Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
Watch Live

Demonstrators call on Newsom to approve farmworker union elections bill

 April 1, 2022 at 10:02 AM PDT

S1: On this Cesar Chavez Day , farm workers across the state are pushing for legislation.
S2: This bill would modernize the choices available to farm workers.
S1: I'm Jade Hindman. Maureen CAVANAUGH is off. This is KPBS Midday Edition. The life and cultural impact of Selena is also remembered on this Cesar Chavez Day.
S3: Well , I think is that she's a butcher just like I am. And so there's a lot of people who are dealing with different dualities. It could be like her Mexican-American , who she was dealing with two cultures , two languages.
S1: We'll tell you how the Ukraine war could lead to a food crisis in some nations. And Beth ACCOMANDO previews WonderCon. That's ahead on Midday Edition. Cesar Chavez dedicated his life to farmworkers. And today , many across California are asking the governor to keep his legacy alive through new legislation. The Agricultural Labor Relations Voting Choice Act would allow workers to vote by mail in union elections. Today , there is a push for the California legislature to pass the bill and for Governor Newsom to sign it. Joining me is United Farm Workers Foundation executive director Diana Television Torres , who will be in San Diego today to raise awareness. Diana , welcome.
S2: Thank you so much for having me here today.
S2: This bill would modernize the choices available to farmworkers so the right to choose how to cast a ballot should really be protected , especially in the light of inherent vulnerability of farmworkers. So essentially , if the bill is passed , the law would allow farmworkers to receive ballots and fill them out wherever they please on their own time , then hand-deliver or mail those ballots to the state board that oversees farmworker union elections or give them to a union organizer to deliver in a signed and sealed envelope. So basically , it would make it easier for farmworkers to vote in union elections like an absentee ballot during legislative elections.
S1: Now , up until now , has Governor Gavin Newsom met with farm workers to discuss these concerns.
S2: Governor Gavin Newsom declined to meet on Thursday Chavez Day with the UFW and farmworker leaders about this critical bill. And , you know , the farmworkers response is to hold public events on this very day , March 31st , which this is a Chavez day. And want to make it clear to Governor Newsom that a living legacy to Cesar is not just proclamations and holidays. It's making a difference for the very people that have dedicated his life to. And so this bill really would have a significant impact on farmworkers ability to unionize.
S1: And the governor vetoed a similar measure last year.
S2: And so we really believe that the governor needs to take a look at this proposal and really think about the impact that it would have on farmworkers , given the fact that farmworkers , often , when they are trying to vote for a union election , are confronted with intimidation from their employers , from foremen. They're usually voting on the ground at their workplace. Often supervisors or foreman are looking on from not too far away. And so we want to make sure that the governor understands that there is a really important responsibility that he has to take into account that he himself has benefited from voters being able to vote from home in the previous election.
S1: Farmworker advocates and leaders are protesting across California today to get Governor Newsom's attention about this. Can you tell us about what's going on here in San Diego ? Sure.
S2: So we have over 14 events throughout California where farmworkers and supporters and community leaders will be attending. And so here in San Diego , we will be in Barrio Logan on Cesar Chavez Parkway between Main Street and Logan Avenue. We'll have supporters here and different individuals who will be holding signs. And we're going to have a human billboard to show drivers and different folks that it's important to support farmworkers during this time , a lot of people get Chavez day off. But we need to remember as consumers , as individuals who all of us eat right. So there is a lot that can be done to ensure that farmworkers are protected , that they have their basic rights at the workplace , that they have the pay that they deserve and the ability to have a voice at the workplace. And all consumers have the ability to impact the fact that farmworkers need support during this time to be able to improve the union election process in California. I should mention , too , that many people don't know the fact that farmworkers were excluded from federal laws that protect other workers. So. Farmworkers were excluded from the right to collective bargaining in the 1930 to the right to overtime pay and other protections. And so that was why the UFW fought so hard to have a law here in California in 1975 that we were able to win the Agricultural Labor Relations Act or the HRA. And so we want changes to that law to ensure that farm workers are able to have a process that's fair to them to be able to unionize in the state.
