In 2017, The San Diego Union-Tribune Editorial Board gave the distinction to 20 people who died during an avoidable hepatitis A outbreak. In 2018, we honored U.S. District Judge Dana Sabraw. This year, our choice was even clearer. Our 2019 San Diegan of the Year is Assemblywoman Shirley Weber.
In crafting a state law that sets a stricter standard for when police may use lethal force, Weber has fashioned the most powerful response yet to the grim and all too frequent U.S. phenomenon of civilians, often young African-American men, being killed nationwide by police officers in dubious circumstances. Amazingly, she did it in a unifying way.
Other San Diegans certainly stood out this year. Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein showed grace under literal gunfire during the April attack on the Chabad of Poway that left one dead. Patrick Henry High School graduate Melissa Berton won an Academy Award for Period. End of Sentence. a documentary about women in rural India who make and sell sanitary pads to break taboos about menstruation. Students at San Ysidro High School lost access to school buses because of grotesque fiscal mismanagement in the Sweetwater Union High School District and had to walk six miles round-trip to get to school. Former San Diego State star athletes Kawhi Leonard and Stephen Strasburg were MVPs of this year’s NBA Finals and World Series, respectively.