Success! Congratulations to Our Local Candidates!
Congratulations to the four candidates I featured in my October e-mail blast, all of whom won their respective elections in November: Terra Lawson-Remer defeated incumbent Kristin Gaspar for the all-important San Diego County Supervisor seat in District 3, Marni von Wilpert won her race for the open seat in San Diego City Council District 5, Sabrina Bazzo won her seat to replace the exiting John Lee Evans on San Diego Unified School Board District A, and Darshana Patel was re-elected to her seat on the Poway Unified School Board. Congratulations to these amazing women and community leaders.
Video: ReWild Mission Bay "Support the SEP" Presentation
Thanks to everyone who dialed in for the ReWild Mission Bay coalition Support the SEP informational presentation via Zoom ahead of the San Diego Region Water Quality Control Board's decision on the Supplemental Environmental Project (SEP) proposal on Wednesday, Oct. 14, at 9 a.m. I was delighted to serve as moderator and discussion facilitator for the presentation, featuring Andrew Meyer from the San Diego Audubon Society, Isabelle Kay from Kendall-Frost Marsh and the UC Natural Reserve System, Patrick McDonough from San Diego Coastkeeper, and Karina Ornelas with San Diego Audubon and the San Diego City College Audubon chapter.
Video: Destroying California Forests Under Guise of Wildfire Suppression
The response to our San Diego County Democrats for Environmental Action presentation with Los Padres Forest Watch on the proposed Pine Mountain logging project, with environmental considerations jettisoned in order to facilitate large-diameter timber cutting under the guise of wildfire suppression, electrified our attendees like few meetings have. As we put a follow-up workshop together, here's a Treehuggers International show I recorded with my friend Rick Halsey of the California Chaparral Institute in 2008. You'll be amazed how the same bad practices are still occurring, and how they do nothing to protect homes from wildfire.
Reconnecting at Clairemont Family Service Day
It was great to participate in the inaugural Clairemont Family Service Day as I joined the team from the Clairemont Town Council with Congressman Scott Peters and Councilmember Jennifer Campbell at Balboa and Moraga to pick up litter and clear weeds before heading to Balboa at Eckstrom and Hathaway to remove litter and weeds at the bus top opposite the Islamic Center of San Diego (ICSD). Great to see so many friends, neighbors, and familiar faces in person, albeit masked. Thanks to everyone who took part in the neighborhood improvement events around Clairemont.
Fanita Ranch and Breaking the Cycle of Sprawl Development
I recently co-hosted an informational forum opposed to the Fanita Ranch development with Santee City Council candidate Samm Hurst. The forum featured a presentation from biologist Rick Halsey, founder of the Escondido-based California Chaparral Institute, on the hazards and environmental degradations of sprawl, threats posed by wildfire, and the complete misunderstanding of wildfire dynamics by policymakers. Using recent examples in the Santa Rosa and Paradise wildfires to illustrate his point, Rick's presentation was followed by questions, as well as thoughts from long-time Santeean and Fanita Ranch opponent Van Collinsworth.
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 and asked the homeowner if there was anything he was concerned about. He quietly 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 about a proposal to rebuild Gold Coast and Parkdale, the city's chief engineer noted with amazement how bad the 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 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.
Pointless Office Park Has No Business 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, in the midst of my San Diego City Council campaign, I posted this essay about my grandfather's labor legacy with the United Steelworkers. A year later, I shared it again, in part because my family found long lost photos of my grandfather following my dad'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.
Thank You for Your Supporting Our 2018 City Council Race
I can't begin to express how proud I am of our 2018 team, and how grateful I am to everyone who hoisted a sign, knocked on a door, made a call, told a friend, or made a contribution. Our opposition outspent us 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 to defeat us than he spent to win four years earlier. My final vote tally exceeded even that of winning council candidates in the D-4 and D-8 races. We came up short, but we kept it close. That's because of you, and our D-6 communities and neighbors. We'll be reaching out for your support again very soon.