Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Mayor Gloria Releases Black Empowerment Plan To Fight Systemic Racism In San Diego

 April 14, 2021 at 12:46 PM PDT

Speaker 1: 00:00 A city-wide effort to address systemic racism. Speaker 2: 00:04 Well, it is of course important, but equity making up for historic disinvestment is difficult. Speaker 1: 00:09 I'm Jade Hindman with Maureen Kavanaugh. This is KPBS mid-day edition. An examination of how sexual assault allegations in nursing homes have gone ignored. This is perhaps the worst and most horrifying story of serial sexual assault that I have ever heard in the long-term care setting and a look and why San Diego's inflation is among the highest in the nation. Plus a delay stands in the way of expanding tribal land. That's ahead on midday edition Speaker 1: 01:00 This week, San Diego mayor Todd Gloria announced a plan. He hopes will be the first step in addressing systemic racism against San Diego's black community. It's called the black empowerment plan and it focuses on housing, economic mobility, the effects of climate change, police reform, educational barriers, and health outcomes. The priorities for the plan were set by a nine member advisory group of black community leaders. Mayor Todd, Gloria joins us now to talk about that plan, mayor Gloria. Welcome. Thank you for having. So you've said systemic problems remain within our nation that have often left black communities, disenfranchised and disregarded what's. The systemic problems have left San Diego's black community disenfranchised. Speaker 2: 01:46 Well, there are many genes. Um, you get the day when we announced this particular Fandor three statistics that I use to sort of underline the way that our black community, uh, experiences are San Diego differently than other parts of our community. One is that two-thirds of blacks, uh, residents lit zip codes with higher than average unemployment rates. One in five of our unsheltered population are black, despite, uh, African-Americans represented 6% of our overall city's population. And the black residents are twice as likely to be hospitalized or to die as COVID-19 than white San Diego. Uh, these are three statistics that really underlying, again, the different experiences of black San Diego, uh, here in San Diego is a reason why this empowerment fan was necessarily before not because we can solve a centuries worth of discrimination and prejudice with one plan, but then we have to start taking affirmative steps to try to address as equities in order to be a suitable it's for all of us. Speaker 1: 02:39 And, you know, at the top of everyone's mind is police reform. As the Derrick Shovan trial continues after Dante Wright was killed during a Minnesota traffic stop. And after an army Lieutenant in Virginia was repeatedly pepper sprayed during a traffic stop, your plan highlights, 11 police reform proposals here in San Diego have events around the country, made this a top priority for you. Speaker 2: 03:02 J D listed three situations. We know that there are many, many more than that. Somebody didn't happen here in our local region, and we want to do better. I want our city to be a leader when it comes to public safety, uh, and really, uh, making sure that we're doing this in a 21st century, uh, form. Uh, so yeah, some of those events certainly are instructive of the changes that need to make. I would note that the city has been working in this direction, uh, whether that's, uh, voluntarily through the end of the product straight by sending the police department, but or by voters domains where the passage of measure B for independent police review board. These plans of that, the plan that I released, uh, is intended to take the next steps in this process, but we really want to take the additional steps beyond that. I want San Diego to be a national leader when it comes to public safety. Uh, I want, uh, the community to feel safe. And I want us to have the best police department, uh, in the United States. Uh, this plan is intended to try and get us closer to those objectives. Speaker 1: 03:58 I'll come back to your proposals on police reform, but now I want to turn to the black empowerment plan you release this week. How will your plan work to fix issues and policies that have caused harm to the black community? Speaker 2: 04:10 As I mentioned, you know, this does not end centuries worth of discrimination overnight, but it is intended to be something that is definable measurable and in a accountable, holding myself, the city council as the city operation accountable, when it comes to progress in this space. And we have already seen a couple of steps of progress, uh, whether that's the establishment of our climate equity fund, which is intended to drive some of our climate related investments into neighborhoods who have traditionally been left out, who are as a result, has significant environmental justice concerns. We know that those are often black and Brown communities, uh, to our recent successful, uh, award of a state grant to study, uh, cannabis equity fund, recognizing that the black community avoided the disproportionate impacts of criminalization of marijuana, but are not enjoying the benefits now of legalization. And we want to be a city, uh, that sort of flips the script on that and allows for more equitable progress. So those are things