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Nonprofit Helping To Care For Migrant Children At San Diego Convention Center

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POOL PHOTO VIA NEVIN CEPEDA / UNION-TRIBUNE

City and county leaders tour the San Diego Convention Center where unaccompanied children who crossed the border seeking asylum are expected to stay until they can be reunited with families or placed with a foster family, March. 27, 2021.

The first 500 teenage girls arrived at the convention center Saturday night. Services for the teens, such as family reunification, education and health care, will be provided by a mix of government agencies and local nonprofit organizations. Plus, data gathered by The San Diego Union-Tribune revealed that police officers and sheriff’s deputies disproportionately target minorities for stops, searches, arrests and use of force. And though the Marine Corps has now integrated its two boot camps, that's just one of several hurdles it faces to fully embrace women. Then, the Farm Workforce Modernization Act, the latest attempt to stabilize the agricultural workforce, passed in the House last week. Plus, the San Diego Public Library Foundation wants the community to think about the future of its libraries. Finally, the newest episode of “The Parker Edison Project” examines sex and dating on the West Coast.

Speaker 1: 00:01 Migrant teenagers arrive for shelter at the convention center.

Speaker 2: 00:05 From the girl's perspective, their need is contact their families. The girls are really wanting to get to the end of their journey.

Speaker 1: 00:12 I'm Maureen Cavenaugh with Jade Heinemann. This is KPBS midday edition. Racial disparities in policing are the subject of the new UT watchdog report.

Speaker 2: 00:30 Community leaders, community activists experts are very quick to point out that, um, bias is that racism explicit and implicit are fueling these disparities.

Speaker 1: 00:41 Your input is invited on the future of San Diego libraries and the KPBS podcast. The Parker Edison project takes on the subject of sex and dating on the West coast. That's ahead on midday edition. Over the weekend, the San Diego convention center received a rivals of unaccompanied migrant children. The Biden administration request to the convention center is one of the shelters for an influx of child asylum seekers from the Texas Arizona border. The convention center will be a temporary home for hundreds of teenage girls who began arriving here by plane and bus on Saturday services for the teenagers, such as family reunification education and healthcare will be provided by a mix of government agencies and local nonprofit organizations. One of those local groups is SBC S the former South Bay community services organization and its chief executive officer Kathy Lambo joins us now, Kathy, welcome to the program.

Speaker 2: 01:43 Thank you. It's very nice to be here and thank you for your interest in this. Now,

Speaker 1: 01:48 Can you take us inside the convention center and tell us what's been set up for the girls' accommodations.

Speaker 2: 01:54 Girls are, are all in, uh, the convention center, as you know, uh, they each have their own bed, uh, and they have wonderful, uh, backpacks with clothes and all kinds of supplies, uh, and all of their health and safety needs are being met. Children's hospital is, is on scene and, and a lot of other providers. Now, how many girls are you expecting? We have right now about 400. I think it was 75 or 85 girls who came in Saturday night and we have another 250 girls coming in Monday night, which is tonight actually, which as you read in the paper and then another 250 girls coming on Wednesday night until we get to 1,450, you know, there's a need for a lot more, but currently that's what the convention center can hold with fire clearances and all of that.

Speaker 1: 02:47 And what are their top needs when they arrive at the convention center

Speaker 2: 02:52 From the girl's perspective, I think their top need is contact their families. The girls are really wanting to get to the end of their journey, but their needs are when they come in. The first thing is, is have them come in and it's sort of a medical check children's hospital. Does the medical check. Then we get the girls intaked in a sense, since they come in at night, there may need as they want to go to sleep. Uh, so, so we try to do that as quickly as, as possible and gently as possible and really get them to their, their place to sleep, uh, get them some rest. And then in the morning when they get up, get them showered, get breakfast parents, you can imagine what is like getting that many children up to eat breakfast and to shower starting on Wednesday morning, the San Diego County office of education will start their services and they will be, uh, doing schooling, uh, for the girls.

Speaker 2: 03:48 Uh, obviously it's not going to be that kind of traditional serve schooling. Uh, they will be, they have a migrant education program. So obviously English will be a big part of it, um, because the girls all speak Spanish and they also speak some indigenous dialects. Um, also teaching them about American life. We're going to have art there. They're going to have a lot of different activities. During the 24 hours, we have complete site supervision with of them. And the wonderful thing about it, it's local nonprofit CBOs that are doing it. Uh, new alternatives, San Diego, youth services, Casa familiar, the math project, the Y MCA, we've all come together as a group to make sure that these girls are cared for

Speaker 1: 04:33 When it comes to that family reunification as the top priority, what agency or organization is going to handle that.

