Voice of San Diego Podcast

Voice of San Diego Podcast

This is Voice of San Diego’s weekly spitfire roundup of news. We cover local and regional politics, the environment, education, the border and more. This show features our investigative reporting and interviews with lawmakers and other special guests.


February 3, 2023 48 min

Throughout the pandemic, the political divide has been bitter — and deadly.

This week, Voice reporters finished an unprecedented review of death certificates from the second year of the pandemic, after the vaccine was released. They determined the demographics of who died changed dramatically. Reporter Will Huntsberry explains the findings.

Plus: The most dramatic Audit Committee discussion you've ever heard. The short and ador...

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The San Diego City Council voted this week to declare housing a human right in the city. The resolution didn’t change any policies and isn’t legally binding. So, what gives?

This week, we discuss the declaration and grapple with implications it may (or may not) have on the city's immediate housing crisis.

Plus: The SANDAG walkout. And education reporter Jakob McWhinney lays out the state of transitional kindergarten — the new p...

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It’s not something you expect to hear: A congressional representative from San Diego saying maybe the Navy has too many ships and maybe the defense department’s budget is too big. But that’s something Congresswoman Sara Jacobs will gladly discuss.

As she enters her second term, Jacobs has transitioned from rookie to leadership. The new Congress also brings her new constituents due to redistricting.

In this interview, Jacobs and hos...

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January 20, 2023 41 min

We’re cookin’ with gas! At least for now.

This week, we review how we got here — a time when pundits are debating what gas stoves mean to us as a society and whether the fumes they spout are harmful.

This offers another moment when San Diego's policy has caught up with reality. Because we’ve been planning to phase out gas-burning appliances for a while. In this episode, we discuss that long-standing plan and others like it that...

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January 13, 2023 46 min

San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria had the opportunity this week to lay out his plan for the city — to explain where we stand and where we're going in his annual State of the City address.

Gloria discussed the importance of law enforcement, the deadly rise of fentanyl, our urgent need for affordable housing, homelessness(!), parks and infrastructure.

After attending the live event on Wednesday night, our hosts will now scrutinize each...

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January 10, 2023 52 min

Levi Giafaglione works for National Alliance on Mental Illness, serving unhoused San Diegans with tools and services they need to get care and housing.

He understands keenly how unsheltered folks feel and how hard it is to find a way out, because he used to be homeless, too.

In this episode, Giafaglione tells host Scott Lewis how he first became homeless while living in Los Angeles, how he navigated the constant change and challeng...

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January 6, 2023 43 min

This week, we preview the State of the City address. Slated for next Wednesday, San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria will report to the entire city what his administration did last year and what's ahead.

In this episode, we look back at old State of the City addresses and make predictions for the next. An undeniable issue for discussion is homelessness.

Plus: How housing costs correlate with homelessness nationwide. Transitional kinderg...

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December 30, 2022 61 min

Maggie Balint was a star pitcher for San Diego State University last year and led the school to the Women’s World Series. She was the Mountain West pitcher of the year.

Throughout her career, college athletics have changed a lot. Players can make money on their names and transfer to new schools much more easily than before. People can gamble on their play and the long-term consequences are unknown.

This week, Balint sits down with ...

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December 22, 2022 53 min

Chris Cate was the last Republican elected official in City Hall.

His successor, San Diego City Councilmember Kent Lee, serves District 6 and completes an all-Democrat Council (with Dem mayor Todd Gloria).

Throughout his tenure, Cate says local leaders grew more courageous — willing to flirt with taboo issues like the coastal height limit, trash pick-up charges and vacation rentals. But now, the homeless crisis looms over everythin...

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This week, Voice journalists Jesse Marx and Will Huntsberry unleash an authoritative account of Covid: Year Two.

Two years ago, we had to sue the county to gain access to county death records that mentioned Covid as a cause. Marx and Huntsberry led a team to analyze those records to grasp the toll of Covid in various communities and demographics in the county.