that we have already done, and this plan really looks to expand upon that and actually make sure that those things actually get accomplished while the focus is often been on police reform. Let's be honest, systemic racism is present in our housing economy in education and economic development. And our black empowerment plan is really intended to try and address all the areas where we have identified through our advisory committee, by San Diego places where significant improvement is necessary. Speaker 1: 05:34 It seems this planet really focuses on providing resources in a way that promotes equality. How does this plan take things a step further to create equity? Speaker 2: 05:44 You're exactly right, because there is a difference. And I think that many of your listeners probably are familiar with the difference, but for many San Diego, perhaps that they don't, that they're equal is of course important. But equity making up for historic disinvestment is difficult. The climate equity fund is intended to do that. It's intended to say, we know that the impacts of climate change or hit certain neighborhoods in the city first and worst, and too often, those are neighborhoods where our black community lists and where communities of color and communities are concerned, uh, incest by creating this particular fund where we will methodically put dollars into it, to invest in infrastructure projects that will anticipate and hopefully prevent some of the impacts of climate change. That is how you get to equity by having a neighborhood investments, infrastructure funds, again, focus on those under invested neighborhoods. Speaker 2: 06:31 That's important having a recreational or summer program, which is a part of the budget plan on at least tomorrow, again, focused on dressing, digital divide issues and recreation, recreation, recreation center hours in those needs. Again, speaks to this need for more equity. I think the council is unanimously behind this notion. And so the proposals we'll be putting forward, but through the black empowerment plan through the city budget, I think we'll win strong support. And then that will be the proof to the community that says this. Isn't just more words on a page. This is real. This has changed. And this is happening in San Diego. Speaker 1: 07:05 Now to go back to police reforms, data collected by campaign zero found a two-fold disparity in the way the SDPD polices the black community data reveals SDPD officers both stopped and arrested black people at higher rates and were more likely to use force against black people in the process of making those arrests. What do you think about that disparity and what solutions are you implementing? Speaker 2: 07:29 Those findings are troubling. Um, I mean, Jane, one of my frustrations with that information is that when I was a city council member, several years ago, the setting of a state university, uh, issued a report that had similar fines of different outcomes and different experiences of law enforcement, depending upon where you live and what you look like. And the reforms that we have announced last week really are intended to try and address that. Speaker 1: 07:51 You mentioned training anti-biased training, you know, Minnesota, for example, set up a $12 million police training fund after Philando Castile's death, since then George Floyd and Dante Wright have both died at the hands of law enforcement. What will San Diego do differently than Minneapolis? Speaker 2: 08:07 What we're saying is, is that clearly you want to do more. We want to go further, again, be a national leader. In this regard, please choose is very supportive of this. The council is very supportive of this. I think the community is demanding it. And so we'll do that work, but it isn't just that alone. Jay, we have to do other pieces of this plan that I think are important. And some of this stuff, isn't a capture line. Attention, I think speaks to the touch, feel look of our, of law enforcement, San Diego, by moving our, our office appointments security out of the police department by forswearing, uh, the use of militarized buckets of military surplus by trying to find better ways to deal with low-level offenses that don't create, uh, uh, a cycle of incarceration. It really allows people to feel like this is a trap. This is stuff that we will get done here in San Diego. Again, the hope of being a city that leads on this as say to other cities, we'll turn to you and say, let's follow the way [inaudible] cause they got it right. And we want to do that in our own time. Speaker 3: 09:04 Currently, what will be your measure of success for this black? Speaker 2: 09:08 Well, we have some of those statistics I referred to before. I mean, we want to see rising levels of employment in zip codes where the five San Diegans live, but we want to see a reduction in on street homelessness, recognizing that the overall presence of African-Americans amongst our unsheltered population, uh, we want to see an equitable conclusion. So the pandemic, uh, and an equitable economic recovery, these will be things that we will see relatively short term. I think we're coming to the end of the pandemic, but I would point out again, Jade, some of the things that we're doing already, and we have been doing pop-up vaccination efforts in the various zip codes, our mission to you, and the fact