S2: The bill has 50 co-sponsors and sponsors who are ready to ensure that they're championing this bill in the legislature. And so we know that that is more sponsors than we had in the last iteration of the bill last year. So this is really in the hands of the governor , and we're going to push hard to ensure that it gets through the legislature. And we know that the governor's decision has all the weight in the world at this point. And so we want to make sure that he hears not just from farm workers and from farmworker leaders , but also that he's hearing from consumers , from you all who are listening to let him know that it's important for him to make this decision and to make the right decision , I should say.
S1: I've been speaking with United Farmworkers Foundation executive director Diana Tollefson Torres. Diana , thank you so much.
S2: Thank you very much , Jade. Happy Cesar Chavez Day. Happy.
S1: Happy. Say the Chavez Day to you , too. To commemorate the anniversary of the death of legendary Tejano superstar Selena Quintanilla. Perez KPBS education reporter MJ Perez spoke with an SDSU professor who teaches about the late star's enduring legacy of love , acceptance and complex identity to his students.
S4: It's been 27 years to the day since Selena Quintanilla Perez died. The pop star , affectionately called the Queen of Tejano , had a significant impact on the conversation of Mexican-American identity , both in her short lifetime and in the many years since her sudden passing. At the height of her career , Selena was a superstar , caught between two cultures. She was just crossing over to the English speaking music world when she died. She is certainly not forgotten by the millions of fans who still admire her life and work. You said.
S5: Gideon is a senior Vatican. We need new angles for this. I get my Stella , but I'm.
S4: One of those fans. Is SDSU professor Nathan Shea Rodriguez , who now teaches a class inspired by the late pop star and the legacy she left. Professor Rodriguez joins us now. Dr. Nate , welcome to mid-day.
S3: Oh , thank you so much for the invitation.
S4: Would never.
S3: I come from a Mexican-American family household and they spoke Spanish , but they wanted me to speak English so that I would do better in school. So growing up , everyone around me was speaking Spanish. I never felt really culturally connected to the Mexican side or to the American side , and I did not know how to kind of form my own identity. I didn't see anybody in the media that looked like me , that sounded like me. And so I always felt kind of trying to play both worlds and never really achieving either one correctly. Then along comes Selena , who was singing in Spanish. She was talking in English. She was fumbling over her words , and I was like , Wow , she's just like me. So I started listening to her music , watching her interviews , listening to her on the radio and those interviews. And I thought , you know what ? Here's somebody who is showing that there's not one correct way to be Mexican-American , to be Latina. And so I started kind of , you know , using her as the cultural template to form my identity.
S5: By going fully multilingual. I didn't say this about others.
S3: But it was kind of parallel to the things that I was feeling and going through my own upbringing.
S3: And so there's a lot of people who are dealing with different dualities. It could be like her Mexican-American , who she was dealing with two cultures , two languages. I think a lot of people are struggling with the duality of different parts of their identity. So she shows that you're able to kind of balance them in your own particular way. That makes you feel comfortable , it makes you feel like a person yourself , rather than trying to have to fit into some sort of box.
S5: By the way , he was an iguana.
S3: And since then , it's kind of been used as a term of empowerment and a reclaimed term to basically describe somebody who is comfortable with their identity and they're in between English and Spanish. Doesn't really speak the best of both , but is who they are. Exactly.
S4: So adoration and love for a pop star is one thing. Why structure , of course , around Selena's life here in San Diego , specifically.
S3: We are in the borderlands. We're right here between Tijuana and San Diego. Selena grew up in Texas , and she was right there along the Mexican border as well. And so I think for us here in San Diego , there is a very much a need for us to connect culturally with this duality that's Mexican-American culture. San Diego State University is an HSA Hispanic serving institution. And when I first came here back in 2016 , in the Journalism and Media Studies Department , I noticed there was a lot of Latino students , but there was not a lot of courses or curriculum that spoke directly to Latinos that and they were searching for themselves. And so I thought , well , we need a course here that talks about , you know , Mexican-American representation , Latinx representation in the media , the ability to reach students where they're at , but also kind of get them involved academically and professionally and connect those two worlds. Today's.
S5: Today's.
UU: We all know. But.
S5: But. Nothing has.
S3: Maybe the and Selena is that perfect cultural anchor. She kind of bridges those two things together. Students have an affinity towards her to want to learn about her and then apply those things to the current media landscape that they're already so much involved with.
S4: I'm going to assume most of your students were not even alive when Celina was performing. Not at all.
