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San Diego imposes vaccine mandate on city workers

 November 30, 2021 at 3:36 PM PST

Speaker 1: (00:01)

San Diego approaches its vaccine mandate deadline.

Speaker 2: (00:04)

Um, the city therefore had to formally impose the mandate on the police.

Speaker 1: (00:11)

I'm Jade Hindman with Maureen Kavanaugh. This is KPBS midday edition Creating affordable housing by transforming in old buildings

Speaker 3: (00:29)

Because these two lots are in downtown San Diego because the lots are so big and because the government owns them, it really is an incredible opportunity to see what government is capable of when it has the right priorities in mind.

Speaker 1: (00:44)

And a nonprofit provides 1 million meals to the homeless plus in the port of entry podcast. We're talking about living in a border town with a new co-host that's ahead on midday edition Yesterday, the San Diego city council overwhelmingly reaffirmed mayor Todd Gloria's coronavirus vaccine mandate plan for city workers. Here's what the mayor had to say after the,

Speaker 4: (01:11)

Um, and I want to be very clear. I don't want to lose any member of our city family. I don't hope that none of them choose to leave city service, but more importantly, I don't want to lose any of them to COVID-19. And sadly, today we've lost a few.

Speaker 1: (01:25)

The city will now move forward with its vaccine mandate plan requiring city workers to show proof of full vaccination by tomorrow, or request a deferment. Those who remain on vaccinated may be terminated after 30 days here to tell us more about what this means for the city of San Diego is San Diego union Tribune reporter David Hernandez. David,

Speaker 2: (01:47)

Welcome. Thanks for having me.

Speaker 1: (01:49)

Can you tell us what specifically the city council voted on yesterday?

Speaker 2: (01:53)

So they voted on an ordinance and a resolution and essentially it was somewhat of a formality. They had to turn this mandate into a policy and they also had to essentially impose the mandate on the police union because they had reached an impasse with the union during several rounds of negotiations. And it was actually the union. That was the only one of the city's six unions that reached an impasse. So, um, the city therefore had to formally impose the mandate on the police union.

Speaker 1: (02:29)

How many employees are impacted with this plan? Do we know how many remain unvaccinated today?

Speaker 2: (02:35)

It impacts about 11,000 employees. And as of last week, we have data that shows that about 2000 or so employees remain on vaccinated and among them, there are about 700 officers who were unvaccinated. And those were the latest figures that we have so far. So that's about 20% of the city's workforce, including 37% of the police department

Speaker 1: (03:05)

Officers and their union have been the most resistant to the vaccine mandate plan. As you mentioned, what are police union officials saying since yesterday city council session?

Speaker 2: (03:16)

Yeah, so they essentially voiced, um, dissatisfaction with the outcome of the vote. Even yesterday. They had essentially given one last pitch to the city about what they would like to see. And among those things that they had asked was for a testing option. So they wanted employees to have the option to opt out of vaccination and instead undergo weekly testing. Um, the city did not budge and did move forward with the mandate. So they, uh, are not happy. And, um, they have told some of their union members that, um, they tried their best to negotiate, um, other terms, but, um, the city council decided to move forward anyway. So are

Speaker 1: (03:58)

They planning more legal action?

Speaker 2: (04:00)

That's one of the things that we're keeping an eye on in terms of like what next steps the union might take. Um, one thing that they have vocalized is that they believe that the city will have to negotiate with them again. Should there be any changes to shift schedules, for example, or shuffling around certain assignments, should the city base a staffing shortage? And it, I think it's important to say that it really unclear just how many employees, uh, let alone police officers will, um, either on their own leave the department or be fired. The city is preparing for certain scenarios. Um, so for example, the police department is considering several options for a scenario where a certain number of officers might leave the force, uh, versus, uh, another scenario where a greater number of officers might leave the forest and they haven't, you know, outlined those specifics, um, too well publicly. So, um, we don't have all of the details on that, but they are planning for, um, any possibility. And it's just a matter of, I think, waiting to see just how many employees actually, um, leave the city.

Speaker 1: (05:16)

The city has received about 400 requests for exemption so far, what exemptions are allowed and how likely is it that they'll be successful?