Speaker 2: 04:41 So SB CS is going to do that. Um, it's called case management and it, what it entails is, is contacting the relatives, making sure that they are who they say they are putting them through checks, because we want to make sure that when HHS releases the girls from custody, that they're being released to the right family members, the right distant family member or family friend, and that putting them through the kinds of, of, uh, really big checks that we, that have to be done now, can

Speaker 1: 05:12 The public help out in any way,

Speaker 2: 05:14 Um, how the public can help out is, is one of the things, and, and we're talking to, to the foundation about, to a foundation about this is right now, we can take direct donations. You can donate through our website. Uh, what we want to do is we want to have a fun so that when the girls go to their family members in the United States, we can give them some money to do something like buy a bed, uh, buy clothes, buy extra linens and towels. Cause remember these girls, aren't going to wealthy families. Uh, they're going to hardworking people here in the United States. Um, and so we want to make sure that, you know, all teenagers are very expensive, um, for all of us. And our website is SPCs San diego.org. And we can take in kind donations, uh, volunteer opportunities exist. We have to vet the volunteers through a very stringent process, but the state office, uh, department of justice is helping do that in an expediated fashion. Um, so it's whatever people want to do. And also we'll take donations, financial donations, and all of those financial donations will, every dollar will be used to go to the girls, uh, because the federal government is reimbursing us for this work.

Speaker 1: 06:32 I've been speaking with the chief executive officer of SB C S one of the local nonprofit organizations that is arranging services for the migrant children being housed temporarily at the San Diego convention center. And the CEO is Kathy limbo. And thank you for speaking.

Speaker 2: 06:51 Oh, thank you. And thank you for your interest in this. Thank you very much.

Speaker 3: 07:03 Data has been consistent for years study after study has revealed police and Sheriff's deputies disproportionately target minorities for stops searches, arrest, and use of force a new analysis by the San Diego union Tribune examined nearly half a million stops by San Diego police officers and sheriff deputies between July of 2018 and December of 2020 Lindsay. Winkling a watchdog reporter with the San Diego union Tribune joins us to discuss that data. Lindsay, welcome and thanks for having me. So what were the findings, the main findings from your analysis?

Speaker 2: 07:41 I think notably, we found that one in five stops, um, initiated by the San Diego police department, uh, involved black people, even though black individuals make up less than 6% of the city's population. So that's a pretty big gap. Uh, San Diego offers officers were also more likely to use force on minority groups, including black and Latino people than whites. Uh, Sheriff's deputies were more likely to use force on native Americans, both departments searched black and native American people at higher rates than whites and at the Sheriff's department. Um, those two minority groups were actually less likely to be found with contraband than white people when they were searched. Um, and sort of overall San Diego police arrested. I mean, everybody native Americans, blacks, Pacific Islanders and Latinos at higher rates than white individuals.

Speaker 3: 08:32 And these findings are mirrored statewide as well.

Speaker 2: 08:36 Yeah, absolutely. I mean, these are very much in line with what we have seen at the state level. And, um, to be honest, these are pretty in line with what we see across the country at police departments, but what's been

Speaker 3: 08:48 The response from the Sheriff's department and police department about this day.

Speaker 2: 08:52 Well, I will say that this sort of data doesn't surprise police leaders. I mean this sort of data doesn't really surprise anybody at this point. I mean, when you talk to community leaders, when you talk to, um, when you talk to police leaders, I mean, they have access to this. They know what the disparities are. Um, they know that, that there are disparities across the board. I think when you're talking about the difference in how community activists see this data or experts, and when you see and how police departments generally look at this data, um, it's the cause of the disparity is what's under debate, right? Because community leaders, community activists, experts are very quick to point out that, um, bias that racism explicit and implicit are fueling these disparities. And while police leaders are, are willing to acknowledge that bias, likely plays a role in disparity, which I think is kind of, I mean, we've really come a long way that that police leaders are, um, identifying that as well. Um, but they feel that other, uh, factors are more likely fueling disparity, um, at, at greater levels than officer bias.

Speaker 3: 10:05 Here's sheriff bill Gore's response from 2019 after data from a campaign zero report showed blacks were twice as likely as whites to be stopped.

Speaker 4: 10:15 I'm not saying there isn't a problem. I don't know. I want, and we're going to go out and hire an independent group to come in and look at these statistics. If there's, I want to know what the problem is so I can address it. If there is a problem, I don't want to go off and just assume because 8% of the stops were African-American and only 5% of the population that my deputies are prejudice. There's there's maybe where were these stops? What precinct, what, what beat and how many African-Americans were in that beat that was not really covered in this study. And I think if we're going to address the problem, address a problem, we've got to properly identify the problem. I, I'm not putting my head in the sand. If there's a problem, we'll change our training. We'll, we'll do whatever it takes to make sure that my deputies are, are abiding by the laws of the state and the constitution of the state of California.

