Holiday shopping expected to be impacted by supply chain shortage
Speaker 1: (00:01)
Los Angeles docs, open round the clock to untangle the supply chain.
Speaker 2: (00:05)
The supply chain isn't built to take a sustained chunk of time and bounce back like it did before.
Speaker 1: (00:12)
I'm Maureen Cavenaugh with Jade Heinemann. This is KPBS mid-day edition. Inflation on items from gas to groceries is soaring and San Diego
Speaker 3: (00:30)
Western markets, especially in California, we have higher housing costs and gas breaks. So that's why we're always sort of at the top end of inflation,
Speaker 1: (00:41)
California's reparations taskforce hears testimony on racial inequities, and we revisit a scientific journey into the world of waves and beaches. That's a on midday edition. First, the news,
Speaker 1: (01:01)
The port of Los Angeles will soon start operating on a 24 hour, seven day, a week basis in an attempt to start untangling the supply chain slow down across the country. The bond administration reached that deal to ease a cargo ship bottleneck at the LA and long beach ports. The two facilities are responsible for almost half of all imports into the United States, but it almost certainly will not be enough to fix the shortages. Plaguing our consumer economy, everything from groceries to computer chips, to running shoes and more have felt the crunch of an international supply chain suffering from pandemic. Disruption opinions vary on how long this problem will last. But there seems to be one universal bit of advice from experts across the country. And that is shop early for the holidays. Joining me is SDSU business lecturer, Miro Kopech, and we are a welcome back to the show.
Speaker 2: (02:01)
Thanks Maureen. Glad to be back
Speaker 1: (02:02)
Now. It's still hard to understand why so many aspects of the supply chain have broken down. We hear about manufacturing, shortages, transportation delays, backups at ports, and a shortage of truck drivers. How is the pandemic responsible for all of these things?
Speaker 2: (02:20)
Well, the easy answer is that our supply chain, the global supply chain is based on a, just in time approach. That means goods and services go across borders just in time to be delivered where they need to go. If there are disruptions from natural disasters, hurricanes floods fires to a pandemic, the supply chain isn't built to take a sustained chunk of time and, and bounce back like it did before. And so you have a lot of different parts of the, of the chain and the dominoes that are falling at different times, which is making it very difficult. For example, aside from all these tankers, you know, waiting to arrive with shipments of goods from, uh, foreign ports that are stacked outside of long beach or Los Angeles, for example, the countries that make these products have closed down at bearing point. So all of a sudden they're catching up and all of a sudden they're sending stuff late and in bulk and, and, and there's a whole cascade of effects. So for example, the containers that are on these ships generally rent for about $3,000 a container from point a to point B, right now, those containers costs $20,000, uh, because of the need for all manufacturers to get their goods and services in time for the holidays. So it's all stacked up at once.
Speaker 1: (03:48)
Something like a shortage of computer chips or cars that go into those containers, that might make sense, but why groceries like diet soda?
Speaker 2: (03:57)
Well, uh, that's the cans. So the metal that, you know, you know, Pepsi or Coke imports, you know, some is produced in the United States, but a lot of it comes from different parts of the world because the cost structure is much better. And so those countries, those places could have been shut down for a couple of weeks. And all of a sudden, if a factory is not producing parts, that's a major issue. I'll give you a case in point for example, Vietnam. So after the COVID started, there was a big concern that across so many industries, over 50% of the production was being done in China. So American manufacturers were asked, Hey, can I, can we diversify one of the countries that manufacturers had been starting to work with and shifted some production to was Vietnam, Vietnam produces toys, produces, um, apparel items. And they were fairly spared in the first round of COVID in 2020, but in 2021, they got hit hard.
Speaker 2: (04:51)
And when you're talking about, you know, uh, potentially eight, nine, 10% of production, all of a sudden goes offline for a period of time. All of the raw materials that go into that are disrupted they're, they're stuck in different places. And so that's a major issue. So whether it's products that are produced ultimately domestically on a, on a soda line at Pepsi or Coke, or they're produced in a foreign destination, all those different materials come from different places. So the supply chains are very, very sophisticated and it's a lot of moving parts simultaneously. And so, you know, when there's that kind of disruption and the different parts don't come together at the same time. And until that kind of evens out in all the parts of the supply chain work together again, there's still going to be disruptions,
Speaker 1: (05:40)
The supply and chain shortages interfering with America's economic recovery.
