Received by a Democrat Female voter on 07/21/2023 via mail.
From La Prensa San Diego: https://laprensa.org/law-enforcement-unions-attack-sd-councilwoman-misleading-hit
The two ads assert that there have been “skyrocketing homicides” during Montgomery Steppe’s tenure and that she “tried to fool voters” on her ballot statement when she claimed homicide rates had fallen by “50%” but the mailers assert that rates actually increased by “450%” in one year.
“Monica Montgomery Steppe tried to fool voters, claiming a 50% drop in district homicides on her ballot statement. The reality? A shocking 450% surge in just one year,” the police officers’ union piece reads.
But an email obtained by La Prensa San Diego sent to Montgomery Steppe’s City Council office by a San Diego Police Department Captain last year detailed a drop in crimes in the department’s Southeastern Division which covers nearly all of Montgomery Steppe’s Council district.
“Also for murders, this time last year we were at 13 and currently year to date we are at 6, for a better than 50% decrease in homicides,” Captain Manuel De Toro wrote on September 13, 2022.
The SDPD Captain’s email also claims a 50% reduction in shooting violence.
Montgomery Steppe used that information to formulate her official ballot statement for the upcoming special election even though the statistics were not for a calendar year as the overall numbers are reported each year.
Police union officials objected to her use of the statistics and complained to the San Diego County Registrar of Voters. The union argued that the area of SDPD’s Southeastern Division does not overlap exactly with Montgomery Steppe’s Council District and that the number was incorrect because it did not reflect the yearly totals. SDPD has eight divisions, but the City has nine council districts so the boundaries are not exact matches.
The Registrar eventually removed the contested claim from Montgomery Steppe’s ballot statement.
The 450% increase statistic in the two political mailers used the timeframe of Montgomery Steppe’s first year in office in 2019 when murders increased from two to eleven after Montgomery Steppe defeated incumbent Councilwoman Myrtle Cole, even though there were two consecutive increases in City funding to the police department in the year before Montgomery Steppe was elected and her first year in office.
The mailers also states that Montgomery Steppe “supports defunding our police” despite that fact that Montgomery Steppe has voted for every City budget during her 5 years on the City Council, including in June of this year.