that we're able to drive down infections in those areas are allowing our economy to reopen our schools, to reopen. So some of this we're living out now, but we have to do a lot more of it. And this administration is committed to doing that. Speaker 3: 09:55 Todd Gloria mayor of San Diego mayor Gloria, thank you so much for joining us Documents, reveal that California regulators allowed a nursing assistant to job hop among San Diego area nursing homes, even though they were aware of multiple sexual assault allegations against him, KPBS investigative reporter Amica Sharma has the story Speaker 4: 10:29 Certified nursing assistant, Matthew fluke at your warned 62 year old Gale to keep quiet right after he allegedly raped her twice in one hour at a Lamesa nursing home in January, 2020 Speaker 3: 10:45 Said he knows we address and everything and all my personal business. So trust me, I know you're not going to say anything Speaker 4: 10:55 Added quote, even if you do, no one will believe you. They love me here. He had reason to think he could sexually assault women in nursing homes with impunity state records obtained by KPBS show, the California department of public health. The very agency that is supposed to protect nursing home residents from predators knew that Fluker had allegedly engaged in sexual misconduct three years earlier, but the States still did not rescind his license. In fact, CDPH allowed jury to continue to work in nursing homes, even as it investigated additional accusations that he sodomized one woman in 2019 sexually assaulted. Another six weeks later, an early last year raped Gail who didn't want her last name used. This is perhaps the worst, Speaker 2: 11:48 The most horrifying story of serial sexual assault that I have ever heard in the long-term care setting. Speaker 5: 11:54 Mike Speaker 4: 11:54 Dark is a lawyer for California advocates for nursing home reform. Speaker 5: 11:59 Many women would need to be assaulted before they felt like they needed to take it. Speaker 4: 12:05 CDPH did not revoke flippage is licensed to practice as a certified nursing assistant until August, 2020, the agency conceited in a letter chief ligature that month that it actually could have rescinded his license for any one of the four sexual misconduct allegations against him dating back to 2017. Ernie Tosche a Texas lawyer who sues nursing homes and abuse cases says is a damning self indictment by CDPH. Speaker 5: 12:33 Each of these four incidents was enough to be revoked. Why didn't you revoke it the first time Speaker 4: 12:39 CDPH declined to answer that question and dozens others. The agency's only comment was a written statement saying it takes sexual assault allegations that nursing homes seriously CDPH his first chance to take away flu Kutcher's license came shortly after May, 2017. When investigators learned that he requested oral sex from a woman in exchange for cigarettes at Parkside health and wellness center in Elka hone lawyer, Jennifer theory says the state should have swiftly removed Fluker from caregiving than that Speaker 5: 13:13 Is an example of not being trusted to behave appropriately in a situation where you are providing care to say Speaker 4: 13:21 In 2019, after another sexual assault allegation CDPH, again, bypassed an opportunity to pull [inaudible] license in that case. Then 71 year old hath got your Geralt limo accused the former caregiver of sodomized her during a diaper change at [inaudible] post acute and Elka home weeks later Fluker was accused of falling, a woman living at a third alcohol nursing home called San Diego post acute. He resigned and then was quickly hired by Parkway Hills nursing and rehabilitation in the Mesa. Soon afterwards, CDPH investigators told Fluker. They had found discrepancies in his statements about the sexual assault allegations against him, but they let him keep his job at Parkway Hills. Anyway, and three months later, he allegedly raped. Gale who remains traumatized. Speaker 6: 14:11 I always have nightmares. I'm always on guard Speaker 4: 14:15 As harsh words for CDPH, his handling of the flu Speaker 6: 14:19 They're lazy and they're liars. They are, they don't like paperwork. They don't do their jobs. Speaker 4: 14:26 Josh says, CDPH is the legal immunity adds another layer of tragedy. Speaker 5: 14:32 You can not Sue them because they botched this investigation and allowed a serial rapist to run around Speaker 4: 14:39 The San Diego County district. Attorney's office filed five felony sex charges against blue Gudger in December after KPBS has stories on the avocado case, he remains in jail pending a trial. Speaker 3: 14:52 Joining me is KPBS investigative reporter Amantha Sharma Amica. Welcome Speaker 4: 14:58 Is going to speak to you, Maureen. Now Speaker 3: 15:00 This is an incredibly troubling report. Let me ask you, first of all, why can't the California department of public health or its officials be sued if they were negligent in this case, Speaker 4: 15:13 Generally speaking, people who work at governmental agencies and the agencies themselves have immunity from lawsuits. If those lawsuits are going after money damages, which they usually are, but that immunity is not unlimited. And the reason why the lawyer Ernie Tosh said, you really can't Sue is it's next to impossible to win when you're suing the government. Uh, those cases are