Sunday, May 22nd


Transcript - Not for consumer use. Robot overlords only. Will not be accurate.

Good morning and welcome to another edition of living veteran San Diego public service presentation of the at a town San Diego radio stations and Jerry late. The center on policy initiatives is a local research and action institute. Dedicated to creating economic prosperity sustainable communities. And a healthy environment for all wanting their folks stop right now something that is definitely a hot topic. This problem I the minimum wage and sick days measures that'll be on the jeans at the ballot. Joining us this morning to talk about what they're doing to make San Diego better place to live and talk about profit I. Is senator on policy initiatives and research director doctor Peter Brownell an employee rights senator director a lore Calderon. Welcome Peter welcome. Follow up into the air. Peter let's start with a little background information on your organization as the center on policy initiatives yes there were a local San Diego organization that works on issues of economic justice. Essentially what I can think of his lowly worker issues in effect such workers and their families. I'm here in the region that we focus on research and then also. I development of policies to to improve people's lives basically and how long has the organization and been around. I'm nineteen years that we twenty years next next year. What what is the mission the goal. The center on policy initiatives CPI well broadly speaking. Where you know we're focused on economic justice on. You know creating policies that really. Used a local. Political process that the cities the colonies. I'm to improve people's lives a lot of people would you know would identify with the statement that there's gridlock in Washington DC. They are not getting things done there so really our focus is. You know. If we're trying to it to make improvements. I'm and particularly improvements that address you know economic inequality that address that the difficulties that those who do the hard work of making our region and run. I'm facing their day to day life that I'm our local governments can be. Really effective at you know really effective forums that are responsive currently should be responsive to that the local residents in terms of I'm adopting policies that can make really concrete improvements in people's everyday lives and that's what's your background. Have you always been involved in organizations like this. Com now I haven't I am I have a Ph.D. in sociology and a master's degree in demography both from UC Berkeley. So I spent some time before working here or if the Rand Corp. in Santa Monica. But I do have a background of you know working on. You know you know at least in a volunteer capacity and in other capacities before I started graduate school also working on similar issues around. I'm economic justice immigrants rights. Workers' rights now. Yeah on the one hand I would say have a long history in sort of those broad area as I've worked at CPI for a little over three years since the research director. Before we. Give in to you on the focus of your organization talk about some of the things that you don't what is your if students for economic justice fellowship. Yes and that's a summer paid internship program that's open issue college students in the region. I'm that focuses on. Focuses on organizing and economic justice is in game kind of implies. Seven days students who enroll in the program they both get training in terms of sort of sit down classroom presentations around the regional economy around. I'm issues of equity and economic justice but they're also placed with local. Community organizations and labor organizations that are engaged in organizing to organizing internships that they go out and learn the ropes in terms that if I'm talking to people and kind two engage people to address problems that those organizations are working at all. And has somebody get into this program yeah absolutely said there's. An application process we've already selected our fellas for this summer. On the folks who are interested in. In keeping their eyes open on a program for next summer. I'm can sign up on our email list at CPI San Diego not organ and get all of our emails or they can just keep an and that website and when we am. You know when we do post that application process. Next spring. That that's where we'd be posting on the website there OK now now one of the things that CPI strives for is. Improving our communities. In and in particular. The older urban communities that are that are being overlooked. What are you doing in this area to make San Diego there. I'm wolf one of the programs that we run in it in a general sort of area of infrastructure budget and the is our community budget alliance and so that's focused on you know again as I said our local governments can be you know if if people really engaging them they can be am important lever for change and to address people's problems so. Between a budget alliance is groups that we work with of other community organizations that represented as you're mentioning. Some of the older. I neighborhoods that that I think would identify as underserved in terms of you know in some cases basic infrastructure. You know sidewalks. You know potholes issues like that. I'm libraries fire stations so so basically what the tree budget alliance has done is worked