Posts by Clare Crawford
By Clare Crawford | March 19, 2013 |
It is my great pleasure to introduce Peter Brownell, PhD, who joins CPI’s staff this month as our new research director.
Dr. Brownell comes to CPI from the RAND Corporation, an international nonprofit think tank that is well known for its rigorous empirical research on a wide range of issues relevant to public policy.
After an exhaustive national search, we found the ideal leader of our research team here at home. Dr. Brownell lives in San Diego with his wife and two daughters, and has been commuting to RAND’s Santa Monica headquarters.
While there, he led research projects investigating Mexican immigrants’ wages and the role of US policy on immigrants in the labor market. He is very familiar with the impact of low wages on working families and on the overall regional economy. He also has researched occupational health and youth health risks such as smoking and childhood obesity.
Dr. Brownell’s expertise and research skills will be a tremendous addition to CPI’s research and policy staff as we build on our track record of producing high-quality research that illuminates problems and advances policy solutions.
Our work will continue to focus on relieving poverty and inequity and enhancing access to good jobs, livable wages, affordable healthcare and quality public services in the San Diego region.
Please join me in welcoming Peter to CPI. I hope you’ll have a chance to meet him soon at one of our events or actions.
By Clare Crawford | February 7, 2013 |
Take a look at this CPI op-ed published this week. It may get you thinking about how the budget for city services affects your life.
It’s budget season at San Diego City Hall, and this year for the first time, we have a Mayor who ran on a “Neighborhoods First” platform. The stage is set for a budget process that will prioritize the needs of city residents and diverse communities.
City services took a beating under the previous administration, when the focus was on budget-cutting rather than measuring and ensuring adequate service levels. As our op-ed states: “It’s time for a real conversation about the need to deliver the services San Diegans expect and deserve.”
City services aren’t luxuries. Cutting them below needed levels harms our quality of life and can result in far greater costs, such as the recent court judgment linking a horrific accident to a lack of city tree trimming.
CPI and the Community Budget Alliance will be at City Hall frequently this spring, working for adequate and equitable funding of crucial city services and infrastructure improvements. (Here’s a recent news clip of CBA members in action.)
We’ll be in touch throughout the budget process. Here are some key dates: Councilmembers must send their budget priorities to the Mayor by March 1, and the Mayor releases his budget April 15. The final budget vote is expected on June 10.
By Clare Crawford | December 2, 2012 |
Remember, FDR created the New Deal after telling advocates, “I agree with you. Now make me do it.”
Working poverty is one of the biggest challenges we face in San Diego, and it’s preventable. A third of all adults in our region who live below the official poverty level are employed. No one who works should earn so much less than the basic cost of living. Are you with us?
The Details: Dec. 4 – 14, CPI and its partners are reaching out to our supporters, social connections and neighbors to gather 500 letters urging the mayor to make working poverty a priority. Now is the time to speak up. We have the chance to pass strong policies that will lift working people out of poverty through living wages, access to affordable healthcare and the creation of quality jobs. As a result, the whole city will do better.
Please sign the letter and show Mayor Filner that you want him to “Make Poverty a Priority” in San Diego. Help us reach our goal of 500 signers!
After you sign, visit us at:
Over the next two weeks, we will feature guest blogs, key facts, and shareable images. We need your help to spread the word. Every click, share and forward you make will help us reach our goal of 500 signers – and help the City of San Diego “Make Poverty a Priority.”
Special thanks to our collaborators: Mid City CAN, Proyecto Casas Saludables, Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE), Interfaith Committee for Worker Justice of San Diego County (ICWJ), San Diego and Imperial Counties Labor Council, Employee Rights Center (ERC), Greater Logan Heights Community Partnership (GLHCP), BAME CDC, MAAC Project, United Taxi Workers of San Diego (UTWSD), Veterans Democratic Club of San Diego County, California Democratic Party Chicano Latino Caucus- Region X (SanDiego), Students for Economic Justice Alumni (SEJ), Bay Terrace Community Association (BTCA), San Diego Free Press (SDFP), Asociación de Michoacanos Andarani de San Diego y Amigos (AMASDA), Women Occupy San Diego, Instituto Binacional de las Fronteras (IBF), the Cesar Chavez Service Clubs, the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), Activist San Diego, National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum (NAPAWF), Canvass for a Cause, NAACP San Diego Branch and the Peace Resource Center of San Diego.
