With a mission to actively shape and advocate for an inclusive economic development model, Just SB is working to change the story and future of economic development in San Bernardino County and the larger Inland Empire region and to create more economic opportunity for San Bernardino working families by working together with residents in order to create a community-centered economy that truly benefits local residents.
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The arts reinforce healthy communities through creative investment and visible signs of care. Healthy communities in turn create the nourishing ground for local businesses to thrive. Artists in the city are already creating paths for this to happen. They are working together with other artists, business owners, and nonprofits to organize clean-up events to keep their streets clean, to hire muralists and produce weekly events downtown and across the city, in parks, at community centers, and in neighborhood business parking lots.
The question of job quality and economic opportunity is central to the People’s Plan for San Bernardino. For too long, the leadership has neglected the needs of the residents who live, work, or go to school in the city. Specifically, we have seen the unstructured growth of the goods movement sector (logistics and warehousing), which represents a group of employers that have tended not to provide a living wage. San Bernardino is a terminal for BNSF Railyard, Amazon air, and several trucking lines, making it an extremely valuable part of the goods movement sector which moves $500 billion in freight through the region every year.
Education is a central component of a comprehensive economic growth and development strategy. The efficiency of the San Bernardino Unified school district has long been in question by the community. Interestingly, it is not the low high school graduation rates in San Bernardino unified that residents have questioned. Instead, the community has questioned the lack of social preparedness that students exhibit once they have graduated.
The ENVIRONMENT & HEALTH
Residents in San Bernardino are continuously faced with poor air quality, health issues, and displacement from the ongoing expansion of the logistics industry in the region. On the topic of environmental justice and health, PC4EJ conducted 32 interviews. The participants for these interviews were primarily residents who have been living in San Bernardino for more than 6 years, from ages 12-20 and 40-65.
In San Bernardino, community members experience a vast difference in quality of life, which is heavily determined by local costs of housing. Due to our current economic climate, home ownership has become increasingly difficult. For some in San Bernardino, securing housing is an impossibility while others are forced to make severe sacrifices over periods of 5-10 years while saving for a down payment on a home. As a result of rising costs of living and stagnant wages, any potential mortgage savings are at risk when a medical emergency, accident, death, job loss or a combination of the above.
Job Access & Reentry
For San Bernardino policy makers, the focus on mass incarceration and prison expansion has also failed on the promise of public safety. With an over-investment in the business of punishment and under-investment in job and life skills for youth and adults, residents are denied the safety and security that is possible when people work and thrive in their community. Among the 4,223 respondents polled for this report, the majority strongly believed that there are more effective alternatives to jail and prison.
In recent decades, the Inland Empire region has become ground-zero for a startling growth in low-wage jobs, poor working conditions, and environmental degradation. Most of this growth has been led by five specific industries; health care, retail, food service, education, and the goods-movement/logistics industries.
Youth Action Project (YAP) assists youth and young adults who are facing barriers to employment and academic opportunities. Our target population ranges in age from 14 to 24 years-old and includes high school, college, and university students / recent graduates, justice-involved youth and opportunity youth between the ages of 16-24 that are neither enrolled in school or employed.