S3: Her music is timeless. As I mentioned before , she kind of connects to generations. You had the movie that came out in 1997. You had the Netflix series that came out in 2020. We're in the middle of a pandemic. Everybody was watching streaming media , so they connected through Selena , through these mediated representations. And in fact , it's interesting that you bring up that none of them were alive , which is very much true. A lot of their recollections about Selena isn't how she looks physically or how she did look. They remember Jennifer Lopez as portrayal of Selena or even the actress who plays Selena in the Netflix series. That's who they remember , but they connect through the music and they connect also through her culturally that she speaks Spanish and English. And the fact that she loved fashion and that we see her all around us today in Target and Forever 21 on T-shirts , we see her Mac cosmetic line. So I think she's living around us all the time. She's there in the pop culture , and it's just something that you can't ignore. And the students , of course , know that.
S5: Me and my. You got to get that US economy going. Now you see on jelly messed it up on me going until it did you get physical with someone me go get.
S4: To that point. Her music has impacted so many diverse communities , particularly the queer community and drag queens especially. I would imagine. She's probably one of the most imitated performers in the drag queen community.
S3: And I think it goes back to this conversation about identity and duality. And I think queer people. Right , are sometimes trying to figure out their identity in very specific times. They're growing up , you know , and they're having this internal conversation with themselves of who am I , what am I ? And I think Syleena is another perfect example of that kind of cultural template of looking at these dualities and these binaries. I mean , not that identities are dichotomous and one or the other , but they can all exist at the same time. And sometimes we have 17 to 20 different facets of our identity. And I think from a queer perspective , we can see how we can take someone like Selina and look at her , and she symbolizes so much of who we are culturally , especially if we are Mexican-American or Latina or Spanish speakers , and how we can use her as kind of that archetype to create a persona her hoop earrings , her red lipstick , her purple sparkly jumpsuit , and the way she dances , moving her hips to the cumbia. It's fun , it's culturally relevant. And I think it's also nostalgic and a sort of a way for a lot of queer people.
S5: Talented people gather. Not me , but.
S3: She never really says if it's a man or a woman. She just talks about two people from two different societies who are in love with one another. It's prohibited by their parents , is prohibited by society. But love endures and love endures all. And I think for the queer community , love and acceptance has always been something they're against all odds. That's a theme amongst a lot of people who are queer.
S4: I believe eating more food and more.
S5: But yes , of course. And this deal does.
S3: So I think would always be one about perseverance. It would be one about loving who you are and being authentic. And I think just , you know , being happy and fulfilling your own personal destiny , whatever. That might be a.
S4: Perfect way to end this conversation. I have been speaking with SDSU professor Nathan Shae Rodriguez. Dr. Nate , thanks for joining us.
S3: Which has since.
S5: Become the finest Amazon festivals. Don't lose. That can't. Fabulously , I guess. The reporter. Believe you.
S1: You're listening to KPBS Midday Edition. I'm Jade Hindman. Maureen CAVANAUGH is off. The president is expected to announce plans to release 1 million gallons of petroleum from the nation's stockpile every day for the next six months. It's to combat rising gas prices. The historic move comes as a consequence of the war in Ukraine. The war is taking a direct toll on the people of Ukraine , but its repercussions are far reaching. Those include the potential for hunger and malnutrition for the most vulnerable people around the world. In an essay published today on the blog Political Violence at a Glance , Stephan Haggard and Jennifer Burney , professors at the School of Global Policy and Strategy at UC San Diego , write The war is causing food prices around the world to rise , which could lead to more loss of life beyond Ukraine's borders. And Professor Haggard joins us now. Welcome to you.
S4: Thanks for having me on the show.
S1: So much attention has been paid to the price of oil as a consequence of sanctions around Russia's invasion of Ukraine. But you write , the humanitarian crisis that could result from rising food prices could have far greater consequences.
S4: As it turns out , Ukraine accounts for about 15% of world wheat production. It also has a role in a bunch of smaller markets , like cooking oils that are very important for people in the Middle East. And because production and particularly shipping have been interrupted by the war. Prices in those markets are really spiraling to levels we haven't seen in some cases in two decades. Hmm.
S4: But in the short run , the main issue is that many of these grains , in fact , most of them come through the Black Sea , and those ports have been closed , in part because Ukraine has closed them for security reasons , but also because parts of that corridor , as we know , the Mariupol disaster are actually where fighting is occurring. And so this product just hasn't been able to reach the ports and from the ports to the main markets. And again , the Middle East is affected first and foremost because of the where it sits geographically.
