September 8 – Weekly Update

We’re melting.

 

Business Updates:

Chamber member San Diego Community Power has just launched its Community Power Plan Survey and is looking for responses from residents and businesses. We hope you will respond!

We’re ready for that close-up. The City of Chula Vista and SDSU are teaming up to build a Cinematic Arts Center & Library.

 

Legislative Updates

Federal:

The Biden administration is requesting $47 billion in funding from Congress to aid Ukraine, combat COVID-19 and monkeypox, and offer relief for natural disasters–such as wildfires in California and major flooding in Kentucky. If passed, this short-term continuing resolution would keep the government open past the end of FY22 on Sept. 30, when current funding is set to expire.

That CR will likely go through December 16th and has early indications of agreement, but you know, don’t hold your breath.

Former President Barack Obama and former First Lady Michelle Obama return to the White House for their first joint visit since 2017 to unveil their White House portraits. This was their return of a Washington tradition in ten years and a historic moment as the first Black President and First Lady depicted on presidential portraits.

 

International: 

Last call for the 2022 Binational Delegation to Mexico City early bird registration! Submit your application by TOMORROW to save $500 and meet with key federal officials and organizations to discuss trade and investment opportunities while cultivating political and business relationships from October 23-26.

Queen Elizabeth II, the United Kingdom’s longest reigning monarch, has passed away at age 96. The crown has officially passed on to her eldest son, Charles. The national anthem will change to “God save the King”, and Charles’ wife, Duchess Camila, will now be known as Queen Consort. A fancy title without the sovereign powers.

In more U.K. news… There’s a new Prime Minister! Liz Truss became Britain’s third female PM and has already appointed a top team diverse in gender and ethnicity. PM Truss shared planned efforts to address enormous tasks including curbing soaring prices, boosting the economy, easing labor unrest, and fixing a national health care system burdened by long waiting lists and staff shortages.

Didn’t get enough of the crazy weather last week? We’ve got news for you. Hurricane Kay will be hitting the western Baja Peninsula and north of Los Cabos, bringing tropical storm watches extending as far north as Tijuana. Prepare for high winds and potentially heavy rain this weekend, in addition to 80+ degree weather.

Baja Governor Marina del Pilar announced the construction of the largest project in the state’s history and the first of its kind nationwide: the Tijuana-Rosarito elevated train. Sky Train Baja will have a 21.6-kilometer route between the San Ysidro port of entry and the downtown area of ​​Playas de Rosarito, fully financed with investment from the Jeca Railway Corporation.

We all know that the global energy sector is undergoing a major transformation. Our friends over at the Institute of the Americas are relaunching the La Jolla Conference, an annual energy summit to address the urgent need to reduce emissions while ensuring energy security. The conference will take place September 28 – 29 and include panel discussions with insights from Chamber members Sempra and Deloitte, and delve into the role of hydrogen, clean transport, storage, managing methane and many other themes.

Our partners at Sister Cities International and The San Diego International Sister Cities Association (SANDISCA) extend an invitation to attend this year’s US-Mexico Mayors’ Community Summit from October 11-14. Join elected officials, corporate leaders, academics, prominent global experts, and citizen diplomats to engage in discussions and conversations to advance global diplomacy and cultural understanding. Click here to register and check out sponsorship opportunities.

 

State:

Governor Newsom is expected to sign the CARE Court proposal into law any day now. In terms of implementation, seven pilot counties–including San Diego–will have to establish new courts by Oct. 1, 2023. Over the next few months, pilot counties can expect to start figuring out financing, training, and drawing up forms. This important legislative package to improve our behavioral health services system earned the support of the San Diego County Board of Supervisors, all the Mayors, and many organizations in the region including the Chamber.

Over the weekend, Biden publicly voiced his support for California’s proposed farmworker bill, which Newsom has not yet signed. The state currently holds secret ballot union elections, but AB 2183 would allow farmworkers choices in how they vote, including voting by mail. Newsom did, however, sign a bill favored by Labor to create significant reforms for the fast-food industry (you can also anticipate an initiative on a future ballot in response).

There aren’t enough mental health care workers in California and CalMatters’ latest piece on the issue delves into why. Workers in the sector are riddled with exhausting work conditions, long days in between seeing their patients, and low wages. One third of Californians live in a psychiatrist shortage area, which is defined as 30,000 residents for every 1 psychiatrist, or 20,000 to 1 in high need areas.  Burnout is amongst the highest reasons for leaving, with cost of living not too far behind. This year, Governor Newsom has made major investments into the mental health system, and with this investment comes much needed support for workers and for patients.

 

 

Local:

San Diego’s latest workforce stats are a bit of a mixed bag: with one of the lowest unemployment rates in the nation and decent job growth, there is a lot to be positive about. On the other hand, California’s overall labor force participation rate (at 62.4%) only ranks 28th among all states. 

San Diego County supervisors unanimously approved sustainability initiatives as part of the Regional Decarbonization Framework (RDF) at last week’s Board meeting. Supervisors will consider formally adopting the RDF’s final three components–a technical report, a workforce development study, and an “Implementation Playbook” of policies–next spring.

