Media Center Blog for Environmental Justice Toxic-Free Neighborhoods Barrio Logan Referendum Signatures Captured With Lies

Barrio Logan Referendum Signatures Captured With Lies

Today the UT San Diego reports that the Barrio Logan community plan referendum will turn in 52,000 signatures to the city by November 1.  

But these signatures were recruited with proposterous lies.

Signature petitioners outside of popular grocery stores in San Diego have been using outrageous and fabricated lies to collect signatures to repeal the Barrio Logan community plan-- which City Council democratically voted to pass TWICE -- once on September 17 and again on October 15. 

I recently came across one of these petitioners myself in Mission Valley, to which industry spokesperson Chris Wahl quickly wrote off as an "isolated incident". 

So I am sharing this video that I captured of two scattered individuals bringing up some of the most blatant lies I've heard to this day.

The TRUTH is, it's not isolated. Not one bit.

I've had coworkers, friends, neighbors and social media followers tell me these "isolated incidents" have happened to them as well. Today we received a private message on our Facebook:

"Diane Takvorian, I saw the UT article this a.m. Yours was NOT an isolated incident, and Wahl is a bold-faced liar. Last week I was at that Ralph's, was pitched to "help save 60,000 jobs"; asked the young man who he represented; he did not know. When I told him there was another side to the issue, the health of kids breathing that toxic air, a man who was signing up stopped, said he had to think about it....Had a negative experience leaving by the other door. Just wanted you to know--and you are right; when voters know the truth."

Other comments recieved via Facebook read,

"Just walked past a person collecting signatures for the referendum on the Barrio Logan community plan...I wonder how residents of North Park, Liberty Station or OB (as examples) would feel about voters anywhere else in the city making decisions about development projects or zoning laws in their neighborhood..."

"Where's my Don't Tread On Me flag? At $1.75 per signature, once again Democracy is for sale."

"I ran into two of them today, one in MV and the other in North Park. They are shameless about the lies claiming that the Navy base is going to be closed and condos put up instead."

We've even heard it in-person.

Mia Bolton, resident of Ocean Beach, recently told us she heard the same lies coming from a signature gatherer outside of Trader Joe's in Mission Valley. The man "blatantly had no idea what he was talking about," says Bolton. "He kept saying the Barrio Logan community plan was going to kick out small businesses and replace them with hotels and condos, resulting in the loss of good jobs. Now I know for a fact this is a bold-faced lie, but does everyone else leaving Trader Joe's?"

Do you think City Council would pass a plan, TWICE, that is said to eliminate 46,000 jobs?

Or that the hard-working residents of Barrio Logan would come together for over five years to develop a plan that threw away nearly half a million jobs-- many of their own?

The answer is no.

The TRUTH has been, and remains to be that zero jobs will be lost because of this plan. 

Voice of San Diego said it best -- "That nine-block area isn't home to 46,000 jobs. It's not even home to the 14,000 jobs that take place at the Port. It is, however, home to a handful of small businesses that work hand-in-hand with the shipyard (and those existing companies will be able to stay open, but their expansion options will be limited). So what's all this talk of 46,000 jobs if we're really talking about whether new businesses can open in a few block area?"

The fact that the comprimised health of an underserved community is being decided by lying petition gatherers paid per signature is not democracy. It is an enormous sham, and they're busted. And it definitely, absolutely, one hundred percent is NOT an isolated incident. 

-- Diane Takvorian, executive director