Their recent slate of stories revealed how the vaccine changed things in...

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December 16, 2022 55 min

In this in-depth interview, CEO of the San Diego Association of Governments Hasan Ikhrata explained why he's standing by a plan to charge drivers for every mile they drive — even after his board abandoned it.

We also discuss whether it's time for him to leave his job (hint: maybe), the dysfunction of the SANDAG board and the future of the region.

Note: Our weekly news wrap-up episode will drop Friday afternoon, as usual.


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December 9, 2022 33 min

The Colorado River is the lifeblood of the American West. 

But its flow is inconstant and undependable — especially as climate change propels us into a dry abyss. Now the river's use needs to be rethought.

This week, we discuss environment reporter MacKenzie Elmer's story on the new way of (Colorado River) water — and a how one group agreed to give up some of its water rights: Imperial Valley farmers.

Plus: The San Diego Di...

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December 2, 2022 55 min

One of the most famous charter schools in the region, and perhaps the country, is High Tech High. Its project-based learning model and innovative approach to education stands out in San Diego — as does its inexperienced teaching staff.

Last year, HTH educators decided to unionize. And now they've hit a wall. Voice education reporter Jakob McWhinney joins the show to explain.

Plus: SANDAG's leader signals a leave. The proble...

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November 23, 2022 62 min

This week we're joined by local author, educator and curator of the AwkwardSD blog, Ryan Bradford for our annual Friendsgiving episode.

There’s a lot to be thankful for — and skeptical of — this year. So our table of friends each brought one topic to dish on and sprinkled thanks throughout.

Talking points: The historic peaks and current pitfalls of Twitter. How Taylor Swift’s rabid fanbase may finally bring justice to the conce...

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November 18, 2022 52 min

More election results are in.

It’s been a long wait for some races — as expected. And now, we have a bit more clarity on who won and how San Diego feels about key ballot initiatives. We discuss the historic moment as San Diegans finally shirked the People’s Ordinance. Other big updates include a local State Senate seat, the closely watched 49th Congressional District and the three-way race for National City.

Plus: City towing hurts...

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November 11, 2022 39 min

Happy election week! Let's take a breather.

This podcast was recorded on Thursday afternoon, a few hours before another dump of results from the registrar. But with a couple more days' worth of votes counted from our Election Night special, we have more clarity on what actually happened this election and what a midterm electorate wants for the region.

Some races have gotten tighter. Some are more decisive. One flipped! We h...

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November 9, 2022 42 min

Late on Election Night, Scott, Andy and Andrea harnessed their last vestiges of energy and freshest election results to bring you San Diego Election Night takes.
As of this recording, our editors had a solid handle of a few key races they’d been watching this year: County Sheriff, Chula Vista mayor, National City mayor, San Diego City Council District 6. We review what we know, what's yet to be decided and what it all means for...

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November 4, 2022 57 min

Every two years, something amazing happens. Perhaps more important than newly elected leaders, passed initiatives, updated ordinances and a collective national exercise to uphold our republic ... is the Voice of San Diego Podcast Election Draft!

As ever, the week before an election is a chance for us to hop on the mic and lay down our picks. Each host had two draft picks: These are local contests for which we are most excited to se...

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October 28, 2022 56 min

There’s a moment when high-minded, well intentioned policy meets the inertia of the real world: a collision of two realities.
These are the moments “real people” (i.e., not policy wonks or politicos) have a chance to see what’s coming their way and react. Often, residents don’t know about the next big thing until change is imminent — years after some state law or band of policy professionals and advocates concluded the best ways to...

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October 21, 2022 77 min

Grab that ballot off your kitchen counter, it’s time to fill in some bubbles.

This week, we review a full San Diegan ballot — from Senate to school board — to discuss what’s what and decipher some of the more confusing items you’ll come across.

This episode runs from big to small, following the order of your ballot pretty closely. As you hit play, we'll start at the top with U.S. Senator, move down to county-wide races, city ra...

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