San Diego County COVID-19 infections continue to rise, reaching a total of 80,084 cases. Plus, Pfizer has already requested emergency-use authorization, and if granted could ship its vaccines as early as Dec. 12. How will San Diego County prioritize COVID-19 vaccine rollout. Next, California’s crackdown on unemployment claims are leaving immigrant communities suffering. Additionally, the public is given the first chance to weigh in on San Diego’s new Commission on Police Practices. Finally on our Port of Entry Podcast, Afro-Mexican researcher Jorge Gonzalez takes listeners through the history of Latin music and its influences in West Africa.
Speaker 1: 00:00 Kearny Mesa church, whole services, despite a COVID 19 outbreak,
Speaker 2: 00:04 This particular church has chosen a very defiant posture. And unfortunately, now a large number of the members of their church have been infected with COVID
Speaker 1: 00:13 Mark sour with Maureen Kavanaugh. This is KPBS midnight.
Speaker 3: 00:16 Yeah.
Speaker 1: 00:25 Rollout of Corona virus. Vaccines might look like here,
Speaker 3: 00:28 Doctors and nurses, and then first responders, and then also a nursing home workers that’s phase one eight,
Speaker 1: 00:36 A new police oversight board is in the works following voter approval, plus fraud investigations, block legitimate unemployment benefits for some Californians that’s ahead on Monday.
Speaker 3: 00:47 Yeah,
Speaker 1: 01:01 Our top story today, as COVID 19 cases, continue to soar in San Diego County, a church in Kearny Mesa, where an outbreak occurred earlier this month held in-person services again yesterday. Meanwhile, busy hospitals are wary of even more cases as the holidays are upon us. Joining us for the latest on the COVID 19 crisis is San Diego County supervisor. Nathan Fletcher. Welcome back to the program.
Speaker 2: 01:25 Thank you, Mark. I appreciate you having me.
Speaker 1: 01:27 Well, the awakened church was in the news again this weekend, according to a union Tribune story, more than a hundred people attended services indoors, most not wearing masks. Start with why the County decided to cite a COVID 19 outbreak there when businesses and other places have not been specifically named
Speaker 2: 01:44 Well as it relates to outbreaks. Uh, we’ve often said, we’ve said consistently from the beginning that when there is a concern or a danger to the public, uh, where there’s an entity that is not cooperating, uh, in the case investigation or contact tracing, uh, then we will release that and make that public, uh, overwhelmingly the number of incidents that are not outbreaks have fully cooperated. They’ve notified people who might be infected. They have worked with us. Uh, the awaken church refused to do any of those actions and steps. And so our only possible recourse to let people know that they may have been exposed with the publicly released the information. Um, and you know, this church in particular continues to have a very defiant spirit, um, that I believe is, is not only contributing to the spread of COVID-19, but it’s certainly inconsistent with the general thought or approach of protecting say the least among us.
Speaker 1: 02:32 And, uh, the response from awaken church then has been pretty much the same even after being notified of the outbreak by the County.
Speaker 2: 02:39 Well, it is. And, and, and I know Mark, I know that in times of, of difficulty in crisis, uh, the important role that faith plays in our community and in individual lives, uh, is more important than ever for my, my own faith. In my own church. We, we are a group of individuals of shared faith. We have a building, but the building is not the church. Um, and, and so the, the ability, uh, for religion and faith to continue remains, um, my wife and I this weekend went to a safe, physically distanced outdoor mass and, and were able to, to participate in our faith, uh, without doing it in a dangerous or reckless way. And all anyone has to do is Google COVID church service and read the litany of horrific stories of super spreading events of significant outbreaks and the loss of life. And, and so that is why we’re taking the actions we’re taking, not out of it does not desire to impede religious expression or belief, but out of a desire to protect life from one of the highest risk settings. And I think the overwhelming majority of our faith communities and understand that and have been wonderful partners, uh, you know, this particular church has chosen a very defiant posture. And unfortunately now, uh, you know, at large number of the members of their church had been infected with COVID.
Speaker 1: 03:50 Do we know how many are connected to the awaken church?
Speaker 2: 03:53 I believe the initial, uh, list is, is, is well over a dozen. I’m not sure of the latest total. Um, and then, you know, again, we’re also having communication challenges where they’re refusing to share information with members of their congregation and really be cooperative as we try to do the case investigation and contact tracing aspect of this. So we, we don’t know that the total number of, of individuals
Speaker 1: 04:14 Is there enforcement that could be done with this, or any church considering the us Supreme court’s decision last week siding with so-called religious Liberty regarding restrictions on services at places.