Speaker 3: 11:03 You know, now that that time has passed and there's even more data. Do you think sheriff Gore is putting his head in the sand here?

Speaker 2: 11:11 Uh, that's a hard question to answer. I mean, I will say this, uh, the Sheriff's department did partner with the center for policing equity, which is the same, which is the same group at the San Diego police department has partnered with. Um, and I mean, center for policing equity is known, um, for looking at data and coming up with sort of concrete policy changes, um, that are meant to address disparity. I'll be honest though, um, the Sheriff's department, wasn't overly communicative with us about this topic. And so I guess it's hard to say definitively sort of their stance on this, but you know, when you say that it's hard to know if there is a problem. I mean, disparity is a problem. Disparity affects communities, um, and whether or not you feel that officer bias is at the root cause of those disparities. And that doesn't mean that you shouldn't be committed to making changes.

Speaker 3: 12:02 So what's been the response from local organizations about this data and how do they see this problem being fixed?

Speaker 2: 12:08 You've got a couple of groups in San Diego who been pushing hard for, um, a ban on consent searches. Um, so consent searches are when an officer can ask to search an individual, even if they don't necessarily suspect that there's kind of wrongdoing happening. Um, and research has shown that those sorts of searches are used disproportionately on people of color. Um, we found in our, uh, analysis that the San Diego police department was more likely to ask to search, uh, the Latino population. So within those consent searches, um, then the white population, despite the fact that white, the white population was more likely to be found with contraband, um, within consent searches. Um, and so they'd like to see those just kind of go away or at the very least have much more stringent, um, rules kind of placed on when they can happen. Um, and they also would like to see an end to things like protectable stops.

Speaker 2: 12:56 I mean, that's an, an investigatory tactic that's used by police departments. You know, if they see an individual who they think might match a description of something that they're trying to investigate, they can use like a minor traffic violation to pull that person over, um, and to ask more detailed questions. Um, and that's really something that, um, communities would like to see end, but ultimately those changes are sort of built on the foundation of decreasing the amount of interactions that police and community members have, right? Because we know that these disparities exist because certain populations are just being contacted more often.

Speaker 3: 13:32 And in your report, you say as evidence of disparities persist, some experts argue that minority communities should not have to prove that racial bias is at the root of such discrepancies. Uh, why is that?

Speaker 2: 13:44 We know that the history of policing is racist. Um, I mean, they were born out of slave patrols. I mean, this is something that that's not a contested fact really at this point, but I think what that expert was saying, and I think what a lot of people are saying is that it is difficult to prove, um, you know, bias beyond the shadow of a doubt within data, right? Um, it's not impossible, but it's difficult. Um, and I think what a lot of experts who study this data professionally, what they say is that, uh, it should be the burden of proof should be as equally placed on police departments, if not more so, but beyond that, let's focus on addressing disparities. Let's not get caught in the weeds with, you know, where these disparities come from. Let's acknowledge that disparities impact communities. And let's change that.

Speaker 3: 14:35 I've been speaking with Lindsay weekly, watched a reporter with the San Diego union Tribune. Lindsay, thank you very much for joining us.

Speaker 2: 14:43 And thanks so much for having me

Speaker 3: 14:45 For the first time. The Marine Corps has fully opened both its bootcamps to women. The first recruits arrived

Speaker 1: 14:52 In San Diego last month at a camp that since 1923 had trained only men, women will also continue to train at the Marine Corps, other facility at Paris Island, South Carolina, but KPBS military reporter, Steve Walsh tells us integrating bootcamp is just one of the hurdles in bringing gender equity to the core.

Speaker 5: 15:14 The first class of female recruits are a third of the way through training in San Diego, part of a congressionally mandated March to become the last service to integrate bootcamp.

Speaker 2: 15:30 Yeah,

Speaker 5: 15:31 They've gone through pool exercises and scaled obstacles in the confidence course. One obstacle for their leaders, keeping these women once they prove themselves and then finding more like them, women who want to become us Marines.

Speaker 2: 15:45 It's a profound transformation.

Speaker 5: 15:48 Leah booth was a Marine from 2004 to 2009.

Speaker 2: 15:51 I gotta say I had a blast at bootcamp. It's super hard. Obviously it's physical, it's raw. It's challenging. You don't get a ton of sleep. You're always on the move. Everybody loses

Speaker 5: 16:02 Women make up the close to 20% of the Navy. The number of women in the Marines is just under half of that. Despite foot-dragging on integrating bootcamp. The last two commandants of the Marine Corps have publicly found to increase the number of women in the core booth says one reason why there aren't more women is many of the most recognizable jobs or MOS is in the Marines had been closed to women.

