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SAN DIEGO — Local civil rights leader Shane Harris has written a letter to Gov. Gavin Newsom requesting he issue a “state of emergency” that would temporarily lift California’s gas tax amid rising gas prices.

Harris, president and founder of the People’s Association of Justice Advocates, issued the letter to Newsom Thursday morning.

“I am writing to you as someone who works on a daily basis with communities who are already struggling to pay their rent and essentially living check to check,” Harris writes. “Gas prices at the pump is not just merely a ‘gas tax issue’ but a ‘State of Emergency.’

“I write on behalf of the urban inner city, people of color, single mothers of all races, and so many others who don’t have a voice or don’t know how to reach out toe their elected leaders all the way up to the state level,” he continued.

The average price of a gallon of regular gasoline in San Diego County reached $4.975 Thursday, setting its 14th record in 16 days.