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NO. 8, VOL. XXXI

California for Whom? The state is losing its allure as a place of opportunity for most. PAGE 10

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2016 | ISSUE 8 Volume XXXI

Our mission is to always provide quality journalism for our readers by being fair, accurate and ethical and a credible resource for our advertisers.

Chairman | CEO Robert Page BobPage@sandiegometro.com Publisher Rebeca Page RebecaPage@sandiegometro.com Managing Editor Manny Cruz Manny@sandiegometro.com Graphic Designer Christopher Baker cbaker@sandiegometro.com Photography/Illustration Eric Peters David Rottenberg Contributing Writers Andrew Dyer Stephen Moore Jennifer Coburn April Harter Enriquez

COV E R STO RY California for Whom?

This notion of California as a land of outsiders is being turned on its head, our state’s dream repackaged — often with the approval of its ruling hegemons — as something more like a medieval city, expelling the poor and the young, while keeping the state’s blessings to the well-educated, well-heeled, and generally older population. See Page 10.

Advertising SALES & MARKETING DIRECTOR Rebeca Page

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6 Outstanding Achievement

Carolina Quirarte was inspired to become a nurse while seeing the care her grandmother received during a 14-year battle with breast cancer. Carolina, a third-year student at Cal State San Marcos, has overcome difficult challenges to become one of 24 students selected to receive the 2016 CSU Trustees’ Award for Outstanding Achievement.

13 Accion Academy Ignites Small Businesses

Sisters Elizabeth Rodriguez, left, and Danielle Cisneros operate Chicanista Boutique in Logan Heights, a small sidewalk business that expanded with the assistance of Accion San Diego, a nonprofit micro-lender. It’s goal is to provide resources for businesses and startups that do not qualify for capital lonas from traditional banks.

SD METRO magazine is published by REP Publishing, Inc. The entire contents of SD METRO is copyrighted, 2016, by REP Publishing, Inc. Reporduction in whole or in part is prohibited without prior written consent. All rights reserved. All editorial and advertising inquires can be made by calling or writing to the above. Editorial and ad deadline is the 24th of the month preceding the month of publicaion. Mail subscriptions of SD METRO are available for $50 a year for addresses within the United States. A PDF version of this issue is available at sandiegometro.com Additional information, including past articles, online-only content and the Daily Business Report can be found at sandiegometro.com. For reprints or plaques of articles published in SD METRO , please call Rebeca Page at 858-461-4484 All real estate advertising in this newspaper is subject to the Fair Housing Act which makes it illegal to advertise “any Prefernce limitation or discriminatin based on race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national orgigin, or an intention, to make any preference, limitation or discrimination. “Familial status includes children under the age of 18 living wit hparents or legal custodians; pregnant women and people securing custody of children under 18. This magazine will not knowingly accept any advertising for real estate which in in violation of this law. Our readers are hereby informed that all dwellings advertised in this magazine are available on an equal opportunity basis. To complain of discrimination call HUD Toll-Free at 1-800-669-9777. Th Toll-free telephone number for the hearing impaired is 1-800-927-9275.

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PUBLISHER’S COLUMN

What Ails California?

