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City Council passes ordinance for Commission on Police Practices

 October 4, 2022 at 5:03 PM PDT

S1: Framework is approved for San Diego's Commission on Police Practices.

S2: The commission is really about creating a process that the community can trust.

S1: I'm Jade Hindman with Maureen CAVANAUGH. This is KPBS midday edition. San Diego County and city commit to build more housing.

S3: The top ten parcels are all either vacant , undeveloped land or surface parking lots.

S1: How persistent drought is impacting water resources across the county. And we hear from an author who took his life from the streets to the kitchen , cooking food for the soul. That's ahead on Midday Edition. Yesterday , the San Diego City Council passed an ordinance further defining who is eligible to serve on the San Diego Commission on Police Practices. The 25 member Commission will have seats reserved for residents in each of the nine city council districts. Additional seats are set aside for young people , as well as people from low or moderate income neighborhoods. But eligibility for relatives of law enforcement and those with criminal records were the most contentious issues the city council addressed yesterday. Here to tell us more is Andrea Saint Julian , an attorney and co-chair of San Diegans for Justice. Andrea , welcome.

S2: Thank you.


S2: So it has a lot of very important information and very important requirements that will help round out and shape the commission so it can become fully functional.

S1: One proposed rule would prevent immediate family members of law enforcement from serving on the commission. It's something that the San Diego Police Officers Association came out against. You voiced support for it.

S2: It only prohibits family members of law enforcement who work here in San Diego. It does not preclude either people who have worked in law enforcement or their relatives outside of San Diego. So there will definitely be an opportunity for people with law enforcement experience and also relationships with people who have law enforcement experience to be on the commission. So that's very important to understand. It was just that best practices shows that it's it's really inappropriate for people related to San Diego law enforcement to be on the commission. And that's why we supported that.


S2: That person may know the particular person who's involved in the complaint. And it doesn't really look good to the community. The commission is really about creating a process that the community can trust. And a community was really clear that they would not trust family members of San Diego law enforcement officers being on the commission.

S1: Another point of contention was the eligibility of people with criminal records to serve on the commission.

S2: They did not change that amendment. So that still stands.


S2: We are coming up on two years since the charter amendment passed. I don't think that it was particularly appropriate that it took two years for this ordinance to come into being. But , you know , that's water under the bridge now. What we'd like to see is the commission fully up and running , that the new commissioners are appointed and that we can , you know , get moving on the mandate of the voters.

S1: Overall , can you talk about the makeup of the commission ? Sure.

S2: At the moment , the commission is just has interim commissioners. What will happen in the future is that the 25 commissioners who are appointed appointed will come from very diverse backgrounds. And that's what's really important and diverse in a number of ways. They will be primarily diverse in in terms of geography , right ? There will be commissioners from every district in the city. It will also have diversity in terms of background. You will have people or should have people who have experience with homeless issues , experience with law enforcement experience in academia. And those are just a few examples. You're also going to have people from disparate racial and ethnic backgrounds , people from disparate. Gender backgrounds so that the commission really reflects the community of San Diego.


S2: After that , the if it passes with the second reading , then there will be a 30 day time period before the ordinance goes into effect. And then the next step is to appoint commissioners. That is really important. The permanent commissioners , that's going to take a lot of work , but hopefully that will be done appropriately and expeditiously.

S1: I've been speaking with attorney Andrea Saint Julian , co-chair of San Diegans for Justice. Andrea , thank you very much for joining us.

S2: Thank you , Jane.

S1: We reached out to the San Diego Police Officers Association , but have not received any comment.

S2: San Diego City and county leaders sat down together Monday to forge a commitment on building more housing. It's the first time county supervisors and city council members held a joint meeting in more than 20 years. The goal they came up with is 10,000 new affordable housing units built on government owned sites in the next eight years. Joining me with the details is KPBS metro reporter Andrew Bowen. Andrew , welcome.

S3: Hi , Maureen. Thanks.


