF campus. Speaker 1: 28:54 Uh, the void station is being built to accommodate autonomous vehicles in the future so that when you get off the trolley, uh, you might get into one that says you CSD library, or you might get into one that says Salk Institute. And I believe a lot of the transportation of the future, uh, the research is being done at UC SD right now. I think autonomous vehicles, which are small clean electric vehicles are going to play an important part in allowing us to get to carbon neutrality. And I also see economic benefits coming from all of this. I mean, this is an entrepreneurial city. UCS D is an entrepreneurial campus, and I think ideas companies, products, services are going to come out of the campus and other research institutes that are going to allow us to meet our climate action plan goals and are going to be things we can sell to cities all over the world. So I see all of this as a great opportunity. Speaker 2: 29:55 Thank you, council member climate change is likely to impact low income households and communities, and far more severe ways than wealthy community San Diego's climate action plan calls for equity to make sure that those communities on the front lines of the climate crisis get resources and protections first while wealthier communities way half may have to wait a bit longer. Please explain what policies or programs you would implement as mayor to ensure this promise of climate equity as Kathy's Capitol. And please be as specific as possible council member Bree, we'll start with you. Speaker 1: 30:28 Yeah. So one thing, um, so right now the city is also considering has out something called an invitation to bid, to look for, uh, whether SDG and E should consider providing or electricity or whether another company. And as part of this, the council wants to establish a climate equity fund, which, which we need to do before we can choose the new franchisee. So I think the formation of this fund, a very tangible thing was set funding to go into this fund, uh, as part of our, the agreement we make with whatever company, uh, we choose to deliver our electricity so that the climate equity fund has a guaranteed revenue fund revenue source over the years. And then in collaboration with the council and the community, uh, we can decide how to allocate this funding. Speaker 2: 31:20 Thank you, assembly member Gloria. Again, the question is to, for you to explain policies or programs you would implement as mayor to ensure the promise of climate equity is kept, and please be as specific as possible. Speaker 3: 31:32 Sure, Andrew, and I appreciate you noting the equity component of the climate action plan. Again, I was the mayor that authored the plan I'm running to be the mayor that implements the plan and the equity piece is pretty important. What I would say is there a couple of strategies that I think are, uh, what we could do taking, uh, the revenue and proceeds that come from community choice energy, uh, to invest those in the communities that are gonna be hit first and worst by climate change, to give them the opportunity to either participate in solar, uh, rooftop, solar in their own neighborhoods, uh, knowing that that can be cost prohibitive for many low income communities or that we provide the kinds of public charging stations for electric vehicles, recognizing that that lack of infrastructure is often a barrier to entry. Uh, particularly as electric vehicles become older and are often able to be purchased, uh, as used vehicles that may be more accessible to lower income communities. Speaker 3: 32:24 I recently did legislation to reform our air pollution control district with the intent of making sure that polluters are paying more for what they put into our environment here in San Diego and taking those proceeds and making again, investments in neighborhoods, uh, where we can see a reduction in air pollution recognizing that communities like Barrio Logan and Logan Heights see greater levels of asthma because of the environmental injustices that those been brought to those communities for decades and decades and another, I think equity component of this as a vision for moving towards free public transit in San Diego. I think that the allowing that particularly for young people is an opportunity not just to try and drive mode, share shift, and get more folks to take transit and hopefully make it a lifetime habit, but it also provides them pathways of opportunity to take the new blue line from their community to the UCLA campus, get a world class education, and then become the client side climate scientists of the future. I think that can all start from actually being able to access public transit at an affordable or at a free rate. Um, I think that's a place where we can take some of our climate dividend and invest to make real change when it comes to climate change in San Diego. Speaker 2: 33:29 Thank you. Assembly member. Let's stick with this question for a moment. Counsel member Brie, do you have any response to assembly member Gloria's remarks and would you also support free public transit for, uh, for youth in San Diego? Speaker 1: 33:42 I think he, Todd had a lot of good ideas and I would support free public transit for our youth. Speaker 2: 33:48 You however, do not support the San Diego association of governments vision