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Supreme Court Stops The Census Count

 October 14, 2020 at 4:38 AM PDT

The Supreme Court has ordered an immediate stop to the 2020 census count. The decision yesterday follows an emergency request from the Trump administration to allow the count to end. The administration argued the Census Bureau needed more time to crunch the numbers before the end of the year. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals had ruled last month that counting could continue until Halloween. Census organizers in San Diego fear the shortened count, coupled with the pandemic, will lead to an undercount for immigrant and undocumented communities. That could potentially lead to less representation, and less federal funding. UC San Diego has put its COVID-19 vaccine trial in National City on hold. The local trial is paused because one participant from the global study developed an unexplained neurological illness. Dr. Susan Little is UC San Diego's principal investigator for the Johnson & Johnson's vaccine trial and she says these incidents are fairly common. "Pauses occur all the time, during large phase three clinical trials. So this is a trial of 60,000 individuals, so it wouldn't be unusual for another pause to occur." The Mayor of National City, Alejandra Sotelo-Solis says, when the trials starts again, she hopes to be part of the solution to the pandemic. "I have submitted my name and my application for this COVID-19 trial because I believe it's part of being a good leader." The Johnson & Johnson trial is expecting to recruit 2,000 participants in San Diego and 60,000 people globally during the two year trial. The hearings for Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett enter the final day today.. You can catch the proceedings live on KPBS radio at 89.5 FM. It’s also on KPBS 2 on television, and as a live stream on our website at KPBS dot org... The KPBS voter guide is available online. It has just about everything you’ll need to vote in this election. You can find the KPBS voter guide online at KPBS dot org, slash election. It’s Wednesday, October 14th. This is San Diego News Matters from KPBS News...a daily morning news podcast powered by everyone in the KPBS Newsroom. I’m Anica Colbert. Stay with me for more of the local news you need to start your day. Reports of Republicans installing fake ballot drop off boxes in Los Angeles, Fresno and Orange County are prompting concerns here in San Diego. KPBS reporter Shalina Chatlani reports. The polls are already open here in San Diego and at the bustling Registrar of Voters office, people are already dropping off their ballots. But reports of fake drop off locations are raising alarms. Registrar of Voters Michael Vu says there are already 1.9 million registered voters here that would be able to tip off the registrar of voters office if there's any unofficial activity. VU: "We have had no reports of any unofficial mail ballot drop off locations being established here in San Diego." Plus, he says there are some factors voters can look out for to know their ballot boxes are legit. For example, the drop off location will be staffed. VU: On the back of the voter information card is the three closest ballot drop off locations. You will know those are officially established by our office. Vu says voters this year can sign up online to track their ballots even before they receive it to see when it may show up in the mail. Vu says already over 175,000 mail ballots have been returned. Shalina Chatlani, KPBS news. The race for San Diego City Council District 7 is one of just two council races with a Democrat and Republican facing off. And KPBS reporter Claire Trageser tells us the candidates have very different stances on key local issues. Noli Zosa, a Republican, is a co-founder of the restaurant chain Dirty Birds. His business experience informs his views on how the county responded to the COVID pandemic. He was frustrated as a restaurant owner that when the pandemic first hit, the county allowed big box stores such as Wal-Mart to stay open but forced businesses like his to close. "We could have operated under those same guidelines and we are operating under them now. But during those critical two or three months when we were shut down completely, a lot of small businesses folded unfortunately permanently." Zosa’s Democratic opponent, Raul Campillo, sees things quite differently. The deputy city attorney says the county's response to COVID has not been strict enough. "When new policies come in place, if they aren't enforced early, the public is not going to take it seriously...12;15;59;24 the county should have made sure they were going to cite people who were violating health orders early on. I'm not talking drastic, punitive measures, just simply citations where people knew I'm going to be paying a small fine if I violate this." The ongoing pandemic will likely force City Council to make further budget cuts in the 2021-22 fiscal year. Campillo says if elected he would want to cut spending by eliminating outside contractors. "We shouldn't be sending to outside firms and instead should bring in-house the engineers, surveyors and other experts to work for the city and bring their expertise in house." Zosa would cut... "The money SANDAG and the city is spending on protected bike lanes. That money should be spent on fixing our streets and our roads." The outcome of the race could impact the balance of power on the City Council. If Campillo replaces the Republican Scott Sherman, it would mean Democrats pick up an additional seat. Claire Trageser, KPBS News That was KPBS’ Claire Trageser. As we said earlier, only two of the five open council seats feature races with candidates from both parties. The other three seats have only Democratic candidates vying for office. . So..the San Diego City Council will stay in the control of Democrats after the November election. Though the council is officially non-partisan. KPBS’ John Carroll spoke with the two Democrats facing off for the District one seat. San Diego City Council District one covers a lot of coastline… from La Jolla up to the border with Del Mar. Democrats Joe LaCava who's a civil engineer, and Will Moore a lawyer, are running to replace Barbara Bry. The two agree on many issues, like streamlining the permitting process to build housing, especially affordable housing. But they part company on the controversial issue of short-term rentals. Moore agreed with a proposal to cap the number of Air BnB style rentals… LaCava didn't think it went far enough. The proposal was rejected by the planning commission. First we'll hear from Moore… then LaCava. "I think what we should be doing, instead of just waving a flag to have a rhetorical point, is trying to work towards a solution that actually reduces the impact of STVRs on our community. And that practical solution is what I'm after." "Let's adopt regulations for home sharing and let's keep whole home rentals in our commercial districts." A decision on short term rentals will now be up to the new city council. LaCava came in first in the District One primary, beating Moore by more than 3,000 votes. But there were more than 25-thousand votes split between the other candidates. JC, KPBS News. And.. in City Council District 3 … the seat has been held by a member of the LGBTQ community since 1993, it will stay that way after the November election. We have KPBS’ John Carroll again. He spoke with the two candidates vying for the seat. District 3 encompasses what you might call the heart of San Diego… from where the city began in what is now Old Town to Balboa Park, Downtown to Hillcrest, Mission Hills to University Heights. Democrats Stephen Whitburn and Toni Duran, both members of the LGBTQ community, are vying for the seat. There's not a lot of daylight between the two on most issues. But when asked why they each feel they're the best to succeed Chris Ward for the seat, they had very different answers. Whitburn points to his professional experience. "I'm the one candidate in this race who has run an organization, the one candidate who's led a staff, the one who has balanced an organizational budget." Duran points to what she calls her "lived experience." "As a woman, as a Latina, as a member of the LGBTQ community, as a person that's come from a lower income background, I think I know I can speak to that better." Whitburn bested Duran by about four-thousand votes in the primary. JC, KPBS News. Coming up on the podcast….California Assemblymember Shirley Weber chairs the California Black Legislative Caucus. She spoke with CapRadio recently about which laws she believes can help address systemic racism. That interview is next after this break. It's been several months since protests against racial injustice and police brutality broke out across the country. California has since approved new laws which Democratic leaders say will address some of those issues. The laws include a measure to study the impacts of slavery and recommend reparations for African Americans. Assemblymember Shirley Weber chairs the California Black Legislative Caucus. She spoke with CapRadio's Nicole Nixon about which laws she believes can help address systemic racism. That was Democratic Assemblymember Shirley Weber and CapRadio's Nicole Nixon. That’s it for the podcast today, thanks for listening and have a great day.

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On Tuesday afternoon, The Supreme Court Ordered an immediate halt to the 2020 Census Count. Plus, we’ll have a review of San Diego City Council races. And, California Assembly member Shirley Weber talks about which laws she believes can help address systemic racism in the state.