Speaker 2: 04:25 Yeah, the U S Supreme court decision really has no bearing on California. The ruling was a very strict guidance from New York that has subsequently been changed. It doesn’t really have much impact on what New York is doing today. And so at this point, uh, that ruling, uh, while symbolic and it could have, uh, impacts down the road, doesn’t have any direct application to what we’re doing here in the state of California. I would, again, no one is doing this out of a desire to impede anyone’s ability to, to, uh, gather and express their, their religion. You just can’t do it endorse. Um, you know, we know that this is one of the highest risk settings, and, you know, I think the overwhelming majority of, of, of the faith community cares deeply about the most vulnerable and they care deeply about protecting seniors, uh, and they care deeply about protecting folks with underlying health conditions, which is why the overwhelming majority are doing it responsibly and physically distanced outdoor settings, uh, or virtually.
Speaker 2: 05:17 Uh, and, and again, I think faith for, for folks who that’s a part of their life, it is even, uh, a greater part of their life in times of difficulty and adversity and struggle, but there’s always going to be a few that choose to go a different path. And so it’s, it’s been very frustrating, uh, to, uh, continue to, uh, to have these struggles, uh, with the awakened church. And we’re going to continue to do everything we can to both protect people’s rights together, responsibly for their religious beliefs, but also to, uh, enforce the public health orders designed to protect.
Speaker 1: 05:46 Do you anticipate the County taking further actions to force awaken church to stop holding indoor surfaces?
Speaker 2: 05:52 Well, from a public health standpoint, we’ve, we’ve done what we can do, which is issuing the cease and desist order. I know there are ongoing, uh, meetings including many today, uh, with law enforcement and the district attorney’s office about what next steps they might take. Um, and, you know, again, our message to the public is there are a lot of ways to safely and responsibly engage, uh, in religion and faith services, uh, apps, and doing it in an indoor setting. And so we strongly encourage the public to not attend indoor religious services. For the same reason, we don’t attend, uh, indoor dining or indoor gym operations or other things like that at this time with the number of cases and the increase in hospitalizations and everything we’re seeing in our region, let’s turn to the surge of COVID-19 cases in the County. We continue to see record breaking numbers of cases each day.
Speaker 2: 06:38 What are these numbers telling us now, while they tell us the dangers of exponential growth? You know, if you run 300 cases a day, uh, in each of those individuals say transmits it to one other person that would be 300 more when you start getting into days, when you have 1500 plus cases, you look at the rate of transmission between that, and you understand how quickly you can get an, a very dire situation. Uh, we’re very concerned not only about where we are today, but about what is coming, uh, in the coming weeks. As we come out of the Thanksgiving holiday at a time when, despite all the public health guidance, we suspect a large number of folks traveled, uh, perhaps areas of the country that are in a worse situation than us and the number of people who gathered indoors. And so we’re, we’re very concerned about where we are, but, you know, Mark, we’re very concerned about where we will be in two to three weeks, both with the number of cases, but also with the increase in hospitalizations.
Speaker 2: 07:26 We have to remember that cases tend to lag about seven to 10 days after the exposure and hospitalizations tend to lag about 21 to 24 days after the cases. And so we are expecting, continued increased both in cases and hospitalizations, which is why each and every San Diego, and, uh, has to make the individual decision and choice, uh, that we’re going to come together. One more time, uh, to slow the spread, get this under control. Uh, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Here we are in preparation for vaccines, but it is going to take some time. But the first thing we have to do, uh, is really focused between now and the end of the year to get the spread under control. I’ve been speaking with San Diego County supervisor, Nathan Fletcher. Thanks very much. Thank you, Mark.
Speaker 4: 08:13 It may be the light at the end of the tunnel that was just referred to another company, announced at seeking emergency approval for its COVID-19 vaccine. Moderna will now join Pfizer as the first two companies asking us regulators for permission to distribute their vaccine. If approved Pfizer’s rollout could begin as early as December 12th, KPBS health reporter Taran mento asked the county’s public health leaders. What that will look like in San Diego, KPBS health reporter, Taran mento asks the county’s public health leaders. What that will look like in San Diego. Here’s part of her zoom interview with health and human services, agency, director, Nick [inaudible] and public health
Speaker 5: 08:56 Officer dr. Wilma Wooten. Thank you to both of you for making time for this. I want to begin with how the vaccine will get to San Diego. You know, it looks like the Pfizer vaccine could be here first in that it must be stored at minus 70 degrees Celsius. So how will it get here and where would it be offloaded in San Diego?
