Saturday, February 8, 2014

President Barack Obama endorses David Alvarez


Today President Barack Obama endorsed David Alvarez to be the next Mayor of San Diego, applauding his focus on creating jobs and ensuring every child has access to a high-quality education

President Obama said, “As a native San Diegan, David Alvarez has been a fierce advocate for his city, and on the Council, has led efforts to build a strong middle class, put neighborhoods first and expand opportunities for kids in and out of school.  Today, with the city’s economy and neighborhoods poised to make progress there is no question that David is the right choice to be San Diego’s next mayor and I am excited to support him.

“It is truly an honor to receive President Obama’s endorsement," said Councilmember David Alvarez. "In my years of public service, I have championed many of the same priorities that the President addressed at the State of the Union. I look forward to working with him to achieve our shared agenda and priorities. Together, we can make San Diego a city that expands opportunity for all.”



(San Diego) Assembly Majority Leader Toni Atkins today introduced legislation that is intended to encourage survivors of domestic violence to seek assistance by ensuring the confidentiality of all personal information they may reveal to staff at domestic violence assistance centers.

“Sometimes, it is critical that victims of abuse share personal, private information with the people who are trying to help them.  They may have other problems in their lives that bear on the abuse and it is important for service providers to have a full picture,” says Atkins. “The most important first step in addressing abuse is to get the victim, and any children involved, into a safe and healthy situation.  If a victim fears that they themselves might get in trouble by trying to escape an abusive environment, they are not likely to seek help.”

Family Justice Centers are integrated one-stop multi-agency resources for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault.  They improve services to victims by preventing them from having to travel to multiple service agencies and tell their traumatic story to several different service providers.  Typically, Family Justice Centers include law enforcement.

AB 1623 is based upon a recent study of the Family Justice Center model in California that was called for by 2011 legislation authored by San Diego Senator Christine Kehoe.  The study, conducted by Dr. Carrie Petrucci of EMT Associates, Inc., identified best practices and also made recommendations for reducing barriers to service. One of the recommendations was to establish a bright line of separation between law enforcement and other services so that confidential information provided by victims would be protected.  In some cases, there may have been some criminal activity in the home or possibly a substance abuse issue.  Many survivors are worried about losing their children. Others may be undocumented and fear their families will be torn apart if they seek help. Protecting victims’ privacy will encourage them to come forward and seek help.  AB 1623 establishes the confidentiality requirement for all multi-agency domestic violence centers in the state where law enforcement is a partner agency.

"This legislation will set high standards for every Family Justice Center in California and provide confidentiality protections to victims and their children coming forward for help in the midst of life threatening domestic violence,” says Casey Gwinn, co-founder of the first Family Justice Center in the country.  “Many victims want to come one place for all their services so they don’t have to go from agency to agency, telling their story over and over again.  Too often when victims have to go many places, they give up and go back to their abusers."

“The San Diego Family Justice Center is a true partnership that provides services to combat domestic violence and has proven to be a model of success,” says San Diego Police Chief William Lansdowne.  “I am proud to support this new bill which defines the family justice centers and ensures the life-saving collaborative work between all involved will continue.”

AB 1623 is expected to be scheduled for a legislative hearing in an Assembly policy committee some time next month.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Fourth Time Still Might Not Be The Charm

Sunday night/Monday morning a candidate you can usually expect to see on a ballot in most elections seems might not be ready for another ballot so soon.
After a night of alcohol, Dwayne Crenshaw was caught sleeping behind his parked car's steering wheel by law enforcement.  When he was awaken by them, Crenshaw was allowed by police to call for a car service to be picked up.  After he and the police left, then it seems Crenshaw doubles back attempting to drive his car.  Oh, but not so fast Crenshaw.  Law enforcement saw his car, pulled him over, and took him into custody.   They tested him showing a result above the legal 0.08 alcohol level.  No charges have yet been leveled, but awaiting a decision from our esteemed city attorney.   

