By Doug Porter
The future makeup of San Diego’s city council took an interesting turn yesterday as Bruce Lightner declared his intention to run for the District 1 seat being vacated by termed-out Sheri Lightner, who just happens to be his wife.
Sheri Lightener is a Democrat, who at times has been willing to play nice with Republicans on the council. Bruce Lightner is a Republican, who has an adversarial history with Ray Ellis, the other GOP candidate in the race along with others in the party hierarchy. In short, he’s a wild card.
Prior to this announcement the contest for D1 was shaping up to be the battle for partisan control of the council. When Joe LaCava dropped out of the race in January, Democrat Barbara Bry was left with a one-on-one contest headed into the June primary, which historically has brought out more right-leaning voters. Republican Ellis was raising and spending more money.
Given the last name recognition factor (as voters have proven repeatedly by supporting dumb-as-a-box-of-rocks Duncan D Hunter as his father’s replacement in Congress), the contest for D1 is now much more likely to be resolved in the general election. (Note: this is no denigration of Bruce Lightner, who appears to be on the smart side.)
Here’s a snip of Bruce Lightner’s announcement:
Although I had never considered running for public office before, I’ve decided to throw my hat in the ring because I feel so strongly about continuing Sherri’s work as an independent, effective voice for our neighborhoods.
Sherri and I raised our family in San Diego and co-founded and built a small engineering business together. For the past two decades, I have served diligently behind the scenes supporting the information technology needs of several local community organizations that Sherri led, such as the La Jolla Shores Association and the La Jolla Town Council.
I share my wife’s commitment to guarding the city’s now restored financial health and improved public service levels. Thanks to reforms implemented by the City Council and Mayor, our city now maintains a balanced budget and has curbed out of control pension costs.
Mayoral Contest Shaping Up
The Times of San Diego ran with a story about Ed Harris’ candidacy announcement including a swipe at the record of the Faulconer administration:
“We have delayed response to 9-1-1 calls, and we continue to lose trained police officers to other departments,” he said. “The city has over 1,000 vacant positions. Cutbacks in Fleet Services have resulted in much of the city vehicle fleet being out of commission.”
As mayor, Harris said, he will enforce the 30-foot height limit along the coastline and address problems created by permanent short-term rentals in residential neighborhoods.
“I’m proud to have support from key members of Save Our Neighborhoods, the citizens’ group involved with the short-term rentals issue,” he said. “I also helped create a partnership with Toyota that has provided 34 new vehicles for our Lifeguard Department that is saving city taxpayers over $4 million.”
Democratic party chair Francine Busby emailed me yesterday to let me know that differences between her and Harris were a thing of the past. Questions about a party endorsement and the support it could bring won’t be resolved until the County Democratic Committee meets later this month.
Independent candidate Lori Saldaña issued a statement via Facebook, welcoming Harris into the mayoral race:
I welcome the entry of Ed Harris into the mayoral campaign. We share many of the same values and a lifelong commitment to serving the people of San Diego. The citizens of San Diego deserve a robust campaign about our future, and Ed will help provide that.
Ed served his communities well as an interim City Councilmember, and is well respected by people throughout San Diego. I appreciate his service to our city as a lifeguard, and to our nation when he served in the Marine Corps. I know he will contribute to important discussions about public safety, clean water, and fiscal responsibility in the months ahead, and I look forward to debating and discussing these issues with both Ed Harris and Kevin Faulconer, as we approach election day.
Saldaña also appeared at a press conference yesterday alongside attorney Cory Briggs to announce her support for the Citizens Plan, which nearly all the local media insist on characterizing as an initiative to build a stadium for the Chargers.
Take, for instance, this headline from NBC7:
Saldana Boards Bolts Bandwagon for New Downtown Stadium
From the Union-Tribune: [emphasis mine]
The proposal would also increase hotel taxes to pay for the convention center expansion and devote much of the Qualcomm Stadium site in Mission Valley to parks and academic use.
