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Voting starts in 80th assembly district race

 March 21, 2022 at 5:00 AM PDT

Good Morning, I’m Matt Hoffman, in for Annica Colbert….it’s [Monday, March 21st]>>>>

Voting starts in the 80th assembly district

More on that next. But first... let’s do the headlines….######

Today is the second anniversary of Title 42. It allows CBP agents at ports of entry to turn asylum seekers away in the name of public health. The San Diego Immigrant Rights Consortium is marking the anniversary by participating in a national day of action and calling for an end to the use of Title 42 to exclude asylum seekers and others seeking humanitarian protection.

Federal and international law gives anyone the right to request asylum. And prior to Title 42, asylum decisions were issued by a judge who reviewed evidence.

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Spring training games are officially underway for the San Diego Padres. Play started on Friday and this afternoon (Monday) the Friars are set to face the Colorado Rockies in Peoria, Arizona. After bargaining delays that included a three month lockout – the Padres are opening the regular season on the road against the Arizona diamondbacks on April 7th. Their home opener is set for April 14th.

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DROUGHT CONDITIONS ACROSS CALIFORNIA ARE GETTING WORSE. BUT THE SITUATION IN SAN DIEGO IS BETTER THAN other areas of the STATE. LAST WEEK California officials announced PLANS TO REDUCE WATER ALLOCATIONS FROM 15-PERCENT OF THE AMOUNT REQUESTED... TO JUST 5-PERCENT... DUE TO ONGOING DROUGHT. BUT IN SAN DIEGO, THE COUNTY WATER AUTHORITY SAYS THE REGION'S WATER SUPPLY SHOULD REMAIN STABLE FOR THIS YEAR AND WELL INTO THE FUTURE. THE WATER AUTHORITY POINTS OUT THAT WE USE VERY LITTLE WATER FROM THE BAY DELTA DUE TO INVESTMENTS MADE IN OUR WATER INFRASTRUCTURE HERE OVER THE YEARS.

From KPBS, you’re listening to San Diego News Now.Stay with me for more of the local news you need.

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Early voting is underway in a special election for the 80th Assembly District… covering the southern part of San Diego, Chula Vista and National City.

KPBS Speak City Heights reporter Jacob Aere says two Democrats and one Republican are in the race.. and they all have different visions for the future of San Diego’s South Bay.

4:07 ...soq.

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**b-roll Georgette Gomez, David Alvarez, Lorena Gonzalez, South Bay footage**

The Assembly District 80 seat opened up in January, when Lorena Gonzalez resigned to take a job with the California Labor Federation.

Three candidates are in the race: Democrats David Alvarez and Georgette Gomez, and Republican Lincoln Pickard (pi-CARD).

Gonzalez has endorsed Gomez.

SOT 6586

Georgette Gómez | 80th Assembly District Candidate

10:07:30 - 10:07:39 (:09)

“I am proud to have the support of former Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, someone who did a lot on behalf of her district.”

For Gomez, this is a return to politics. She was President of the San Diego City Council, and ran an unsuccessful campaign for Congress in 2020.

During that run she was criticized for not reporting $100,000 of income on her tax returns... and that criticism is being made again in this election.

Georgette Gómez | 80th Assembly District Candidate

10:14:49 - 10:15:13

“There wasn’t me trying to do a runaround on taxes, it was literally a mistake. An unintentional mistake, but I fixed it right away.”

But she says that the current anti-Gomez mailers are being pushed by oil, tow truck and insurance companies funding one of her opponents, David Alvarez.

She says that's because some of the key points from her platform focus on the climate crisis, as well as affordable housing and income inequality.

SOT 6586

Georgette Gómez | 80th Assembly District Candidate

10:10:57 - 10:11:15 (:18)

“I’m advancing solutions to improve our transit system, to continue bringing more affordable housing, even as someone that is in the private sector now. So to me that's where my commitment and what I’m grounded on, and that's never going to change, no matter where I’m at.”

**b-roll Georgette Gomez, David Alvarez, Lorena Gonzalez, South Bay footage**

Campaign finance records show Alvarez has received donations from those special interests that Gomez mentions, among others. He says Gomez is being supported by Sacramento politicians who don’t want things to change.

In a written statement he told KPBS:

(Statement, need graphic)

“They are doing this because they know they can control her, that if she is elected nothing will change. By contrast I have run a 100% positive campaign based on the issues.”

Like Gomez, Alvarez is a Democrat, a former San Diego City Councilmember and a native of Barrio Logan.

SOT 6624

David Alvarez | 80th Assembly District Candidate

13:18:46 - 13:19:03 (:17)

“People feel like Sacramento often forgets them and they want to make sure education is a priority, that higher education is a priority, that crime gets addressed as our south bay communities and San Diego have seen an increase in crime over the last year, particularly violent crime.”

Lincoln Pickard is the third candidate in the race… a Republican running in a heavily Democratic district.

SOT 0375

Lincoln Pickard | 80th Assembly District Candidate

1:04:36 - 1:04:50 ( :14)

“The odds are against me, the smart money would be on one of the other candidates because there's such a disparity in the amount … the demographics are totally different in our district.

His platform focuses on the cost of living and running a company in California, along with education and water management … among other issues.

SOT 0375

Lincoln Pickard | 80th Assembly District Candidate

58:21 - 58:41 (:12)

“It would take a lot of voters out there that are sick and tired of the Democratic rules and regulations which are driving so many businesses out of our state, which means they’re taking jobs with them.”

