“Stop the Franchise Sellout!”
By Dory Bertics, Jake Rose, and John Mattes
San Diego Requires Publicly Owned Power
We, Public Power San Diego, advocate for the creation of an independently-run, democratically-elected, and publicly-owned, affordable gas and electric utility for our City of San Diego and its people.
No more SDG&E, the fossil-fuel corporation currently running our city’s power franchise, charging the highest rates for power in California (2x the national average). No more money toward millionaire CEOs, expensive lobbyists (and their expensive dinners and overseas plane tickets), and no more power rates going to special interests period.
Publicly run power means you only pay for gas and electricity. Nothing else!
So we strongly believe our power utility should work for the people and the planet – not for profit!
MORE Reasons Why Publicly Owned is Best for
YOU & San Diego
- YOU have lower, more affordable power bills.
- YOU don’t have to worry about rolling blackouts.
- YOUR money goes toward improving your city – not a millionaire CEO’s wallet.
- YOUR money won’t go to expensive SDG&E lobbyists manipulating well-intentioned California Public Utility Commissioners with fancy dinners and trips to Europe on YOUR dime.
- More money invested in YOUR local community programs, schools, crisis-hit areas, and added municipal worker benefits.
- Smooth transfer of worker benefits to SDG&E workers as San Diego’s municipal workers under California Public Utilities Code 854.2.
- YOUR city would reach its goal of becoming renewable energy-dependent by 2035.
- No more of YOUR money invested in obtaining natural gas and petroleum.
- YOUR vote and YOUR voice would make an actual difference over how utilities are run.
- YOU elect the Board of Directors – they aren’t chosen behind closed doors.
- YOUR electricity and gas utilities would work for you – not for profit, not a corporation, and not a holding company.
- Greater transparency, accessibility, and control over San Diego utilities for EVERY San Diegan.
FRANCHISE: The territory and infrastructure involved in a license granted to an individual or group to market and profit off of a company’s goods or services; the license itself.
FRANCHISE AGREEMENT: A utility is granted the exclusive use of city infrastructure for transmission and distribution, as well as the right to install and maintain wires, poles, power lines, and underground gas and electric lines within the city limits, like San Diego.
INVITATION TO BID: A request for utilities, like SDG&E, to make a bid on San Diego’s power franchise.
UTILITY: An organization supplying the community with electricity, gas, water, or sewerage.
Contact your City Councilmember
Thank Councilmembers Joe La Cava, Monica Montgomery Steppe, and Vivian Moreno
for voting AGAINST the Legally Ambiguous SDG&E Franchise Agreement.
Express your disappointment to the other 6 who voted in its favor.
Public Power Timeline & Updates
- Former San Diego City Council President, Georgette Gomez, refuses to docket opening the bids from the gas and electric franchise auction the first week of November 2020.
- Former San Diego City Council President, Georgette Gomez, writes an offer to former Mayor Faulconer to issue a proposal to City Council for a one-year extension on November 10th, 2020.
- A one-year extension proposal never appears on the docket at former City Council meetings.
- Centrist Democrat, Jennifer Campbell, wins the position of San Diego City Council President over progressive Democrat, Monica Montgomery, on December 10th, 2020.
- San Diego City Council President, Jennifer Campbell, proposes to open the franchise auction bids on December 17th, 2020 at 10 AM.
- SDG&E is the only corporation to have placed a bid on San Diego’s power franchise. In their bid, SDG&E crossed out many lines within the franchise agreement, despite instructions within the agreement not to do so.
- New Democratic mayor of San Diego, Todd Gloria, dismisses SDG&E’s on December 18th, 2020 bid due to SDG&E’s hubris in the number of crossed-out lines and having ignored agreement instructions.
- Mayor Todd Gloria, as of March 2021, is currently working on an ITB, or an Invitation to Bid, for a Franchise Agreement with SDG&E. He has presented via staff member, Javier Gomez, Franchise Forums to the general online public while excluding any mention of publicly owned and operated power.