S3: Also a top of mind for voters. And in the past , the city and the county have sort of traded blame for various aspects of the housing crisis. And I think a big turning point was in the 2020 election when Democrats took a majority on the county Board of supervisors. The city council already had a Democratic majority. And so I think there's now more of a shared political vision for how the government should or what role the government has in solving this problem and just a general increased interest in working together between these two government agencies.


S3: You know how easy the land would be to build on if it's on a slope or if it's flat , how close it is to public transit or other amenities like grocery stores or parks or childcare and the top ten parcels I took a quick look at them are in this ranking are all either vacant , undeveloped land or surface parking lots , and the vast majority of all of the sites are in already urbanized areas , meaning you're not disturbing any natural habitat by building there. There are some parcels in far flung rural areas , but those ranked at the bottom of the list and I think they're pretty unlikely to be developed anytime soon. So one example of an agency that's been working on this for several years now is MTS , our public transit operator. They have several projects in the works on MTS parking lots , and the agency just decided that surface parking was not the best use of that land. Often parking lots sit empty most of the time. And so and there really is no better place for affordable housing than building right next to a public transit stop.

S2: Now , there was some discussion on how to bring down the costs of construction to make these projects more attractive to developers.

S3: So one of the biggest costs in terms of building affordable housing is just the acquisition of the land. So if the affordable housing developer doesn't have to pay a lease on the land and they can just start building , you know , all they have to pay for essentially is is the construction materials , the labor , you know , the permitting and everything. But that can lower the cost substantially in terms of general , you know , lowering the cost through streamlining the regulations. The City of San Diego has done a lot of that work already , and it continues. Many affordable housing projects , for example , never need to go to the planning Commission or the city council for approval. Unlike a lot of other cities in California , I might add. So that provides more certainty for the developer knowing that they can get a building permit and it's not going to be disrupted by a politicized process. And I definitely see an appetite at the city and the county to continue that push so that more projects can get that quicker by rate approval without having to go through a lengthy or , you know , rezoning or a politicized process.

S2: Yeah , Speaking of zoning , there was talk yesterday of allowing the city's public housing agency to exceed its zoning limits.

S3: So the San Diego Housing Commission is a public agency. It's a legally separate entity from the city of San Diego , which is a municipal corporation. And but it is overseen by the city's elected officials. And the housing commission owns a lot of affordable housing that was built decades ago , and it's not built to the property's full potential. So you might have one or two storey buildings that , you know , just don't make the best use of the land. And if you were to start from scratch and build something new there , you could help a lot more people by building taller and denser. But the zoning often doesn't allow that. So the concept that was discussed yesterday would give the San Diego Housing Commission some sort of easier and faster pathway to build more housing on its land without having to go through a lengthy process of rezoning. I will say the discussion on this concept was pretty light on the details , so it's just something that will have to keep watching and following to see , you know , how that policy takes shape.

S2: Now , Andrew , all these new housing units going in will help ease our housing crisis , but they are sure to face opposition if they increase density in established neighborhoods.

S3: And that includes working through that angry neighbor issue. Sometimes , you know , a government just has to say that they're going to move forward and there's there's never going to be a project that satisfies everyone. And they have to weigh the , you know , the costs and the benefits of of every project. And so , yeah , I think that there's definitely going to be some opposition to some of these projects that come through the pipeline , certainly relating to , you know , how close they are to more established neighborhoods and the type of people that live in those neighborhoods.


S3: You know , they they set this goal of 10,000 affordable homes on government owned land by 2030. You know , that's a deadline. So there is , you know , a ticking clock , so to speak. But it's not really clear. You know , I think every city in the county could , you know , take a look at these parcels and , you know , decide do they want to initiate the surplus Land Act process and and start opening up some of that land to development ? The city of San Diego is doing a lot of that already with much of its land. Certainly other government agencies like school districts or community college districts or again , MTS , the public transit agency , are doing that as well. So I think it's going to be something , you know , bits and pieces of projects scattered throughout the county that might not all be , you know , sort of put under this banner of of one initiative or project , but a continuation of something that's happening and hopefully an acceleration.

S2: I've been speaking with KPBS , metro reporter Andrew Bowen. Andrew , thank you.

S3: Thank you , Maureen.

