The Sierra Club and other environmental organizations have sued the County over its Climate Action Plan, which Capretz called a “fatally flawed plan based on carbon credits that can be purchased anywhere in the world.” The California Attorney General has weighed in on the side of the plaintiffs.

Herzog pointed out that large-scale rural and semi-rural development isn’t necessary to address San Diego’s housing crisis.

“The City of San Diego passed the City of Villages plan, creating centers where they exist already, and SANDAG created a smart growth strategy in its regional plan,” he said. “We need to go back to the idea of centrality. That’s the future.”

C-3 board member and co-organizer of the luncheon Susan Baldwin added, “Our 18 cities and the County have nearly 400,000 units of housing capacity in their combined general plans, the majority of which are multifamily and located near transit. The County General Plan allows 60,000 new homes to be built—most in the rural villages like Lakeside, Spring Valley, Valley Center and Fallbrook.”

Halsey reminded the audience that fire danger is another reason Measure A was proposed.

“Every single fire in this state was devastating,” he said. “All of them were wind driven and jumped fuel breaks….You cannot stop these fires, and can’t evacuate people out one road.”

Halsey explained that the government’s strategy of reducing fire danger in the backcountry by clearing chaparral actually has a detrimental effect on the ecosystem and to fire safety. Pryde concurred and pointed out that “wind goes right over oak trees,” resulting in the trees protecting structures around them during a wildfire.

Citing the path of destruction in San Diego’s Cedar and Witch Creek Fires, Pryde added, “Our fires burn east to west, so it’s not just a backcountry problem—the coasts are vulnerable too.”

When asked what citizens can do to pass Measure A, Pryde noted the grassroots nature of the campaign, “We are relying on people like you. We don’t have deep pockets.” Supporters of the Measure are using social media, digital advertising, the website and yard signs to communicate with voters.