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Legal challenges to vaccine mandate for workers

 November 23, 2021 at 2:53 PM PST

Speaker 1: (00:00)

Uh, legal challenge, suspends OSHA's workplace vaccine mandates.

Speaker 2: (00:04)

What OSHA is saying is that this is necessary to prevent a grave danger to unvaccinated workers.

Speaker 1: (00:12)

I'm Maureen Kavanaugh with Jade Hyman. This is KPBS mid-day edition.

Speaker 3: (00:17)

[inaudible]

Speaker 1: (00:24)

A new registrar of voters, his name to oversee San Diego county elections.

Speaker 4: (00:29)

That's what I truly enjoy the participation, uh, the forum that we provide,

Speaker 1: (00:36)

Southwestern college wins and equity and higher education award. And the countdown is on to the return of San Diego. Comic-Con this Friday, that's a head-on midday edition.

Speaker 1: (01:01)

COVID vaccine deadlines are fast approaching for San Diego city workers, students 16, and up at San Diego unified schools, members of the military and many others, but one deadline that's now in limbo is a binder administration vaccine mandate for employees in large businesses. The occupational safety and health administration or OSHA had issued guidelines for businesses of 100 employees or more to implement vaccine mandates by early January. But as of late last week, a court has suspended that order until several legal challenges against the mandate are heard. Joining me is legal analyst, Dan Eaton, attorney and partner at the San Diego firm, seltzer Caplan McMahon, and Vtech. Dan, welcome back to the show.

Speaker 2: (01:50)

Sure. Good to be with you. Worry.

Speaker 1: (01:52)

What's the government's argument about why this vaccine mandate is needed.

Speaker 2: (01:57)

Um, its argument is that interestingly that the mandate is needed to protect on vaccinated workers. Obviously this stems from presidential frustration over the fact that we have this last mile of vaccination that has not been done, but presidential and patients with vaccination is not a reason for issuing an emergency temporary standards. What OSHA is saying is that this is necessary to prevent a grave danger to unvaccinated workers, uh, from, uh, those that, uh, are, uh, not vaccinated. And that's why they are mandating this vaccination with these narrow exceptions.

Speaker 1: (02:32)

And who's challenging the mandate in court, who is

Speaker 2: (02:36)

Maureen. At this point, it's a wide range of businesses over half the states, including one state, interestingly, headed by a democratic attorney, general, a number of individuals. I mean, understand that you're talking about roughly three dozen separate lawsuits, all of which now have been consolidated before the Cincinnati based six circuit court of appeals.

Speaker 1: (02:58)

The Biden urged businesses to, to prepare to implement the mandate in early January, but all that came to a stop last week. Why did the fourth circuit say that the order should be suspended?

Speaker 2: (03:10)

Uh, because what the fifth circuit said was well not passing on what they said was the dubious constitutional justification for, uh, the mandate. They said OSHA had exceeded its power, uh, by issuing this emergency temporary standard, which can only be used in purposes of grave danger. They said OSHA really deals with workplace hazard. And what you're talking about is airborne fire virus. Also, you're talking about a hundred, limiting it to a hundred plus employees. Are you really saying that, uh, this is in effect under inclusive, if it's such a grave danger, why not extend it to everyone? So it's questioning OSHA's justification its power under the emergency temporary standards, uh, authorization that it has to issue these without the kind of administrative reviews that comes with full on administrative or regulations. And just saying, OSHA just went too far under the statute that, uh, gives it the power to issue emergency temporary standards.

Speaker 1: (04:07)

And then talk to us some more about the legal concern about the arbitrary nature of mandating only businesses with 100 or more employees.

Speaker 2: (04:15)

Because one of the points that the fifth circuit pointed out in its order and understand of course, fifth circuit covers only Louisiana, Texas, and Mississippi, but nonetheless its order was fairly broad. And at least for now, OSHA has said, they're going to put a whole to enforcing of this mandate. But the idea that it's arbitrary is that if this were really a great danger, why not go for those that are smaller, uh, workplaces, which a lot of people work and it's arbitrary to start talking about limiting it to a hundred or more employees, employers with a hundred or more employees, if it's really a grave danger, if we're really talking about emergency it, auto apply to everyone and it's arbitrary justice select these larger employee yours.

Speaker 1: (04:54)

Is there any precedent for a government agency to issue an order like this?