Speaker 6: 09:16 Yes, there has there’s clear requirements on the temperature, on the storage, uh, for the vaccine, uh, the way it’s even shipped, uh, it’s coming in a special kind of, uh, cooling storage, um, to what we have prepared here at the County to our providers who have this type of specialized freezing, and then, you know, happy to talk more, what we have done proactively to buy additional of these specialized, uh, cooling units, freezing units for the vaccine. As we think about the distribution across with our healthcare providers throughout San Diego. Oh, I was just gonna add that, um, in submitting your application and providers that many of their application, um, and identifying what allocations they want, they have to provide evidence that they have the capability to still order the vaccines appropriately. And particularly the Pfizer is the, uh, sub cooling or freezing. So they have to have the, uh, capacity to manage and store the vaccines appropriately. And if they don’t, then they can’t get at least that particular vaccine.
Speaker 5: 10:30 You mentioned applications from providers. Can you clarify how many you’ve received? If you’ve actually approved?
Speaker 6: 10:41 We don’t do the approving. We just help providers fill out the information that the CDC requires, and that information goes directly, uh, to the CDC. And, uh, then they will approve the process. We’re collecting the information from hospitals, from clinics, from medical group practices, et cetera, but it’s being submitted up to the state. And also we are a vaccinator ourself, right? Our public health clinics.
Speaker 5: 11:12 You just clarify where the County will be storing it. If that’s, if that’s confirmed, ready to go. As soon as potentially December,
Speaker 6: 11:20 We have, uh, seen warehouse that, uh, where we store all of our other vaccines, uh, we might be, uh, we’ll be working with partners, uh, early on until we get our freezers. Uh, but once we get our phrases and it will be in our vaccine warehouse location, but we’re not going to tell you where that is. It’s not a secret, but it is a secured environment with all the requirements that we have to have.
Speaker 5: 11:51 I know a CDC advisory group recently, a meeting on the priority groups that would receive it. It looks like healthcare workers and other essential employees first in line, plus residents in long-term care facilities and older adults with medical condition. So how will the County identify where they are? And then also notified those particular individuals,
Speaker 6: 12:11 Doctors, and nurses, and then first responders, and then also, uh, nursing home workers, that’s phase one, a, a one B is actually, um, individuals that have at least two or more underlying medical conditions. And as I stated before, that’s pretty much over half it’s almost probably two-thirds if not more, uh, over 75% with [inaudible] of the entire San Diego population. So we will have to determine what within that group, what’s going to be prioritized again, individuals with two or more underlying medical conditions. MCC recognizes this too. So we are continuously asking the state MCC for more granular, uh, guidance so that everyone is doing the same thing.
Speaker 5: 13:01 Is it going to be, if you fit this category, come to this location during these hours, how specific are you going to get with, with, uh, with notifying people?
Speaker 6: 13:11 First, we start with the medical homes because that’s where the relationship is. So the medical homes, uh, of the, uh, physicians or healthcare providers, uh, will know their patients, right? Because you have patient confidentiality. So they’ll know those folks that need to be, you know, uh, prioritized if you will, on their conditions. Number one. So that relationship will be with the provider community, but we’re fortunate in California. We’re fortunate in San Diego are having a huge segment of our population that is tied to a medical home. Uh, that’s the great work our state has done. And the coverage up to 26 years of age and having people access to medical homes, clearly there are some that still don’t, uh, and that’s the population. And we’ll talk about how we’re communicating with that population that does not have a medical home, uh, kind of like we’ve been doing with T3 about how do we get to those folks for testing and so forth, or what we’ve been doing with seasonal flu already, which by the way, is going fairly well, approaching nearly a million already, uh, which looks like we’ll surpass last year, but it’s, there’s multiple avenues we’re using of how do we connect to those people that need to come in.
Speaker 6: 14:24 And this is not the first time we’ve had to deal with this type of situation in terms of prioritizing vaccinations. As you may recall, during H one N one pandemic the same, it was actually, it’s probably even worse in terms of, there was a small amount of vaccine that was initially, uh, rolled out. Um, and then there was prioritization of the priorities and that information, the guidance comes CDC, and we push that out at every opportunity during our press conferences, during our news, uh, and for our providers through our K hand. So that’s the way we will use the same strategies that we use, uh, in general for pushing out information about, uh, vaccination efforts.
Speaker 5: 15:12 And you just brought up H one-on-one and, um, the thing that’s going to be different about this round of vaccination is that the leading contenders are to dose vaccines and American adults do not have a particularly good track record of following those schedules. So how do you plan to, to, you know, monitor or support compliance?
