News & Updates

California WaterFix Project

This month, the Energy & Water Committee heard from the San Diego County Water Authority and the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California on the proposed California WaterFix project. The project includes the construction of large tunnels that would bring water from Northern California to Southern California, and in doing so, modernize the state’s water transportation infrastructure. To learn more about the project, click here.

Building Permit Fee Reduction Pilot Program for Disabled Veterans

The Defense, Veterans & Military Affairs Committee heard from Councilmember Chris Cate on his building permit fee reduction pilot program for disabled veterans. The program would waive certain building permit fees for disabled veterans who want to make home improvements related to their disability. The Committee voted to support the program.

Public Policy Committee Welcomes New SANDAG Executive Director

On December 11th, the Public Policy Committee heard from San Diego Association of Government’s (SANDAG) incoming executive director, Hasan Ikhrata. SANDAG serves as the regional transportation planning agency. Ikhrata has experience working at the Southern California Association of Governments, Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, and the South Coast Air Quality Management. Ikhrata entertained questions from the Committee on airport transportation, autonomous vehicles, and downtown infrastructure.

2019 Significant New Laws for Employers

With the New Year around the corner, it is important to prepare for new labor laws that will impact San Diego employees and employers. Among those includes a new law, signed in 2016, which raises the minimum wage incrementally, boosting it January 1st to $11 per hour for employers with 25 or fewer employees, and $12 per hour for businesses staffing more than 26 employees. There will also be a number of new sexual harassment laws including one that extends sexual harassment training requirements to employers with at least five employees: one hour for nonsupervisory staff, and two hours for supervisory staff, every two years. A new law for nursing mothers, called lactation accommodation, requires employers to provide a location other than a bathroom for women to express breast milk. Another new law requires public held corporations to place at least one female director on its board by December 31, 2019. Read more about new 2019 labor laws.

New Elected Officials

The new San Diego City Council was sworn in on December 10th. County Board of Supervisors will be sworn in January 7th, 2019. The California legislature was sworn in December 3rd. Almost 200 bills were introduced to the legislature floor already. The legislature will officially reconvene January 7th, 2019. The U.S. Senators and House of Representatives will assume office January 3rd, 2019.

New City of San Diego Council President

On December 10th, San Diego City Council elected Councilmember Georgette Gomez to serve as Council President for the 2019 year. Councilmember Gomez also serves as the chairwoman of the San Diego Metropolitan Transit System and the city’s Smart Growth and Land Use Committee.

San Diego County Regional Airport Development Plan Update

On November 20th, Mayor Faulconer convened the leadership of the Airport Authority, SANDAG, the Port of San Diego and MTS with City staff, where they discussed specific suggestions to deal with both short-term and long-term solutions for traffic impacts and transit access as they pertain to the Draft EIR for the Airport Development Plan (ADP). The Airport’s goal was to address comments on the Draft EIR for the ADP, including the replacement of the 50 year old Terminal 1. Related traffic impacts and transit access will require the collaboration of SANDAG, MTS and other entities. Solving one of San Diego’s perpetual issues – transit connectivity to the airport – is now a group effort. The Airport has developed an updated air travel forecast scenario based on 2018, which will be submitted to the FAA for approval this month. The Airport has also committed to revisiting the parking requirement contemplated in the Draft EIR and initiated conversations with the FAA about potential financial participation in off-airport roadway and transit improvements.

Member Spotlight: Retail Habitats

Retail Habitats Design + Consulting, a local, full-service commercial interior design agency, can help make your business vision a reality in 2019.

If opening or redesigning your store, restaurant or office is part of your 2019 plan, let our passionate group of rebellious creatives make the process simple, stable and successful.

Retail Habitats has a 10-year track record of delivering human-centered environments and experiences that your customers, clients, and patients will love. Further, we know the importance of sticking to budgets and timelines, so our approach keeps your investment predictable and ensures your grand opening stays on track.

We also have access to a deep bench of key service providers that we can manage on your behalf. From brand development to build-out, your search for vendors can end when you partner with us.

Best yet, we are a nationally recognized design agency based in right your bbackyard Brian Weltman, our CEO, Creative Director and founder, has just earned two of the most prestigious awards in the business: design: retail magazine’s “40 Under 40” recognition, and VMSD’s “Designer Dozen” award. We’ve also been named one of VMSD’s Top 50 Design Firms for four of the last five years.

