Judge Dick Murphy supports
Environmental Vision for City


On July 11, at the UCSD Faculty Club, candidates for San Diego Mayor, Supervisor Ron Roberts and Judge Dick Murphy, faced off, answering a series of questions all related to conservation, quality of life and how our City will deal with forecast population growth.

As a result of working with environmentalists during the process, Judge Dick Murphy adopted the following "10 point Environmental Vision" as a part of his platform:

Leadership with 2020 Vision - what Dick Murphy will work toward as part of his "Environmental Vision" for the City of San Diego


    • Year round water quality monitoring
    • Upgraded sewer system
    • Stopped contaminated storm drain runoff


  • MISSION BAY LEASES - all leases (commercial and nonprofit) limited to 25% of land and stop commercialization of parks


    • Building freeways AND mass transit
    • Managing rush hour demand - carpools, telecommute, stagger
    • Controlling growth and development


  • CONTROLLED GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT - by promoting land use policies that encourage high density housing and mixed-use development near transit facilities

    • Not park deficient
    • Landscaped center median on thoroughfares
    • Undergrounding of overhead power lines


  • MSCP OPEN SPACE - all purchased

  • SAN DIEGUITO RIVER VALLEY - preserved as open space

  • WATER RECYCLING - city recycling 45 million gallons per day from wastewater, and selling all for landscaping to CALTRANS, golf courses, etc.

  • CITY-WIDE CURBSIDE RECYCLING - whether or not state funding is available

  • CITIZEN'S ENVIRONMENTAL ADVISORY COMMISSION - to oversee implementation of ese and other environmental issues

There were are some other issues, not contained in the above list, which Judge Murphy addressed during the debate. These are, in many cases, a direct result of his contacts with the environmental community and things he would address and fight for as the endorsed candidate of the Sierra Club:


  • Support numeric sizing and first-flush filtration/treatment approaches
  • Urban canyon protection and relocation of pipes whenever possible
  • Total city-wide recycling
  • Enforce undergrounding agreements - his legal expertise would be invaluable in making sure this happens.
  • Support closure of Sorrento Valley Road next to Peñasquitos lagoon.
  • Strong policy for protection of hillsides and hilltops - keep in mind he stopped the 200 foot antenna on top of Cowles Mountain
  • Support public purchase of threatened wetlands if regulatory approach fails
  • Work to get rid of incompatible mixed use zoning in Barrio Logan
  • Support for lead abatement program by Housing Commission and funding for the program
  • Support for adding land and watershed/clean water funding to TransNet sales tax extension

Based on an extensive process that included interviews, written questionnaires, a list of more than 20 identified issues in the city, and conversations with hundreds members of both the Club and the community at large, the Sierra Club Political Committee voted by a 2/3 margin to support endorsing Judge Murphy.

In comparison, Roberts tenure at the County has been checkered by mediocre or simetimes terrible environmental results. If he is elected Mayor, we can only expect more status-quo battles where builders and other interests will trump environmental concerns.

At the 11th hour, Supervisor Roberts, confronted with an endorsement for his opponent, finally replied to Sierra Club requests for positions on their issues list identified by Chapter members. While many of us feel his last minute conversion is strictly pandering, we do have his signature to support all but two identified issues: closure of Sorrento Valley Rd. and changing of parking standards. (Roberts must support finding that 37-square-miles of parking required to park the next 600,000 cars coming to San Diego!).

Unfortunately, the last-minute pandering by Building Industry-endorsed-Roberts was successful to some degree and the Political Committee recommendation failed to pass at the Executive Committee of the San Diego Sierra Club. Political Committee members, as well as others in the Sierra Club are still working to resolve the remaining issues and concerns of ExCom members and expect that the item will be on their agenda again for further consideration before the November election.

In the meantime, SDET believes that Judge Murphy is the best choice for standing up to developer interests and moderating both the ethical problems at City Council along with out-of-control growth.