Speaker 2: (05:00)

Well, first of all, there's authority for their statutory authority to issue emergency temporary standards, which is what OSHA is relying on. But you talk about precedent. You've heard a lot about the 1905 Supreme court case Jacobson versus Massachusetts. But the interesting thing is the fifth circuit points out that look that dealt with us state a government's ability to mandate vaccination. It didn't talk about the federal government's ability to issue mandates. And that's really the key distinction because understand that under our constitutional design general police powers over public health and safety are reserved to the states. And there is a question given that Biden himself early on this past summer expressed doubt as to whether the federal government could mandate such a vaccination, whether actually this goes too far with respect to the constitutional design in a federal government agency, regulating something that appears to be a generalized public health threat, normally within the exclusive jurisdiction of states. So

Speaker 1: (05:56)

Apparently there's a good chance that the opponents of this mandate will

Speaker 2: (06:00)

Succeed in court. Do you agree? You really don't know, actually we're going to have to, obviously the fifth circuit at the three judges in the fifth circuit feel very strongly that there is a high likelihood that those who are challenging, it will succeed, but we're going to have to see, understand that what happened was the, uh, administrative oversight of the federal courts, tuck all of these things cause it's multi-district litigation, et cetera, right? We're going to pull a name of a circuit at random and the sixth circuit, which is based in Cincinnati now has all of them so far, at least as of today, the sixth circuit has not issued a ruling and understand the sixth circuit could very well declined to follow what the fifth circuit did and allow the mandate to go forward. But at least for now, OSHA has put it on hold and said, it's not going to enforce it.

Speaker 1: (06:44)

Is there any way that the bond administration could fashion an order that might pass legal scrutiny more easily than this OSHA vaccine mandate?

Speaker 2: (06:53)

It's not entirely clear because OSHA is a logical agency to issue this kind of a mandate. And that of course is limited to the workplace. It's hard to see how the federal government can itself just generally issue a vaccine mandate. Uh, I think given president Biden has said that he doesn't think so OSHA is a logical vehicle and it covers a lot of people, but it doesn't cover everyone, which is why we are getting into this issue of arbitrary. And whether it really does fall within the powers to issue emergency temporary standards that are designed to address hazards in the workplace that really can't be addressed any other way.

Speaker 1: (07:26)

Is this possibly a way for the Biden administration to send a message to private companies, for instance, is it possible for private companies to issue their own vaccine mandates for employees,

Speaker 2: (07:37)

But see Marine that's really the critical question because the answer, your question is yes, private employers always have had the ability to issue these mandates on their own. This was a way for the federal government to put some teeth behind that by exposing large employers that don't do it to fines of up to 14,000, roughly $14,000 per violation, but understand that private employers of any size that's still retain the ability, uh, to, uh, mandate vaccination. Uh, the question is whether without the federal bandaid here, uh, whether, uh, they are going to proceed at least those who haven't already and understand still there's still a federal mandate that is in place. And that is a federal mandate that applies to federal contractors, namely private businesses that do business with the federal government.

Speaker 1: (08:23)

I've been speaking with legal analyst, Dan Eaton, and thank you, Dan so much good to

Speaker 2: (08:28)

Be with you.

Speaker 1: (08:30)

Same to you.

Speaker 1: (08:38)

After serving as interim registrar for months, Cynthia paths has been named as San Diego. County's new registrar of voters. She replaces longtime registrar, Michael VU, who was now serving as the county's assistant chief administrative officer pass takes on the top elections job. As the county launches a new system of vote centers to replace neighborhood polling places and offers a wider array of options to voters on how and when they wish to cast their ballots. And her term also begins as election results are doubted and challenged, like never before. It's a pleasure to welcome Cynthia paths to midday edition. Welcome. Thank you for being here. Thank you. Now I know you've been working on county elections in the registrar's office for several years. How do you think that prepared you to become registrar?

Speaker 4: (09:30)

So fortunately, um, I'm stepping into a role within a county that has administered successful open fair elections for a long time. So I'm coming from a history of successful elections to continue in that same vein. What's exciting. Moving forward is the implementation of the voter's choice act and the vote center model. So it's providing more options for voters to cast their ballot and more services at vote centers over multiple days.

Speaker 1: (10:07)

Can you remind us about the range of responsibilities you have as registrar?

Speaker 4: (10:12)

We're responsible here at the registrar voters for administering all statewide and local elections for San Diego county. We also maintain the voter registration files and file maintenance as well as the petitions process.

Speaker 1: (10:31)

So that's all under your purview. So to speak, the county has recently approved some major changes in the way in-person polling will be done. About 200 votes centers will replace neighborhood polling places. As I mentioned earlier, how is that new idea coming along?

Speaker 4: (10:48)

So fortunately, um, this has been introduced to San Diego county voters in the November presidential general election in 2020, as well as the recent recall election in 2021, because of the global pandemic, we administered both elections under a, a vote center type model. So for both of those elections, we had 200 plus large voting locations open for multiple days, and we mailed every active, registered voter in San Diego county ballot. So it has been introduced to our voters and we are joining over 60% of the state of California who has already moved to the vote center model

Speaker 1: (11:36)

And have the permanent vote center sites been chosen.