super, super difficult. And the lawyers who do take them that usually ends up being the only kind of work that they do because they are just so complex. Speaker 3: 15:53 Now are allegations of sexual assault, usually enough to get a nursing home caregiver's license revoked. Speaker 4: 16:00 No they're not, but the allegations are not to suspend a caregiver's license. And that didn't happen in this case in order to actually revoke a license, you've got to have a finding of abuse and that follows an investigation, but then, you know, not every allegation triggers an investigation by the California department of public health. And so it's, it's hit and miss here. And, and, and the other thing Maureen, that I think is important to mention is there's no state database here. So nursing homes are not required to tell the state when they employ a certified nursing assistant. And so that allows candidates for these jobs to lie about where they worked and whether there were previous allegations against them at those previous jobs. Speaker 3: 16:53 Now, the allegations made against this caregiver are crimes. If they are true, were they investigated by law enforcement back in 2017 through 2020? Speaker 4: 17:06 Yes. So Parkside health and wellness center contacted the alcohol police department back in 2017. And that's the cigarettes for oral sex trade and police that there was nothing that they could do about it. The next time that police were contacted that we know of at least regarding Matthew Fluker. It was in June, 2019 when, uh, Catherine Gocha Geralt limo who lives lived at avocado. Post-acute accused Pflueger of sexually assaulting her during the diaper change, Speaker 3: 17:38 But he was ultimately charged by the San Diego County district attorney. After your initial report on these alleged assaults, what are the charges against Flueckiger Matthew's is accused Speaker 4: 17:50 Of committing four accounts of lewd and lascivious acts on an adult dependent by a caregiver. And there is a fifth related felony charge. Speaker 3: 18:01 What about the care facilities where these incidents allegedly occurred? What was their response to the allegations? They would not call it. So they have had no response as you've been investigating this. Nope. Has Flickinger said anything about the allegations against him Speaker 4: 18:16 In court? He denies the allegations. He has pleaded not guilty Speaker 3: 18:22 Are the alleged victims of these assaults. Uh, Gail, Catherine, and other women. Are they still at the nursing homes where they say the incidents occurred? Speaker 4: 18:32 Gail is not. Katherine is not. And record show that well, at least criminal prosecution records show that the woman at San Diego post-acute who said that flu Crutcher got on top of her. Um, she's actually at avocado. Post-acute where Catherine got your Geraldo. Limos says she was assaulted by Pflueger Speaker 3: 18:56 Now Amelia, you must've gotten close to Gail. She described a horrible incident to you. What's your impression of how she's coping Speaker 4: 19:05 Maureen. I interviewed her on a zoom call and she sounded absolutely shattered her. Her life seems like it's irreparably changed. I think that came through during the interview that you heard excerpts of in the story, she was very, very emotional. It was obviously deeply painful for her to recall what happened. And there was some pauses during our conversation because of how hard it was for her to remember those details. Um, and just as an observer, it, it felt like she was reliving the trauma of it all. Speaker 3: 19:53 Now, family members have just recently been allowed to visit their loved ones inside nursing homes. The first time since the pandemic shutdown, is there anything they should be asking about the staff or facility policy to make sure their loved ones are safe? Speaker 4: 20:09 They can ask. It is not clear how accurate the answers will be. I say that because there is a statewide website that's theoretically supposed to help families review how many complaints and categories of those complaints like abuse are filed against a particular nursing home. But when I reviewed on that state website, how the flu Gudger allegations were recorded, they were not, some of them were not categorized as sexual abuse. One was erroneously categorized as abuse case of a resident on a resident, and one was not listed as substantiated and one wasn't even listed at all. So there really is no way for a family to rest easy because we know on at least two occasions when flu Crutcher was accused of sexual misconduct at Parkside and sexual assaulted avocado, he was actually allowed to return to work. And the nursing homes did not notify families of the allegations. Speaker 3: 21:25 Again, as I said, incredibly troubling reported me though, but thank you so much. I've been speaking with KPBS investigative reporter of Meetha Sharma. Thank you, Maureen. Speaker 3: 21:46 This is KPBS midday edition. I'm Maureen Cavenaugh with Jade Heinemann San Diego's housing prices have skyrocketed during the COVID pandemic. And now we find out that other costs such as gas and food have also been increasing bringing San Diego's inflation rate to one of the highest in the nation critics of the Biden trillion dollar stimulus packages warned that inflation might result from such huge boosts to the economy. But local economists