Saturday, January 18, 2014

Foul me once, shame on you, fool me twice shame on me. San Diego Police Officers Association, shame on you!

I find it interesting that on one hand San Diego City Councilmember Kevin Faulconer and his alliance of the radical right-downtown establishment-big business groups are touting his endorsement from the San Diego Police Officers Association, then hitting San Diego City Councilmember David Alvarez for his support from unions.  What the heck do you mean?

Well, you have the mixed-up world here in San Diego.  The San Diego Police Officers Association is a UNION!  They may not have the word UNION in their title, but they are a U-N-I-O-N.  In fact, they are a San Diego City U-N-I-O-N, which their members are part of the PENSION, which Councilmember Faulconer and his alliance of the radical right-downtown establishment-big business group blame for the city’s demise.  In fact, his backers would like to eliminate the polices pension, like they did for all the other unions at the city, just ask the UT Editorial Board.  While it is okay to denounce Councilmember Alvarez for getting support from unions it would not be right to do the same of Councilmember Faulconer, right?  There is a saying, “If you point a finger at someone else, three of your fingers are pointing back at you.” Try it.  They are just a bunch of hypocrites, but we knew that one.

Though, the bigger scratching of my head was over the San Diego Police Officers Association for supporting Councilmember Faulconer.  Some dogs just don’t learn it seems.  It is important to point out that Councilmember Faulconer told this union and the San Diego Firefighters in his first win for San Diego City Council to get their endorsement and money he would support them as councilmember.  How did that work out?  Well the firefighters are now supporting Councilmember Alvarez.  You see they both got screwed by Councilmember Faulconer.  He voted to cut their budgets, freeze their pay, not replace their equipment, actually made them pay more for benefits thus reduced their take home pay, made it harder for them to recruit new officers and he pals around with those same Wisconsin anti-labor alliance of the radical right-downtown establishment-big business group.  Now Councilmember Faulconer has a plan, just like former San Diego City Councilmember Carl DeMaio had a plan.  Just don’t look at the details, because you won’t really like it.  Details, details.  Also, this alliance of the radical right-downtown establishment-big business groups supports eliminating the police the right to have their union, which is spending their union money for Councilmember Faulconer’s election, which the Councilmember and his alliance of the radical right-downtown establishment-big business groups are now touting and using for his campaign material.  Crazy isn't it?

Let’s put it this way:  What ten year old kid would want to play after school with the another kid who took food off their dinner table, abuses you and tells it is becaus they love you, does not like the way you live your life and tells the neighbors they think your family should not have the right to exist?  I don’t think you would find one kid that gullible, but the police union just signed up for round two!  There is another saying, “actions are louder than words,” and for the past 7 years Councilmember Faulconer has been talking out of one side of his body about the police union, while signing petitions, writing op-eds and voting to hurt the same San Diego Police Officers Association

Friday, January 17, 2014

Interim Mayor Todd Gloria Endorses David Alvarez for Mayor Citing Readiness to Lead, Shared Values

Backing comes after ambitious State of City agenda roll out – Gloria picks Alvarez as best to carry forward

SAN DIEGO, January 17, 2014 – Today San Diego Interim Mayor Todd Gloria announced an enthusiastic endorsement of City Councilmember David Alvarez as San Diego’s next Mayor.

I am pleased to endorse David Alvarez to be our next mayor,” said Interim Mayor Gloria.

Gloria cited Alvarez’s experience on the City Council fighting for a strong economy and healthy neighborhoods for all of San Diego as the top reasons Alvarez is the best choice to lead as Mayor.

Gloria also highlighted his partnerships with Alvarez.

David Alvarez has been a valuable member of our City Council,” said Interim Mayor Gloria. “He and I have worked together to increase funding for affordable housing, update the Barrio Logan community plan, and passed the 2014 budget increasing vital city services.

Alvarez’s opponent opposed all three of these in the interests of his corporate downtown campaign funders.

With less than a month until San Diego’s Special Mayoral Election on February 11, Gloria’s State of the City Address Wednesday night included an ambitious agenda that he’s confident Alvarez will carry forward.

This week, I put forward a progressive vision for San Diego to be a great city.  It includes ending homelessness, increasing the minimum wage, aggressively funding infrastructure, and implementing a strong Climate Action Plan,” said Interim Mayor Gloria. “David Alvarez is the candidate in this race who shares my vision and who we can count on to make San Diego great.