Speaker 2: (05:44)
Unfortunately, yes, the, the two things that are interfering with the America's economic recovery are the Delta variant that really impacted the, the pace of economic growth. So in the first and second quarters of the year, this year, GDP grew 6.5 and a revised 6.9%. So we really were on an incredible trajectory. The third quarter GDP numbers will be reported in about 30 days and they are going to really show the same way the labor markets reacted. Uh, you know, we were getting eight, 900,000 new jobs created in the, in the second quarter. And then in July, August, September, the, the pace of, of job growth declined the pace of consumer spending declined. And so, yes, it's going to impact our economic growth. So, you know, the, the federal reserve and the IMF both reduce the forecast, uh, for the third quarter to about 5% or just below that. And we're going to see what's going to happen in the fourth quarter, because this is a really important quarter with respect to holiday shopping. And it goes back now to the supply disruptions.
Speaker 1: (06:45)
Okay. So when it comes to shopping this holiday season, what can people expect?
Speaker 2: (06:50)
The holidays jewelry should not be affected for the most part, um, you know, gift cards won't be affected, right? Uh, there's going to be, for example, toys, if you're not shopping for toys now, uh, you may not have your favorite toy for your child or a loved one. If you're going to shop in middle to end of November, there may be shortages of key toys, uh, even for black Friday and cyber Monday, if we think about it, the reason toys will be affected anything that's plastic or metal is produced in China or elsewhere. And some manufacturers actually are making decisions not to ship certain toys right now. So any kind of toys that are plastic or metal apparel items, I would absolutely be looking at those right now because the vast majority of apparel items are produced in China, Vietnam, Bangladesh, and all those places have had issues with COVID and supply disruptions. So there's going to be gaps at, at various apparel retailers and, and then consumer electronics and small appliances, uh, even refrigerators, uh, and, and larger appliances because they contain microchips are also affected. And, and so if you're just going to start early, I would certainly recommend across everything except framing the jewelry to at least browse. And if you see it, and it's something that you really want, I strongly recommend that you get it.
Speaker 1: (08:08)
Now, the CEO of JP Morgan chase says that we're focusing too much on these supply chain issues. And he says, it won't be an issue next year at this time, do you think he's right?
Speaker 2: (08:20)
I do. Yes. Jamie diamond is, is very sharp. Uh, JP Morgan looks at these flows. He has many corporate customers and they see their, their balance sheets and their income statements. Um, I truly believe the same way, you know, uh, inflation has been taking up all of this will kind of play through if, and this is the big gift if this whole Delta variant and COVID really does not bounce back for a third or fourth or fifth time. If we kind of get to have either, you know, a very manageable level, all those supply chain issues should resolve themselves over the next three or four months. The issue is that coming out of COVID, you know, in the first two quarters of 2021, you know, consumer started coming back in big chunks. They had saved, you know, money there wasn't a lot of spending going on during COVID other than essentials.
Speaker 2: (09:11)
And so they're all trying to buy things at the same time, not just in the United States, but in Europe, in Asia, in Latin America. And so you're, you're asking the supply chain to all of a sudden go from zero to 100 in a nanosecond. That's the analogy. And it's just not set up that way. It may go to 0 30, 0 to 40, which is pretty impressive, but the amount of demand is what kind of caused these, these supply chain issues. And so once demand kind of modulator and the supply chains ease as countries are able to meet their commitments on time, things will kind of smooth out.
Speaker 1: (09:52)
I've been speaking with SDSU business lecture, a mural Kopech, Miura. Thank you.
Speaker 2: (09:57)
Oh, you're very welcome. Maureen
Speaker 4: (10:00)
Speaker 5: (10:09)
San Diego has one of the highest inflation rates in the nation. According to data released by the us bureau of labor statistics is consumer price index. For the month of September. The increased inflation rate is indicative of the heavy economic toll of a year's long pandemic. As the holiday season approaches higher prices and a greatly stressed supply chain are uncovering what experts are calling a greatly overstimulated economy. One where consumers end up paying the price. Joining me with more is the San Diego union Tribune, senior business reporter, Phillip Molnar, Phillip, welcome back to the program. Thank
Speaker 3: (10:47)
You so much for having me.
Speaker 5: (10:48)
So can you give us a snapshot of this increased inflation rate what's causing this jump and why are things particularly bad in San Diego?
Speaker 3: (10:57)
Okay, so we've seen inflation really rising throughout 2021 across the entire nation, but San Diego typically is hit a little bit harder because in Western markets, especially in California, we have higher housing costs and gas prices. So that's why we're always sort of at the top end of inflation. But what's been sort of interesting this year is, you know, a lot of the experts, especially even the federal reserve were saying that inflation rate is going to go really high up as soon as we're out of all these pandemic restrictions. And then just everybody calmed down. Cause after that's over, it's going to level out. Well, what we've seen is the inflation rate keeps going up and that's why I've been reporting on it like every two months. So last month was 6% inflation rate, which is pretty wild to begin with. And then this month was 6.5%. So it's, it's growing and it's, it is a cause for concern. So where
Speaker 5: (11:54)
Are some of the biggest areas where consumers are feeling the effects of inflation?