Speaker 6: 15:33 We’re, we’re blessed Lilly less than San Diego having one of the best immunization register seasons that, uh, the San Diego immunization registry STR has been established for a long period of time. Uh, it is a very intelligent system that, uh, um, that for vaccinations, uh, and it’s mainly children, but we, you know, for kids, we registered in, uh, into the SDR for COVID it’s, it’s mandate it’s mandatory. And so we’re going to have an advantage in the sense that people will be registered in when they get their first dose, uh, not only being given physical reminder cards, but having a system that will be able to follow up with them in addition to their provider community, their medical home, and you’re right. You know, we still have to get them to take the first dose, and then you gotta to get that second dose. And all the polls are showing that only what 60% of people are willing to do the first dose.
Speaker 6: 16:28 So that’s going to be a big lift and it’s going to be the ongoing, uh, consciousness, raising public awareness, the media, the outreach and education groups that we’ve established the faith community. It’s going to have to be a saturation approach of all places, trusted messengers of reminding not only the first dose, but that second dose. And then obviously having the type of technology and sophistication to know what vaccine they took. We have a lot of experience with two dose series vaccinations, um, first hepatitis a outbreak, and then, um, an edge of cost, uh, group B, uh, outbreak at San Diego state. And so RF San Diego immunization registry provides us with the opportunity and the ability to track vaccinations. Uh, obviously systems are only as good as the data that goes in. Uh, but when we administer, uh, the vaccinations, like if we are doing it out in the field, uh, to, uh, um, vulnerable populations, staff takes an iPad out with them and they can do it then, or, but they documented if they don’t do that.
Speaker 6: 17:45 And then when they come back to the home base, then they put that information in. I have said this many times before, um, the FDA, uh, next week we’ll be reviewing Pfizer’s application. They will be reviewing all of the, uh, applications for the other pharmaceutical companies to, um, for the, uh, EUA, the emergency use authorization. If FDA goes through that application process, they say it’s safe. Then we will recommend it to the community. And by recommending it to the community, I have to lead by example and get it myself. So with the flu vaccinations, you will see pictures of me getting the flu shot at those pods. So we will be doing the same thing. My father taught me that, uh, you take care of your family first and then you eat. So, uh, I’m going to make sure that there is, uh, I took my seasonal flu shot. I looking forward to getting my COVID vaccine shot, but I’m going to make sure first our community who needs it most gets it. And then you’ll see me there in line, uh, getting that, uh, COVID vaccine.
Speaker 4: 18:54 That’s just a part of health reporter, Taran Mentos lengthy interview with the director [inaudible] and dr. Wooten, you can read the full email@example.com.
Speaker 7: 19:16 [inaudible].
Speaker 4: 19:20 This is KPBS midday edition. I’m Maureen Cavenaugh with Mark Sauer. The pandemic has led to millions of unemployment claims across the state and efforts by the state and bank of America to cut down on possible fraud. But as KPBS reporter, max Reveley Nadler tells us those efforts have ensnared San Diego residents with legitimate unemployment claims leaving. Many of them fighting for their benefits for months,
Speaker 8: 19:48 Gary Hito immigrated to San Diego from Ethiopia 20 years ago for the past 16 years, he’s been a shuttle driver at the San Diego airport. When the pandemic had in March, thousands of flights were canceled and Hito was soon.
Speaker 7: 20:03 They, they said, if the situation come back, they will hire me again.
Speaker 8: 20:07 Quito is able to get unemployment a month after that for a household, including his wife and four school age children, the money from unemployment was huge, right?
Speaker 7: 20:16 For rent for family. I have a big family,
Speaker 8: 20:19 But in the middle of October, his account was almost zeroed out. $4,200 were gone.
Speaker 7: 20:25 When I went there to take my money for rent, I don’t see the money
Speaker 8: 20:29 He’s been fighting to get his money back. Ever since
Speaker 7: 20:32 When I call, they said they will send me another card after they send me another card. That situation is the same. Again. I tried to call to explain to them, they transferred to me for about three. I weighed about one hour and 15 minutes. Then they hung up
Speaker 8: 20:52 Despite call after call to bank of America. He’s been unable to get the process even started. California is one of only three States in the country that doesn’t directly deposit unemployment insurance payments to people’s bank accounts. Instead it sends them debit cards from bank of America, but the cards have proven susceptible to theft and skimming devices. And then there were fraudulent claims being made to the States employment development department, which administers the state’s unemployment system and authorizes the amounts on the debit cards. Widespread fraud for a state with emptying coffers means the state has been cracking down on any accounts that look fraudulent, but working immigrants like Hito and laid off house cleaner Rama Ebraheem who’s from Somalia have found their accounts zeroed out as well.