By Bob Page

There are probably few in California who do not have a view about what ails the Golden State, nor is there another state talked about, dissected, discredited and envied more. Our weather, at least in this very special corner of the state, is the best there is, and for many, that is reason enough to live here. Beyond that, the clear blue skies and the inviting sunshine, California is not what it used to be, and for a larger share of the population, a challenging place in which to live and work. This is what prompted us to feature “California for Whom?” by Joel Kotkin, a distinguished Fellow in Urban Studies at Chapman University, and Wendelll Cox, a principal at Demographia, an international public policy and demographic firm., as this month’s cover story. Housing prices are skyrocketing, incomes are stagnant and landlords are taking advantage of those who are priced out of the mortgage market. I know of one instance where a low-income, mentally challenged young man, has been asked to accept a 14 percent increase. Fair? You decide. For business, California is now the 48th worst place, based on the nonpartisan Tax Foundation’s analysis of each state’s tax code using over 100 variables in five different categories (corporate, individual income, sales, property and unemployment insurance). Only New Jersey and New York are less attractive than California. Joining California among the 10 least attractive states for business, nine are run by “progressive,” liberal Democratic majorities. Ironically, Republican Governor John Kasich’s Ohio is among them. One could be hard pressed to pick up stakes for a move to Wyoming, South Dakota or Alaska but their low tax burdens may be appealing to some. The Tax Foundation rates them as the top three for business. Not all is without hope for business across the nation, but it seems telling that the states with the best friendly business climates are all right-to-work states. Kiplinger identified North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia and new Midwestern right-to-work states Indiana and Michigan where new manufacturing starts will take place. There is, of course, no mention of California. Another sage observer of things and issues California is Victor Davis Hansen, a senior fellow at the Hoover Institute at Stanford and a fifth-generation Californian. Hansen’s take on this year’s presidential election is that the 14 million Californians whom he believes will vote for Donald Trump are angry in part because “they are an emasculated minority.” Here’s Hansen’s view: “It’s not hard to find Californians who feel this way – if you know the regions where to look. “Twentieth-first century ‘California’ has become a misnomer. In truth there is not one , but two quite different Californias, defined by both geography and mindset.” On the one hand there is the affluent coastal corridor between La Jolla and Berkeley, identified by Hansen as home to the 1 percent, major corporations, Hollywood, Silicon Valley, Apple, Google, Facebook ,

UCLA, USC, Stanford, financial centers and the major government bureaucracies. Then, as Hansen says, there is everything else, the northern third of the state, the mountainous eastern border, the interior Central Valley and portions of eastern and inland Southern California. Policy in California, in Hansen’s views, is set on the coast but its consequences are felt everywhere. His examples: — Electricity rates are sky-high in scorched Fresno compared to the wealthy communities along the coast. — High-speed rate is first tried out in the Central Valley’s Hanford, not Palo Alto. —The elites who denounce charter schools send their kids to coastal prep schools along the Pacific, like the Cate School in Santa Barbara or Bishop’s in La Jolla. What Hansen sees happening in California is the “unspoken truth that yesterday’s California Republican Party of the rich is today’s party of the populist middle class while the Democratic Party has become an odd alliance of the 1 percent, public labor union employees and the very poor.” One Fresno friend of Hansen’s said “California’s billions of dollars of unfunded pension liabilities, unsustainable entitlements, terrible schools, rising crime, astronomically priced coastal real estate, high taxes and schizophrenic laws will eventually hit even the rich in Santa Barbara and San Francisco.” If true, Hansen opines, the multimillion-person Trump minority in California might not be a minority for much longer. I should live so long.

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SAN DIEGO SCENE Carolina Quirarte is a third-year student at Cal State San Marcos with a 4.0 academic record.

Cal State San Marcos Nursing Student Receives 2016 CSU Trustees’ Award Carolina Quirarte was inspired to become a nurse while seeing the care her grandmother received during a 14-year battle with breast cancer. Carolina, a third-year student at Cal State San Marcos, has overcome difficult challenges – from her father’s death when she was 5 years old to growing up in a family that struggled with poverty — to become one of 24 students selected to receive the 2016 CSU Trustees’ Award for Outstanding Achievement. Carolina was named the Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Nation Scholar. The CSU’s highest recognition of student achievement, the awards provide scholarships of $6,000 to $12,000 to CSU students who demonstrate superior academic performance, personal accomplishments, community service and financial need. “Carolina has worked very hard and has overcome financial hardships and family obligations to achieve her remarkable 4.0 academic record,” said Perla Rivas, a counselor for Cal State San Marcos’ TRiO Student Support Services (SSS) program. Carolina is part of the TRiO SSS program, which assists first-

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generation, low-income and/or students with disabilities toward the successful completion of their college degree. “Carolina’s undergraduate work is truly impressive,” Rivas said. “She comes from a family that does not have a history of pursuing academic work, not to mention advanced undergraduate study. Carolina is intelligent, highly motivated, humble, compassionate and has a strong commitment to gaining the necessary experience to build her nursing skills.” Carolina has volunteered more than 250 hours with the Pioneers Memorial Healthcare District and the Pathmaker Internship at Palomar Medical Center. As an intern, Carolina has learned valuable clinical skills and has been exposed to the rigors of a nursing career. “I saw first-hand the effect that having a positive attitude toward a patient who’s at the end stages of their life can have,” Carolina said. “Just being that comfort, that hug, holding their hand. I want to make that same difference my grandmother’s nurse made in our lives to other people.”