Speaker 2: (05:26)

So the city is going to allow religious and medical exemptions and they've actually received, um, about close to 400 exemptions so far. And, um, you know, I'm keeping an eye on whether there's a last minute push to request, um, some exemptions. So that's where the numbers stood and, um, the city as outlined how they will handle the exemption requests to some degree, but some of it still remains unclear. But what it sounds like is that the, um, human resources department will lead the effort to look at all of these requests and, um, essentially analyze them on a case by case basis. And the city has said that it will be an interactive process. So they will be in constant communication with employees and, you know, ask questions or work with them if any there's any need for that. And, uh, the, the city also has said though, that if they get, um, uh, an influx of requests and simply can't accommodate everyone because, um, they still need to provide city services, that there is a possibility that they will be able to grant every single request that comes in. So we'll have to see how that works out.

Speaker 1: (06:39)

There was one dissenting vote and yesterday is city council eight to one vote by a council member, Chris, Kate, what was his argument in voting against the vaccine mandate plan?

Speaker 2: (06:49)

So he said that he was vaccinated, but he feels like a vaccination should be a choice. And he essentially said that he was worried about the employees that the city could lose. So he pointed to police officers, dispatchers, sanitation workers, and he noted that it wasn't just police officers who were unvaccinated about 1000 employees outside of the police force are still in vaccinated. He noted that. And he, he just said that he essentially thinks the benefits outweigh the costs that he thinks he called it a dangerous consequence that could come from, from the city-wide mandate.

Speaker 1: (07:25)

So for police officers or other city workers who still refuse to get vaccinated by tomorrow's deadline, what's in their immediate future.

Speaker 2: (07:33)

So anyone who is not in compliance by tomorrow, and again, they have to show proof of vaccination or have requested an exemption. They will get a letter notifying them that they are not in compliance and that they have 30 days to comply or resign or ask for a leave of absence. Um, and after that, so come January. Uh, the city will move forward with anyone who is still not in compliance and terminate their employment.

Speaker 1: (08:05)

I've been speaking with San Diego union Tribune, reporter David Hernandez, David, thank you so much for joining us.

Speaker 2: (08:11)

Thank you for having me

Speaker 5: (08:23)

To lots being offered for redevelopment in downtown San Diego may turn an eyesore into a new model for affordable housing. The almost three acre stretch of dilapidated buildings and parking lots sit just outside little Italy. The state owns the land and the California department of housing and community development is looking for private partners to transform the site into a mix of housing, commercial property, and some open space. The effort has the full support of San Diego city leaders who hope the project will lead toward innovation in affordable housing development. And joining me is KPBS Metro reporter, Andrew Bowen, and welcome

Speaker 3: (09:03)

Andrew. Hi Maureen. Thanks.

Speaker 5: (09:05)

Could you describe and locate this redevelopment site with some more detail than I do?

Speaker 3: (09:11)

Sure. Uh, to the north is Ash street, south, uh, is a street. The two lots are bounded by front street, then to the east state street to the west, and then union bisects, the two lots, it's kind of a dead zone in downtown. You called it an eyesore and that's absolutely the case, you know, but at the same time, it's surrounded by a ton of amenities and destinations like little Italy, of course, all the downtown office buildings and hotels, the trolley, the Amtrak station. So it's a really great location with a lot of potential. And what

Speaker 5: (09:40)

Has the area of venues for in the past?

Speaker 3: (09:43)

Well, the Eastern lot has been an office building that has housed more than a dozen state agencies. The employees there have been using it in some early reporting that I did on this property are now mayor Todd. Gloria said that half of the office space in that building was unused. So, you know, it was already under utilized, even the developed portion of it. The portion of the lots that doesn't have a building on it are mostly parking for state employees. And then on the Western law, there were two vacant buildings that were purchased by the state in the sixties. But I was told when I reported on this two years ago by a spokesperson that they had been vacant since the seventies, it's not entirely clear why. It's also not really clear to me why the state didn't try and redevelop these properties sooner, but it has been on the radar of our now mayor, Todd Gloria for several years. And two years ago, he'd got a bill signed by the governor when he was in the state legislature that declared this property surplus land.

Speaker 5: (10:38)

Now the state is issued what it calls a request for qualifications from developers, interested in the site. What is the state looking for in this product?

Speaker 3: (10:47)

There are criteria for selecting a proposal or idea our housing affordability, community development, sustainability, equity, innovation, and feasibility and affordable housing is at the top of that list. I think because it is so scarce in that scarcity causes so many other problems that we're dealing with. The state has said that maximizing the number of homes on the property is a big priority. And it's asking developers make this as dense as possible. Of course it's surrounded by high rises. So it's not really like changing the character of the neighborhood to build really tall. And you know, the rest of this, it's fairly open to interpretation. I spoke with Stephen Russell, the head of the San Diego housing Federation, and he said the state was creating a laboratory of ideas. And part of that equation is offering to lease this property for as little as $1 a year. So, because land is often one of the greatest expenses when you're developing a property, the developers can, you know, use that savings and try some different things and maybe take on some risks that will create new ideas that could then be replicated elsewhere.

