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Third District County Supervisor Race Could Create Historic Change And More Local News

 January 31, 2020 at 3:00 AM PST

Speaker 1: 00:00 It's Friday, January 31st I'm Deb Welsh and you're listening to San Diego news matters from KPBS coming up, a plan for more housing in California fails in the state Senate and Republicans have controlled the San Diego County board of supervisors for a generation that could change this election that more San Diego news stories coming up right after the break. Speaker 2: 00:29 [inaudible] Speaker 1: 00:37 California lawmakers have once again failed to pass high profile legislation that would dramatically increase building in the state. KPBS has Sally Hickson has the latest SB 50 would have allowed construction of dense housing near transit and job centers and fourplexes in most single family neighborhoods. It was introduced in 2018 again in 2019 it failed on Thursdays. It fell short of votes in the state. Senate Senate pro tem Tony Atkins of San Diego said, senators do agree there is a need to create more housing. Even if this legislation may not be the answer, Speaker 3: 01:11 SB 50 might not be coming forward right now, but the status quo cannot stand. Speaker 1: 01:18 She promised that a bill to increase housing supply will succeed. This year. Governor Newsome wants to increase annual homebuilding, nearly fivefold critic saw SB 50 is a measure that could displace existing homeowners and we'll let the state take control of zoning decisions that should be left to local government. Sally Hickson KPBS news, the first person to person case of Corona virus in the country was announced Thursday morning just hours before the world health organization called it a global health emergency, but KPBS science and technology reporter Shelina Chut Lonnie says, health officials believe this virus isn't that severe health. The visuals are still figuring out how this virus which comes from animals works in humans already. There have been at least 213 deaths in China, but UC San Diego infectious disease expert, Francesca Ceriani says the mortality rates so far is relatively low when compared to other viruses like the flu, which has already caused over 8,000 deaths in the United States this season. Speaker 4: 02:18 Right now in California alone for this season, we've had I think approximately 150 deaths. That's nearly 90% of of the deaths we've had with coronavirus only occurring in California. Right. Speaker 1: 02:36 Data shows. Coronavirus appears to be an airborne illness that can spread through coughs and sneezes. That's why Terrani says officials are being so cautious. Shalina Celani PBS news, uh, San Diego is suspected of having the Corona virus as tested negative. The centers for disease control issued that report late on Thursday over 3,500 adults and children trafficked in San Diego County each year. That's according to the district attorney's office. Thursday three San Diego area school districts received money to help combat that KPBS reporter Prius Schreder has more Speaker 5: 03:13 San Diego unified San Marco. Since Sweetwater union high school districts received $45,000 from the San Diego rotary club. The money will be split among the districts and used to help train 700 teachers within the next year on how to spot the signs of trafficking in their schools. David Oates is the precedent of the San Diego rotary club. Speaker 6: 03:35 We can help teachers and their students look out for other people who might be vulnerable to that. Then we've done our job here today. Speaker 5: 03:42 The advocacy groups. San Diego trafficking prevention collective designed a half day curriculum for teachers and students from fifth to 12th grade. It'll help bring awareness about trafficking to San Diego families. Prius Sri, their K PBS news. A historic run continues for San Diego state's basketball team. Speaker 1: 04:02 Wednesdays when was their 22nd without a launch at this season? KPBS reporter Matt Hoffman says now the unbeaten Aztecs turn their attention to a big weekend at home. Speaker 6: 04:13 This Saturday, Aztec legend kohai Leonard will be at VA Hoss arena to have his Jersey retired in 2011. Leonard led the team to the sweet 16 during the NCAA tournament and is now one of the MBA's biggest stars. Head basketball coach Brian Dettra is expecting the arena to be packed. I think it'll be one of the best environments we've ever had here. Uh, with an undefeated team play in the union man, unanimous pick to win the mountain West conference and kohai Leonard, uh, Jersey hanging up in the rasters. I think it's going to be electric in the building. The Aztecs have had five consecutive home sell outs and with [inaudible] in the building Saturday, coach Dutcher wants to make sure the guys are staying focused. My task is to keep it from being a distraction cause we're here to win basketball games. Tip off for Saturday's. Game against Utah state is 7:00 PM Matt Hoffman, K PBS news. Speaker 1: 05:02 The Sunday doughnut panic will host through line a celebration of Persian, Iranian poetry and music. KPBS arts reporter Beth luck. Amando speaks with event organizer Rebecca Romani. Rebecca Romani is not Iranian, but she lived in Morocco and fell in love with Arab and middle East culture. So when president Trump tweeted a warning to Iran stating that he had targeted 52 Iranian sites important to Iran and the Iranian culture, Romani decided she needed to retaliate but in a constructive manner. Her answer comes in the form of an event she's organizing called through line, a celebration of Persian, Iranian poetry and music. If you get to know a group of people or a country's culture, it's a little harder to