Speaker 7: 21:44 [inaudible] [inaudible]
Speaker 8: 21:44 You said for the last three months, she’s been told by the bank to take up her case with the state and vice versa, navigating the various health numbers as well as a major bank and an overwhelmed state. Bureaucracy is difficult, even for people with English as a first language. So Ebraheem, and Hito depend on the work of the Somali Bantu association of America from its office on university Avenue in city Heights, executive director Syeda [inaudible] has helped thousands of African immigrants navigate the state’s social safety net.
Speaker 7: 22:15 They don’t speak any English. They were having difficulty connecting the resources that are available for them. We as the agency, we’re trying to provide translation through WhatsApp,
Speaker 8: 22:26 But even with site’s help Gary Hito and ramen Abraham have still hit dead ends bank of America and the state didn’t restore their accounts. After catalysts attempts, Rancho Penasquitos resident, Ian Mac is in the same boat, an independent contractor in the entertainment industry. He spent the past two months trying to get his account with over $8,000 in it restored. He reads a letter. He was sent
Speaker 9: 22:50 Well, claim has been closed because we believe the accounts of the account. All the claim have been subject to fraud or suspicious activity. We’re here to help. If you have any questions, please call us at eight five,
Speaker 8: 23:02 You spent over five hours on hold. One time,
Speaker 9: 23:05 The people who have rent to pay the people who have comp copies to pay, as you say, the people who’ve got four or five kids and can’t feed, you know, not every day, can you go to a food bank and this and this food, this, and why should they have to do that through no fault of their own?
Speaker 8: 23:20 In a statement of bank of America, spokesperson told KPBS that it is working with law enforcement to crack down on fraudulent claims and that anyone with a legitimate claim impacted by these efforts should contact them immediately. But for a lot of people just trying to keep a roof over their head, this holiday season, that task can not only be daunting, but near impossible.
Speaker 7: 23:43 Joining me is KPBS reporter max Nadler, max,
Speaker 4: 23:46 Welcome to the show. Good to be here. I understand there’s been some movement on a couple of these unemployment benefit freezes because of this story.
Speaker 10: 23:56 Yeah. After reaching out to bank of America, both Ian Mac and ramen, Ebraheem saw their accounts unfrozen by bank of America. Uh, Ian Mac has a kind of a longer road ahead of him. As he tells me he still has to take up his claim with EDD. Um, and so he hasn’t been able to access as money, but Robin Ebraheem, I spoke with her on Friday and said she was able to go, uh, take out money from her account. As of this morning, we’re still waiting to hear on whether Gary [inaudible] claim has been, um, started because he had trouble even getting it going.
Speaker 4: 24:30 How long did it take from the time they were cut off to having their benefits restored?
Speaker 10: 24:35 It was a process that took over a month in each case, uh, you know, in terms of Gary Hito, he never was even able to start the process because he had to wait so long to even get on the phone with somebody. And again, these are people who don’t have the luxury of time. I think Ian Mac, the person I profile was the one who had the most time because a native English speaker, um, and really committed himself to this. Whereas everybody else they’re managing a large family. They’re still trying to find odd jobs. They’re trying to make it work. Um, and it’s really difficult to navigate this system, especially if English is not your first language. So in each case, it took over a month and that’s for money that they earned. It’s their unemployment insurance.
Speaker 4: 25:15 Were you able to determine what triggered the employment development department to put a freeze on these particular bank accounts?
Speaker 10: 25:23 In each case, the original freeze came because of fraudulent spending. Uh, so, you know, it’s very possible in each case where we haven’t gotten to the bottom of it, that the, uh, identities of these individuals were in some way stolen, either through a skimming device, on an ATM or having, um, their own identity purchased off of the dark web by scammers, things like that. They then had to go into this entire process just to prove that their accounts should be restored.
Speaker 4: 25:54 Do we know how many accounts have been frozen in this way?
Speaker 10: 25:57 We don’t know, because at least anecdotally, quite a bit, there’s been a lot of reporting across the state. Cal matters up in the, uh, North California and the Bay area. They’ve been looking into this, so we don’t have actual numbers, but we do know that this system is entirely overwhelmed.
Speaker 4: 26:16 Why were these unemployment benefit? Debit cards issued without security, without let’s say security chips was that to get them out faster.