Speaker 5: (11:50)

Are there any estimates on how many new housing units might be built on the side?

Speaker 3: (11:55)

I haven't seen any, although if we take some other developments in downtown as a sort of model, it could be well over a thousand units. There's a high rise apartment building in the east village that started construction this summer. The lot is pretty much the same size as, as one of these two state-owned lots and it is supposed to include 617 units. So if you double that, you know, well over a thousand units, um, potential depending on of course how tall the buildings are, how much might be devoted to a commercial space or retail or open space. So kind of an open question,

Speaker 5: (12:27)

The innovation the state is looking for may even extend to the building materials in the new development. Tell us about something called mass timber.

Speaker 3: (12:36)

Yeah, this is a really exciting new front in home building and construction. You know, this property could really play a big role in moving forward. So mass timber is essentially a construction material, it's wood that, uh, but many different pieces of wood that are essentially glued together. So you get a very robust, resilient construction material, and it allows you to build much taller than what would normally be considered a typical wood-frame building, which are often limited to 5, 6, 7, or eight stories. What we think of as mid-rise buildings. And often those are also, they have to include more intense or expensive materials like concrete and steel. It also is seen as very ecologically friendly or more so certainly than steel and concrete, which costs a lot of energy and carbon emissions to emit. And at the same time, this wood was once a tree that actually removed carbon from the atmosphere. So the building can act as a sort of storage of carbon that has been through the life cycle of the tree has been taken out from the atmosphere. And therefore it's seen as a much greener construction material.

Speaker 5: (13:42)

One question about, uh, mayor Todd, Gloria, he's calling this a once in a generation opportunity, the redevelopment of these properties. Wha why is he expressing that kind of interest in this?

Speaker 3: (13:54)

There really isn't a lot of land that is owned by a government entity and is of this size in a location like this. So often when the city or the state owns a piece of land, it might be right next to a freeway, or it might under a freeway. Even it might be kind of far from any a neighborhood amenities or areas that are already developed. It might be a really small site. So there's really not as much potential to build there, but because these two lots are in downtown San Diego, you know, a huge destination for employment, tourism, et cetera, because the lots are so big. And because, you know, the government owns them. It really is just like an incredible opportunity to see what government is capable of helping create when it has the right priorities in mind, in particular affordable housing.

Speaker 5: (14:41)

And how long will the process of collecting bids from developers?

Speaker 3: (14:45)

The deadline to submit responses is February and the state will then conduct some interviews and they hope to award the site

Speaker 5: (14:51)

In may. I've been speaking with KPBS, Metro reporter, Andrew Bowen. Andrew, thank you. My pleasure, Maureen.

Speaker 6: (14:58)


Speaker 1: (15:13)

You're listening to KPBS mid-day edition. I'm Jade. Hindman with Maureen Cavenaugh. It's giving Tuesday. And today we want to tell you about an organization in our community, helping the unsheltered and incarcerated the organization is called lucky duck foundation. And they've come up with a very efficient way to provide meals to those in need and provide jobs to those who are incarcerated here to tell us more, is drew Moser, executive director of lucky duck foundation drew. Welcome.

Speaker 2: (15:41)

Thank you, Jay. Great to be with you

Speaker 1: (15:43)

For those who are not familiar with the lucky duck foundation, tell us who you are.

Speaker 2: (15:48)

We raised money to fund to activate and lead high-impact programs that address homelessness throughout San Diego. Our co-founders match all donations up to a million dollars per year, and we've been focused on homelessness for about the past four or five years. And we fund things like homeless shelters, employment, job training programs, uh, uh, food and water outreach initiative, and several other things that, uh, have an immediate and high impact, uh, helping those in need.

Speaker 1: (16:16)

And how did COVID inspire the creation of this program?

Speaker 2: (16:19)

Well, when COVID hit many of the community and faith-based feedings went away, um, because obviously you couldn't gather, and we had a, a major quiet benefactor in Gwendolyn sawn time that come to us and said, Hey, we need to find a way to feed folks that are living unsheltered on the streets. So now no longer have access to food and water. Can you do something about it? And, uh, Dan's Shay has been a long time, a board member and supporter, and very actively involved knew that the Sheriff's department has a massive commercial kitchen that cranks out like 15,000 meals per day for their inmate population, uh, which is a huge number to begin with, but they actually have the ability to go above and beyond, uh, 15,000 meals to help us out. And so what they do is they make pack and deliver cold nonperishable meals to us, uh, which we purchase.

