Challenged by a local activist at the District 4 inaugural party on Monday night to make fighting poverty a priority in his administration, newly elected Mayor Bob Filner responded by quoting President Franklin Roosevelt’s rejoinder to activists in the early days of the New Deal: “I agree with you, now make me do it.”
And that’s exactly what the Center for Policy Initiatives (CPI) is doing. They’ve launched a letter writing campaign seeking to gather 500 letters by December 14th urging the Mayor to make poverty a priority in San Diego.
Together we can fight for strong city policies to combat working poverty through living wages, access to affordable healthcare and the creation of quality jobs.
The campaign is seen as a push back against business interests intent on repealing San Diego’s Living Wage Law, requiring businesses that contract with the City to pay their workers more than the minimum wage. Right wing groups around the state have been actively working to undermine prevailing wage requirements. Anti-poverty and union groups favor such laws.
Following is a copy of the letter CPI is urging local residents to sign. You join this effort by electronically “signing” the message to Mayor Filnerhere. The facts listed in the letter are from CPI’s most recent poverty and income report, which you can find here.
Subject: Mayor Filner: Make Poverty a Priority
Dear Mayor Filner,
Congratulations on your new job! I’m excited about San Diego‘s future with you as our mayor.
As you set the agenda for your first year in office, I urge you to make the fight against working poverty a priority.
It’s a tragedy that anyone in San Diego should live in poverty, especially those who work hard every day and still struggle to support themselves or a family. Consider these facts from the Center on Policy Initiatives’ analysis of census data:
• More than 206,000 women, men and children in the City of San Diego live below the national poverty level. That’s one in six of our neighbors.
• A third of all adults living in poverty in the San Diego region are employed. They are paid less than the national poverty level (about $11,500 for a single person, about $23,000 for a family of four).
• The actual cost of living self-sufficiently in San Diego is more than double the poverty level.
• Real wages are dropping in 10 of the region’s 15 largest industries.
Our city government can do much to combat working poverty, with policies that focus on living wages, access to affordable healthcare and creating quality jobs for San Diego residents.
When all working people can support themselves and have money in their pockets to spend at local businesses, the entire city will benefit and we’ll finally be on our way to rebuilding our local economy.
As Mayor, you can make poverty a priority. I will eagerly stand with you in this crucial fight for the working people of San Diego.
Is SDG&E Cutting a Deal on 2007 Fire Costs?
KPBS is reporting that the utility company is working on a back room deal with state regulators that will allow it to recoup its uninsured 2007 wildfire costs from customers.
Consumer advocates are expressing this concern in light of an off the record meeting last week between ratepayer representatives and SDG&E executives and a delay on a scheduled vote on an earlier finding rejecting SDG&E’s bid to have ratepayers cover hundreds of millions of dollars in uninsured fire losses from 2007.
Court Says SD Transportation Plan a No-Go
Responding to a a lawsuit brought by Cleveland National Forest Foundation, the Center for Biological Diversity and Sierra Club under the California Environmental Quality Act, Superior Court Judge Timothy Taylor ruled yesterday that the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) violated state law by failing to fully account for, and take steps to reduce, climate pollution in its environmental review of the region’s long-term transportation plan.
California Attorney General Kamala Harris intervened in support of the lawsuit on behalf of the people of the state of California, and a companion case challenging the transportation plan was filed by CREED-21 and the Affordable Housing Coalition of San Diego County. The lawsuit centered on a number of serious concerns about the SANDAG Plan, which invests heavily in freeways at the expense of public transit. Rather than promoting “smart” growth, they felt the plan will lead to sprawl development, increasing climate disrupting pollution and other significant air pollution throughout the region.
Judge Taylor ruled that SANDAG broke the law by ignoring a executive order calling for dramatic reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and failing to use its considerable authority to reduce the region’s contribution to dangerous climate disruption through the transportation plan. He noted that much of San Diego County is in a low-lying area that is likely to be affected by sea-level rise, saying that SANDAG’s approach of “kick[ing] the can down the road” and leaving compliance with state law to local jurisdictions charged with approving specific projects is not permissible.
Things aren’t completely settled, though. SANDAG will have the opportunity to negotiate a settlement with opponents, who will be asked to propose a final judgment along with potential remedies. Should SANDAG and the litigants fail to reach a compromise, the court will provide its own final judgment. And then the case will head to the appeals courts.
Republicans Not Handling Election Results Well
A post-election poll by Public Policy Polling indicates that Republican voters nationally are still in denial mode. 49% of GOP voters told pollsters that they thought ACORN, a community organizing group that went bankrupt and disbanded in 2010, had “stolen” the election for President Obama.
This number is actually a modest decline from the post 2008 election polling, wherein 52% of self identified Republican voters thought ACORN was responsible for Obama’s victory.
One fourth of those surveyed were so upset with the results of the Presidential election that they wanted their state to secede from the union; 56% want to stay in and 19% aren’t sure.
Wingnuts Embarrass US Internationally
Despite the presence of former Senate Majority leader Bob Dole Dole, who watched the proceedings from a wheel chair, 38 Senators refused to vote for a treaty, already signed by 155 nations and ratified by 126 countries, including Britain, France, Germany, China and Russia, stating that nations should strive to assure that the disabled enjoy the same rights and fundamental freedoms as their fellow citizens.
