Opinion

San Diego Politics: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

The Good— Scott Sherman recently passed an ordinance helping families in San Diego. He had an ordinance passed in order to help parking and costs for the citizens of San Diego.

The ordinance will reduce parking requirements for multifamily residential developments from a minimum of one parking space to zero. In addition, building applicants will be required to provide varying levels of transportation amenities based on a Transportation Amenity Score. Minimum parking requirements for multi-family developments dramatically increase construction costs, which is passed onto the consumer. With the elimination of minimum parking requirements, building construction would be less expensive with the benefit passed onto the homebuyer.

Sherman stated, “While it took way too long to get this ordinance approved, I praise my colleagues for finally getting it across the finish line . . . This is good news, but our work to fix San Diego’s housing crisis is nowhere near complete. We must continue pushing innovative strategies to improve housing affordability and we can’t wait two years for approval.”

More Good— Carl DeMaio has worked tirelessly to fight injustice for the citizens of San Diego. He worked to repeal the gas tax in order for families and individuals to have a lower cost of living, and is now fighting against unlawfully forced union dues. With his work with the unions, we are seeing people not being forced to pay union dues when they don’t want to participate in the union.

The Bad— Our city could pay for something that we already tried to end. City Attorney Mara Elliott and State Senator Ben Hueso stopped their efforts to debilitate the California Public Records Act by making it significantly harder to collect attorney’s fees from public agencies that failed to turn over public records.

Under the bill, citizens or entities seeking public records would have had to establish that a government agency willfully ignored the request without a legitimate reason before taking the agency in question to court.

One other thing the Elliott-Hueso bill would have done is force people who request records from an agency and the agency itself to meet and negotiate before someone could bring a lawsuit.

San Diego is now getting sued for failing to turn over records related to the discussions that led to the legislation. If they lose, they could be forced to pay attorney’s fees for failing to do so.

The Ugly— Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez who has taken a firm stance against sexual assault with her proposed bill that would have the sexual assault records open to the public and available to be handled by a new department.

Since Kevin Beiser’s accusations of sexual assault, the San Diego Unified School District has yet to release their sexual assault records, a request that was made over a year ago. In this time, Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez has yet to bring up her bill again and has not commented on the accusations against Beiser or the SDUSD’s refusal to release its records.

In June 2017, a Beiser fundraiser was attended by State Assembly Democrat and former City Councilman Todd Gloria, now a 2020 candidate for mayor. Other political figures on the sponsor list included Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, City Attorney Mara Elliott, and Myrtle Cole. All of which have not commented on Kevin Beiser even with their firm stances against sexual assault.

San Diego deserves politicians who practice what they preach. The ugly in this for our city and citizens is the fact that these Democratic politicians have yet to comment on the accusations made against Kevin Beiser, a man they have all worked closely with, even though some had previously preached that there is major change needed to combat sexual assault and have even written legislation against sexual assault. Yet they still remain silent.

Photo by Tyrel Johnson