S4: It's what happens to consumers in countries that are poor , that rely on the purchase of either wheat directly or on wheat products. So let me give you an example. Egypt is one of the world's largest importers of wheat. That wheat goes into a flatbread , which is a kind of staple for Egyptian households. Now , what we've seen over the last couple of weeks is that prices for that staple have increased 50% plus in a country where there are a lot of people who are not just poor but very poor.
S1: You reference food riots in 2008 in several countries around the world , including Egypt , Pakistan , Cameroon , to name a few. Remind us of the consequence then of rising food prices.
S4: Yeah , that's a really surprising story that you had these food riots in 20 or 30 countries during that food price spike , which , by the way , is where we're getting up to again. And I think the standard distributional story is that farmers actually can gain from these prices. If you're growing wheat in Egypt or if you're growing sorghum in the camera and food prices rise , you win. But for those in the cities that are consumers and don't have access to growing food , they're going to the markets , they're going to their shopping centers , they're going to their food shops , and they're seeing those prices go up. And so that that's where the consequences are. I just want to make reference to one other thing , and that is that civil wars actually are raging in a number of countries in Yemen , around the Sahara , in northern Ethiopia. And those are also areas that we think are likely to be very vulnerable because food supplies have already been interrupted in those cases and these price rises are going to have particular impact there.
S4: Which I don't completely agree with , that the best solution for high prices is high prices. By which we mean that the high prices will incentivize farmers to do what they do globally and plant and harvest to take advantage of those high prices. But I think that markets just can't handle this problem. We're going to need the World Food Program in particular , which is a kind of global lender of last resort for food , to help out the markets by mobilizing cash that will help poor people purchase food and where necessary , actually mobilize stocks of food that can be transferred to these conflict areas and poor countries.
S1: I've been speaking with Stephan Haggard , a professor in the School of Global Policy and Strategy at UC San Diego. Professor Haggard , thank you so much for talking with us.
S4: My pleasure.
S1: And Professor Stephan Haggard will be participating in a panel discussion of sanctions on Russia , the Energy and Food Dimensions on Monday , April 4th at 5 p.m.. More information about that free public event is on our website People living in San Diego have probably seen a broken street light or two or maybe a few dozen. The city has a massive backlog of broken streetlights , and it takes an average of just under a year to fix each one. KPBS metro reporter Andrew Bowen digs into what's behind that problem and how the city is trying to use data to keep the lights on.
S4: We gear up for the harness on for fall protection.
S6: City electrician Aaron Gambardella straps himself into a truck that lets him up to a streetlight in San Diego's Bay Terrace neighborhood. A resident reported the street light broken. But when he runs a quick test on it.
S4: So it works.
S6: The light turns on.
S7: Go ahead. Change it. Go ahead. Change it. Okay.
S6: Okay. Gamble. His supervisor , Derek Mack , says the light is probably on its last leg and is still worth replacing with a newer , more energy efficient LED light. This light was reported out just under a year ago , and that's a typical wait time for a city that has about 17,000 streetlights and only eight electricians to maintain them.
S7: Right now , we will function on probably half the crew that we would normally have.
S6: Mack oversees the city's streetlight repair division.
S7: We've been asked to do more with less. And it's nobody's fault. It's just as just what we have to deal with right now.
S6: More than 5000 street lights are reported broken in San Diego. Mack says the slow pace of repair is partly due to supply chain delays. It can take 8 to 12 weeks just to get materials. An even bigger issue is staffing. Electricians can typically make more money working in the private sector.
S7: But on the flip side of that , the city is a great place to work for because you have the salaries guaranteed. You know , you don't have to worry about getting sent home because it's raining or whatever you have. You have your job here , you have your job security here.
S5: So each one of these dots on this particular map represents a report that's come in about a streetlight that's been out.
S6: Kirby Brady is the city's chief innovation officer and head of the Performance and Analytics Department. She's showing me a phone app her department is developing for the streetlight repair team.
S5: So again , this is more of an efficiency tool for them so that they understand where they're at in relationship to all of the surrounding work orders.