for the regional transportation plan, which involves a very big expansion of public transit. Can you explain your position on that? Speaker 1: 33:59 Yeah, so it's $177 billion price tag. Some of which would be covered by a sales tax increase that voters would have to approve and the rest would be hopefully federal and state government money. Um, before I would spend anywhere near that in any business or organization I've been involved with, there would have been much more review critical analysis and examination of alternatives. One of the parts of this is digging under neighborhoods to develop fixed transit, more fixed transit, high-speed fixed transit. I'm not sure I have doubts that that is a good technology. Given the tech topography of San Diego. Um, earlier today, I was looking at what Hyandais is doing, uh, with autonomous vehicles, with vehicles in the air they call. Uh, and I think there's much more exciting new technologies that are a better fit for San Diego. And I'm concerned that we're moving forward with something that hasn't been fully vetted Speaker 2: 35:01 Assembly member, Gloria, any, uh, this is your opportunity to respond. Speaker 3: 35:05 I would be delighted. So I do support the vision of a world class transportation system for San Diego. And the fact that matter is this is still very much in the visioning phase. Uh, but what we need as leaders that can chart the goal and set a path and then allow us to do the work to actually implement it. I think that continuing down the current path of our regional transportation plan, the existing one, which is essentially a plant in the 1980s that is trying to be shoved. And the 21st century is not going to get us where we need to go, but particularly for our climate action plan goals, but for protecting Speaker 4: 35:38 Our quality of life and expanding our economy, I envisioned having a world class transportation system to give Sandy against real choices. When it comes from getting from a to B, you should have to be, you should be able to walk in your neighborhood on something other than a busted sidewalk. You should be able to ride bicycle in your community without taking your life in your hands. You should be able to take quality public transit that gets you where you want to go in a time and cost competitive fashion. And yes, you should be able to drive your car. It is a free country, but here's my observation. Andrew, the current approach is about 130 plus billion dollars. So if we can spend $130 billion to maintain the status quo, I believe that we can find a way to finance additional funding to actually bring transformational change to our transportation system, give the transportation choices in San Diego desserts. And let's be really honest, whether you're driving the car or you're sitting in an autonomous vehicle either way, you're still sitting in traffic. And I think San Diego deserve a better solution. Traffic dilemma has been now. Speaker 1: 36:31 So I would just like to add, I still think Don tunneling under our neighborhoods is not thinking about the future. The way it's going to be the future is going to be urban air mobility. It's going to be autonomous vehicles that are electric, that are small, that are going to go on smart highways so they can go more closely together. It's going to be about putting good jobs closer to where people live. All of this together can help us accomplish our climate action plan goals and people can get where they need to go very efficiently. Speaker 2: 37:03 Thank you, council member. And I'd like to stick with this for just another moment because you described, you know, autonomous vehicles and UC at UC San Diego and in LA Jolla, how would you ensure that this technology is available? Not just to wealthy communities, but also to communities that typically are bypassed by these technologies, especially when they're developed in the private sector? Speaker 1: 37:23 Sure. Well, I think so, as I said, it's, they're being tested on the UCLA campus right now because the UCLA campus is, is where a lot of this research is being done. So it's where it's being tested. Once it's available, we're going to have a climate equity fund to make sure that this technology is available to residents all over the city, Speaker 2: 37:44 Give you a bit of extra time, uh, assembly member, Gloria, any extra or additional comments you'd like to make on this. Speaker 4: 37:50 Yeah, I mean, I just don't buy that. Um, yeah. I don't see a lot of Teslas in a lot of neighborhoods South of the eight and what is being described as really delaying, uh, transportation equity, transportation justice for a lot of our communities, uh, what I'm describing as it connected network that allows every community access to multiple good choices from getting to a, to B. And I tell you, the time to act is now, uh, we need an, a, this could be a part of a local economic stimulus package that puts thousands of San Diego to work. And Andrew, I think we both know that the attitude of later, later, later often becomes never in San Diego. That's why leaders need to set a chart, a set of goals, set a path and start working toward it. And we should start that. Now Speaker 2: 38:30 We're going to move on to equity and policing right now, a 2015 by SDSU Speaker 4: 38:36 Found that blacks and Latinos were more likely