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SAN DIEGO SCENE

Acclaimed Chef Takes Helm at North Park’s Popular Eatery Jason Hotchkiss was a consulting chef for North Park’s Encontro restaurant last year when he helped conceive the fast-casual eaterie’s menu. His real craft food expertise was so well received that he is now the restaurant’s executive chef. As the former director of culinary operations for the Patio Group restaurants (which include The Patio on Lamont, The Patio on Goldfinch, Liberty Station’s Fireside by The Patio and Saska’s Steak & Seafood), Hotchkiss will now focus his talents and undivided attention on Encontro, perfecting their current menu and putting a daily breakfast menu on the front burner. “We’re excited to bring Jason on board full time,” says Encontro’s owner, John Sarkisian. “With his track record of success in the industry, and our combined experience developing the opening menu

for Encontro, we look forward to sharing new culinary ideas with the North Park community.” Hotchkiss’s background includes positions as corporate chef at both the Cohn Restaurant Group and Whisknladle Hospitality. And before relocating to San Diego, he was the executive chef for Bottega Louie in Los Angeles, where he was responsible for food consistency, quality, and a kitchen staff of 80. Encontro features a protein and greens-centered menu, and will still offer favorites such as a selection of salads, available topped with flavorful meats cooked on an open grill viewable from the dining area. Chef ’s plates include Rib Eye Steak and their ever-famous Mary’s Chicken. Their home-grinds churn out house-made sausage to go with 20-plus beers on tap, wine or craft soda.

Chef Jason Hotchkiss

Bankers Hill to Show Off Its New Image As a Trendy Destination Neighborhood For years, Bankers Hill was known for its late 19th century homes designed by such architects as Irving Gill, William Hebbard and Richard Requa, and for its reputation as a neighborhood for the affluent, from which it got its name. The neighborhood also had its share of doctor’s and dental offices and, depending on where you stood, held commanding views of Downtown, San Diego Bay, Coronado and beyond. The views today are still glorious, but Bankers Hill has a lot more to offer than what went on before, and a local nonprofit organization — the Bankers Hill Business Group — wants to make sure that San Diegans and others know what the neighborhood now has to offer: an explosion of restaurants, fitness studios, med spas, boutiques and more. To that end, Bankers Hill Business Group is sponsoring the Bankers Hill Fall Festival on Saturday, Oct. 22 from 1 to 5 p.m. to celebrate local businesses and the change of seasons. “Bankers Hill has grown tremendously in

the 15 years that I’ve lived and work here, and a lot of us believe this neighborhood is the hidden gem of San Diego,” said Jake Sutton, co-founder of the Bankers Hill Business Group. “Our organization’s goal is to let San Diego in on this secret. Bankers Hill is home to many favorite restaurants, a booming wellness industry, several artists’ galleries, boutiques, salons and more. We hope San Diegans will join us this October to experience everything Bankers Hill has to offer.” Designed to showcase Bankers Hill as a destination neighborhood following notable growth in recent years, the Bankers Hill Fall Festival is a free, walk-around event similar to “Tastes” and “Walkabouts” taking place in other neighborhoods. Beginning at 1 p.m., attendees can visit either the North pick-up location (Royal Stone Bistro at 1st Avenue and Upas Street) or South pick-up location (Fifth Avenue and Kalmia Street) for a complimentary map exhibiting a trail of participating businesses along 10 blocks of Fifth Avenue. More than 20 restaurants, fitness studios,