The YIMBY vs NIMBY debate continues: With City Planners currently in the process of updating the College Area Community Plan, SANDAG’s recent population projections have shown that the community’s overall population increase is lower than what was projected in the last analysis. City planners will be taking into consideration the new projections to plan for future growth beyond 2035. Certain community residents say that the lower projection justifies keeping the community primarily zoned for single family homes. In both cases, the immediate increase of units needed is lower than the last projected numbers. In other words: we still need more homes, people!

Another debate that will continue on: The road usage fee that SANDAG said would be removed from its 2021 regional transportation plan. Upon learning that SANDAG staff didn’t do that and are considering leaving the fee out of the next regional plan instead, SANDAG Chair Mayor Blakespear and Vice Chairs Mayor Gloria and Mayor Sotelo-Solis sent a letter that staff provide an update to the Board on the status of the 2021 RTP and replacing the fee with alternative strategies by September 30.

Empty for the last nine years, the old downtown Central Library could soon become a shelter for San Diego’s homeless. The city hopes to initially provide shelter during the winter months and eventually make it a permanent haven.

California has set aside $10 million to help people buy e-bikes and has turned to San Diego based nonprofit Pedal Ahead to administer the effort to reduce greenhouse gasses and car travel with more bike commuters.

The City of San Diego’s Planning Commission has voted to bring potential municipal code updates related to cannabis businesses back to the Planning Commission after a full review by the City Attorney’s Office. Only municipal code section 141.0504 will move forward to the City Council.

City of San Diego’s Development Services Department Updates:

  • The 2022 California Building Standards Code will go into effect on January 1, 2023. Construction project applications submitted on or after that date must conform to the new regulations.
  • The Coastal Commission has now certified the City’s Complete Communities Program in the coastal overlay zone.
  • Interested in building an ADU or JADU in the future? DSD will be hosting a webinar on September 14 to highlight recent changes to the City’s regulations.

 

Upcoming Hearings

  • The SANDAG Board of Directors will meet on September 9 at 9:00am.
  • The County of San Diego’s Planning Commission will receive an informational presentation on Community Benefits Agreements on September 9 at 9:00am.
  • The San Diego City Council will meet on September 12 and September 13. On the 13th, Council will vote on Councilmember Joe LaCava’s Community Planning Group reform proposal. The Chamber, along with a broad coalition, is in support of the proposal. Also on the 13th will be Council deliberations on the Midway Rising Proposal to redevelop the Sports Arena property.
  • The County Board of Supervisors will meet on September 13 at 9:00am; Board of Supervisors – Land Use will meet September 14 at 9:00am.
  • The MTS Board of Directors will meet September 15 at 9:00am.

 

Capital Opportunities & Resources

  • Chula Vista and the San Diego Foundation are offering Covid-19 relief money to small businesses and nonprofits. The city has $3.6 million dollars in its fund to spend. Organizations that operate in Chula Vista are eligible to apply until October 27. Applications won’t be reviewed until the deadline closes. For more information click here.
  • San Diego County’s Small Business Stimulus Grant funds are still available for local small businesses and nonprofits impacted by the pandemic. County Districts 1, 2, and 3 are still accepting applications. Learn more here.
  • GO-Biz, along with the office of the Small Business Advocate, have created resources to help businesses seeking to grow, and those interested in the trucking industry. Check out the California Truck Guide and the Business Quick Start Guide for more information.
  • Applications for micro-enterprise home kitchen operations (MEHKOs) in the County of San Diego can be found here.
  • The California Rebuilding Fund is offering small businesses with fewer than 50 full-time equivalent employees loans up to $100,000. Learn more and apply here.
  • Small business owners may currently receive $2,000 per employee that participates in the paid family leave program. Small business owners can apply here.
  • Businesses can reach out to their nearest Small Business Development Center (SBDC), which has developed the Small Business Survival Resources Guide. SBDC can help with applying for COVID-19 relief, guiding you through available resources, and assisting with cash flow concerns, supply-chain interruptions, workforce capacity, insurance coverage, and more–all at no cost!

 

Future Chamber Meetings (Virtual) & Committee Actions

Public Policy Committee:

Our next meeting will be on September 13, 8:00am-9:30am via zoom.

Health Committee:

Our next meeting will be on September 14, 8:00am-9:00am via zoom.

Transportation & Land Development Committee:

Our next meeting will be on September 20, 8:00am-9:30am via zoom.

Cannabis Forum:

Our next forum will be on September 21, 8:00-9:30am via zoom.

Economic Development Strategy Working Group: 

Our next convening will be on September 27, 9:00am via zoom.

Defense, Veterans, & Military Committee:
Our next meeting will be on October 5, 8:00am-9:00am via zoom.

Sustainability & Industry Committee:

Our next committee meeting will be on October 6, 8:00-9:00am via zoom.

International Business Affairs Forum:

Our next forum will be on November 17, 10:00am via zoom.