By Doug Porter
It’s National Bike Month and, like cities all over the United States, San Diego has its fair share of events celebrating the increasing importance of two-wheeled transportation in recent years.
Residents of the city who happen to reside in the city’s eastern neighborhoods have a little less reason to celebrate. San Diego’s much vaunted and oft-delayed bike share program, via the privately run DecoBike, has announced their plan for over 175 pick-up and drop off locations, and it would seem that residents of City Heights, Golden Hill and eastward along El Cajon Boulevard are not part of the picture.
The Miami-based DecoBike held a community workshop in City Heights back in September to let residents weigh in on where they want the rental bikes located. Residents were asked to use green and orange stickers to mark on large-scale maps of San Diego where they would and wouldn’t like bike stations located.
A story on KPBS today highlights the dilemma facing some city residents.
Samantha Ollinger runs the bike advocacy group BikeSD and lives in City Heights. She said she’d like to see the program in neighborhoods where people lack cars and are more likely to walk, bike or use transit.
“We’re giving up public space to a private company and I think the public space ought to benefit the residents, in particular City Heights, which has always, it seems, been neglected from an overall city perspective,” Ollinger said. DecoBike will cover the cost of the stations, but most will sit on public property.
The Mid-City Parking District, which administers parking meter funds in business districts east of Park Boulevard to tackle mobility issues, has also spoken up. It sent a letter to Bill Harris, spokesman for the city’s storm water and transportation projects, urging the city and DecoBike to add stations in Golden Hill and along El Cajon Boulevard.
Downtown, beach and Old Town DecoBike locations will begin operations during June. A second phase of openings later in the year will include sites east to 30th Street and south to San Ysidro.
The bike sharing program allows users to pay hourly fees or use the system on a more regular basis through a two tiered membership program.
For more information on National Bike Month activities, including a Bike the Boulevard event covering some of the areas talked about in this story, go here.
Fighting for Fast Food Workers
Yet another round of protests and mini-strikes is coming up for fast food restaurants. And this time it’s going international.
Via Josh Eidelson at Salon:
On May 15, fast food workers plan to mount one-day strikes in 150 U.S. cities, accompanied by protests in thirty countries, labor sources tell Salon. Organizers expect the walkouts to spread for the first time to cities including Philadelphia, Miami, Orlando, and Sacramento, and to involve thousands of total workers, including hundreds each in cities including St. Louis, Kansas City, Milwaukee, Oakland, Detroit, Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York City.
Abroad, May 15 fast food protests – many of them targeting McDonald’s in particular – are planned in cities including Karachi, Casablanca, London, Sao Paolo, Dublin, Bangkok, Buenos Aires, Geneva, and San Salvador, as well as locations in India, Indonesia, Nigeria, South Africa, and Japan. Activists plan to hold a teach-in outside McDonald’s head office in Auckland, New Zealand; to stage flash mobs at five McDonald’s locations in the Philippines, and to shut down a major McDonald’s during lunchtime in Belgium. The following day, fast food workers in Italy plan to mount their own strike, staging protests in Rome, Milan, and Venice and shutting down stores for the day.
McIndustry Blow Back
Eiselson also got his hands on restaurant industry documents indicating that the National Restaurant Association is very nervous about the ongoing protests.
In internal communications obtained by Salon, the National Restaurant Association, the world’s largest food service trade association, warns of growing traction for “rent-a-mob” fast food protests, describes “closely monitoring social media for any plans or signs of activity” and compiles news about an activist antagonist’s book signings and Wikipedia profile.
The three documents, provided to Salon on condition of anonymity, include December and February “Labor Activism Update” memos and a description of the January board meetings of the National Restaurant Association (the so-called “other NRA”) and the NRA Educational Foundation. The meeting notes are introduced with a message from NRA President and CEO Dawn Sweeney pledging “active engagement in responding to reputational attacks on our industry and the organized wage protests that have gained such traction in the last few months.” Toward that end, the January meeting report reveals that the NRA’s Jobs & Careers Committee and its Restaurant PAC both “recommended that the Restaurant Advocacy Fund provide $600,000 in additional support for the ongoing project to combat the tactics of the Restaurant Opportunities Centers, or ROC, and the new industry reputational campaign.”
Here in San Diego
There will be at least two related protests locally on May 15th, according to a Facebook page entitled San Diego Fast Food Workers on Strike for $15 and a Union.
Stand with San Diego fast-food employees and employees in more than 150 cities across the globe May 15! Fast-food restaurants are part of a $200 billion industry yet fast food workers are among the lowest paid. Profitable fast-food companies can afford to give their workers a decent wages and respect their right to form a union. It’s time for the fast-food giants to treat the people who make and serve their food with respect everywhere! What’s good for fast-food workers is good for San Diego families and our economy!
- 5:30 AM – Meet at the Costco Parking lot (west side) located at 650 Gateway Center Dr/ Market St.