Thank you in advance for your support!
By Clare Crawford | December 1, 2012 |
Before we welcome 2013, I want to share with you a short video of CPI’s highlights from this year:
2012 was great in many ways, but it was also tough for too many working families.
Many who earn poverty wages and work without healthcare are counting on us to seize the opportunities ahead and transform them into real community empowerment and policy change.
Your actions have already made a important difference. We need you with us now and in the exciting year ahead.
Please click here to make your 2012 tax-deductible donation. Every donation counts and will help CPI hit the ground running in 2013.
Thank you for your dedication to fighting economic injustice and inequity!
By Clare Crawford | November 22, 2012 |
We’re thankful for volunteers and friends like YOU, who in both good and bad times remain dedicated to creating a better San Diego for all.
- Schoolchildren throughout the city won’t lose valuable class time because voters approved Proposition 30 and Proposition Z.
- Union members retain their right to advocate for themselves because California voters rejected Proposition 32.
- The bank that owns the foreclosed house across from Rafael Bautista’s home will finally have to clean it up – and won’t get away with leaving other houses in blight – since the San Diego City Council passed the Property Value Protection Ordinance.
Thank you for your hard work and have a wonderful Thanksgiving!
Clare Crawford and the CPI Team
By Clare Crawford | October 22, 2012 |
Proposition P in Escondido is a power grab by politicians and business interests that want to circumvent wage standards for workers on public works projects. It would change Escondido from a general law city to a charter city form of government
Rather than save money as proponents claim, it would transfer money from taxpayers and local workers to the pockets of private contractors. Here are some things Prop P would do:
- A few politicians would gain broad new powers, including the ability to impose taxes and fees without a vote of the citizens, and to award contracts without competitive bidding.
- Contractors would no longer have to pay local workers the prevailing wage for the region.
- The city would be divided into electoral districts, with politicians drawing safe districts for themselves, in a costly process.
- Any change to the charter would require the expense of additional elections, potentially leading to expensive litigation.
Prop P is a bad idea for the people of Escondido. It removes crucial checks and balances now and far into the future. Vote NO on Prop P.
Read our other ballot recommendations here.
By Clare Crawford | October 22, 2012 |
The outcomes of local ballot measures are crucial for working families.
State cuts in school funding have severely hurt our schools. Prop. Z provides critically needed local school funding that Sacramento CANNOT take away.
Here are the facts about Proposition Z:
- It funds essential repairs to make 60-year-old schools safe, for example by removing asbestos, fixing frayed wiring and replacing obsolete fire alarms.
- It prevents teacher layoffs by relieving the burden on operating funds.
- It preserves San Diego’s nationally recognized “Classroom Technology Program” that has helped raise test scores for four years straight. Without Prop. Z, that program ends in 2014.
- It prevents “Poway-style” long-term, high-interest bonds.
- Every dime goes to local schools, with complete transparency, annual audits and details of every project available online.
If you live and vote in the San Diego Unified School District, stand up for our children’s future and vote YES on Proposition Z.
Read our other ballot recommendations here.
By Clare Crawford | October 8, 2012 |
Sen. Christine Kehoe, a San Diego legend for her advocacy of social and economic justice, will give the keynote speech at CPI’s 15th Anniversary Gala this Wednesday.
During her eight years representing San Diego in the state Senate and four years in the Assembly, Sen. Kehoe has earned deep respect as a leader on environmental protections, good government, and civil rights. A pioneering activist in San Diego for women’s services and AIDS funding, she served for most of the 1990s on the City Council, where she championed expansion of elementary schools and afterschool programs, among many other achievements.