Speaker 2: (17:14)

And then we make those meals available to around 20 or 25 different professional homeless outreach teams who pick up those meals three times a week and then distribute them throughout the city and county. Uh, so we organized very quickly when COVID hit, started by feeding 400 people per day. We're up to over a thousand people per day now, uh, that we're able to reach in and now eclipsing the million nail mark. And really the purpose is twofold. It's, it's wanting to keep people fed and hydrated, but secondarily to use those meals as a way to build trust and rapport and relationship to ultimately support people's efforts, to end their homelessness and get off the streets and connect to the resources and shelters and whatnot that exists.

Speaker 1: (18:00)

You say this program not only benefits the unsheltered, um, but also the incarcerated. How so and how are they coming?

Speaker 2: (18:07)

So they're employed really through the Sheriff's department who provides their compensation and relevant work experience to make and pack these meals, uh, while they're incarcerated. And so when we started designing this program and, and knew that the commercial kitchen kitchen existed with the Sheriff's department, um, and the various opportunities that exist, and we saw it as a win all around for people living unsheltered for people that are doing the outreach work, but also people who are, you know, in prison at the moment, so that they can help contribute. They can help, uh, they can earn some income and gain irrelevant life, skill, and employments feels so that when they do re-enter society, they're more employable and have a chance, a better chance to get back on their feet. Uh, so there's a lot of facets of this, of this program. And again, we, we see it as a, a win all around

Speaker 1: (19:01)

It. Has San Diego recovered from the pandemic in terms of opening more soup kitchens, or is there still a shortage?

Speaker 2: (19:07)

Uh, we see, see that there is still a shortage. It's why we're fully committed to not only continuing this program, but expanding it and why we're making it, the emphasis of our giving Tuesday campaign. That's set up such that we're able to source these meals at cost. And so we're able to scale it only through philanthropy, no other sources of funding. And so $1 provides at least one meal. And then when you factor in that our co-founders match all gifts up to a million dollars per year. People's money and gifts are effectively doubled. And so we're always looking for more volunteers, donors, but really more outreach workers so that, uh, more meals and more people can benefit from this program, not only with the nourishment, but again also that, uh, sort of all of branch to help in their homelessness and connect them to the resources that exist. And we're not the only ones saying this. We know other, you know, like feeding San Diego as an example, they're, they're putting their foot on the gas as well, uh, to reach more people because the need seemingly is only increasing.

Speaker 1: (20:13)

And can you paint the picture of what that need is like right now for the unsheltered in San Diego?

Speaker 2: (20:19)

So we surveyed the outreach workers that participate in this program to get their feedback on, on how effective it is. 85% of them believe that they have more positive interactions with people living on sheltered because of these meals, uh, 94% believe the food and water is helpful in building trust and rapport. And in 97% believe the food and water is life saving and having a company, uh, several of them out and interacting with folks. It's apparent that people are suffering. Uh, they need more resources. They need access to food and water. And, and it's one of the reasons why we're fully committed to this program amongst several other programs that are designed to immediately alleviate the suffering of homelessness.

Speaker 1: (21:06)

How many people are living unsheltered right

Speaker 2: (21:07)

Now? Well, it's a moving target and it depends on which data point you go. After the most recent point in time count was conducted in January of 2020. The number then was roughly 4,000, but that's important for people to know that's just one day, one snapshot in time. When you look at how many people touch the system over 12 months, it could be, you know, as many as four times that number and regional task force on homelessness put out some numbers based on data. They have, uh, that suggest homelessness is, is rising very significantly, which is troubling for a lot of reasons. But, you know, for the prior three years, pre COVID, uh, homelessness have decreased in San Diego by 16% and unsheltered homelessness had decreased by 29%. Uh, we believe that a big part of that was from some of the shelters that we were able to fund and quickly, um, implement that take hundreds of people off the streets. And so that's one reason why we continue to advocate for, you know, quick cost effective humane strategies that can get a large number of people off the streets with, into a warm bed, uh, with the roof over their heads. There's just, just, there's just too many people, um, suffering out there. Unfortunately,

Speaker 1: (22:24)

What do you want to see done at the government level to address the issue of homelessness in our area?

