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Mayor Gloria talks climate plan, housing proposals

 August 4, 2022 at 4:48 PM PDT

S1: Mayor Todd Gloria talks about the city's new climate priorities.

S2: Well , it's what we need to do in order to address the changing climate that's around us.

S1: I'm Maureen CAVANAUGH with Jane Heinemann. This is KPBS Midday Edition. The high cost of housing is even more of a challenge for women , especially women of color. By every measure , women in California are worse off than men when it comes to housing. What Congressman Darrell Issa says and won't say about the January 6th investigation and why the love of choco tacos may bring them back to life. That's ahead on Midday Edition. The City of San Diego now has an updated climate action plan , and city leaders will consider a new proposal to increase housing. Both initiatives have been presented by Mayor Todd Gloria. This legislative emphasis on San Diego's biggest issues has not always been typical of the city's priorities. But it was one of the mayor's campaign promises to move San Diego into the League of major cities across the nation. What remains to be seen is if the city can meet the expectations of these big proposals. And joining me is Mayor Todd. Gloria. Welcome.

S2: Thank you for having me , Maureen.

S1: So this week , the San Diego City Council unanimously approved an ambitious update to the city's Climate Action Plan. It includes plans to electrify the city by banning natural gas and new construction and retrofitting most homes that use gas to electricity.

S2: I think your listeners and viewers see it every day in terms of the drought , extreme heat , other challenges. The changes that we envision in this climate action plan are actually less impactful than those that we anticipate will happen because of our changing climate. So in order to get to our new goal of net zero emissions by the year 2035 , we have to electrify most of our city. We have to adopt more renewable energy , work collaboratively with our city , go community power our new community choice aggregator. All of these things together , we believe , can help us meet these emission reduction targets that will help reduce the worst impacts of climate change. And anything I know about San Diego , third generation native San Diegan , I will tell you that we love our quality of life. We love our environment. And so these targets within the Climate Action Plan , I think , help us to do that. I believe the San Diegans will embrace them because the alternative is simply worse.

S1: The city still has to figure out how to go about retrofitting neighborhoods for electricity , how much it will cost , how long it will take , and how it will affect individual residents.

S2: The council adopted the new Climate Action Plan update on Tuesday and my team set about how working on implementation of that next day. This won't be done overnight. The horizon of the Climate Action Plan is out two years , 20 , 35 and beyond. But that work starts now , and we can do things as we've already been doing , like electrifying our city fleet to placing solar on city buildings , converting city energy accounts to 100% renewable energy. But we have to go deeper than that. And that gets to some of what you're talking about in terms of our housing production. You know , the intersection between housing production and transportation diversification is climate policy. And so it's isn't just about whether you switch your gas stove to an electric one. This is also about the built environment in your community and the kinds of choices you have to get from A to B. So it's comprehensive. It's enormous in scope and in scale. But I want to make the point that I think that this is not only necessary to protect our community , but it's also important for economic development. We are in the lead edge of fighting for our climate. And I would point out that our first climate action plan , drafted when I was the city's interim mayor , had the goal of 100% renewable energy by the year 2030. We now are in a position where sometimes we actually hit that target now. And what was done audaciously back in 2015 when I proposed it has now been replicated across the country.

S1: Yesterday , we spoke with Climate Action Campaign's Nicole Capper. It's about her concerns with the updated Climate Action Plan. And here's what she had to say. I wouldn't say anything gives us.

S3: Concern other than.

S4:

S3:

S1:

S3: Years , the city has failed to successfully and meaningfully implement the first climate plan.