S6: It could take years for San Diego to fill all of its vacant electrician jobs. In the meantime , Brady is tasked with helping the existing staff be more efficient. She developed an algorithm that helps the team decide which streetlight repairs are the most urgent with the streetlight.
S5: We can tell how close it is to a school , how close it might be to a park. Of course , these things are important for safety. We want safer also people to walk or bike or drive. We also know things about traffic density. So if a particular streetlight is located in an area where there are high volume traffic collisions , that should factor into sort of the urgency of the repair.
S6: The system also identifies clusters of repairs so the crews can spend less time driving across the city to the next job. Brady admits data alone won't fix the backlog of broken streetlights. But drawing attention to how big the problem is could convince city officials , even voters , to put more money towards fixing it.
S5: In any given year , the city never has enough money to throw out all of the departments to fix things. But our hope is that by spotlighting some of the most frequently requested services by residents , we can start to funnel resources there and improve those service levels over time.
S6: Another selling point for the app. It appears to be improving employee morale. Derek Mack , the supervising electrician , says repair crews now feel like there's logic behind their assignments.
S7: Before the system came out , we was jumping around whoever was making the most noise , that's where we was going , you know , and whatever. Upper management sent us. But the system right here , I think , is the perfect system for us.
S6: Fixing a broken streetlight isn't always as simple as changing a light bulb. Sometimes the underground wiring is a century old and needs replacement , which can take weeks , if not months. In the meantime , the city plans on evaluating the success of its data driven approach to streetlight repair later this year. Andrew Bohn , KPBS News.
S1: Amid the constant swirl of dire stories on the climate crisis we face , our next guest offers a glimmer of hope. Bill McKibben is an environmentalist , founder of 350 dot org and author of a recent New Yorker article titled And A World on Fire Stop Burning Things. In it , he argues that renewable energy is getting cheaper and easier to generate and more importantly , is ready to replace fossil fuels in our warming world. The author recently spoke with Andrew Bowen. Here's that interview.
S6: News coverage of the latest report from the UN's climate watchdog , the IPCC was somewhat overshadowed by Russia's invasion of Ukraine , which started just a few days prior.
S4: One , we're almost out of time. As the secretary general of the UN said , he'd never read a more dire report and the window was closing rapidly. That was the last sentence of those 6000 page report. Second takeaway , exactly the same thing that's causing climate change is causing much of the war in Ukraine. That war is funded by fossil fuel and fossil fuel is its main weapon. In both cases , the answer is the same. Quickly , get off fossil fuel.
S6: There's a pretty clear dissonance between the Biden administration's climate goals and President Biden's push to increase oil production to deal with this current supply shortage that we're under.
S4: The answer clearly lies in getting off fossil fuel , which we're now able to do in the last few years. Scientists and engineers have dropped the price of renewable energy 90%. We know that we have technologies like electric bikes and buses and cars that let us break free of oil and gas. And we should seize this moment to do it fast , because fast is the operative word here. We're up against a time to test with climate change. And if we don't meet that time test , then whatever we do decades from now won't matter.
S6: So let's talk about that cost factor. In your article , you challenged the presumption that moving to clean energy is expensive , in fact , more expensive than business as usual.
S4: And what they've established is that solar and wind and batteries are on a very steep learning curve. Every year , the price of solar power comes down another 10% , and it's been doing so for a couple of decades now. Each time we doubled the installed capacity , the price comes down 30% because we get better at it. That's the opposite of what happens with something like Cool , which gets harder to find. You have to go further back in the mind all the time so the cost isn't on the same declining curve. And that means that if we quickly got about the business of switching over to renewable energy , the Oxford estimate is the world would save $27 trillion over the next few decades just because you wouldn't have to be shoveling coal and gas and oil into burners anymore. You just put up the solar panels and wait for the sun to rise above the horizon.
S4: It would take extraordinary effort to build out those renewable resources in the same way that in the run up to World War Two , we quickly used our industrial might to build the things we needed that bombers and tanks and ships. Now we need wind turbines. We need batteries. We need solar panels. They're all within our ability to do. But it means overcoming both inertia , always a powerful force and the even more powerful force of toxic vested interest in the fossil fuel industry. That's the kind of influence that has to be overcome or else we're going to end up in a hellscape that's ruled by fossil fuel , desperate. That's clearly where we're headed.