Speaker 4: (11:40)

We're in that process right now. So we are looking at the locations that we used in both the presidential general and the recall election. And we're also starting a very robust public consultation period where we seek suggestions and, and comments from the public related to citing these fully accessible vote centers, as well as mail ballot Dropbox locations.

Speaker 1: (12:09)

And because this idea is relatively new to all San Diegans, can you explain how those centers will be different from the usual polling places

Speaker 4: (12:18)

And the neighborhood polling place model? So in the March presidential primary in 2020, we operated that election under the traditional neighborhood polling place model. This is where a voter is assigned to a location and they must go to their assigned poll location. If they go to a different location, then they would need to vote provisionally. Um, because most likely that location would not have their correct ballot type in the November presidential general, we had over 4,000 variations of the ballot and in that vote center type model, we were able to provide all of those variations of the ballot at each those center across the county. So a voter can go to any vote center and cast their ballot. It will also be open for multiple days. So in those past two elections voting locations were open for four days, going into the vote center model. We will have some locations open for 11 days and all of the locations, 200 plus locations will again be open for the four days. In addition, every active registered voter will receive a ballot in the mail. They can return that ballot by mail, or they could drop it off at any vote center or one of 130 plus mail ballot, Dropbox locations across the county that are open for nearly a month. And

Speaker 1: (13:52)

How do you intend to counter some of the doubts surrounding election results?

Speaker 4: (13:58)

My goal is to have a more robust website and media presence, more social media, as well as pushing out accurate information for all voters to access on our website. I think that if we increase the messaging, provide awareness to voters on how elections are conducted and the fair, accurate way elections officials conduct elections. So that is my goal. It's just to push out and make accurate information, more available for voters to, to read and share.

Speaker 1: (14:41)

And Cynthia what's intriguing about this registrar's job.

Speaker 4: (14:46)

When I came to elections, it was just that the concept of providing the forum for individuals to cast their ballot, um, just the idea of that direct contact with, with the public and providing that forum for democracy to take place, uh, is what intrigued me to come over to the registrar's office. I mean, every election I communicate with with hundreds of public observers that, that come and observe every aspect of the elections process that are, um, true warriors in elections, transparency, and being able to share with them in person, what we do it, it fills me with such pride. That's what I truly enjoy. The participation, the forum that we provide.

Speaker 1: (15:43)

I've been speaking with San Diego counties, newly named official registrar of voters. Cynthia pass. Thank

Speaker 4: (15:50)

You so much. Thank you.

Speaker 5: (16:05)

You're listening to KPBS. Mid-day edition. I'm Jade Hindman with Maureen Kavanaugh this month, the us border reopened for travelers vaccinated against COVID-19, but asylum seekers remained stuck in limbo across the border. And that's because the Biden administration is continuing a controversial Trump era, pandemic policy, KPBS, border reporter, Gustavo Selise reports. How this impacts people living in Tijuana.

Speaker 6: (16:35)

There are hundreds of asylum seekers living in a makeshift migrant camp, just south of the border. This camp is a sprawling labyrinth of interconnected tents, men, women, and lots of children's sleep on concrete floors. They shower outside under a highway overpass and the city recently cut off their electricity.

Speaker 7: (16:57)

[inaudible] [inaudible],

Speaker 6: (17:03)

That's a woman we're calling Carmen to protect your identity. She says the situation at the camp is very ugly. She entered two children, fled their home state of Michoacan. After cartel members killed her brothers and kidnapped her oldest son,

Speaker 7: (17:19)

Maybe like [inaudible] is okay. I guess if I could ask for my [inaudible],

Speaker 6: (17:30)

She says, they'll kill her too. If she ever goes back, Carmen story, isn't all that unique in the camp. Most over neighbors fled similar violence in central America and other parts of Mexico. Gina got Evo is a social worker with American friends service committee. She visits the camp three times a week to check up on people like Carmen.

Speaker 8: (17:52)

[inaudible] [inaudible]

Speaker 6: (18:00)

Those in the camper, desperate. She says they have nowhere else to go. And one of the hardest parts of Godiva's job is not having answers to questions. She keeps hearing over and over again.

Speaker 8: (18:11)

[inaudible] I never know TCS any news

Speaker 6: (18:17)

What's going to happen to us. What options do we have? So why do we have hundreds of desperate people stranded in a makeshift camp? Just a few steps away from the Sandy Cedar border crossing. Well that's because of title 42, a public health order that the Trump administration implemented in March, 2020 and the Biden administration has kept in place. Title 42, lets border officials turn back asylum seekers without due process critics of the program include Julia. Neusner an attorney with human rights. First.

