Politics

The Border Shutdown, One Year Later

Hundreds of travelers wait in long lines at the Otay Mesa Port of Entry after Customs and Border Patrol officials shut down crossing lines in San Ysidro. / Photo by Adriana Heldiz

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A year ago this past Thanksgiving weekend, San Diego’s director of binational affairs was lounging at home in her PJs. The head of San Ysidro’s Chamber of Commerce was fussing over turkey leftovers.

Things changed quickly for both of them when they got word that the federal government had shut down the San Ysidro Port of Entry, one of the world’s busiest border crossings, on one of the biggest shopping and travel holidays of the year.

Maya Srikrishnan spoke with local officials who were in the eye of the storm, and she pored through emails leading up to that day in a new piece looking back at the unprecedented shutdown, one year later.

Local leaders said all of the chaos had one positive outcome.

“The silver lining of all of this is that we have been more united in our messaging and the importance of the border,” said Denice Garcia, San Diego Mayor Faulconer’s director of binational affairs. “Now we know we have to speak with one voice and really one voice.”

After years of being run by Republican mayors, San Diego will have a prominent Republican in the race after all.

Councilman Scott Sherman pulled papers to run for mayor of San Diego.

He’d never ruled out a run, but it’s a surprise in a couple ways. It’s late enough in the game that the Chamber of Commerce, the kind of group likely to throw its support behind a candidate like Sherman, has already endorsed Democrat Todd Gloria.

And then there’s the fact that Sherman has made a big show of not loving elected office. He’s famously claimed to not be a politician (a line Barbara Bry also has on her campaign signs. Just to be clear: They both are politicians). Sherman also has a countdown prominent in his office of how many days until his term is over.

Sherman can Twitter: After Scott Lewis discussed the news on Twitter, a fiery response came in. “I would rather walk barefoot on glass while on fire than vote for Scott Sherman.”

“I’ll put you as a maybe,” Sherman replied.

Escondido Mayor Paul McNamara’s election was one of the biggest local surprises of the 2018 election — he defeated two-term incumbent Republican Sam Abed.

Though party officials and activists cheered McNamara’s election, he certainly hasn’t acted so far like the “far-left ideologue” Abed painted him as during the campaign.

As VOSD’s Kayla Jimenez notes, McNamara recently joined with other Republicans on the SANDAG board to oppose a plan to expand regional transit.

And the Democratic City Council members in Escondido said McNamara is too much of a wild card to be counted on as a reliable Dem vote.

“I’d probably disagree with some of his decisions. We’re a big tent party and we have a host of different opinions. I think he probably feels like he has to be relatively moderate on a lot of these issues,” San Diego County Democratic Party Chairman Will Rodriguez-Kennedy said.

The Morning Report was written by Sara Libby, and edited by Scott Lewis.




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