The Toni Occasions | October 2022

October 1, 2022


As we watch the restoration from Hurricane Ian and help our neighbors within the east, I’m reminded of one other harmful occasion the place Florida was on the middle…

Once I was not even three months outdated, the world virtually got here to an finish. How honest is that, I ask you? I hadn’t even discovered the place my ft had been but, and now I’d don’t have any place to ever use them.

In October 1962, my mother and father, like so many others, put their youngsters to mattress at evening not understanding if any of the household would nonetheless be there within the morning. Clearly I don’t have any first-hand reminiscences of the Cuban Missile Disaster 60 years in the past this month, however I do see some threads from that harmful collection of occasions operating via our present occasions.

Within the best existential risk we face right now—local weather change—wildfires, megastorms, heatwaves, and flooding trigger loss of life and destruction and pressure the relocation of households right here in California, all through the nation, and all over the world. The causes of human-caused local weather change have been churning for many years. Addressing these causes and mitigating their impacts will take longer than the 13 days it took JFK to resolve the disaster in 1962, however that simply means we will’t wait. “Later is simply too late” is a rallying cry utilized by local weather activists, and it hits the mark.

That’s why I’m so happy that the main local weather advances developed within the Senate this session have now formally been signed and develop into regulation. As I’ve shared earlier than, these local weather advances will cut back carbon emissions and enhance renewable types of vitality—and provides business the instruments they should get the job accomplished. The Senate Local weather Package deal, together with a number of different local weather payments signed into regulation, ensures California’s management on local weather change and cements our partnership with the Biden-Harris administration following the latest enactment of their historic local weather laws.

Generally it appears there could be some complicated language round local weather change, “a 50% discount by 2040” or “a 40% discount by 2050” or “a forty five% discount by 2055.” And so forth. And it may be arduous to see the progress we’ve made once we’re working via the disaster. However, I’ve discovered to distill the chances and chemical formulation and are available all the way down to this: if we preserve making the sort of progress we’ve, as shortly and responsibly as we simply did, then we will guarantee that some little lady on the market, simply studying what her ft are all about, will be capable to discover a protected place to face that received’t be burned out or washed away from her—or any of us.

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Thanks for studying,


PS—I hear that if she’s in a position to get her electrical broom charged in time, that mysterious witch of South Park can be again this Halloween. Preserve an eye fixed out for her, be protected, and have enjoyable!


Extra Than 9,000 New Houses Coming to San Diego


My mother and father labored extremely arduous their complete lives however nonetheless they had been by no means in a position to purchase a house of their very own; as a substitute, we bounced between sub-standard leases. It’s one thing that has fueled me my complete life and why, to this present day, considered one of my proudest accomplishments was shopping for my first home in San Diego in 1993. That milestone has develop into out of attain for much too many, particularly for individuals of colour and lower-income households. I used to be excited to rejoice two new housing tasks final month that, as soon as accomplished, will assist to make housing extra reasonably priced and homeownership potential for extra individuals in our area.

The Riverwalk Challenge broke floor on September 21, kick beginning the transformation of the Riverwalk Golf Course in Mission Valley right into a 200-acre neighborhood with 4,300 properties, a regional park with devoted open area, retail and workplace area, and a brand new trolley cease. With a mixture of properties for lease and sale, properties starting from studios to 3 bedrooms, and 430 models devoted to reasonably priced housing, that is precisely the kind of progressive venture we have to transfer the needle on housing in San Diego.

That very same day, the San Diego Metropolis-County Reinvestment Job Pressure and the San Diego Housing Fee additionally accepted a $7.5 million grant from the Wells Fargo Basis to assist 5,000 Black, Indigenous, and other people of colour purchase properties in San Diego County by 2025. I’ve to provide a particular thanks to the Job Pressure, particularly its co-chairs, San Diego Metropolis Councilmembers Monica Montgomery-Steppe and Joel Anderson, who labored arduous to safe this sizable grant for our group.

There’s nonetheless a fantastic deal we have to do to make housing extra accessible in San Diego and throughout California, and these tasks are a fantastic instance of what that progress can appear like.