Speaker 9: (18:50)

This is effectively the most sweeping ban on asylum at the border in us history. It's a pretty radical policy.

Speaker 6: (18:56)

Normally the asylum process works like this. Someone flees their home because of some type of persecution. They arrive at the border and telling official that they're afraid to go back. If they pass a credible fear interview they're are allowed into the U S and start an asylum case before a judge, but title 42, lets border officials turn people away without giving them that credible fear interview or letting them see a judge Neusner says that using the pandemic to justify title 42 is disingenuous, especially now since the white house reopened border to vaccinated travelers.

Speaker 9: (19:34)

The fact that now vaccinated, uh, tourists and shoppers are allowed to enter, but, uh, vaccinated people who are fleeing violence and are in urgent danger are not just, uh, is further evidence that this, this policy has never been about public health.

Speaker 6: (19:53)

Carmen, the mother from each and has been living in the camp since April. She doesn't understand how the federal government can justify letting one group of people cross, but not the other

Speaker 7: (20:04)

[inaudible] [inaudible] [inaudible] no [inaudible] miss my Mexico delinquency organiza.

Speaker 6: (20:17)

She says, it's not fair. They don't want to be at the camp, but they don't feel safe in Mexico. The centers for disease control and prevention issued the health order. When KPBS asked why asylum seekers are still barred from crossing, they said to us, the white house, the white house didn't respond to our questions who starved Soliz, KPBS news,

Speaker 5: (20:45)

Southwestern college has a history with anti-black discrimination and racial tension on campus. Now the college has been named this year's equity champion of higher education by the nonprofit campaign for college opportunity. That recognition is for their work in awarding associate degrees for transfer to black and Latin X students. They say it's a key part of moving the college beyond its recent past. Joining me is Jenelle Williams. Melindres Southwestern college's executive officer of equity and engagement. Janell. Welcome.

Speaker 10: (21:19)

Thank you so much for having me. I appreciate it.

Speaker 5: (21:22)

So first for those who may not know what is an associate degree for transfer,

Speaker 10: (21:28)

It is pretty much a pathway that allows students to be able to clearly go into a major. So, uh, long ago, when students wanted to go to a CSU, they had to look at each CSU for that major and do the preparation for each one of those. And they might be different. What an ADT does is kind of consolidates all of that. So no matter which school you want to go to, if you're going to major in say political science, you have the same preparation for the major to get into any of those CSEs.

Speaker 5: (22:02)

Oh, and talk to me more about that. How do these degrees help students reach their transfer goals?

Speaker 10: (22:07)

Well, in order to transfer students usually need somewhere around 60 units, have preparation for the major completed and have, you know, any electives or, um, major classes that are needed, done and completed. However, um, when you, most students have several schools in mind. And so in order to prepare for that, sometimes it would be a little difficult because this school wants one thing and this other school wants something else. And so really when you're talking about ADTs, it helps students to be able to prepare for several different schools at one time and stay on track with what their goals are rather than, uh, sometimes depending on the major, you could have very different paths to getting there. So maybe you have one or two classes in common, but then you would do another six units for this school and 12 units for that school. And it would be very different.

Speaker 10: (23:01)

And so by consolidating it down with an ADT, helping students to stay around that 60 units that's needed and not going up above that for the most part, it really helps them to get out faster and then also helps them not taking, um, for not taking classes that they don't need. So if I ended up going say to San Jose state, but I also was, was applying to San Diego state. Those classes that I didn't need for San Jose state are no longer. Now part of my record, I didn't have to prepare for those things. So it helps consolidate it also limits the number of units that they take, just so they can get through Southwestern college and faster,

Speaker 5: (23:40)

According to a report by the campaign for college opportunity, only 15% of Latin X college students and 28% of black college students obtain a bachelor's degree. Uh, what have been some barriers to achieving these degrees and how have you all been able to overcome them?

Speaker 10: (23:57)

There are all kinds of barriers and not even we haven't even started to touch the pandemic, right? Not to mention, you know, the added responsibilities that students have, uh, especially black and Latinex students. When we're talking about our family responsibilities, having to have another, another job at the same time that we're going to school, not always being able to be a full-time student, all of those things can really add to the competing priorities that students face. And that's why the ADTs are so wonderful because it, again, limits the amount of extra work that students are doing and provides this clear pathway into what it is that they want to major in.

Speaker 5: (24:36)

Talk about how this achievement fits into the work of diversity, equity and inclusion.