“I have always advocated the transformation of the Mission Valley site for conservation, parks, clean energy generation, academic facilities and a home for our (San Diego State) Aztecs,” Saldaña said at a Thursday morning news conference. “The Citizens Plan will help make that vision a reality and do much more for our city. “
Ed Harris, the leading Democratic challenger to Faulconer, has also endorsed the Citizens Plan.
Transit System Fare Cards Under Scrutiny
Our city’s transit system (MTS) is getting some attention, and it’s about time.
Circulate San Diego executive director Jim Stone wrote an op-ed for Voice of San Diego suggesting it might be a good idea if MTS paid attention to the people who actually use (or might use) the system.
He correctly assesses that fare enforcement is a higher priority than customer service, and proceeds to recount some of his experiences.
I would love to see transit ridership increase in San Diego. Until MTS begins to treat their riders as valued customers, to create the best possible experience for passengers riding the trolley or a bus, it’s just not going to happen.
KPBS ran a story earlier this week revealing that MTS Compass Cards are not PCI compliant, which leaves customer data at risk for credit card fraud.
It’s also true, as many have pointed, that these cards are really unfriendly to those who might be needing bus service the most. They’re sold issued on a monthly basis, requiring people to cough up $72 up front. I’m sure it’s great deal unless you happen to be earning the minimum wage and living paycheck to paycheck.
Several retail locations sell these cards, but if you’re working the graveyard shift, you’d better have exact fare; the hours where Compass Cards are available from 8am to 8pm.
Want to add $20 to your fare card? Sorry, that’s not allowed, even though the company that developed the technology making such a thing possible–and used in other cities around the country– is right here in San Diego.
Circulate San Diego has developed an online tool enabling the public to send a message to the MTS management about fixing these Compass Card problems.
City Council members David Alvarez and Lori Zapf have called on MTS to improve its credit card security.
Alvarez and Zapf both sit on the MTS board of directors. In their letter to agency CEO Paul Jablonski, they said: “The public should not have to question whether their local government and agencies are doing everything possible to protect their financial and personal information when accepting payment for services.”
MTS says it has spent some $700,000 assessing and upgrading its data security, but it has not given itself a deadline for reaching compliance with industry standards.
Alvarez and Zapf also called on MTS to upgrade the Compass Card system to include stored value — a function promised in 2013 that has not been fulfilled. They asked MTS staff to present an update on both issues at the next MTS board meeting, scheduled for 9 a.m. on March 17.
One final note. From now on, every candidate for city council needs to ride the Number 7 bus line for a few hours.
The GOP Debates Have Come Down to This
— Stuart Leavenworth (@sleavenworth) March 4, 2016
Weekly Progressive Calendar: Upcoming in San Diego
Cracking the Codes on Race
Films & Conversations on RACE (#3)
Saturday, March 5, 9:30am-12:30pm
Peace Resource Center of San Diego
3850 Westgate Pl, San Diego
Info & Updates
RSVP appreciated. Refreshments provided. Donations appreciated!
This 3-hour program includes one film showing and group dialogue. Together, we will examine our embedded assumptions around race and systems of oppression, discover new questions, and explore avenues for change.
** Note: This is our 3rd session (different films). If you missed one or both before, it’s okay! Each time we’ve had large groups with varied experience and ended up with excellent conversations. We look forward to you joining! (And put Mar 26th on your calendar for a 4th session, details to be determined)
Mar 5th – “Cracking the Codes: The System of Racial Inequity” asks America to talk about the causes and consequences of systemic inequity. Designed for dialogue, the film works to disentangle internal beliefs, attitudes and pre-judgments within, and it builds skills to address the structural drivers of social and economic inequities. The film features moving stories from 24 racial justice leaders including Amer Ahmed, Michael Benitez, Barbie-Danielle DeCarlo, Joy DeGruy, Harley Eagle, Ericka Huggins, Yuko Kodama, Peggy McIntosh, Rinku Sen, Tillman Smith and Tim Wise.