- A separate action will take place at 12:00pm – Meet up time is 11:30am . Start location is the Target/Albertson’s Parking lot (in front of Albertson’s) located at 5950 Balboa Ave.
Subway CEO Ok with National Increase
The right wing narrative about how increasing the minimum wage will harm the fast food industry is losing traction.
In an interview published Wednesday with CNBC, Subway CEO Fred Deluca said he is “not concerned” by the idea of federal minimum wage increase, since it would affect rivals companies just the same and not put anyone at a “particular disadvantage.”
“Over the years, I’ve seen so many of these wage increases,” he told CNBC. “I think it’s normal. It won’t have a negative impact hopefully, and that’s what I tell my workers…”
…Deluca even said he would support measures that would raise the minimum wage automatically. Unlike Social Security and many tax code provisions, the minimum wage is not adjusted each year to account for rising prices.
Statements like Deluca’s are nothing more than cheap talk without activists keeping the subject of low wages in the spotlight. A GOP controlled Congress isn’t even going to consider legislation raising the minimum wage until they have no other choice.
Here’s one other bit of information about the right wing assumptions that “everybody knows.”
In the heated debate over inequality, the wealthy are usually portrayed as the cause rather than the solution.
But CNBC’s first-ever Millionaire Survey reveals that 51 percent of American millionaires believe inequality is a “major problem” for the U.S., and nearly two-thirds support higher taxes on the wealthy and a higher minimum wage as ways to narrow the wealth gap….
The CNBC Millionaire Survey polled 514 people with investable assets of $1 million or more, which represents the top 8 percent of American households. The respondents came from around the country and were split between Democrats, Republicans and Independents.
The online survey was conducted in March by Spectrem Group on behalf of CNBC. The overall margin of error was 4.3 percentage points.
More Breaking Bad News for DA Bonnie Dumanis
District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis attempted to mount a defense of her actions yesterday in the wake of accusations claiming she failed to report accepting free meals from various organizations.
She’s claiming every thing is okay because “I didn’t personally benefit.”
But that’s not the issue here. The complaint against the District Attorney made with the ethics commission says that Dumanis failed to report those freebies as required by law.
Via UT-San Diego:
There is no allegation in the complaint that the free meals for Dumanis were given in exchange for political favors.
Kevin McDermott, the lawyer for former Southwestern College administrator John Wilson, said that does not matter.
“She’s accepting benefits from organizations that can elevate her exposure to the general public, and make her name even more recognizable,” he said. “You might not find the proverbial smoking gun in terms of a kickback, but this is still a classic way of politicians expanding their image with the public. And it’s a freebie.”
Then there’s this:
Another supporter of Brewer filed a complaint with the city ethics commission on Wednesday on another matter.
The complaint alleges Dumanis has failed to unhand more than $10,000 in money given to her 2012 mayoral campaign as part of a foreign-money scheme now under prosecution by the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Dumanis said she intends to do so soon.
On This Day: 1945 -President Harry Truman announced that World War II had ended in Europe 1956 – Alfred E. Neuman appeared on the cover of “Mad Magazine” for the first time. 1986 – Reporters were told that 84,000 people had been evacuated from areas near the Chernobyl nuclear plant in Soviet Ukraine.
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Golden Hill being left off is a bit surprising since it’s one if the main “hipster” neighborhoods where a program like this would be very popular.
Susan Taylor says
Since I volunteer with Groundwork San Diego along Chollas Creek and we have been working on bikeways (bike to bay) for over several years-I have to wonder about communities south of I 94. There’s more to the south of I 8 lament than the mid city corridor. I’ve heard it called Southeastern San Diego.
Another case of the city not knowing what the city is doing. the new 25th St. Revitalization had a goal of promoting bike friendliness. Guess bikes aren’t needed for the process to work.
Dorothy Lee says
A substantial amount of residential MAD assessments was illegally spent, however, to purchase super-expensive, arty, giant-tricycle-shaped bike racks. These went in on the sidewalks in front Golden Hill and South Park businesses, especially those of the supporters of the MAD. When Mayor Filner came into office, he allocated bike-rack money, but sensibly: the small blue U-shaped racks were very low cost.
Privatized government will always spend as much as possible.
Actually, very few bikes are ever seen attached to either kind of rack in GH. Riding bikes is fun, not really too practical. Some people can use them more than others can, for fun or transportation to and from work or pleasure destinations. But try doing the weekly grocery shopping, the pharmacy pickup after work, the Target or Costco trip, or taking the kids to the dentist on a bike. Try going to Counterpoint to drink till 2 a.m. and then riding home. Not a good idea.
Bike riding is not a new thing! And it isn’t a substitute for an automobile. And it never will be, until San Diego streets and neighborhoods look like Beijing. Which seems to be what some density-infill people want.
Bike share, you gotta start somewhere.. bike use and DEMAND will determine optimal locations and evolve…. Can’t wait…
El Cajon Blvd., the old road from the east into San Diego, probably the old native path in the day…from far inland to the bay, a good path…and a great future…