S1: You're listening to KPBS midday edition. I'm Jade Hindman with Maureen CAVANAUGH. California is experiencing the driest three years ever recorded , and we're on track for a fourth year. It's hard to ignore the drought as water resources evaporate. Andrew Ayres , a researcher with California's Water Policy Center , says the impact of this arid La Nina weather pattern is far reaching. Andrew , welcome to Midday Edition.

S2: Hi there. Thanks for having me.

S1: The state is predicting another year of drought following the three driest years on record.

S2: And one of the key differences between this drought and that earlier in the 20 tens is that in this state , in this case , really a lot of the lack of precipitation and low reservoir levels are hitting the northern part of the state harder. But what's important to remember is that a lot of the state gets its water from the north. So this is impacting the state all across the board from north to south.

S1: And the La Nina conditions are also expected to continue through this winter.

S2: So I would say the implications of La Nina itself are hard to discern , but in general we are expecting more dryness moving forward.


S2: And this is posing challenges for agriculture , agricultural users who rely on water availability both from that source and others. And it's posing challenges for urban water users all across the state. This year , we saw mandatory watering restrictions go in across metropolitan water districts , service territory all across the southern part of the state and in other areas as well. This is really driving not only challenges for Californians domestically , but also stoking challenges with other states throughout the West , as Colorado River also is stressed at this time.

S1: You know , with some wells and aquifers running dry , what do people who depend on them for water , what are they left to do.

S2: When wells go dry ? Options are limited. So in the near term , sometimes you can find an opportunity to have someone come out and deepen in your well , in other words , sink the well deeper to get you access to groundwater again. But in other cases where that's not possible. Sometimes folks need to have water trucked in , perhaps bottled water trucked in from elsewhere. There are state programs to help support those sorts of things in emergencies , but long term solutions need to be found as well.

S1: I mean , and so there's state resources to help with those types of things in emergencies. But how accessible is that to to most people.

S2: Accessing those sorts of programs can be difficult. I think that's one thing that the state has tried to make progress on and put an emphasis on moving forward is making those types of one , making those types of programs more accessible and emergency situations and to sort of linking them to longer term plans to do things like connect communities , especially in the Central Valley , who are losing water access during drought to larger water supply systems to give them more reliability moving forward.

S1: You've written about more long term implications of California's drought conditions on the state's agricultural product.

S2: So in wet years we would take sort of our abundance of of surface water that we have available stored in underground aquifers and then have it available for extraction later during drought periods. That's going to be a key measure or action moving forward to help mitigate the impacts of drought which have been severe. I think in this year we've seen over half of the usual acreage planted in Rice in the Sacramento Valley not be planted. This has implications not only for those farmers but also for the communities that depend on that agricultural production for their livelihood.

S1: And what about water conservation ? So far , the public response to calls for conservation have been modest.

S2: I think Californians did an amazing job conserving during the last drought , and that put us in some ways on nice footing for this drought. Folks are using less water overall on average , but it also makes things difficult because some of the some of the easy options , like , you know , replacing water thirsty lawns have already been have already been adopted in some areas. So the additional sort of the incremental progress in water conservation is now in some places harder than it was ten years ago. Now , that means that people are going to have to get more innovative , but also that water utilities. So so the distributors serving , serving urban users are also going to have to become a little bit more flexible and a little bit more nimble and thinking about broadening their their supply portfolio as well , in addition to stoking conservation amongst.

S1: I've been speaking with Andrew Ayers , a researcher with the Public Policy Institute of California's Water Policy Center. Andrew , thank you very much for your insight.

S2: Thank you.

S1: The coronavirus pandemic upended society , breaking our connections to each other. A deeply divided America , both politically and culturally , as only seemed to exacerbate the problem. A new book takes a look at the science of belonging , how it plays a role in our mental and physical health , and how it can help lead to a society based on inclusiveness and human connection. I'm joined now by Jeff Cohen , professor of psychology at Stanford University and author of the new book Belonging The Science of Creating Connection and Bridging Divides. And welcome to you.

S3: Thank you so much , Jed. It's a pleasure to be here.

S1: In the book , you write about how many people are undergoing a crisis of belonging.

