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 along with Congressman Scott Peters, Councilmember Jennifer Campbell, and their team members at Balboa Ave. and Moraga Ave. to pick up litter and help clear weeds before heading to Balboa Ave. at Eckstrom Ave. and Hathaway St. to polish off the bus top just opposite the Islamic Center of San Diego (ICSD). Great to see so many friends, neighbors, and familiar faces in person again, albeit masked. Thanks to everyone who took part in the neighborhood improvement events around Clairemont this past Saturday.
Fanita Ranch and Breaking the Cycle of Sprawl Development
I recently co-hosted an informational forum opposed to the proposed Fanita Ranch development in Santee with my friend Samm Hurst, who is running for Santee City Council this fall. 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, as well as the 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.
Remarks Before the Board of Supervisors on Lilac Hills
The San Diego County Board of Supervisors has, at last, opted to reject the long-running Lilac Hills Ranch proposal. Called "unsafe" by the county's chief fire safety officer, and recommended for denial by county staff in a highly unusual move, Lilac Hills was one of the region's most persistent "zombie projects." Initially denied in 2009, and again in the defeat of Measure B in 2016, Lilac Hills was a loser with the courts, voters, and fire and public safety professionals. Hopefully the cycle of approving reckless sprawl developments in fire-prone areas is reaching an end. My remarks before the Board of Supervisors are here.
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 Drive 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 Dr. and Parkdale Ave., the city's chief engineer noted with amazement how bad Gold Coast had become. So many of the 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 this piece I wrote about our road and infrastructure crisis in 2019.
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 San Diego has 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 to our bayfront as our growing coalition continues to demonstrate strong support for wetland restoration and park revitalization.
Building an Office Park Next to Nature Preserve? Shameless
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 shameless, 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. I am not discouraged – and we'll be reaching out for your support again very soon.