Saturday, July 9, 2011

UT: Judge allows Inzunza to remain free for now

Here is the story.

Councilmember Gloria Announces Funding for Sunday Library and Gym Hours


Councilmember Announces Funding for Sunday Library and Gym Hours
City Heights Library, Performance Annex, and Mid-City Gym Now Open Sundays

SAN DIEGO, CA (July 8, 2011) – Councilmember Todd Gloria today announced that several City Heights facilities will once again be open on Sundays thanks to newly secured funding. The community will now benefit from additional hours at the City Heights/Weingart Branch Library and Performance Annex and the Mid-City Gymnasium.

The Price Family Charitable Fund provided a $40,000 grant to open the City Heights/Weingart Branch Library and Performance Annex on Sundays from 1:00 – 5:00 p.m. starting this Sunday, July 10, 2011. Sunday hours were eliminated in March 2010 due to the City’s financial hardships.

“Libraries are essential to every community,” said Councilmember Gloria. “By helping bridge the divide between those who have access to information and those who do not, library services are critical, particularly to the community of City Heights where there is a high concentration of lower income households and small businesses.”

In addition to the library grant, the Price Family Charitable Fund contributed $2,430 to the City to fund summer Sunday hours of operation and programming at the Mid-City Gymnasium. The donation will open the gym to the public for three hours each Sunday from 12:00 to 3:00 p.m. from June 24 through September 4, 2011.

Councilmember Gloria will extend the hours through June 2012 with a contribution of $8,694 generated through his office budget.

“With budgetary savings produced by my Council office in the previous fiscal year, I am able to direct additional resources to this grossly park-deficient community. This $8,694 contribution will sustain the programming proposed by Price through June 24, 2012,” said Councilmember Gloria.

The Mid-City Gym opened in 1996 as a result of strong community organization and effort. It was part of the first phase of City Heights Urban Village, bringing together in one location a number of opportunities in recreation and education. The additional gym hours and programming will provide individuals of all ages the opportunity to practice good health and fitness in a safe environment.

“Since 1994, the Price Family has contributed to the renaissance of City Heights. I applaud their focus to continually improve housing, shopping options, healthcare, education, social services, public safety, and job opportunities for this diverse neighborhood,” said Councilmember Gloria. “I am thankful and honored to have them as a true partner in the community.”


Reorganizing the San Diego Redevelopment Agency by Marti Emerald

San Diego’s Redevelopment Agency has much to be proud about. We’ve won awards for projects in City Heights and Barrio Logan, and national recognition of the Centre City Development Corporation’s revitalization of downtown. Our Agency staff is professional and committed, and residents are actively involved in project planning.

Yet, we have problems. I have heard from the public that we adopted redevelopment project areas that are not truly blighted; that blight in downtown has been eliminated but we keep collecting redevelopment dollars to enhance City revenue; that we just build shopping center, not projects that truly benefit low-income residents; that we select developers who are connected, rather than most qualified; that redevelopment is not used to create new jobs; that funds have been improperly transferred among project areas; that Agency debts to the City have not been repaid; and that we have not built enough affordable housing. And we all remember the scandals uncovered by the Voice of San Diego at the Southeastern Economic Development Corporation (SEDC) and at CCDC.

I don’t agree with all these criticisms. But I do think the public criticisms reflect problems we have with the Agency’s effectiveness, efficiency, accountability, and transparency. To understand these problems, I want to clarify how the San Diego Redevelopment Agency is organized.

Just as a business is the sum of its parts – its buildings, employees, assets, and liabilities, the San Diego Redevelopment Agency is seventeen project areas spread throughout the City, hundreds of revitalization projects, millions of dollars in bond debt, and numerous contracts. Redevelopment agencies are state agencies, not a part of the City, and are governed by state law, not the City Charter. The Board of Directors of the San Diego Agency, by state law, is the City Council. As currently organized, the San Diego Agency carries out redevelopment through a contract with CCDC for two downtown project areas, a contract with SEDC for four project areas, and a third contract with the City for the other eleven project areas. (That’s right, the City is a contractor to the Agency.) CCDC and SEDC are both nonprofit corporations chartered by the City.

Our effectiveness problem is that not all project areas get their proportionate share of resources and expertise. Our efficiency problem is that redevelopment work and expenses are duplicated among the three operating components of the Agency. Our accountability problem is that everyone who does work for the Agency really works for another employer and so has a built-in conflict of interest. The best example of this is last year’s State budget deal that lifted the cap on collecting downtown tax increment. Agency board members – the City Council members with the duty under State law to be responsible for redevelopment – were kept out of the loop on this important decision. Our transparency problem is that our complicated organization structure, coupled with gray areas about what information is public and what is not, make it difficult for the public to understand the redevelopment decision process.