say our inflation rate may be more of a reawakening than a red flag. Joining me to San Diego union Tribune business reporter, Phillip Molnar, Phil. Welcome. Speaker 7: 22:26 Thank you so much for having me, Maureen, Speaker 3: 22:28 What is San Diego's current rate of inflation? Speaker 7: 22:31 So from March, 2020 to March, 2021 prices increased 4.1%. That's according to the U S Bureau of labor statistics. So that is basically our inflation rate. And that includes everything from food to gasoline, to housing used vehicle costs just about everything is all piled into that number. Speaker 3: 22:53 And where does San Diego stand in relation to other areas of the country? Speaker 7: 22:57 The Bureau of labor statistics released data for 12 different cities yesterday. They cover about 22 Metro areas, but they're on a bi-monthly schedule. So they only gave us 12 cities yesterday, but of those 12 cities, San Diego was second place. Only Tampa had a higher inflation rate. So yes, we were quite high. Tampa had an inflation rate of 4.9%, which was a little bit higher than us. Speaker 3: 23:23 You know, when we hear the word inflation, we may think it's just something economists worry about how does inflation impact an individual person's or family's finances? Speaker 7: 23:33 So I think one of the first places you're going to notice prices going up or inflation affecting you is in food costs. So in San Diego year over year, our price for food is up 4.8 annually. That includes just about everything, meat, poultry, fish, eggs, bakery products, alcoholic beverages. So that's where it might hit you. First. Another way it might is gas prices. So gas prices are way up across California, but for all types of gas here in San Diego, it's up 14.2% year over year. So those are two things, especially, you know, gas to get to work or to get to the grocery store. And then once he gets to the grocery store, prices are going to be more. So those are probably the two main ways you're going to notice it first, but there's other stuff too, such as housing, energy costs in your home, you know, buying a used vehicle, even medical care, all of that stuff. Speaker 3: 24:29 And why specifically are food prices increasing? Speaker 7: 24:33 So food is sort of interesting. There's two different things going on one, there's been a few supply chain disruptions during the pandemic that have yet to recover. You know, we import a lot of food here in San Diego County and all that stuff. But another thing going on right now is a lot of restaurants are reopening across the nation. So if you're buying food for your home, you're also competing with a restaurant. So it's creating scarcity and prices are going up. Speaker 3: 24:58 Have these price increases been going on throughout the pandemic or is it just recently, Speaker 7: 25:04 Mainly in the last two months that prices have really shot up. So our inflation has increased about 2% in a two month period. So if we were looking at inflation back in November, you know, early fall stuff like that, inflation was just about normal around that 2% range. But in the last two months is where things have really increased. And a large part of it is gasoline prices. Speaker 3: 25:30 Does San Diego typically have a higher inflation rate than the rest of the country? Speaker 7: 25:34 Yes. So San Diego always has a higher inflation rate. It's always in the top one or two cities. And the reason for that as our high housing costs, because housing costs gets put into the inflation rate. So we're always going to be higher. So in the case of the data that came out yesterday, what happened is inflation increased everywhere across the nation. And it just so happens that it always runs higher in San Diego. So if it increases everywhere, we're going to always look like we have the highest inflation rate. So that's part of the reason why there wasn't anything really strongly in particular that happened in San Diego in the last 12 months, that was different than other parts of the nation. It's just flashing, always runs really hot. So we just rode the tide along with everybody else. Speaker 3: 26:19 So is this inflation hike, something to be worried about? What did economists tell you? Speaker 7: 26:25 It sort of depends on the economist you talk to, but the local one, I talked to Alan gin and economist over the university of San Diego. He says, this is a sign that the economy is just getting back to normal and things are going well, people are spending more money and that's causing prices to rise. So that's one way to look at it. And of course, a lot Speaker 8: 26:44 Of officials at the body of the administration had actually anticipated inflation rising during this period. And their thought is that it's temporary. This is sort of the boost of the economy getting back and things might be able to slow down a little bit as the year goes on. Speaker 1: 26:58 I have been speaking with San Diego union Tribune business reporter, Phillip Molnar, Philip. Yes, Speaker 8: 27:04 Thanks for having me. Uh, Speaker 1: 27:11 The San Diego board of supervisors recently delayed voting on a proposal that would lift a number of barriers to the region's tribes and expanding their reservations. If repealed the decades old restrictions would phase out restrictions and obtaining liquor licenses and would set up a tribal liaison to foster communication between the County and each of the regions. 