Politics

FILNER AMENDMENT PROTECTS RENTERS, REQUIRES NOTICE IF LANDLORD FACES FORECLOSURE RISK

May 12, 2009 (Washington, DC) – Congressman Filner has joined his colleagues in passing the Mortgage Reform and Anti-Predatory Lending Act, H.R. 1728. This legislation aims to prevent the types of predatory and irresponsible mortgage loan practices that played a major role in the current financial and economic meltdown.

Congressman Filner worked to include a provision in the final bill that provides protection for renters. Congressman Filner’s amendment requires landlords to provide notice to their renters when they go into default and are in danger of foreclosure.

ANDERSON FIGHTS TO HALT NEW SEPTIC FEE: ASSEMBLY BILL WOULD REPEAL COSTLY NEW RULES

May 11, 2009 (Sacramento)--Gerry Giguere and his wife Kit live on a fixed income and don’t want to lose their home over a new septic regulation.

“This is big-government insanity,” said Gerry Giguere, whose home in rural east county requires a septic system and well.

California will soon impose a new fee of up to $650 for all septic tank owners. The fees would pay for mandatory inspections of all septic tanks and could force many to pay for costly upgrades, angering rural property owners who rely on septic systems.

BILL TO EXPAND HATE CRIMES DEFINITION PASSES HOUSE; LOCAL CONGRESSIONAL VOTES SPLIT

May 9, 2009 (Washington D.C.)--The Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act passed H.R. 1913 by a vote of 249 to 175 on April 29. A companion bill was introduced in the Senate on April 28. If enacted, the bill would close gaps in a current law that authorizes federal aid in cases of hate crimes committed because of a person's race, color, religion or national origin. The new legislation would extend protection against violence to Americans targeted because of their gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability.

LA MESA COUNCIL TO CONSIDER HATE-FREE DECLARATION

May 10, 2009 (La Mesa) La Mesa’s City Council will consider adopting a “Hate Free La Mesa” Declaration at its meeting on Tuesday, May 12th at 4 p.m.The measure has been presented by a member of United for Hate Free San Diego, a coalition of 52 faith-based and community organizations county-wide.

BAFFLED BY BALLOT INITIATIVES? MAY 19 MEASURES PROVE STUDY IN CONFUSION

By Miriam Raftery

 

May 6, 2009 (San Diego’s East County)—The May 19 election includes six statewide ballot initiatives (1A, 1B, 1C, 1D, 1E, and 1F) that are among the most confusing in recent memory. The stakes are high: stability of California’s budget process and the ability to fund vital services such as education, healthcare and public safety for the future.

 

STATE OF EAST COUNTY: CITY LEADERS REVEAL PLANS RANGING FROM DOWNTOWN REVITALIZATION TO A WATER SKI PARK IN SANTEE; JACOB TO PROPOSE FIRE DEPLOYMENT STUDY

May 2, 2009 (El Cajon)—Speaking at an East County Chamber of Commerce breakfast at Grossmont College yesterday, Supervisor Dianne Jacob took a cue from President Barack Obama and offered her own “100 days” post-election report. But she noted one key difference, “I did not take over any banks,” she quipped, then offered her own “to do” list. Mayors of several East County cities also offered their perspectives.

 

TEMPEST IN A TEAPOT? LOCAL LEGISLATORS SQUARE OFF OVER TAX DAY "TEA PARTY" PROTESTS

By Miriam Raftery

April 27, 2009 (San Diego’s East County)—California’s Republican legislators joined in a “tea party” tax protest in Sacramento earlier this month. In response, Democratic leaders staged a “reality check” to unveil a 150-foot long scroll listing $26 billion in budget cuts made since 2003--warning that more severe cuts to schools and other essential programs would be required without the revenue increases in the 2009-2010 budget.

Both sides bolstered their arguments with videos--posted here.

BOXER INTRODUCES RESOLUTION CONDEMNING AFGHAN MARITAL RAPE LAW: URGES AFGHAN LEADERS TO RESPECT WOMEN’S RIGHTS

April 27, 2009 (Washington, D.C.) Senators Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Olympia Snowe (R-ME), along with Representatives Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), Judy Biggert (R-IL) and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) have introduced a concurrent resolution in the Senate and House of Representatives calling on Afghanistan’s leaders to repudiate a new Afghan law that legalizes marital rape and imposes other Taliban-era restrictions on Shiite women in Afghanistan.