The special election is only to fill out the remainder of Lorena Gonzalez’ term. If one candidate gets 50-percent plus one of the vote, they’ll win the seat outright.

But if no one does, there’ll be a runoff on June 7th… the same day as a regular election for the next term… which begins in December… AND covers a redrawn District 80 thanks to the last census.

The same three candidates are running in that race, too. Here’s a last word from each on the issues that matter to them…starting with David Alvarez:

SOT 6624

David Alvarez | 80th Assembly District Candidate

13:27:15 - 13:27:32

“Education, crime on the rise, homelessness issues, they matter to the people in both the old district and the new district. So we’re talking about the same issues, we’re having those conversations.”

Georgette Gomez:

SOT 6586

Georgette Gómez | 80th Assembly District Candidate

10:06:23 - 10:06:40

“At the end of the day it's about building healthy communities. Making sure that there’s housing that is affordable, making sure that people have clean air, making sure that there are better jobs and our education system is robust”

And Lincoln Pickard.

SOT 0375

Lincoln Pickard | 80th Assembly District Candidate

1:04:15 - 1:04:30

"If you care about gas taxes, and you care about school choice, if you care about the 2nd amendment and you care about some of these really important values that make America what it is, I ask for your vote.”​​​​​​​

Early voting is underway now and runs through April fourth… or voters can go to the polls on April fifth. Jacob Aere, KPBS News.

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Today (Monday) is the last day to register to vote by mail in this election. Those who don’t and still want to cast their ballots will have to show up in person at the registrar's office or go to a voting center.

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THE SAN DIEGO RAPID RESPONSE NETWORK SAYS MORE UKRAINIANS AND RUSSIANS ARE SEEKING REFUGE THROUGH SAN YSIDRO. THE LOCAL ORGANIZATION WORKS TO SHELTER IMMIGRANTS AND HELP THEM CONNECT WITH FAMILY OR FRIENDS IN THE U-S. KATE CLARK WITH JEWISH FAMILY SERVICES SAYS THE NUMBERS ARE CLIMBING AS THE WAR INTENSIFIES.

UKRAINEBORDER 2A

WE’VE CONFRONTED MANY INSTANCES WHERE GUESTS FROM RUSSIA AND UKRAINE HAVE BEEN IN OUR CARE WHILE LEARNING THAT LOVED ONES THAT STAYED BEHIND WERE KILLED AS A RESULT OF RUSSIA'S INVASION. WE ANTICIPATE THE NUMBER OF EASTERN EUROPEANS COMING TO OUR BORDER WILL CONTINUE (;18)

WHILE UKRANIANS AND RUSSIANS ARE GRABBING HEADLINES, THEY ONLY MAKE UP ABOUT 15 PERCENT OF THE REFUGEES THE NETWORK HELPS. CLARK SAYS THERE ARE TENS OF THOUSANDS FLEEING VIOLENCE FROM AROUND THE WORLD THAT DESERVE TO HAVE THEIR CASES HEARD.

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Today the United Food and Commercial Workers Union (Monday) begins its strike authorization vote for workers at Ralphs, Vons and Alberton’s grocery stores. KPBS Reporter Thomas Fudge has more on bargaining that has so far failed to reach an agreement.

STRIKEVOTE 1 :52 …SOQ.

Negotiations between the union and the stores broke off on Sunday March 6th. The union called the companies’ offer of a wage increase to be well below workers' cost of living needs, and they accuse Ralphs of outsourcing food preparation to non-union kitchens. Ralph’s, whose parent company is Kroger, said their average hourly wage is just under 19 dollars an hour, and that rises to 25 dollars when you add in health and pension benefits. The contract offered by Ralphs and others, is offering an additional 60 cents an hour every year, or a dollar-80 cents over the life of the contract.

The leader of Union local 135 in San Diego says inflation has become a great hardship for grocery workers. And he says as the state minimum wage goes up, some union workers will soon be earning no more than that. By this time next week we should know whether grocery workers have chosen to go on strike. SOQ.

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Coming up we’re concluding our series on COVID shutdowns and the performing arts with a look at live music and local music venues.. We’ll have that story just ahead after the break

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Today we wrap up our series on the second anniversary of COVID-19 shutdowns and event cancellations, and the impact these past two years have had on the performing arts sector. We've covered classical performance, the theater, and today: live music and local music venues. Two years ago this month, San Diego's vibrant live music industry screeched to a halt. Venues were shuttered and bands could no longer tour or even practice together. Since reopening last summer, venues, performers and staff had to juggle evolving restrictions and more cancellations — plus added job duties for bouncers and bartenders in enforcing public health policies. KPBS producers Emilyn Mohebbi and Julia Dixon Evans gathered stories from people in the live music scene, including security, a performer and a venue owner.

TAG: That's a recording of "Subway Song" from Julianna Zachariou's [zack-a-REE-ooo's] July 20- 21 performance at Soda Bar.

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That’s it for the podcast today. As always you can find more San Diego news online at KPBS dot org. I’m Matt Hoffman. Thanks for listening and have a great day.

Early voting is underway in a special election for California’s 80th Assembly District covering parts of San Diego, Chula Vista and National City. More Ukranians and Russians are seeking refuge through San Ysidro as the war intensifies. Ralphs, Vons and Albertsons grocery store workers could soon be striking.