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The San Marcos Chamber serves as the best resource for its members and the business community to promote a positive business climate, economy, and quality of life. Below you will find the positions of the Chamber on the following ballot propositions.

To access the California Chamber of Commerce Overview of November Ballot Measures PDF (created 10/2/2020), click here.

To access the Official Voter Information Guide, please visit this page.

Proposition 15 – Split Roll Property Tax. Initiative Constitutional Amendment. Requires that commercial and industrial real property be taxed based on current market value.

Proposition 15 is a $12.5 billion a year property tax increase—the largest in state history—that is riddled with flaws which will hurt all Californians. Contrary to what its supporters claim, Proposition 15 will not help local governments and schools recover from the COVID-19 induced economic crisis.

The measure will also hurt the small businesses that employ half of all California employees.


Proposition 23 – Establishes State Requirements for Kidney Dialysis Clinics. Requires On-Site Medical Professional. Initiative Statute.

Appearing as Proposition 23 on the November 3, 2020 ballot, The Protect the Lives of Dialysis Patients Act mandates that each of the roughly 600 dialysis clinics in California have a physician on the premises during all operating hours, in a non-caregiving role.



Proposition 20 – Restricts Parole for Non-Violent Offenders. Authorizes Felony Sentences for Certain Offenses Currently Treated Only as Misdemeanors. Initiative Statute.

Proposition 20, the Keep California Safe Initiative, restricts parole for non-violent offenders and authorizes felony sentences for certain offenses currently treated only as misdemeanors.

This initiative statute imposes restrictions on the parole program for non-violent offenders who have completed the full term for their primary offense. It also expands the list of offenses that disqualify an inmate from this parole program.

It authorizes felony charges for specified theft crimes currently chargeable only as misdemeanors, including some thefts where the value is between $250 and $950.

Proposition 20 discourages organized retail thefts by increasing penalties and saves retailers thousands of dollars in lost merchandise and loss prevention programs. The initiative:

    • Includes a felony for “serial theft.” A person caught stealing merchandise valued at more than $250 three separate times would face felony charges.
    • Expands the list of violent crimes for which early release isn’t an option.
    • Requires the Board of Parole Hearings to consider an inmate’s entire criminal history when deciding parole, not just his/her most recently committed offense.

Proposition 22 – Changes Employment Classification Rules for App-Based Transportation and Delivery Drivers. Initiative Statute.

The San Marcos Chamber is supporting this initiative statute to ensure that thousands of workers continue to have access to this important work that provides a flexible option to earn income.

Episode Summary

Jim discusses the increased need for food distribution during the pandemic and how the San Diego Food Bank has been able to continue to meet those needs. Get an idea of the impact that volunteers have on the organization, as well as a description of Food Bank’s facilities in San Diego and in North County.

Episode Notes

“Since the beginning of COVID, just in North County we’ve distributed about 6.5 million pounds of food. And we’re feding about 130,000 people a month in North County.” – Jim Floros, President & CEO, San Diego Food Bank

Jim Floros joined the San Diego Food Bank from the Burn Institute, a nonprofit dedicated to reducing fire and burn injuries and deaths, where he served as executive director and CEO from 1992 to 2012. Before that, Jim served as director of community relations at the world headquarters of Project Concern International, a development agency that provides clean drinking water and immunizations in the poorest regions of the world.

Since taking over as president and CEO, Jim has presided over a major expansion of Food Bank programs, cutting-edge facility improvements, an increase in the number of people served by the Food Bank every month from 320,000 to 350,000, and led major food drive, fundraising and marketing campaigns.

Jim oversaw the funding and construction of the Food Bank’s Recycling & Composting Center located at the rear of the Food Bank’s warehouse facility. The center will prevent 600,000 pounds of waste from going to local landfills every year and will save $25K in annual landfill fees. The center takes the Food Bank one step closer to becoming a net-zero waste organization since all food waste processed by the center is turned into compost and donated to local community gardens.

Jim led the Food Bank’s acquisition of the North County Food Bank through an agreement brokered with its former parent organization, North County Community Services. In 2015, the San Diego Food Bank assumed full control of the North County Food Bank’s hunger-relief programs, staff, truck fleet, and its warehouse facility in San Marcos. The acquisition doubled the Food Bank’s outreach and services in North County and brought added efficiency and greater resources to hunger-relief services for individuals and families in need.