- Publicly owned and operated power is still an option on the table for San Diego. Legislatively* it can be applied and administered more successfully than any franchise agreement.
- Mayor Todd Gloria releases on March 18th a new ITB consisting of favorable terms for SDG&E (Despite the recommendations from JVJ Consulting, originally hired by Mayor Faulconer for independent assessment, that, if the Franchise Agreement of 2020 falls through, San Diego should pursue municipal power)
- City Council President Campbell may have tentatively docketed the franchise agreement for a City Council vote in May 2021. Mayor Gloria removes it.
- City Council has the first vote on Tuesday May 25th with a 6 – 3 vote in favor of corrupt SDG&E. City Council allows for a 3 minute pro-SDG&E visual presentation prior to the vote without allowing an equal length rebuttal by advocacy organizations (all rightly opposed). Monica Montgomery, Joe La Cava, and Vivian Montgomery vote again the Franchise.
- City Council votes on the SDG&E Franchise Agreement on Tuesday June 8th with a 6 -3 vote in favor on the legally ambiguous SDG&E 20 year Franchise Agreement. SDG&E Financial President uses misdirection to answer Councilmember Sean Elo’s question on the $20 million toward Climate Equity that ratepayers may pocket, claiming “Shareholders will pay” without addressing their potential reimbursement by San Diego ratepayers.
- Fight is NOT over!
*please see the California Municipal Code
SDG&E charges $100/month more than Sacramento’s municipal utility, & $75/month more than Los Angeles
Let’s Improve Our Utilities Together!
Join us in the fight for a just, sustainable, and affordable public utility in San Diego. You can keep up to date with related news, campaign progress, volunteer opportunities, and upcoming events!
San Diego’s 101 Ash Street Debacle
Let’s not repeat history with SDG&E
101 Ash Street
Sempra, the parent company of SDG&E, vacated their headquarters at this downtown high rise on 101 Ash Street and moved to a new luxury high rise overlooking Petco Park. Their new landlord (Cisterra Development) brokered the deal to unload the old building –left completely furnished by Sempra, and full of asbestos and other problems– in a highly controversial lease deal to the City.
“This high-rise debacle is costing us $18,000 a day,” says Craig Rose, a member of PPSD and the Citizens Franchise Alliance. SDG&E currently takes $1 million/day in net profits from the City, money which would otherwise go to benefit the people of San Diego, but instead only benefits the heads of Sempra Energy. “We’re dealing with a climate crisis, rolling blackouts, and a pandemic, with communities of color and lower-income folks slammed hardest. We can’t afford to ship this wealth out of our city any longer. We need Public Power.”
Publicly owned and operated power is the only way to lower utility rates for San Diegans and to give us the control we need to deal with the climate crisis, as well as the resources to help address environmental, economic, and social injustices. Sempra just finished creating a $10 billion fracking facility off the coast of Louisiana – using ratepayers’ money. They don’t care about San Diego and its residents needing to go green by 2035, or about dealing with the climate crisis. Sempra wants unearned profit – including making every San Diego resident pay SDG&E’s Franchise Fee to San Diego.
So, do we really want our power system controlled by a multinational corporation that pulls profits out of San Diego to build massive natural gas – fracking – export facilities instead of helping us develop the solar energy potential we have right here in our own City and County?
“Power to the people is Public Power!”
Chair of PPSD: Elise Dearborn
Contact: 760 – 317 -0175
PPSD members include the Sunrise Movement – San Diego, NAACP – San Diego, Protect Our Communities Foundation, The North County Equity and Justice Coalition, Activist San Diego, the San Diego Democrats for Environmental Action, the Sierra Club – San Diego, Indivisible San Diego – UTC, La Jolla Democratic Club, and the Citizens Franchise Alliance, as well as unaffiliated residents who want a public utility for our city.