Speaker 10: (24:42)

It is right in the pocket, right? So when we're talking about diversity, equity and inclusion, what we're talking about is looking at traditional structures and bringing about equitable structures. So not ones that are only designed for some to succeed, but once we're, all of our students are able to thrive. And so looking at ADTs, what we have seen is for, um, for those who may not have been, uh, uh, familiar with ADTs when the students are completing 60 units, that means that any one of those 30, what we have ADTs now, um, they're guaranteed admission to the California state university system in that major. So it is a guarantee for them to get in, again, another one of those ways where when we're talking about equity, it means that we want people to have access to education. You talked about the numbers with black and Latinex students not achieving those degrees. Well, when you have a guaranteed to transfer, that helps tremendously. So that is definitely in line with our equity goals, helping to make sure that all of our students succeed, but as a proud Hispanic serving institution, wanting to make sure that our Latinex students are, are, um, moving through our system and we are providing the services to support them, to be able to do that as well as all of our students in that same vein

Speaker 5: (26:05)

Recognition from the campaign for college opportunity is a turnaround for Southwestern. The college has had a troubled past with anti-black discrimination and racial tension. How is the institution working to change that for both students and faculty? Well,

Speaker 10: (26:22)

Work has been happening for a long time. We are so happy to be recognized for sure. Um, and the work that we continue to do is really in line with making sure, like I said, that all students and employees for that matter, uh, thrive, it has been our intentional work to make sure that are helping students to reach their educational goals. We have for many, many years, um, had lots of learning communities that support our students and other programs that support our students, including black brother learned leadership academy, the Moja, uh, program learning community, the point they learning community buy-on, which focuses on a Filipino student experience, Chell, which is LGBTQ, um, and their learning experience, as well as our first year experience program, that's reaches over 600 students. And so all of these things have been a part of what we do for Southwestern. And we are just so thrilled that we are starting to get recognized for all of that good work that has been happening

Speaker 5: (27:26)

Here. And what does this recognition, the 2021 equity champion of higher education mean to Southwestern college?

Speaker 10: (27:34)

Just so proud to be recognized in this way, what it means is that we're doing what we've set out to do. It means ultimately that, um, our students are moving in the direction of thriving, right? Which is exactly what we want. And it's also a nod to all of the employees that help to make that happen. So for us, it means that we are moving in the right direction and, and we plan to continue to do so.

Speaker 5: (27:57)

I've been speaking with Jenelle Williams, Melinda's Southwestern, college's executive officer of equity and engagement Jenelle. Thank you so much for joining us.

Speaker 10: (28:06)

Oh, thank you so much. It was my pleasure.

Speaker 5: (28:14)

A new sports franchise is making San Diego its home. The recently announced San Diego way. Football club will be one of two new teams in the national women's soccer league. And their first season will start in March, but the NWSL, the top division in us, women's soccer just ended a tumultuous season. One that is reeling from multiple abuse, scandals, culminating in multiple investigations and major leadership changes here to talk about the new team as well as the league's recent turmoil is Jill Ellis, San Diego wave FC team, president, and former head coach of the us women's national team. Joe. Welcome.

Speaker 11: (28:51)

Thank you, Jade. Lovely to be here. So

Speaker 5: (28:54)

Your new franchise recently debuted its name. Why did you feel that San Diego wave FC was the right name for the team?

Speaker 11: (29:01)

You know, when we came here, it was, uh, you know, we felt, it was really important to kind of gauge, uh, you know, the local people. And, and we did, uh, you know, have we hired a brand content person who went out and did a lot of, you know, it wasn't even so of give us a name. It was like, what do you think of when you think of this, uh, you know, this incredible area and city, and it just kept coming back to, you know, a beautiful coastline, the beaches, the sun, the weather, the climate, and so more and more, um, it just seemed like a name that would resonate. And then we had seen, we had several names, put them out there and got a lot of positive feedback. And I think, you know, I think why, like the wave it's, it's obviously symbolic of the area, but it's also, you know, I see it as a, as a very powerful force, um, you know, that can shape a lot of things and it's part of, part of a greater, greater collective. So it just so fit on so many levels.

Speaker 5: (29:51)

And what made you want to be part of this new franchise in San Diego and to join as new team presence.

Speaker 11: (29:57)

It was really this opportunity to come and, you know, stay connected to the sport I love, but essentially build a team from, you know, slightly different lens, right. You know, as a coach, you're looking at players, your immediate coaches, but now it was looking so broader at, you know, a general manager, a chief revenue officer, a coach. So I very much felt I was, you know, creating opportunities for others. This game has been such a gift for me. And to be able to kind of do that and build something exciting and be competitive, uh, it just all kind of fit together. And ultimately, I think I love a challenge and that really was, uh, was this an opportunity presented itself to me,

Speaker 5: (30:33)

The uninitiated who may hear the word football and think of touchdowns rather than, uh, goals. Uh, can you describe what originally captivated you about the sport of soccer?