than whites to be searched during traffic stops by San Diego police, but they were less likely than whites to be found with contraband. If the wave of black lives matter protest this year is any indication. This problem of racial bias in policing has not gotten better. What would you do as major mayor to ensure that the San Diego police department takes this issue seriously? And again, I'd like you to be as specific as possible. We'll start with you assembly member Gloria. Well, it's a, it's a heavy question. Uh, Andrea deserves a full answer. I would encourage folks to go to my website [inaudible] dot com, where I've put forward a racial justice plan to try and give the specifics and the details on what I believe the next mayor can do to address this and other issues of systemic racism, our community, because yes, the focus is on police reform and understandably so, but structural racism is racism exists in our education system, in our housing economy and our economic development systems. Speaker 4: 39:35 And so it deserves a comprehensive answer. So again, please check that out specifically to your question right now. I would say that I'm a strong supporter of measure B and I ask all of the viewers on the zoom to make sure you go yes, on B. The next mayor will have the responsibility of implementing measure B if it passes. And I've committed to making sure that we do that, recognizing that we will be experiencing a difficult budget environment over the next number of years. But I believe that this is time and money well spent. If we can avoid the kinds of turmoil that we've seen in cities like Minneapolis and Louisville, Sacramento, and elsewhere, that would be a good thing for San Diego and actually would make this a cost savings. And then I think it has to go beyond that. I think we have to look at some of the stuff that we know drives this inequity that was found in the SDSU study that you mentioned as well as additional studies since then, that further underline and reiterate this point. Speaker 4: 40:24 So whether that's pretext stops, gang injunction, registry lists for young men, particularly men, young men of color. These are the kinds of tools that often convey a difference in policing for neighbors, neighborhoods, North and South of the eight for people of color and for, uh, for Caucasian people, I believe we can do better in San Diego. Again, if a leader is to set a goal and chart a path toward it, my goal would be to have San Diego be a national leader when it comes to policing in the 21st century, we should accept nothing less. Thank you. Assembly member, council, member brick. And the question is what would you do as mayor to ensure that SDPD takes the issue of racially biased policing seriously, and be as specific as possible. Speaker 1: 41:02 So racial disparity in policing is clear. The data shows that over and over again. That's why I've been a supporter of the independent police review commission since 2018. When women occupied first presented the concept to me because of our city charter is something that the voters have to decide on. And Todd and I are both in agreement that measure B must be passed. I tried to get it on the ballot in 2018, there were only four of us at that time who would support getting it on the ballot. This the vote on the council was unanimous because of my vote in 2018. Um, it was unlikely that the police officer's association, whatever support me for a future office, but I'm honored that Andrea st. Julian who wrote that measure, who's the president of the Earl B Gilliam bar association has endorsed me for mayor. She knows the political risk I took in 2018 and endorsing that measure, but I did it because it was the right thing to do to hold bad police officers accountable, and to make sure community residents knew there was a safe place to turn. Speaker 1: 42:07 If they had an issue as mayor, here's what I'm going to do. I'm going to make sure that our police force represents the diversity of our community, that our police force gets the training, not just the initial training it needs and the ongoing training that it needs, particularly in the area of unconscious bias that we have the appropriate professionals responding to calls. If it's a homeless person, it is probably more important that a social worker go than a trained police officer. The goal is to get back to neighborhood policing were San Diego was a leader and police officers truly got to know the community. And that's what I will do as mayor. Speaker 2: 42:48 Thank you, council member. Uh, I'd like to turn to some of the dynamics in this race, uh, specifically regarding independent expenditures. And I'll start by acknowledging that neither of you controls these committees that spend on your behalf council member Brie, a political action committee run by Carl DeMaio recently sent out text messages and voicemails attacking your opponent for his vote on SB one 45. This was a bill that ended longstanding discrimination against LGBT people. When they're convicted of sex with a minor, rather than automatically placing them on the sex offender registry, the bill treats them the same way the law has treated straight people convicted of the same crimes for the past 70 years, allowing a judge to decide if sex offender registration is warranted. It was endorsed by