S1:

S2: And I've already acknowledged that , you know , the previous administration may have lacked the kind of commitment that this administration is bringing to this issue. But I would disagree with the notion that nothing has been done for the last couple of years. I mean , when I talked about that 100% renewable energy goal that many people criticize me for back when we suggested it. We now have San Diego community power. This has been stood up from nothing over the last number of years , and it now is providing energy services to almost a million homes in our county. That wasn't the case just a few years ago. It is in place now and they have products that do allow San Diegans to choose to get 100% of their energy use from renewable sources. So that coupled with many other things that we can point to , there has been progress. Is it as fast as the change in climate demands of us ? No. And that's precisely why this up. Really does have additional measures , really raises the ante when it comes to this issue. And you hear me saying very clearly and very succinctly , we have no other choice. The to do nothing is to consign our community to a degradation of quality of life is simply unacceptable. I think that what we've put out in this plan will preserve our world famous quality of life. And that's why I believe sending it will embrace it. And importantly , San Diego leaders already have.

S1: So this week you also unveiled your second housing package in an effort to create more affordable homes for low income and middle class San Diegans. A big part of this plan involves getting innovative about where to develop new homes , for instance.

S2: You know , I hear often from San Diegans that concerns about where some of this new housing will go. And there seems to be a heavy consensus that this stuff should be focused on our commercial corners. I agree. But we have to create the incentives to do that. So whether that is expedited processing , granting of additional density , other kinds of streamlining efforts. Our hope is that these commercial corridors and these commercial properties that simply are not keeping up with the times can in fact turn over , remain commercial on the ground level. Again , we want people to be able to walk to what they like to what they need in their communities , but that it has the housing above it , that every recent college grad and every senior who wants to stay in their community , every working and middle class person who can't find a home to rent or to own can actually have a shot at getting.

S1:

S2: But we can make to create incentives to encourage them to come forward. What I know , Maureen , is that the state of California is asking San Diego to provide over a hundred thousand new homes in the next couple of years. That is a daunting challenge. It certainly exceeds what we have done in recent decades in terms of housing production. But there have been times in the past where we have met those marks. In the 1980s and 1970s. So we are capable of doing it. And I believe that the reforms that are proposed in my housing action package , coupled with the first housing action package that we adopted earlier this year , will help us to actually meet those marks.

S1: Now , yesterday you met with mayors across San Diego County to talk about homelessness.

S2: This is not a downtown San Diego issue. It's not a city of San Diego issue anymore. Every city in this county and an unincorporated areas are seeing extreme increases in homelessness , actually more than what we've seen in the city of San Diego. And it does require us to all coordinate , consolidate our efforts. We hosted this at the San Diego Rescue Mission , which is in Banker's Hill in the city of San Diego. And Maureen , I have to tell you , I was grateful for the 12 mayors who showed up at this meeting because they could see what a state of the art homeless shelter may look like. One of the challenges I know is that oftentimes proposed shelters receive a lot of pushback from surrounding communities because their impression of what a shelter is is very different from what it actually is at the rescue mission that has been operate on that site for over ten years. I would defy most people to know if they walk past it. That's a homeless shelter , you know , catering to over 100 people every single night of the week. I think for those mayors to see that touch and feel it in person , hopefully will strengthen their desire and their willingness to go to their communities and say to them , listen , we had a 60 , 70 , 100% increase in the amount of homeless in our community last year. We have to start creating local solutions. And I happen to see one in the city of San Diego that we think will integrate well into neighborhood housing ends , homelessness , marine. We need more cities to actually generate the housing , both the shelter beds and the permanent long term housing that we know can get people off the streets and keep them off the streets.

S1: There's a federal strategic plan in the works on homelessness.

S2: My plea to them was to provide additional financial resources to help us do this work. You know , we have local funds. We've committed , we have some state funds. We have some limited federal funds. Additional dollars will help us to actually increase the pace of housing production. Their focus is on housing first. That aligns with my vision. Low barrier housing. We've tried to remove every excuse there is for folks to leave the streets and get into housing. These are all things the City of San Diego is currently doing. In my 19 months as mayor , we've been able to increase the amount of shelter capacity. In our city by 25%. We are on track to add 450 additional shelter units in our city before the year is out. The city is working aggressively on this. I think it's part of why the head of U.S. Ice wanted to meet with me this morning. Every night of the week , Maureen , our shelter system is helping over 1200 San Diegans to get off the streets and graduate into permanent housing. More of those beds will help us to help more people. My hope is that we can get more resources to do more for the people who are living on our streets.