18 tribal governments though, a new vote is set for May 5th. The decision to delay a ruling on the policy has been met with sharp criticism by tribal leadership who see the outdated restrictions as part of a larger legacy of racism and discrimination in County law. Joining me to discuss the proposal is chairman Bo Massetti of the Reen Khan band of the Louis ano Indians chairman. Massetti welcome. Speaker 8: 27:59 Good morning. Thank you for having me chairman Speaker 1: 28:02 Massetti. Can you begin by telling us what the repeal of this decades old policy hopes to achieve? Speaker 8: 28:08 Yes, we did it clarify the way the policy was implemented at 1994 basically said that the County would oppose all paid a trust or lamb that tried to go into purchase or want to purchase the County. One of the proposals, uh, for gaming purposes that has evolved into the San Diego County board of supervisors, opposing all lands, a tribe may be able to purchase back though we're buying our own land back. I want to make that clearer know. So it became a blanket opposition, opposing any lambs or tribe of may purchase. Uh, in our case, all the last we've purchased with exception of one are in the very middle of our reservation. Speaker 1: 28:57 How will these changes benefit the native community Speaker 8: 29:00 In the region? What those proposals have provided by a supervisor Desmond would do would repeal the blanket opposition and would say, okay, let's look at a land purchase by a tribe on a case by case basis, not just a blanket, no, and opposition, you know, I want to make it clear to not maybe drive to the 18 in San Diego County, have the economic base or opportunity to buy back their own land. So this is not going to be a mass purchase by tribes of a bunch of land. It's just aren't going to happen. What was your Speaker 1: 29:33 Response to the delay in voting Speaker 8: 29:35 On this? Well, my response is a slap in the face to the tribes and San Diego County. And I say that, uh, no one called from the board or staff that had questions had they had any questions would have been glad to answer that. If you'll notice. Also during the board hearing, there was no opposition at all, Speaker 1: 29:53 A large component of the policy in question here stems from a blanket policy. The County has had in place for over 20 years, which blocks tribal fee to trust applications. How has that made it more difficult for tribes to add land to their respective reservations? Speaker 8: 30:10 It adds in the public comment period and timeframe, which is required under federal law. Some of these applications, when we buy a, let's say we buy a piece of land for us. It's within our reservation boundaries. What we've been trying to get back our own land. The process is that first of all, one man has to be free and clear and clear title so they can not be any kind of cloud on the title. When we get the piece of property to that point, then we can petition the federal government to take this land into trust status on behalf of the tribe, the way it works, the title goes to the United States government and it reads it or the beneficial use in this case of the written contract, the process, how long does it take? It could take up to 12 years. I can give you examples of 12 years to do this. It does not happen. 30, 60 days, 90 days. It takes years to get a piece of property to be actually put back under tribal jurisdiction Speaker 1: 31:05 Extent. Do you think this policy is rooted in larger racist and discriminatory policies involving the region's tribes? Speaker 8: 31:12 Originally, when this was put into, into place in 1994, it was a big concern. Old Indians are going to have these casinos all over the place that traffic, everything that criminal, the crime, Oh, while this stuff's going to happen, the county's going to have to pick up more time. But the deputy sheriffs, the fire, all of these various scare tactics, which were basically unknown, but they were utilized. Actually, if you look at what has happened, just the opposite has happened. The tribes far exceed anybody's expectation in terms of what we donate to various community organizations, the services we provide our tribe along with San Pasqual tribe just, uh, started our own ambulance service because we have lack of ambulances in a rural area for emergency responses. So that'd be open to the general public to at no cost, the taxpayers don't cost. So it's just what has happened is the reverse of what was data to happen. Speaker 1: 32:03 Let me ask you this, you know, do you feel that come the time of the new vote next month, that this policy will be ultimately repaired? Speaker 8: 32:11 If it's not, it's a racial and political move, if it's not revealed. Speaker 1: 32:16 And let me ask you this, I mean, just ultimately, you know, you, we keep bringing up the fact that, you know, you all are trying to buy back your land. How do you feel? Speaker 8: 32:26 I think it's ludicrous, but it's reality. I have strong feelings about that. You know, give our land back. Well, we have to be, that's not going to happen. You know? So we have, we have to, and that's exactly what we're doing. I'm going to give you an example of the biggest parcel, our type of purchase, which was about 320 acres to the very East of our reservation between the, your