OP-ED: Our mayor wants to sneak an important vote in without us noticing. We need to stop it.

Mayor Faulconer sneaks in special election vote

Tomás Perez is a local activist, photographer and communications expert. Since 2013, he has been involved in local and national organizations focusing on protecting civil rights and social justice.

The San Diego City Council is about to vote to give Mayor Faulconer a special election for the convention center expansion. Faulconer and the hoteliers who are backing this initiative were already approved to be on the November 2020 ballot, but now he’s trying to sneak in a vote in March so that the majority of voters who normally only vote in November don’t notice.

The move would run counter to voter intent in Measure L which the voters passed with 66% majority in 2016. Measure L requires City Council to schedule all citizens’ initiatives for the November general election except in limited circumstances for urgent matters such as natural disaster relief or disease outbreak response for example. Yet this citizens’ initiative being brought before City Council is about expanding the convention center, undoubtedly a big civic decision, but not an urgent one. The mayor shouldn’t get special treatment.

Remember back in Summer 2018 when Kevin Faulconer’s team epicly failed and didn’t get enough signatures to put the convention center expansion on the 2018 November ballot? Yeah me too. Definitely on the highlight reel (or blooper reel) for 2018 in San Diego. The mayor had an accident, and now he’s trying to shovel it under the rug like nothing happened, but we can all still smell it in the room.

We do have to give a shout out to Council Member Chris Ward for opposing the mayor’s move to go around San Diego voters. So far, no other city council democrats have openly said how they’re going to vote. Council President Georgette Gomez is responsible for docketing the vote in the first place, yet supported Measure L back in 2016. What’s going on Georgette? I thought we were cool. There’s still time to save us from Faulconer’s mess though:

Share this article and tag your council member on social media before Monday’s vote on April 15th. Tell them to stop giving this lame duck mayor special treatment. The convention center expansion is already going to be on the November 2020 ballot, there’s no reason this needs to be moved to March. Let the majority of voters decide in November and defend what they originally voted for.

Here are all the city council members who haven’t said how they’re voting. Share this article with them and tell them to respect #MeasureL – no special election or special treatment for our mayor:

Georgette Gomez / Barbara Bry / Jennifer Campbell

Monica Montgomery / Vivian Moreno

UPDATE (4/12/19 2:00PM): City Council President Georgette Gomez published an Opinion Piece in VOSD and said she has her “reasons” why she docketed the vote to give the mayor his special election. Reasons…that’s it? Ok. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

TOMÁS PEREZ