with. Does community organizations and their man started to train them about just how the city's budget process works as a first step so people understand. You know what that looks like on an annual basis and also what decisions and funding decisions are made with their tax dollars. I'm and then we've also advocated at the city. Come together with other organizations both around specific budget proposals but also to change the process and one of them. One of victories that we've had early on in terms of just making it easy for you know people who work nine to five over or even more. I'm to integrate into the process was moving the budget hearings where are moving at least one of the budget hearings where. All these issues about what's in the budget. And you know the opportunities to it this gas to to put forward. Important things for our neighborhoods so that folks who work all day. I'm you have an opportunity to testify before the city council on. What are the things that matter for them and their neighborhoods. I'm so that's that's part of the process and I think we face you know we face a multi billion dollar infrastructure. Deficit here in it in the city saying we you know I don't think even the city really. Foley has a grasp on just you know they're still trying to sort of takes stock of like all the improvements and changes today to address that really are across that across the whole city. But I think one of the things histories are you know are older neighborhoods. I'm they were both built earlier and so that infrastructure that was built when those subdivisions were originally built it's much more likely to be crumbling. But also that it funding mechanisms have changed over time zone you're. I'm newer developments. Have a different funding stream that that relates to the development. That that sort of built and continues to provide for the infrastructure there whereas older neighborhoods lack that. So that's you know these are some of the more complex issues that we're working to try and resolve says that so that you know folks. Get the infrastructure they needed they have safe sidewalks that the kids can lie on the school that day. You know that they can ride public transit or that they can drive but it to their jobs it's that are regardless of what neighborhood and sounds like a lot of work still needs to be down there there's a lot of work to be done and I am absolutely now now the CPI just work. With the city of San Diego or or is it countywide. I'm we we've got a lot of work historically with the city but we're I'm we're doing. I'm worked as sort of engage with the clowning around some of the similar issues down and we've you know winners certainly not limited just those two entities we've worked for it this unified school district. I'm we have programs that dad Adam are dealing with leadership development and where you know interest it is in. In working with elected leaders in appointed leaders that you know any of that jurisdiction with other cities other. You know water borne its school board that satirist I mean I think this is an area where. Yeah I mean there's there's so many of these different. Government institutions that people can engage in that that Adam engage with that that touched their lives in different ways and so. I'm by yen terms of the counties and you mentioned that. We have been doing some work there. I am starting to negate some of them on the budget and and particularly that issue that we've started engaging with them most about initially was just around public benefits. So there is you know particularly with regards to food stamps and the have been a number reports in the earlier part of that you thousandth that found. That the count me Adam was not doing their best job of counties and in California our across the state in terms of enrolling eligible people in. Food stamps which is a program that paid. You know basically a 100% that the benefits are actually paid a 100% with federal and state dollars so when we don't enroll people who are eligible and that's programs you know on the one hand you've gotten. Families and often children who aren't getting that the help they need to be able to eat healthy diet men and sustain themselves and you know especially for children ten. To learn in the schools I'm sure you know word that those families are missing out on those benefits but. We're also missing out on federal dollars that you know those families would get. The food stamps benefits and they'd go to the store and buy food at their local you know and local grocery store Palin and neighborhood does have a bigger tree story at their corner store. So all of those are dollars that and we as a regional economy that you know people would be spending that would be Reese spent by. You know when people who you know those who create jobs that first restores satirist so I'm our estimate was. That there her I'm between cal thrash. Cal works and medi cal that the under enrollment that of folks that are eligible. At the county level is is costing us. There's about 714 million dollars in state and federal benefits that were missing out in that once those get recycled through the economy. I'm we're missing out on 905. Million dollars you know close to a billion dollars annually in economic activity that we could you bring into the region. You know if we were fully enrolling functions though you know the company intern. Keys you know every year sock