By Doug Porter
The poverty rate in San Diego has risen over the past year according to data released by U.S. Census Bureau this week. A total of 209,045 San Diegans (15.8%) lived below the federal poverty level last year, including more than 64,000 children (21.9%) of all children in the city.
The release of this report comes two days after the San Diego Chamber of Commerce claimed success in a referendum campaign effectively halting implementation of a local minimum wage increase. Much of the money for that campaign reportedly came via the California Restaurant Association.
According to an analysis released by the the Center on Policy Initiatives (CPI) on Thursday morning, wages in many of the city’s largest industries remain flat three years after the recession ended, with the lowest earnings in the hotel and restaurant industry.
Here are some key findings of the CPI study
- The City of San Diego’s poverty rate increased slightly in 2013, to 15.8%, from 15.5% in 2012. A total of 209,045 San Diegans lived below the federal poverty line in 2013, meaning an additional 7,000 people fell below that low mark last year.
- Among those living in poverty in San Diego, 62,656 were employed, including 13,878 people working full-time all year. Wages were stagnant at low levels in some of the city’s largest industries. More than 1 in 5 full-time, year-round employees in San Diego earned less than the amount needed for a single person to live self-sufficiently in this region.
- The poverty rate for children in the City of San Diego rose to 21.9% – more than one in five. That means 64,077 children in the city lived in poverty in 2013, nearly 19,000 more than in pre-recession 2007.
- The data released today by the US Census Bureau for 2013 show deep inequality in San Diego. More than half of all income in the city (51.1%) went to the top fifth of households, while the bottom fifth of households had only 3% of the income. At the very top, the 5% highest-earning households received almost a quarter of all income in the city.
An analysis of the census data by inewsource posted at KPBS was also gloomy:
If you live in the San Diego area and still feel pinched by the Great Recession of 2007-2009, census information released Thursday says that should be no surprise.
The median income (that’s right in the middle — half the households are above, half are below) in the San Diego-Carlsbad metro area was $61,426 in 2013, down 6.3 percent from 2009’s $65,575.
The San Diego area recorded the sixth-steepest decline in income among the country’s 25 largest metros. The figure was statistically unchanged from 2012.
A 21st Century Way to Make Your Voice Heard
A “meme” campaign has emerged on local social media aiming to shame a restaurant industry trade group on the eve of the San Diego Restaurant Week promotion.
While I had nothing to do with creating the graphics being passed around, I certainly have endorsed this campaign via Twitter and Facebook.
This is the kind of campaign that’s unlikely to be reported on by the local media (a LOT of ad money goes into supporting restaurant week). It’s up to you to spread the word. You can do it with a mere click or two. And supporting this campaign is something anybody can do. Please “share” the graphics early and often.
Let’s make sure the restaurant industry hears that there are people who don’t buy their argument that paying poverty wages is an acceptable business model. After all, we’re the ones being asked to make up the difference via food stamps and other programs.
(You can copy these graphics by right clicking and choosing “save image as” or “copy” from the menu that pops up.)
And The Loser is: Barrio Logan
The city government has dodged a long-promised discussion about where to locate the Winter Emergency Homeless Shelter for the coming season.
Mayor Kevin Faulconer’s office has decided to keep the shelter in Barrio Logan, a decision made without input from District 8 Councilman David Alvarez or anybody else in the community.
The issue will be discussed at a City Council meeting on October 7, and the call has gone out for Barrio Logan residents to appear and demand that another community house the shelter or at least take steps towards mitigating the issues arising from an increased transient population.
I say “good luck with that.” While the promised steps towards creating a new community plan following the industry funded campaign to trash the last effort are in hiatus, the city is also not enforcing an agreement to divert large trucks from residential areas and the word via Twitter is that permits to allowing polluting industries adjacent to residential complex are making their way through City Hall.
All in all, this amounts to a big City of San Diego middle finger being aimed at the residents of Barrio Logan.
San Diego Nears 1000 Days of Drought
Thanks to a story posted on KPBS this morning I’ve learned just how dry we are in San Diego.
In case you haven’t noticed, 2014 is the hottest year in San Diego County since recording temperatures began 120 years ago.
Despite Tuesday’s thunderstorms, San Diego is nearing a grim milestone of 1,000 days of drought. The conditions are taking a toll across the state.
Since Jan. 1, 2011, the amount of statewide rainfall has been dismal. In the nearly 1,000 days since a drought was declared, most regions in San Diego County have fallen more than a foot of rain below average, said Alex Tardy, warning coordination meteorologist with the National Weather Service San Diego.