San Diego Art Institute
Street Art & Lowrider Festival
Saturday, March 5, Noon-5pm
Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation
404 Euclid Ave, San Diego
Info & Updates
The SDAI Street Art and Lowrider Festival is a collaborative, family-style event celebrating the diverse cultures and artistic traditions of the area. The event will foster a collaborative sense of community, while showcasing Chicano and Americana art forms. This event is geared broadly toward artists, arts audiences, music lovers, car enthusiasts, and the general public. The festival is free and open to the public.
Check out some of the city’s most inspired lowrider cars, brought to us by Amigos Car Club and the San Diego Lowrider Council. Selected event artists include: Creative Catalyst grantee Noe Olivas, who will showcase his “lowrider van” that opens into an interactive art space; renowned Tijuana street artists PANCA; stencil artist Pierce Williams; and printmaker Kim Cruz, who will run a children’s printmaking activity from 3-4pm. Join us at 12:30pm for a screening of Alberto Pulido and Kelly Whalen’s film “Everything Comes from the Streets,” which documents the lives and voices of the pioneers of the lowriding movements in the borderlands of San Diego and Tijuana. The event will also feature musical performances by Cumbia Machin, The Johnny Deadly Trio, and Hard Fall Hearts, from 2-5pm, and DJ’s throughout the day provided by Radio Pulso Del Barrio.
Don’t miss Famoso Mexican Street Food truck, who’ll be on-site selling their renowned tacos and TJ dogs! In addition, the following Barrio Logan galleries have sponsored artists to create and sell work at the festival: Voz Alta – Ricardo Islas; Chicana Art Gallery – Cesar Castañeda & Sholove; Flying Panther Tattoo – Rob Benavides (who has designed a special events t-shirt for sale that day); and The Roots Factory – Jaclyn Rose. SDAI also thanks Rigo Reyes of the San Diego Lowrider Council, and DJ Ana Brown for their organizational support.
She’s History-The Most Dangerous Woman in America!
Saturday, March 5, 7pm
Women’s Museum of California
2730 Historic Decatur Rd #103 (Liberty Station)
Info & Tickets (Admission Charge, Reservations)
Amy Simon, writer/performer brings her one woman show about the “real” important women who MAKE and MADE history to life in this provocative and humorous portrayal. From Abigail Adams to Hillary Clinton to Malala Yousafzai with a dash of Kim Kardashian and Miley Cyrus thrown in for good measure.
GMOs & Glyphosate Public Forum
Environmental Health Symposium
Sunday, March 6, 3pm
Hilton San Diego
1775 E Mission Bay Drive
Info & Tickets (Admission Charge, Pre-Registration)
There will be a Community Public Forum on GMOs and Glyphosate with Professor Gilles-Eric Seralini, PhD, the researcher who documented adverse health effects of Roundup (glyphosate). Esteemed presenters include Stephanie Seneff, Top researcher Cancer/Diseases and Glyphosate, Jeffrey Smith, Author and Filmmaker, Dr. Michelle Perro, Pediatrician, Tom Malterre, Nutritionist and Author, Zen Honeycutt, Moms Across America, and Alan Lewis, Natural Products Industry Leader. Pre-register for $15, $25 at the door. Community Resource Fair opens at 1pm. Program from 3pm to 7pm at the Hilton San Diego on Mission Bay.
This is Seralini’s first public appearance in the states! This is part of the Environmental Health Symposium, a medical conference highlighting Dr. Seralini. There will also be a meet and greet gathering with the environmental and functional medicine doctors, Glyphosate Testing available and a Community Resource and Information Fair.
15th Annual San Diego County Women’s Hall of Fame
Induction Ceremony and Reception
Sunday, March 6, 2:30-5:30pm
Joe and Vi Jacobs Center
404 Euclid Ave., San Diego
Info & Updates
Nominated by the community, five women will be recognized for their achievements and inducted into the San Diego County Women’s Hall of Fame next month.