away more money in its reserve and at this point they've got a multi billion dollar. I'm reserve so basically what we're calling on them to do is you know tended to be willing to spend some of that money to figure out the ways. Q you know effectively reach out. Or can enroll enroll those folks and you know and both general of those folks in and let's be honest to me like those are programs where. There hasn't been big effort to do that in the past there is some stigma for some folks associated with this program so I think some of that is not just finding the people but actually promoting you know creating. A positive. Sort of campaign to make people understand. That you know these are benefits that you're entitled to these are benefits that we all think are important for you. To sustain you and your family during the you know that that may be hard times that you're experiencing at this moment in time and that's you know. So it's not only enrollment at education and awareness yet absolutely. You know and I think that's I mean certainly that's. But the research shows that the national level is you know all these program switcher. You know which are are critical safety natter just that people tend to rely on them for for. Pretty sharks Nelson and get off of them once they're back on graffiti and so I think people absolutely you know shouldn't feel ashamed about it. Having to rely on some help to get them through the rough times and it actually helps you Isaac said in terms of the spending that helps the whole counting when those dollars when people still. I'm kind of fortunate to pay for the things they need for the family and and shop in stores right. Now a more guys you're with the F employee right center. Direct and and we want who you can just come in this who want to talk about the upcoming election June 7. Ballot and in particular a measure that summit Albert tell us a little bit about your organization sort of blew it this far about 1999. And the nuclear terrorist if a worker from a resource thinner. For Opel workers in San Diego. And you probably even a little bit of what our mission it. And probably the name. Part of remission it can be accessible it to be. Plea for trust. In the eight week in which people can get to I'm not only to legal questions or their resource question the need but a place where they can. I talked and learn higher up. Get more. And fifty in tune with what's happening at the CD word count so part of our work its own service faith and self organizing. And how long have you been with them I didn't about fourteen year with them on the right okay. I can not law school and was looking for. You know work and in doing the kind of stuff that. Felt like with most important to do anything like at the time. The director then and fortunately now is the only worker thinner. Who. Targets all workers of hinders me from crucial to help out right particular ways by. Oh fortunately for new us support for the largest eighty flight from Jewelers were tougher to score the big cities around. The country have multiple. You know institution if you few places where people can you know without fear of being. From broken a confidence without any fear of retaliation from any source they can ask anything about. Work benefits. And specifically what to think that we concentrate on is phone health are a half. And also quickly toward immigration given that we're close to the border. In we have several populations. Or areas where the population are mixed. So we just want to be a place where people can yet. Beef recall for patient free education. In connection to resources in the NC income. So every all all that you offers is free most of what we offered three and in all if you can offer or services before it does he view. Unpaid wages that a work. We do offer is conditioned from our attorneys for a nominal fee to point that you know a six month case. Our initial fee for only 200 dollars so it's it's nowhere. You know up a private bar rates renew any sense we're just trying to. Two fundraisers and foundation help we try to provide its annual inexpensive or free service as we care. And is it a walk in service that you offer if it is it is that we we have. Grown over the years and so even though our door throw open. We do recommend that you called a cleric an effort if they're found were people have to wait too long and we try to operate by appointment rather than. You know about walking beat anybody can walk of the office is enough for. And and where you located we are out in G I forty to 65 Fairmont avenue. It's week to ten it's right that I'm next to order a cross between. Fairmont Abu aboard a couple more. And your business hours a night not five Monday through Friday on month price now now the June 7 ballot. And a a big issue. For this ballot is prop hi this is the minimum wage and six days measure in the imported rice said it was part of the coalition that. Advocated for this measure right yup yup that is could coalition is still out looking for it. And it's percent equating that there are a Brunell I just spoke about their meeting people who are. What can 95 and I would say would we see of employer right and it mean people working 292 pipes or speak. You know 23 jobs frankly we haven't caught me. That is out how to great resource and a great resource it's the thankfully at this point we are a fortune enough to be able to incorporate with a couple. Thousand people a