SUPERVISOR JACOB & AREA MAYORS TO SPEAK MAY 1 AT GROSSMONT COLLEGE

April 26, 2009 (El Cajon)--County Supervisor Dianne Jacob is scheduled to be joined by several mayors of East County cities as featured speakers at the East County Chamber of Commerce’s “First Friday Breakfast” starting at 7:15 a.m., Friday, May 1, at Grossmont College’s Student Center on the eastern side of the campus. Also speaking at the breakfast will be Barry Jantz, 2009 chairman of the San Diego East County Economic Development Council (ECEDC), sponsor of the program.

CONGRESSMAN FILNER JOINS LOCAL OFFICIALS TO OPPOSE RELEASE OF CONVICTED SEX OFFENDER TO OTAY MESA

( Manuel Paul, San Ysidro School District Superintendent; Clarissa Falcon, District Director for State Senator Denise Ducheny; Rachel Solorzano, Congressman Bob Filner, Representative from Assembly Member Mary Salas’ Office; Yolanda Hernandez, San Ysidro School Board Member; Hector Espinoza, San Ysidro High School Principal; Jesus Gandara, Sweetwater School District Superintendent; Ralph Dimarucut from Assembly Member Mary Salas’ Office; Anastasia Farbur from Senator Denise Ducheny’s Office; Raquel Marquez, San Ysidro School Board Member; and Jason Wells, San Ysidro Chamber of Commerce. )

April 16, 2009 (Otay Mesa)--Congressman Bob Filner joined with local school and public officials at the San Ysidro Child Development Center today to publicly oppose the release of convicted sex offender, Matthew Hedge, in Otay Mesa. A judge recently approved a plan to release Hedge in Otay Mesa within the next month, and many are concerned that this is too close to schools and neighborhoods with small children.

FILNER INTRODUCES BILL FOR FEDS TO PAY COSTS OF EMERGENCY RESPONDERS AT BORDER ENTRIES

By Miriam Raftery April 18, 2009 (San Diego)—Congressman Bob Filner (R-San Diego) has introduced the “Save Our Border Communities Act, H.R. 670. The bill would require the federal government to reimburse costs for local police, firefighters and other first responders to provide services associated with U.S. ports of entry on the international border. “The federal government has not reimbursed border towns for border-related incidents and the drain on local emergency services is increasingly unbearable,” Filner stated in a newsletter to constituents.

HUNTER CALLS ON CONGRESS TO WITHHOLD FUNDS FOR GITMO CLOSURE; OBAMA RELEASES RECORDS CONFIRMING TORTURE ORDERED BY BUSH OFFICIALS

By Miriam Raftery

April 16, 2009 (Washington, DC) - U.S. Congressman Duncan D. Hunter (R-CA), a member of the House Armed Services Committee, has issued a statement opposing the Obama Administration's request for $30 million in supplemental funding for the closure of Guantanamo Bay.

LA MESA VILLAGE REVITALIZATION WORKSHOP

April 20, 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm at the La Mesa Community Center, 4975 Memorial Dr.

By Kristin Hobbs Kjaero La Mesa - Locals call the La Mesa Village the heart and soul of their hometown. Given this sentiment, the Village Revitalization Workshop on April 20 is a great opportunity for the community to share their thoughts for improvements to the Downtown Village.

A QUARTER CENTURY STRONG: LA MESA DEMOCRATS CELEBRATED 25th ANNIVERSARY; EMERALD STAFFER ADDRESSED COMMUNITY ISSUES

April 10, 2009 (La Mesa) – La Mesa-Foothills Democratic Club celebrated its 25th anniversary with a celebration last week that included cake, a potluck dinner, recognition of key members and presentation by Councilwoman Marti Emerald’s chief of staff, Xema Jacobson. Special honorees included the club’s founding members, Claude Cassirer, a Holocaust survivor, and his wife, Beverly (photo).

 

CA DEMOCRATIC PARTY TO CONSIDER RESOLUTION TO PROMOTE ON-SITE RENEWABLE POWER GENERATION AS ALTERNATIVE TO NEW TRANSMISSION LINES, MASSIVE WIND OR SOLAR FARMS

March 20, 2009 (El Cajon)—The East County Democratic Club has adopted a resolution calling for local, on-site generation of solar and wind power as alternatives to massive wind and solar farms, which would require new transmission lines including Sunrise Powerlink. Advocates hope to persuade the State Party’s Resolutions Committee to allow the measure to be considered by delegates at the California Democratic Party convention in Sacramento in late April.