Speaker 10: 26:25 This is an outdated technology, basically the debit cards STEM from after the 2008 recession. And when the state went through financial difficulties all the way through 2010 and beyond, um, since then the contract hasn’t really changed in the technology. Hasn’t really changed. I myself was on unemployment and a few years ago, and I got a card from EDD that looks exactly the same as the one they’re pointing out. Now that they’re putting out now to, you know, thousands and thousands of people. And it didn’t have this chip, which I think has become the standard for security in, in this day and age.
Speaker 4: 27:03 Apparently that’s just one of the mistakes that EDD has made and administering millions of unemployment claims this year. Tell us more about the widespread fraud that the state is now dealing with.
Speaker 10: 27:15 Right? You know, these are fraud, you know, these accounts were tagged as being fraudulent and it was possibly because there was real identity theft happening here and that’s happening across the entire system. Uh, EDD was never made for the coronavirus pandemic, right? We have a great depression level levels of unemployment happening right now. This was already kind of an older system that hadn’t been updated in many, many years, and it wasn’t built for this. So what people are doing is they’re taking advantage of the fact that so many people are applying for unemployment claims that, um, the state obviously wants to help as many people as possible and is approving them without doing much more of this, uh, you know, background checks to seeing who’s being approved for these cases, especially in, um, a case that was brought up by several district attorneys last week, people who are right now in prison were getting unemployment insurance for basically being laid off from jobs they didn’t have, right? Cause they’re incarcerated. That doesn’t mean that incarcerated people, uh, don’t get things like a stimulus check or other access to social services. Oftentimes they do. But in this case, they were basically being their identities were being used to create fraudulent claims
Speaker 4: 28:30 Outside of the Somali Bantu association. Is there any other group helping people regain access to their unemployment funds when they’ve been cut off like this
Speaker 10: 28:40 Social service organizations are just trying to get people signed up for their employment funds and they are overwhelmed. It’s really tough. It’s super time intensive. Uh, so a lot of groups in the area working on this, but again, it’s kind of all, um, broken up into different groups that are trying to do triaged here. Uh, one thing that we do know is that benefits for gig workers and people who are self-employed, um, are ending very soon. So if people don’t get their unemployment benefits restored soon, they’re going to miss out on money that is coming from the federal government that will expire at the end of December, taking an already desperate situation for these communities and making it worse. Of course, right now there are negotiations going on in DC, but there hasn’t been any traction and over, um, I believe four months in terms of making sure that people actually have money to get through this pandemic, which has only sown shown signs of worsening.
Speaker 4: 29:35 I’ve been speaking with KPBS reporter max Rivlin Nadler, max. Thank you. Thank you.
Speaker 4: 29:50 The first step toward making the promise of measure, be a reality will take place at a virtual community meeting this afternoon. San Diego city voters passed measure B earlier this month, which gave approval for the creation of a new commission on police practices. The commission will have greater independence and resources to provide oversight of police actions than the existing review board. But measure B did not specify details about the commission, for instance, how it should be set up or how members should be chosen. So today’s community round table asks the public how they’d like the commission to operate. Joining me is Patrick Anderson, a member of the existing community review board, and one of the hosts of today’s meeting and Patrick, welcome to the program.
Speaker 11: 30:38 Thanks so much for having me. I’m happy to be here.
Speaker 4: 30:41 It hasn’t even been a month since the vote approving measure B took place. Why are these community meetings starting so quickly?
Speaker 11: 30:49 Well, a few months ago on the existing CRB, um, and with what looked to be very promising polls of measure B, we formed a transition committee, an ad hoc committee on the CRB to begin planning for what seemed like an inevitable transition. And so as part of that work, I, as the new chair of the outreach committee volunteered to, uh, create and host some of these round tables, hoping that the community can be involved in every stage of this transition process.
Speaker 4: 31:27 Okay. So can you remind us how different this new commission is supposed to be from the review board on police practices that you’re a member of right now? Sure,
Speaker 11: 31:37 Sure, absolutely. So the first major difference is that this will be an independent commission, which means it won’t be a part of the city’s office of boards and commissions, but there’s another really crucial difference, which is that the work that this commission will do will be based on its own investigations of all police shootings, all in custody deaths and any complaints against SDPD that the commission feels need independent investigation. Currently we are what, uh, what’s called a review board, which means that our work is limited to reviewing the investigations conducted by internal affairs of SDPD. So it’s a significant difference.
