Lee and Pelosi talk middle class jobs in unequal SF

By Rebecca Bowe : sfbg – excerpt

House minority leader Nancy Pelosi (D-SF) joined Mayor Ed Lee at a press conference yesterday [Tue 12] at Yerba Buena across from the construction site of a Central Subway station. It was billed as an event highlighting how “San Francisco has been in the lead” on creating middle-class jobs, investing in transportation, and ensuring fair wages for workers.

But as these words in the press advisory leapt out at us, we at the Bay Guardian responded with raised eyebrows. Really? It has?

The point of this media appearance, we learned upon arrival, was to promote House Democrats’ newly unveiled Middle Class Jumpstart agenda – a legislative package floated to bolster the middle class, in advance of the upcoming midterm election. Pelosi and Lee also sought to highlight the Central Subway as a transportation infrastructure project that’s spurring middle-class job creation (The $1.6 billion Central Subway project has also spurred mystifying questions as to how the money is actually being spent, but that’s a different story).

Creating middle class jobs

The message was clear: San Francisco Democrats are here to support the middle class. But that’s a tough sell. Everyone knows that the middle class is vanishing from San Francisco as skyrocketing property values make it increasingly untenable for middle-income earners to reside here.

Instead, recent studies have shown that what’s really on the rise is income inequality: Even the San Francisco Chronicle pointed out that the city’s own customized Gini Coefficient, a formula used to measure wealth distribution, puts San Francisco on par with Rwanda in terms of its economic inequality.

Earlier this year, a Brookings Institute report found that the income gap between the city’s rich and poor is growing faster than in any other US city.

We asked Lee about that growing income inequality trend at the press conference… (more)

How much does this job creation program cost per job? Exactly how many middle class jobs do they claim were created by the Central Subway project for San Francisco residents and at what cost. That would be an interesting metric to look at. Total cost of the project divided by the number of middle class jobs.
This must be one of the most expensive job creation programs in history.

 

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