SAN DIEGO, CA — Today, while San Diegans were focused on protecting their health, San Diego City Council undermined our democracy, voting to "certify" the March primary election results without declaring an outcome on Measure C — despite declaring an outcome on the other city measure on the ballot, as is normally done following an election. A majority of council, led by Council President Georgette Gomez, skirted a formal declaration of the outcome for the convention center expansion measure, even though it did not meet the two-thirds vote threshold required to pass in the March 3rd election.
Gomez supported special treatment for this troubled measure and was joined by Councilmembers Chris Ward, Jen Campbell, Mark Kersey, and Chris Cate. Departing from normal practice, the move to certify the election without declaring an outcome on Measure C was prompted by a last minute request from the proponents, suggesting a long shot argument for setting a lower vote threshold for the measure after the election has taken place.
As Council President Pro Tem Barbara Bry stated in rejecting the move, this is a break in faith with voters. Similarly, Councilmember Vivian Moreno pointed out that the ballot materials provided to voters, and on which they relied, stated that the measure needed two-thirds of the vote to pass, and proponents did not challenge the vote threshold prior to the election. Because Measure C did not meet that threshold, it should have been declared defeated, reflecting the voters’ decision.
Andrea Guerrero, executive director of Alliance San Diego, issued this statement following the vote at city council:
“We are disappointed in councilmembers who chose to undercut voters today instead of honoring their will. The role of city council following an election is simple: Tell the voters which ballot measures won and which lost. Instead of dealing straight, the majority of councilmembers played a shell game to give proponents of Measure C a leg up in their long-shot litigation strategy to change the vote threshold after the fact.
With this move, the San Diego City Council has undermined and violated the sacred trust of the voters. Our democracy is built on trust that our elected officials will carry out their duties faithfully. We are deeply disappointed in Council President Georgette Gomez and Councilmembers Chris Ward and Jen Campbell, who have decided to engage in the shenanigans perpetuated by Mayor Kevin Faulconer and Councilmembers Kersey, Cate, and Sherman, and that have marred Measure C from the beginning. Now more than ever, we need leaders like Council President Pro Tem Barbara Bry and Councilmembers Monica Montgomery and Vivian Moreno who uphold and respect the will of the voters, especially in difficult moments.”
About Alliance San Diego
Alliance San Diego is a non-profit, non-partisan 501(c)(3) community empowerment organization working to ensure that all people can achieve their full potential in an environment of harmony, safety, equality, and justice. Our mission is to provide a means for diverse individuals and organizations to share information, collaborate on issues and mobilize for change in the pursuit of social justice, especially in low-income communities and communities of color. We pursue this mission through targeted civic engagement programs and strategic coalitions that focus on specific issues and policy reforms.