Discussion Topics:

[6:00] What adaptations the food bank has made to be more environmentally sensitive and a zero-waste facility

[6:52] Making the move to a temporary new home, and plans for a bigger facility

[7:30] Talking numbers and impact in North County

[8:30] Impact of COVID on volunteering and what the food bank did to respond to turn it around

[11:14] Addressing the food insecurity among the military and North County student population

[13:30] How you can get involved to help

Resources Mentioned:

Visit the San Diego Food Bank to learn about the different ways you can help make a difference today. Every dollar donated provides 5 meals for hungry San Diegans.

This October the San Marcos Chamber has partnered with the North County Food to help “Scare Away Hunger” – Visit this page to learn more about how you can get involved!

Episode Summary

Find out how Steve Munson has been able to keep Dos Desperados Brewery open through the pandemic. He discusses how he has had to pivot to meet all the requirements handed down by the state and county. We also take a break from COVID-19 and let beer and baseball take center stage in this week’s episode.

Episode Notes

It all began over 20 years ago when Dos Desperados founder, Steve Munson (@dosdesperadosbrew) got the brewing bug. His first brew was a Mexican style ale and was such a hit at his backyard cookouts that he could no longer keep up the demand brewing in his family home. That is when Steve decided it was time to turn his favorite hobby into a business. In 2014 Dos Desperados was born. Dos Desperados or “the Rebel in all of us”  perfectly represents Steve’s adventurous brews– Habeerneros IPA, double Dealer Brown Ale and Homicidal Manic Stout– just to name a few.

Steve passed on his head honcho hat to Hayden Weir, a CSUSM grad, in 2018. Hayden is now Dos Desperados Head Brewer and is whipping up delicious beers like his famous New England-style IPA named Hazy Daisy (after his golden retriever pup, Daisy).

And it’s a family affair! On any day of the week you will find one of the Munson family members serving up these delicious suds. So saddle up and come try a beer (or two) at San Marcos’ very own drinking hole.


Discussion Topics:

  • [2:30] How Dos Desperados adapted during COVID
  • [5:20] How neighboring responses affected opening and business survival
  • [7:30] On training staff response regarding compliance
  • [9:15] Life before Dos Desperados: what prompted the start of a brewery? Who is the “dos” in Dos Desperados?
  • [11:00] What makes Dos Desperados different from other breweries?
  • [12:00] Steve’s take on fads, trends and collaborations
  • [13:30] A not-so-secret fun fact about Steve’s son: Major League Baseball player, Eric Munson

Resources Mentioned:

Follow Dos Desperados Brewery on Instagram: @dosdesperadosbrew

Stop by their tasting room in San Marcos for a growler fill, or order for local delivery through BrewCatalog.

Episode Summary

District Attorney Summer Stephan has devoted her life to protecting children and families and giving a voice for justice to the voiceless and most vulnerable. She is a national leader in the fight against sexual exploitation and human trafficking. Summer discusses how the DA’s Office has been able to function during the pandemic. Also, hear about updates regarding the fight against human trafficking, opioids and scam alerts.

Episode Notes

District Attorney Stephan leads the second largest DA’s Office in California, manages a professional staff of over 1000 employees, and serves as the People’s Prosecutor for the entire San Diego County and its over 3 Million residents. Summer served as a Deputy District Attorney in San Diego County for 28 years where she combined extensive courtroom experience with over 15 years of management experience. She rose through the ranks to appointments as Chief of the DA’s North County Branch and Chief of the Sex Crimes and Human Trafficking Division, a Special Victims Unit she pioneered. In 2012, she was appointed Chief Deputy District Attorney. In 2017, she was appointed District Attorney.

Discussion Topics:


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Interested in sponsoring the podcast? Email Rick at [email protected]


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Episode Summary

The Small Business Development Center’s mantra is helping entrepreneurs succeed. Acting Regional Director Danny Fitzgerald discusses how the SBDC adapted during the pandemic to help San Diego County small business owners with applying for assistance and navigating requirements as they reopen.