S3: One of the most important things for our survival as a species was working together to solve common problems. And we've evolved such that when that sense of belonging comes under threat or comes under siege , it has ripple effects , both biologically and psychologically. And to take just one example of the crisis of belonging , roughly 20% of Americans suffer from prolonged or chronic loneliness , which research suggests is as bad for our health as smoking a pack of cigarettes a day. Meanwhile , people are increasingly disconnected because of the pandemic. There is increasing disconnection due to economic deprivation and inequality and the feeling that many Americans have of being left behind. And so all of that together creates what people judge has called a crisis of belonging. And I co-opted that term to describe one of the things I think that defines the era we're in.

S1: A lot of the science and research you highlight in your book is not necessarily new science , but something you call situation crafting.

S3: What is happening around us , including the blink of an eye from someone or a smile or being treated politely , has much more impact on us than we appreciate and so much. Most of us go about our day to day lives feeling as though what really matters is personality , what's inside a people. But what social psychology underscores is the power of the situation , the situation right here , right now. And what that implies as a corollary , is that each of us has some of that power. We share some of that power the situation , because each of us is by definition , part of the situation in which we find ourselves. And by acting or talking or interacting in different ways , we can sometimes have huge consequences on the trajectory of our encounters , on the possibility of growth in them. And so I wrote this book out of my hope and belief that by shaping the way in which we interact in our day to day encounters , we can mitigate this crisis of belonging , sometimes in surprisingly powerful ways. The research suggests.

S1: What do you think about technology ? I mean , what role does technology play in all of this ? Despite all of the ways we have to connect with each other that didn't exist just a generation ago , There is still this disconnect for many people.

S3: And one of the things I think that social media does in particular , especially for the youth , is to turn many of our encounters and relationships and make them more performative and voyeuristic , which undercuts their true sense of connection. Research suggests that one of the things that we really appreciate is that sense of being seen for who we are and being authentically responded to that is very , very difficult over social media , where people are often focused on being light , getting attention. It's like sort of catnip to our brains. And so I think that social media has to some degree compromised our ability to create true and meaningful friendships , especially across these fault lines , lines of difference , racial lines , political lines. And. And I think as a result , we're increasingly feeling disconnected. Not just from people in our sort of physical proximity , but from people , fellow Americans , who inhabit a different world from from what we do and in social media. While it can be a tool to connect us. We need a lot more research to find out how to make that happen without the costs.


S3: And I'm not saying it will be easy. However , there are small steps we can all take to really bridge divides. One of my favorite examples in this room is research by Dave Brookman and Josh Kollar. And just to make a long story short , in their amazing research , they have ten minute conversations across political lines. And within that 10 minutes , they create more intergroup understanding and change in political attitudes. They go to some of the most conservative areas in Florida and in effect , through these conversations , open up conservatives to support transgender rights. And they find effects that are enduring even months and months later. These individuals , as a result of this ten minute conversation , are more supportive to transgender rights and more likely to take a stand against hate propaganda against transgender people. What happens in those ten minute conversations ? The interaction is such that people feel treated respectfully , listened to. They are not judge. What's often notable about these conversations is what's missing. The canvassers are not bombarding the residents with information and facts to kind of coerce change. Instead , they're having a conversation in which they're turning this issue over together and looking at it from multiple points of view. And the residents feel affirmed and seen as a result , which opens them up to change. And time and again we see this little things that we do in our day to day encounters can sometimes have a big effect. I'm not saying it's going to be easy , but if we each do this in small ways throughout our day , a little thing can add up to a big change.

S1: You write about how belonging and exclusion often go hand in hand.

S3: And it is possible in a lot of cases , an easy path to belonging is to exclude. They are different from us. I am not like them. And one of the ways in which this happens is of course through discrimination and stereotyping , at least better than them. Research suggests , for instance , when people feel bad about themselves , when they feel threatened , like their self-worth is under attack. They purchase self-esteem by putting down outgroups , in effect , restoring their self-worth by comparing themselves downwardly with a denigrated outgroup. So that's one example of how putting down others , excluding others , can help us to psychologically restore our selves. And that's not a good thing. That is one of the things that divides us. The need to belong can have positive effects or negative effects depending on how it's channeled. And what I really believe is that one of the things that's leading people down extremists paths and join hate organizations is a lack of authentic belonging in their day to day lives , Of course , is not the only thing. But research suggests that when people feel disconnected , when they don't have support in the shore , they become vulnerable to extremist propaganda and hate.


