SAN DIEGO, CA — In a 5-4 decision today, the San Diego City Council betrayed voters by moving the mayor’s hotel tax initiative to expand the convention center from November 2020 to an earlier election in March 2020, when fewer people vote. The stated purpose of the move was to give the initiative a better chance of succeeding. This kind of election manipulation was exactly what voters rejected in Measure L when they said clearly that they wanted local initiatives to be limited to the November general election, when the most people vote.
Despite the city attorney’s statement acknowledging that in Measure L, the voters expressed their preference for November elections, Council President Georgette Gomez cast the deciding vote to give the mayor’s initiative a leg up by scheduling it for an early election, joining councilmembers Scott Sherman, Mark Kersey, Chris Cate, and Jen Campbell.
Andrea Guerrero, executive director of Alliance San Diego Mobilization Fund, issued the following statement:
“We are deeply dismayed at the blatant betrayal of San Diego voters by five members of the San Diego City Council. They chose self interest over public interest, which is not what our democracy is about. If we care about an inclusive democracy, then we should schedule elections when the most voters participate.
What is most concerning is that they chose to move the election to a time when they know far few voters turnout and especially young voters and voters of color who do not get the same information about early elections. The city spends $0 on voter outreach, leaving campaigns to pick and choose who to talk to, which allows them to manipulate the election and the outcome. This is exactly what voters wanted to avoid by passing Measure L.
Although we are frustrated by the city council’s vote, we will continue to fight for an inclusive democracy. We thank Councilmembers Bry, Montgomery, Moreno and Ward, who upheld their duties as public servants, and stood with the voters, by voting against the resolution.”
Formed in 2016, Alliance San Diego Mobilization Fund (ASDMF) is a California non-profit public benefit corporation formed under IRS section 501(c)(4). ASDMF seeks to expand the opportunity for all San Diego residents, especially marginalized residents, to reach their full potential by increasing their participation in our democracy, our economy, and our society. To advance our mission, we are engaging in voter education and policy advocacy.