The Particular Election Is Upon Us — Voice of San Diego
Leticia Munguia / Photo courtesy Leticia Munguia for the State Assembly
The special election to replace Secretary of State Shirley Weber in the 79th Congregation District will take place in 52 days, and the candidate field has now been determined.
La Mesa councilor Akilah Weber may have cemented her favorite status this week by banning the state’s Democratic Party’s approval to represent a predominantly democratic district.
But Leticia Munguia, the corporate representative for the American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees, District 36 – the union of unions that represents public workers throughout Southern California – is in the thick of it and has received significant support herself.
Munguia, for example, won the recommendations of neighboring North County Rep. Lorena Gonzalez and North County Rep. Tasha Boerner Horvath.
And where Weber won significant State support, Munguia also won a major institutional backer this week, with the California Latino Legislative Caucus voting to endorse it as well.
“Before I called the Democratic Party, I knew that a decision had already been made,” Munguia said in an interview about the party’s approval of Weber. “I backed up the delegate list, made the calls and a lot of people didn’t answer or return my call. The decision was made prior to voting. For me, this is a clear reflection of the fact that these delegates had previously communicated with the candidate or with another person. But the party made its decision, and now I’m focusing on the voters. “
Weber is, of course, the daughter of the former Headquarters representative, but she also won her La Mesa race in 2018 and assumed a higher public profile this summer after protests against police brutality in that town. We discussed this problem with her on the podcast back then. She is also a practicing doctor and has been endorsed by San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria, Councilor Monica Montgomery Steppe, State City Mayor Alejandra Sotelo-Solis, and multiple unions.
Munguia was born and raised in San Diego. She attended San Diego Unified Schools, then City College and San Diego State University, before entering Michigan law school. She has worked on-site at affordable housing, the MAAC project, and the San Diego County Alternative Public Defender’s office.
But it is the organization for teachers and unions of school workers in San Diego and Los Angeles that has dominated their careers.
If there is any area that can be expected to stand out as a legislator, Munguia said the story would matter.
“My commitment to public education is clear,” she said. “I am a product and beneficiary of San Diego Unified. Our families, students, teachers, and school workers all need resources and time. We must maneuver this pandemic scientifically and based on data to ensure that we can return safely. For me, that’s a political focus. “
And as the region emerges from the pandemic, she said it was important to deal with what it has done to our economy.
“Our hospitality workforce has been cut due to a lack of travel,” she said. “Our sisters and brothers at (the local hotel union) had membership in excess of 6,000 and have now dropped to less than 1,000. Getting people back to work must be priority # 1. We need to look at retraining and talk to community colleges about the key labor markets of the future, and we need a clear start towards 2022. “
We’ll get to know the rest of the field as the special elections approach. Others who took part in the race include Marco Contreras, the only Republican, and two Democrats active in local politics, Shane Parmely and Aeiramique Glass-Blake.
The 2022 cycle begins without any new political districts
Rancho Peñasquitos residents attended a 2010 San Diego Redistricting Commission meeting to ask the commission not to split their parish into two city council counties. / Photo by Sam Hodgson
The 2022 election cycle has already started. Politicians have known many candidates running for seats in the next election for months or more, and we will likely see a rush of formal announcements every week.
But there’s the annoying fact that later this year we will have to go through our once-a-decade process of reshaping our political boundaries based on the latest census data.
This process has already resulted in significant delays, both due to the pandemic and the repeated attempts by the Trump administration to influence the census results.
We learned just this week that the delay will be made even greater by tossing a curveball to everyone in the electoral process, from election officials who need time to conduct an election to potential candidates who may not even know they are alive In the district they wanted to represent and for voters for whom the restructuring process is a fleeting opportunity for empowerment.
Typically, the census data used as the basis for redistribution is due in late March. The Census Bureau said last month the data wouldn’t come in until late July. Now it is telling states not to wait until the end of September, the New York Times reported this week.
The state Supreme Court has already approved the state legislature’s decision to postpone the deadline for completing the redistribution of cards from October 15 to December 15.
“The December 15 deadline still seemed plausible when we were told a month ago not to expect anything until July 30, when we were basically four months ago,” said Evan McLaughlin, vice president of Redistricting Partners. “Then we will get this bomb today to bet on for another two months.”
A lot has to happen from October, when the data arrives, to mid-December, when the cards need to be finalized. Officials don’t just have to hold meetings to solicit input from the public. California, for example, has to assign its prison population to the neighborhoods where inmates were arrested. University of California researchers will do this analysis, but they estimate it will take a month to get the census data.
However, the Supreme Court decision to postpone the deadline also gives officials a little more relief. For each day after July 31 that the federal government is late with the dates, the state can postpone the December 15 deadline one day. That said, if the data comes in on September 30th, the state wouldn’t have to adopt final cards until Valentine’s Day 2022.
“Reallocation year is now reallocation year,” said McLaughlin.
There’s a little good news: we don’t plan on holding a March primary in March 2022 like we did in 2020. We will be returning to a June primary this cycle.
That still means, however, that local electoral officials would only have a few months to prepare the thousands of different electoral combinations required to ensure that voters in each district can weigh the unique assortment of voting races to which they are heading .
“This latest delay will force everyone from lawmakers to election officials to really rethink how the 2022 elections work,” McLaughlin said.