Speaker 2: 16:27 Every job that a guy does with a few exceptions in the air force, but the main MOS in the Marine Corps, a women couldn't do up until really recently. So I'm sure that's part of it.

Speaker 5: 16:37 The core is also the only surface to fight the secretary of defense's decision to open up all combat roles to women in 2015, compared with the army, a relative handful of women have combat roles in the Marines. I try to stay

Speaker 2: 16:50 As much out of the office as I can. Sergeant

Speaker 5: 16:52 Leah angled is one of a few female Marine recruiters. Most Marines come right out of high school. Their image of the Corps comes straight out of video games

Speaker 2: 17:01 Duty and things like that. Seeing what's on TV

Speaker 5: 17:05 Marines, won't spend their career in the once restricted combat roles. The image actually makes it harder to recruit a broader pool of women. Recruiters often spend months getting both men and women into shape before they ship out. One of Ingles recruits is among the first class of women training in San Diego.

Speaker 2: 17:23 And I had it set in her mind that she wanted to be United States Marine. She just was a little bit concerned about maybe the physical aspect of things. And the way that I prepared her was we would actually meet here at the office, uh, twice to three times a week. And we would physically train to get ready.

Speaker 5: 17:39 And veterans say that bond that starts at bootcamp lasts a lifetime, even through hardship. And sometimes even through betrayal, Julie Weber started surfing in 1996

Speaker 6: 17:50 And my first duty station, I was raped and I was not supported by anybody in my unit. At least nobody whose opinion mattered the spectrum,

Speaker 5: 18:03 Sexual assault looms over the Marines, which typically lead the services and the number of assault and harassment allegations. Weber has a tattoo on her forearm of the globe and anchor the symbol of the Marines. She says she got it. After she left the Corps in 2012, after a second enlistment, as she struggled through law school, she wanted a daily reminder of what she could do.

Speaker 6: 18:26 I try to support people who need it. And I don't think I was always this way, but the Marine Corps kind of made me that way. And I am strong because of them.

Speaker 5: 18:38 Warrior tradition is built at bootcamp advocates say integrating the sexes is an opportunity for the court. Have finally recognized that this strength and determination instilled in the beginning, doesn't just apply to the men in San Diego. I'm Steve Walsh.

Speaker 1: 18:55 Joining me is KPBS military reporter, Steve Walsh, and Steve. Welcome. Hi Maureen, sit. Do we know how the first female Marine bootcamp recruits in San Diego are doing now that they are a third of the way through?

Speaker 5: 19:09 Yeah. They're, they're doing well. They've been under a two week quarantine because, um, there was a case of COVID. So I haven't had as much contact with them as I was hoping. They're just coming out of that quarantine. And they're actually now going up to camp Pendleton and that's their next phase of training. So we'll be going up there in the next week or so to talk to them. They have had a few dropouts. This happens, um, mostly injuries. Some of these recruits are now rehabbing and they'll end up probably catching the next class probably at Paris Island

Speaker 1: 19:41 Are all roles within the Marine Corps. Now open to female recruits.

Speaker 5: 19:46 They are, this happened. Um, and initially secretary of defense, Leon Panetta made that decision than was then enforced by Ash Carter. So since 2015 now Marines, the Marines were the only holdout. They came up with a report saying that integrated units fared slightly less well than non-integrated units. They haven't, uh, pointed to specific problems since then though. So, you know, bootcamping another example. Congress had to mandate the integration of bootcamp and now they're studying whether or not, you know, how they're going to go about doing that

Speaker 1: 20:19 Image of the U S Marines has for years been sort of hyper masculine. How has the core trying to change that image? So that values like honor courage and commitment also include women.

Speaker 5: 20:32 So, I mean, there are promotional materials that include women. Now you will always see online when anytime the Marines put out a video that doesn't include female Marines, people will point that out that, you know, they've made more of an effort to include women. Now I went to the Poway recruiting station, which actually has three female recruiters there at the moment, but that's, that's almost an aberration out of the 3,763 Marines that are working in recruiting only 83 are women. So very rarely would you have several in the same place? You know, the Marines talk a lot about equality, you know, that they, they have made the standards the same for men and women in an effort to dispel the idea that women are somehow less than, uh, than the male Marines, you know, but that of course can cause its own problems for women. So the other services have looked more at like trying to modify some of those jobs where their standards may, you know, disproportionately impact women without jeopardizing the mission. The Marines seem a little less interested in that the Marines look more towards equality more than they do equity.

