At CPI, we don’t focus on any one industry or geographic area. We believe that achieving economic justice and prosperity for all requires structural changes and a focus on issues that affect all workers regardless of where they work. This includes access to paid sick leave, access to healthcare, protections against wage theft, and greater availability of housing that working people can afford. To achieve this, CPI builds powerful alliances that anchor campaigns to transform institutions so that they reflect the needs and better serve everyday working people and their communities. CPI ensures that worker voices are included in the decision-making process of how these resources are used and who it serves. This year, we continued to focus our work in the City of San Diego, County of San Diego, and San Diego Unified School District. Learn more about our campaign wins and highlights below.
City of San Diego
Community Budget Alliance
In 2022, the Community Budget Alliance (CBA) completed its 10th year of budget advocacy at the City of San Diego. This year, CPI and our partners in the CBA have been assessing how we, as a coalition and community, demand change. We want the city budget to challenge previous status quo budgets by supporting and centering San Diego residents with the greatest need. This means taking a proactive approach to tenant rights and preventing more people from becoming homeless, addressing environmental needs around the city such as more parks and trees in environmental justice communities, and setting up systems that care for Black and Brown youth, elders and low-income families. The FY 2023 budget cycle and previous budget cycles have been marked by wins that address community needs and equities that will continue to push San Diego to be a city for all. These wins are precursors to the change that can be made when we all stand for the needs of the San Diego communities.
CBA coalition members advocating at San Diego City Hall.
$3.57 million for a Housing Stability Fund: The Housing Stability Fund will be distributed through community-based organizations (CBOs) and provide short-term rent relief grants, security deposit assistance to help individuals secure permanent housing, or assistance payments for individuals needing to transition into new housing due to eviction and/or their financial situation.
$1 million Increase to the Climate Equity Fund: The CEF provides funding for projects such as bike lanes, sidewalks, streetlights and park improvements to help low-income communities adapt to the effects of climate change.
$471,000 for City-wide Language Access Program: This will help increase San Diegans’ access, understanding, and engagement in public decision-making in city council meetings, committee meetings, publications, city-wide programs, and community engagement efforts.
$311,106 for a grant writer for sustainability investments: An inter-departmental staff grant writer/grant implementation manager will support climate equity investments in Environmental Justice Communities by finding and applying for grants that increase funding for communities that have been historically excluded.
$287,164 for Chollas Lake Stormwater upgrades for improvements to Chollas Lake and updates to the Chollas Creek Regional Park Updated Master Plan.
$250,000 Barrio Logan Truck Route Traffic Calming: This funding supports the design and installation of traffic calming features along Beardsley St. And Boston Ave. This will move diesel trucks away from driving through Barrio Logan and improve the air quality and health and safety of the community.
$200,000 for a Nexus Study to create a Rental Registry: This funding supports a required study to assess the cost, associated fees, and the logistics of creating a rental registry in the city. This registry would hold all rental data (such as vacant rentals, number of evictions) and requires landlords to update rental information.
Funding for Youth Environmental Recreation Corps to hire staff to develop and support a mentoring academy that would provide youth interns and trainees with opportunities to build leadership skills.
$106,391 for a Transportation Planner to coordinate the transition to zero emission vehicles in public transit and climate action related transportation projects.
Funding for Building Electrification Strategy to create a building decarbonization strategy and begin the transition from using fossil fuels to electricity. We will continue pushing the City to prioritize subsidizing and offsetting costs for low-income families.
County of San Diego
Invest in San Diego Families
Our 2021 Invest in San Diego Families (ISDF) budget advocacy at the County of San Diego resulted in historic wins of funding for programs, services, and policies that have the power to changes people’s lives. This year, we focused on pushing for the programs that we won last year to be implemented with our values in mind and so that people can access these critical services. We have been working with county staff to launch the new offices and programs and tracking the progress here.
1) A worker justice fund that would assist workers facing retaliation on the job and workers who file complaints for wage theft and other labor violations;
2) Creating new public bathroom facilities, installing shower stalls, and providing permanent hand washing stations to improve public health and lessen the criminalization of unsheltered people who are unable to use the bathroom with privacy and dignity;
3) Continuing the immigrant legal defense fund to provide legal representation to people in immigration proceedings,
4) Bilingual pay for county staff who use their language skills as part of their jobs to provide vital services,
5) Increased staffing in the new Office of Labor Standards and Enforcement to investigate industries with high levels of wage theft and support workers in filing claims; and
6) Funding alternatives to incarceration that are better for keeping communities safe and supporting individuals.
All of these are part of an intersectional approach that is essential to improving the mental and physical health of working people and their families.
- – $5 million for Immigrant Legal Defense Fund: This fund is designed to make sure immigrants facing deportation in San Diego County have legal representation.
– $16.9 million for Mobile Crisis Response Teams: This program is designed to provide people with the resources and healthcare they need by having behavioral health experts respond to emergency calls related to a mental health crisis.
– Expanded menstrual hygiene access program: The Free 4 Menstrual Equity pilot program was designed to improve public health and reduce infections by making sure everyone has access to menstrual hygiene products. Access to menstrual hygiene needs to be expanded to more County facilities.
– $1.2 million for the Office of Labor Standards & Enforcement: This office is designed to be a place where workers can get information about their rights to fight wage theft, unsafe working conditions and receive help in filing claims against their employer. Additionally, the office will proactively investigate wage theft and enforce the County’s labor laws.
– $3.3 million for the Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs: This office will provide a centralized location to support immigrants and refugees in accessing the services and resources needed to thrive in San Diego.
– $400,000 for a Doula Care access pilot program: This program is designed to create better health outcomes for low-income families and communities of color by providing assistance during the birthing process and after the baby comes home.
– $1 million over 2 years for the Youth Environmental Corps: This program is designed to provide opportunities for youth to access green jobs.
– $15 million over 3 years for Tenant Counseling & Legal Services (ARPA funding): This funding helps ensure low-income tenants have greater access to information, counseling, and legal representation.
– $40 million for direct stimulus payments.
– Free phone calls: This program is designed to make sure people incarcerated in local jails are able to maintain needed connections with their loved ones without being exploited. The Sheriff’s Department has not provided an update on how they are implementing this program. We need to ensure people have enough time to talk to their loved ones, and that phone access is not taken away as punishment.
– $2 million across County departments for language access: The language access policy is designed to remove language barriers that have historically excluded San Diegans from full democratic participation, and accessing the information, programs and services provided by the County.
San Diego Unified School District
The San Diego Community Schools Coalition was formed in 2018 to help San Diego Unified School District continue evolving to meet the needs of working families by creating community schools in every part of the district. On March 22, 2022, the San Diego Unified School District (SDUSD) Board of Education voted unanimously to designate 5 schools as the first cohort of community schools in the district: 1) Hancock Elementary School, 2) Mountain View School, 3) Millennial Tech Middle School, 4) Hoover High School, 5) ALBA Community Day School.
The school board also passed additional recommendations committing to the growth and maintenance of the community schools initiative in the district. We look forward to continuing our work with our partners to support continued expansion and implementation of the community schools model.
Community Schools Coalition leaders (current and past) at our event this year celebrating the designation of the first five community schools in SDUSD.