ESTRANGED BEDFELLOWS: KEHOE DEFENDS BLOCK, BUT SAYS SHE’S “DISAPPOINTED” WITH LACK OF VOTE FOR GAY MARRIAGE LEGISLATION

By E.A. Barrera

April 2, 2009 (San Diego)—Openly gay San Diego State Senator Christine Kehoe defended newly elected 78th District Assemblyman Marty Block, even as she scolded Block for his refusal to support a resolution calling on the California Supreme Court to overturn Proposition 8, the voter-approved measure which invalidated gay marriages in California.

CONGRESSMEN SPAR AT SAN DIEGO REGIONAL CHAMBER OF COMMERCE LUNCHEON

By Miriam Raftery April 3, 2009 (San Diego)—Democratic Congressman Bob Filner took some good-natured swings at fellow members of San Diego’s Congressional delegation at the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce luncheon on March 27th. “First let me take some cheap political shots,” quipped Filner, sporting boxing gloves. He noted that the Chamber of Commerce and other business interests asked members of Congress to support the President’s stimulus package aimed at boosting the economy and creating jobs.

NEW ASSEMBLYMAN MARTY BLOCK INTRODUCES BILL TO CREATE NEW COLLEGE IN CHULA VISTA

Vittorio Arata,
Gabriella Quiroga (1),
Katya Quiroga,
Mariella Quiroga
(Mark Raftery)

April 1, 2009 (San Diego’s East County) — On his first day of work at the Capitol,  Assemblyman Marty Block introduced AB 24, a bill which would require that the California State University trustees conduct a feasibility study for locating the 24th Campus of the CSU System in Chula Vista.

HOW DO YOUR CONGRESSIONAL MEMBERS RATE ON MIDDLE CLASS ISSUES? GRADES FOR LOCAL REPRESENTATIVES VARY FROM ZERO TO 100%

April 1, 2009 (WASHINGTON, DC)--San Diego Congressional members Bob Filner and Susan Davis have received an "A" from the Drum Major Institute for Public Policy. The organization's Congressional Scorecard evaluates each Member of Congress based on their support for policies that help our nation's middle class. Democrats Filner and Davis voted in support of middle class issues 100% of the time. Senators Diane Feinstein and Barbara Boxer each scored 80%.

ATTORNEY TRACY EMBLEM ENTERS 50TH CONGRESSIONAL RACE: DEMOCRAT PLEDGES TO REBUILD THE ECONOMY; JOBS, HOUSING AND HEALTHCARE ARE TOP PRIORITIES

By Miriam Raftery March 23, 2009 (San Diego)--Honored as outstanding advocate by Consumer Attorneys of San Diego, Tracy Emblem now wants to fight for the rights of people in the 50th Congressional District who need help with healthcare, housing, and jobs. "Brian Bilbray has not been an effective leader. He hasn't brought back any jobs to our community," Emblem said in an exclusive interview with East County Magazine.

 

ANDERSON BILL TO BLUR GOOGLE EARTH IMAGES SPARKS NATIONAL CONTROVERSY

By Miriam Raftery March 18, 2009 (San Diego)--Assemblyman Joel Anderson (R-Alpine) has introduced AB 255, a bill that seeks to prevent terrorist acts by blurring online images of schools, government buildings, churches and medical facilities through Google Earth and other online aerial mapping technologies. The measure has drawn the attention of CNN News and sparked a debate among high-tech advocates in Silicon Valley.

FILNER BLOCKS OBAMA PLAN TO CHARGE INSURERS FOR TREATMENT OF WOUNDED VETS

By Miriam Raftery March 18, 2009 (Washington D.C.)--East County Magazine contacted Congressman Bob Filner's office after receiving an e-mail from the American Legion which stated that President Obama intended to require private insurance carriers to reimburse the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) for treatment of military veterans who suffered service-related injuries or disabilities. Filner (D-San Diego), is Chairman of the House Veterans Affairs Committee.

MEDIA REFORM, INITIATIVE PROCESS & CLEAN ELECTIONS TOP COMMON CAUSE AGENDA

By Miriam Raftery March 16, 2009 (San Diego)--At a San Diego fundraising dinner for Common Cause last week, speakers addressed the latest priorities taken on by the nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to protecting the public interest and holding government accountable to the voters. Media reform (including a conference this weekend in Southern California), clean elections and revising the California initiative process top the list of priorities for local Common Cause leaders.