Speaker 1: 21:36 So just recently Fox news host Tucker Carlson, mocked women in the military, he said our fighting forces were becoming feminine. There was an immediate pushback from the Pentagon, but was Carlson tapping into attitudes within the military on that.

Speaker 5: 21:52 Yeah, those, those comments created a furor. And there, there were a lot of, there was a little pushback, not only in the active duty community, but in the veterans community. But sure there are men who don't want to see women in the Marines and there are others who don't some want to see them in combat roles, you know, but here's the silly thing. Honestly, Marines are very young service. The youngest service, it runs a 19 year old. So these crusty colonels on Fox news may think the world's going to come to an end by having women in the military. But you know, 19 year old men have been in positions of equality with 19 year old women, their whole lives. They've seen them lead. They've been around them in all types of situations, not just dating them. This is not a scary or a shocking thing to them. So when you separate them at bootcamp, you almost have to retrain them in these old ideas that somehow men are really different from women. So, you know, for the most part, these young Marines, this is just part of their wheelhouse and this is not scary to them.

Speaker 1: 22:54 You know, there must be a tremendous burden though, on these first young women in bootcamp and San Diego to prove themselves, how has the integration of women in Marine bootcamp, going at Paris Island, which started before San Diego

Speaker 5: 23:07 Paris Island is the only boot camp that that includes women. They've always been the bootcamp that trains women. When I talk to Marines and former Marines, uh, you know, women love this challenge. They, they want to be in this environment that, that others may not find palatable. They, they believe the core in the core and its mission and, and it, it changes their entire lives. So this is a special breed, both of men and of women, honestly.

Speaker 1: 23:33 Yeah. Uh, just to follow up on what you were saying about, you know, 19 year old Marine recruits of any gender are used to working with each other in ways that perhaps other generations were not, the Marine Corps has diversified before, back in the day, it integrated black Marines. Recently it received openly gay Marines into the core. Would you say the inclusion though, of women Marines in combat roles is its biggest diversity challenge?

Speaker 5: 24:01 Boy, I would hate to rate them because the Marines always seem to have the hardest time with change. I will say the Marines always seem to get stuck on the idea that there is no difference between in the Marines that everyone is Marine green. It's part of an ideal that equality with without equity, which can be a real problem. This is really a service that wants it. All they really needed was a few good men. The rules are designed to make men into Marines. The philosophy can cause problem with anyone who just doesn't fit that traditional ideal. You know, the Marines pride themselves though on this small group leadership and decision-making and women's brains seem to work just fine. In combat situations. I've, I've talked to several women who have been in combat situations and they were certainly able to lead. This is always going to be a very physically demanding job. And I don't think women would have any issue with that though. You know, not every women will ever want to become a us Marine, but there may be a need to create a better balance between the sheer physical force and the other qualities that go into being a Marine. The question is like, are the Marines even really looking at that balance?

Speaker 1: 25:14 Okay. Then I've been speaking with KPBS, military reporter, Steve Walsh, Steve. Thanks a lot. Thanks Marine. This month, the us house of representatives passed a farm workforce modernization act. It's passed by the Senate. The bill could give legal status to roughly half a million farm workers in California, K Q E D central Valley correspondent. Alex Hall has the story

Speaker 7: 25:46 In a citrus orchard West of Fresno, Joanie GoDaddy Hill quickly clips mandarins from a branch and drops them into a large canvas bag, strapped to his waist. Other workers climb ladders to reach higher fruit and make conversation between the tree tops. Perio says throughout the pandemic, he and the other workers couldn't shelter at home who does the work he asks me do. He says, he's worked on us farms without legal status for five years. And other man says he's worked in the country for 18. It's not just in California. He says in every state you see immigrant farm workers under the farm workforce, bill cardio and others employed in agriculture for at least six months over the past two years could be eligible for work permits. And if they've done this work an authorized four years as roughly half of country's farm workers have they could get a green card. If they continue in the industry,

Speaker 8: 26:50 HR 16 three, a bill to

Speaker 6: 26:52 Amend the immigration and nationality

Speaker 7: 26:54 Last week, house members debated and ultimately passed the bill. Speaking on the house floor, Congresswoman Zoloft, grin pointed out how throughout the pandemic Americans were still able to find food at the grocery.

Speaker 8: 27:07 And for that, we need to thank the farmers of this country, but we also need to thank the farm workers of this country. A majority of whom are undocumented, a majority of whom have been here more than 10 years,

Speaker 7: 27:20 But some representatives argued that the bill would only encourage more migrants to come to the U S here's Republican Congressman Jody Hice of Georgia.

