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MAR 2023 NEWS: We demand a Worker Justice Fund

MARch newsletter

In This Issue:

  • Budget Advocacy
  • Education Equity
  • Save the Date: SEJ Mixer & Fundraiser
  • In Case You Missed It
  • Job Opportunities 


County of San Diego

After years of advocacy led by CPI and our partners in the Invest in San Diego Families coalition, the Board of Supervisors voted to create a County Office of Labor Standards and Enforcement (OLSE) in 2021.  As we’ve documented, wage theft is common. Despite this, many workers do not even know that some practices are illegal. And even when workers know their rights, the process to recover wages can be hard to access and it takes a long time to get a final judgment. After all of that, many workers who win their cases still do not receive the money they are owed.  

As part of our ongoing fight to hold businesses accountable when they steal from their employees, we are calling on the County to create a Worker Justice Fund to ensure workers get the wages they are owed. The County would provide workers with money equal to what the San Diego Division of Labor Standards Enforcement determined that their employers stole. Then, the County would recover this money from the businesses committing wage theft. The funds would also be used to help support workers facing retaliation in the process of filing claims. Inewsource published a series of important articles on wage theft and the efforts to create a worker justice fund at the County of San Diego. 

Have you or anyone you know experienced wage theft? Please email us if you’re willing to talk to us about your experience.  

City of San Diego

Earlier this month, Community Budget Alliance (CBA) member, Pillars of the Community (Pillars) along with community leaders representing organizations such as PHATCAMP, ISSA VIBE, Giving Hands, and United for the Youth held a press conference urging the City Council and the Mayor to “Invest in our Community.” Pillars and their partners have been working to establish two youth drop-in centers in the Memorial and Stockton neighborhoods of San Diego. Community leaders shared the experiences they and other community members face in Southeast San Diego, where they have dealt with a lack of investment in youth programs and young people compared to wealthier areas of San Diego. These drop-in centers would provide resources for career counseling, mental health support, recreational activities and other personal development activities.  

These demands are included in the CBA’s FY24 People’s Budget demands. Mayor Todd Gloria’s proposed budget will be released on April 14. Stay tuned for actions and next steps from the CBA!  

State of California

CPI and our partners in the California Coalition for Worker Power (CCWP) are fighting to preserve $25 million in the 2023-2024 state budget.  

These funds were previously committed to continue California’s COVID-19 Workplace Outreach Project (CWOP). CWOP was originally launched as part of The Labor and Workforce Development Agency’s (LWDA) campaign to educate workers on paid leave, COVID mitigation health standards, and anti-retaliation protections. CWOP exceeded LWDA’s metrics for success and helped create a highly effective piece of workplace fairness infrastructure in California.  

We are also advocating for the program to be renamed the “California Workplace Outreach Program” to recognize that the need for this critical education work is not confined to the pandemic. For policy work like ours to be most effective, we have to have consistent, culturally responsive ways to continue educating workers about their rights.


On Thursday, March 16th, CPI joined teachers with the San Diego Education Association (SDEA), parents, students, and other members of the San Diego Community Schools Coalition at a rally to demand fair pay, smaller class sizes, more counselors, and more after school programs for our youth. Teachers and other educators in San Diego Unified School District (SDUSD) have been working for a year without a contract.  

Parents in SDUSD have told the San Diego Community Schools Coalition that the lack of access to affordable, culturally relevant after school programs is a significant problem. Parents are standing up for their right to be actively involved in deciding what enrichment activities are offered in their neighborhood schools. By joining the teachers’ union, we can fight together for changes that benefit students and their families. 

Our students deserve more! 
Add your name to our pledge to show your support.

Check out press coverage of schools picketing across the district:  


Save the date to join us on Thursday, May 11th 5-8pm for the return of our SEJ Mixer & Fundraiser! 

This event, generously hosted by SEJ Advisory Board members Kelly Mayhew and Jim Miller, is something many of us look forward to each year. After a 3-year pandemic-pause, we’re thrilled to bring everyone together again this year. Mark your calendars and sign up for our SEJ email list where we’ll share more details very soon. 


Under the Perfect Sun at 20 Years

Earlier this month, authors Kelly Mayhew and Jim Miller reflected on Under the Perfect Sun, the book they wrote 20 years ago with Mike Davis covering an alternative history of San Diego. The book covers much of the history and economic conditions that led to the formation of CPI. We’re proud and grateful to have Kelly and Jim serving on the Advisory Board of CPI’s Students for Economic Justice program. Kelly also serves on CPI’s Board of Directors.  

If you missed the event, watch the livestream here and find a copy of the book at your local library.  

Co-Governing Toward Multiracial Democracy Report Launch

CPI is featured in a new report, Co-Governing Toward Multiracial Democracy, by Race Forward and Partners for Dignity & Rights. The report features powerful models of collaborative governance led by communities of color across the country.    

The report launched last month with a panel discussion featuring three inspiring movement leaders from Black and immigrant community organizations and their work. They shared lessons and challenges for communities and local governments interested in collaborating to advance racial and economic justice.


We are currently hiring for the following positions. Click to learn more:  

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As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, CPI relies on the generous support of our community to operate. If you would like to support our fight for economic and social justice, please consider becoming a monthly donor or making a one-time donation. Thank you so much!

Written by CPI San Diego

Justice for Warehouse Workers/ Justicia Para Trabajadores de almacen

join the fight against wage theft/ Unéte a la lucha contra robo de salario