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Prop. 15 Fails As California Voters Reject Revamp To Property Tax System

 November 12, 2020 at 11:26 AM PST

Speaker 1: 00:01 How the move into the purple tier will affect San Diego schools. Speaker 2: 00:04 We've got the most comprehensive health and safety measures of any school districts. Speaker 1: 00:12 I'm Maureen Cavenaugh with Alison st. John. This is KPBS day edition. A new city law will regulate streetlight surveillance in San Diego. This process is precisely about balance public safety benefits with the privacy rights on a case-by-case basis. San Diego city college offers a class on working with the homeless and our podcast. Rad scientist introduces us to the sounds of the sea that's ahead on midday edition. Speaker 1: 01:00 After over a week of ballot counting in California, it appears that state proposition 15 really has been defeated. The yes on prop 15 campaign got only about 48% of the vote that initiative would have allowed property tax increases on industrial and commercial property worth over $3 million other business, and all residential property would have seen no increase. Prop 15 was expected to raise upwards of $12 billion a year for local governments and school districts and it's money that San Diego unified was hoping for. Joining me is vice-president of the San Diego unified school board, Richard Berrera and Richard, welcome to the program. Speaker 2: 01:43 Thank you, Maureen. Speaker 1: 01:44 Now you were holding out hope that the final tallies would find prop 15 had succeeded. What would that have meant for the day? Speaker 2: 01:54 Well, it would've meant at full, uh, implementation, which would have taken three years. It would've meant upwards of $70 million a year for our district, which would have really been significant. It would have allowed us to keep class sizes low, uh, to increase the number of counselors, nurses, um, increased professional development for teachers in our district. So it would have had a significant positive impact. Speaker 1: 02:21 Now was the district counting on that money to fill in the budget gaps caused by the pandemic and school shut down. Speaker 2: 02:28 I know it, you know, and, and so, you know, we've been clear that the issues, the financial issues caused by the pandemic really have, have to be addressed by federal stimulus. You know, the federal government is the only entity that has the ability, uh, to put the kind of resources back into our state government, into our schools that's necessary, you know, for us to get through this crisis. And, you know, we, as, you know, most people around the country, we continue to be frustrated that, um, we have yet to see action after the initial cares act, you know, package in the spring. Um, but we think that the current Congress should be able to work out an agreement. You know, the federal government cannot just simply, uh, you know, fail to act, um, because you know, schools and state and local governments are going to see real crisis in the spring. Richard, why you Speaker 1: 03:26 Think voters rejected prop 15? It's a measure that would have helped schools and would not have raised taxes on most people. Speaker 2: 03:34 Unfortunately, Marine, what we saw is, you know, just a deluge of misleading, uh, advertisement from the very large commercial property owners that, you know, would have seen their taxes go up and, you know, but go up to a level that would be equitable with what, uh, other businesses and, and residential property owners already pay. So, you know, they spent over a hundred million dollars. They made voters, I think, believe that residential property taxes were going to go up or small business taxes, we're going to go up. None of which was true early on voters were supporting prop 15, but the late voters that, you know, frankly were more exposed, you know, to this kind of campaign of, of misleading statements, um, you know, tended to break the other way. What we also have to keep in mind Marine is, you know, I think five years ago, certainly 10 years ago, the idea that we would have been able to do any reform of prop 13 would have been considered impossible. And the fact that we got this close 48% of voters willing to make changes in prop 13, precisely to support schools and community services, it means that we're getting closer and closer. You know, this has been a battle that's been going on really for 42 years. Um, we think that, you know, eventually we will see reform of prop 13 and we will see other measures, you know, statewide and locally, uh, to put more money into public schools because voters understand how important it is that we invest again in our public schools Speaker 1: 05:15 Now with help from the state and federal governments still unknown, where do San Diego Unified's budget concerns stand Speaker 2: 05:24 Now? Well, you know, if, if we were not having to deal with the additional costs, you know, created by the pandemic, which are substantial. And, um, and if we weren't seeing the kind of, you know, projected decline in state revenue as a result of the economic downturn, you know, we would have been in, in a, in a solid budget position. Um, but in this case, you know, with these dual challenges of reduced revenue at the state level and increased expenses, you know, Marine is absolutely the case that we need to see significant federal investment. We are very encouraged by what we've seen and heard so far from president elect bias. We continue to be very hopeful that as California voters over the next few election cycles have the ability to consider measures that