By Cindy Marten
Schools are important, but the science on COVID-19 is clear.
California has now entered a critical new phase in the fight to stop the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. The virus is present in our communities, and we all must work together to prevent its spread. These facts formed the basis of the decision this week by San Diego Unified, Los Angeles Unified and other districts across the state to close our schools. In San Diego Unified, schools will remain closed through April 6.
Not much is more important to a community than its schools. It’s where our children go to learn, play and grow. So although this decision was not an easy one, we feel it’s the right one. We made the decision based on science and in partnership with our colleagues from the world of education.
The science on COVID-19 is clear.
Those communities that took sweeping action to prevent its spread have fared better than those that waited for the pandemic to take hold. Although very few possible cases of coronavirus have been reported in San Diego County so far, we’ve learned from the experiences of other states and countries that getting out ahead of this virus as much as possible can help contain it.
We made our decision to close in concert with the San Diego Office of Education, Los Angeles Unified and many other districts throughout the state. Together, we concluded (as did every other district in the county) that closing schools is the best way to proactively protect against what Gov. Gavin Newsom has declared a state of emergency.
The No on A coalition announced that based on a clear trend in ballot returns from the March 3 Primary Election, Measure A has been defeated – capping a tough opposition campaign that faced long odds. As of March 9, 51.48% of votes cast were “No” on A, according to the San Diego County Registrar of Voters.
“Voters understood Measure A would not do what it promised, that it was riddled with loopholes, and that it would force more San Diegans to pay more for homes and apartments in the midst of our housing affordability crisis. They also understood Measure A was funded by out-of-town billionaires to keep affordable homes and apartments away from their $10,000-a-week hotel located along the I-15 growth and transit corridor,” No on A campaign manager Tony Manolatos said.
Manolatos continued: “I’m extremely proud of everyone who worked on this campaign. The leadership at the top from the BIA and the REALTORS® was tremendous. They supported the team every step of the way, and we had a fantastic team that built a remarkable coalition and ran an impressive campaign. So many people deserve so much credit for this win. We did not just defeat a ballot measure that would have set our region back decades. We also created a movement that I expect will help us dig out of our housing crisis. It’s important to keep working together on solutions to provide more affordable homes and apartments for all San Diegans.”
Measure A was intended to block affordable housing. It would have forced a countywide vote of 1.6 million voters to add as few as 6 homes to the County General Plan. Just about everyone opposed it, including the San Diego County Democratic Party AND the Republican Party of San Diego County. With Measure A being put forward during a record housing affordability crisis, it seemed obvious that it was bad public policy – but its defeat was by no means assured. Polling showed the measure was likely to be approved by voters because of the deceptive ballot language.
“This was a tough uphill battle all the way, but the NO on A campaign never relented. They did so many things right on a limited budget. Competitive Edge is proud to have provided research to the No on A campaign team,” said John Nienstedt, President of Competitive Edge Research & Communication.