Speaker 8: 27:31 So legislation that says just come work on a farm and we're going to give you amnesty. 1.5 million people are going to become citizens for working minimal time on farm.

Speaker 7: 27:42 In fact, only people already working in agriculture would qualify for legal status. The bill would also require all ag employers to adopt IE, verifying a system for checking authorization, to work in the U S some Republican support. The bill Congressman David validate represents California's 21st district, not far from the citrus Grove, where Kareo was hired. He's working to bring Republican senators on board.

Speaker 6: 28:10 So there's a lot of States with Republican senators that have a lot of bag, and you've got Florida, you've got South Carolina, you've got North Carolina,

Speaker 7: 28:17 Says the bill is good for growers. And that it reworks the H two, a guest worker visa program, long criticized as expensive and burdensome. And he hopes the Senate can make it even more business.

Speaker 6: 28:31 Especially when you come to smaller farms, they don't have the ability to hire the office personnel needed to get through the regulatory process of hiring H2O folks. We have to make sure it's something that functions for our farmers. And so the whole HTA component, they do modernize it a little bit in this bill. Uh, I don't believe it goes far enough. And I hope that in the Senate that there is, uh, some Republicans that will help make that more doable for, for our farming community.

Speaker 7: 28:55 Although not all farm labor and business groups back the bill, the American farm Bureau Federation is one exception. Raising concerns that it won't allow enough guest workers for year round jobs like those in the dairy industry for Pat recruiting a third generation farmer in the central Valley. The bill makes sense because it allows growers to legalize their existing workforce.

Speaker 6: 29:19 It eliminates the fear for them to not have a workforce. They want to do the right thing for their workers. And, uh, we depend on each other. We work side by side. Uh, I would not have them do something that I wouldn't do myself

Speaker 7: 29:35 Democratic Senator Michael Bennet of Colorado and Republican Mike creepo of Idaho are expected to introduce a companion bill in the Senate soon they'll need at least nine other GOP senators to avoid a filibuster and move the bill forward. That was KQ ed central Valley correspondent, Alex Hall reporting.

Speaker 1: 30:00 One of the San Diego institutions that has had to shift gears during the pandemic is the public library system. Most libraries have been closed for months with some open to only limited in-person services. During that time, a virtual library services have been expanded with things like virtual book chats and online books available. Now the San Diego public library foundation wants the community to think about the future of libraries. It's developing a new library, master plan, a blueprint for how the library system can look and function in the coming years. A community survey is open to all San Diego bins until mid April. And joining me to talk about it is Patrick Stewart, CEO of the San Diego public library foundation, and Patrick, welcome to the program. Thank you. What is the status of city libraries now are in-person services expanding

Speaker 9: 30:56 Right now? It's pretty much exactly as you described, there are a handful of libraries that are open for very limited in-person services. There's no browsing in the stacks. It's really just being able to pick up holds, being able to drop books off. And in branches like central, you can come in and there's a couple of computers that are available to be used for very limited amount of time. A few other branches are available for outdoor pick up and drop off, and then 10 branches have what we call computers in the courtyard. And that's an opportunity for patrons to check out laptops and use them here on site, uh, in outdoor spaces for about an hour to 90 minutes each and be able to turn them back in that same day.

Speaker 1: 31:38 Yeah, so, so these are some of the ways that the libraries have innovated during the pandemic. Tell us about how virtual meetings and book clubs have gone over with the public.

Speaker 9: 31:48 All of this stuff, you know, that the library is doing from a technological or digital perspective are really going over very well. The E resources have expanded, um, by hundreds of percent, depending on different platforms that people are checking out using different databases, learning software eBooks have expanded by about 130% as have the way that library patrons are connecting. As you're saying through virtual book clubs and virtual meetups, we expect that this kind of a service will still be expected. Uh, after we open in full there's a significant amount of our patrons and the population that really finds this new connection to the virtual or digital side of the library to be very beneficial for them and the way that they work and the way that they would interact with library and library services. Do you a timeline

Speaker 1: 32:40 In terms of when the libraries are expected to start fully reopening for in-person services?

Speaker 9: 32:46 No, we don't right now, it's, we're still really relying on the tier system. You know, once we really see cases come down, we start moving into a safer tiers. Then the library system will be able to open up little by little to patrons, but right now we're really just taking the cues from the County. And, uh, and it probably will, we'll most likely be in the situation that we're in now for the next couple of months.

Speaker 1: 33:12 I'm wondering why are you developing a new library master plan now, is it because of the innovations developed during the pandemic?