would increase revenue for public schools that will, that we will be successful. I think we're about to enter a new era of investment in public education across the country in California and here in San Diego. Wow. Speaker 1: 06:32 District plan to reduce costs is to offer some teachers and incentive to retire. But as a voice of San Diego reports, those retirements will occur before the winter semester is over. How are schools going to handle that? Speaker 2: 06:50 Uh, and early retirement incentive always saves money for the district. But in this case, knowing that, you know, we have to be preparing which we are to bring our students back onto campus that that can happen, you know, in January. But we think that this is a good time as well, you know, to offer, uh, to, to our staff. Look, if you just are not comfortable, you know, with the, all of the adjustments that educators have had to make through this pandemic, we know that there are some people that just aren't comfortable with that transition and, um, offering the early retirement as a way, um, you know, to allow those, uh, educators, uh, you know, to, to go on, be rewarded for what they've done in their careers, but also offer opportunities to, you know, to newer, younger educators that are, um, ready, uh, to, to meet this, uh, meet this challenging moment Speaker 1: 07:46 Reference, uh, San Diego Unified's phased in plans to reopen schools. Now, San Diego County is right now in the purple tier, the state's most restrictive COVID tier. What does that do to San Diego's phased in plans? Speaker 2: 08:04 It, it halts our phased in a plan. So what we have right now is we've got limited in-person instruction for our most vulnerable elementary school students. But beyond that, when we talk about being able to bring back all of our elementary school students, uh, and then all of our middle and high school students, we will not be able to do that. Marine as long as San Diego County remains in this purple tier. Speaker 1: 08:32 So are you revamping the plans in any way? Are you going to expand phase one? Uh, and Speaker 2: 08:38 Yeah, exactly. So we are, we are working right now to expand phase one. Um, we've got, uh, the most comprehensive health and safety measures of any school districts anywhere in the country. Speaker 1: 08:51 Okay. Then I've been speaking with Richard Barrera is vice president Speaker 3: 08:56 Of the San Diego unified school board. And Richard, thank you. Thanks so much. Maureen surveillance technology like cameras on streetlights is a hot button privacy issue. New ordinances passed by the city of San Diego. This week. We'll give the public more say over how they're used. There was an outcry last year when it was discovered that 3000 new streetlights installed in the city in 2016 included surveillance cameras. One of the people who helped push for the new ordinances to regulate these smart street lights is our next guest Lilly Irani associate professor at UCLA who specializes in technology ethics. Lily, thanks for joining us. Speaker 4: 09:42 Thank you so much for having me and for covering this important issue. Speaker 3: 09:46 Yes and no. The existence of these savannas cameras came as a surprise last year. Even the police apparently didn't know they'd been installed back in 2016. Uh, it was part of the, uh, smart streetlights program designed to save energy. What are the main concerns that you have about this surveillance technology? Speaker 4: 10:05 I have a couple of, couple of concerns. I mean, one of them is the complexity of these technologies. You know, something like the smart street lights, it has microphones video. It has artificial intelligence on each of those little streetlights. We see that have the surveillance devices on them. And then all that data is not stored by San Diego. It started by a company that has a cloud. So how are we going to keep track of where data is going? How are we going to make sure that when you install a technology, that's going to observe everybody that we're paying attention to the different ways that people could be made vulnerable by that data being breached. How are we going to make sure our city departments are prepared to take responsibility for what sucking up that much data from our lives? You know, what kind of responsibility that places on the city that they can steward that properly. Those are some of my concerns. Speaker 3: 10:55 So you and others have been working on this ordinance for a while now. And, um, it got a unanimous vote from the city council this week. What would it do? Speaker 4: 11:03 So what this ordinance does is it makes sure that the city has support when it's acquiring surveillance technologies and that it has a good process that it can just do over and over to make sure that it has both community input about what the potential impacts of this technology could be in ways that people in the city aren't going to anticipate because they don't live everywhere out in the city, out in East County, out in city Heights. Um, and then it also makes sure that there's experts at the table who are experts in accounting and cybersecurity and civil liberties law, open government transparency. So those experts can also take what we're learning from other places that are trying these technologies out and seeing they're impacting the ethical issues and the privacy advisory board brings all those people together to support the city in thinking through all the questions that we know are best practice to ask when you're acquiring these things. Speaker 4: 11:55 Um, and making sure that we're thinking about that and taking care of mitigating