Speaker 2: (22:29)

One of the topics we discussed yesterday was accessing underutilized government properties that exist that largely sit idle and, uh, utilized one example is the old library downtown, the front doors are locked and homeless, literally sleep on their doorstep. And we advocate for maximizing existing resources and converting those properties, uh, quickly, which can be done in a very cost-effective manner. Now, uh, at the same time, we do need to add housing, uh, housing, and however is a costly and longterm endeavor. There's just too many people on the streets suffering that need a place to go tonight, not in five and 10 and 20 years. Um, and so again, that was the old library is just one example of a government property that could be quickly converted, uh, to, to, to get a good number of people quickly off the streets and onto a safer and brighter path.

Speaker 1: (23:32)

And speaking with drew Moser, executive director of lucky duck foundation drew, thank you so much for joining us.

Speaker 2: (23:38)

Thank you Jade. Very much. Appreciate it.

Speaker 5: (23:49)

In February, the Biden administration began winding down. Former president Donald Trump's controversial remain in Mexico program. The program sent people seeking asylum in this country back to Mexico to wait four months for their day in immigration court in the us. But over the summer, a Texas judge ordered government officials to restart the program. Now, the bond administration is preparing to roll it back out in the coming weeks. Reporter max Rivlin Nadler tells us migrants and their advocates into one, uh, or a split about what to do.

Speaker 7: (24:24)

Sean tall is a 23 year old transgender woman. She has been living in a crowded migrant encampment and Tijuana for a month sitting on a wall near her tent. She tells me she fled Honduras two years ago after she was kicked out of her home by her father and leader beaten on the streets because of her gender identity. She has family in the United States, but that's not why she's trying to get there.

Speaker 8: (24:48)

[inaudible] [inaudible]

Speaker 7: (24:52)

Yeah, she says they're very religious and won't accept her in Mexico. She says she was briefly abducted by a gang and has been beaten up on the streets of Tijuana

Speaker 8: (25:02)


Speaker 7: (25:04)

She says it's just as dangerous to be waiting in Mexico as it was living in Honduras. She's been trying to enter the United States for months to claim asylum. And each time she's been turned back because of a us policy known as title 42, that blocks almost all people from crossing the border during the pandemic. But Shantelle is still trying to find a safe way to seek refuge in the U S which you might get. There's the resumption of one of the most dangerous policies of the Trump administration for over a year before the pandemic, more than 60,000 migrants were placed and remain in Mexico, officially known as the migrant protection protocols, but the group human rights first counted more than 1500 reports of rape murder and other violence against asylum seekers in the program.

Speaker 9: (25:53)

People are living in conditions that are best described like a prolonged episode of the hunger games while trying to fight their case.

Speaker 7: (26:06)

That's Nicole Ramos. She's a lawyer without otro lado. One of the few groups that provides legal services to migrants in Tijuana, waiting in Mexico border cities is not only dangerous C says, but it makes it almost impossible to find a U S lawyer and less than 1% of migrants actually won their asylum case. While enrolled in remain in Mexico, the Biden administration asked Ramos his organization, along with others to help humanely reimplement remain in Mexico. They refused.

Speaker 9: (26:37)

We are not going to touch that program. We feel like our resources are better used conducting human rights monitoring and interviews and looking at ways to destroy

Speaker 7: (26:50)

Well. The Biden administration agrees. It should end the court order to reinstate. It has officials negotiating with the Mexican government to resume the program in the next few weeks. And lawyers in San Diego say they've been told that immigration judges and courtrooms are already prepared. Kate Clark, lawyer, Jewish family service in San Diego says this leaves legal service providers in a difficult spot.

Speaker 10: (27:13)

Can't make an inhumane program humane. That's the hard line for us,

Speaker 7: (27:17)

But once migrants are placed in remained in Mexico, she says there are a few ways. Lawyers can try to get them out of the program and into the U S to continue their asylum case.

Speaker 10: (27:27)

They're in the future. We're involved with submitting pro requests. That's sort of, um, for us to consider

Speaker 7: (27:35)

At the Casa Del Migrante shelter on a hill beside the Tijuana river, Kathy Kruger assists migrants each day, if people are placed in remain in Mexico, she will provide them with legal assistance because she knows their options are limited.

Speaker 11: (27:50)

They still want to do it. You just have to try to facilitate them for a smooth way of doing it. Everything that they went through, made them take that decision

Speaker 7: (28:03)

At the migraine and Cameron just feet away from the border wall. Sean Paul and others feel that time is running out. There are plans to close the camp in the coming weeks. Tall says she needs to take a step any step to begin her asylum claim.

Speaker 8: (28:17)

Yes, he is the only last [inaudible] [inaudible].

