Friday, May 16, 2014

Speaker Atkins Calls on San Diegans to Say Yes to Propositions B & C to Protect Community Planning

May 16, 2014, LA JOLLA – Today, a coalition of leaders including the Speaker of the Assembly and chairman of the local community planning group gathered in La Jolla, announcing their support of propositions B and C on the June 5 ballot, all warning that the democratic and community process could be threatened if propositions B and C fail.

Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins and La Jolla Community Planning Group Chair Joe LaCava were joined by Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez and City Council President Pro Tem Sherri Lightner calling on San Diegans to preserve community planning process and support propositions B and C. Although not in attendance, Senator Marty Block sent his support of the propositions as well.

Speaker Atkins warned that if the shipyard industry gets their way, the results would have city and state-wide implications, setting a dangerous precedent and usurping future community planning efforts.

"I urge voters to say Yes to B and C," said Speaker Atkins. "Say yes to safe and healthy neighborhoods.  Say yes to the democratic process."

At the state level, California relies on the General Plan processes to advance sustainable development goals throughout the state. The existing laws encourage collaborative and comprehensive land-use planning with goals of protecting the environment, maintaining a healthy economy, and ensuring equitable treatment of all people, including the children of San Diego.

"My kids, like all kids in San Diego, deserve to live and play in a neighborhood with clean air. After years and years of planning, Propositions B and C will help keep kids in my community healthy by preventing polluting industries from operating inside our residential neighborhoods,” said Assemblywoman Gonzalez. “It's time San Diego stands up for the health of our children by passing Propositions B and C."

From the state level to here in San Diego, community planning processes are an integral component to achieving the sustainable development goals of the state.

The community planning process is open, inclusive and works to balance the varied needs within a community. To negate the worth of this process through a referendum threatens the state's goals.

Residents and business owners in Barrio Logan, La Jolla and everywhere in between, all depend on the integrity of community participation in dictating how neighborhoods grow.

I urge all San Diegans to vote ‘yes’ on Propositions B and C this June to support community planning for the health and well being of our families and businesses,” said Council President Pro Tem Lightner.  “By supporting B and C, you are standing with all neighborhoods in San Diego to respect and protect the public planning process in our City.

Council President Pro Tem Lightner led many community groups and planning efforts before begin elected to the City Council.

LaCava, along with chairing his local community planning group in La Jolla, leads the citywide Community Planners Committee and is a business owner. He knows first-hand, the importance of neighborhood participation in community development.

We believe that the residents and business owners are best suited to create the right plan to preserve their community and guide its growth,” said LaCava. “This referendum is not about the Barrio Logan Plan it is about the integrity of the community planning process.”

LaCava further explained the implications of the propositions, saying that even though the propositions support the Barrio Logan community, La Jolla could be affected as well.

The location of the press event, at the Cuvier Club, is on the edge of La Jolla’s venerable Cultural Zone. This area was zoned to protect and preserve the churches, museums and other cultural facilities that are in prime locations on the coastline.

Preservation is often at odds with those who’d like to build on the coast, but the community has prevailed in preserving La Jolla's character.

Barrio Logan residents and businesses have decided the priorities for their neighborhood in the same manner that La Jolla residents have.
YES ON B & C: The San Diego City Council passed a community supported development plan for Barrio Logan that improves the health of neighborhoods and protects San Diego businesses.  Voting “Yes” on B & C will uphold the community’s plan to keep toxics, pollutants, carcinogens, and flammable chemicals, a safe distance away from schools, playgrounds and homes and increases jobs in our city. Protect our children’s health and vote “Yes” on B & C!

For more information, visit

An Open Email to City Councilmember Lorie Zapf

May 16, 2014 at 9:48am
Ms. Zapf,

Based on the volume of campaign paraphernalia I've received in my mailbox over the last week, I take it that the race for City Council District 2 is now in full swing.  I'm a Clairemont homeowner and a 5-year resident of what is today a part of District 2 (formerly District 6).  I write to express concerns with material I received from your campaign yesterday.

Sarah Boot is a stranger to me, but I couldn't resist feeling sorry for her with the way one of your flyers literally demonized her, using pitchforks instead of bullet points in its characterization of her record.  I also sensed some troubling (and discouragingly ironic) gender undertones with campaign material of yours that seeks to disparage Ms. Boot for being young and ambitious in a way that I can't imagine being done to a male candidate.  But what compelled me to write this email was not the "devilishness" or the implicit gender stereotyping of your flyers.

You see, Ms. Zapf, in addition to being a Clairemont resident, I'm also a proud attorney.  And the way your campaign materials repeatedly refer to "lawyer Sarah Boot," as if the word lawyer is a pejorative or as if Ms. Boot should be ashamed of her career as an Assistant U.S. Attorney (a position I am also fortunate and very proud to have once held) not only reflects your apparent inability to refrain from laying ugly personal attacks on your political opponent, but it denigrates all of us who are members of this noble profession.