the risks, taking care of all the communities upfront, rather than putting out fires, as we discover that the tech costs more than we expected or works in ways we didn't anticipate. Um, the other important part of what the ordinance does is it introduces, uh, transparency and oversight to how the city is acquiring surveillance technologies. So, you know, city council is going to get to come back every year and ask, okay, well, how did it go with the technology? Did it cost what we thought it was going to cost to, to fulfill the purposes that we thought it was going to fulfill? And if it doesn't, we have a chance to try to modify it or change the contract, or maybe just not use it anymore. That oversight is also a key way that we can kind of adjust democratically. If we learned that the technology is doing things that we didn't expect it to do that are good or bad, we can adjust our policies and adjust how much we're investing in it. So Speaker 3: 12:54 Police obviously have found it very helpful. They're arguing that it's already helped them to solve crimes. How can you balance those public safety benefits with the privacy rights? Speaker 4: 13:05 This process is precisely about balancing those public safety benefits with the privacy rights on a case-by-case basis. Um, you know, public safety is one part of the city and the city, um, has lots of departments that use surveillance technology that all needs to be part of the conversation. This is making sure that when we're talking about public safety, we're making, you know, we're solving those problems with the minimum surveillance that is needed to achieve the goal. And also sometimes technologies that seem like they're going to produce public safety through surveillance, actually have the opposite effect. So one example is automated red light detection devices that are posted at intersections. There are meant to deter people from running red lights by saying, Hey, you know, we're gonna catch you and, you know, send you a ticket to your house. If you run that red light studies that have looked at how the surveillance technology actually affected public safety found that it caused more accidents because people knowing there's an automated detector would re you know, hit the gas to run the red light, to make it past it. And we're likely to get into worse accidents. So this is why we need the oversight piece to make sure that the promises of the technology and the promises that big tech companies make about the technologies are actually being assessed to make sure they're fulfilling our goals. Speaker 3: 14:23 Right? However, the, the police union among other employee unions have been involved in this debate. And on, on Tuesday, San Diego police, chief Dave newsline expressed concern about the ordinance as it's written. Here's what he said Speaker 5: 14:36 In my initial review of the ordinance. I found that our public and officer safety issues, as well as language that may lead to charter violations, I'm also concerned this ordinance was drafted with little to no input from law enforcement advocate groups, neighborhood watch groups, Speaker 3: 14:52 And other community groups who are concerned with public safety. Are you concerned that, uh, you know, during this meet and confer process that still has to happen before the ordinance is finalized, things could change. Speaker 4: 15:05 I'm certainly concerned that things would change. And, you know, the trust coalition is continuing to work with city council members to make sure that they're hearing from the police officer's association. But they're also hearing from cybersecurity experts who, you know, who understand, you know, how to keep mission critical technologies secure for federal government for the military. Um, the ordinance has been part of a public discussion in San Diego for over a year. It's been in city council committees. It's been in the news. So I respect the neighborhood, watch associations that want to come out and participate, but we've seen overwhelming public support for the ordinance, because I think everyone realizes these technologies are really complicated. And frankly, even the SDPD, sometimes isn't fully understand the functionalities of it. There was a case in 2018 and where SDPD had a lice, automated license plate reader networks all over the city. Speaker 4: 16:03 They were uploading the, they were uploading the data from these license plates. So they were detected the contract. People go into the hospital, go to their house of worship, going to protests. They're uploading all that data to vigilance cloud. And through the vigilance cloud, they shared it. They shared all that license plate data with border control. Now, when voice of San Diego asked SDPD CPD, they said, no vigilant shares that data. We didn't make that choice and vigilant, corrected them and said, Oh, actually, here's the piece of the software where you made that choice to make that data partnership with border control. Even at a time when SDPD has said, they're not collaborating with federal federal immigration enforcement. So we want to make sure that we have a PR a rigorous process in place so that as CPD can keep his promises to the people. But we have lots of examples of surveillance technology beyond the street life that show that these technologies aren't properly being managed right now. And that's why we need communities and experts and a good process to help bring things in order. Speaker 3: 17:03 What, what is the status of those cameras right now? Are they still, Speaker 4: 17:07 From what I understand from Jesse Marks, voice of San Diego has done the