Speaker 11: (30:46)

Well, I grew up in England, um, where it is, uh, you know, it's known as football, uh, most, most around the world, um, except America actually, but, but, you know, I grew up with football. Um, the, the interesting thing was as a young girl over there, there were no opportunities for me to play. So it really wasn't until I moved to the U S uh, when I was almost 16, that I had the first opportunity to play, you know, my father was a coach, but when you grow up in, in Europe, it's, again, it's everywhere. It's on television. It's, it's part of, you know, the, the local community. And, you know, I just think it was something that was always in my blood and passionate about. I, listen, I think every, every youngster in this country gets a chance to play it. It's a very inclusive sport in terms of, you know, it doesn't matter your size, uh, you you're, you can play the spool. And it's obviously this country's incredibly welcoming to both, both men and women. And can you tell us,

Speaker 5: (31:34)

It's a little about where the team is now and when we can see them take the pitch.

Speaker 11: (31:40)

We have a draft here in December, we behind both the expansion draft, which allows us to take players from other teams. And then we also have a, essentially a college draft. They call it the super draft where, um, you know, college athletes register. So two mechanisms for getting players. And then in addition to that, we're obviously looking international, we get five international spots. So we, our, our general manager and our head coach are heavily into just building out this roster so that we have an incredible lineup, you know, for, for next March. So yeah, things are, things are starting to become very real where, you know, securing our own facilities and training facilities and our matched facilities, uh, to be ready to go next March.

Speaker 5: (32:17)

Um, you know, this season was particularly trying to the national women's soccer league, its players and its fans after multiple scandals, uh, arose involving accusations of sexual harassment and abuse resulting in major leadership changes across the league. How have the scandals impacted you as you build this new franchise in San Diego?

Speaker 11: (32:38)

Well, I think, you know, I, I think like everybody on a personal level, I mean, it was, you know, it was incredibly hard to, to read and to hear these players come forward because, um, you know, just anger discussed, uh, you know, sadness. There was a multitude of emotions. Um, you know, and as I listened to these players, you know, a player in particular Sinead fairly, you know, she came forward and basically said, you know, I want there to be a, a purpose for my pain. You know, here she was brave enough to come forward and tell this story and, uh, you know, endured a lot. And now I think, you know, what that gave me was, okay, now we have to honor this person's courage by being the difference by making the change. Uh, so everything from just, you know, internally what you can do as an organization to create a safe environment, transparent environment for the players, but also institutional you know, our league. I think it was, uh, a huge reflection point. Um, a moment for us to kind of look at the infrastructure within the organization, or how did this fail? How did this happen?

Speaker 5: (33:36)

And really then commit to, you know, moving this, moving this forward. I mean, I think there's so many incredibly remarkable things about this sport and the opportunity to play in our country. Now we need to make sure we do it right. And I think, you know, for me, I've come through, you know, this and been on board meetings and been in these Endevor cell meetings. And I really think that this crisis has kind of galvanized people, made people kind of wake up and realize, listen, we, we have to be better. So I'm actually energized about the future of the sport. I think it's going to be, you know, it's going to take time. Um, it, it, you know, we want it to be better and we want it to be right. So I think that's, you know, that's what I hear from the ownership. I hear it from, you know, the, the general managers, the coaches, everybody just wants to, uh, to create an environment for these players where we can actually be, you know, uh, not just a safe Haven, but a showcase in terms of treating professional athletes, professional female athletes, the right way.

Speaker 5: (34:32)

And one, cause you've been involved with it's fighting the gender gap in the coaching ranks, you are involved with an initiative to increase the number of female coaches in the sport. How did that become a priority that you wanted to address?

Speaker 11: (34:45)

You know, I honestly, I got so tired of hearing people say, gosh, where are all the female coaches? You know, our numbers are declining and, you know, at some point you, you sort of, you know, you kind of hear that enough, you think, okay, what can I do to, to be a difference here? You know, I, I remember when I first became the head coach, I had a, a woman reached out to me and she said, you know, Joe, you have a responsibility to be a voice, be visible and build a community. And that was never lost on me. And so as I suddenly started looking at these numbers, I said, you know, what can we do? What can I do to help? I think the single biggest thing that's, uh, you know, often a setback for, for female coaches, not just in artists in our sport is that you don't really have a community.