S1: Mayor Todd , Gloria , thank you so much for your time.

S2: Thank you for your.

S5: Staying on the topic of housing. Nearly half of women in California are rent burdened. That means they spend more than 30% of their income on rent. A new report by the Gender Equity Policy Institute finds the greatest impacts on black and Latina women , single mothers and elderly women who live alone. Joining me now to talk about this is Nancy Cohen , president of the Gender Equity Policy Institute. Welcome to you.

S1: Thank you. Good to be here.

S5: Based on what we've long known about gender inequality , the findings of this report aren't totally surprising , but they have revealed a level of detail that's not been well documented.

S1: By every measure , women in California are worse off than men when it comes to housing. The degree and extremity of how women are struggling , particularly women of color , particularly black women , particularly Latinas , is really striking and disturbing.

S5:

S1: We know that the more that housing costs , the less that you have to spend on other necessities. California's also a state where childcare per year cost about as much as a year of college. We have inflation and food costs and gas prices going up. So women , as you said , about half of women are spending more than 30% of their income on housing. A very high percentage , 25% , are spending more than 50% of their income on housing. For black women , it's 59% are spending a third of their income on housing. So we know that Californians often move to places farther away from where they work , move away from the coasts , move away from cities to try to find more affordable housing. And for women , this is just exacerbates the problems that they already face due to gender inequality. They are spending more time on childcare so they have less time to commute. Fewer jobs are available to women. So moving to a new place really puts tremendous barriers in the way of women continuing to participate in the labor force and earn good incomes to support their families.

S5:

S1: During the pandemic , complaints about sexual harassment in efforts to secure housing skyrocketed. Complaints about race and gender discrimination skyrocketed. And then there's a lot of informal discrimination that takes place. Of course , landlords tend to discriminate against people with children. Some of the public housing rules discriminate against caretakers , in effect. And there's this amazing study that shows that 30% of the wealth gap between women and men nationally can be attributed to women being discriminated against when they're selling houses and purchasing houses. Hmm.

S5: Hmm.

S1: And as you probably know , the gender wage gap is stubborn. It moves a couple cents per year up and down. It's been stuck for many decades. So if we're going to deal with women's housing insecurity in California , we just need more affordable housing. We need to build more housing. We need to institute better protections for renters , particularly at the lowest level of income. And so the solution to this is not going to be through dealing with the gender wage gap. The solution to this is going to be good housing. Policy that takes into consideration the differences that men and women and people of color and white people experience in California's really dire housing crisis.

S5: This report was produced at the request of the California State Assembly Committee on Housing and Community Development.

S1: We in looking at housing policy , we believe that policies that promote infill development that is in urban centers , already dense centers like commercial districts , industrial zones would help women , particularly in that it would reduce commute times. Women also tend to be more dependent on public transportation. The state can look at devoting a big part or at least part of the budget surplus to addressing this crisis that Californians identify as one of the top issues for us. You know , there are other specific things about once you do put money toward more development , how you might design housing so that you support all people. You need housing that can support multi-generational families. You need housing that can ensure that the elderly and the disabled have are able to participate in social life by how you deal with access. You need to build housing that is connected to transportation routes. So there are many possible solutions. It is , in our view , making it a priority and also making sure that whenever the state of California is considering housing policies , that they try to integrate. A gender and racial equity approach to those policies and make sure they're analyzing them to see if the policies themselves will help reduce these inequalities.

S5:

S1: We do know that targeting assistance to single parents , to the elderly , to people at the acutely and extremely and lowest income levels would reach. The women , the women of color and the men of color who are most harmed by California's current affordable housing crisis.

S5: I've been speaking with Nancy Cohen , president of the Gender Equity Policy Institute. Nancy , thank you.