invade embalm and destroy them when you know them. And so the idea is to bring this forward and to have people engage with each other and to see and hear the expression of another culture and to realize that it's not scary, that it's something they can enjoy and that to give them a sense of maybe curiosity and also a sense of celebration. To celebrate this all together through line as part of a larger series that will include films and readings at San Diego central library. Sunday's event at donut panic is the casual kickoff and begins at 6:00 PM it will offer music, food, and readings of new and classic works. Beth like Amando KPBS news, the 49th congressional district seat flip from Republican to Democrat in 2018 KPBS reporters, Shalina Celani spoke to the incumbent, Mike Levin and his Republican challenger Brian Marriott on the race and whether they think the seat could flip back again in November. Speaker 7: 06:47 In the 49th district, there is slightly more registered Republicans, 34% than there are Democrats. 32% that might help Republican challenger, Brian Merriot take the seat away from democratic incumbent. Mike Levin. Merriot says voters want a more moderate representative Speaker 8: 07:03 Lake Ramdas and moderate and he's not a moderate. He's part of a socialist progressive caucus that has a very different vision for our country that I think most of the people, the 49th district half Speaker 7: 07:12 love and says he's gotten nine bipartisan veteran's bills passed and wants to work across party lines when he can. Speaker 9: 07:18 Well, I think it wasn't just me flipping the seed, it was a whole host of volunteers and I've done everything possible. We'll continue to do everything possible to represent the interests and the values of North County, San Diego, South orange County, and do so to the best of my ability for as long as I can. Speaker 7: 07:33 Some of Levin's key issues are veteran's rights and removing nuclear waste from Santa no fray. Marriott says he supports private healthcare and working with businesses on fighting climate change. Shelina Celani KPBS news Speaker 1: 07:45 one race may force a historic shift in the San Diego County board of supervisors. KPBS reporter Steve Walsh says incumbent Republican Kristin gas bar faces two democratic challengers in a rapidly shifting district. Speaker 8: 08:00 The third district runs up the coast from Solana beach to Encinitas and up the 15 all the way from the eight to the ones reliably Republican Escondido. That's a wonderful place to grow up to live. Robin Fox runs the Escondido history center. That's really changed over the years. But um, for many years it was really a small town. The one small farm town is now an expanding bedroom community. As of December, Escondido had a thousand more registered Democrats than Republicans. Making is still the most competitive community in the third district. The district itself has seen as the best chance for Republicans to continue their generation. Long control of the County board of supervisors. A run made more difficult by the changing demographics of San Diego County. Kristen gas bar is the Republican incumbent. She declined to participate in KPBS piece on the third district race. Gas bar is a business woman. Four years ago she defeated the democratic incumbent. Then she ran for the congressional seat held by Daryl Leisa. She lost during the last four years. Gas bar has taken stances that may seem out of step with her district. She appeared at a white house event last year with president Trump supporting expanding the border wall and voting to support the president's lawsuit against California's law limiting cooperation with federal immigration authorities. There are two Democrats, challenging gas bar, Olga DHEAS and Terra Lawson. Reamer Diaz was the first Latina elected to the Escondido city council. She laid out her top three priorities. Speaker 1: 09:35 The three things that have resonated in this campaign have been, uh, solving homelessness, chronic homelessness. I wonder, work on that climate change. We really need to overhaul our climate action plan to meet greenhouse gas emission standards and, uh, housing in general. Um, we talked about affordable housing. We never really talked about high end housing. That end of the market takes care of itself, but creating opportunity for entry level or workforce housing, Speaker 8: 09:59 DIA says solving homelessness isn't necessarily about finding more money, Speaker 1: 10:03 maybe more money. We have a large surplus, but also a reevaluation of how we're spending the money. Now to focus on the core values and solutions. I really believe we need more social workers with a reasonable caseload. Uh, imagine if you had to help two or three or 400 people. Speaker 8: 10:20 Diaz also wants to modernize County services in part to encourage developers to build in more dense urban areas. Lawson reamer is an economist and former member of the Obama administration. She founded the flip, the 49th campaign that ended with Democrat. Mike Levin being elected to Congress. This is her first time running for office herself. Speaker 5: 10:39 I believe that we should be at the forefront with a bold climate action plan that is the best in the country, maybe the best in the world, that we should be leading the charge on that and not chasing our tails. Um, and certainly not paying out a taxpayer money to do nothing. I think we need to take bold action to protect our beaches and our coastlines, which is part of what makes San Diego such a special place to live and raise a family. Um, we have to take bold action on affordable housing. We need to tackle our traffic and congestion crisis and the urban sprawl that has led to people