Stockton, California did a post-2008 crash-and-burn rivalled perhaps only by Detroit in terms of American municipal financial disaster. By embracing an economy built on minimally regulated suburban real-estate development and low taxes the city of about three hundred thousand in the San Joaquin Valley ran maximum risk with its economic health. The result? Maximum bust.
All the woes of America from foreclosures to rising crime and obesity and declining schools seem to beset Stockton and grip the city in a depressing vice. A new mayor, however, has begun to reconceive Stockton with a modest basic income program as part of his plan for trying to move things forward.
This is a moving feature on the role a bicycle can play for lower income folks living in the sprawl. Los Angeles is the place but we know for a fact lives like this are found in Canadian communities as well.
How low income cyclists go unnoticed. There really is a world where people pedal to work, use bikes for everyday transportation and by riding, form close communities of friends and neighbors – and it exists right in your town
image: bedrocan via Flickr/CC
We’ve been working our way through a substantial podcast series begun in January by KQED/NPR. The suburbs of San Francisco are the field of reportage. Gentrification, race, the cost of living and social change are foregrounded. Wow, there’s nearly six hours worth of material here.
Q’ed Up npr.org
image: lolaleelo2 via Flickr/CC
Nice! More buses to get LA’s workers to work and jobs building the buses themselves, which are also up-to-date low emissions models.
image: Jim Elwanger via Flickr/CC
A quirky parking lot hamlet of air travel industry workers has formed at Los Angeles International Airport and makes for emotional content in this short New York Times documentary.
Long-term parking (7:45)
Scavenging is one of the oldest continuous forms of industry found in human settlements. Never romanticized,
it nonetheless seems to be always with us. The value of aluminium cans and other recyclables travels up and down much like that of say oil. When the price is good scavengers get busy creating a commodity from rejected material and earn some minor income for themselves. Spend any time in a built-up area and you eventually spot scavengers. That bastion of high priced housing and advanced technology, San Francisco, is no exception. Lately, though, the cities network of businesses where pop cans and such are redeemed has begun to thin out. This is tough on the scavengers.
Collecting cans to survive: a ‘dark future’ as California recycling centers vanish. Poor and homeless San Franciscans rely on income earned by trading cans for cash, but their subsistence is under threat as hundreds of centers close down
image: Ken Ishikawa via Flickr/CC
You really gotta read this.
San Francisco tech worker: “I don’t want to see homeless riff-raff”. In an open letter to the city’s mayor Ed Lee, entrepreneur Justin Keller said he is “outraged” that wealthy workers have to see people in pain and despair
image: HollyEmma via Flickr/CC
Once-industrialized areas of San Francisco that were home to a blue collar middle class continue to move into suburban poverty.
As Bay Area poverty shifts from cities to suburbia, services lag