Speaker 4: 32:29 What aspects of the new commission are you hoping community members weigh in on
Speaker 11: 32:33 All aspects? Um, you know, I plan to host a number of these tables and I should say I’m co-hosting tonight with the author of measure B Ondrea st. Julian and with another member of the CRB poppy Fitch, this first round table is intended to get the community to identify those key issues, themes, questions, and topics that are of intense concern to them about the new commission and about the transition. Once we’ve got a list of those key issues, we’re going to plan follow up forums focused on each one in turn. So tonight I’m looking for questions about the process. I’m looking for key issues that different groups, um, are really focused on one such issue, by the way, is the application and appointment process for new commissioners. There are a lot of groups who want to ensure that that’s a transparent process and that member of members of the community are able to apply and that the community is involved in the selection of commissioners. So the very first follow-up round table is going to be focused on that very issue.
Speaker 4: 33:51 Ultimately though, it’s the city council that will draft an ordinance with all the specifics about the commission. So how confident are you that they’ll take public input into consideration?
Speaker 11: 34:03 Very optimistic that they’ll take public input and we’ve had a good response from, uh, existing city council members and also in the new city council members. When the transition committee, if the current CRB has met with them, I think you’re right though, that we really need to stay focused on the city council and its various implementation ordinances to make sure that the commission lives up to the real promise of measure B
Speaker 4: 34:31 Speaking about the city council. Again, they will have to allocate funds to hire an executive director and attorney and staff for the new commission on police practices and considering the budget crunch, the city is going to face next year. Do you think that may be delayed?
Speaker 11: 34:46 I hope it isn’t. I think measure B passed with almost 75% of the vote. I think the community has sent a clear and strong signal to the mayor and to the city council that this should be a top priority. And if San Diego wants to do this, right, it must give the funding required to the commission. Um, so that the eventual commissioners will be able to do exactly what the community has invested their faith in them to do.
Speaker 4: 35:17 Now, dozens of community groups have already been invited to today’s meeting, but how can people listening join in on today’s community round table?
Speaker 11: 35:27 That’s right. We’ve actually invited over a hundred community groups. Um, over 50 have RSVP. Anybody is welcome to view the live stream. Uh, we’ll start today at 4:00 PM. If you go to YouTube, do a search for city of San Diego public meetings right around 4:00 PM. If you refresh that page, you should see the live stream. Pop-up meanwhile, while you’re watching the live stream, we invite you to send us an email with questions and comments to the following email address C P P outreach firstname.lastname@example.org. We’re going to record document and synthesize all of these comments after the meeting, but meanwhile, we’re going to be monitoring the email, uh, while the round tables going on and time permitting. We’ll move over questions and comments from email to the meeting itself.
Speaker 3: 36:27 And I have been speaking with Patrick Anderson, one of the hosts of today’s community,
Speaker 11: 36:31 The round table. Thank you so much for your time. Thank you so much. Take care.
Speaker 3: 36:46 [inaudible]
Speaker 1: 36:51 I’m Mark Sauer with Maureen Kavanaugh and you’re listening to midday edition on KPBS or Hagens. Alice is an expert in Afro Latin music. He’s a record collector and a DJ who grew up in our border region. He’s also the director of the Afro Mexican department at the world beats center in San Diego and wrote his master’s thesis on Afro Mexican history in a new episode of port of entry or hay and host Alan Lillian thought, I’ll take us on a mini trip through the evolution of Latin music tracing its roots back to West Africa. The tour kicks off with the sounds of the Cora, a West African instrument, key to the development of Latin American music.
Speaker 3: 37:38 It is a gourd with a bowl and you have cords that connected to the drum. If you hear the sound, it’s just very spiritual. It almost sounds like a voice, right? Singing. Cause it just has so many chords. This song is called do-do a collaboration by Malian artists, Ali Farka today. And two money. When I heard it, I was like, this is it. This is the track. That is a Testament right of how their sound that they were creating was replicated and cross pollinated to the Americas. This is the instrument. Some would argue that the harp comes from and also is an instrument that influenced a lot of the Spanish guitar. You know, like flamenco, the way it’s played. And this was the same instrument that would inspire [inaudible] in Latin America. And boletos you hear it
Speaker 12: 38:44 Next up on our trip, better cruise Mexico, better cruise is Mexico’s most important port and is actually where the Spanish conquest of Mexico began. When the Spanish arrived. They brought a lot of African slaves from Cuba who over time started mixing with a European and indigenous people. This community eventually became known as cuddle chose
Speaker 3: 39:11 [inaudible].