reporting. This the cameras are rolling, they're recording data, and the data is being deleted after it's been on the hard drive for five days, but the city has asked ubiquity to basically keep, you know, auto deleting the data, um, instead of storing it and ubiquitous ubiquity, it says, we'll delete your data when you pay us your outstanding bills. So we're stuck in a really awkward situation right now with those cameras. Speaker 3: 17:38 Well, Lenny, thanks so much for bringing us up to date on this. Speaker 4: 17:41 Thank you so much. It's really great to talk to you. Speaker 3: 17:44 We've been speaking with Lilly, Irani of the trust coalition, which helped to write the ordinance. Speaker 1: 18:00 This is KPBS midday edition. I'm Maureen Cavenaugh with Alison st. John this week, San Diego County officially moved back to the purple tier under the state's system to control the spread of COVID-19. The move backward means restaurants must close all indoor dining spaces. Gyms must close indoor operations and schools that have not yet opened, cannot reopen KPBS. Investigative reported. Claire trespasser looks at how that change in COVID tear happened. Speaker 6: 18:32 It was the middle of the afternoon and El Toro grill tuckeria in city Heights was completely empty of customers. Still owner Marbella strata was hustling through her small restaurant. She took orders over the phone and through a walk-up ordering window. She'd made that open to the street Speaker 7: 18:50 Right now. We only have 25% [inaudible] Speaker 6: 19:01 Unfortunately a strata can kiss those three tables goodbye for the time being San Diego County has sunk back to the dreaded purple tier. The worst possible ranking in California system meant to control COVID-19 spread for months. San Diego County stayed in a narrow range teetering on the edge of the red and purple tears. Yet we haven't seen a huge surge in cases or hospitalizations as is happening in other parts of the country, which is exactly what the tier system is meant to prevent. So San Diego County supervisor Nathan Fletcher, Speaker 7: 19:37 Uh, the tiered system is designed to have those checks that stop you before you hit true exponential, spreading, and grow. And, and so I think, I think the system works and, you know, I think the system is working well, uh, for California right now, Speaker 6: 19:52 I'm with the tier system, keeping restrictions in place based on case counts, the San Diego region has good weather on its side. Speaker 1: 19:59 We actually pull up my graph and make sure I'm saying things that make sense. Speaker 6: 20:03 Rebecca fielding Miller is an epidemiologist at UC San Diego. She says, good weather helps people stay outside where COVID-19 is far less likely to spread. Speaker 1: 20:14 So what I, I was curious if during those big heat waves, we had a big spikes in cases, because you can assume that if it's a hundred degrees in San Diego, people are going to go inside where, where there's air conditioning. And because there's a circular air, it's a better chance for infection, but you can actually see a little bit of a bump. Um, each time there was a heat wave, um, when there was a heat wave and a fire simultaneously, you can see a little bit of a bump Speaker 6: 20:42 As rain and colder weather comes in the next few months, fielding Miller worries. More people will take their gatherings inside, which could increase spread. Fletcher says he hopes the tier system doesn't come under attack. If that does happen, Speaker 7: 20:57 We've got to recognize and understand that there, there is no economic recovery when you have increasing cases. Um, and that's not just because of the tiered system and the restrictions, but that's the general public, uh, that is not comfortable and confident being willing to go out and do these types of things Speaker 6: 21:13 Added that he believes the County would have been better off if it had opened more gradually in July when the tier system was implemented, rather than immediately opening all establishments that were allowed under the radar. Speaker 7: 21:27 We opened everything associated with red on August 28th, the very first day we could. And I strongly felt that we needed to wait. And we were on a downward trajectory, get down to where you have really low spread. And then when you have really low spread, then you can be a little bit more open with some of the things you're doing. Um, without the risk of closing people down, Speaker 8: 21:47 Uh, before dependently, uh, it was different. Speaker 6: 21:50 That may be true, but El Toro grill owner a strata, isn't sure she can hang on much longer. Speaker 8: 21:56 Sure. We don't have a lot of space outside and the sidewalk, but we ended up having four tables outside. Um, but it's kinda like we have a lot of issues here for people pass by. We have a lot of trouble with homeless, so Speaker 6: 22:13 She and her husband have run the restaurant for 10 years, but without indoor dining, she says they could close in a matter of months. Claire Traeger, sir, KPBS news Speaker 9: 22:34 In 2018 Democrats were elated when they flipped for orange County, congressional seats formally held by Republicans. But this year the GOP has managed to claim at least one seat back and it appears to be on track to flip another KQBD politics. Correspondent Marisa logos has this look 2016 was the year that folks outside of orange County started paying attention to the historically red County for the first time, since 1936 more voters in orange County have chosen a Democrat Hillary after that, when Democrats saw an opportunity and two years later in 2018 with