In many low-income communities, nutritious foods are hard to come by and liquor, cigarettes and processed foods dominate the shelves of the local corner markets. Now state and federal initiatives are in the works to help locate more full-service grocery stories in those communities and give the smaller stores an incentive to carry more nutritious products.
The San Diego Unified School District, which spans affluent coastal communities and troubled inner-city neighborhoods alike, faces a $142 million deficit next school year. With the recent failure of Proposition J, a tax measure that would have helped bridged that gap, district officials are looking for places to make deep cuts. Laying off counseling staff and teachers, asking schools to share principals, and compounding magnet complexes into comprehensive schools are among the suggestions. This, coupled with state cuts to mental health services in schools, has students and teachers at the Crawford Educational Complex in City Heights worried their funding will be slashed in ways that ignore the special needs of the many refugee and immigrant students in the community.
Residents of City Heights in San Diego often deal with mold and vermin infestations in rental housing, but a bureaucratic rats’ nest prevents them from getting any action. The city does not enforce parts of the state code dealing with these issues, and the county enforces codes only in areas not served by cities. The could step in but is taking a go-slow approach. The result: a runaround, and no help for tenants.
Cuts in public transit across the state have made it tougher for transit-dependent Californians to get to work. In San Diego’s City Heights neighborhood, many residents now find themselves commuting several hours a day to get back and forth from their jobs.