S6: One new concept that I learned from your article is that of fossil fuel rents. Can you explain what fossil fuel rents are and why they matter when we try to calculate the cost of transitioning to renewable energy ? Sure.
S4: So Saudi Arabia can pull oil out of the ground in $10 a barrel and they can sell it on world markets. Well , this week at $90 a barrel. So that $80 is the rent they get. Just from sitting on top of it. Here's the thing to understand about the difference between fossil fuel and renewable energy. Fossil fuel is scattered around a few concentrated deposits in different parts of the world. The people who control those , the king of Saudi Arabia , Vladimir Putin , the Koch brothers , whoever they are , get to extract huge rents and they get to have , as a result , an earned political power. So the beautiful thing about sun and wind , besides the fact that they don't destroy the atmosphere , is that there's some of them everywhere. It's not like it's going to solve all our problems to move to sun and wind , but it's a big step in the direction of democracy.
S6: You write that accepting nuclear power for a while longer is a place where environmentalists will need to bend.
S4: Yeah , they're dangerous. As as the fighting around the nuclear power plants in Ukraine has made abundantly clear. I mean , nobody is providing dispatches to the world's news media about fighting around , you know , wind turbines because that wouldn't present the same kind of risk. I don't think that nuclear power is probably going to play a huge role in the years ahead as we try to build out our clean energy sources. And the reason is just that it's highly , highly expensive. New nuclear power costs much more. This Oxford study says several multiples more than building out sun and wind and batteries. And it's not on that same kind of declining cost curve. But if you've got some now , you might want to think long and hard about keeping it open a little while longer as we're making this transition.
S6: One of the key arguments that I took away from your article is that the technological barriers to decarbonizing our economy are not insurmountable. We can get there. The bigger hurdle seems to be political.
S4: But one way of doing that is to just reframe this problem in our minds. Our job , after 200,000 years of learning to burn things on the planet , is to learn very quickly how not to burn them , how to put out the fires of oil and gas and coal , and instead rely on the fact that the good Lord hung a large ball of burning gas 93 million miles away in the sky , that we now have the brains to make use of. And we should we can stop burning here because the sun burns there.
S6: I've been speaking with Bill McKibben , founder of 350 Talk and Third Act , organizing people over 60 for climate and Racial Justice. His latest article in The New Yorker is titled In A World on Fire Stop Burning Things. Bill McKibben , thanks so much for joining us.
S4: What a pleasure to be with you. Many thanks.
S1: WonderCon is Comic-Con International's sister convention and serves up a smaller , less crowded pop culture event. Comic-Con had a scaled back special edition last November , so this weekend's WonderCon marks the nonprofit organizations first full show since the pandemic hit. KPBS arts reporter Beth ACCOMANDO previews the show with spokesperson David Glanzer.
S2: David WonderCon is coming up , and this is going to be the first full back in-person show since the pandemic.
S4: It feels strange in a good way , but it really is strange. You know , Comic-Con had a special edition event in November that was the San Diego was a smaller event , was meant to be. It was nice to finally get our feet wet again. But this is our first full fledged show when it is supposed to be. We're excited , also cautious enough to try to be prepared for anything.
S2: And putting on Comic-Con special edition.
S4: So as an example , there were people who were hesitant to come back to a large venue. We totally understand that there were people who were very excited to come back. There were , for the most part , people , you know , we had a mask mandate there. For the most part , people were very , very accommodating to that. But I think one thing that that we learned is up until the pandemic , we had put on shows for 50 , 50 years. And what's remarkable is you would think it would be such a well-oiled machine that you know what could go wrong. I mean , there's always fires to put out. But honestly , it was we were so grateful that we had that show because it was almost as if there were things that that we forgot. There were things that that should have happened that we had to play catch up on. And I think that's not only from an organizer standpoint , but maybe even from an attendee standpoint too , of , you know , oh yeah , you know , we need to make sure we do this , make sure to check times on this to make sure whatever it happened to be. Now , as the weekend went on , we all kind of got into our groove. But there were lessons learned. And I think the biggest one is people really did want to get together again. People wanted to see their friends in person as opposed to , you know , a computer screen. People were incredibly generous and forgiving of any errors and mistakes we had. And that was that was very gratifying.