September marked the top of an period, because the Tierra Occasions revealed its closing subject. Editor and co-publisher Deanna Spehn has been reporting on Tierrasanta group occasions and points since she moved to the realm fifty years in the past. Deanna started writing tales for the Tierrasanta Bulletin, after which she and three of her neighbors – Regina Olson, Norma McNerney, and Celeste Weinsheim – launched the Tierra Occasions in 1977. The free group newspaper was mailed to over 10,000 households every month.

Through the years, the Tierra Occasions introduced consideration to essential points dealing with the group, together with deserted plans to construct a federal jail close to the neighborhood within the late 1970’s and the 1983 unintentional detonation of an unexploded army ordnance that killed two 8-year-old boys.

For Deanna, the newspaper was a labor of affection, taking dozens of hours of labor every month, and turning right into a household affair, as her husband, Richard, dealt with the picture modifying.

Every month, the Tierra Occasions was created throughout evenings and weekends, as a result of Deanna additionally works as my District Coverage Director. Deanna has been on Group Toni since I served within the Meeting, and at the moment advises me on numerous points together with the atmosphere, vitality, transportation, and agriculture. She has a protracted document of advising policymakers, together with my predecessor Senator Christine Kehoe, and numerous Metropolis of San Diego officers. Along with operating the Tierra Occasions, Deanna has served as President of the Tierrasanta Neighborhood Council and Planning Group.

Thanks, Deanna, in your unbelievable service to Tierrasanta! The Tierra Occasions can be missed by its loyal readers.



Election Day (Nov. 8) is correct across the nook, which implies it’s time to ensure your voter registration is up-to-date. You possibly can register to vote until Oct. 24, but there’s no need to wait—you can register online anytime, including right now.

County election officials will be sending out vote-by-mail ballots to all registered voters by Oct. 10, which can be returned anytime by Nov. 8. When you vote by mail, remember to seal the envelope, and sign and date it before mailing or turning it in at a ballot drop location.

You can check the status of your ballot at and even sign up to receive text or email updates. In-person voting will also be available in San Diego County from Oct. 29 – Nov. 8 at 8pm. You can find your polling location here.

Whichever way you choose to vote, just make sure to do it by Nov. 8. Voting is a critical way you can make your voice heard!



You May Be Eligible for Student Debt Relief


This summer, the Biden Administration announced a Student Debt Relief Plan that pauses all federal loan payments through the end of the year. The plan provides up to $20,000 in debt relief to Federal Pell Grant recipients and up to $10,000 in debt relief to non-Pell Grant recipients. Borrowers are eligible for this debt relief if their 2021 or 2020 income was below $125,000 for individual tax filers or married but filing separately, or $250,000 for married tax filers filing jointly. Please be aware that you do have to apply for the relief. An online application will be available this month at You have until Dec. 31, 2023 to submit your application.





It was a pleasure to take part in the groundbreaking of UC San Diego’s Pepper Canyon West Living & Learning Neighborhood. California provided $100 million in grant funding for this housing project, which will lower the cost of on-campus housing for 1,100 students and support their academic pursuits.



The new Academic Center & Cinematic Arts Library in Chula Vista, which was made possible by a partnership between the City of Chula Vista, San Diego State University, and Southwestern College, will deliver higher education opportunities to the South Bay as well as the City’s first new library since 1995. I eagerly wait its grand opening!



AIDS Walk & Run San Diego is an incredible annual event put on by the San Diego LGBT Community Center to renew our commitment to stopping the transmission of HIV while supporting those living with the disease, and pay tribute to loved ones we have lost to AIDS. Every year I say a little prayer for my cousin Johnny and my brother-in-law Tommy, both of whom died too young from AIDS.



I am honored the California Disability Services Association chose me for their 2022 Legislative Leadership Award! Here, Team Toni member Jason accepts on my behalf. Thank you!



Team Toni had a great time attending the Naval Base San Diego’s Centennial Celebration, which also honored the Navy’s incredible partnership with Barrio Logan, National City, and our entire region.  


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