By Yahairah Aristy and Jeff Benesch
At our January panel of pols and pundits, San Diego City Councilmember Chris Ward made the brash prediction that both of the stadium measures on the November ballot — SoccerCity, and the Friends of SDSU proposals — would go down to defeat. Why? In Ward’s opinion, the deep pockets behind both measures would spend their funds debunking the other. Whether either proposition will garner over 50 percent of the vote is, indeed, one of the more intriguing issues of this most important election year. At our Wednesday, Feb. 7 meeting, we’ll talk about the stadium measures and also hear from a variety of terrific Democratic candidates running for important seats in the June primary and November general elections, countywide.
We have two experts empaneled to explore the stadium issue with our club — longtime Union-Tribune writer Roger Showley and well-respected community planner and activist, Joe LaCava.
They’ll discuss their in-depth reporting and investigation of the dueling ballot propositions and take questions from the assembled members and guests.
Hardly anyone in San Diego County, particularly those living close to SDSU and the Mission Valley stadium site, will be unaffected by the outcome of the election and the future development of this incredibly valuable piece of real estate. The San Diego River; a present and future mass transit/trolley hub; three major freeways; Friars Road; much-needed student, faculty and public housing and commercial development; the potential westward expansion of land-locked SDSU; the future of Aztec football; pro soccer; and even the return of the NFL to San Diego — all may hinge on the will of voters come November
The competing measures share a lot of attractive elements, such as a large river park, stadiums suitable to hosting soccer and college football games, and elaborate housing development; but contrast enough in key areas such as entertainment venues, density, parking, traffic mitigation, open space, community input, and public/private financing, to provide clear choices for voters.
The second part of our evening will be devoted hearing from candidates running for office in this upcoming election cycle. There are local East County races, city of San Diego elections, congressional and state contests, and key countywide contests, and we’ll have a good cross section of well-qualified Democrats in many of these key jurisdictions addressing the club.
Candidates in important judgeship and school board races, as well as the now open 49th and 50th Congressional contests are of particular interest. With Rep. Darrell Issa’s “retirement” and Rep. Duncan Hunter’s ongoing legal troubles for using thousands of dollars in campaign funds for personal use, Democrats are looking to make the San Diego Congressional Delegation entirely blue.
The Feb. 7 meeting will be held at the La Mesa Community Center, 4975 Memorial Drive, just North of University Avenue near Spring Street starting at 6:30 p.m.
Learn more about La Mesa Foothills Democratic Club on our website at lamesafoothillsdemocraticclub.com and like us on Facebook.
— Yahairah Aristy is president and Jeff Benesch is vice president of programming for the La Mesa Foothills Democratic Club. Reach them at firstname.lastname@example.org.