Speaker 7: (28:23)

If there is a chance at asylum in the U S even a slim one, she has to take it. She shows me a photo on her phone of how she feels most comfortable Wearing makeup, a long dress, a completely different look, but here she's in a sweatshirt and jeans trying to keep a low profile. She knew it was entering the remain in Mexico program. Won't get her out of Tijuana immediately, but it may be the only concrete step she has right now.

Speaker 1: (28:55)

And that was max Rivlin, Nadler reporting for the California report into Juana Movies and TV shows make it seem like police pursuits and officers shooting at cars is a regular part of police work. But in reality, it's incredibly dangerous. And for the most part against department policies and state law, yet KPBS investigative reporter, Claire triggers found dozens of examples. When police officers in San Diego county fired their weapons at moving vehicles, a warning, this story contains graphic sounds and descriptions on a cool day

Speaker 12: (29:36)

In January, 2018, 32 year old, Jessica Turner stole a white pickup truck from the San Diego convention center parking garage. Unfortunately for her San Diego police officers Darious Jim set G and angel vitreos were in the vicinity. It's turning around when Turner made a U-turn. Jim said G jumped out of his squad car and ran toward her videos later described what happened.

Speaker 13: (30:03)

I saw her immediately gun it, she, um, she left around DJ and the other and the Harbor police.

Speaker 12: (30:15)

Jim said G shot at her from the streets, videos shot at her through his windshield, shattering the glass. Thankfully none of the shots hit the unarmed Turner and choose arrested a few minutes later. The decision by those officers to shoot at a person in a moving vehicle is one of the most dangerous things they could have done. So says, Travis Norton an expert in how police use force

Speaker 14: (30:41)

Stop the vehicle. The vehicle is going to continue to travel and it could strike other people. And you could miss and hit somebody else in the public.

Speaker 12: (30:50)

If a bullet hits the driver, the car is likely to continue moving and crash. Bullets can also ricochet off the car or truck and put other lives at risk. This is why police departments ban these shootings except under narrow circumstances. But that reality hasn't stopped officers from firing shots at cars between 2012 and 2018 officers from San Diego county police agencies shot at people in cars, 20 times or three times a year. Officers miss the driver eight times and once hit a passenger. Instead, four of the drivers who were hit died, and almost two thirds of the shootings resulted in the driver, crashing the car. A new state law enacted in 2020 further restricts. When shooting at cars is allowed San Diego district attorney summer, Stephan says it clears up any confusion,

Speaker 15: (31:50)

Let them flee. They could commit. They could harm somebody by in a way that would result in serious bodily injury or death.

Speaker 12: (31:59)

The new law was not in effect in 2018 when the officers shot at Turner, but department policy was it states officers shouldn't fire at a vehicle unless there's an immediate threat of death or serious physical harm to the officer or other persons still neither officer was charged or disciplined. Meanwhile, Turner was not only charged with stealing the truck, but also for using it as a deadly weapon because she drove it toward the officer's record show that when officers are questioned after these shootings, they almost always tell investigators they fired because they felt threatened by the car. This should not be their first instinct. It says Norton the police trainer,

Speaker 14: (32:45)

If they can get out of the way they should get out of the way. And because that vehicle is going to continue to travel, even though they shoot the driver, if they shoot the driver very hard to shoot him,

Speaker 12: (32:56)

The officers who shot at Turner were asked to justify their decision to treat.

Speaker 16: (33:01)

If she was going to be going straight into traffic without looking, which could potentially cause a collision. You have a lot of motorcycles that go down Harbor as well. So that could have been deadly.

Speaker 12: (33:11)

Would that answer DM said she did not clearly state that he felt the unarmed Turner posed an immediate threat of death as the department policy requires. But then Jim said, she's attorney from the police union, cut in and elicited a more specific answer from him. If I met,

Speaker 17: (33:30)

Yes. What did you think would happen if that suspect vehicle got away?

Speaker 16: (33:34)

She was going to kill somebody else.

Speaker 12: (33:37)

Claire Traeger, sir. KPBS news

Speaker 1: (33:40)

To search the police records and see a map of where these incidents occurred. Go to records.

Speaker 6: (33:48)


Speaker 5: (33:58)

This is KPBS mid day edition. I'm Maureen, Kevin Cavenaugh with Jade Hyman in the latest episode of the KPBS port of entry podcast hosts, Alan Lilienthal introduces us to the podcasts. New cohost, Natalie Gonzalez, the two hosts visit a theater in Tijuana where Natalie is an actor. Then they sit down for a talk about how living in a border town has shaped who Natalie is today.

