Ballots for 2021 ADEM Elections Should Be Arriving in Mailboxes Soon
Statement on the Jan. 6th Coup d'etat Attempt
Can anyone look upon what our nation has become over the last four years and see any connection to the 240 years of American democratic norms, in times of peace and war, that preceded it? The Greatest Generation went overseas to fight fascism and threats to democracy like those seen on Jan. 6th. Our nation has twisted itself into a pretzel to innoculate it from threats of foreign terrorism in the years since the 9/11 attacks. But in 245 years our nation has never been subjected to a coup attempt of anything resembling the magnitude of what is occurring now. It is a disgrace. That this sedition was incited, in broad daylight, by the sitting President of the United States, is extraordinary.
Land Swap for Rancho Jamul Ecological Reserve Denied by State Board
Rancho Jamul Ecological Reserve near Proctor Valley isn't just open space, but specific habitat highly suitable for the endangered Quino Checkerspot Butterfly and dozens of rare species native to San Diego County. Unfortunately, to some, the status of public land managed for conservation is nothing more than a placeholder until something more lucrative comes along. Thankfully, an attempt to facilitate a "land swap" that would've enabled sprawl housing to be built at Rancho Jamul was beaten back at the California Wildlife Conservation Board, but it's a fight conservationists must fight again and again when monied interests move the goalposts and then ask for a "fair" hearing from our agencies.
Rancho Guejito Remains San Diego County's Great Conservation Opportunity
I was recently in the midst of a conversation about Rancho Guejito, the fabled 36 square mile North County valley that remains the largest area of privately-owned, undeveloped habitat in Southern California. With native Engelmann oak, sycamore, and abundant wildlife, it's also a fascinating relic of the Mexican land grant era. Those who have visited it emphasize the extraordinary isolation and valley setting, surrounded by mountains. I recorded this Treehuggers International show on Rancho Guejito in 2008 with Bruce Coons from the Save Our Heritage Organisation, and Dan Silver from the Endangered Habitats League, and it wound up being one of our most popular and enduring episodes.
Putting Our 2018 Effort in Perspective Ahead of 2022
As we gear up for 2022, I can't begin to express how proud and thankful I am of our 2018 team, and how grateful I am to everyone who hoisted a sign, knocked on a door, made a call, talked to a neighbor, or made a contribution to our effort. By conservative estimates we were outspent 8 to 1, yet we won over 21,500 votes in a record showing for a Democrat in a D-6 race, and forced the GOP incumbent to spend even more than he did to first win four years earlier. My final vote tally exceeded even that of winning council candidates in the D4 and D8 races, so while we came up short in 2018, we kept it close – and we'll be reaching out for your support again very soon.
The Crisis of Broken Streets in Mira Mesa and District 6
While canvassing in Mira Mesa one afternoon I stopped by a house on Gold Coast Dr. and asked the homeowner if there was anything he was concerned about. He led me to his front yard where we were hit by flying gravel as a car drove by. "This is my problem," he said. At a meeting on the proposal to rebuild Gold Coast and Parkdale that summer, the city's chief engineer noted with amazement how bad Mira Mesa roads had become. So many roadbeds in Mira Mesa, built quickly and on the cheap in the early 1970s, failed long ago from an intrusion of water, bad drainage, and loose soils. Thanks to Times of San Diego for running my piece on our city's road and infrastructure crisis.
Restoring Mission Bay Wetlands Will Help Bird Species Recover
Thanks to Times of San Diego for running a piece I co-wrote with San Diego Audubon conservation director Andrew Meyer on the opportunity to do our part locally to curb the mass bird extinction crisis by enabling greater habitat for wildlife affected by climate change. Additional thanks to San Diego media for covering the ReWild Mission Bay campaign over the last year, and our effort to improve water quality, increase climate resiliency, sequester carbon, preserve habitat, and enable greater public access as our growing coalition continues to demonstrate strong support for wetland restoration and park revitalization.
Office Park Has No Business Being Built Next to Nature Preserve
Thanks to the San Diego Union-Tribune for running my piece criticizing the city council's approval of zoning changes to facilitate the construction of a multi-story, multi-structure office complex on an 11-acre parcel of land surrounded on three sides by the city-owned Del Mar Mesa Preserve. Located far from transit, this needless project will result in a loss of habitat that will affect the preserve and its role as a wildlife corridor, enable an increase in invasive species, and further bite into our city's vanishing wildlands while doing nothing to advance our Climate Action Plan. Why would anyone support this? Read more about this awful, unwelcome monument.
My Grandfather's Labor Legacy
On Labor Day 2018 I posted this essay about my grandfather's labor legacy with the United Steelworkers in Western Pennsylvania. A year later, I shared it again, in part because my family found long lost photos of my grandfather following my father's death in December 2018. It serves as a nice reminder that weekends, child labor laws, health care, collective bargaining, paid sick leave, overtime, and so much more came about in the American workplace because workers demanded it as part of the labor movement. Good to remember on Labor Day – or any day.