year workers. In what we hear is story for people or very resourceful they're strong. I'm in their commitment for the family and what do you do. But there's an imbalance and the imbalances that this amount of compensation you know and trust of the get a work is so little. If he's going completely you know so that's impossible you know questions. Like you know having to. People something instead of something else like having to pay for the rent or forty pinpointed doctor. And there are many many examples of this but there's so what we are a partner and when we support for much. The work that he BI's leading in the research that could bring out is because they speak about the partisan news sometimes we don't wanna see. That too many people are working hard. Are having to think too many difficult decisions on low. Frequent basis. Right or 444. Autistic community talks about a half an acceptable need to operate. That you need to the bad decisions to be made as far as just play it'll survive. The Bible as for now that's a what what is this measure tells tells a little bit about Ike you know I would wanted to fair to. From an a but I would tell you what I would like the part that I can see years that its feet. If an increase in the middle which in the CD that would go into effect right. It won't start two years from now would go if it's passed by divorce and we really hope that people feel that the need for this. Did you know not only would it raise the wages are to pin fifty but he would also increase the amount of seat state there's available for people who work within this tedious and you. And it would go from the state mandated to beatify. And don't tell that things that we hear the most inducted things that we are you know supporting them. Yes there absolutely. So what it does is it. You know prop I if people vote on it will be arrays for over a 170000 hardworking candidate ends. You know immediately to. To 1050 from the current state minimum wage of ten I'm and then 21150. Starting next year at the beginning and when he seventeen. So that's you know that's that peace and and as solar mentioned the the am increase in paid sick days from up to five so that anyone who's. You know who's working has access to paid sick days that that folks don't have to. Make it difficult choice between you know when they're sick or when their children are sick between losing a day's pay. And you know and being able to either take care of themselves have taken their children and some of the research that. We you know we were seeing before you before you know even before this but the state hadn't had any mandate for for the three paid sick days that's on the books now what's that. I'm 44% of folks in the workforce in San Diego didn't have access to any paid sick time so if they were sick. It meant that they were gonna lose if they called in sick they were gonna lose lose a day's pay. Right on and you know I'm with over 70% of folks in the restaurant industry which if you think about it you know on. If you think about it as consumers and restaurant industry is is really you know. Makes you a little uncomfortable that we were creating those kinds of incentives for people that to work in the restaurant industry where they're dealing with with food and and serving people. Even if they're sick because so many people in that industry are in a working part time and and are you know really sort of rely on getting every shift that they can today to make ends meet now so would this then apply to people that are working part time. Absolutely so both so both measures Sam affect everyone who works whose work is within the boundaries of the city of San Diego said that. That paid sick days. Would be accumulated at the rate of one hour of paid sick time for every thirty hours you work so if you work. A part time job if you work thirty hours a week say instead of forty hours a week he would accumulate one hour of paid sick time per. Week so's that and the am paid sick days that are on the books now that the state. Allows. Is that also for part timers is that it is that you needed clarity with Erica Bernal just talk about. In New York crude you work right and so this would be defeated and it will be just the extending their benefit. The maximum. To be at least for the minimum for Monday three but it can get this the city would be up to. Yes if you work basically with it's prop I would viewers if you if you work full time year round you would earn 56 days whereas under the state and accrual rate if you work full time year round you would earn three days ago. So that the programs as I understand and are very similar it's just that I am sort of the minimum level of accrual. Is is higher into the city now obviously you know some people already have access to paid sick time and those you know those employers and assuming that they meet that rate. They don't have to do anything else this is the minimum that sort of sets a floor about what. I'm in players have to provide but it's not an I am reduce anybody sick time that I think that earns more than that now I mean it's just sort of creating a basic standard where we're saying. And the community. We think that we need to value that people that work and their families. By creating this this you know. Standard that says you need to you know if you work. You earn at least that many sick days to it to be able to take care of yourself and your. Right I don't think a lot