Episode Notes

Danny Fitzgerald works for Southwestern Community College as the Acting Regional Director for the San Diego – Imperial SBDC Regional Network and oversees the San Diego Women’s Business Center. For over 20 years, Danny has been a prominent fixture in the small business communities of San Diego County and Imperial County, and on both sides of the US-Mexico border. His service in a wide variety of leadership and executive roles has made a significant impact on hundreds of businesses and dozens of industries throughout the State of California. Danny has a Masters in Communication from San Diego State University, and a B.A. in History from the University of Utah.

The SBDC’s top priority is to empower small business creation and growth to achieve job creation and retention, capital investments, and dynamic innovation that improves the quality of life in San Diego and Imperial Counties.

Resources Mentioned

Episode Summary

San Marcos Fire Chief Dan Barron shares ideas on how to properly prepare for wildfire season. As our neighbors to the north are being devastated by fires, learn how members of the San Marcos Fire Department are assisting in the fight to get the fires under control. Chief Barron also shares with us the additional challenges to the department during the pandemic.

Episode Notes

Dan has been a member of the San Marcos Fire Department since 2001. Starting as a firefighter he climbed the ranks to fire engineer, captain, battalion chief, division chief and to his current role as fire chief.

With his vast experience within the San Marcos Fire Department, Chief Barron shares his perspective on how firefighting and fire prevention has changed. Also, learn about the structure of the San Marcos Fire Department and how they keep the residents of San Marcos safe.

Discussion Topics:

[8:45] What is a PACE plan? Why should you have one for your home?

[9:46] How much clearance should you have around your home?

[10:20] 3 things to anticipate when told to evacuate + how to utilize the PACE plan

[12:03] The most important thing to have ready for you + your family when it’s time to go

[19:50] Update on current fire situation

Resources mentioned:

San Marcos Fire Instagram: @sanmarcosfiredept

San Marcos Wildfire Safety Series

San Marcos Fire Department

Structure of San Marcos Fire Department

History of San Marcos Fire Department

Career Opportunities with the SMFD

Palomar College Fire Academy

During this pandemic many of us are spending more time with our pets. In this episode you’ll learn useful tips on how to create a healthy environment for your pet while working at home and how to incorporate socialization with your pet. Hear from one of our very own local veterinarians, Dr. Paula Thomas of Advanced Veterinary Care of San Elijo as she shares her expertise on the differences between providing at-home care for cats and dogs, and managing your pet’s separation anxiety.

Mug shot of our CEO’s Frenchie, Payton.


Our Event Directors cat Jack, who prefers bottled Fiji water.

Episode Notes

Dr. Thomas grew up in San Diego and received her bachelor’s degree in Animal Physiology from University of California San Diego. She then went on to UC Davis for veterinary school where she graduated in 2007. She completed her internship training, along with Dr. Riehl, at Loomis Basin Veterinary Clinic in the Sacramento area.

Dr. Thomas has worked as an emergency veterinarian since graduation as well as performing general practice and shelter medicine. Dr Thomas’ special medical interests include trauma, soft tissue surgery and transfusion medicine.

When she is not working, Dr. Thomas enjoys spending time with her husband and four children, riding her horse and taking her dogs to the beach. She is a mutt-lover and has 2 mixed breed dogs at home, Ollie and Chloe. She also has one very smart and mischievous cat named Lefty.

Discussion Topics:

[4:37] What is a fear-free model? How does implementing this into your practice help your client?

[6:05] Important considerations for creating a healthy environment for your pet – especially puppies – while working at home

[7:00] Tips for dealing with transitions when you go back to work

[8:05] When should you get pet insurance?

[8:45] Differences between at-home care for cats vs. dogs during quarantine

[9:26] Is it possible to over-exercise your pet?

[11:30] Changes within the veterinary medicine and what’s on the horizon

[13:30] Importance of socialization and how owners can incorporate it with their pets

Resources mentioned:

Advanced Veterinary Care of San Elijo

Ohio State University’s Indoor Cat Initiative

Pet Ville Pet Hotel

American Veterinary Association – FAQ section

WORKABILITY I San Marcos Unified School District

What is the WorkAbility 1 Program?