S3: One is simply to be polite in our encounters , especially across lines of difference. Studies suggest , for instance , that when we're interacting across racial or gender lines , we often forget to say please or thank you , or to treat people courteously or to make eye contact. And these little things actually are noticed and affect the belonging of the people with whom we interact. So one simple strategy is to be polite. And I was really moved by Isabel Wilkerson book Caste , in which she says that one of the things they did in the antebellum South was to have very strict protocols about being polite towards black people. Withholding politeness was a way to put down the outgroup. So politeness is a really powerful way in which we honor the self of another human being. Another tip is to reflect on our core values. We are forgetful creatures , so we sometimes forget what really holds us together and gives us anchorage our core values , the things that we would stand up for and even die for. Research suggests that simply taking. Some time throughout the day to reconnect with what's important to us , our family , our friends. What we are grateful for can help us to achieve that sense of belonging , especially under times of stress when we feel lacking.

S1: Jeff Cohen is a professor of psychology at Stanford University. His new book is called Belonging The Science of Creating Connection and Bridging Divides. And Jeff , thank you very much for joining us.

S3: Thank you.

S1: You're listening to KPBS midday edition. I'm Jade Hindman with Maureen CAVANAUGH. A new memoir traces one Kirk's path. As a former gang member from humble roots in South Los Angeles to his current role as one of the city's most celebrated chefs. Keith Corbin , chef and co-owner of the restaurant Alter Adams , is also one of a number of authors who will appear at this year's San Diego Writers Festival. And he joins us now. Keith , welcome to Midday Edition.

S4: Glad to be here.

S1: Glad to have you.

S4: I wanted to share my story , to be able to connect with those that's dealing with things that I've dealt with in my life and be a source of inspiration. Our hope. I grew up in a hopeless community. There was no representation around me of any success outside of drug dealing and hustling. So I wanted to remain tangible. I wanted to leave something or share my story to those that's dealing with similar things that I dealt with to inspire them. You know , they say that , you know , if he can do it , I can do it , especially in my community , because they see me at my lowest. They see me when I was drug dealing. They see me when I was like gang bang in the same me when I was like high of coke and alcohol. They see me when I borrow money and , you know , to see me now. And I just wanted to be that inspiration.

S1: I mean , you know , the book talks a lot about your early upbringing in L.A.. What's neighborhood ? And your grandmother in particular really played a central role in your youth.

S4: I witnessed my grandmother love for cooking and her love for feeding people and feeding her community and like making big old pots of food in order to feed whoever showed up , whoever was around , whether it was my friends , my siblings , friends or my grandfather friends out there having a drink , or either her friends sitting at the table playing cards , whatever. She made enough food to feed more than her household. And that love for cooking and feeding people is was stuck with me. There was no teaching and training from my grandmother is just a love for cooking and feeding people. That's what I picked up from her. Like even in the restaurant , I'll give out food to where my team tell me to get back in the kitchen because , you know , I love to bring food out and give food out. I love to see people take the first bite. I love to R&B to share with the team and give feedback. I just love feeding people. Again , there was no recipes left behind. There was no one on one train. And I just watched my grandmother pour love into what she did. When I create food , I am because there is no recipes. I am trailblazing a new path to something familiar , right ? So what I cook up is creating food that my grandmother feathers that she brought from the South. You know , that comfort food , that soul food. I'm just trailblazing a new path to those dishes because there is no recipes for me to follow. And I love that freedom , that opportunity to be free and add different ingredients. I'm able to reframe and reframe some of these traditional dishes because I don't have no margins to stay with it. You know , I'm not trying to replicate or duplicate what my granny made. I am trying to get back to that flavor that I grew up with , though.