Speaker 11: (35:24)

You know, you're in the minority in terms of numbers. And you kind of don't realize that, you know, when you're the majority of people, opening doors for you and creating contacts and, and you have someone to bounce ideas off. And when there's very few of you that that's a smaller resource to tap into. So we created this mentorship program. So every coach that comes in to take their, a license, they then get assigned a mentor that say, you know, someone who's been in the game for a long time credible experience. And that's really why we try and to sort of strengthen the position of the female coach.

Speaker 5: (35:56)

Hmm. Now not to add too much pressure here, but San Diego fans are hungry for a championship. Uh, the chargers left town without winning a super bowl, the Padres they're still working to, to win their first world series as a two time world cup winning coach. What do you think is the most important factor in building a championship culture?

Speaker 11: (36:15)

What you try and do as a, as a coach or as a leader is, listen, you at the end of the day, you count, have a guarantee the result of the game, but what you can guarantee is building a platform on which you can find success so that, you know, what does that look like? It means providing all the resources for our coach. It means, you know, a training facility that state-of-the-art, it's, it's, uh, it's personnel that can support the players. It's, it's creating this infrastructure. It's creating an environment for our fans to want and kind of be a portal. And again, you want that to translate into results and I'm not patient person, so I'd love that to happen, um, pretty quickly. But I also think what we've got in terms of the commitment from ownership in San Diego itself, I mean, this is a phenomenal community that loves its soccer that, um, I think will champion these women that will, you know, embrace them.

Speaker 11: (37:05)

And so now you've got the force of not just having people in the crew, in the crowd to cheer you on, but you also have all the resources on the, on the field for your players to be successful. So, you know, I'm very optimistic. I, I kind of said this publicly many times, we're not going to be an expansion team that is coming kind of limping into the league and, and hoping to grow and pay our dues. Um, yeah, we wanna, we want to make some noise and, and come in and, um, you know, really hit the ground running.

Speaker 5: (37:30)

I've been speaking with the San Diego wave FC president and former us women's national team coach, Jill Ellis. Jill, thank you so much for joining us in

Speaker 11: (37:39)

The luck. My absolute pleasure. Thanks so much.

Speaker 1: (37:47)

This is KPBS day edition. I'm Maureen Kavanaugh with Jade Heinemann Comicon returns to an in-person event this Friday with what it is calling Comicon special edition. It will be a smaller show, but still at the San Diego convention center. As of today, the website still shows badges available for the three-day event, KPBS arts reporter, Beth Armando, Amando previews this special edition with Comicon spokesperson. David Glanzer,

Speaker 12: (38:17)

David Comic-Con has been on hiatus for two years because of the pandemic we've had no in-person Comicon. We've had two home additions, but Thanksgiving weekend, we are actually going to have a version of Comicon in-person the special edition. So what can people expect from this? It's

Speaker 13: (38:35)

Remarkable that we've had basically two years without being able to produce an in-person event. People, you know, around the country around the world have all experienced the effects of this global pandemic. Uh, some have been effected more harshly than others for us not being able to produce it in person event was really a daunting experience and really an emotional experience. We did our online versions or Comic-Con at home, but you're right. This is our first opportunity to have an in-person event, but we want to be cautious about it. So it'll be a much smaller event, more focused on community, a lot of fan engagement, a nice exhibit floor. I have a feeling that those people who remember Comic-Con from some years ago may see some similarities to that. So in all honesty, it's an opportunity to dip our toe into the water, to make sure that we can still do this and effectively, but more importantly, safely. So

Speaker 12: (39:30)

What kind of COVID restrictions or requirements are there going to be? Do people have to be vaccinated? Do they have to wear masks? What can they expect?

Speaker 13: (39:38)

He was really a primary concern of ours. There are COVID FAQ's on our website, but in a nutshell, uh, everyone will, will need to be wearing a mask, uh, have been vaccinated or proof of a vaccination or a negative, uh, COVID test. And again, the details of that are on the website.

Speaker 12: (39:55)

What can people expect in terms of size, both in terms of the attendance level you're expecting and how big the exhibit hall is, or the panel rooms,

Speaker 13: (40:06)

Right? Comicon is an excess of 135,000 attendees. And there are, you know, tens of thousands outside. I think this, this show will be much smaller. Uh, probably half the size, maybe a little bit smaller still. We are hoping for a, a, a wonderfully attended show, but one that is safe because that really is key. Uh, one that everybody can have a good time at, but one that isn't, you know, shoulder to shoulder and, and the size of, uh, of what San Diego typically is. And so the, we have the entire facility, which is great, um, that allows us to do a lot of staging within the building that we haven't been able to do for many years. So, as an example, holiday will be a, a staging area for registration. We'll have, um, some exhibits on the exhibit floor, obviously two great exhibitors panels and programs, uh, upstairs, like we would normally have, uh, I believe we're having some panels also in the Marriott, which is right next door to the convention center. It'll be a blending, I think of probably the old and the new

Speaker 12: (41:07)

There's a lot of outside activations that Comic-Con has no control over that you guys are not actually sponsoring, but do you have any sense of whether or not studios or companies are planning to kind of take over that outside space and do anything?

