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Failed measure to expand San Diego Convention Center could be reversed due to recent court rulings

Comic Con Pedestrian Death
Posted at 11:28 AM, Mar 31, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-31 20:47:24-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — A year after it failed to pass, a measure to fund a convention center expansion and pay for road repairs, could be resurrected by the City Council on Tuesday.

A staff report on whether the measure in fact passed is being reviewed by the City Council at the request of Mayor Todd Gloria. They could declare retroactively that it passed with a simple majority, roughly a year after it failed to get a supermajority.

Last March, the citizens' initiative Measure C, which would fund the expansion of the San Diego Convention Center, homeless initiatives, and road repairs, got roughly 65 percent of the vote. It fell short of the two-thirds majority typically required for tax increases.

Since then, several court decisions in California have concluded that citizens’ measures only require a simple majority to pass.

Now, after urging by Measure C supporters, Mayor Gloria wants the City Council to reexamine and declare that Measure C actually passed. It wouldn't happen automatically. The staff report says the city would not take action unless it receives a favorable trial court judgment or outcome in a validation lawsuit.

That could take months, and the process would certainly be challenged, potentially by people like homeless advocate Michael McConnell, who fought it before as well and calls it a bait and switch using the city's general fund.

"To go and tell those folks that their vote didn't matter... a year after the election, I think people are going to see that as awful fishy," said McConnell.

Mayor Gloria said in a statement today: “In light of the recent legal precedent, the City Council should declare that Measure C was approved by voters and we should pursue obtaining a court determination to ensure we can proceed with its implementation. A majority of San Diegans voted to expand the convention center, repair our streets and finally have a dedicated funding source for homeless services and shelter; it’s our duty to implement their will and make San Diego a better place for all of us.”