S1: I mean , you've been pretty candid about how your experience and skill with manufacturing drugs as a teenager developed this intuition and instincts that really helped you thrive as a chef later on.

S4: You know , occasionally we'll have a bacon and eggs sandwich to walk to school with. But she made dinner and we made pigs in a blanket and we made all these different things to get through the day. So the creativity and ingenuity started before the drugs or before I was in that life. But what did transfer over from the drugs and to how I prepare food today is the product that distinguishes my product from everyone else's. So when I was in the drug game , it was , you know , I wanted to start with the best base , the best cocaine to start with for my finished product. And I always thought about how do I distinguish my product from everyone else's. You know , for my client to walk past the convenient guy on the corner and come to my house and purchase. And that's how I approach it in the restaurant. So we hit the farmer's market. We get to know the farmers. We get to know the people. Picking the food. We work with local farms at these schools and these community gardens , and I like to be able to have a guest asks about these dishes and be able to tell those stories about where we sourced this from , what's going on with this garden in this community and what they do with the kids and things like that. But is it's the same just starting with a good base , fresh produce , great produce , food that's pre-loved something like cornbread , like cornbread recipe is the same louder. And it's milk and it's baking soda and cornmeal and flour. Baking powder , that's the same basis for every cornbread is like , how do you take this recipe and pull it apart and look at it and make it your own ? I find things within a recipe that I can't alter. So like the butter or Campbell Brown the butter. And what does that do ? It gives it this nutty flavor and this aroma. Okay , how do I elevate that in the cornbread ? What other ingredient I can swap out to pair with that ? Okay , Almond milk. Let's substitute the milk for almond milk. Let's take the butter and brown it and pull. That's how we can distinguish our Corbett from everyone else's. And it's just things like that. I put recipe in air and I'll take a look at the ingredients and I'll take a look at what's out there and how can I swap things out to make it our own , but still keep it as authentic in flavor as possible. Because I'm always chasing that flavor that I grew up with. I don't want to get too far away from that. It's like the collard greens. Okay. My grandmother made collard greens. She used to use a little vinegar and a little chili flake if you smoked ham hock or turkey. All right , let's throw this recipe in there. What does what ? We can't swap out the collard greens. Yeah , we could change the chili , but chilli flakes is coming , so we'll use that. Okay. My granny used regular distilled vinegar. Will get some champagne. Vinegar ? Okay , What else is it ? You have to have hope. What does that bring ? That brings the fat , you know , It brings the smokiness. Then it brings this meat flavor. Okay. What ? I want everybody enjoying my greens. So I would take the ham hock out , modify some fat , which is some neutral or put that in a smoker , a smoke the oil. And so now I've got two of those components , the smoke and the fat without the meat. And it's just doing those type of things when I'm looking at the recipe. Right.

S1: Right , right.

S4: I mean , you know , combating is my , I believe , false narrative that so full of food is the number one contributor to our health problem. Right. It's not the food that we create. It's the lack of resources and the product that's put in our community that our parents has to use to feed us. Right. So I want to , like , fight that. You know , when you put a healthy tide or food kind of scare people off , you know , or be good , well , I just clean it up , you know , I kind of clean it up the way we eat here in California. And that's why I call it California soul food. Like you won't find the lard or you won't find the ham hock in the greens , but your taste them and they taste just the same. You know what I mean ? So it's more so about like just making it a little more healthy to clean it up , making it lighter. The food is much lighter , the flavors are the same , the food are much lighter. I can say that.

S1: And all of that sounds delicious. I've been speaking with Keith Corbin , chef and author of the new memoir California Soul An American Epic of Cooking and Survival. You can catch Keith Corbin this Saturday , October 8th , at the San Diego Writers Festival , where he will take part in two panels on memoirs and social justice through food writing. Keith , thank you so much for talking with us today.

S4: Thank you.

S2: Common Ground Theater has been around since the civil rights era. Now it starts a new era as the theater in residence at La Hoya Playhouse. KPBS arts reporter Beth ACCOMANDO attended a rehearsal last.

S5: Week to find out how.

S2: Common ground is using the residency program to reach a larger audience.

