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The Voice of San Diego Podcast

VOSD’s Friday roundup of the past week’s news in brief, featuring interviews with special guests and more.

Apr 15, 2016

For the last eight years, City Attorney Jan Goldsmith has been adamant that he does not make his decisions politically.

He even chastised Voice of San Diego for seeing things through “a prism, and it’s political.”

He has rarely talked about his own personal political outlook. “I didn’t like George W. Bush. I really like Mitt Romney. I used to like [New Jersey Gov. Chris] Christie,” he told CityBeat in 2014.

Last week, though, he unleashed his inner political fire. He was warming up the crowd for presidential candidate Ted Cruz, who would be following him on stage at the Town and Country Resort.

“We believe in jobs, freedom and security. You know something? The Democrats don’t believe in these values,” Goldsmith said. The onetime libertarian endorsed tough border security and said the country was headed toward a cliff if it didn’t elect Cruz.

That they don’t believe in freedom or security might be a surprise to the Democrats Goldsmith works with on the City Council. And he should probably fire the Democrats who work for him if they, you know, don’t believe in security. After all, a big part of the city attorney’s job is law enforcement.

We sampled some of the best hits of Goldsmith’s fiery speech for this week’s podcast. We also interviewed Mary Walshok, the associate vice chancellor for public programs and dean of extension at UC San Diego.

The topic? Leadership.

This week seems to have a lot of people in San Diego asking where the leadership is as San Diego wrestles with giant decisions and punts many of them to the ballot.

Walshok, who wrote the book “Invention and Reinvention: The Evolution of San Diego’s Innovation Economy,” said we have always been like this but the region has been fortunate to make big, forward-thinking land-use decisions at the right time.

She broke the news that her team at UC San Diego and the Downtown Partnership will be releasing a major report on downtown’s place as the future of innovation in San Diego.

She said San Diego has saved itself often by making strategic decisions about how to develop big parcels of public land and creating “propinquity” — areas of the city where people with similar ambitions and visions can work together and build new industries.

“When we talk about downtown right now, it has that promise. I’m not one to judge does expanding a ballpark or convention center intrude on that promise but I would hope that any plans to expand those larger lower-wage facilities would not prevent us from growing an innovation economy in the various neighborhoods contiguous to downtown,” she said.