national money and attention pouring in from both parties, the blue wave swept for long time Republicans out of office, but last week's election made clear. This battle is far from over Fred, smaller as an associate professor of political science at Chapman university, Speaker 7: 23:25 Orange County had a long reputation for being red County place where good Republicans came to die. John Wayne airport, all that stuff. We're moving to purple County, uh, not red, not blue like Berkeley, but, um, purple in that there's there are competitive elections. Republicans are celebrating this Speaker 1: 23:46 Week after Democrat Harley Ruda conceded two days ago to Republican County supervisor Michelle Steele in the race to represent Huntington beach in Congress, Northeast of their democratic congressmen. Gil Cisneros looks unlikely to win his race against Republican young Kim though, the race has yet to be called California GOP chairwoman. Jessica Patterson says it is a comeback for them. Speaker 2: 24:08 We work incredibly hard candidates matter, infrastructure matters. And you know, we just, you know, we thought that we could win some seats back on the congressional side and so far so good, Speaker 1: 24:20 But that's not to say that orange County is suddenly safer public and territory. Again, according to Patterson, Speaker 2: 24:25 It has turned into quite the battleground. Speaker 1: 24:29 It's easy to see how much that's true. Even though Democrats lost ground in Congress, they flipped two state Senate seats in the area. And Joe Biden is carrying orange County by nine points and outpacing president Trump, even in the congressional seats, the GOP one state democratic party chairman rusty Hicks says, even though the demographics of orange County are moving in Democrats direction, it's becoming more Latino, less white and younger. The party is not taking anything for granted. Speaker 2: 24:56 The seats that we picked up in 2018 were hard, hard fought in, and they're hard fought now. Uh, and I truly believe that they will be hard fought in two years Speaker 1: 25:11 Smaller. The political science professor predicts more of this flipping back and forth between the parties in the future. Ruda for one has already announced. He will challenge deal in 2022. Speaker 2: 25:20 Obviously any freshmen, a wins by, you know, less than one point in the case of a Michelle Steele, they will have to be very careful. And obviously, you know, everyone in Congress, but particularly a freshmen are going to be looking over their shoulders. Speaker 1: 25:35 It seems like in the near term, voters in orange County should get used to all the attention I'm Merissa lagos' last week city of San Diego voters gave overwhelming approval to measure B, which will establish an independent commission to oversee the San Diego police department. But that is just the first step toward the actual creation of the commission, the makeup of the new group and funding for its new officers and investigators is still to be hammered out by the city council and supporters of the measure do not want council members to drag their feet. Johnnie Mae is KPBS reporter Claire Traeger, sir. And welcome Claire. Speaker 6: 26:18 Thank you so much. Can you Speaker 1: 26:19 Remind us about the new powers and responsibilities? The commission on police practices will have, Speaker 6: 26:25 Right? Yes. So, uh, broadly it will have its own staff and independent attorney and the power to subpoena and conduct investigations into police officer misconduct. And then it would also review complaints against officers and make recommendations on police officer discipline and police policies. And there is an existing community review board, but this commission has several key differences. Currently, the members are all appointed by the mayor, but the new commission would have members appointed by the city council. Currently the lawyers who help the board are part of the city attorney's office, but the new commission would have an outside attorney and staff that are not part of the mayor's office or the police department. And then most importantly, as I said, the new commission would have the power to subpoena witnesses and documents. Whereas right now the board can only review the internal investigations, uh, that are already done within the police department. Speaker 1: 27:22 Has any structure been defined about the setup of the new commission, such as how many members will have? Well, we do Speaker 6: 27:29 No that it will definitely have a full-time executive director who would then hire an independent attorney and staff to support the commission. But the measure that was passed didn't include any details about how it will be set up. So there's no set number of commissioners and no guidance about how they will be chosen, you know, whether that's one from each district or so on. And that I believe was by design. The measure was a charter amendment to change the law so that the commission would be set up. And then now the city council has to really decide how to do the nuts and bolts of setting up that. Speaker 1: 28:06 Now, first thing the city council has to do apparently is dropped an implementation ordinance for measure B what does that entail? Speaker 6: 28:14 Right. And it sounds like that's going to be a, maybe a lengthy process in Seattle. They have a similar ordinance and that's 170 pages long or, or something like that. So San Diego is really going to have to hammer out, like I said, how many people are on the commission and how they're chosen. Um, and I talked to council member, Monica Montgomery step about that. And she was a, a