S5: La Hoya Playhouse's Theater in Residence program offers smaller companies an opportunity to benefit from the resources of the playhouse. Charcoal Kitchen Director of Arts Engagement is always on the lookout for companies worthy of consideration.

S2: We really look for companies who are showing a record of longevity that they already have made a mark on this community.

S5: The latest beneficiary of the Playhouse's program could not fit the bill better since it's been serving the San Diego theater community since the 1960s. Common Ground Theater is known in the United States of America as one of the three longest running African-American theater companies. That's Yolanda Franklin. She stepped into the role of artistic director for Common Ground Theater just before the pandemic hit. But the company was formed during the civil rights era. Back then , there weren't many places that were producing our plays. So they created it so that we could have a place where we could teach people the art of acting and also some of the behind the scenes. All of that was done at Common Ground Theater and continues to be. Kitchen was impressed at Common Ground's mission to support and lift up artists of African descent and how the company is deeply embedded in the community.

S2: Just seeing the way that Yolanda Franklin and the team over at Common Ground have been hustling and getting things done and just at the most grassroots level.

S5: And she hopes the residency can help common ground reach a wider audience.

S2: Common ground is utilizing this year and residents to spread out their productions because they have so many different types of events that they're doing. And it's not just theater. There's poetry events , there's music events , and there's so many things that they want to do that we are able to spread out the resources of the residency really fully throughout their full season.

S5: Its first production under the residency program back in July combined poetry , music and the theme of Black Struggle , says Franklin. We all are struggling at some point. We all have something that has oppressed us and kept us down that we need to say , I'm going to still rise above that. And so the audience , the audience feedback was it was like we were all in it together and starting there together. We could go on the journey and then we could open them up to different things that they didn't necessarily focus on about us , and we could speak to them. Then from a common ground. During the pandemic , finding common ground was more challenging as the company wanted to address outrage in the black community over the murder of George Floyd. So what we wanted to do was make a space where these playwrights could have a voice and they could get it off their chest and kind of like a healing process for the community , for for us and for us to start conversation , because everyone was like , Where do we go from here ? And where Franklin wanted to go was on a journey to extend that conversation to different facets of being black. Which led to her Black Love series. There is a local playwright. Her name is Sheryl Mallory Johnson. She has five novels and they're all about love. This is something we need. We don't see it. Sheryl Mallory Johnson's Sense of love began as a screenplay , then became a book and is now Common Ground's Next Play.

S2: I see stories that too often deal with the oppression of black people and as overcoming oppressions and our struggles. And I think this is very refreshing story , the story that's just about black love.

S5: Her sense of love is about a widowed dad and a single mom who come together at pivotal points in their lives.

S2: They both are haunted by a painful past , and they must overcome it in order to have a second.

S5: Chance at love. Franklin hopes this story has something everyone can identify with as Common Ground enters a performance space from the playhouse that's twice the size of its old venue. We're ready for it. It's exciting. It's like , you know , it's stretching and it's challenging. Common Ground has been meeting challenges for decades , but now it has an opportunity to stretch beyond its core community to reach a wider audience. Beth ACCOMANDO , KPBS News.

S2: Common Grounds A Sense of Love runs October 14th through the 16th.

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On Monday the San Diego City Council passed an ordinance further defining who is eligible to serve on the city’s Commission on Police Practices. The 25-member commission is expected to investigate shootings by police officers and deaths in police custody. Next, more details on the commitment by San Diego city and county leaders to build more affordable housing. Also, California is experiencing the driest three years ever recorded and we’re on track for a fourth year. The implications of a La Niña this winter for the state. And, a new book takes a look at the science of “belonging” during a time of polarization, how it plays a role in our mental and physical health, and how it can help lead to a society based on inclusiveness and human connection. Plus, Common Ground Theatre has been around since the Civil Rights era; now it starts a new era as the theatre in residence at La Jolla Playhouse. KPBS attended a rehearsal last week to find out how Common Ground is using the residency program to reach a larger audience. Finally, a conversation with Keith Corbin who traces his path as a former gang member who learned to cook in prison to a celebrated chef in a new memoir.