Speaker 18: (34:27)

How are you?

Speaker 19: (34:31)

So I recently met up with not the Lee at a small performance venue in downtown D Quanta. Cool. No, they weren't

Speaker 18: (34:38)

It's demos a woof. So if someone [inaudible] catch-all [inaudible], this is the Boulevard, one of the most famous boulevards in the corner. And if we cross the Boulevard, that's like a chill so that we could say that we're in downtown because I'm, Tony's just here, like two blocks away.

Speaker 19: (35:00)

Theater is called [inaudible] and it's run by a local company called [inaudible] stark in here.

Speaker 18: (35:08)

It is our you're gonna love it. You're gonna love it. It's definitely your style of place, the kind of place that you will love here. Okay. So Allen, this place is really important for me. It means a lot, a lot. It is really, really deep in my heart. Why? Because I think in this place is where I realized that theater is one thing that I want to do for the rest of my life, For the rest of my life. I want to say something to someone with art, and I want to make people laugh. And I just want to talk about what I care with art. And I could, I could have chosen like a lot of places in corner grew up here bad. Or I think that this is the one that is closer to who I am right now and closer to what I believe right now, you know? So that's why I chose this place.

Speaker 19: (36:09)

So the theater Natalie wanted to show me is really very smart.

Speaker 18: (36:14)

Yeah. If it's just 40 people, but it's smallness is a big part of what I really love about it. Right?

Speaker 19: (36:24)

This is so, so, so here's where the actors are. And like the audience would be up there.

Speaker 18: (36:28)

The items are there. And also here it's like, it is so intimate. It is. That's the thing I love about this place, that it is really intimate. And actually either whether you're sitting over there as the member of the audience, or you're standing here as an actor, it's really intimate experience,

Speaker 19: (36:47)

Natalie, you actually have a vivid memory that illustrates that intimacy really well. You were in the audience one night watching a play instead of acting in it. Right.

Speaker 18: (36:57)

And I was so close to the actors on the stage that the scene really hit me hard who still need cortisone.

Speaker 19: (37:05)


Speaker 18: (37:06)

The actress was looking, looking me in the eye. Well, she was saying, well, she was seeing the words and I was crying while she was looking at me in the eye and he was super into it. And I have the image in my mind. So Yeah, I'm sure she was like, I made someone cry and I was sharing it the year, what she was saying, her lines. And it was, that was a beautiful,

Speaker 19: (37:40)

Okay, Natalie. So that was a little bit about who you are now. Yeah. But I also want to understand how exactly you got to this place in your life, where theater is your thing and the thing you love most.

Speaker 18: (37:53)


Speaker 19: (37:53)

Okay. So after the tour of the theater, we sat down to talk.

Speaker 18: (37:57)

We did, and we had a great time actually.

Speaker 19: (38:02)

Can you tell me about some of your early memories growing up at the Quona like some, some memories that stick out of running around and your, some of your grandpa's markets in downtown? I have

Speaker 18: (38:14)

Really big family. My dad, he has a bunch of siblings and they all shared this business. So I will be just running around with all of my cousins all around this market. So it's two markets [inaudible] and [inaudible], so we would get a lot of free food, a lot of free cheese, a lot of candy, a lot of just watermelon. We were always eating oranges all around, just walking around, playing hide and seek while eating fruits and vegetables.

Speaker 18: (38:49)

I think that is something like really Mexican, like a really Mexican way to grow up, just to be, you know, walking around the metacarpals. And they're also called street markets or [inaudible]. And I had a really beautiful childhood with all of my cousins who are like my siblings and with all of my siblings, there's this place called Brenda's where you can just buy a candy or oatmeal and a lot of things. And I would always not steal because it's my family's business, but I would just walk around and just like open these little, these little bugs and grab a bunch of candies and then just run. It sounds like a dream.

Speaker 19: (39:33)

When you're a kid just to go around picking whatever fruit and candy you want from the market, it sounds incredible.

Speaker 18: (39:38)

It was a dream. It was really beautiful. And it was really colorful, super colorful. I remember. Cause there, there were a lot of pinatas all around the place. So whenever I think about those memories, it's always colorful. I am always thinking about colors, fruits, vegetables, candy pinata. So it's, it's beautiful to remember all of that. I don't go there anymore. Any hurts sometimes because whenever I'm there, it feels like home.

Speaker 19: (40:11)

So there's this other story you told me about. It's about the moment your family got green card.