Speaker 9: 33:20 Well, the, the innovations developed during the pandemic really given us an opportunity to highlight what the digital and virtual side of the library looks like along with being able to understand how technology is being used or not being used in library branches. You know, we have an existing plan, uh, that was drafted in the late nineties using 1990 census data and then adopted in the early two thousands. And, and this plan that exists now, it doesn't take into account population growth in many neighborhoods that left out a lot of branches, and it doesn't reflect how libraries are used today, specifically with regards to technology. Now, the plan that we're working on and developing now, uh, was already in the works before we went into lockdown last spring, we had developed, uh, with the group G4 group four, it's an architecture firm in Sandy, in San Francisco that focuses largely on libraries.

Speaker 9: 34:14 We had already developed a phase zero assessment of the library system that was presented to the library board of commissioners in December of 2019. And so we decided even after, um, after COVID hit that we were going to continue with the development of the master plan. And particularly, like I said, because of our ability to see how technology was being used by library patrons, and, uh, being able to address specifically some inequities with technology and, uh, and branch usage in a lot of neighborhoods. So this is, this has been the perfect time to do this as far as we're concerned. Can

Speaker 1: 34:51 You elaborate a little bit about those inequities?

Speaker 9: 34:54 Currently branch capacity is at about 0.3 square feet per capita system-wide. And again, with a projected city growth, we know that we're going to be well below that level in the next decade. And there's also, you know, some significant inequity in how that 0.3 square feet per capita is currently being distributed. Um, we have a lot of older, smaller branches in communities that have experienced some significant population growth. I would point to Oak park as being one ocean beach as being another one, um, very small neighborhood branches that are trying to serve as best they can as many patrons and community members in their neighborhoods. And then really important, you know, while the library has some significant technological advances, it faces some serious challenges around how the equality of technology accesses exists throughout the system. So, um, this is a perfect time to really take a look at not only, you know, what's really working in the library system, but be able to project future growth and future use in technology for the library system going forward.

Speaker 1: 35:59 So what kind of information are you looking for from the public?

Speaker 9: 36:03 So we've got our cube, like you said, our community engagement, uh, phase has kicked off and it starts with the community survey. And right now the community survey asked the community to think about what really works for your library experience. Uh, the survey is thorough. It includes questions about library use, where particular barriers may exist. We look for community insight. That's not just around the library, but there are questions in there about why is your community special to you and also addresses technology and addresses the inequities in the system and the kinds of things that you would like to see out of your library and the kind of way that you intersect or interact with your library? Um, one of the things that we've noticed too, is a, um, it's a significant, there's about 12% of the respondents don't even live in the city of San Diego's boundaries. So we know that libraries are being used by, uh, residents who live outside of the city in San Diego. And so we want to hear from them too. Do you use the library? Do you use the city of San Diego public library, branch, and, uh, and we wanna hear from you, and we also want to hear from people who don't use the library, don't use the branches, why or why not? So we're really seeking a broad bit of insight from the committee

Speaker 1: 37:18 And people can go to support my library.org to fill out that survey. And they have until April 17th to do that. I've been speaking with Patrick Stewart, CEO of the San Diego public library foundation. Patrick. Thank you. Thank you very much.

Speaker 3: 37:36 KPBS midday edition. I'm Jade Hindman with Maureen Kavanaugh. What comes to mind when you think of American culture? Well, the new podcast by KPBS, the Parker Edison project zooms weigh in on what really makes a culture, food, music, sex style, fashion, and more all through the lens of black America and an excerpt from episode four of the podcast, host Parker, Edison examined sex and dating on the West coast. He talks to underground rapper. Alex. Ocana also known as two Mex about being a musician and how it's influenced his songwriting and his romantic life.

Speaker 1: 38:17 [inaudible] for my listeners. Who are you in? What city are we in? Um, my name's Alex man. They come in to mags from early underground parties and we're currently in long beach, California. I'm from mid city, but I've been in long beach for a couple of years now. Thank so much for having us here

Speaker 10: 38:36 Today. Yeah, no, that's a pleasure, bro. I like what you guys are doing right off the bat. This, you know, this whole episode is about love sex. What part does romance play in your songs and in your work? I find it most towns playing a dominating role because it dominates our thoughts as men. You know what I mean? Whether you're married or not married or single or not single. I mean, that's the man woman dynamic of the, for me personally, it's the dominating force, you know, my life. So, you know, I love women and you know, I've always been fascinated with wanting to find a partner. You know what I mean? And build, you know what I mean? It gets it get to that point. Let me ask you this. How many albums are in your catalog today? And um, I know this is going to sound weird, but I believe if you count all my different band albums, I believe I have 27 records as of today.

