Axios San Diego

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Happy Tuesday. We're back and so are you.

  • Today's weather: Coast β€” Rain likely, mainly after 10am; cloudy with highs in the low 60s. Inland β€” Rain likely 10am-4pm; highs in the low 60s.

🎧 Sounds like: "Capricorn" by Vampire Weekend.

Today's newsletter is 869 words β€” a 3.5-minute read.

1 big thing: AI-powered home-search platform arrives in SD

Photo: Courtesy of Tomo

A new home-search portal powered by artificial intelligence launches in 16 markets today, including San Diego.

Why it matters: Searching for homes could become a lot faster, easier and more personalized as more real estate marketplaces integrate AI into their platforms.

What's happening: The new product from mortgage platform Tomo allows users to find homes through an AI–powered, free-text search function rather than simply sorting results based on area or the number of bedrooms and baths.

  • Greg Schwartz, a former Zillow exec who co-founded Tomo, said he wants it to help homebuyers shop like savvy investors β€” or be able to describe exactly what they want, then comb the results.

Zoom in: Axios' Brianna Crane tested the tool, asking it to find: "Home with a view of Lake Washington, modern design, a rooftop deck, and it's really important for me to have space to WFH. Oh, the kids love a backyard."

  • It produced 300 results, each tagged with which of the requirements it fit. (Some fit only a few parameters; others fit most.)

Homeowners with privacy concerns can email Tomo to have their names removed, the company says.

For now, along with San Diego, Tomo's search platform is available in Seattle; Portland, Oregon; Los Angeles; Phoenix; Dallas; Houston; Austin, Texas; most of Florida; Atlanta; North Carolina; South Carolina; Philadelphia; Washington D.C.; Connecticut; and Michigan.

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2. How to vote in the March primary

Illustration: Natalie Peeples/Axios

By now, every voter in San Diego County should have received a ballot in the mail for the March 5 primary election.

Why it matters: Primaries determine who appears on the November ballot for major races, including U.S. Senate and San Diego mayor.

State of play: Voting is underway and it's still not too late to register.

Yes, but: Residents who miss the deadline can visit the county registrar's office in Kearny Mesa β€” or one of 39 vote centers starting Saturday β€” to conditionally register and cast a provisional ballot.

Between the lines: Registered party preference determines whether voters can participate in a given presidential primary.

  • The Democratic Party allows voters registered without a party preference to vote in their primary, but only if they specifically request a crossover ballot by March 5.
  • Only registered Republican voters can participate in the GOP primary, requiring a registration change for anyone who wants to do so.

Meanwhile, in state and municipal races, candidates run on a single ballot and the top two vote-getters, regardless of party, advance to a November runoff.

What's next: Ballots can be mailed via the U.S. Postal Service but must be postmarked and signed by Election Day.

  • Voters can also drop their ballot at the registrar's office, 8am-5pm weekdays.
  • The 39 vote centers will be open 8am-5pm starting Saturday. An additional 140 centers will open March 2.
  • The registrar also has arranged dozens of drop-box locations around the county, and most are already up and running.

Share with someone who could use the reminder to vote

3. The Lineup: Local news bites

Illustration: Lindsey Bailey/Axios

Chula Vista Councilwoman Andrea Cardenas, facing felony charges including fraud and money laundering, announced her resignation Monday. She is due in court Tuesday for a hearing. (Fox 5)

🚽 U.S. Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Bonsall) is demanding that an international agency explain how a wastewater treatment plant at the U.S.-Mexico border that dumps untreated sewage into the Tijuana River was allowed to deteriorate so badly. (Union-Tribune)

πŸŽ“ Cal State University faculty union members approved a new contract that includes 10% raises, minimum-salary increases and more paid family leave. (City News Service)

4. Reader Recs: Nat Geo's local take

The Bea Evanson fountain at dusk in Balboa Park. Photo: Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images

A recent "National Geographic" story tells readers how to get to know San Diego through nine experiences, including:

  • Exploring Balboa Park's museums, canyon hiking trail and gardens.
  • Checking out Barrio Logan's Mexican culture and murals at Chicano Park.
  • Kayaking in La Jolla's sea caves (which regular readers know we wholeheartedly endorse).

πŸ’­ Kate's thought bubble: I don't let friends or family leave town without making time to watch a sunset β€” and yes, it's an activity that belongs on an itinerary.

  • Views from the iconic Sunset Cliffs or a sailboat are top choices, but most times, just sitting in the sand with a burrito, a beer and people you love is what makes San Diego a place you never want to leave.

πŸ—£οΈ We want to know: What's on your list of things that are "must see and do" in San Diego?

5. Chart du jour: San Diego salaries

Industries with the highest average Glassdoor salaries in the San Diego metro area, 2023
Data: Glassdoor; Chart: Kavya Beheraj and Alice Feng/Axios

San Diegans working in tech industries are getting the biggest paychecks in the city on average, according to 2023 Glassdoor data.

Between the lines: San Diego salaries are higher than the national average across most industries, which is expected in one of the country's most expensive cities.

Yes, but: None of the average salaries listed were six figures.

Of note: Salaries in most industries, from real estate to food service, were only within a few thousand dollars of the national average.

  • Human resources and health care were the exceptions at more than $10,000 above the U.S. average.

Our picks:

πŸ§› Andy is unsurprised that the San Diego return of Vampire Weekend falls on a Monday.

πŸ‘ΆπŸΌ Kate can't wait to meet her two new besties born this past week.

This newsletter was edited by Carly Mallenbaum and copy edited by James Gilzow.