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med spas and more will showcase their fare and wares inside their doors and upon sidewalks; streets will remain open to traffic and offer plentiful parking. Shuttle service along Fifth Avenue will be provided at no cost. Attendees will be able to taste the flavors of newly opened eateries such as Parc Bistro-Brasserie (also celebrating its grand opening this day), Royal Stone Bistro and Back to Roots Market as well as long-time favorites Barrio Star, Pizzicato, Jimmy Carter’s Mexican Cafe and more. Wellness centers including Club Pilates, Float Sanctuary, Orangetheory Fitness, AcruHealth, B Medical Spa, Healthy Foundations and Herbin Acupuncture will open their doors to health-minded demos, while additional participants such as  Pilar Montano Paintings, Plush Salon, North Island Credit Union and Edward Jones Investments will show off all that Bankers Hill has to offer. For more details, visit www.bankershillbusinessgroup.com

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SAN DIEGO SCENE

Latino Art Show Highlights Heritage and Culture Platt College San Diego School of Digital Media Design will present “La Vida De Colores,” a vibrant art show that explores the rich history, diversity, and spirit of Latino culture. The show opened Sept. 15 and runs through November. Comprised of 17 fine art and graphic design pieces created by Platt College students and alumni, the show is at the Spring

Si Se Puedes by Luis Paredes

Valley public library, located at 836 Kempton St. It is free to the public and can be viewed during regular library hours. “Celebrating the diversity and cultural richness of both our region and student body is a core value at Platt College and we are delighted with the quality of work students have created,” says Bob Leiker, chairman of the college, which has been in San Diego for more than 30 years. "The process of developing artwork for this show has been revelatory for students not only as they hone their technical skills, but also as they examine issues of Latino heritage, culture, and social justice.” Curators Nicole Lewis and Bianca Reyes agree. “We created an artistic landscape of work from students from varying backgrounds and asked them to express their understanding and appreciation of Latino heritage,” says Lewis, head librarian and writing instructor at Platt College. “What we got was nothing short of spectacular, with pieces that are heartfelt explorations of universal experiences.” Reyes, who also submitted a graphic design titled “Maria Bonita,” says that by creating art and exposing oneself helps both artists and viewers understand each other in a deeper, more meaningful way. "If

Maria Bonita by Bianca Reyes.

art is thoughtful and well developed, people learn about each other in a very personal way," says the recent alumna. "With my piece, I wanted to capture the innocence of Mexican beauty along with representative designs of our culture."

Scripps Research Institute Chemist Wins ‘Genius Grant’ Chemist Jin-Quan Yu of The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) has won a 2016 MacArthur Fellowship, sometimes called a “genius grant.” Yu, who is the Frank and Bertha Hupp Professor of Chemistry at TSRI, will receive a $625,000 fellowship over five years from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. The grant comes with no specific obligations or reporting requirements. “Jin is an extraordinarily creative chemist,” said TSRI CEO Peter Schultz. "This is a well deserved honor and, following the MacArthur Fellowship awarded to TSRI’s Phil Baran in 2013, is a wonderful recognition of the remarkable science being conducted here at The Scripps Research

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Institute.” MacArthur Fellowships are awarded to individuals who have shown extraordinary originality and dedication in their creative pursuits and a marked capacity for self-direction. Yu’s work in the field of organic synthesis focuses on the development of new strategies and tools to accelerate catalytic C-H activation reactions. “At a time when the science and concepts were on the wish list of dream reactions not yet feasible, Jin-Quan Yu systematically and single-handedly transformed the field, developing powerful new synthetic methods for selective C–H activation,” said Dale Boger, chair of the Department of Chemistry at TSRI.

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Chemist Jin-Quan Yu


SAN DIEGO SCENE

Salk Institute Professor Honored For Groundbreaking Work Clodagh O’Shea, an associate professor in the Salk Institute’s Molecular and Cell Biology Laboratory, is among the first recipients of a grant from the Faculty Scholars Program, a new partnership of Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI), the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Simons Foundation for early career researchers whose work shows the potential for groundbreaking contributions in their fields. O’Shea is one of 84 Faculty Scholars who will receive $100,000–$400,000 per year over five years to support their pursuit

of innovative research. O’Shea is at the forefront of cutting-edge technologies to design synthetic viruses and other genetic devices that are controlled and able to selectively target cancer cells. Each time a virus infects a cancer cell and multiplies, the virus kills the cell by bursting it open to release thousands of viral progenies, which go on to target other cancer cells. Synthetic viruses designed to lock onto and rupture cancer cells while leaving normal cells intact could result in a novel cancer therapy with virtually no side effects.