 

SEMPRA/SDG&E LOBBYIST NOMINATED BY OBAMA AS DEPUTY DIRECTOR OF INTERIOR: VOTE SLATED THURSDAY, MARCH 12

By Miriam Raftery March 12, 2009 (San Diego’s East County) -- East County residents opposed to Sempra Energy’s Sunrise Powerlink project are mobilizing opposition to President Barack Obama’s nomination of David Hayes as deputy director of the U.S. Department of the Interior. Hayes served as Deputy Director of the department during the Clinton Administration, but later went to work for the lobbying firm Latham & Watkins representing Sempra Energy and SDG&E.

OBAMA BUDGET INCLUDES BIG INCREASE IN FUNDS FOR VETERANS, FILNER SAYS

March 1, 2009 (Washington, D.C.) -- House Veterans’ Affairs Committee Chairman Bob Filner (D-CA) provided the following statement on President Obama’s Budget Outline for the Department of Veterans Affairs for Fiscal Year 2010. “I applaud President Obama’s budget request for the Department of Veterans Affairs. After sixteen years on the Veterans’ Affairs Committee, I am very encouraged that this outline is consistent with recommendations made by the veterans’ groups who co-author the Independent Budget. This has never happened in the IB’s 23-year history!

 

RESIDENTS STAGE PROTEST IN LAKESIDE OVER POWERLINK; SUPERIVSOR JACOB LEADS FIGHT TO HALT SEMPRA/SDG&E PROJECT

By Miriam Raftery

"This line is really about bringing fossil fuels up from the plant owned by SDG&E in Mexico," said Dianne Jacob, chair of the County Board of Supervisors. "We do not need this line to meet San Diego County's energy needs now or in the future...Follow the money to see who supports Sunrise Powerlink."

February 28, 2009 (Lakeside) — “We do not need this line to meet San Diego County’s energy needs now or in the future,” Dianne Jacob, chair of the County Board of Supervisors, told a crowd of 200 to 300 Lakeside residents at a February 25th community meeting on Sunrise Powerlink. She accused the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) of ignoring fire safety warnings raised in an Environmental Impact Report (EIR), which concluded that the line was rated “the highest fire risk possible” and that “fire risk could not be mitigated.” Jacob added, “Follow the money--Some public officials supported the line even before there was an EIR report. Their votes were bought, in my opinion.”

 

View Rob Constantine’s video of officials and Lakeside residents speaking. Also view the new "Save El Monte Valley from Sempra Powerlink Towers" (includes footage of valley during the Cedar Fire, now, and images with computer-generated towers) or visit www.saveelmontevalley.com. Video of Dianne Jacobs’ speech, compliments of Rob Constantine.

BURNED UP: LAKESIDE PLANNERS, FIRE OFFICIALS AND RESIDENTS VENT ANGER OVER STATE'S APPROVAL OF POWERLINK WITH NO NOTICE TO THEIR COMMUNITY

By Miriam Raftery

Before and After images of El Monte Valley

February 18, 2009 (Lakeside) — Lakeside planners, fire
officials and residents expressed shock and outrage that the California Public
Utilities Commission (CPUC) approved construction of Sunrise Powerlink through
the El Monte Valley, a designated scenic area, without ever notifying officials
or the public in Lakeside.

Sempra Energy/SDG&E added Lakeside to its proposed Southern Route back
in March 2007, but local officials said they never had a chance to provide
input on an environmental impact report. Officials warned that adding
high-voltage power lines and 20-story towers would not only impede pristine
views of El Capitan Mountain,but also prevent firefighting planes from scooping
water from a reservoir to douse wildfires, putting San Diego at risk of another
catastrophic fire.

CONGRESSMAN FILNER REINTRODUCES THE VISITORS INTERESTED IN STRENGTHENING AMERICA ACT

March 1, 2009 (Washington, DC -- Congressman Bob Filner has re-introduced H.R. 937, the Visitors Interested in Strengthening America (VISA) Act. The bill gives Port Directors the discretion to issue humanitarian visa waivers to Mexican children making brief, pre-scheduled visits to the United States for medical, educational or recreational purposes. This legislation does not affect the number of legal or illegal immigrants living in the United States - the children and accompanying adults will visit for one day and then return home to Mexico.

 

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