“So everything is stressed including the water supply, soil moisture is extremely dry, fuel vegetation, fire weather is basically near record levels — everywhere outside of where there’s been monsoonal thunderstorms,” Tardy said.
Park(ing) Day Comes to El Cajon Boulevard
Council President Todd Gloria will be on hand Friday at 2pm to celebrate the opening of a brand-new city parklet in front of Mama’s Lebanese Bakery and the Live Wire Bar at El Cajon Blvd and Alabama Street.
The event will commemorate Park(ing) Day, which is celebrated internationally on the third Friday of September, day showcasing creative innovation in urban environments. Parklets are a progression of this popular movement, proving that permanent public gathering spaces and urban vitality can precedent over auto-dominated landscapes.
San Diego’s latest parklet effort was spearheaded by the El Cajon Boulevard BIA, a non-profit organization with a mission of revitalizing one of our city’s grand corridors.
The BIA staff reached out to a likely pair of progressive business owners, Sam Chammas and Eddie Haidar, teaming them up and with architect Jorge Michios to get a parklet implemented.The design was influenced by the pallete of colors and landscaping that are common between the two neighboring businesses.
The cost of the project was funded in partnership between the two business owners and the Mid-City Parking District, as well as in kind support from Phil Reyes (Licensed Architect), Jon Wreschinsky (CAD), Rodolfo Ocio (Commercial Interior Designer/Architect), New School of Architecture & Design (Administrative Support), Laura Burnett (Licensed Landscape Architect), Leslie Ryan (Licensed Landscape Architect). Custom Furniture is also being built by a local group out of City Heights, LARK Design Co.
During the early planning phase of the parklet, on-street parking was converted from parallel to head-in parking. This means that after the installation of the parklet, there will ultimately be a net gain of three spaces for cars and capacity for eight bicycles in the bicycle corral, which is incorporated into the design of the parklet.
The San Diego Park(ing) Day network and other groups have announced plans for temporary parklets to be set up on Friday.
**Good Earth Plant Company Inc. at @ 7922 Armour street, Kearny Mesa
**Zagrodnik + Thomas Architects @ 30th Street between Lincoln and University Aves
**Natures Express @ 2949 5th Ave
**Super Cocina @ 3627 University Avenue, City Heights
**Makers Quarter @ 6th Street between F + G and one space in front of Monkey Paw.
** Pacific Beach @ the southeast corner of Everett and Garnett, west of the Trader Joe’s
**Downtown @ 4th between Market and Island with GIANT scrabble board from 8:00-1:00.
On This Day:1793 – President George Washington laid the actual cornerstone of the U.S. Capitol. 1850 – The Fugitive Slave Act was declared by the Congress. The act allowed slave owners to claim slaves that had escaped into other states. 1970 – James Marshall “Jimi” Hendrix died in his London apartment at the age of 27. The death was from an overdose of sleeping pills.
Did you enjoy this article? Subscribe to “The Starting Line” and get an email every time a new article in this series is posted!
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@
Frank Gormlie says
Congrats! You made local google news!
Frank Gormlie says
Doug, how bout we do a post entitled: “Stop the war on San Diego’s workers”
Shelly Schwartlander says
The restaurant workers’ living conditions due to such low pay here should concern the type tourists our mayor and former mayor are courting. It seems there is so much objection to immigration across the southern border, and really stupid “fears” about Ebola and whatever else they enjoy being afraid of, but if it is a concern it should be known that many, many low-paid workers in San Diego cross the border daily as they live there. Even non-hispanic lowest-paid workers here live in TJ as they can only afford housing there. The fact that someone lives in TJ doesn’t concern me for health reasons but any food server who has to work for low pay AND spend the time crossing the border daily, especially when ill, is not living very well at all. Tourists need to know the whole picture. I don’t know how those numbers fit into the statistics given but it’s true that our economy here is a fake one when pay is so low and rents are so high. If it weren’t for cheaper housing in TJ the city would have fewer workers probably. The chamber of commerce cares little about the tourists once they’ve paid and they demonstrate that by paying the workers tourists are served by as little as possible.
John Lawrence says
Any plans for picketing San Diego Restaurant Week?
Doug Porter says
No. There is not enough information about who to target until after the financial disclosures for the “Small Business Coalition” become public in October.
There will be plenty of opportunities between now and June 2016.