Clodagh O’Shea (Credit: Salk Institute)

San Diego Police Foundation CEO Named to National Police Foundation Network Board Sara Wilensky Napoli, president and CEO of the San Diego Police Foundation, has been named to the board of directors and secretary of the National Police Foundations Network Inc. Formed in 2013, NPFN is a no-profit that serves the professional interests of police foundations in the Unites States and Canada, organizations which exist to fund innovative police programs that otherwise would not be funded in the regular police budget. “Sara’s broad background prepared her for the task of bringing public and private resources together for the benefit of the

community. Her love of the senior vice president of the art of messaging and her San Diego Foundation, presicommunications skills make dent of ASTONE and prinher a valuable and contributcipal of TellWell. ing member of the board,” Napoli joins CEOs and exsaid Pamela Delaney, coecutive directors of the following organizations: founder of NPFN and board Michelle Bagwell, St. Louis leader. Napoli has served the San Police Foundation; Matthew Blakely, Motorola Solutions Diego Police Foundation as Sara Wilensky Napoli Foundation; Pamela Delaney, CEO for nearly six years, beNYC Police Foundation (Ret.); Joseph fore which she held executive positions in Persichini, DC Police Foundation; Chuck the business, nonprofit, media and education sectors including executive director Wexler, Police Research Forum; and Dave Wilkinson, Atlanta Police Foundation. of the International Technical Institute,

Construction Starts on Parking Plaza at San Diego International Airport Construction has started on the threelevel Terminal 2 Parking Plaza at San Diego International Airport. Parking Plaza construction will take about 20 months to complete and will be open for summer travel in 2018. “San Diego International Airport travelers spoke and we listened,” said Thella F. Bowens, president/CEO, San Diego County Regional Airport Authority. “There is great demand for more close-in

parking at the airport. Kicking off the Parking Plaza construction today is an important milestone to help improve the short-term parking customer experience.” The Parking Plaza will be located in front of Terminal 2 and will have three floors with approximately 3,000 parking stalls. It will replace the existing surface parking lot for Terminal 2. The Parking Plaza is expected to enhance customer service by integrating

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state-of-the-art parking technology that will allow motorists to reserve spaces in advance, find available parking spaces, and streamline payment. It is also expected to have environmental benefits by reducing air emissions caused by vehicles that are circulating and idling while searching for an available parking space. And it will have an aesthetically pleasing design with open light wells, glass-front elevators and public art.

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COV E R STO RY

California for Whom? By Joel Kotkin and Wendell Cox Old in error,” writes historian Kevin Starr, “California remains an American hope.” Historically, our state has been a beacon to outsiders seeking a main chance: from gold miners and former Confederates to Midwesterners displaced by hardship, Jews seeking opportunity denied elsewhere, AfricanAmericans escaping southern apartheid, Asians fleeing communism and societal repression, Mexicans looking for a way out of poverty, counter-culture émigrés looking for a place where creation can overcome repression. Yet, this notion of California as a land of outsiders is being turned on its head, our state’s dream repackaged — often with the approval of its ruling hegemons — as something more like a medieval city, expelling the poor and the young, while keeping the state’s blessings to the well-educated, wellheeled, and generally older population.

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Some boosters of the current order, such as Gov. Jerry Brown, contend that the affluent and the educated are still coming, while the less educated and well-heeled, are leaving. They cite this as evidence that the “declinists” are wrong. Yet, the reality remains that California is losing its allure as a place of opportunity for most. Coming and Going California has been “bleeding” people to other states for more than two decades. Even after the state’s “comeback,” net domestic out-migration since 2010 has exceeded 250,000. Moreover, the latest Internal Revenue Service migration data, for 2013-2014, does not support the view that those who leave are so dominated by the flight of younger and poorer people. Of course, younger people tend to move more than older people, and people seeking better

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job opportunities are more likely to move than those who have made it. But, according to the IRS, nearly 60,000 more Californians left the state than moved in between 2013 and 2014. In each of the seven income categories and each of the five age categories, the IRS found California lost net domestic migrants. Nor, viewed over the long term, is California getting “smarter” than its rivals. Since 2000, California’s cache of 25- to 34-yearolds with college, postgraduate and professional degrees grew by 36 percent, below the national average of 42 percent, and Texas’ 47 percent. If we look at the metropolitan regions, the growth of 25-oftoa 34-year-olds An awe-inspiring view sunrise from the college International Space with degrees sinceStation 2000 revealed has been in the new1.5 IMAX film, ‘A3Beautiful more than to nearly times asPlanet. fast in Houston and Austin as in Silicon Valley, Los Angeles, or San Francisco. Even New York, with its high costs, is doing better.