Wednesday evening, Sen. Kehoe and other luminaries will help CPI celebrate the value of education in providing equal opportunity for all Californians and a strong foundation for the state’s economy. The honorees include community college and state university faculty, apprenticeship trainers, Richard Barrera of the San Diego Unified School District Board, and the San Diego DREAM Team.
p.s. Our raffle prize is a luxurious, health-filled week for two at the world-renowned Rancho La Puerta spa in Tecate. Previous winner Olivia Puentes-Reynolds wrote that “Rancho La Puerta was a profound experience that will remain with me through the rest of my life.”
Mail-in ballots start arriving next week for the November 6 election. Beneath the high-profile races is a long list of initiatives with potentially dramatic impacts.
CPI strongly recommends voting YES on Proposition 30 and NO on Proposition 32. In the San Diego Unified School District, we recommend YES on Proposition Z.
YES on Prop 30 – Temporary Taxes to Fund Education
Proposition 30 would create revenue of approximately $6 billion dollars annually, primarily to support California’s education system. It would prevent drastic cuts scheduled for the current school year, both in K-12 and higher education. On the local level, without passage of Prop 30, San Diego Unified School District would be forced to increase class sizes and lay off up to 1,000 educators.
Prop 30 also guarantees that revenues will be available to local government to fund vital services like public safety. Responsibility for these programs was transferred from the state to local government in 2011, and this measure ensures the funding also will be transferred.
Revenues from this initiative would come mainly from the highest income Californians. The money could only be used to fund education and the other programs specifically outlined in the initiative, and the state legislature could not change that.
NO on Prop 32 – Special Exemptions Act
Masquerading as campaign finance reform, Prop 32 claims to take all corporate and labor money out of politics, but doesn’t. It takes workers and unions out, but keeps corporations in. By prohibiting raising money for political campaigns through voluntary payroll deductions – the method used by unions – it bars the organized voice of workers from political participation, while allowing corporate profits to be spent freely.
Prop 32 is funded by wealthy conservatives and donor organization, and would kick their most significant opposition out of the political arena. That would clear the way for initiatives to deregulate industries, remove consumer protections, defund public services and roll back workplace standards.
Prop 32 is the most important measure on the ballot this year. It’s essential that everyone who values democracy not only vote against it but help inform others that Prop 32 is a deceptive power grab by corporate interests.
YES on Prop Z – San Diego Unified School District facility bond
Prop Z will provide urgently needed funding for every neighborhood school and charter school in the San Diego Unified School District. It will fix leaky roofs and deteriorating electrical wires at 60-year-old schools, and construct new classrooms, science labs and other facilities in neighborhoods where the population has outgrown the schools. And it will make sure all our schools meet health and safety standards. The school district has been hard hit by state budget cuts, and Prop Z will provide local funding Sacramento can’t touch.
Click here to read CPI’s position on the other statewide ballot initiatives and download our handy voters’ guide bookmark. Please share this message!
By Clare Crawford | September 10, 2012 |
Imagine you live in a busy part of town. One morning, you hear a loud rumbling. You go outside and see a tractor tearing down a historical building that the community was planning to restore.
When you follow up with local and state officials, none of them were notified of this major change. As you investigate further, you find out the retailer planning a huge new store has made no guarantees to hire its employees locally. To make matters worse, the retailer regularly pays poverty wages, undermines local businesses and lobbies to pay minimal local taxes on its hefty profit. It is possible that your community won’t benefit at all from the destruction.
If you live in San Diego’s Sherman Heights neighborhood, you do not have to imagine it. Walmart has torn down the historical farmer’s market and the residents are doing everything possible to stop construction of a big-box store. When local residents asked Walmart to collaborate with them, Walmart refused to do so.
It features a Walmart employee and a small business owner talking about the negative impacts of Walmart on San Diego. Will you join them in speaking out on September 22 at the “We Deserve Better” march? San Diego deserves better jobs than the average $9 an hour paid by Walmart. On behalf of concerned San Diego residents, small business owners and Walmart workers, we thank you for speaking out against Walmart’s un-neighborly business practices. Every step we take gets us a little closer to a San Diego that works for all.