Morning Report: This Council Race Could Rock an Asian Empowerment District



Housing and land use have been a big point of distinction among Democrats running in District 6, the only open seat this San Diego City Council election.

But identity is also a major factor, as the district is home to the highest concentration of Asians and Pacific Islanders, many of whom have fought for decades to see themselves reflected in positions of power. One candidate is Asian, the other is not.

The attempt to create an Asian empowerment neighborhood in San Diego dates back decades and culminated in 2014 with the election of Chris Cate, who was fired. When a commission set out to redraw district lines last year, supporters warned that the AAPI population should be as high as possible.

Turnout in the June primary was lower than many had hoped, suggesting that an Asian Empowerment District does not guarantee Asian representation. Rather, as Jesse Marx reports, it is part of an ongoing effort to increase civic participation and increase the chances of an AAPI voting bloc.

Read the full story here.

IB mobile home dispute now an issue in mayor’s race

An empty package inside the Miramar Imperial Beach Mobile Home and RV Park. /Jesse Marx file photo

A mobile home and RV park in Imperial Beach has seen its share of political organizing in recent months. He is now bleeding in the mayoral race.

Last week, Republican Shirley Nakawatase’s campaign reported two donations totaling nearly $10,000 from sources tracing back to an owner of Miramar Imperial Beach Mobile Home and RV Park.

Nakawatase told Marx the money came through her website and she has no plans to return it amid criticism from park residents and one of her political opponents.

Last week, the city council agreed to draft an ordinance extending rental protections inside the park, where residents are forced to move out every six months for at least 48 hours or face eviction. Elected officials are expected to review this order on Wednesday and proceed to a vote.

Nakawatase said she didn’t take a position on the ordinance but wished the city didn’t need to intervene.

Learn more about the dispute here.

Rail services suspended indefinitely due to coastal erosion

A person’s shadow can be seen near the train tracks in Del Mar on September 19, 2022. / Photo by Ariana Drehsler

The Metrolink and Amtrak rail services between Orange County and San Diego have been suspended from Friday due to slope movement on the cliffs below the San Clemente tracks. Amtrak has also suspended service between Irvine and San Diego.

The tracks are part of the 350-mile LOSSAN Rail Corridor that connects San Diego, Los Angeles and San Luis Obispo, and are the only viable rail link that connects San Diego to Los Angeles and the rest of the United States

Cliff erosion continues to be a growing concern along the coast, including here in Del Mar.

The most recent North County report from Voice of San Diego digs deeper into plans to move the Del Mar railroad tracks from the cliffs to an underground tunnel, but it won’t be until 2035.

During this time, the Del Mar cliffs experienced several slope movements, cliff collapses, and even the “Great Train Wreck of 1941”.

A similar move to an underground tunnel is also being considered for the San Clemente seaside tracks. At this time, it is unclear when train services will be operational again.

Read the most recent North County report here.

Political Report: About These Railroads (and Other Bill Walton Spinoffs)

This week’s Political Report (for Voice of San Diego members only) has more insight into why SANDAG officials might see a silver lining in the rail service disruption: They tried to argue that ‘they needed billions of dollars to get around. the tracks, especially in Del Mar, as noted above.

Also in San Diego’s biggest politics newsletter sent out on Saturday: Scott Lewis and Andrew Keatts have fired blow-by-blow (along with a few new blows) in the feud between the legendary San Diego basketball player and his son, Bill Walton, and Mayor Todd Gloria, who Walton says has to leave due to the worsening homelessness crisis.

The policy report can be read here if you are a member and if you are having trouble logging in you should email [email protected] Make sure your message is in capitals.

In other news

  • The sailor accused of starting a fire aboard the amphibious assault ship Bonhomme Richard two years ago was acquitted of all charges by a military court-martial last week. (Union-Tribune)
  • The San Diego Minimum Wage for All Employers increase from $15 to $16.30 per hour in January. (Union-Tribune)
  • San Diego Magazine Profile a group of volunteers with Border Kindness who leave water, food and clothing in canyons, mountains and desert plains known to be frequented by migrants. The magazine also wrote about the rise of the doctor who became a social media staras telehealth during the pandemic has pushed healthcare in new directions.
  • The Union-Tribune reports that the attorneys involved in the lawsuits related to 101 Ash St. are awaiting final decisions from the Superior Court following attempts to try to avoid trials in two conflict of interest cases involving a former city real estate adviser and a case alleging the 101 Ash lease violated the state’s constitutional debt limit. For an introduction to all chases, check out this guide.

The morning report was written by Jesse Marx, Tigist Layne and Lisa Halverstadt. It was edited by Andrea Lopez-Villafaña.