the state of district's attorneys and the state police chiefs, the campaign attacking your opponent for his vote used homophobic tropes make a alleging that gay men like him and the Bill's author, Senator Scott Wiener are child sexual predators today assembly member, Gloria said he's received threats of violence. Do you condemn the use of this trope and the misinformation about SB one 45 in support of your candidacy? Speaker 1: 44:01 First of all, my campaign had nothing to do with what went out. It was done by an independent committee over which I have no control. And I have said that repeatedly to the media, how would I have voted on SB one 45? I've watched the public testimony of other elected members. Speaker 2: 44:19 I hate to interrupt you, but I'm not. Uh, I I'd like us to stick with the issue of independent expenditures. And of course you have acknowledged you didn't, uh, create these attacks, but do you condemn them? I, Speaker 1: 44:32 I can damn any information that is inaccurate that goes out into the public, Speaker 4: 44:38 Uh, assembly member, Gloria, a political action committee with funding from the San Diego regional chamber of commerce. And two unions recently sent mailers to democratic and no party preference voters depicting your opponent as the Republican choice for mayor the same pack sent mailers to register Republicans, painting her as a progressive now taken at face value. These mailers look like an attempt to trick or confuse voters by disguising attack ads as ones that ostensibly support council member breed, but were just sent to the wrong household. Do you condemn these tactics that are being used to support you in this race? Yeah, so like my opponent, we don't have control over these IES and they do cloud the conversation and make, uh, the discussion of issues, homelessness, infrastructure, housing, or difficult to have. Hey, the difference Andrew, between the attacks that I've been receiving by text and voicemail, or those attacks are false in the case of the ones that you just mentioned, they happen to be true. Speaker 4: 45:39 It is true that my opponent did not support a resolution of the city council condemning the use of federal officers, uh, uh, the streets of cities across the nation like Portland. Uh, it is true that my opponent has been opposed to transit and bicycle lanes and other things that are a part of our climate solution. It is true that some of her rhetoric about housing sounds eerily similar to president Trump. And so it seems that so someone picked up on that and chose to share that with folks, to the extent that that's all factual. I think that's markedly different than the attacks by Carl Maya, who by the way, is a Republican who, if he's not endorsed my opponent, he's certainly helping her out council member Bree. We have limited time, but I'd like to give you the chance to it. Speaker 1: 46:22 Sure. All I'll say is, you know, I'm not a career politician. I knew politics was bad, but I never thought that Todd and his supporters would use the deep political divisions in our country to tell Republicans that I'm, uh, too liberal and to tell Democrats that I'm too conservative. What I am is I'm a problem solver. I'm about bringing people together and getting things done. And I want to talk about the issues in this race, which I think is what Todd and I both want to do Speaker 4: 46:55 Assembly member Gloria. I'd like to also give you a chance to respond. Well, I would say that there was an opportunity a moment ago to condemn homophobia and to not trade in the homophobic tropes that openly gay candidates like me thought we didn't have to deal with anymore, that we've gone beyond him. But the fact of the matter is is these lies are going out as generating threats of violence against me, my supporters and my team. And that should be easy to denounce. And that should be something that should be ceased immediately. Not just because it's false, but also because it's dangerous. Speaker 2: 47:30 Thank you account. Speaker 1: 47:32 We're getting threats because of the flyers that have gone out about me. I'd like to Speaker 2: 47:37 Go back to a police for just a moment and specifically police funding. Uh, the San Diego police department got a budget increase toward their budget of more than $500 million. This is a question from one of our viewers amidst, a growing recession and many calls for defunding the police. How would you explore alternative uses of police funding towards projects that strengthen communities and offer non armed assistance to nonviolent emergencies? We'll start with you assembly member Gloria. Speaker 3: 48:07 Yeah, I mean, I think that the council was in a difficult position. Uh, these requests to, to reprogram funds came at the end of the budget process. I was chair of the budget committee for many years, and I recognized the bind that they were in Andrew. You asked a specific question. What can we do going forward? I think the council, what showed wisdom and creating the office of race and equity, I believe it's that office that should be tasked with considering really every department in the city understand where, uh, systematic racism and structural racism exists and then make recommendations to the mayor and council on how to eliminate that. I think this approach will get us closer to the goal that