S1: Thank you.

S5: You're listening to KPBS Midday Edition. I'm Jade Hindman with Maureen CAVANAUGH. From North County to South County. You may have noticed herds of goats in open spaces. Unfortunately , it's not a new petting zoo. But as KPBS reporter Tanya Thorn tells us , these goats are actually working to help keep people safe from fires.

S1: Johnny Gonzales has been in the goat business for over 20 years. His business is called the Environmental and Management Company.

S6: But on the card it says Goats for Hire. Because people didn't know what environmental led management did. So I had to get it out there that yeah , we , we are we rent out or you guys can utilize our goats for firebreaks.

S1: Lately , his goats have been grazing their busy roads , businesses and underneath power lines. And it's all part of a new pilot program from a genie.

S4: One of the cool things that I've heard , people refer to them as as four legged lawnmowers.

S1: Denise Minard is with Jenni.

S4: As those four legged lawnmowers can get up into areas that traditional lawnmowers just can't get into.

S1: Last month , the energy company kicked off a goat grazing pilot program in Oceanside.

S4: One of the last things that we wanted is for our infrastructure to ever cause a fire. So the cool thing is we're letting the goats kind of go out and do their thing and doing what comes natural to them. And that's to eat the weeds.

S1: The rented goats are taken to high risk fire areas to clear out dry brush and keep it from going back for longer periods of time.

S4: That not only do they eat the weeds , but they also eat the seeds. So that's one of the benefits that people don't think about. So a lot of times we have people kind of hanging out and watching the goats do their thing and they're eating the weeds , but they don't realize that they're also eating the seeds. So by eating the seeds , the weeds just aren't popping back up as quickly as they would if the seeds hadn't gotten eaten by the goats.

S1: Gonzalez says goat grazing for fire abatement isn't new and keeps him busy year round.

S6: The goat tool , if you will , is just a reintroduction to what abatement used to be like and reintroducing the goat to get that understory and flash fuel treatment to that better degree.

S1: But he explains that the work takes some time because weeds aren't the goats favorite.

S6: They start eating first the invasive plants that they're used to , the Mediterranean , Eurasian , African plants. And then after time , if we need an amount of native plant reduction , we hold them a period of time that they start to actually address it. Because in our native plants they eat last , believe it or not. And most of our fire problems are these weeds and grasses.

S1: Although it takes a little more time. Gonzalez says goats are in an organic alternative that aren't just reducing wildfire danger , but carbon emissions , too.

S6: It's a lot better than just cutting. You don't have the chef and the duff laying around. They've literally converted it. You don't even notice it. And for the carbon aspect of it , it's all still on site. It hasn't been transported out. The nutrients are still in the soil. So the native plants , if they are to occur , have what they need and there is no seeds. The goats remove like 99% of the seats.

S1: Gonzalez says once the goats are done , the land is in better shape to suppress the fire.

S6: We want the trees and the landscape to be the firebreak. This is allowing the land to be the suppression , and if it reaches this area , it'll be quenched out. If it falls into this area , it does not have a starting ignition point.

S1: Safety concerns are sometimes raised by residents who spot them in suburban areas. But Gonzalez assures the goats don't mind this element.

S6: These goats have been born and raised in this this type of environment in these suburbs. So they're used to helicopters and sirens and police cars coming in , people screaming and other dogs barking. If we were to take the country go here , they wouldn't be comfortable at all.

S1: As the genie has used Gonzalez's goats in Oceanside and Chula Vista to clear brush near power lines , the next site will be in Escondido upon completion , as the genie will determine whether the pilot program is adopted and continues. Tanya Thorn , KPBS News. San Diego Congressman Darrell Issa joined other members of the county's congressional delegation at a public forum this week. The discussion at the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce included the country's economy and border issues , as well as the partisan divide in Congress. But a major reason for that partisan divide is the fact that Congressman Issa and many of his Republican colleagues did not vote to certify Joe Biden's election on January 6th. And because of that , he's one of seven California congressmen , an L.A. Times editorial claims betrayed California voters. And Issa has denounced the findings of the January six committee as a partisan farce. As Congressman Issa stands for re-election in the East County , how will his stance on election fraud resonate with voters ? Joining me is San Diego Union-Tribune columnist Michael Smolens. And Michael , welcome to the program. Hello.