big supporter of measures. Speaker 10: 28:39 Um, and also working with, um, the, you know, the primary unions that will be affected. We still, you know, we bring them into that process as well. Speaker 6: 28:50 It's important. What she's talking about, there is a potential for a meet and confer process, which would mean meeting with any labor unions who might be involved. Um, and that again, can be kind of a lengthy process sometimes. Speaker 1: 29:03 And are there any initial ideas about how the commission staff should be chosen? Speaker 6: 29:08 Well, no one that I've talked to had specifics about that the only thing that Andrea st Julian whose organization helped pass measure B says was that she wants to be sure that parts of the city that are more heavily policed get more representation. So I said, for example, maybe there would be one commissioner from each council district and she said, sure, but then she would want more commissioners from, um, some of the council districts that have a heavier police presence. And then Monica, Montgomery step mentioned reserving a youth seat, a seat for, um, a young person or an activist that, that was important to her Speaker 1: 29:44 Funding for this commission might have to wait until the next city budget session. But from what I understand, that's not good enough for some supporters. Tell us about that. Speaker 6: 29:54 Right? So this was pretty surprising to me, council member, Monica Montgomery step. So she'll make it a budget priority for the next fiscal budget, which goes into effect in July. But then Andrea st. Julian seemed to have a different idea saying specifically that they didn't want to wait until July. So here's what she said. Speaker 5: 30:14 We are looking for the city council to fund the new commission by the time the secretary of state publishes the new charter amendment so that it will have funding to operate, Speaker 6: 30:28 To be clear. The process she's talking about there will happen within the next few months. So she's really looking for that to happen very quickly. Speaker 1: 30:36 What happens to the present community review board on police practices during this whole process? Speaker 6: 30:42 Well, so they remain in their positions and will continue to serve on an interim basis. So basically they become interim commissioners as the new commission is actually set up and then the council would go about their hiring process for the actual commissioners. And that's important because obviously there's going to continue to be things that need to be reviewed while the process plays out for setting up the commission officially. Speaker 1: 31:08 And when do you expect the city council might begin the process of drawing up the ordinance to create this commission? Do you think it's a high priority for the new council session? Speaker 6: 31:18 Well, certainly, uh, council member Montgomery step says that it's a high priority for her. There's also the politics going on, where she wants to be the next council president, but so does council member Jen Campbell. So it may sort of depend how things shake out. There's a brand new council. That's going to come into office in January new council president. So we may have to wait and see a little bit, you know, what, what their priorities are once they're in place. Speaker 1: 31:47 I've been speaking with KPBS reporter, Claire drag Asser, Claire, thank you very much. Thank you. Speaker 3: 32:01 Millions of dollars in funding for homeless services have started to flow from the state level down to San Diego. And those dollars are not just for bricks and mortar homes, but also for services for the homeless that creates service jobs. But it turns out those jobs, working with the homeless are not easy to fill. They involve specific skills and there's been little training till now to provide those skills. Our next guest is teaching a new class, launched at San Diego city college to train people interested in working in this field. Kirin maca poo guy is assistant professor of social work at city college. Karin, welcome to midday. Thank you. I'm very honored to be here. So now how did the idea for this class come about? Speaker 11: 32:40 It actually came from the San Diego housing commission. So the San Diego housing commission has a philosophy of housing is a right. And one of the vice presidents, Lisa Jos had approached San Diego city college to talk about a way where we can train candidates and or folks who are currently working in the field of supporting people who have lost their housing. And after about a year and a half's worth of meetings and ideas, we came together and formed this multi-pronged program, which we are now offering at San Diego city college, who Speaker 3: 33:21 Would be a good fit to take this class. Speaker 11: 33:23 Anyone who's interested in working with our populations who are at risk or are experiencing loss of housing. So the majors that we have currently we target for this class are our human service majors, social work, alcohol and drug studies, psychology, mental health, and gerontology. Um, however, we have folks who are not even in those majors, some people already have bachelor's master's degrees. Some people are coming back to college after a 10, 20 year hiatus. And we're seeing the interest really all over all across the board. Speaker 3: 34:01 Well, let me just refer to, you had mentioned you already have 40 students in your class. Talk about why some of those students decided to take this specialization. Speaker 11: 34:10 Many of our students themselves have lived experience with homelessness and loss of housing. About 21% of our