OP/ED: MIDDLE CLASS MUST BE HIGHER PRIORITY FOR CA LEADERS

We don’t share a lot of op/eds by California politicians, but this one by Assemblymember Raul Bocanegra (D-San Fernando) just seems to make a lot of sense so thought we’d share:

For years, economists, business leaders and policymakers warned that the decline in blue-collar manufacturing jobs in California would leave us with a shrinking middle class, limited economic mobility and a plethora of social ills traditionally equated with systemic poverty.

A recent report by the Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation demonstrates that those warnings have become a reality.

Since 2007, the loss of our manufacturing base has cost Los Angeles nearly 89,000 good-paying middle-class jobs. Those jobs have been replaced with service-sector jobs that pay less than half of the jobs they replaced. At the same time, Los Angeles County has seen poverty rates climb, the middle class shrink, housing affordability grow beyond the grasp of working people, and homelessness hit crisis proportions. Our “middle class” is slipping away into a world of haves and have-nots.

Even more troubling is the clear racial and ethnic components of the growing class divide. As we become more racially diverse, we are also becoming more segregated by class. Latinos have emerged as the largest ethnic group in California at precisely

Click here to read the full op/ed.

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