Each year, the U.S. Census Bureau releases the American Community Survey, a mini census that gathers demographic and socio-economic information from roughly 3 million households nationwide. The point is to provide up-to-date information for policymakers in the years between the decennial censuses.
ACS results were released Tuesday morning. Nationally, according to the Economic Policy Institute, household income is up and poverty's down, but this comes with a caveat: People are getting paid less and working more hours to compensate, according to EPI.
The ACS survey also provides county-level data. San Diego's Center on Policy Initiatives analyzed that data Tuesday. Some of what the CPI analysis found:
• In San Diego County, 57 percent of workers make less than $50,000 a year.
• Ninety-one percent of employed San Diego County residents make less than $75,000 a year.
• Eight percent of households in the county earn below the federal poverty level ($10,294).
CPI spokesperson Susan Duerkson said it was a surprise that individual incomes were down (3.9 percent from 2005), even though household incomes, similar to the nationwide trend, were up. What's going on, Duerkson said, is that household-income stats are "pulled up by people at the top." Of the combined individual salaries in San Diego County, the wealthiest 20 percent of residents take home half the money while the poorest 20 percent take home just under 4 percent.
Danae Kelley, the 23-year-old animal-rights activist who was jailed after an Aug. 18 protest in La Jolla, was released from custody last Wednesday after the District Attorney's Office chose not to file charges against her. Kelley was held on $50,000 bail for three days under a state law that makes it a felony to verbally threaten another person with injury or death.
Out of roughly 20 protestors, she was the only one arrested. A police spokesperson said Kelley was singled for making a threat, but Kelley, who friends describe as a vegan committed to non-violence, told her lawyer that the protestors had gotten into their cars and were leaving the neighborhood when they came upon a 12-car police barrier.
Attorney Jerry Singleton said that if police can't prove they had good cause to arrest Kelley, he plans to file a civil-rights suit on her behalf. "It seems to be more that they were upset that Danae and others were doing protests at people's homes, so they arrested her to get them to stop."
Troy Pickard, a senior law clerk for Singleton, said the group's demonstration was aimed at Huntingdon Life Sciences, a British-based animal-testing lab that contracts with pharmaceutical, bio-chemical and food companies.
"Many activists view [HLS] as being one of the most heinous violators of animal rights," Pickard said. When CityBeat spoke to him, he wasn't sure who owned the home targeted by protesters or how that person was affiliated with HLS.
Two years ago, Kelley, along with animal-rights activists David Agranoff and Nicole Fink, spent several weeks in jail for refusing to testify to a criminal grand jury about who attended an August 2003 talk given by environmentalist Rod Coronado in Hillcrest. At the talk, in response to an audience question, Coronado picked up a jug of apple juice from a refreshment table and briefly mentioned how, during his more radical days, he'd turn similar containers into incendiary devices.
Coronado was later charged with violating federal law because, prosecutors argued, someone who saw his talk could then go out and make a similar device. A trial start-date is set for Sept. 10.