spending so many of their own hours idling and traffic. Speaker 8: 11:16 The county's climate action plan has been challenged repeatedly in court. Lawson reamers more aggressive approach includes requiring developers to have any carbon offset to be inside San Diego County rather than buying credits from anywhere in the world and on homelessness lost in reamer wants to target services where people live. Speaker 5: 11:35 I definitely think we need a housing first approach with wraparound services, so that does mean more beds and it doesn't mean more shelter beds, but more than anything it means making sure that when we have shelters, including those that already exist, we're providing really accessible services for homeless, our homeless population to get the that they need to get back on their feet. Speaker 8: 11:54 The top two vote getters in the March primary move on to the general election. Steve Walsh KPBS news Speaker 5: 12:01 after 28 years under the leadership of Diane Jacob San Diego county's district two is about to see some change. KPBS has Meyer troubles. He gives us a look at who's contending for a coveted seat on the County board of supervisors. District two is the largest district in San Diego County sprawled across 2000 square miles from the Southern border to as far North as Julian from the Imperial County border to as far West as San Diego state. Since 1992 it's been represented by incumbent supervisor, Diane Jacob. But term limits mean she's on her way out. And after serving such a long tenure, Jacob won't go without throwing her weight behind her pick for successor. Speaker 10: 12:46 Diane Jacob has about a half a million dollars left in her campaign account. Uh, she's made it very clear in the media, uh, that she will spend every dime of that to make sure that I'm elected. Speaker 5: 12:56 Jacob has passionately endorsed Steve Voss, who is currently serving his second term as mayor of the city of Poway and is chairman of the San Diego association of governments. Vos hasn't had a long history and politics and the Grammy award winning singer songwriter who's usually seen in public wearing a cowboy hat may seem like an unlikely politician, but he says his experience in local government uniquely qualifies him to be what he calls the mayor of East County. Speaker 10: 13:25 But I've got a track record of getting things done. And you know, I think a city that's generally considered to be the envy of every other jurisdiction and the County, uh, and I think that's because we focus on the important stuff. We don't chase shiny objects. We get things done and we take care of our friends and neighbors. Speaker 5: 13:43 Voss says his priority is to keep his constituents safe from crime and fire, but also to improve housing. He drew criticism in December when power waste water became contaminated by rain runoff, rendering it undrinkable for almost a week. Voss says that helped his candidacy rather than hurt it Speaker 10: 14:02 because folks, all mayor, who stepped up took care of business. But within 12 to 18 hours, we had water available, handed out thousands and thousands of cases of water and folks saw their mayor out on the front line. Speaker 5: 14:16 Another Republican candidate in the race is former state Senator Joel Anderson, who has been officially endorsed by the Republican party of San Diego. He is also a former president on the board of the Padre dam water district and a starch adversary of Vos. During the Poway boil water advisory. Anderson accused Vos of turning the city in the country into a third world country. KPBS reached out to Anderson for an interview about the race, but he was unavailable in the hopes of flipping the district seat in 2020 the democratic party of San Diego has Rancho San Diego resident Kenya Taylor for the board of supervisors. Taylor has a background as a licensed marriage and family therapist and is an executive committee member of the NAACP San Diego branch. I'm the only candidate who has the expertise to manage the mental health crisis that we are seeing in our County and unfortunately this is the worst I've seen it in my lifetime. Speaker 5: 15:14 Taylor says she wants to make sure jails are not being used as the largest mental health program in the County. Among her other priorities, Taylor wants to focus on supporting small businesses, environmental issues like clean air and food. She says the large geographic size of district two means governing requires a one size does not fit all approach. That 22 year old student who's living in their car has a different need than the 84 year old person who has a home that they retired in. She says she has donated over 10,000 hours for volunteer work and tries to imagine what she could do with a real budget to support those who want to improve their lives. Not to mention this would be the first time for us to make history. We've never had a woman of color ever and all of the districts, but that's not why I'm running. I'm running to make sure that we're safe in our areas. Another contender for the seat is longtime Lakeside resident cattle rancher and general contractor, Brian Susko. He is a registered independent. He is relying on word of mouth of friends, neighbors, and social media for promotion. My etra, bill C K PBS news. Thanks for listening to San Diego news matters. If you like the show, do us a favor and tell your friends and families to subscribe. Thanks.

Changing demographics and two Democratic challengers could bring a party switch to San Diego County District 3, and a Democratic majority to the county board. Plus, AB50 fails in the State Senate, again snuffing out a plan for more California housing stock. And the coronavirus may be less of a threat than we think.