Our team has already helped local favorites including Donut Bar, Ballast Point Brewing Co. and Davanti Enoteca create spaces that resonate with their customers, and companies like MGM Resorts International, American Greetings and Meineke Car Care Centers have also entrusted us with revamping their environmental brands. Check out our case studies from previous clients.

If 2019 is the year you bring your business vision to life, we want to be on your team. For more information visit, or contact Adam Jones at 800.764.5133.

Name: Adam Jones
Title: COO & Managing Partner
Company: Retail Habitats – Design + Consulting
Contact information:

Six Leadership Action Team Partner Agencies Named by LEAD San Diego

LEAD San Diego has announced its six nonprofit partner agencies for 2019. Members of LEAD’s Impact San Diego Class of 2019 will form teams to gain hands-on experience by working with these organizations to accomplish vital projects that will benefit the agencies and our community.

The six agencies and their projects are:

A Reason to Survive (ARTS), whose mission is to lift young people to become courageous, compassionate, and confident community builders through the transformative power of creativity. Their Leadership Action Team (LAT) will build a strong infrastructure and figure out how to tell ARTS’ story to all audiences who need to hear it, converting storytelling into action and results so the organization thrives.

Autism Tree Project Foundation, dedicated to improving communities in San Diego County by assisting them with education, advocacy, screening and mentoring for families impacted by autism. Their LAT team will develop a business plan to help guide the organization’s operations and ensure long-term sustainability.

Eastlake Educational Foundation, with the mission to support the highest quality educational opportunities in the public schools of Eastlake by funding technology and STEAM learning that prepares all children for the 21st Century technology-driven world. Their LAT will help create a community action plan to evaluate and engage the community in order to expand stakeholder involvement by parents, schools, businesses, and emerging tech centers.

OG Yoga, delivering trauma-informed mindfulness-based yoga through partnerships with the systems serving marginalized individuals to support healing, resilience, self-development, and positive social change. Their LAT project is to develop a strategic/business/operational plan that expands and organizes their community offerings, creates foundational support for their Yogi instructor coursework, and establishes a footprint in the community to serve others.

Olivewood Gardens, whose mission is to empower students and families from diverse backgrounds to be healthy and active citizens through organic gardening, environmental stewardship, and nutrition education. They have asked their LAT to help develop a marketing strategy with measurable objectives and tactics that will include goals and benchmarks, and will define their target audience.

Somali Bantu Association of America (SBAOA), with the mission to advocate on behalf of the Somali Bantu, and other similarly disadvantaged refugees and immigrants, for access to professional and educational resources so families can make successful cultural, economic, and social transitions to life in the U.S. SBAOA’s LAT will provide fresh perspective and guidance to assess the organization’s strengths, areas for improvement, and opportunities to create strategic partnerships.

Each Impact LAT will make a presentation about their project at their graduation event, which will take place Thursday, June 13, 2019. It will be free and open to the public.

Member Spotlight: Moms Making Six Figures

Angela Gange joined as a partner in Moms Making Six Figures, founded in 2009. She and the company have continued to build supportive connections between women ever since. “We all have really different backgrounds, but we all really wanted to have flexibility around our families,” Angie said of the group, noting that members come from a wide variety of educational and professional backgrounds. “We really didn’t know when we started the company that we would be as successful as we are today. We just had an idea that there would be a lot of other women who were like us.”

Moms Making Six Figures represents a U.S.-based manufacturer. The marketing company is based in San Diego, but a number of the nearly 90 moms live in Orange County, the Bay Area, Nevada, Arizona, Chicago, and New York. Wherever they live, they’re able to replace or supplement their income while staying at home on their own schedules. About half of the members work at least 25 hours a week. Rather than a background in marketing, members need to be self-motivated to work hard and write their own success stories.

When Angie joined the business, her sons were 17, 13 and 11. She had worked in the mortgage banking industry, but she knew there had to be a way to support her family without working late and traveling away from her sons. “The corporate environment just isn’t very accommodating to moms,” said Angie. “They say that they are, but when push comes to shove, they’re not.”

She found her new path with Moms Making Six Figures. “There are so many moms like me,” said Angie. “Most of us need a dual income, especially in California. But when you’re a mom, you have kids, and you have all the responsibilities and activities that children have, it’s difficult trying to figure out a way to have a career and balance everything.” Now that Angie’s sons are grown and successful, happy young men, she is committed to helping other moms have the same success she had, owning her own business, and being a “total stay at home mom”!