Alvarez stated he’ll work hand in hand with Gloria to ensure these initiatives are successful and congratulated him on his hard work to pull San Diego out of crisis mode and put the City back on course.

I’m proud to have Interim Mayor Gloria’s support,” said Councilmember Alvarez. “I’m also excited about the path to prominence he laid out for San Diego and look forward to working with him on our shared vision.

Gloria’s endorsement was added to a list of dozens of respected elected, community, and business leaders committed to helping elect Alvarez as “a Mayor for All of Us.”

Gloria is travelling until next week, but was eager to release his endorsement. The two will make a joint appearance soon.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Carl DeMaio Continues to Play Follow the Leader on Scott Peters’ Reform Proposals

Once again, Carl DeMaio is trying to claim credit for someone else’s ideas; this time, DeMaio is promoting an ad about “No Budget, No Pay,” an idea that Scott Peters championed and helped to pass. DeMaio has made it a habit to take credit for others’ work, and former San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders has pointed out this fact in the past.

“Carl DeMaio knows that his record of grandstanding, division, and a radical agenda won’t fly with San Diego voters, so once again he is trying to take credit for the good work others are doing,” said Matt Inzeo of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. “Carl DeMaio needs to quit his dishonest tactics if he wants to win voters’ trust.”


January 2014: DeMaio Promoted “No Budget, No Pay” In A Web Ad.
In January 2014, DeMaio promoted “No Budget, No Pay” in an online advertisement. The ad stated the following: “’No Budget, No Pay.’ Permanently take away Congress’ pay for every day the budget is late.” [Fix Congress First YouTube ad, 1/15/14]
…But Peters Called for “No Budget, No Pay” Back In October 2012. In 2012
, then-candidate Scott Peters launched a 30-second television ad calling for “No Budget, No Pay” as a way to hold representatives accountable for doing their jobs and passing a federal budget. In the ad, Peters said, “It’s time Congress worked for us. I say – no budget, no pay.  If Congress doesn’t do their job and balance the budget – they don’t get a paycheck.” [Scott Peters for Congress press release, 10/20/12]

…And Voted for “No Budget, No Pay” In January 2013
. In 2013, Rep. Scott Peters voted for HR 325, which adopted a version of “No Budget, No Pay,” an initiative Peters declared his support for prior to being elected to Congress. In addition Peters co-sponsored HR 310, the No Budget, No Pay Act, which would stop Congressional pay if Congress fails to pass a budget on time. [HR 325, Vote # 30, 1/23/13; Rep. Scott Peters press release, 1/23/13]
Peters Co-Sponsored the Stop Pay for Members Act
In 2013, Rep. Peters co-sponsored the Stop Pay for Members Act, which would ensure that Members of Congress would not get paid if the U.S. defaulted on its debt. [HR 1884, Cosponsors, 9/27/13]

WEBER TO ED BOARD: Focus Regulations on Closing Achievement Gap

Proposed guidelines would give districts too much discretion to divert funds from raising academic achievement for high-needs students

 SACRAMENTO-Assemblymember Shirley N. Weber (D-San Diego) called on the members of the State Board of Education Thursday to close loopholes in proposed regulations that would allow school districts to redirect funds intended for raising the academic achievement of high-needs students to other purposes.

“If we do not aggressively make sure that those dollars are focused on these children, we run the risk of doing what we’ve always done: a little bit for everybody and a whole lot for nobody,” Weber said. “Unless we do this right, we will find ourselves, once again, not closing the achievement gap.”

The Board is considering guidelines for the implementation of the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF), which provides greater flexibility in the spending of state education funds. As part of the overhaul of school funding passed by the Legislature last year, districts with large concentrations of low-achieving students can apply for grants to boost programs for improving student outcomes.

Weber, a former San Diego Unified School District Board President and Trustee, said the way the regulations are currently drafted, using vaguely defined terms without clear standards for where the money is spent, we run the risk of funds being diverted away from improving student outcomes.

“It does not reflect the tenor of the law we passed as a Legislature,” Weber said. ”There was a recognition that the Achievement Gap was a reflection of the issues of poverty, issues of language and issues of unstable households, and that when there is a concentration of these elements in any particular school, it makes it much more challenging to close the gap.”

“It is extremely important that these regulations are focused around student achievement and include meaningful and enforceable standards,” she said.