S4: One of the things that we were able to do in Anaheim that we don't have the luxury for in San Diego is it's got a very , very large convention facility and different nooks and crannies that we can put people programming in. There are still some exhibitors who and some guests who can't come because certain companies still have a no travel policy. But we're going to have a really pretty good floor , pretty good programming. So I think , you know , our attendance , we really won't know until the Monday after the show or probably the week after the show. But the numbers are picking up and we're kind of excited about it. We're hoping that we expect it to be a smaller show than the usual wonderful. But we may be surprised. And it may be just as the exhibitor.
S2: And WonderCon isn't quite as competitive for buying passes as Comic-Con.
S4: I believe that we'll probably end up having ticket sales during the show as well. So by the old days of Comic-Con where you could actually walk up and buy a ticket , our hope is to be able to do that this spring as well. Wonderful.
S2: Now , one of the things about Comic-Con Special Edition was there wasn't really a Hollywood presence.
S4: But I think everybody is taking the attitude of we want to make sure that we share something that the fans will enjoy. We have enough space to be able to accommodate , you know , a lot more people if need be. There's a lot of programming space , a lot of exhibit space , so people can be a little less frantic about that. So the stuff that we've been , you know , committed to that have been good to us. There's some really cool things , things I think there'll be some fun programs this weekend and some great exhibits. And all in all , I think it'll be a pretty good show.
S2: And are there going to be any COVID protocols in place for the show ? Yes.
S4: That's our website. There will be a mask mandate again and proof of vaccination. In fact , all of that information is on our website for WonderCon. We have a copy of a Q and an additional that you can find through the exhibit , as are all the programs for the weekend. The parking information so that it's pretty robust in terms of information.
S2: And Comic-Con has a reputation for cosplay and people arriving in costume. But I have to say , in all the years I've been attending WonderCon , I believe that the attendees there kick it up a few notches for that.
S4: We moved it over to San Francisco and then to Anaheim , and it's always maintained that casual vibe. But one of the great things is also the cosplay community. It's always been a big cosplay show and it continues to be. One of the great things about WonderCon is typically on Sunday when the doors close at 5:00 and everybody is kind of being ushered out. The cosplayers stay in the courtyard area , take pictures , mingle with each other , nobody wants to leave and I don't blame them and I'm looking forward to see what kind of costumes we get this year. When I get a chance , I usually try to snap a couple of pictures because there are some really incredibly talented and innovative costumes out there.
S2: And I know WonderCon has yet to start , but I'm sure there are still a lot of people very eager for information about Comic-Con this summer.
S4: Of course , in 2020 came into the worldwide pandemic. We had to cancel the shows. So those tickets rolled over to 2021 and then we had to cancel 2020 once those tickets roll over to 2022. Now just from attrition , people move any number of things. There are some tickets that may be available. So it's a possibility there may be some ticket sales. But in all honesty , right now the show is technically sold out. As we wrap WonderCon , we'll look more fully into Comic-Con and decide if there's something that we can do. But I think what I'm excited about is for WonderCon , for Comic-Con of course , but then for Comic-Con 2023 , when we actually try to see if we can get back into a regular show , we have a new set of ticket sales and hopefully everybody will be able to join us , from exhibitors to attendees to premiere participants to cosplayers. Do everything all. Right.
S2: Right. Well , thank you very much for talking.
S1: About this year's. WonderCon.
S2: WonderCon.
S4: It's always a pleasure and I'm looking forward to the show and I hope people come and join us.
S1: That was Beth ACCOMANDO speaking with David Glanzer. WonderCon runs tomorrow through Sunday at the Anaheim Convention Center.

Ways To Subscribe
Farmworkers and their supporters held events across California today. They used Cesar Chavez day, the state holiday commemorating the late labor leader to bring attention to a bill they say would help them unionize. And it has been 27 years to the day since the death of Selena Quintanilla-Perez, “The Queen of Tejano.” The pop star’s life and music continue to have n impact on conversations around Mexican-American identity. Plus, the Russian invasion of Ukriane is causing food prices around the world to rise. The repercussions of this could lead to a humanitarian crisis among the world poor. Next, the city of San Diego has a massive backlog of broken streetlights. Why does it take an average of just under a year to fix each one? Then, environmentalist Bill Mckibben, founder of, says renewable energy is getting cheaper and easier to generate. And it is ready to replace fossil fuels in our warming world. Finally, a preview of this weekend's WonderCon — the first in-person show since the pandemic began.