Right wing Republicans objected to taking up a treaty, warning that it could pose a threat to national sovereignty and falsely claiming that it would impose cumbersome regulations on business.
Current Senator Majority Leader Harry Reid pretty much captured the ridiculousness of the situation when he issued a statement following the vote:
“It is a sad day when we cannot pass a treaty that simply brings the world up to the American standard for protecting people with disabilities because the Republican party is in thrall to extremists and ideologues. The United States is seen as a leader around the world. Today, we had a chance to lead, and we failed because a small group of Republican senators fear the Tea Party more than they care about equality for people with disabilities.
“Today’s vote wasn’t about Republicans or Democrats. It was about standing up for our heroes – men and women who risked their lives on the battlefield for the United States of America. This treaty was about 57 million Americans who live with a disability. Republicans such as former President George H.W. Bush, Senator McCain and former Senator Bob Dole called on their Republican colleagues to support these Americans.”
US Companies Dumping Toxic Batteries in Mexico
American companies are attempted to avoid stringent environmental rules by sending used lead based batteries to Mexico, according to a draft report by the Commission for Environmental Cooperation.
Exports have grown from 130 million pounds in 2004 to 750 million pounds last year, according to the report by the watchdog group, created to keep an eye on environmental concerns arising from North American Free Trade agreements. They are recommending that Mexico bring its environmental regulations up to more stringent standards.
Discounted Internet Access Offered to Low Income Residents
The San Diego Futures Foundation 2012 Tech Tour will be making stops in two neighborhoods this month to offer low income families in the San Diego Unified School District and Escondido Union School District discounted internet access and computers.
Families with children in the free lunch program at specific schools are being invited to sign up at the City Heights Center (4305 University Ave, #640) on Thursday, December 6th from 5 to 7 pm and at the Escondido Public Library (239 S. Kalmia St) on Tuesday, December 11th, from 5 to 7 pm.
The SDFF Tech Tour gives families the opportunity to purchase COX $9.95 monthly internet as well as the chance to purchase Microsoft refurbished $119 desktops or $149 laptops available at the SDFF Community Technology Center in City Heights. For more information, call 619.855.8007 or visit www.sdfutures.org
The San Diego Futures Foundation is a local nonprofit established in 1999 focusing on technology, aiming to close the gap between those with internet access and those who do not or what is known as the “digital divide.” They provide low cost computer equipment & internet, training, e-waste recycling, technical support as well as web services to San Diego nonprofits and small businesses. In addition, San Diego Futures provides career pathway training that includes technical certifications, hands-on experience and job placement assistance in technology related occupations.
San Diego Pottery Tour Set for This Weekend
The 5th annual San Diego Pottery Studio Tour will take place this weekend from 9am to 4pm. This free self-guided tour has 10 studio stops featuring over 25 of San Diego’s best ceramic artists, spread throughout the neighborhoods of the San Diego metropolitan area. The pottery lover has a rare opportunity to purchase unique handmade gifts for holiday giving. To see the map of the tour and work by participating artists, go to www.sdpotterytour.com.
Over 25 of San Diego’s best ceramic artists will be on hand showcasing their work in commercial and home studios. You are invited to come meet the potters exclusively in the place where they create, develop, and refine their work. At every stop, distinctive and one-of-a-kind pottery will be on display and available for sale.
On This Day: In 1848 President Polk triggered the Gold Rush of ’49 by confirming the fact that gold had been discovered in California. In 1933Prohibition came to an end when Utah became the 36th state to ratify the 21st Amendment to the Constitution. In 1956 Alan Freed’s “Rock Rock Rock” film (with Connie Francis singing for Tuesday Weld) was released.
Did you enjoy this article? Subscribe to “The Starting Line” and get an email every time a new article in this series is posted!
Eat Fresh! Today’s Farmers’ Markets: Carlsbad (Roosevelt St. btw Grand Ave. & Carlsbad Village Dr.) 1 – 5 pm, Encinitas Station (Corner of E Street & Vulcan in parking lot B) 5 – 8 pm, Mission Hills (Falcon St. btw West Washington & Ft. Stockton) 3 – 7 pm, North San Diego at Sikes Adobe Farmstead (I-15 at Via Rancho Parkway. 12655 Sunset Dr., Escondido.) 11 am – 2 pm, Ocean Beach (4900 block of Newport Ave. btw Cable & Bacon Sts.) 4 – 8 pm, San Marcos – Cal State San Marcos (333 S. Twin Oaks Valley Rd., Parking Lot B) 3 – 7 pm,Santee (10445 Mission Gorge Rd. abandoned school parking lot) 3 –7 pm, Temecula (40820 Winchester Rd. Promenade Mall, parking lot btw Macy’s & Penny’s) 9 am – 1 pm
I read the Daily Fishwrap(s) so you don’t have to… Catch “the Starting Line” Monday thru Friday right here at San Diego Free Press (dot) org. Send your hate mail and ideas to DougPorter@SanDiegoFreePress.