Speaker 12: 39:12 This is on Del Martin by a group called [inaudible]
Speaker 13: 39:16 And Veracruz where it was called halitosis frowned. There’s all these African named communities that are very much aware and are Afro descendants of this legacy. The early uprisings in Mexico, in Latin America, there was a law that passed that ban Africans from being in groups bigger than six. Also their drums were ticking away. So stomping and rhythm composition began to really be reflected in the instrumentation of strumming guitars are known as us, which are very rhythmic and very drum liking.
Speaker 12: 39:51 It says this percussive style of playing the Caranas is how these maroon and Afro indigenous communities in betta Cruz verse the musical style song,
Speaker 13: 40:01 They adopted this style. That was at one point very Spanish based. And they, we did it in there. Yeah.
Speaker 3: 40:05 In their own way. [inaudible]
Speaker 12: 40:23 Next on our tour E epicenter of the cross-pollination of African and Latin culture,
Speaker 13: 40:30 Cuba and Puerto Rico would become like the layover before African slaves would make it either get sold there or get sold elsewhere Boats that would eventually go to Venezuela. Colombia, Brazil, new Orleans would make a stop and go.
Speaker 12: 40:51 This is [inaudible] by one of his social
Speaker 3: 41:00 [inaudible].
Speaker 12: 41:00 The African presence in Cuba is huge. It was Spain’s occupation. That completely destroyed Cuba’s indigenous population in the 15 hundreds. And over the next few centuries, Africans were enslaved and taken to Cuba by both the Spanish and the British to expand production of sugarcane Africans eventually outnumbered Europeans on the Island.
Speaker 13: 41:22 This is a country life that a lot of Africans experience. So it just makes sense that a lot of the folk soul music would sound the way it does very melancholic. And you hear the, the, the mimicking of the quarter
Speaker 3: 41:45 [inaudible]
Speaker 12: 41:46 One of us is social club was a 1996 reunion of some of Havana’s best Afro-Cuban musicians. It was also a real venue where some of these musicians would jam together in the 1940s and fifties at a time when the Afro Cuban music scene arrived,
Speaker 13: 42:02 Every artist and musician that participated in this album, they were around, you know, at the peak of the golden era of the music Cuban scene in 1950s, who had gotten forgotten, you know, after the Cuban revolution,
Speaker 12: 42:13 Before the revolution ended in 1959, Havana felt more like Vegas, the government in place, let the American mob put up countless casinos and nightclubs, but post revolution, Cuba’s new government shut many venues down in an effort to clean up what it saw as a hedonistic lifestyle. Many of these musicians lost their livelihood almost immediately.
Speaker 3: 42:52 [inaudible]
Speaker 12: 42:53 So a lot of this continued zigzag of African and Latin music. Jorge again, credits Cuba because of its radio transmitters, especially before its government assumed control of broadcast media in the 1960s,
Speaker 13: 43:06 The radio airways would reach anywhere in the Gulf of Mexico or anywhere in, in Columbia or Venezuela. So some, some of these little rural community towns would turn on the FM station and they would listen to a radio station from Kula that would be playing music from Africa
Speaker 12: 43:21 In the sixties and seventies, along with radio, there was also a unique underground scene of record collectors in Columbia where we’re headed to next. These DJs were called
Speaker 13: 43:33 Because, because right, P I C O and it has to do with pickups because it would put the sound systems on top of pickup trucks. And they would go around towns bringing that one vinyl that one DJ had that was from Africa and, and everybody wanted
Speaker 3: 43:56 [inaudible]
Speaker 12: 43:56 There’s tracks like this one where first served blasted out of those because in Columbia, back in the day, this is in gotten guy by Ghanaian musician, Ebo Taylor, a pioneer of highlight music and Afro beat.
Speaker 13: 44:08 Hi life is like everyday music in Ghana. You hear everywhere. You know, it’s like reggae and Jamaica, the Ghanaian people were bringing a lot of that job that was coming from, you know, the London scene and their, their access to it. Through the British connection, the economy was thriving. The music scene was at a boom. You know, James Brown was coming to town and performing. And these artists, uh, who were playing the life a lot of would gravitate towards that funk sound that they, James Brown would bring, right? Here’s some synthesizers. We hear some effects. The beauty of it is it’s it’s, it’s the connection of how these African sounds was reaching the coast of Colombia. And it all happened with the DJ scene. That was Jorge Gonzalez, director of the Afro Mexican department of the world beach center in San Diego and port of entry, host Ellen Lilienthal to hear the full episode, get port of entry, wherever you listen to podcasts,
Speaker 3: 45:36 [inaudible].