reservation and our Eastern reservation boundary 320 acres. It's the mouth of the river, which is traditionally a culturally very important to no people. We bought that land back. Speaker 9: 33:02 I've been speaking to chairman Bo Massetti of the Ren con band of the lowest Sanyo Indians chairman. Thank you so much for joining us. Speaker 8: 33:09 Well, thank you for your time. Appreciate it. Speaker 9: 33:16 The newsletter platform sub stack has established itself as a home for name brand journalists. Who've abandoned mainstream media outlets that didn't just happen. Sub stack is paying those writers and the platforms choices are coming under fire online. Rachel Myro KQBD senior editor for it. Silicon Valley desk has more Matt Taibbi, Glenn Greenwald, Matthew Yglesias. If you know their work and you're a fan, you might be subscribing to their newsletters on sub stack. Now that they're no longer operating out of traditional newsrooms, like the guardian Fox and the Atlantic sub stack is venture capital financed, $65 million. Most recently from Andreessen Horowitz, a name brand Silicon Valley VC flush with cash sub stack has approached some big name writers with big money, a quarter of a million dollars. In some cases to seed sub stack with people who will draw a crowd sub stack pro deals, the company calls them on its blog, Speaker 8: 34:16 Creating a stable of writers. Many of whom were already controversial, right? Because controversy is what drives attention and the social media context. Speaker 9: 34:27 Sarah T. Roberts co-directs UCLA center for critical inquiry. Now no media outlets scooping up headline grabbing talent is nothing new publishers have done it for centuries, Hollywood movies, studios, and now social media platforms too. But Robert says sub stack. Hasn't been transparent about what it's doing. Speaker 8: 34:48 It's vetting and choosing certain people to give them a platform that it supports financially. And that is an editorial decision, which makes them something other than a neutral platform with no politics. Speaker 9: 35:02 Sub stacked declined to comment for this story. But company leaders are posting at length online to counter attacks from critics who are starting to pay close attention to the subset of sub stack writers who get the juicy deals, Speaker 8: 35:16 The whiteness, the maleness, the libertarian right weirdness of the group. And that was pretty self-evident. Speaker 9: 35:24 Some non-pro sub stack writers are so offended. They're leaving the platform and encouraging their readers to do the same. For instance, one writer who identifies as trans last month called out the platform for massive advances to writers whose work includes quote, extreme trans eliminationist rhetoric company leaders replied in another blog post here's a bit read by a colleague of mine. Since again, sub stack wouldn't come Speaker 10: 35:51 More than 30 writers have now signed pro deals and they cover a range of issues. None that can be reasonably construed as anti-trans and a range of backgrounds more than half are women. And more than a third are people of color. Speaker 9: 36:05 Not that the company is sharing its sub stack pro roles publicly also unclear how many disaffected sub stack writers in their readers are leaving the platform. Sub stacks. Biggest problem though may be the fact it's proved it's possible to make VC money off of newsletters. Now Facebook and Twitter are getting into the game and they have a lot more eyeballs and money to offer writers. That was KQV Silicon Valley desk, senior editor of Rachel Myra. Speaker 1: 36:46 You're listening to KPBS mid day edition. I'm Jade Heintzman with Maureen Kavanaugh. Our local Mexican American community has been hit hard by the pandemic disproportionately hard. And a new episode of KPBS is border podcast, port of entry host Alan Lilienthal talks with a Mexican American family centered in Chula Vista. The family's hoping their COVID story might be able to help other families like theirs rebuild trust in the public health system. That's trying to reach them. Speaker 10: 37:21 Okay. So the Covarruvias family, they're a big family centered in Chula Vista, a city in San Diego County, just 20 minutes North of the U S Mexico border. And like a lot of Mexican American families here, they have members on both sides of the wall and despite the border between them, the family is super close. Cousins are really more like siblings. We grew up very tight, very close, always at one another's homes, big family get together is filled with lots of laughter and mariachi singalongs are sort of their thing. Speaker 10: 38:02 Santiago Covarrubias was one of the patriarchs of the family and he was always getting nominated to cook his famous homemade [inaudible] for the gatherings. Delicious. Everyone wanted that too. Every time we'd go to parties. Hey consent. Yeah. We'll make the food. You know, basically for the Covarrubias crew LaFamilia is total here's Carmen's cousin, Jose. We didn't have much, you know, we come from very humble, humble beginnings, but you know, there was a lot of love and there's a lot of pride where we came from and pride in our last name and who we are and just familiar family that's, you know, that's what it was all about for us growing up for the [inaudible]. The troubles started in November, right? As COVID cases were beginning to