Guests will enjoy a light afternoon meal and touching performance by Los Angeles playwright and actress Amy Simon. Congresswoman Susan Davis and many other local and regional guests will be in attendance to applaud these local legends.
This year’s inductees are being recognized in five categories:
Activist: Evonne Seron Schulze
Bridge Builder: Sally Wong Avery, J.D.
Empowerer of Women: Elizabeth Lou
Historian: Maria Garcia
Trailblazer: Christine Kehoe
Show Up: Lincoln High Student Arraignment
Monday, March 7, 8am
2801 Meadow Lark Dr. San Diego
Info & Updates
Organized by Showing Up For Racial Justice (SUIRJ) – A third student involved in the Lincoln High “brawl” is being arraigned at 8:00 am Monday morning at Juvenile Court. We are being asked to show up again in solidarity with him, his family, and the Lincoln High and greater community. We will have extra t-shirts for people to wear while onsite, and will appoint one or two people as media contacts. Our presence matters. Our job is to be a visible, to follow Black and brown leadership, and keep the focus on the family/issue. Please RSVP if you can make it.
showing up….. jpg
NANA DIJO: Coloniality, Blackness and the Myths of Latino Identity
Monday, March 7, 1pm
San Diego City College (MS 162)
Info & Updates
Nana Dijo is a documentary on Black identity in Latin America and Afro-Latina/os in the U.S. directed by Bocafloja Quilombo-Oficial and Cambio Quilomboarte. There will be a Q & A session after the film with Bocafloja.
The event is being put together by the San Diego City College’s Chicana/o Studies Department and M.E.Ch.A. student organization.
It furthers the open and public discussions Black and Brown sudents on campus have had regarding their shared experiences with the long term effects of colonialism. A dialogue that has grown out of a combined class with Chicana/o and Black Studies Professors Enrique Davalos and Darius Spearman in the Fall of 2015.
All are welcome to this free public screening.
International Women’s Day March & Rally
Tuesday, March 8, 11:30am
Downtown San Diego
Meet at the corner of 7th St. & B St.
Info & Updates
Immigrant Women Rising! Join women across the world as we rise up against abuse and exploitation!
Poverty: A family with two parents working as janitors earns less than 67% of what it needs in order to cover basic living expenses.
Economic exploitation: Janitors are among the most likely to experience wage theft, facing low wages, and hazardous working conditions.
Immigrant women at risk: As documented in a PBS special investigation, “Rape on the Night Shift,” janitors are vulnerable to extreme abuses on the job, including widespread sexual harassment and assault of women.
80th Assembly District
Women of the Year Awards
In celebration of International Women’s Day & Women’s History Month, Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez warmly welcomes all members of the community to join her for her 3rd Annual “Women of the Year Awards,” honoring SHEroes from the 80th Assembly District who exemplify courage, strength and vision.
Ashley Nell Tipton, Anabel Arauz, Maribel Mckinze, Sandy Naranjo, Patty Chavez, Dr. Aurora Soriano Cudal, Ileana Ovalle Engel, Ana Melgoza, Amina Sheik, N Diane Moss, Snooky Rico, Nora E Vargas, Kiryana Fulgencio & Gem Murillo, Brittany Sheahan, Betty Waznis
Get your event listed: I try to list the next 10 days or so of mostly non-commercial events I think our readers might find of interest. I source my material from social media listings and press releases. In cases where there are competing but similar events or campaigns of the progressive persuasion, I do my best to list everything. (Hint, hint Hillary fans.) Unfortunately, my subscription to the psychic hotline has lapsed so if you don’t tell me or Facebook, etc., about your event it won’t get listed. See my email address below.
On This Day: 1917 – Jeanette Rankin of Montana took her seat as the first woman elected to the House of Representatives. 1933 – President Franklin D. Roosevelt names a woman, Frances Perkins, to be secretary of labor. Perkins became the first female cabinet member in U.S. history. 1970 – Janis Joplin was fined $200 for using obscene language onstage in Tampa, FL
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