We can fix these problems. My reorganization plan eliminates duplicated functions and leverages our strengths and successes by merging CCDC, SEDC, and the City’s Redevelopment Department into a single San Diego Development Corporation,
and centralizes all affordable housing responsibility and funding in the Housing Commission. My plan gives the Agency Board the resources to be accountable by making the Agency Executive Director, Finance Manager, and Legal Counsel direct employees of the Board. And my plan simplifies the Agency decision process. Take a quick look at the organization charts of our current Agency structure and of my proposed structure – you will see that the difference is striking. I believe that my plan has the elements necessary to be effective.

Governor Brown has proposed that redevelopment agencies should be eliminated. I disagree. Redevelopment is a critical tool to revitalize older neighborhoods, as we have proved in our downtown and in other parts of our city. We must restore public confidence in how San Diego manages redevelopment, and prove to Governor Brown and our state representatives that redevelopment is too important to de-fund. We can do that by building a new redevelopment model in San Diego: lean, smart, effective, transparent, and capable of generating new tax revenues where none previously existed.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

VoSD: Fletcher Nets $300K

We know Bonnie was burning up the phone lines because of this. And where will Carl end up?

The story here.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Note to the Fletcher Campaign re: Lorem Ipsum

Check out this press release from the Fletcher campaign.

Here's the first paragraph:

In an unsurprising turn of events, Activate Direct showed very well in its demonstration with the League of CA Cities on Wednesday. One official was heard to say "we all knew it was coming. It's not surprising in the least when you think about it." Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Fusce iaculis, risus mollis facilisis sodales, sapien risus vulputate odio, eu lobortis nisl erat ut nisi. Nunc sit amet arcu nec dui fringilla rutrum et at nisl. Cras vitae lectus vitae quam rutrum sodales vitae non diam. Ut ut nisi enim. Ut volutpat dolor non enim porta tristique. Curabitur a eleifend mi. Morbi sed nulla id dolor eleifend tincidunt. Nullam pulvinar, massa vel varius facilisis, lorem risus consequat massa, non posuere neque mi et justo. Vivamus lacus magna, facilisis vitae vulputate et, tincidunt quis nibh. Vivamus nec felis nibh, ut scelerisque dui.

Did you get all that? Here's what you need to know about "Lorem Ipsum." Not a big deal but just a note to watch your typesetting.

Campaigns For GOP Ballot Measures Lure Voters With Phony Petition To “Lower Gas Prices”

From the Labor Council

Campaigns For GOP Ballot Measures Lure Voters
With Phony Petition To “Lower Gas Prices”

New Video Footage of Bait-and-Switch Illustrates Latest Deceit
by Pension and Government Contractor Campaigns

SAN DIEGO – (Wednesday, July 6, 2011) – The “Just Say No, San Diego” Public Education Campaign released video today of Republican-controlled ballot measure campaigns using a phony petition to supposedly “lower gas prices” as a bait-and-switch in order to have voters sign ballot measures that eliminate a retirement safety net for city employees, abolish collective bargaining for construction workers and silence the voices of workers in politics.

A paid operative of the Republican ballot measure campaigns are seen luring voters to a booth with colorful posters stating “Lower Gas Prices” while representing that the ballot measure they are signing will put a question on the ballot that forces Congress to “drill here, drill now.” In fact, there is no such ballot measure registered for circulation at the Secretary of State’s office and no actual federal initiative-by-petition process.

After talking up the phony gas prices initiative, the signature gatherer asks the voter to sign the petition in order to put it on the ballot.

But, in fact, the paid signature gatherer flips the top page about gas prices over to have the voter sign a petition for one of the Republican ballot measures being circulated by government contractors, developers, corporate lobbyists and other far-right special interests.

“This is a very deceitful tactic, even by the low standards of the underground industry of paid signature gathering,” said Kyle Haverback, spokesman for the “Just Say No, San Diego” Public Education Campaign. “In the video, you can clearly see that the paid signature gatherer is preying on people’s desire to lower gasoline prices. It’s very cynical of these campaigns to employ a bait-and-switch where you tell the public they’re signing one thing when it’s really another.”

Watch the Video here!

Only when the paid signature gatherer is prompted in the video does she then describe that she is collecting signatures for other petitions besides the phony “gas prices” campaign. When describing those ballot measures, the paid signature gatherer makes several misleading and inaccurate statements about what the measures do.

The paid signature gatherer claims the pension ballot measure “better defines what they’re giving the employees” when the measure actually creates more uncertainty about the benefits city employees receive. When describing the government contracting ballot measure to stop collective bargaining agreements on public projects, the paid signature gatherer said the measure allows non-union firms the right to bid on city contracts, when in fact non-union firms already have the right, regardless of whether there’s a project labor agreement or not.

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