COV E R STO RY In fact, the only large California metropolitan area which has seen anything like Texas growth has been the most unlikely, the Inland Empire. The coastal areas, so alluring to the media and venture capitalists, are losing out in terms of growing their educated workforces, most likely a product of high housing prices and, outside of the Bay Area, weak high-wage job growth. The location of migrants tells us something about where the allure of California remains the strongest, and where it has been supplanted. Almost all of the leading states sending net migrants here are also high-tax, high-regulation places that have been losing domestic migrants for years — New York, Illinois, Michigan and New Jersey. In contrast, the net outflow has been largely to lower-cost states, notably Texas, as well as neighboring Western states, all of which have lower housing prices. And, finally, there is the issue of age. Historically, California has been a youth magnet, but that appeal is fading. In 2014, according to the IRS data, more than twothirds of the net domestic out-migrants were reported on returns filed by persons aged from 35 to 64. These are the people who are most likely to be in the workforce and be parents. Class and Ethnic Patterns Upward mobility has long been a signature of California society. Yet, 22 of the state’s large metro areas have seen a decline in their middle class, according to a recent Pew Research Center study. Los Angeles, in particular, has suffered among the largest hollowing out of the middle-income population in the country. In places like the Bay Area, there’s a growing upper class, while in less glamorous places like Sacramento, it’s the low end that is expanding at the expense of the middle echelons. The economy, too, has been tending toward ever more bifurcation, with some growth in tech and business services, largely in the Bay Area. Elsewhere, the overwhelming majority of jobs created since 2007 have come from lower-paying professions, such as health and education and hospitality, or, recently, from real estate-related activities. Overall, traditional, higher-paying, blue-collar jobs – such as construction

We need good blue-collar and white-collar, middle-income jobs to keep a more diverse, and somewhat less well-educated, population adequately housed and fed. (Independent Women’s Forum)

and durable goods manufacturing – have continued to lose ground. Most California metropolitan areas, most notably Los Angeles, lag most key national competitors — including Texas metro areas, Phoenix, Nashville, Tenn., Charlotte, N.C., and Orlando, Fla. — in higher-paid new jobs in business services and finance. But the biggest losers of egalitarian aspirations have been the constituencies most loudly embraced by the state’s progressive establishment: black and brown Californians. Nowhere is this disparity greater than in home ownership, the signature measure of upward mobility and entrance into the middle class. Overall, Latino homeownership in California is 41.9 percent; nationally, it’s 45 percent, and in Texas it’s 55 percent. Similarly, among African Americans, homeownership is down to 34 percent in California, compared to 41 percent nationally and 40.8 percent in Texas. In Los Angeles, which has the lowest overall homeownership percentage among the nation’s largest metro areas, only 37 percent of Hispanics own their own homes, compared to 50 percent in Dallas-Fort Worth. California’s Road Forward One popular progressive theory for how

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to address the economy lies in trying to emulate places like Massachusetts, a state whose per-capita income ranks among the highest in the country. Yet, this approach fails to confront the huge demographic differences between the states. Let’s start with ethnicity. Eighty percent of Massachusetts’ population is comprised of non-Hispanic whites or Asians, who traditionally have higher incomes, while in California whites and Asians constitute only 52 percent. Some 80 percent of the Boston metropolitan area is non-Hispanic white or Asian, compared to only 46 percent the population in the Los Angeles-Orange County area, and 40 percent in the Inland Empire. California has a poverty rate, adjusted for housing costs, of 23.4 percent, while Massachusetts, with its lower share of more heavily disadvantaged minority populations, registers just 13.8 percent. California could only resemble Massachusetts if it successfully unloaded much of its disadvantaged minority and workingclass population. Although some might celebrate the movement of poorer people out of the state, our poverty rate is unlikely to decrease, since historically disadvantaged ethnicities (African Americans and Hispanics) account for 58 percent of the under-