students at San Diego city college have experienced loss of housing or are in unstable housing themselves. And yet they still show up to class. They know that having this higher education will help lift them out of poverty in ways that few other things can. And I'll tell you, the majority of my students who are taking this class right now, they know firsthand what this is like to live in unstable housing, to live in their cars and honesty, that passion and that lived experience is what's carrying them on in this work. Speaker 3: 34:56 Hmm. So what are the skills that you'll be teaching them, Speaker 11: 34:59 Going over a policy overview? So they're understanding what's the function of housing and urban development. They're understanding the statewide policies like the heap and hurt act that funds the resources to different counties. They're understanding the role of the regional task force on the homeless. They're understanding the role of the San Diego housing commission and the myriad of agencies and nonprofits that are providing care and services and housing here in San Diego County, skillset wise, we are approaching this as an entry-level class. So having experience is not an necessity or prerequisite for taking this class. We're assuming that people are coming in without knowledge at all. And we're hoping that through this class and through the pipeline, we have support. We have also an academic counselor who will be joining us. And we also have a career coach who is on the team now, as well as a myriad of other classes in counseling, in alcohol and other drug studies. And with all of these components together, we will have students trained and ready to work in these agencies, serving our populations, experiencing homelessness. Speaker 3: 36:13 So from what you're telling me, it sounds like the students might be learning quite a bit from each other as well. Speaker 11: 36:19 Absolutely. I very much believe in a learning partnership. There's so much you can learn from my lectures and my slides, but hearing these narratives, hearing these stories of people who have experienced loss of housing, and then those who are actually working in the field, that's another unique dynamic of this class. So nearly every session we have had a panel list of speakers who worked for the various agencies. And I can share with you just last week, we had a speaker from path. Uh, we had another speaker from the San Diego development corporation. Um, and these speakers together were sharing their insights of their educational journeys and their lived experiences working with our populations. And it just so happened. One of the speakers was Ashley, a mentor, and a coach for one of my students. And they had the opportunity to reunite in class that student herself also experienced homelessness. And now she's in stable housing. She has a new position working in a residential facility. And so this being able to bring people who are working in the field so that our students can care from them, that has also been a unique feature of this class. And it gives them hope. And to let them know that there are career opportunities out there for them. Speaker 3: 37:36 So speaking about the opportunities, what, what are the opportunities for people who have finished this class? Speaker 11: 37:41 Oh, there's so many. And really, it depends on the agency. They all have different titles, but there are positions for a housing navigator. There are peer mentors. So having someone who has lived experience, but is actually now in stable housing and able to reach a more stable part of their life for them to be able to meet the clients. That's very powerful and impactful. They can be case managers. They can be, uh, housing coordinators, housing assistance. The job titles are, are all over the place, but there are opportunities out there whether they have a master's degree, a bachelor's and associates. Speaker 3: 38:18 We've been speaking with Kerryn [inaudible] of San Diego city college. Corinne, thanks so much for being with us. Thank you. It's an honor. Speaker 5: 38:30 [inaudible] this is KPBS Speaker 1: 38:36 Midday edition. I'm Maureen Kavanaugh with Alison st. John. When you listen to the ocean, you realize there's a whole world of sound that our ears aren't made to hear on this episode of Brad scientist, sounds of the sea host Margo wall introduces us to Goldie Phillips, a postdoctoral scholar at the Scripps institution of oceanography. She studies whale calls to understand how populations of endangered species like the blue and fin whales are fairing born in Trinidad and Tobago. Phillips always knew she wanted to study the creatures in the water that surrounded her Island nation. Speaker 9: 39:23 I'm hoping that we can hear a Marine mammal while recording in the surf. But what we hear sounds more like this it's like blue group Speaker 12: 39:35 [inaudible] Speaker 9: 39:36 By Scripps pier. The water is so shallow that all we hear are waves and bubbles. When you get further off shore and deeper, you start to capture a soundscape rich with aquatic life. The sounds can tell you a lot about Marine mammals, their lifestyle, their population size, their modes of communication. These are the things that Goldie wants to know because she has been in love with the water and the creatures within it for as long as she can remember, she grew up around water in Trinidad and Tobago. So my country being Speaker 12: 40:11 Caribbean Island, um, I was always, I always, I grew up like always being fascinated with the ocean. I was like, okay, I'm going to be a Marine biologist, but I know a lot of people say they