I sincerely hope that this will stop, and that your campaign will elect to forego the ad hominem and instead focus on what you believe to be the merits of your candidacy going forward.  In the meantime, I wanted to let you know that your hateful, anti-lawyer campaigning has drawn me into an election as to which I was previously disengaged.  To that effect, I also want to put you (and Ms. Boot's campaign) on notice of the following: for every piece of campaign material of yours that I receive going forward that uses the word "lawyer" as a slur, or that disparages Ms. Boot for her mere status as an attorney, I will be donating $100 to Ms. Boot's campaign (up to any and all applicable limits on donations).

Thank you, and take care,

Doug Brown
[Address Redacted]

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Weber Commemorates 60th Anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education

Poverty and rollback of desegregation policies have resulted in separate and unequal education

SACRAMENTO – Assemblymember Shirley Weber (D-San Diego) was joined by her legislative colleagues today in commemorating the 60th Anniversary of the Brown v. Board of Education decision on May 17th with Assembly Concurrent Resolution (ACR) 140.

On May 17th, 1954 the United States Supreme Court overturned the “separate but equal” doctrine of the 1896 Plessy v. Ferguson decision. The Court concluded that in the field of public education, the doctrine of separate but equal has no place and that separate educational facilities are inherently unequal. Weber also noted that, despite two decades of positive effects on student outcomes from policies emanating from Brown, there have been efforts to rollback desegregation, leaving California students more segregated than ever.

“This was a landmark decision about how we see ourselves as a nation,” Weber said. “Sixty years later, we are again struggling with issues of equality and opportunity.

“My hope is that we don’t let this anniversary deceive us into thinking we’ve completely fulfilled the hopes of Brown,” Weber said. “A UCLA study released yesterday shows that Black and Latino students in California are once again segregated by race and by poverty.”

Weber has been outspoken on the necessity of  mitigating the effects of poverty - malnutrition, inadequate healthcare, and a stressful and chaotic home life that have significant detrimental effects on learning and long-term academic outcomes.

“The 60th Anniversary of Brown is not just about commemoration, but also about commitment,” Weber said. “We need to take this milestone as a reminder to both recommit to integration and inclusion of minorities in our educational institutions and to refocus our efforts on programs that support families and children in their efforts to escape poverty.”


Symposium on Climate Change Finds Common Ground

Tuesday, May 14, 2014 -- Various community and industry leaders found common ground on the conflictive issue of climate change, at a University of San Diego symposium Tuesday, agreeing that it is important that we act now to avoid the worst affects of global warming.

Speaking at the day long event, sponsored by the San Diego World Affairs Council, local scientists, politicians and industry leaders agreed that the economic costs of not dealing with climate change will only increase over time.

Warning about extreme weather events, fires exacerbated by climate-related drought and rising sea levels around the world caused by global warming, keynote speaker Dr. Ralph Keeling, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, said the world must reduce the burning of fossil fuels by 57 percent in order to stabilize carbon dioxide levels at 450 parts per million.  He noted that we are already at dangerous levels with April readings of 401 ppm that will bring severe climate changes to the world.

U.S. Congressman Scott Peters told the group they cannot wait for gridlocked politicians in Washington D.C. to address climate change, explaining that state and local laws give San Diegans the power to mitigate expected damages from global warming.  Noting the Sustainable Communities and Climate Protection Act of 2008 and the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, he urged symposium attendees to press state and local officials for compliance with those laws.

"The polarization in Congress over climate change has stopped any kind of legislation.  It has become too politicized and committees that are supposed to work on this issue are stacked with shrill climate deniers who claim it is all a hoax," he explained.

Although renewables were the focus in various panel discussions at the symposium, Chief Nuclear Scientist Robert Schleicher, General Atomics, explained  that new technologies have made nuclear energy much safer.  He noted recent advances by his company, as well as the new Bill Gates funded TerraPower reactor, that can make its own fuel inside the reactor core.  He said the new technologies basically allow spent fuel to be converted into energy.

What is key to dealing with mitigating the worst impacts of climate change is getting other countries on board, according to former Ambassador Reno Harnish, Director of the Center for Environment and National Security, Scripps Institution of Oceanography University of San Diego.  He noted the only way forward is to forge a diplomatic solution, first with China and secondly with India.

"Our biggest concern is political destabilization with flooding of low lying areas and other impacts brought by climate change.  It increases the chance of conflict in many regions of the world," Harnish said. "Extreme events will convince the American people to act now to mitigate damage from climate change."