The Board will vote on adopting these regulations permanently later this year.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014


 (Sacramento)  Assembly Majority Leader Toni Atkins will introduce legislation designed to ensure that residents of assisted living facilities, also called residential care facilities for the elderly (RCFEs), are financially protected in the event of injury or death by requiring the facilities to carry liability insurance coverage. The bill is sponsored by Consumer Advocates for RCFE Reform (CARR) and jointly authored with Assemblymember Shirley Weber of San Diego.

“I was very surprised to learn that these residences entrusted with the care of our seniors are not required to have insurance that would compensate them or their families in a case of neglect or abuse,” says Atkins.  “We require home child care facilities to be insured; we should have the same standard for ensuring adequate compensation for older Californians should a tragedy at an assisted living facility occur.”

This bill will be part of a comprehensive legislative package called the RCFE Reform Act of 2014.  Bills that are part of the Act are designed to address a variety of troubling failures to protect senior residents of assisted living facilities that have recently been brought to light by community activists and media reports.  Two of these activists are San Diegans whose personal family tragedies led them to take up the cause of improving safety and accountability at RCFEs.

“Having Assembly Member Atkins carry this bill demonstrates her strong commitment to frail and dependent elders living in California’s more than 8,000 assisted living facilities,” states Chris Murphy, Executive Director of CARR.  “This legislation offers a long-overdue consumer protection – an avenue to obtain accountability in cases of wrongful death or harm suffered by residents due to poor or neglectful care.”

"Liability insurance will provide protection for both residents and facility owners," says Aaron Byzak, founder of Hazel's Army, an advocacy organization dedicated to assisted living facility reform.   "I applaud Assembly Majority Leader Toni Atkins for authoring legislation that will promote safer assisted living communities."

Neither statute nor regulation requires any RCFE to carry liability insurance as a condition of licensure.  As a result, many facilities lack even the minimum liability coverage, exposing both them and residents to great financial risk. Currently, the only recourse for residents and their families is civil litigation, a lengthy process that requires plaintiffs or their attorneys to put substantial funds up front for the costs of litigation.


Block aims to improve care for elderly in residential care facilities, prohibit reprisals for 911 calls


SACRAMENTO – State Senator Marty Block (SD-39) today announced he will introduce legislation to reform the decades-old laws regulating oversight of residential care facilities (RCFEs) in California.

“Over the past few years, 27 San Diego County seniors have died because of injuries and neglect suffered in residential care facilities,” Block said. “That is a shameful and unconscionable record.”

Block said the California Residential Care Facilities for the Elderly Act passed in 1985 has not changed despite an increase in the number of residential care facilities and new developments since its enactment. The non-medical facilities are now dealing with residents who need greater medical care. “We haven’t kept pace with the oversight of RCFEs as the care needs of our seniors have changed, especially in the area of staff training requirements,” Block said.

“If we want to treat a loved one to a manicure, the licensed nail technician would have 400 hours of training. If we want their hair cut, the licensed cosmetologist would have 1,600 hours of training and 3,200 hours of apprenticeship behind her or him.

“But for a residential facility direct care giver responsible for a frail and elderly patient who might need oxygen, suffer from dementia or bedsores or who might need a catheter, the initial  training is only 10 hours and four hours annually thereafter,” Block said. “It makes no sense.”

Block would increase training requirements as follows:

  • Administrators: Increase certification training from 40 to 80 hours and continuing education from 40 to 60 hours every two years.
  • Direct Care Staff: Increase initial training from 10 to 40 hours and continuing education from 4 to 20 hours per year.
  • Dementia Care Staff: Increase initial training from 6 to 15 hours and continuing education from 8 to 12 hours per year.
  • Self-Administration of Medicine: Increase training for staff that will assist in the administration of medicine. In facilities with 15 or fewer residents: increase training from 6 to 16 hours. In facilities with 16 or more residents: increase training from 16 to 32 hours. In addition, regardless of facility size, staff would be required to increase their continuing education hours from 4 to 8 per year.
  • Staff Serving At-Risk Residents: Establish initial training of 15 hours and 12 hours of continuing education per year.
  • Higher Acuity: Require facilities that accept and retain residents with restricted or specialized health conditions to employ appropriate medical personnel on a full or part-time basis as needed.

Block said his legislation will also prohibit retaliation against employees who call 911 when residents need urgent care. “Employees should not have to fear the consequences for doing the right thing in life and death situations,” he stated.

“We need to act now to end the dangers and abuse faced by those who have raised us and loved us, who have worked hard all their lives,” Block said. “They deserve caring, competent care and their families deserve peace of mind when trusting their loved ones to residential care facilities.”