We’ve talked about Indian and Chinese politics in this group, but never about politics in our own back yard. We may have a few actual experts coming to the meeting, notably our own group member Ernie Barrera, who’s a local journalist and whose brother serves on the SD school board. Also, my sister Miriam Raftery, local activist and editor-in-chief of eastcountymagazine.org, who probably will be there late.
So, I’ll just do a brief opening that will outline the major political problems and issues facing the San Diego area, and then open it up to people who really know something about the politics surrounding finding solutions.
Basically, San Diego has a mix of problems that are typical for a large city and metropolitan area in a deep recession, but also some problems unique to the region. I’ll briefly mention the following:
- Recession – how it’s intensified all of our social/economic problems and stressed governments’ capacity at all levels (e.g., see here for effects of latest proposed Arnold cuts on San Diego residents);
- Chronic budget deficits – caused by a public that wants low taxes and lots of government services, exacerbated by the recession and the pension crisis (see here for a 3-minute background video on the pension crisis, and this article for more);
- Rising poverty and inequality (and our stingy safety net, see here);
- Environmental problems, notably the water crisis.
- Immigration and border issues.
I’ll also mention Proposition D, a measure on the June ballot to decide whether San Diego City should go back to being run by an appointed city manager or stay with the current “strong mayor” format.
Hope to see you all there.