S2: Hello. Thanks for having me on.

S1: We reached out to Darrell Issa's office and have gotten no response. Michael , you wrote a column outlining what you call Issa's wayward take on the January 6th hearings.

S2: I mean , he called it a partisan Democratic farce. I just pointed out that , yes , it is a Democratic set up select committee , but that really the most damning testimony has come from former Trump administration officials , including a cabinet member who are all Republicans. And I pointed out the Republicans don't like to acknowledge this , but there's two Republicans on the committee , Liz Cheney of Wyoming and Adam Kinzinger of Illinois. Now , you know , the Republicans disown them , but they are Republicans. And frankly , I think the argument could be made that Liz Cheney is as Republican as anybody except for her devotion or lack thereof of Trump , which may or may not be really a core Republican issue when you get down to it.

S1:

S2:

S1:

S2: And I think , you know , putting Darrell Issa in context , I mean , he has not been a hard line. Stop the steal person. You know , frankly , I think he would rather his boots on that day just not be brought up anymore because , you know , he's sort of in a little bit of an awkward position , I think. Yes , he supported Trump , but he's not a real hard liner. He does things , I think , that keeps him in good stead with Trump and the Trump people. But she does just not really address the the election and the insurrection much and the notion that he voted to overturn it.

S1: You also write about ICE's votes against legislation that would monitor neo-Nazi and white supremacist activity within the U.S. military and law enforcement.

S2: I think there's a lot of extremists involved in the whole effort. You know , still now even overturn the 2020 presidential election and reverse it somehow. And , you know , while condemning the violence of these extremists outside the Capitol , inside the Capitol , I just thought that it was kind of an interesting segue way to look at , you know , his his votes on these two issues , because these come in the wake of certainly the mass shootings that were , you know , perpetrated by extremists and people with extreme views all around the country and increasing concern about people in the military being have extreme views , as you say , neo-Nazi and white supremacist views. As we know , there were several many perhaps veterans and existing military personnel involved in the January six riot. So I just think that that had relevance in this whole discussion.

S1: In naming Darrell Issa as one of the congressmen who betrayed California voters. The L.A. Times editorial claims that his refusal to certify the election of Joe Biden should disqualify him from having a role in American government.

S2: I mean , he you know , we just went through this redistricting process and he's in a very safe Republican district. I would assume he wouldn't be going on social media saying what he's saying if he didn't have a pretty good sense that , you know , frankly , a lot of constituents in his new district agree with him. So the handicappers aren't saying that he's in any real reelection trouble.

S1:

S2: So do members of the other members of the congressional delegation , all Democrats. But I just thought that in this case , the January six situation and the committee are so important that , you know , he's trying to undermine the committee's credibility. Other Republican members are doing the same thing. And I assume that there is sort of a you know , the memo's out to do that. I think also that's done because the committee's work is having some impact , at least in terms of getting people's attention. So I thought in this case that , you know , I mean , it was a matter of their license opinion. So I can't say it was a lie , but I just thought it was worth calling out because of the importance of it. You know it wasn't any I don't wanna say run of the mill issue but you know I believe as some don't that this was a key moment in American history and a very threatening one.

S1: I've been speaking with San Diego Union-Tribune columnist Michael Smolens. Michael , thank you.

S2: Thank you very much.

S5: Here in the United States , the rigors that medical students face are largely academic. Intense course loads and long hours within the field are notorious , but the burden itself takes a largely mental toll. In neighbouring Mexico , however , it's a much different story. A recent report from the Los Angeles Times documents the threat of violence that Mexican medical students face while practicing medicine in rural areas of the country. The root cause , increased presence and volatility of drug cartel activity across the whole of Mexico. Joining me now with more is L.A. Times foreign correspondent Leila miller. Leila , thanks for joining us.