Speaker 18: (40:18)

This is a moment that lives in my memory. We were all opening our envelopes with our carts and she was like, I didn't get one. And, and my mom was like, what do you mean? You didn't get one? We all got ours. She was like, no, I didn't get mine.

Speaker 18: (40:40)

And I just remember, she started crying and my uncle was like, it's okay. This can be your home until you get your green card. It's okay. Don't worry. You're going to be fine. And she was like, but I need to go back to my school and I need to finish high school and graduate. And we were in, she was like in my family's going back and I'm going to stay here by myself. And that, that moment is like, in my mind, I can remember the color of the walls around me. I can remember my sister standing in the whole way crying and hugging my uncle and just me thinking. So does that mean that I'm going to go back to my room and sleep by myself because I sleep with my sister and does that mean now I'm going to sleep by myself. That was really, that's a really hard memory, but it's also, I don't know. I think it's really important because I think that was the first time that I, that I realized I was living in Tijuana in a border town. And that had a lot of weight.

Speaker 19: (41:39)

Yeah. It was like before you didn't, you didn't realize the implications of like cross. Cause it was, it was just easy

Speaker 18: (41:46)

Until, until that precise moment, But it was hard because I was so used my sister she's my best friend. So I was so used to, to do everything with her. Cause it's my two brothers and then me and my sister. So it was always meeting her and then she was not there anymore. So he was, it was really, it was pretty tough at first, but I mean, you get used to that. You could use to the tough life.

Speaker 19: (42:21)

So not long after that moment, when your sister had to stay in the U S to finish school, the rest of your family had their green card. So they started to live more of a cross-border life, right?

Speaker 18: (42:32)

Yeah, exactly. So my parents, they both got jobs in San Diego and my sister and one of my brothers, they started studying in San Diego too.

Speaker 19: (42:40)

How did that change from being mostly into quantitative being cross border? How did that change you?

Speaker 18: (42:47)

That hit me a lot. That out of nowhere, my family was in another country and it was just my oldest brother and me at home that hit me a lot because I grew up super close with my siblings. We were always together. We would always do everything together. So that was that's. I think that's, that's a really relevant part of, of being transferred into Riso, of being from Teresa to meet that. Well, your family, sometimes they just, you get separated from them.

Speaker 19: (43:24)

How did you cope with that separation

Speaker 18: (43:27)

TV? Lots of TV. A lot of Disney channel shows. So basically television was my babysitter pretty much.

Speaker 19: (43:35)

Wow. Is that, is that how you learn how to speak English? Yep, totally.

Speaker 18: (43:38)

And it's also how I first got interested in acting too.

Speaker 19: (43:43)

Um, so TV can be good for you sometimes. Sometimes

Speaker 6: (43:47)


Speaker 18: (43:53)

When I was eight years old or nine years old. I somehow, because of all these shows from Disney channel and Nickelodeon, I developed like an obsession with, with becoming an actress and play a character on TV.

Speaker 19: (44:10)

And how long did it take you to start really pursuing it? I mean, I know in elementary school you started, you joined the drama club, right? There's that, that, that really the first time you were like, you, you took those dreams and gave him some, some reality.

Speaker 18: (44:25)

Yeah. So, so I, I mean, it's been a ride, of course now I don't, I don't want to be on TV. I don't want to make movies or anything. And it's because I think it's because I fell in love with theater and I realized that theater is way more real than anything in the world. I'm not doing this for fun anymore. I mean, I am, but I think this is what I want forever. Like I always want to share with people forever. It's beautiful.

Speaker 5: (45:03)

And that was the new port of entry host, Natalie Gonzalez, talking with her cohost, Alan Lillian Thall. You can find and listen to the whole episode online at port of entry,, or find port of entry, wherever you listen to podcasts,

Speaker 6: (45:20)


San Diego City Council on Monday overwhelmingly reaffirmed Mayor Todd Gloria’s coronavirus vaccine mandate plan for city workers. City workers will have to show proof of full vaccination by Tuesday or face consequences. Plus, two lots being offered for redevelopment in downtown San Diego may turn an eyesore into a new model for affordable housing. Also, it’s Giving Tuesday and we wanted to tell you about a program helping the unsheltered and the incarcerated. And, as the Biden administration is preparing to reinstate the Trump-era “Remain-in-Mexico” program in the coming weeks, migrants and their advocates in Tijuana are split about what to do. Finally, in the latest episode of the KPBS Port of Entry podcast, host Alan Lillienthal introduces us to the podcast's new co-host, Natalie Gonzalez.