of part timers are aware that they they can get. So yea absolutely absolutely and I mean I think that's one of the issues I mean obviously that this state. The state law actually it was passed and when he fourteen and then went into effect with the year 2015. I'm so yet that hasn't been on the books for a long time some people you know maybe still unfamiliar with it. That's you know the state. Big issue I think you know obviously that's going to be an issue make insurers that. Once hopefully proposition I've passes that people in the city of San Diego become aware of their rights and this is you know one of the great things that simply write senator galore. And his coworkers do with making sure that people are aware of their rights in the workplace and that days that means there. Make sure that their employers meet those obligations. It and what we find is that you know unfortunately not just you know CDs but in general. Theories and that's what this program is so important in you know having. I discretion if a lot of people just don't know about right I'm not don't feel free to put their employer and say hey can we talk about our right. Because it almost seems to be sort of a contentious discussion right almost posting. Eight a little bit about federal funding for an important in I want to be the first thing that you talk about. And so we funded this you know hopefully prop I will be an exception to in that we are all think of me talking about it when hopefully if it passes. That we all know that if you live in the fetus and you'll that this new borders are helping each other. To have this system in place in Obie needs to which you can force it in going forward what do you. What do you have to say to people that. There's this I mean this is a very in in some ways controversial. Issues. What do you have to say to these people those who are against. Raising the minimum wage. Those who have worked hard for years to get where they're asked for someone for example who's flipping of flipping burgers to it to be making the same hourly wage is them. Well let me release everything Adam. You know it's it's not as controversial as some people would make it out to be I'm especially that he does suit in the rays under prop by eight tops out at 1150 before it gets eventually indexing it to inflation in the cost of living. And so you are certainly all the polling that we've done here but the pulling in a statewide level I amendments are in national level just around the issue of minimum wage suggest that. You know pretty clear majority. Thinks that the current minimum wage is too low I'm so it. It's you know and supports raising it so you know and that's actually true not just if you know voters in general but there's been some polling by small business majority that also finds its small business owners I'm. Majority of them at the national level think that that the current minimum wage is too low and support I'm raising it on the one hand you know I do wanna. Tended to push back a little better around and I think that it's there is really a growing consensus that you know in California in the current minimum wage and nationally the minimum wages are just too low and and then. I'm businesses can afford to more dead to pay their workers. But your question is just. With regards to folks who you know feel like that's too high I think if I understand correctly what you're saying is especially the worker who may be makes a little bit more than that now and says like I worked hard to get here right why should you you know why should this person who may be down. You know just entering the labor market get the same that I'm getting. So a couple of different things and and you know the cut combined you know one of though it's one of those sort of stereotypes of the way to we think about minimum wage workers is these kind of people who're. Just entering the labor market. In particular teenagers that's kind of people stereotype about a minimum wage worker and that their analysis that at UC Berkeley labor senator. Did at the folks that would be impacted by prop by in particular. Found that that 95% of the people who would dare raise under the under prop by our. Age twenty hero over so I'm you know the vast majority are not you know teenagers who are having their first job at their people and and in fact. I'm that same analysis found that about a third of people who are gonna get a raise if prop bypasses. Our parents who were who are supporting their children so it's not so lets you know start off with that that it's not just I am teenagers flipping burgers that are gonna get a raise here but to that particular point beyond. Sort of dispelling tremendous. Myths about people's stereotypes of who it is. You know certainly you know the people who are just entering the labor market and getting their first job will also be subject to this minimum wage. I'm one of the things that I would say is. To think about it in terms of you know a rising tide lifts all boats and at what we've seen and what. Some of the economic. Analysis of impacts takes into account is that you know if your employer and you have to pay everyone a minimum of say 1150. I'm that if you wanna attract and retain people who have more skills than that and that entry level. Skill level you're gonna have to pay those people a little bit more because I can you know if if I am if I'm capable of being a manager. And you're only willing