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VOSD Podcast: The Local Ballot Measures, Explained

Oct 17, 2020 | ,

Original article can be found here.
20181102_SD-Election_12-800x533-2 VOSD Podcast: The Local Ballot Measures, Explained Featured Top Stories [your]NEWS
A southeastern San Diego resident uses Voice of San Diego’s election guide to help her vote on Election Day. / Photo by Adriana Heldiz

You asked for it, so here it is.

This week, hosts Scott Lewis, Andrew Keatts and Sara Libby reviewed the five local ballot measures for the city of San Diego — A through E.

Ballot talk starts at minute 12 in the podcast. What precedes is discussion about the Pete Wilson statue and Lewis’s recent story about plexiglass and how to safely reopen schools and other things.

Measure A: An Affordable Housing Bond

Measure A would raise property taxes to fund the construction of affordable housing projects — those reserved for low-income residents. In all, the measure aims to raise $900 million to build about 7,500 homes. Projects like these, Keatts notes, are one of the only ways to truly reach people at the bottom rung of the housing ladder.  And while it’s well-established that housing is a major concern for most San Diegans (and Californians), this measure a high bar to clear; it requires a two-thirds vote to pass.

Measure B: A More Powerful Group to Police the Police

Measure B would replace the current community review board that oversees the San Diego Police Department with a commission on police practices. This new group would be able to independently investigate police-related deaths and officer-involved shootings. It would have the power to issue subpoenas and its own legal counsel. After languishing for years, this proposal now has wide support from San Diego officials, including the mayor.

Get more details and context: We did an awesomely exhaustive episode about police reform you should check out. It included an interview with Andrea St. Julian, the woman behind Measure B. 

Listen to the police reform episode here.

Measure C: Making School Board Elections Normal

As Lewis noted in the show, Measures C and D are kind of odd in that they give power to all San Diego city voters for decisions that only affect folks within the San Diego Unified School District (which covers only part of the city).

Measure C would change how school board members are elected. Now — unlike most any other election process — candidates for the school board first run in their own subdistrict during the primary, but then have to face voters citywide in the general election. If Measure C gets through, candidates for San Diego Unified School Board would only run in their subdistricts in both the primary and general elections.

Put simply, Lewis said, this would make it easier and cheaper to run for the school board.

Measure D: The Andrew Keatts Measure

In response to Keatts’s reporting about San Diego Unified Trustee Kevin Beiser, this measure aims to create a process to remove school board members from office.

Measure E: Let’s Get High

A yes on E would remove the 30-foot height limit for buildings in the Midway district. Currently, the coastal height limit applies to that area even though there aren’t really any beach views to protect.

Supporters say the neighborhood is ripe for more housing and other development that can’t happen unless the height limit is changed. Opponents think the measure is a slippery slope to removing the height limit in other places.

Also — importantly — if Measure E passes, it would give the Sports Arena redevelopment a lot more headroom.

Note: Coming next week, VOSD will furnish our regular reader’s guide on the local election. Make sure you’re following the Morning Report so you don’t miss it.

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