S3: Thanks for having. Me.

S5: Me. Let's first talk about why medical students in Mexico face these dangers. Yeah.

S3: Yeah. So as you said , there are communities in Mexico , particularly in rural areas , that are basically under the control of of armed groups. Sometimes the armed groups will will come and go. They might arrive to a community and start extorting residents. And these are the places that they might be impoverished places , and they're the parts of the country that need doctors the most. And that's partly why medical students are sent there.

S5:

S3: Students have talked to me about having needing to cross cartel checkpoints to get to work , sometimes being forced to treat patients who are armed , who are narco traffickers. What universities say is that they would never intend to send a student to to a dangerous place. But students say that nevertheless , this is happening and universities aren't doing enough to make sure that students are safe.

S5:

S3: So for years , you know , students , students have been saying this , and they're pretty they're pretty frustrated because they say that universities and health officials aren't taking enough preventative measures.

S5:

S3: That , you know , officials can't just discount these these far away areas where universities have done what they what they are doing is if sometimes , you know , if there is a dangerous incident that gets a lot of attention or sometimes if if students , students protest after something happens , they'll take students out of an area and put them place them somewhere else. So university officials say that they are being proactive , that they are responding to complaints. Students are saying that this isn't happening nearly nearly enough or as it should.

S5: You write about the shooting death of a medical student inside of a hospital in Durango State.

S3: And we're not exactly sure , but the details are a bit unclear. But one of them , at least one of them took out a weapon and started shooting. And Eric was was killed after. After Eric was killed , his his classmates medical students in in Durango started almost immediately started protesting. They started saying that the community service program shouldn't exist. Some of them refused to go to to return to their placements. And what ended up happening is that the university , where that that Eric had attended said that it would be redistributing 180 students. You know , either we're doing they are doing their community service now or that we're going to be good reasons.

S5:

S3: So after , you know , two different cartels got into a fight , after cartels got into a fight with with government officials , with security forces. So they're basically terrified of being sought out in those situations and being forced to practice medicine at gunpoint , being forced to treat an injured cartel member or being kidnapped from their clinic by a cartel and brought , you know , taken to a place to treat one of their wounded.

S5:

S3: So it's clear that , you know , students are are really scared of this year of community service , of the potential of being sent to one of these unsafe areas. It's hard to know how many students are reconsidering the profession altogether. But after Eric was was killed , his sister , who is also a medical student , told me that she now has a hatred towards medicine. And she was about to start her own year of community service and she was still deciding whether to do it.

S5: I've been speaking with L.A. Times foreign correspondent Leila miller. Leila , thank you so much for joining us.

S3: Thanks for having me.

S5: You're listening to KPBS Midday Edition. I'm Jade Hindman with Maureen CAVANAUGH. If the recent news about the demise of the Taco Taco has gotten you down , you're not alone. Klondike discontinuation of the beloved frozen treat has generated both outrage and tributes across social media platforms , as well as a rush to stockpile the snack while they're still available. But before you head to your local corner store to grab one while you can. Just know that you'll probably be hearing a lot of this.

S2: Sorry , ma'am. We don't got those here.

S3: No , I'm sorry. We don't have any choco tacos. We haven't had.

S4: Them in a minute.

S2: Sorry , we don't have any. Sorry , ma'am. We don't have any more chocolate tacos.

S5: So what's a choco taco connoisseur to do ? Well , and besides gourmet reproductions and homages being made by restaurants across the nation , Klondike announced yesterday that they may revisit production of the treat in the near future following the strong community backlash. And here now to discuss the surprisingly profound cultural impact of this particular treat is Los Angeles Times columnist and author Gustavo Arellano. Gustavo , welcome back to Midday Edition.

