/Morning Report: Council Dems Unsure When They’ll Flex That Supermajority

Morning Report: Council Dems Unsure When They’ll Flex That Supermajority

Councilwomen Jen Campbell, Vivian Moreno and Monica Montgomery get sworn in to the San Diego City Council. / Photo by Adriana Heldizjen

Councilwoman Jen Campbell’s victory over Lorie Zapf in November stunned political watchers not just because she ousted a Council incumbent, but because the win gave City Council Democrats a supermajority that can override any potential Mayor Kevin Faulconer veto.

But “a month later, it is not clear that Council Democrats or their progressive allies are readying a policy push that will require them to flex that supermajority,” Andrew Keatts writes in a new piece examining Dems’ priorities as the new Council prepares to get to work.

“Instead, advocacy groups are vying for Council attention on their pre-existing priorities. Labor leaders say they’re ready to work with the mayor and the Council to combat problems. Different Council offices are picking and choosing where they’ll focus their attention in the New Year,” Keatts writes. “And in the middle, attempting to sort it into an agenda, is newly elected Council President Georgette Gomez.”

Gomez says the voters who gave Democrats a supermajority expect bold action, especially on housing and police accountability. They aren’t there to maintain the status quo, she said, although she did not specify any policies that would be making their way to a Council agenda anytime soon.

On her approach, though, Gomez has a clear sense of how she’ll operate.

“I am not going to be surprising the mayor at all,” Gomez told Keatts. “That doesn’t help any of us.”

That sentiment echoes Republicans who voiced their support for Gomez as council president. She’s a progressive with whom they expect to disagree often, but each made a point to say she’s easy to work with because she’s honest and transparent with them across the board.

Bry to Mayor’s Race: I Am in You

Nobody has made more noise or hinted with more energy that she was running for mayor of the city of San Diego than Barbara Bry but she made it official Wednesday with an announcement to supporters and the media.

She made an extra effort to shape herself as prioritizing fiscal responsibility and highlighting the city’s moribund but still rigorous pension crisis, which dominated city politics for a decade. It was a not subtle shot across the bow toward her prospective rival, Rep. Scott Peters, who was on the City Council in 2002 when the city enhanced pensions for employees while also voting to underfund the pension system.

Assemblyman Todd Gloria has also hinted at a prospective run. Former police Chief Shelley Zimmerman told the Union-Tribune in December she was also considering it.

In Other News

  • The Union-Tribune’s Sandra Dibble recaps a bloody year in Tijuana, where there were over 2,500 homicides in 2018, according to an unofficial total. Many of the deaths are related to neighborhood drug dealing, primarily the sales on street corners of methamphetamine. There were seven deaths on Dec. 31 alone: “The day’s first crime was reported at 7:30 a.m. in Valle Verde, where a 25-year-old man was shot dead. The last killing of the year was reported at 11:30 p.m., near the Tijuana airport, in a neighborhood known as Colonia 70-76, where an unknown male victim was found shot in the back.”
  • The Temecula Police Department arrested the former head of Imperial Beach Charter School’s PTA for allegedly embezzling money. Kaitlyn Birchman allegedly spent the Parent Teacher Association money on herself and her family, though it was supposed to help fund student activities, including field trips. NBC 7 first reported on the allegations back in August. The arrest is part of an “ongoing investigation” by the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department Financial Crimes Unit. (NBC 7, Sheriff’s Department)
  • Tensions remain high along the border after American border patrol agents fired tear gas at migrants who were attempting to illegally cross from Mexico. (NBC 7)
  • KPBS looks at mounting safety concerns about Southern California Edison’s plan to bury nuclear waste from the failed San Onofre nuclear power plant on a San Diego beach. In particular, the containers storing the waste have been getting “scratches.” (KPBS)
  • The Navy plans to end the “bread and water” punishment it used to mete out to low-ranking sailors, which means an end to “a tradition that hearkens back to the days of wooden sailing vessels, broadside cannons and flogging.” (Union-Tribune)
  • Rep. Duncan Hunter’s 2018 opponent plans to run against him again in 2020. “I’m ready to pour my heart & soul into this race, community organize, listen, learn, and become the representative #CA50 deserves,” Ammar Campa-Najjar said in a tweet. Hunter, who is facing allegations that he took donor money and used it to enrich himself and his family, ran a anti-Muslim campaign against Campa-Najjar, who is Christian.
  • Here’s how to recycle a Christmas tree in the city of San Diego. (City of San Diego)
  • A group of Solana Beach residents are not happy about a proposed resort on Del Mar’s northern edge that would sit atop the area’s last open coastal bluff. They’ve raised concerns about recent bluff collapses, increased traffic and obstructed ocean views. (Reader)
  • And finally, the VOSD newsroom was in mourning after hearing that Tacos El Gordo was fined $40,000 for not keeping records of unsafe work conditions. An employee at the popular Tijuana-style chain, with locations in Chula Vista, fell off a ladder and sustained serious injuries. (NBC 7)

Correction

Tuesday’s Culture Report misidentified artist Yasmine Kasem’s background. She is Egyptian-American and from Indiana.

The Morning Report was written by Ry Rivard, and edited by Sara Libby.