Speaker 10: 39:30 Does your, does your rap lifestyle hinder your love life? It used to. I mean, now, you know, now I'm more grounded, but yeah. Oh for sure. It'd be, you know, I've, I've had women that I wanted to really date and have relationships with and they'll be like, no, I don't like this. Like I don't like going to a show with you and there's 10 other women trying to take pictures of it. You know what I mean? Just natural or there, although they'll think that the music is, they're just like, that's not my life. Right. And I could respect, I can respect somebody for that. And like I said, there's such a theme of love in your recordings. I mean, when you have that connection, it's it can be so intense. I've always been, I don't have any kids. I'm not married. So I've always been very, uh, kind of a commitment folk.

Speaker 10: 40:11 Do you write the most when you're in love when you're falling in love or when you're out of the relationship? Good question at this point, the way that I write kind of prolifically, it doesn't matter most. So it just, you know, in love, out of love, out of my mind, love, I love you from inside of my mind, love that kind love, that kind of love that cats get in, lied to love the cure. Love cats kind of live. I could watch a movie and see the relationship instead of a movie of two people that are, they're obviously just acting, I can fictitiously create a song, like if it was me, but it's not, I imagine you love someone, but they're out of town or you love someone, but they love someone else or, Oh, in hindsight, did you break more hearts than you've had your heartbroken?

Speaker 10: 40:55 Yeah. Yeah, I think so. Because when I was young, I was a nice guy. No, getting my heart broken, being a recording artist and having this kind of fame, this fake temporary adulation. Yeah. I went from zero to a hundred. So I went from barely dating people at all and then clicking into being kind of underground rap famous, I think as a man who was not married or, and not having kids and went through that for a long period of time. And so I realized that maybe that's not the life you want to live. Oh, you know what I mean? I've already messed up and lost. There's some quality women out there that are, whether they're friends with me or not. Some of them are not friends of me anymore. Some of them are, but man, I there's a couple of quality women out there that I, that I've passed up on and I will never have that opportunity again, you know, Whoa, you said, you, you said this thing, you're like, yo, I got this underground rap fame.

Speaker 10: 41:46 And I'm like, let me, let me put some context to that because one of the things that I'm super a fan of is the movie whip it, uh, yeah, that song. I have a song on there, on, in the movie once again, whip it. Oh yeah. So while you're talking about underground fame, I'm like underground. As in drew Barrymore, Juliette Lewis movies underground. I've had my moments. So many of the visionaries, we're lucky enough to put a song in the movie, oceans 12. I got, I got a song on the Twilight zone and there's a new visionary album, a new visionaries album out right now. It's called V we're blessed jazzy. Jeff blessed us with the interlude. The intro is by Harry Allen. He does a two and a half minute synopsis on the group. It's amazing boat. Like the highlight of my life. Speaking of new music, you got a single out right now and it's a produced by will I am.

Speaker 10: 42:38 Yeah. Yeah. And features will on the record. What's the name of it? It's called LA underground. And uh, yeah, I was blessed by, well, I am from black IPS. Uh, he, um, I asked him to do a verse and he ended up redoing the whole song, producing it, dropping two verses chopping my verse up. And I mean, made it seem like a duet. You know what I mean? Will I am is brilliant. And so, you know, he blessed me with a, with a song, you know, I've known well, since I was in high school, I went to high school. Well, you know, we always talked about randomly doing something and dude, he just totally lace me on new year's. You know, as the, as new year's was clicking over to this year, like 11 o'clock, 12 o'clock he was hitting me up. Like, I'm like, dude, aren't you will, I am bro. Like you got some more cracking. They do on new years. I'm very grateful, man. And he's going to hopefully produce some more stuff and you know, keep moving. Can you do me a favor and just tell people your name and introduce the song for me. My name is two max and a song called LA underground and features where I am. And uh, it's a dope song. You should check it out.

Speaker 11: 43:43 [inaudible]

Speaker 3: 43:43 That was Parker Edison host and co-creator of the new KPBS podcast, the Parker Edison project speaking to underground rapper to mix the full episode, exploring sex and dating on the West coast is online. Now listen to and subscribe wherever you get your podcast.

Speaker 11: 43:59 You see my buddy got me

Speaker 3: 44:05 Coming up on KPBS evening edition at 5:00 PM on KPBS television, the resources coming together for migrant children and join us again tomorrow for KPBS midday edition at noon. And if you ever miss a show, you can find the midday edition podcast on your favorite podcast app. I'm Jade Hindman with Maureen. Kevin, thanks for listening.

Speaker 11: 44:27 Is that real LA underground hip hop Brown.

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KPBS Midday Edition

KPBS Midday Edition is a daily talk show hosted by Maureen Cavanaugh and Jade Hindmon, keeping San Diegans in the know on everything from politics to the arts.