Mid-century modern now on the market.

If you or someone you know is interested in living in the heart of downtown Escondido, my house is now for sale.  It’s a single-story home that’s just a few blocks from the library, Farmers’ Market and Grand Avenue.  That means you can walk to shops, restaurants, movies, California Center for the Arts and yes, City Hall.  From the friendly front porch to the private brick courtyard it’s a sunny indoor/outdoor house with three bedrooms and two full baths.  The eat-in kitchen has granite countertops and stainless steel appliances as well as a two-sided gas fireplace that makes the whole house cozy on a chilly winter morning like today.

There will be an open house this Sunday from 10 until 4.  Complete information is available at realtor.com, but here’s a short preview:


Turnout, turnout, turnout.

In yesterday’s election, only 34% of Registered Voters cast their ballots.  In 2012, that number was more than double at 75%.  Mayor Abed’s voters — about 12,000 this year and the same when he was elected as Mayor in 2010 — turned out to give him the win. If every voter who had supported Olga Diaz in 2012 had cast their vote for her yesterday, she would have become the new Mayor of Escondido with a margin of about 3,000 votes.


After two years of daily blogging, adding up to 833 posts, ESCONDIDO2014.COM has come to an end. Though the blog will remain open for comments, I will not be posting there.  In its place is ESCONDIDO2016.COM. I’ll begin blogging once I’ve had a chance to rest up and recharge.  If you would like to notified when 2016 begins posting, please go to the new blog and FOLLOW it; you will get an email when I post. Otherwise, please check back at ESCONDIDO2016.COM.  Thank you to all who have followed 2014, I hope you’ll get to know 2016.

It’s a little after 11 pm on the 4th.

With less than a third of the votes counted in the Mayoral and District 1 races, the results won’t be known until the 5th.  In District 2, it is no surprise to see appointed Councilman Masson way ahead in his race with almost half the votes counted — with three competitors and the advantage of incumbency in a Republican district that’s hard to beat.  Proposition E, the school bond issue, is at 55.7%, which would look like a win except it needs 55% to pass so will have to wait and see what happens with the 65% of the votes not yet counted.  As the UT reported, it appears Propostions G and H have both gone down to defeat.

For Prop G — the Charter City proposal — this will be the second time that the voters have rejected the Council majority’s attempt to turn Escondido into a Charter City — in spite of the deletion of the districting language that the Council majority said lead to its defeat the first time around.  As the UT put it: Meanwhile, the apparent rejection of the charter city proposal is a blow to the city Council majority that supported it.  Mayor Sam Abed said he thought the vote would be closer.  I hope this is the last we hear about becoming a Charter City without a citizen-based discussion, but we shall see if it comes back in 2016 under the theory of “third times a charm.”

For Prop H — the Country Club/Lake initiative — this will leave the property in legal limbo. The lawsuit against the City will continue through the courts unless folks decide to sit down for some serious discussion.  I am curious to see how each side reacts to the vote and will revisit this at a later date.

As to the two big races — Mayor and District 1 — less than a third of the vote has been counted at the time I am writing.  Those that have been reported are basically all the mail-in ballots which traditionally skew Republican. (That certainly is true among my little group of close neighbors in District 3.  Six of us, all Democrats, voted at the polls on November 4 and all of us voted for Olga Diaz.)

Stay tuned.

If you want change in Escondido, here’s what you can do to make it happen.

Tomorrow is election day.  And each of us gets one ballot to vote for those candidates and measures that we think are best for our city, our county,  our state and our country.  But we also have the ability to make sure other people get out and vote.  So I encourage each of you to spend a few minutes making a list of family and friends that you could encourage to get out and vote too.

Here’s what you can do today.

1. Give them a call / send a text / write an email reminding them that tomorrow is election day.  Let them know that the polls will be open from 7 am to 8 pm.

2.  If you know their address, tell them where their polling place is.  (You can look it up here.)  If they still have their mail-in ballot they can drop it off at any polling place.  If they lost their mail-in ballot they can still cast a provisional ballot at their polling place.

