By Doug Porter
The Center for Policy Initiatives (CPI) released its annual number crunching report for San Diego yesterday based on 2012 Census data, and picture painted within isn’t pretty.
Despite media reports about how “things are getting better”, CPI’s data point to the reality that the economic recovery has passed by most households and employees in the San Diego region.
“People have less money to spend, even those working full-time,” said CPI Research Director Peter Brownell in a press release. “The wealthiest saw their incomes increase in 2012, but when we hear talk of economic recovery, it hasn’t reached most people in our region.”
Key findings cited by CPI include:
- While the top-earning 20% of households took in half of all income in the region, real median income for all households fell by $1,231 from the previous year.
- More than a quarter (28.4%) of all individuals working full-time, year-round earned less than $30,000, roughly the amount needed for a single person to live self-sufficiently in San Diego County. More than 123,000 full-time or part-time employees fell below the federal poverty level ($11,945 a year for an individual).
- The poverty rate in the county was virtually unchanged at 15% (from 15.1% in 2011), much higher than the pre-recession level of 11.1%. The rate of children living in poverty jumped to 19.8%.
- Besides children, groups hit hardest by poverty – with rates of 20% or higher – included African Americans, Latinos, and the cities ofEl Cajon, San Marcos and Escondido.
- More than 1 million San Diego County residents, a third of the population, lived in economic hardship, at or below double the poverty rate. That measure is used because the federal poverty level, which varies by family size, is unrealistically low compared to costs of living.
Both Sides Dine
It was an interesting evening for politics in San Diego. The right and left sat down for dinner. Not together. In fact, the two events were worlds apart.
On the one hand, there was the Lincoln Club, celebrating thirty years of paving the way for (mostly) Republicans to get elected over at the Mission Bay Hilton.
Featured were Fox News contributor Linda Chavez, along with a special message from Congressman Darrell Issa who’s no doubt touted House GOP’s 42 Votes to Repeal Obamacare, 46 Abortion Bills, 113 Religion Bills, 36 Marriage Bills, 72 Gun Bills and 0 Jobs Bills.
The evening was emceed by Roger Hancock, and sponsors included KUSI News, San Diego Magazine, San Diego Business Journal, and Walmart.
Mayoral candidate Kevin Faulconer was there, along with former Mayor Jerry Sanders, Vince Mudd (Businessman of the Year) and Susie Baumann (Businesswoman of the Year). City Attorney Jan Goldsmith reportedly provided comic relief:
— Anthony G. Manolatos (@tonymanolatos) September 20, 2013
Over at the Bayside Wyndham, the Center for Policy Initiatives (CPI) was hosting its annual gala. Organized labor, local elected Democrats and activist types (including me) mingled freely in a Filner-free atmosphere, and the chatter was focused more on the future than the past.
Among those featured were Tom Lemmon (Building and Construction Trades Council), newly ensconced ACLU leader Norma Chavez-Peterson, Mickey Kasparian (United Food and Commercial Workers). Keynote speaker Bill Fulton, Director of Planning and Neighbor Restoration for the City of San Diego, was introduced by interim Mayor Todd Gloria. I took that intro as a good sign, at least as far as Fulton’s future in this town is concerned.
The evening was emceed by Rabbi Laurie Coskey (Interfaith Committee for Worker Justice) and Johanna Hester ((UDW)/AFSCME Local 3930.) Sponsors included a bunch of union locals, the First Unitarian and Universalist Church of San Diego, and a smattering of small businesses.
Talk during the evening included discussions on economic justice (did you know that over half the employed people in San Diego are working at low wage jobs?) and building community engagement. There were no scatological references about Republicans made.
And in the Interim…
Temporary Mayor Todd Gloria’s been making a bunch of decisions and a bunch of people aren’t happy. Examples include deciding administrative decisions ordered by former Mayor Bob Filner are not valid as far as enforcement of zoning laws relating to medical marijuana dispensaries and food trucks being allowed to operate on private property. As with Jack in the Box’s egregious North Park construction permit violations, Gloria maintains that new ordinances are needed to address these issues.
Other rollbacks of Filner era policies are more subtle. In City Heights, advocates for San Diego bike sharing program are concerned. DecoBike, the operator selected by the City to set up 1,800 three-speed bikes at 180 bike station locations, is giving lip service to the idea that locations in high density transit areas will be a possibility.
From Voice of San Diego:
Whether DecoBike makes it to City Heights isn’t certain. DecoBike representative David Silverman said program organizers are still deciding which neighborhoods will get the bikes.
His company operates primarily in tourist-heavy areas, including Miami Beach. He said proximity to tourist attractions will drive some of the decisions about where they go in San Diego.
Another program I’ve heard may be in trouble is the pilot program (jointly funded by the City and the School Board) offering free bus passes for 1000 or so low income students to increase attendence. Word is that those passes won’t be available October 1st as promised.
MTS is reportedly dragging it feet and/or failing to communicate with community based organizers about problems the program is encountering. A bit of “interim” encouragement could go a long way towards solving the problems, I’m told.
The Race to Endorse
Today’s the last day for wannabe mayoral candidates to file paperwork with the City of San Diego declaring their intentions about running for our city’s top spot.
Word is the Laborers’ International Union of North America (LIUNA) will break with the Labor Council to endorse Nathan Fletcher.
I’ve heard in coming days Councilwomen Myrtle Cole and Marti Emerald, along with Assemblywomen Toni Atkins & Shirley Weber will be jumping on the David Alvarez bandwagon.
GOP candidate Kevin Faulconer isn’t so concerned about endorsements. The handy-dancy innewsource Follow the Money page shows he picked up a cool thirty grand in donations over the past day.
From Talking Points Memo:
Republicans who pressured House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) into taking up a bill to defund Obamacare and risk a government shutdown are following in the tradition of two American civil rights icons, according to one GOP lawmaker.
“It only takes one with passion — look at Rosa Parks, Lech Walesa, Martin Luther King,” Rep. Ted Yoho (R-FL), who was elected to the House last year, told the New York Times in a story published Friday. “People with passion that speak up, they’ll have people follow them because they believe the same way, and smart leadership listens to that.”
The House passed on Friday a continuing resolution that will provide funding for the government but defund the health care law. Passage of the bill, which has no chance of winning approval in the Democratic-controlled Senate, greatly raises the risk of a government shutdown.
Oh, and of course the GOP’s Congressional stalwarts voted to take $40 billion in food stamp aid away from poor Americans yesterday.
On This Day: 1921 – KDKA in Pittsburgh, PA, started a daily radio newscast. It was one of the first in the U.S. 1962 – James Meredith, a black student, was blocked from enrolling at the University of Mississippi by Governor Ross R. Barnett. Meredith was later admitted. 1973 – Jim Croce was killed in a plane crash on his way to Sherman, TX, for a concert. Maury Muehleisen and four others were also killed.
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