want to be Marine biologists when they're like in high school. And then they get to like college and like, no, that's not going to work. But I kind of like, I was really determined to be a Marine biologist, Speaker 9: 40:29 But not everyone understood her life plan, Brene biology. Isn't a very common career in Trinidad and Tobago. And when she told her parents that she wanted to study Marine mammals for her PhD at Duke Speaker 12: 40:43 Go, well, my dad wants me to, I'm like the first person in my family to go to college. And I'm the only person in my family to get a PhD. So my father wanted me, like, I guess he put like all his hopes on me. And he wants me to be like a medical doctor or like a lawyer because that's, what's the thing to do. Um, so he didn't, he wasn't very accepting of it. Um, I think it was only when I got the Fulbright scholarship and I was the only one from my country to get this, this particular kind of scholarship. It was like three years of science and technology. It was when he, when that happened and I was like, okay, dad, I'm leaving. Bye. I'm not going to do my PhD. And he was like, Oh, okay. Like, I think that's when he started to kind of come around and he's like, Oh, this is like really cool. You know? So that was kind of nice. Speaker 9: 41:31 Goldie starts doing internships, studying Marine biology. It's at the end of one of these internships when she figures out what she wants to do with her graduate studies, she's in The Bahamas. When she sees a pot of spotted dolphins, they look like bottlenose dolphins, but with tiny specks of white and gray on their backs, but Goldie notices something else about these sea creatures. Speaker 12: 41:55 I saw like first hand, like the dorsal finish on mango because of some stuff. Speaker 9: 42:01 It's one thing to hear about how we negatively impact wildlife. And another thing to see it in person Goldie knew she wanted to have a positive impact. Speaker 12: 42:12 That was a real eye opening experience to me because that was when I really understood fully like home, uh, negatively humans, um, could be impacting Marine mammals. We are causing, you know, we are training the, you know, lives of like these animals. We are like, you know, destroying their habitats. And I think that we also have the responsibility to do something about it. And that was when I decided that I wanted to do something in conservation. Speaker 9: 42:40 She does her part by tracking the populations of the two largest mammals on the planet. So Speaker 12: 42:47 The two species that I'm working on, um, uh, the blue wheels and the fan wheels, both of them are endangered species. So those are the ones that have the most to lose. So that's why I'm focusing on those Speaker 9: 43:00 Blue and fin whales were very popular with whale hunters because of their size. Their meat was eaten and their blubber was rendered into oil. Well, hunting was outlawed in the seventies and eighties, but by then, their populations were decimated. It will take years to recover. These whales only reach sexual maturity around seven years of age. And their gestation is even longer than ours at around 11 months. They give birth to one calf at a time, and then wait a few years until the next you can imagine how important it is to keep track of these species that are so endangered. And you think that the two largest mammal species would be easy to track, but the ocean is a big place. So you want a signal that says whale here that travels very far like this. Speaker 9: 43:56 That's the call of a blue whale sped up 10 times. They make sounds to communicate with each other and search for food. And Goldie eats drops on the ocean. Listening for these whale sounds when she hears this call, she knows it's a fin whale. So how does Goldie eavesdrop on the ocean? As I found out earlier, just strapping a hydrophone off the shore, isn't going to yield much success for counting whales. So Goldie makes recordings off the ocean with heavy devices deployed on the sea floor in different locations around the Pacific Goldie and colleagues deploy and collect these devices every once in a while. And I asked to tag along next time, goalie goes out to sea. She said she won't be collecting her devices for awhile, but she invites me on a trip with a colleague who studies creatures less glamorous than whales fish. Speaker 1: 44:56 That was an excerpt from the rad scientist episode. Sounds of the sea. If you want to hear more about Goldie's work, all you need to do is search for rad scientist in your favorite podcast app, or go to kpbs.org/rad scientist.

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California voters rejected a proposal to partially dismantle the state’s 42-year-old cap on property taxes, a move that would have raised taxes for many businesses in a pandemic-hobbled economy. Plus, two new ordinances passed by the San Diego City Council will give the public more say over how surveillance technology, such as cameras and smart street lights, are used. Also, now that San Diego has sunk back into the purple tier, what does it mean for businesses and could it have been prevented? In addition, voters passed Measure B, which will establish an independent commission to oversee the San Diego Police Department. But there are still many details to be worked out regarding how the commission will operate. And, San Diego City College and the San Diego Housing Commission collaborated to create a class that will train people who are interested in working with the homeless. Finally, the rich sounds of the ocean right off San Diego’s coast in this replay of “Rad Scientist” episode.