Closing keynote speaker, Rear Admiral Leendert “Len” Hering Sr. (U.S. Navy, retired), Executive Director of the California Center for Sustainable Energy, noted that San Diego is in the 12th year of a drought and faces a constant threat of fires because of dry conditions. Since it takes three years to recover from each year of drought, he added, it will be three decades before we recover.  Hering is the founder of the largest sustainability business partnership in San Diego County, the San Diego Regional Sustainability Partnership, a consortium of business, government, academic and community organizations promoting practices that support a sustainable future for the region.

The San Diego World Affairs Council is a non-profit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to educating and engaging San Diegans in global issues, international relations, and cultural understanding.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

HHS Budget Committee Chair Weber Responds to Governor’s Revised Budget Proposal

SACRAMENTO – Assemblymember Shirley N. Weber (D-San Diego), Chair of the Assembly Subcommittee on Health and Human Services, issued the following statement in response to the Governor’s May Budget Revision:

“We commend the Governor for his commitment to restore the California Dream and to help working families ensure a better future for their children,” Weber said. “However, we’ve identified a number of issues in recent months that still aren’t addressed in his May Revision. Fortunately, the Governor has left room for discussion and we look forward to working with him over the next few weeks as we move toward a budget that balances fiscal restraint with the need to address the effects of poverty.”

The Governor customarily releases a revised budget proposal in mid-May reflecting the state’s tax receipts. The Legislature and Governor will have until June 15th to negotiate a finalized budget for the 2014-2015 fiscal year.


San Diegans Call on Governor Brown to Ban Fracking  

Groups Ask for Support of Senate Bill to Temporarily Halt Risky Oil/Gas Extraction Method

Tuesday, May 13, 2014 – Members of various San Diego community groups gathered at the San Diego Administrative Building downtown to urge Governor Brown to ban fracking, a fossil fuels mining technology that may present substantial risks to Californians, and support Senate Bill 1132.  Governor Brown was in town to unveil his revised budget plan, as part of a tri-city tour, and although he acknowledged the groups and offered them support for fracking legislation, he was short on specifics.  In a state-wide coordinated effort, he was also confronted in Sacramento and Los Angeles by groups concerned about fracking.

Many reports on fracking in other states suggest it does far more harm to our health, environment, and economy than reported, far outweighing its economic benefits.  Numerous groups are seeking public support of SB1132, that calls for a moratorium on fracking until thorough studies can be conducted to assess the risks. 

Some of our knowledge about the risks comes from people visiting our city, explained SanDiego350’s Nicole Peill-Moelter.  “At the April Balboa Earth Day fair I had a woman from Oklahoma City approach me at our SanDiego350 booth.  She said she was very aware of fracking because they started having earthquakes of magnitude 4.8 and higher once fracking operations started there.  They didn’t have earthquakes before that.  I would think that, of all people, Californians would want to understand the risks of earthquakes induced by fracking before we allow it.  But it’s already happening.  We are at risk now,” she said.

      Emily Wier, who also volunteers for SanDiego350, said that people are starting to realize how precious California’s water supply is.  “It’s vital to our multi-billion dollar agricultural industry, our health and well-being. Why would we want to allow fracking which irreversibly contaminates this very water supply – with toxins, carcinogens, and hydrofluoric acid?”

      Others confronting the governor said he sometimes seems to be for the fossil fuels industry until he speaks to an environmental group, when he seems to modify his view.  “Governor Brown comes to town today during yet another week of abnormally high temperatures and severe drought and fire warnings.  Our county is like a tinder box and we could have a terrible fire any day.  These conditions are exacerbated by human caused climate change driven by our continued fossil fuel dependency.  Governor Brown must realize he can’t be both a climate leader and a Big Oil champion.  We call upon our Governor to stand up, be a true leader and ban fracking to save our water and climate,”  said Peg Mitchell of San Marcos, a member of Citizen’s Climate Lobby.

SanDiego350 has reported there are serious potential risks to Californians that include:

1)     Earthquakes.  Seismic activity has increased 1100% since 2005 in states such as Ohio, Texas, Pennsylvania and Oklahoma correlated to fracking operations;

2   Water contamination.  Nationwide, fracking operations have used at least 250 billion gallons of water that, unlike other industries, is irreversibly contaminated.  There are countless examples of where fracking operations have contaminated ground water for drinking and farming.  Kern County farmer, Tom Frantz lost his entire almond farm due to fracking contamination of ground water.

3   Air pollution.  Communities near fracking operations, including Culver City, CA, have suffered from ailments such as nose bleeds, nausea, dizziness, and severe headaches.  Pollution is also generated from truck traffic that transports water, sand, chemicals, waste water and oil product – on the order of 2,000 truck trips per well.

4   Property values.   Fracking operations have lowered nearby property values.  Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson joined a lawsuit to stop construction of a water tower used in fracking operations near his Texas home because of his concern about devaluation of his property.

