GUEST COMMENTARY: A word or two about Measures K and L
By Sherri Lightner
San Diego City Council President
Did you know that the Mayor’s race and three of the five City Council races in San Diego ended in June? Unlike California and the federal government, San Diego has a rule that if a candidate wins more than 50 percent of the vote in June, then that candidate wins and the election is over, even though only a small number of people voted. This means there is no runoff and no chance for voters to decide the winner in November.
When I ran for City Council, I was concerned by how many voters didn’t understand the City election process. Many told me they assumed it was the same as the state system, and that they would have a chance in November to vote for the two candidates who received the most votes in the primary. They were shocked to learn that there was a possibility there wouldn’t be a November general election in their council district.
Fortunately, the voters in the City of San Diego now have a chance to make sure this issue no longer exists. Measure K would align the procedure for electing the Mayor, City Attorney and City Councilmembers with the process we already use for electing all state and federal elected officials. The amendment would require a runoff in November, giving voters a chance to decide between the top two finishers in the primary.
Its companion Measure L is also an important voter reform that will do the same for ballot measures as K does for candidates. Measure L also deserves support.
Historically, voter turnout in June primary elections is much lower than in November. This is in part because final decisions are made in November and voters make that election a priority. In June 2012, roughly 240,000 voters turned out to vote in San Diego, while in November, approximately 470,000 turned out. That means nearly twice as many people cast ballots in November as in June.
The November electorate better reflects the diversity of San Diego. The participation of voters of color is three times higher in November, and for young people it is five times higher.
Measures K and L will enhance voter participation, eliminate confusion caused by differing local and state election procedures, and increase voter confidence in our elected representatives. State and federal elections use the top-two runoff system and maximize voter participation, and it is time San Diego adopted this same inclusive standard for our candidates and measures.
Challenges exist at The Cove, but some healthy choices, too!
Before you read my letter, let me assure you that I am very grateful for the attention La Jolla Light is dedicating to the problems the sea lion population is still creating at The Cove. I can see, sense and fully support the good intention of “provoking” La Jolla residents, local committees, the City of San Diego and other authorities to take the much-needed action to produce some changes so we can claim back our beautiful beach and enjoy walking and swimming without the fear of getting sick.
On the other hand, the title “The Cove: Health Risk?” may possibly discourage many people from even visiting The Cove, although the title is perfect to make one curious. Still, these days people are so busy with the news about the upcoming Elections that some may just glance over it, without inquiring deeper.
“The Cove: Health Risk?” in the Oct. 20 issue provoked my curiosity. I bet I am not the only La Jolla resident concerned about the current seals/sea lions-sea-and-sand sanitary situation of The Cove waters and seashore (well described by reporter Maria José Dúran). Kudos to our lifeguards who willing to jump in to jumpstart someone’s heart if necessary. But while swimming, snorkeling, splashing, surfing and sand-walking may present potential risk to your health, let’s not forget that visiting The Cove can be also a spirit-lifting and health-boosting experience.
Apart from strolling, playing or running through The Cove area to get your body warm and strong, you can visit one of the classes at the iconic La Jolla Bridge Club building. Not everyone may be aware that the purpose of three expansions of President F. D. Roosevelt’s “New Deal” building at The Cove (1958, 1967, 1969) were to “serve the needs of community for boosting aerobic and yoga classes” (in addition to the popular bridge and cribbage games held there).
While enjoying this “Room with a View,” you might be pleasantly surprised that there is no need to be fit or flexible in order to benefit. For example, sitting comfortably on a chair, you can learn how to use four parts of the breath (inhale, hold, exhale, suspension) to meet your needs, health limitations and personal goals to boost your energy, aid digestion, build immunities, manage stress and anxiety, or make meditation easier.
Consider (Christian author and speaker) Joyce Meyer’s words, “I believe that the greatest gift you can give your family and the world is a healthy you,” for they remind us that people visiting The Cove have many choices!
High school should share track with community
A recent Letter to the Editor and your response to it suggested the track will be open to the public when all construction is complete. I called the high school office to learn the date and was informed I should call the school district, as the track will NOT be open to residents unless it is rented. The head of rentals for the district told me a bill was passed: once a high school stadium is renovated, there is no public use other than rentals by groups.
I personally find this outcome upsetting, as we moved into the Village in part because of the access to the track for running. Parents and their children use the tracks, teenagers practice lacrosse, and elderly people seeking to avoid sidewalk cracks walk on the track.
What can we do as a Village to return the track to the public? If vandalism is a concern, place cameras. Or let us sign up for keys. But our property taxes pay for the stadium. We should have access to it. At a minimum, could we rent the track during set hours every weekend and weekday?
Editor’s Note: You are correct, Kay. After speaking with La Jolla High School officials Oct. 31, The Light learned that because the stadium and track facilities were built with district funds authorized by Proposition S, they are considered a school district asset and will not be open to the public for community use. However, the track can be rented by e-mailing Deb Beaver with school district rentals at firstname.lastname@example.org
Sayings add spice to life
You had a marvelous little Scottish saying in the Oct. 26 issue,
“From ghoulies and ghosties
And long-legged beasties
And things that go bump in the night,
Good Lord, deliver us!”
I haven’t heard that for years and the first time I heard it was when I was a student at the University of Buffalo, School of Medicine and my professor was Scottish, Dr. Bernard Smith. He had the full Scottish accent. He also gave us another good one:
“It’s the smells rather than the sights and sounds that warm the cockles of the heart.”
I find this marvelous because at the start of every Christmas Eve dinner at our home with our entire family, we always start out with the saying from the ghoulies and ghosties.
I thank you for having that saying published in your paper, I hadn’t heard it in years, and appreciate it very much.
What’s on YOUR mind?
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Editor’s Note: Letters published in La Jolla Light express views and comments from readers in regard to community issues. Letters do not necessarily reflect opinions of the newspaper staff or publisher.