skyrocket on both sides of the border. Santiago was in Mexico, dealing with legal issues. And while he was there, his sister-in-law passed away as a family. Speaker 10: 38:59 Man, Garmin says, Santiago felt like there was just no way he can miss the funeral for his wife, sister, look, this is a close knit, Mexican American family, a family that shows up for each other, especially in moments of need Santiago and the rest of the family had been taking social distancing, mass squaring and staying home pretty seriously. They trusted the advice from the CDC and public health officials, but the family had made it almost a year through the pandemic without anyone getting super sick or dying. So like a lot of us Santiago started relaxing, unfortunately, right at the wrong time, Garmin told her dad not to go to the funeral, but she said, he told her, there are just some things like the death of a family member, where you have to put some trust in God and take a risk. So you can be there for your family. So Santiago flew to the funeral to be by his family's side a few days later though, Santiago just didn't feel right. But God, a man says he was the last to admit it. Speaker 11: 40:26 I don't know if it's the machismo in them where they have this pride where they don't want to say, yeah, I'm feeling sick. Speaker 10: 40:34 Garmin says, Santiago, talk to his family over the phone. He told them he must have caught a bad cold, but he never lost his sense of smell or taste. So he assured them, there was no way it was COVID. Speaker 11: 40:46 I would ask my dad, how are you feeling? And he would tell me, I'm fine. I'm fine. I don't want you to worry, but I can tell, you know, you know, your parents finally, I started realizing he was getting worse. So I told my dad, you need to come back. Speaker 10: 40:59 Yeah. Eventually Garmin convinced Santiago to fly back to the Quanah. And when he got there, his brother, Juan Jose immediately saw that Santiago was in way worse shape than he was letting on. Speaker 11: 41:15 So when my dad finally came back, um, my uncle, as a matter of fact, he picked him up at the airport in Tijuana and took them straight to the hospital. They called me around three o'clock in the morning to tell me that my dad was COVID. Um, as they were going to admit him Speaker 12: 41:40 COVID rules prevented the family from being able to visit. And Carmen says it was really hard to connect with her dad. It was bad because he couldn't really hear us. Speaker 11: 41:53 So when we would try to communicate with him, it was hard because he already is going through hearing problems. And then we have this machine blowing in him and it was really hard to communicate. I was on the doctors. You need to call me every day. You need to call me when this happens or whatever, you know, It has to be the hardest thing. I believe when you have not just a parent, but a loved one, um, in the hospital. And you can't even be by their side. It's very hard. I feel very bad because I was not able to be there with him in the room to tell my dad, everything's going to be okay, you got this, you're going to fight through this. You know? And that was the toughest thing that we struggled with accepting the fact that we can't even be with him, Speaker 12: 42:54 Santiago was having trouble breathing. So he got put on a ventilator. And from there, it was a quick downward spiral on November 28th, just one week after he went to the hospital, Santiago took his last breath. Speaker 11: 43:25 I never thought that this is how my dad would go out. You know, I always thought, Oh, you know, old age or something, but COVID, you know, took them Speaker 12: 43:40 The cover Rubius family was crushed by Santiago's death, but they didn't really get the time to properly mourn because just a few weeks later, two more collateral. We as family members got the virus. Speaker 11: 43:59 So when we called my uncle, we said, Theo, you know, how are you feeling? And his response was, I don't feel good. I'm sick. So when he said that we knew, Speaker 12: 44:16 And then Speaker 1: 44:16 Was Carmen Nova. Rubius sharing her family story with port of entry, host Alan Lillian Thall, to hear the rest of the story and to learn more about how the family is using their tragedy to encourage families like theirs, to get the COVID vaccine and follow public health advice. Listen to port of entry online at port of entry,, or find a port of entry wherever you listen to podcasts. Speaker 12: 44:40 Yeah.

Mayor Todd Gloria on Monday announced an empowerment policy plan for San Diego's Black community. Plus, California Department of Public Health investigators knew that certified nursing assistant Matthew Fluckiger had been accused of sex crimes by women at multiple nursing homes in El Cajon and La Mesa. Yet, the agency waited years to revoke his license. And the cost of housing, gas and food have been increasing, bringing San Diego’s inflation rate to one of the highest in the nation. Then, a decades-old policy that places a number of barriers on the region's tribes ability to acquire land will be revisited next month by the San Diego County Board of Supervisors. Plus, critics lambast Substack over the “pro” program for big-name writers. Finally, in a new Port of Entry podcast episode, a Chula Vista family shares their battle with COVID-19 in hopes that their story might help others.