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Mon May 18, 2015, 11:07 AM


Poverty in San Diego

May 18, 2015 (San Diego) The Black Lives Matter movement has concentrated on police brutality. It affects lives every day. Yet, the crisis in communities of color is not limited to just police, or over policing. It is but one aspect, though one we are extremely familiar with.

One person in Baltimore asked Gerardo Rivera where was he as his neighborhood got increasingly worst. Rivera never really answered, but the story of his inner city is one of poverty, gang violence, housing stock that is in trouble, and bad schools. The question he asked is quite valid. We decided to look further beyond police brutality and the school-prison pipeline and explore other aspects of our inner city. We decided to look at the full picture in San Diego. Partly to answer that question, but partly because as a society we will need to face to this crisis of poverty sooner or later.

That conversation between Rivera and that nameless Baltimorean matters further, since mostly poverty has not been on the front burner for decades. We have even seen discussions as to whether the war on poverty has failed, but policy has given way to talking points. The first question we need to ask is, how stable is poverty? According to census data in 2000 the percentage of the total population living in poverty was 18.1 percent. In 2010 that percentage grew to 25.7 percent.

The Great Recession of 2008 partially explains this spike in the poverty rate. We find this from the Census Bureau data: “both the number and proportion of people living in poverty areas increased from 49.5 million (18.1 percent) in 2000 to 77.4 million (25.7 percent) in 2010. More than half of the people in poverty (53.5 percent) lived in poverty areas in 2010, an increase from 44.4 percent in 2000.” We also know from the data that 51.1 percent live in urban areas. such as the urban core of San Diego.


I will not bother with GD, it is useless, but if anybody wants to cross post go for it. Suffice it to say, this was a long effort, and digging all those statistics was all kinds of fun. We as a society do not speak of this much, but part of the reason is NAFTA.

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