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Some boosters of the current order, such as Gov. Jerry Brown, contend that the affluent and the educated are still coming, while the less educated and well-heeled, are leaving

18 population in California, and only 25 percent in Massachusetts. Simply put, California faces a gargantuan challenge of generating a better standard of living for a huge proportion of its population. To be sure, both the San Francisco and San Jose metropolitan areas can thrive, like Massachusetts, in a highly education-driven economy. But states like California, Texas and Florida are too diverse, in class and race, to follow the “Massachusetts model.” We need good blue-collar and white-collar, middle-income jobs to keep a more diverse, and somewhat less well-educated, population adequately housed and fed. This should be the primary concern of our state. But the governor and legislators seem more interested today in re-engineering our way of life than improving outcomes. True, if you drive up housing and energy prices, some of the poor will leave, but so, too, will young people, the future middle class. Though our largest coastal metropolitan counties — Los Angeles, Orange, San Diego, Alameda, Contra Costa, San Mateo and San Francisco — have long been younger than the rest of country, soon they will be more gray than the nation.

The demographic future of California seems increasingly at odds with the broad “dream” that Starr and others evoke so powerfully. We are headed ever more toward a state of divided realities, of poorer, downwardly mobile people, largely in the interior and in inner-city Los Angeles or Oakland, and a rapidly aging, wealthier, whiter enclave hugging the coast. For those with the right education, inheritance and a large enough salary, the California dream still shines bright, but for the majority it seems like a dying light. This piece first appeared in the Los Angeles Daily News. Joel Kotkin is executive editor of NewGeography.com. He lives in Orange County. Wendell Cox is principal of Demographia, an international pubilc policy and demographics firm.

VOTE ON NOVEMBER 8TH IT’S A PRIVILEGE & A RESPONSIBILITY

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SMALL BUSINESS

Accion Academy Ignites Small Businesses Giving entrepreneurs a boost up the success ladder Manuel Basabe begins his work day like many small shop owners — he places a hand-chalked sign on the sidewalk outside his storefront, carries out racks of clothes for passers-by to peruse and sits down at his laptop inside his small boutique Mesheeka on Logan Avenue. Vibrant paintings adorn the walls, their motifs reproduced on some of the t-shirts for sale. Basabe began his clothing line in 2009 and settled into his brick-and-mortar location in November 2015. A few doors south on Logan Avenue, sisters Elizabeth Rodriguez and Danielle Cisneros also operate a small sidewalk business, the Chicanista Boutique. The sisters have sold their hand-made and repurposed items throughout San Diego at farmer’s markets and festivals, but only opened their Logan Heights sidewalk stall in the summer of 2016. Both business owners credit their recent expansions to their involvement with Accion San Diego, a nonprofit micro-lender. Accion serves San Diego, Imperial, San Bernadino and Riverside counties. Accion’s goal, said CEO Elizabeth Schott, is to provide resources for businesses and start-ups that do not qualify for capital loans from traditional banks. Borrowers can qualify for up to a $75,000 loan. “Our goal is to work with entrepreneurs that have some type of barrier with accessing financing,” Schott said. “We also offer different types of workshops and training.” Basabe and Rodriguez both completed the Accion Academy for Entrepreneurial Success, an eightt-week crash course in business management. “It’s basically from A-Z everything you need to know to start a business,” Schott said. “From (creating) a business plan, financial projections, permitting and licensing issues to digital and social marketing.”