The mission of WorkAbility 1 (WA1) is to promote the involvement of key stakeholders including students, families, educators, employers and other agencies in planning and implementing an array of services that will culminate in successful student transition to competitive, integrated employment (CIE), lifelong learning and quality of life.

The WA1 program is funded and administered by the California Department of Education through the Special Education Department.

The WA1 program offers students with an Individualized Education Program (IEP) the opportunity to complete their secondary education while also obtaining marketable job skills. WA1 provides secondary students with an understanding of job seeking and job keeping skills.

WA1 was initiated in November 1981 as a pilot project to test the concept of work experience for youth with disabilities and continues to successfully conduct interagency coordination of services.

What does WorkAbility 1 provide for students receiving special education services?

  • comprehensive pre-employment skills training
  • employment placement and follow-up for high school students in special education who are making the transition from school to work
  • independent living and post-secondary education or training
  • the opportunity for students to complete their secondary education while also obtaining marketable job skills
  • introductions to employers in the business community who will give students with special needs a chance to prove themselves

For additional information regarding WorkAbility 1, please contact:

Program Coordinator: Karen Thompson

T: 760 290 2242
C: 760 566 4968
F: 760 736 8275
E: [email protected]


Episode 6 – San Marcos Farmers Market featuring Events Director Melanie Jamil

The San Marcos Chamber has recently opened the San Marcos Famers Market. Chamber Events Director Melanie Jamil and CEO Rick Rungaitis discuss hosting a Farmers Market during the pandemic and give an overview of vendors and highlights of the Market.


That’s something that’s really neat about our Farmers’ Market – we’re in a position now where we’re going to be able to keep bringing on new things.” – Melanie Jamil, San Marcos Chamber Events Director 

Melanie Jamil has been the San Marcos Chamber’s Events Director for the past five years. Included in her duties of overseeing all the Chamber’s special events is the San Marcos Farmers Market. The Market is in its second year and is newly located in North City across from CSUSM. Melanie joins Chamber CEO Rick Rungaitis to discuss how the Chamber is able to keep the Farmers Market safe for shoppers. In honor of National Farmers Market Week, this discussion highlights the vendors, small businesses, and upcoming special collaborations with local chefs from San Marcos restaurants.

Subscribe on iTunes

Come out to the Farmers Market every Tuesday from 3-7pm for a variety of fresh organic produce, flowers, delicious food offerings, and crafts!

Follow the San Marcos Farmers Market for weekly updates:

San Marcos Farmers Market on Facebook:

San Marcos Farmers Market on Instagram:

Resources mentioned:

The California Competes Tax Credits provides a great opportunity for business owners that are looking to grow their business. Find out how you can apply by visiting:

Previously: You might also be interested in listening to our last episode featuring Sean Loofbourrow, Chief of Safety at North County Transit District

If you enjoyed listening to this episode, would you consider leaving a short review on Apple Podcasts? It takes less than 60 seconds and helps to make a difference in getting important news out to our community.

Interested in sponsoring the podcast? Contact Rick for details about this opportunity at [email protected]

Sign up for the San Marcos Chamber’s email newsletter for updates on important news from the Chamber and business community, weekly events, and resources at

Discover the benefits of membership with the Chamber:

Follow the San Marcos Chamber:





How is your website performing?

If you’re interested in increasing leads and revenue through Google, Social Media, and Yelp, click the button below to request a complimentary audit, currently being offered in partnership through our partner, Saba SEO as a gift and commitment to our Members.

San Marcos Chamber would like to assist you in these trying times by providing a Google Audit of your website.

Let’s you see how you rank with Google, Google Local (map listings), and Bing.

We can help you understand your organic SEO ranking, including what pages you’re found on and how well the keywords you’re using are helping you rank.

With this information you can understand how and where your website is ranking with Google, Google Local, Google Mobile, and Bing, including the information you need to improve your ranking and what it will take to get on the first page of Google, Google Local, and Bing.

Saba SEO has been a great partner to San Marcos Chamber over the years. As a Google Premier and Yelp-Certified agency, they have helped us tremendously, including designing our website and assisting with digital marketing.

Find out how your website is performing