By Cody Petterson
I was stunned by the dishonesty of an anti-Measure A opinion piece in Monday's edition of Voice of San Diego, titled "Proposals Like Measure A Hit Minorities Harder." There is a line between opinion and intentional disinformation, and the authors crossed it by a mile.
The claim that protecting our General Plan against land speculation, rent-seeking, and endless sprawl is "institutionalized racism" is not just untrue, it is diametrically opposed to the truth. Take a gander at the sprawling suburbs and exurbs of north and east county. Sprawl is not a solution to segregation — sprawl is a fundamental driver of our region's obscene segregation. Sprawl development is the physical manifestation of white flight and disinvestment in the diverse communities of our old urban core.
I and others have repeatedly confronted the opponents of Measure A, including one of the authors and the attorney they cite, with the simple question: How could the sprawl projects inhibited by Measure A plausibly produce equitable housing? In concrete terms, how can a General Plan Amendment (GPA) in the rural and semi-rural backcountry produce market rate housing that is affordable to moderate, low, very low, or extremely low buyers or renters? And, furthermore, be near transit and jobs, where we need it to be in order to confront our climate emergency and reduce transportation costs to working families? They've failed to provide an answer, because it is impossible.
I am the "environmental activist" mentioned in the article, and I did not say Measure A would stop sprawl (I wish it could — it can only inhibit it), nor did I say it would lead to more affordable housing, though there are scenarios in which it might (it certainly can, however, help to ensure that affordable housing is sited near transit and jobs).
What I said — and which they have never refuted — is that:
I rarely ask, but share this with your friends and family and join San Diego's environmental and conservation community, our allies in civil society, and the Labor movement in supporting YES on Measure A, also known as the Save Our San Diego Countryside (SOS) initiative.
Passage of Measure A is essential to confronting our climate emergency, protecting our environment, and fostering a sustainable, equitable, livable future for our children. The future of our smart growth General Plan, our regional climate action plans, and our dynamic, diverse county depends on it.
Vote against endless sprawl on March 3rd. Vote for climate action. Vote for a sustainable, equitable vision for San Diego. Vote YES on Measure A.
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