Story and Photos by Andrew Dyer

Graduates also have access to up to a $5,000 loan to start their businesses. Schott said Accion clients were 65 to 70 percent low to moderate income and 50 percent women, and ran the gamut in ages, from college graduates to retirees. The academy is not just for traditional brick-and-mortar shops. Chrisi Hard said she has always loved baking. When a divorce and a daughter with special needs kept her at home, she began taking orders from friends. “Daycare was not an option and I needed to be with her,” she said. “Friends just started calling and ordering baked goods. I know how to bake, but did not know the business side so well.” It was about 15 years later Hard found out about the academy at Accion, and she credits the course with changing the way she approaches her business. “I am more efficient,” she said. “I have mentors I can call when I have questions about things.” Hard said the loan from Accion has also been helpful. “It helped me buy supplies in bulk and upgrade my brochures and business cards. My website is also getting upgraded right now,” she said. “I can’t say enough good about my experience with (Accion).” People with poor to no credit can be susceptible to predatory lend-

‘Small businesses in San Diego comprise over 90 percent of all businesses so they’re powerful in our local economy, creating jobs and contributing to our tax base,” says Accion CEO Elizabeth Schott. ‘We see a lot of people looking to donate to our organization because of the impact we’re making on the economy.’

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SMALL BUSINESS

Sisters Elizabeth Rodriguez, left, and Danielle Cisneros operate Chicanista Boutique in Logan Heights.

Manuel Basabe, owner of boutique Mesheeka, completed the Accion Academy for Entrepreneurial Success, an eightt-week crash course in business management.

ing practices, and Schott said Accion is aware of the issue. “We helped spearhead the borrower’s bill of rights (to) make sure that pricing, fees and interest rates are transparent,” she said. “We’re always educating our clients that sometimes the quickest loans are not the best structured loans.” Schott said some clients come to Accion already paying off bad loans. “In some cases we’ve been able to refinance them out with our loan program,” she said. Accion is funded by a menagerie of government and private entities, including federal and local grants as well as banking partnerships. A grant from Wells Fargo launched the entrepreneur’s academy three years ago and continues to fund it today. “Small businesses in San Diego comprise over 90 percent of all businesses so they’re powerful in our local economy, creating jobs and contributing to our tax base,” Schott said. “We see a lot of people looking to donate to our organization because of the impact we’re making on the economy.” Basabe said the academy changed his approach to business, especially his bookkeeping. “I would just throw it in a box,” he said. “I had a bookkeeping box. Now I have a ledger, a file and everything is super organized.” As an artist, he said he struggled at first with the numbers part of the business. “That’s not the fun part of having a business,” Basabe said. “The fun part is making money, meeting people and talking and laughing. That’s the fun part.” He also took out a loan upon graduation in order to fund the next phase of Mesheeka: ice cream. “In five years we’re going to be the ice cream king of San Diego,” he said. “It’s going to be culturally inspired flavors, stuff that’s normally seen in Mexico. Horchata, abuelita’s chocolate and spicy flavors like jalapeno and habanero.” He said he was not going to give up on his fashion line, however. “There’s going to be an ice cream shop but with a gift shop,”

Basabe said. “We’re going to keep everything but it’s going to be a different look, the focus is going to be on the ice cream.” Rodriguez and Cisneros have similar goals for growth for Chicanista Boutique, now located in front of ThChrch on Logan Avenue. “We’d like to have multiple locations with carts,” Cisneros said. “We want to have different workshops, like sewing and piñata-making classes.” Chicanista’s first piñata-making class is scheduled for Oct. 15. “We learned to sew from our aunts and our mom,” Rodriguez said. “These are things close to our culture, and we want to continue these traditions.” Rodriguez, who graduated from Accion’s Entrepenuer’s Academy one year ago, said the course has helped her hone in and focus on her business. “Having a business counselor available who has real world experience who is not disrespectful, but honest and straightforward really changed the game,” she said. “They teach you how to succeed using skills and techniques that might push you out of your comfort zone, but that’s where you learn the most, and that’s where you become successful.” Making the leap into entrepreneurship can be intimidating. Schott said fear and lack of preparation are common roadblocks for aspiring entrepreneurs. She said education and being familiar with one’s credit were key in launching a business. “Surround yourself with experts and find a trusted accountant,” she said. Basabe, Rodriguez and Hard all said they would recommend the Accion academy to anyone planning on starting a business. “I think anyone who is just starting or considering starting a business should consider participating,” Rodriguez said. “The loan (from Accion) has helped me grow and improve my business,” Basabe said. “Big banks are kind of heartless, and Accion is for the people. I’m really blessed.”

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