CPI is a nonprofit research and action institute dedicated to advancing economic equity for working people and diverse communities throughout the San Diego region. CPI works to increase access to good jobs and quality healthcare, and to improve conditions for low-wage workers and families.

The Center on Policy Initiatives has been at the forefront of the economic justice movement in San Diego since 1997.  We envision local government as an effective champion for the common good, and work to enable residents of all communities to have an informed and powerful voice in decisions affecting their quality of life.

Our work

CPI’s research and analysis on poverty, healthcare, affordable housing and local government has shaped public debate for the last 10 years. It is regularly sought by local and state policymakers on the economy, local government and redevelopment.

CPI has developed innovative model policies to reform and improve government services.

CPI was the driving force behind San Diego’s Living Wage Ordinance, which was passed by the City Council in 2005. This ordinance guarantees a decent wage and healthcare benefits for employees of companies doing business with the city.

CPI won Responsible Contracting language that requires businesses that work with the City be good corporate citizens and bans those with histories of fraud or theft from working with the city.

The Service Worker Retention Ordinance, passed in 2005, protects workers who provide contracted City services from losing their jobs when a contract changes hands.

CPI advocated for San Diego’s Inclusionary Housing Ordinance, which requires that all developers of new housing include 10% affordable housing, or pay a commensurate fee.

CPI created the nation’s first job-quality criteria with livable wages in San Diego’s General Plan (the City’s 20-year guideline for growth).

CPI won a Community Benefits Agreement ensuring that one of the largest downtown developments will have living wage jobs, affordable housing, and green building standards.

CPI developed a policy package to make sure that the public interest is protected if City services are privatized.

CPI was a key partner in the Project Stabilization Agreement at the San Diego Unified School District, to ensure that jobs funded with taxpayer dollars go to local workers.

CPI’s research in The Bottom Line exposed the City’s structural deficit and the need for more revenue.

2013 Impact Report

Click here to download a copy of the impact report.

Networks and Partners

Equal Voice,
Marguerite Casey Foundation

The Partnership for
Working Families

Economic Analysis and
Research Network