3.  Offer to give them a ride, watch their kids, make them lunch — whatever it takes to get them to the polls.

4.  Tell them who you’re voting for and why.

On election day.

1.  Make sure you get out and vote — do it early to avoid a problem later in the day.

2.  Call/text/email again, reminding your people that they need to vote today between 7 am to 8 pm.  Ask them to let you know once they’ve voted.

3.  If you hear nothing by say 5 pm, contact them again.  (Yes, I know you’re now becoming a pest but there’s an election at stake.)  Offer to come over and give them a ride, watch the kids, get dinner ready — whatever it takes to get them to the polls.  (As I’m writing this I just got an email from Scarlett Johansson telling me the same thing I’m typing right now.)

If you think elections here in Escondido can’t be close, you’re wrong.  In 2012, City Treasurer Huggins won his race by just 27 votes.  In 2010, Ed Gallo won his seat by just 43 votes. In 2004, Sam Abed won his Council seat by just 619 votes (exactly 1% more than the closest challenger.)

Most of my friends are political junkies like me, so I know they’ll be voting.  But I also have contacted half a dozen friends who lead “normal” lives and will be checking in with them to make sure they’ve voted.  We each have our part to play in this election — please do what you can.


Escondido Alliance/Alianza Escondido endorses Olga Diaz for Mayor of Escondido.

I thank Escondido Alliance/ Alianza Escondido newspaper for giving me permission to post the paper’s endorsement of Olga Diaz for Mayor of Escondido.  

Olga Diaz For Escondido Mayor

By Alliance Staff – 10/21/2014

The Alliance strongly endorses Olga Diaz for Mayor of Escondido because she has the qualities necessary to move this City forward.

Olga understands the community.  As the daughter of immigrants and the first in her family to graduate from college, she knows the struggles that face many of the families who live in Escondido.  As the Director of Employment Services for an Escondido non-profit, she works with businesses and organizations that want to provide employment opportunities for residents.

Olga does her homework.  Analyzing financial reports, pursuing grant opportunities, looking for ways to stretch the City’s budget take time, commitment and curiosity.  Olga is always looking for the best solutions.  With a degree in accounting and experience as an auditor and researcher she is able to find new approaches to difficult issues.

Olga gets involved. As a mother and the wife of an Escondido police lieutenant, Olga is busy — dropping her kids off at Central Elementary and Bear Valley Middle schools, taking them to Little League and dance lessons, grabbing a quick lunch on Grand, shopping at the Mall.  She began the revitalization of the Escondido Creek, working with an all-volunteer organization to secure grant money for streetlights, landscaping and pocket parks.  As an active member of the Route 78 Rotary, she helped organize a mariachi festival at the California Center for the Arts, raising $25,000 for community projects.

Olga advocates for the community.  When Mayor Abed voted to cut all funds to important community programs, reduce support for Recreation forcing programs to close and fees to increase as well as close and dismantle the East Valley Branch Library, Olga Diaz was the only member of the City Council to say NO.  Olga supports recreation, parks, libraries, arts and important non-profits, because she knows they build a connected community while attracting new business and more visitors.

Olga brings business to Escondido.  When residents said they wanted an In-N-Out burger, Olga contacted the company and made it happen.  When County Health and Human Services chose Escondido for their new headquarters, bringing millions of dollars and hundreds of good jobs, she supported it – Mayor Abed tried to stop it.  When a dance and tutoring program wanted to come to Escondido, Olga showed them around the Center of the Arts – they’ve signed a lease and will move in shortly.

 Deputy Mayor Olga Diaz has all the skills, knowledge and experience to be a great mayor for Escondido.  She believes it should be a position of service, not of power. She is friendly, warm, bi-lingual and truly interested in what other people have to say. With Olga as our Mayor, Escondido will once again have a reputation as a city that is easy to love and easy to live in.  We urge you to vote for Olga Diaz as the next Mayor of Escondido.