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February 2006

Downtown San Diego has changed dramatically in recent years, boasting luxury condos and an upscale nightlife. Less obvious is the public’s investment of over $871 million in downtown’s redevelopment over the last 30 years.

This public funding was intended to revamp blighted communities and alleviate poverty.  But the funding has helped create thousands of low-wage jobs, forcing workers to live in poverty or struggle to make ends meet.

We can’t build a strong economy by creating jobs that require working people to rely on taxpayer-funded safety net programs, further burdening our healthcare system with uninsured families. The façade of revitalization only masks the impoverished communities it creates and stifles the opportunity to gain new consumers and taxpayers.

Since most new hotel, retail and office jobs downtown are low-income, exacerbating the affordable housing shortage, CPI asks: is Downtown for Everybody?