Coffee & C.R.E.A.M. podcast- Youth Opportunity Pass

In the second part of our series Dr. Kyra Greene and Jessica Cordova follow up with Mid-City CAN to learn more about their campaign for the Youth Opportunity Pass Program (YOP). Kyra and Jessica sat down with Maria Cortez, Improving Transportation in City Heights Co-Chair, and Abdulrahim Mohamed, adult leader with Mid-City CAN. Maria and Abdul talk about the process of getting the pilot program off the ground. Maria and Abdul also explain their current campaign asking the Metropolitan Transit Service (MTS) to fund the YOP program with state cap and trade dollars.

On December 10, 2014 City Heights youth marched from San Diego High School to the MTS offices in downtown. They held a rally in front of the MTS offices requesting to speak to MTS staff.


In our podcast Maria details the obstacles they have faced when requesting support from MTS for the YOP passes. Maria and Abdul also talk about how they envision the Youth Opportunity Pass program to grow beyond the current high schools and be available to all San Diego students.

Mid-City CAN is not the only organization to see a youth transit crisis and advocate for YOP passes. The Youth Affordabili(T) Coalition in Boston just won a pilot program for youth passes.

These interviews bring up important issues that are common throughout San Diego, our local governments have designed transit systems that focus too much on cars and have done too little to make public transit effective and affordable. For many working families an ineffective transit system means a lot of time away from each other and fewer opportunities for young people to participate in after-school activities, internships, jobs and sometimes to go to school at all. In other words effective, affordable transit can be part of our investment in youth who are after all our next generation of leaders.

If you are interested in supporting the Youth Opportunity Passes you can call your Council Member and tell them that MTS should use cap and trade money to fund YOP passes. Click here to see which Council Members serve on the MTS Board.

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Martin Luther King Jr.'s Economic Dream and the San Diego Reality

Dr. King painted his vision of economic justice with clear visuals:


In San Diego County 300,000 families lack economic security. Many of these families may technically have access to education, food and housing but in very real terms their wages do not afford them the ability to truly attain the American dream.

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San Diego Fast-Food Workers Walk Out In Biggest-Ever Strike to Hit Industry

Across the Country, Push for Higher Pay Spreads as Home Care Workers and Security Officers Call for $15/Hr

In Just Two Years, Fast Food Cooks and Cashiers Have Sparked Broad Movement to Lift Wages for Families Living on the Brink8 Million Low-Wage Workers Have Seen Raises


Two years after 200 New York City fast-food workers walked off their jobs, sparking a nationwide movement for $15 and union rights, cooks and cashiers at McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s, Sonic and other major national chains went on strike Thursday in San Diego along with fast-food workers in more than 190 cities— the most ever.

Nationally, striking fast-food workers were joined for the first time by convenience store clerks and dollar-store workers in two-dozen cities. The Home Care Workers’ Fight for $15, which launched in September, more than tripled in size, reaching 19 cities from coast to coast including San Diego. Also Thursday, federally-contracted food service workers at a gigantic McDonald’s location at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC, went on strike, joining the call for $15/hour.

“Each month we struggle and I worry about where we will live next month,” said Emmanuel Wimer, a McDonald’s employee.  Wimer earns $9 an hour and provides for his disabled mother, all while working to put himself through school. His father was deported when he was twelve.

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Coffee & C.R.E.A.M. podcast- City Heights Skate Park

In our first podcast our budget and infrastructure specialist, Kyra Greene, sits down with Angeli Hernandez, a member of the Mid-City Youth Council, to chat about the 3-year process where youth mobilized and worked with the city and community residents to build a Skate Park in City Heights. Angeli talks about the recent obstacles they've faced due to a small group of residents who've threatened to sue the city to prevent the construction of the park.  


Angeli and Mid-City Youth Council worked with the Tony Hawk Foundation and Human Impact Partners to study the possible health effects of the Skate Park.


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Living and working in poverty: Grim reality in "America’s Finest City"

The phrase “living in poverty” is one of those shorthand terms that rolls easily off the tongues of news anchors and politicians before they turn to the next topic. We all tend to glaze over the full meaning of the phrase, the grinding day-to-day misery of hunger, worry, discomfort, exhaustion and despair.

In the City of San Diego, the proportion and number of people living in poverty edged up in 2013. It should have gone down. Instead, 7,000 more people in the city live in poverty now, in addition to the 202,000 who remain in that dire situation from the previous year.

Statistically, it was a small increase, nothing drastic. When CPI reported it last month in an analysis of new data from the U.S. Census Bureau, the main response from local media and others was a yawn.

But consider what that statistic means. We are supposedly four years into a recovery from the national recession. Local industry has indeed recovered; the San Diego region’s economic output has rebounded above pre-recession levels. People are working hard and companies are making money. But wages, here as elsewhere, have not kept up. The recovery in profits is not being shared with the people doing much of the work.

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