to pay me 1150 than I could decide I would rather take a less stressful sort of and you know. May be manual but today not you know doesn't have that sort of responsibility level tough sell them. If I may have I think you know even if you were to take the best argument of candidates are Mueller or less skilled. I would like anybody who has worked house who or any place where the deal with the kind of loss of the stadium full truth on penalty on employer might on the employee. Entity that any of those jobs will be welcome defeated a ten dollar an hour most of those jobs are very difficult on the body in because people blow half. Enough to live on just that. One minimum wage job normally had to take a second job if so this is also have to eat they can affect and I'm ready to put even more touch indeed if for the corn on the part of it. But just on the Honda on the volume of each of those workers break the dot corporation to that work into their family. These are our great resource that is now being confiscated nearly enough with the should be from the standpoint of the work that they do do. It's so we will hope that people were doing a little board that would heat a bit also need to get a little more. Because that scrutiny should go walk. Across the board right and Lebanese to block. The cost of livings going up but but. The standard of living north of the amount of money that you make is not. Yeah and that's absolutely why I think there's such you know as I mentioned before such consensus you know across the border around that the minimum wage is not enough is because it's been raised here in California. And but it still you know hasn't hasn't historically kept up with inflation so I'm. Every year that we don't raise it and inflation. Keeps increasing and that real value to the folks doing the work of the minimum wage declines and that's one of the things that both you know. Prop I eventually in in 2019. That that amount that's in there would be indexed to the cost of living so that we wouldn't see that that continued decline in value over time you know that's part of the major I am now we also adds. You're aware there's a state bill that Dan. That raises the minimum wage right well that that is also indexed eventually but it will come into play before and most likely in in almost all likelihood well. For eventually. You get levels higher than minimum wage in prop I I'm and that you know. And both being minimum wage people get fed the highest of the state or the city minimum wage and so I'm eventually. It's not going to be so much that he. Indexing in prop by matters but that there is indexing in in the state minimum wage. Will help keep people's. Earnings from eroding every year as inflation goes out. You know and if I understand other would that last game means sort of do it eroding of being able to value means that. You know as your money buys you less and that's what kind that he gets adjusted. Seven where I would say that this first prop I would trying to do was to try to put 260. Million dollar more into you on an. Into into a group of people are ready spending everything they have that's why they are so resourceful that's why the our new business that's why devote a second job. So that would be 206 million dollars that would go into creating more economic activity which in turn creates more drugs which in turn creates a better record and for all of us. And so in some ways we're pro fight is saying Willa jock who you know a puck movement and it doesn't it's not. Big change right away won't go from now he won't raise you three dollars four dollars. But we are saying April by proponents are saying that people like veterans who have done great work order for our country. Should not be leaving like that should be able to spend what they need to survive and have a dignified life and also did work being able to have a better economy for. Yes have folks I'm specifically about prop I can you can on the web visit raise that San Diego dot org. They can also visit CPI's website at CPI San Diego dot org to find out more about this and others and economic justice issues in the region and Al Gore what's your website website is WEB web. ERC. He writes and wind ERC dot OK and social media for both organizations just yet where I am run. Twitter and FaceBook vote then you should be able to find if there if you can find us on those platforms go to our website and then you should be able to find it from there the uttered quick note that I wanna say it's. You know that ballots and sit loved it for folks who were absentee ballots you about should of arrived already. I'm for those of you who voted the polls here sample ballot should of arrived already through and take a look if you haven't seen us in the mailbox. I'm you might wanna contact the registrar of voters I'm in their website is ST vote dot com great depth Peter and I'll Laura thank you so much for being on Saturday and shedding. Some light on on this very important issue I think you get a W yeah thanks for having. That concludes another addition of living veteran San Diego the opinions expressed on living veteran San Diego do not necessarily reflect the opinions and views. Of the staff management of the an account San Diego radio stations. Episodes of living veteran San Diego are available on the station's website. John next week when my guest will be from arts a reason to survive. Until then I'm Jerry Lee have a great week.