S2: Good idea for having me.

S5: You wrote a column about the Choco taco.

S2: If you're eating chocolate tacos , it's probably going to be in summer where you're looking for anything that's cold. And if you have more flavors to it , then more power to you. And you're looking for a communal experience. You don't eat. No one eats choco tacos by themselves. You're usually going to the ice cream man. You're going to a convenience store. You're going may be getting a whole box , then sharing them with them. So it's just the feeling of conviviality and community all rolled into a snack , which , by the way , I'm not the biggest fan of eating , but I'm a bigger fan of what it represents.

S5: All right. Because , you know , you write a lot about authenticity in your article and how loaded that word can be.

S2: That taco shell , at least the concept of the taco shell comes from Mexico. Peanuts originally came , of course , from South America , but it's also so Latino. And for me , though , what's most authentic about Mexican food is that it's a mishmash of all the different cultures that have gone through Mexico , not just indigenous cultures , but Spanish , European Afro influences , you know , Afro indigenous influences , so many. And so the taco taco is just an evolution of that in the United States , or it's a continuation more than anything.

S5: This news coincides with the recent passing of revered cookbook author Diana Kennedy , who during her lifetime was considered one of the foremost experts on Mexican cuisine.

S2: And hey , she was a great chronicler of this. She would get in her truck. WALLINGER Eighties driving thousands of miles a year across Mexico , just finding all these different recipes. I give her respect for that. But Diana couldn't just let that be. She also , at the same time had to ridicule Mexican-American food traditions. I'm sure she thought the California burrito was an abomination or roll tacos or , you know , many of the other treats San Diego's Mexican-American competing for decades. And that's where I have a huge issue with her , myself and other people as well. But the food media which lionized her for the good work that she did , but never really criticized her for the bad stuff that she would say.

S5: There's no no cut and dry or easy way to answer that. But , you know , let's talk about that.

S2: This idea like , oh , this is authentic , we got to go do that. I have to cite my colleague , Jose Padilla , the taco editor for Texas Monthly , who says , you know , what's authentic to most people is what their grandma made like that is authentic. And we all have so many different grandmas. You could have you know , you could have a tortilla made by ten different grandmas and it's going to come out ten completely different tortilla. So I only have an issue with authenticity when other people start trying to define it for other folks and start maligning what their idea of authenticity is.

S5: And you write that the taco taco is a pretty apt metaphor for the evolution of Mexican-American food.

S2: States , creating something based on Mexican products , making some weird old thing for the summer , and something beloved by both Mexicans and non-Mexicans alike in the United States. And the fact that it's so inauthentic , conversely , I'm not trying to be post-modernist here. I really mean it. The fact that it's so inauthentic , that's what makes it so incredibly Mexican.

S5:

S2: There were already sold dogs set up. I finally found one. So there's five chocolate tacos in my freezer. I'm going to give them out to friends because , again , I'm not the biggest fan. I'm more of a Neapolitan ice cream sandwich type of guy.

S5: All right. I've been speaking with L.A. Times columnist and author Gustavo Arellano. Gustavo , thank you very much for talking with us today. Gracias.

S2: Gracias.

San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria talks about the city’s updated climate action plan and a new proposal to increase housing. And, nearly half of women in California are rent burdened. A new report by the Gender Equity Policy Institute finds the greatest impacts on Black and Latina women, single mothers and elderly women who live alone. Then, from North County to South County, you may have noticed herds of goats in open spaces. It’s not a new petting zoo: these goats are actually working to help prevent fires. Plus, San Diego County Republican Congressman Darrel Issa did not vote to certify Joe Biden’s election on January 6, 2021. As Issa stands for re-election this fall, how will his stance on election fraud resonate with voters? Also, a medical student killed in rural Mexico last month is bringing attention to the dangers Mexican some medical students face from cartels. Finally, Klondike announced Wednesday that it may revisit production of the iconic Choco Taco in the near future following the strong community backlash.