Speaker 13: (41:22)

I mean, a couple of activations, but I don't expect a lot more because a lot of companies are still being operated under the mandate of no personal appearances or very limited, uh, activations in 2021, but it should be fun. And the ones that, that I've seen so far, it should be a lot of fun actually.

Speaker 12: (41:40)

And Comicon is a nonprofit organization and having to at home additions where you offered the show for free, essentially, how has that impacted you? And are you suffering any financial issues based on the pandemic?

Speaker 13: (41:57)

Yes, I, one of the things that a Comicon has been able to do is be very fiscally conservative. The reality is B we'd always had reserves. We look like a very rich company, I think on paper, because we always had reserves to be able to meet any catastrophe should have happened. Something with the facility to be able to, to meet our obligations or our payroll and all that kind of stuff. I don't think he ever did anybody ever anticipated that it would be a two year long thing. So when I say, you know, we, we looked like a very healthy company on paper. I think, you know, some people think, you know, we have, you know, a tremendous amount of money. I think our, our, our, our budget at the time was, you know, in the 20 or, or 2020 $5 million ranges, this is what we've been doing.

Speaker 13: (42:45)

But a lot of that money is also used to produce our shows. We have this, we have, um, wonder con that would be utilized. And then the revenue from the shows would, would increase the budget. Again, not having shows for two years really was a challenge for us. It really did, uh, have an impact on our coffers. We're very grateful. A lot of the at home events were sponsored. So we did get some revenue from that. Uh, we have some sponsorships for this show, so this is really an opportunity to also try and replenish the coffers a bit. But yes, it's, it's, it's had a, uh, an impact, but hopefully, you know, as the world starts to open up again and we have these events, hopefully we'll be back on a very firm footing in a matter of, you know, no time at all.

Speaker 12: (43:32)

And one thing that's happening in conjunction with the special edition is the Comic-Con museum, which like so many places has been closed during the pandemic and was planned to go undergo remodeling is going to be open at least in some way, shape or form. So what can people expect from the Comicon museum during the special edition?

Speaker 13: (43:54)

The great things about Comicon is that we are a non-profit and we are really governed by mission statement. You know, I've sat on panels with other, for profit, uh, fan conventions. And oftentimes, you know, they really are concerned about the bottom line because whether it's a board of trustees or investors or whatever it happens to be, it's just different than how we operate. We really are into promote comics related, popular art. We've done that for 50 years. One of the great things we've been able to do is to look into having a museum that will do pretty much what Comicon does throughout the year, which is focused attention on areas of popular art. That a lot of people may not even realize is art because of the pandemic we're opening up later than we'd really originally hoped. Our grand opening will actually be in 2022, but we're having a soft opening the same weekend as a comic con special edition.

Speaker 13: (44:44)

Yes, there's been some construction that the roof has been repaired. The outside has been painted. The inside has been also renovated they're they're, uh, putting in a merge star right now are getting ready for the very first activations. And, um, we're going to be announcing with those, uh, those exhibits are soon. So it'll be a great time to, to visit the museum. The tickets I think are on sale. Now, if you go to the, our website and it's a, it's a great kind of labor of love to let people know that I'm a big fan of movies, as I'd said. And I've learned a lot about comics and I love comics, but there are so many forms of art that, that people just think of as entertainment, not art, the Comecon museum will allow us to be able to shine a light on a lot of those things for longer than just the four days during Comicon or other events. There'll be able to do this throughout the year. And we're very excited about that. Well, thank you

Speaker 1: (45:38)

Very much for talking about con

Speaker 13: (45:40)

Special edition Beth. It's always a pleasure

Speaker 1: (45:43)

That was Beth haka. Mondo speaking with Comicons David Glanzer. The in-person special edition runs this Friday through Sunday at the San Diego convention center. Comicon expects to sell badges onsite as well.

The Biden administration’s vaccine mandate for employees at large businesses is currently on hold as it makes its way through the courts. Plus, after serving in the interim, Cynthia Paes has been officially named as the county’s next registrar of voters. Also, a controversial Trump-era policy aimed at keeping refugees out of the U.S. during the pandemic is being continued by the Biden administration. Meanwhile, Southwestern College has been named a 2021 Equity Champion of Higher Education, getting more Black and Latinx students to continue their degrees at a four-year university. And, next season a new professional sports team will call San Diego home. Finally, what to expect from Comic-Con Special Edition this weekend.