I mentioned a moment ago of being a city. That's really a national leader when it comes to policing, recognizing that we can do many things differently going forward. Speaker 3: 48:50 And some of this has been mentioned, but I think it's worth me saying publicly and specifically I don't, I believe that law enforcement should not be the first responders when it comes to calls about mental health. Uh, I believe it shouldn't be the first respondents to homeless outreach calls, truancy calls. There are a number of places where we can send train professionals often at less costs to do the work that our law enforcement officers frankly, are not trained to do and do not want to do. And so I think we can start there and then use the research and recommendations of the office of race and equity to go even further. Again, I think the challenge for the next mayor is to lead a city in an equitable manner. And that office is the, is the seeds that are being planted to actually get that done. I look forward to seeing their work product, uh, re uh, hopefully in the, not too distant future as we develop the 2021 budget. Speaker 2: 49:35 Thank you, assembly member, council member Brigg. And the question is about how you would, uh, explore alternative uses of police funding toward projects that strengthen communities and offer unarmed assistance to nonviolent emergencies. Speaker 1: 49:47 So Todd and I both agree on measure B. We both agree on the need to rethink policing. Uh, we agree that we are asking police to do things they aren't trained to do, meant to do or want to do. Uh, and we both agree on the need to have trained mental health professionals, responding to many calls, such as reaching out to a homeless individual or someone who was having a mental health issue. And as mayor, I'm going to put together a task force to holistically review how we can do this in an effective way. Speaker 2: 50:19 Thank you. Well, we're a very near seven o'clock now. And because we have such limited time, I'm going to ask each of you to keep your closing statements to one minute and 30 seconds. Uh, let, actually, let's just say one minute. Um, and council member Brie, you started, so I'll give you the first shot at this one as well. Speaker 1: 50:37 So I've spent my life standing up for others in providing opportunity. I've started two organizations that empower women, Athena San Diego, for women in tech and biotech and run women run to elect more women to office. For much of my career. I was either the only woman in the room or one of a few women. My priority as mayor is to lead an economic recovery that addresses income and racial inequality by growing the pie. I know how to do it. I've done it before. When I started working at the connect program in 1986 and connect with, started to launch high tech and biotech companies, you could have counted the number of life science companies on two hands. Today. There are hundreds. I believe that the diversity of my life experiences as a council member, a small business owner, a nonprofit leader, and a community volunteer have prepared me to lead our city. I'm a wife, a mom, and a grandma. When you all graduate from UCLA, I'm thinking about you and what we need to do to keep you in our city to make sure that you're going to get a good job, that you're going to have a place to live. That you're going to be able to enjoy, continue to enjoy our beautiful natural environment. Are our beaches bays in canyons. Sandino has a great deal going for it, and I would be honored to have your vote. Speaker 2: 51:59 Thank you, council member, Bree assembly member Gloria. One minute. Speaker 3: 52:02 Absolutely. Andrew, thank you for moderating. Thank you all for tuning in. You need another zoom in your life. Like you need a hole in the head, but you're here because you care deeply about our city and the future direction. And I hope to be the person that helps lead us in that new direction. My story is very simple. I'm a third generation San Diego, and I grew up in Claremont, graduated from Madison high school, attended the university of San Diego. The first in my family to go. I'm the son of a maiden, a gardener who worked hard in San Diego were able to buy a home and put their two kids through college. And I think that we know that today in 2020 San Diego blue collar workers like them can't afford to buy a home. Often. Can't put their kids through college. And as a consequence, we are losing out as a community. Speaker 3: 52:41 I will be a mayor who will go to city hall every single day with stories like mine and my heart to make sure the pathways of opportunity that were there for me will be there for you and for your families. I believe we can take the city in a new direction that tackles the big issues that are facing us, our homelessness crisis, our infrastructure challenges, our housing affordability crisis with your vote in this election. Uh, we can make history and electing the first person of color and the first queer person, mayor of the city. I hope to have your support on election day and in the years to come.

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The goal of the forum was to help voters understand who the candidates for San Diego mayor are, what they stand for and who best represents their interests and the interests of all San Diegans.