Interesting, Crenshaw is working to help his college buddy San Diego City Councilmember Kevin Faulconer for mayor, as we have seen and read in local papers and Facebook postings.  Many question whether Faulconer will distance himself from Crenshaw.   At this point Crenshaw is still featured on Faulconer's campaign social media.  In addition, Crenshaw was rumored to be seeking to challenge San Diego City Councilmember Myrtle Cole in her re-election this June.  Crenshaw had been a good solider for many of the Republican establishment in Faulconer's campaign and hoped they would again invest in his next election endeavor. It was suspected his lawsuit against Cole was part of his plan in challenging her and would be used in his campaign materials to attack her.
Now it seems with this arrest, Crenshaw and his new Republican allies will need to re-think his election bid and they will need to look for another pawn of the Lincoln Club and the downtown establishment.  We can still expect Crenshaw to seek an elected office in the not so near future.
To read more about the arrest click here:

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Response to the National University System Institute for Policy Research (NUSIPR) Flawed Mayor's Race Study

Guest Post by Henry Kim Assistant Professor, Political Science University of Arizona
The National University System Institute for Policy Research (NUSIPR) has issued a recent policy brief regarding the San Diego Mayoral election that is largely grounded on potentially fallacious interpretation of pertinent facts.  The only non-trivial claim being made is that “Faulconer leads in early voting,” as the title of the report indicates.  To support this conclusion, NUSIPR draws on two facts: 1) Republican absentee ballots are being returned at a higher rate than Democratic ballots, and 2) turnout in voter precincts that favored Faulconer is higher than in pro-Alvarez precincts.
Difference in the rates of turnout among different parties’ absentee voters provides no useful information about which candidate is leading in early voting, without reference to the difference in their actual numbers. For example, Reform Party absentee voters currently lead both democrats and republicans in early voting with a whopping 56% of ballots returned to date, but no one would seriously argue that the Reform Party’s 266 ballots are “leading in early voting.”  As the Table 3 of the NUSIPR report indicates, the raw number of Democratic absentee votes is substantially larger than the Republican:  despite the lower rate of turnout, Democrats currently lead Republicans by about 3,000 votes in ballots submitted.
By concluding that Faulconer is leading early voting because turnout in voter precincts that favored Faulconer in November is higher than those precincts that favored Alvarez, NUSIPR is ignoring the substantial differences in the electoral landscape between the first and second rounds of the election.  In the first round of the election, Democratic votes were split among Alvarez and two other major candidates.  With only two candidates of different party affiliations remaining, it is improbable that the second round votes will simply replicate the patterns seen in the first.  Furthermore, the electorate of the second round is likely to include a large number of new voters who did not participate in the first.  Over 16% of the ballots cast thus far are from voters who DID NOT vote in the primary.  Their vote choices cannot be reliably predicted simply based on the patterns seen in the first round.  Point 2 thus represents an excellent example of an “ecological fallacy”: NUSIPR infers that the individual general election absentee voters will behave the same as the group (primary polling locations) to which they belong.       
So who is really leading early voting? Based on the relevant facts, the most likely answer is Alvarez. Let us take a closer look at the data.
Table 1 shows an increase in the percentage of Democrats and Latinos and a drop off in the percentage of Republicans since early voting has started. The columns show early voters as of 1/19/14, between 1/19 and 1/30, and as of 1/30.  The rows show totals for party identification and Latino ethnicity.  Table 1 shows clear trend that favors Alvarez: between 1/19 and 1/30, the pool of early voters has grown more Democratic, more Latino, and less Republican.    
As shown in Table 2, the new entrants to the electorate (those who did not vote in the Primary on 11/19/13 and make up about 16% of the ballots so far) are more Latino and less Republican.  The Republican share of new voters is 7% less than its share of all early voters, the Democratic As shown in Table 2, the new entrants to the electorate (those who did not vote in the Primary on 11/19/13 and make up about 16% of the ballots so far) are more Latino and less Republican.  The Republican share of new voters is 7% less than its share of all early voters, the Democratic percentage is roughly the same, and the Latino percentage is 4 points higher.

The relevant facts presented in these tables are even more striking given that early voters tend to be less diverse and more republican than the electorate as a whole.     

Table 1: Total Voted

Table 2: Total New Voters (did not vote in primary on 11/19/13)