5   Climate change.  Monterey shale oil is as dirty as Alberta tar sands in terms of carbon content that, according to climate scientists, cannot be burned if we are to stay below a 2°C global average temperature increase., an all-volunteer organization, is concerned about climate change and its very real effects on our livelihoods, well-being, and the future for our children. We work to increase awareness of climate change and advocate for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. We are loosely affiliated with, the international climate organization, whose work inspires us.  General media contact Jeffrey Meyer, 858-217-6833.


Tuesday, May 13, 2014

NOW Endorses Scott Peters for Congress

Peters is only candidate in CA-52 Backed by Three National Women's Advocacy Groups

San Diego – As the country marks National Women's Health Week, Scott Peters is proud to announce the endorsement of the National Organization for Women Political Action Committee. With more than 500,000 members, NOW is the nation's largest organization advocating for women's health, equality, and economic opportunity.

"We can't have a truly inclusive American Dream without full economic opportunity, protections, and equality for all women. That means equal pay for equal work, freedom from gender discrimination and domestic abuse, and freedom from the government interfering with women’s private health decisions,” Peters said.

“NOW is among the world’s leading advocates for women, and this endorsement shows I’m the candidate in this race who women can trust to stand up for them,” he added. “I'm proud to stand against Tea Party attacks on their basic rights and honored to have their support.”

Peters has been an outspoken supporter of women's rights and equality his entire career. In Congress, he cosponsored the Paycheck Fairness Act to help ensure women receive the same pay as men, was a leader in reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act, and has fought for full racial, gender, and LGBT equality.

Peters was also recently endorsed by the Planned Parenthood Action Fund and NARAL Pro-Choice America after receiving 100% ratings on their Congressional scorecards, making him the clear choice of advocates for women's equality and the only candidate in the race who can be counted on to defend and advance women's equality issues.


Monday, May 12, 2014

Carl DeMaio’s Pattern of Deception



San Diego – Last week Carl DeMaio took to the airwaves to attack Rep. Scott Peters for taking a $20,000 per year pension he earned during his eight years on the San Diego City Council.

The truth – Peters DONATES the pension he earned during that time – plus an additional $5,000 per year – right back to the City to support public libraries.

“What's more outrageous – this attack comes from a guy who made his millions off of federal contracts, over $300,000 of which were non-competitive. This is classic Carl DeMaio; He’ll say or do anything for his own political purposes and as part of a campaign for his next publicly funded paycheck,” said Peters’ Deputy Campaign Manager Kate Lyon.

“Mr. DeMaio is well aware that Scott does not keep a penny of his city pension but rather donates it – and then some – right back to the city to fund the public library system,” said Lyon. “Yet in his most recent attack, he failed to reveal this in a shameful attempt to hoodwink the press and deceive the voters.”

In addition to donating his City pension, Peters declined the Congressional pension and healthcare when he was elected to Congress, and helped pass the ‘No Budget No Pay’ law soon after he took office, said Lyon. Peters also donated his pay during the government shutdown ($7,500) to local charities, and ‘sequestered’ his pay when other federal agencies were facing these same cuts.

A recent editorial from a San Diego newspaper had this to say about DeMaio’s unbridled ambition:

“DeMaio is just the most hideous kind of political opportunist. Sure, most politicians do it to an extent, but DeMaio is opportunism and crazed ambition on steroid-boosted steroids. It's been quite a show to watch him transform his narrative right before our eyes to this "new generation" Republican…”
(San Diego CityBeat, May 7, 2014)

The highly regarded National Journal also called out DeMaio for his deceitful practices today, saying that DeMaio appears to have plagiarized a report he claimed his office researched and compiled.

Their headline said this:

“California Republican Appears to Plagiarize to Make Case Against Opponent: Carl DeMaio claims he has done investigative work, but his database looks just like National Journal's, right down to the color scheme."

(National Journal, May 12, 2014)

“I’m sure the national press are dumbfounded by Mr. DeMaio’s complete disregard for ethical practices, but sadly, here in San Diego, no one is too surprised,” Lyon said. “Our campaign will be based on facts, reminding voters about Mr. DeMaio’s record of Tea Party extremism and of the fact that he just can’t be trusted,” she added.


Thank you


Dear Friend --

Thank you for the honor of serving as Speaker of the Assembly for the past four years.  California is on the right track again because of the work we did together — keeping our budget in balance and reinvesting in education and the social programs that are core to our Democratic values.

At 1:00 pm today we will officially swear in Assembly Majority Leader Toni Atkins as our new Speaker.  I look forward to working with all of you under her leadership as we continue California’s economic recovery with a fourth on-time and balanced budget.

Thank you again for four productive, memorable, and fun years as your Speaker.

Speaker John A. Pérez