Speaker 3: (11:58)
So we're consumers are feeling it most is for gas, unleaded. Regular is up 40.4% in a year. It's a huge jump. And other jumps are for used cars and trucks up 23.4% and energy in general, which is up 31.3%.
Speaker 5: (12:17)
And you note that we're seeing some of the highest prices in all of the pandemic is that expected to drop anytime soon,
Speaker 3: (12:24)
I know most experts I talked to for this article do not anticipate a major drop, which is sort of frustrating because it really, when there's these high price gains, the people that are always hit hardest are the low income workers in San Diego. We have to pay more out of pocket because in general they just make less money. So there's a lot of things going on. There's a really stressed supply chain right now, which is creating more demand for products which rises the prices. One of the things is that a lot of people that didn't need all that stimulus money that was pumped into the economy. Now they're doing much better. Their, their financial pictures better, especially if you were a stay at home worker. So a lot of those people have more money than they did at this time last year. And that really a lot of spending power for all these goods that we're talking about, that drives up the price. Cause everyone's got money to buy them.
Speaker 5: (13:16)
Are these rising prices causing employers to consider permanently raising wages?
Speaker 3: (13:21)
Well, you know, what's funny, whenever I report on the inflation, I always ask the same question. Like, is it employer going to read this article or listen to this radio program and say, oh, dang, I got to raise all my rates, my, my wages right now, or my employees are going to be really hurting. And what I've kind of found, even though it might not be the case at whatever business you're at when you're reading this story or listening, but wages are significantly up in San Diego. So it might not be necessarily that employers see this inflation and say, yo, I need to really raise my wages. The fact is it's already happy. For instance, the latest data I have is for May, 2021, where the average wage in San Diego and keep in mind it's average. So it's going to be weighted to really high wages are going to change things. But the average wage was 34 point 95 cents an hour. That is an 18% increase in two years. So things are really up. And
Speaker 5: (14:20)
Even in normal circumstances, metropolitan areas in California have higher than average inflation rates than the rest of the nation. How has the added pandemic stress making that worse? Well,
Speaker 3: (14:31)
Gas prices is probably the biggest thing that moves the market one way or the other California gas prices are always higher. So if you see a big jump in gas prices, that's definitely gonna affect our inflation rate. One of the things in the past, just about uniformly across most coastal California markets is higher costs. So that that often pushes the needle for inflation. But in this case right now, what we're seeing, where the big surge is is these price for used cars and back to gas prices. That's really what's affecting right now. But in general, typically when you get these numbers, San Diego and Los Angeles and Riverside, we're usually up at the top,
Speaker 5: (15:14)
Do these high inflation rates signify for consumers in the longterm.
Speaker 3: (15:19)
Well, for right now, it's rough. If you're trying to do a few things, let me give you a scenario. So say you're sort of a low-income worker and you've just reentered the economy. You got a new job, but you need a car to get there. And your last car broke down. Well, it's going to be really hard to get a used car because they're super expensive right now. And new car prices earn up as much as used cars, but then again, that's a way bigger expense. So that's something you need to consider. There. Also food prices are way up, you know, but one of the things you can kind of see from the inflation data is where you could make a mistake. So for instance, for food and beverage costs, food prices are up 7.6%. But when we break that down a little bit, food prices at home are up 5.7%, but food costs at restaurants are up 10.1%. So you might want to looking at all this data. If you want to make an informed decision, maybe not eat out as much.
Speaker 5: (16:14)
Now inflation is bad enough for consumers, but a less considered aspect of this is how a jump in price is can affect costs for businesses as well. What can you tell us about that?
Speaker 3: (16:24)
Yeah. For businesses, this could have a long-term effect on the economy here in San Diego, because the cost for materials is going way up. And as we just spoke about the wages, you have to have wages higher to keep workers in San Diego right now. So all those costs are going to cut into the bottom line of businesses. I mean, there's a lot of evidence that business is good right now because there is, as we spoke about a lot more spending power, but it's kind of tough when you break it all down and we'll see sort of by the end of the year that the costs are really increasing for businesses, especially smaller ones. And it might be a question of whether or not they survive these next few months.
Speaker 5: (17:00)
Is there a historical precedent for inflation numbers right now?
Speaker 3: (17:04)
Sort of, except we haven't really seen much of a precedent in the last 20 years. If you go back 20 years, the average inflation rate jump has been around 2.6%, but we've had some really high points in San Diego history about 11% in 19 74, 13 0.5% in 1981. And it did get up to 6% in 1990, but that was sort of an outlier year. So what that means is that most millennials live today have not yet experienced a high inflation environment. They haven't really lived through it. So it's funny. I talked to some economists, uh, yesterday and I would say, well, how are all these millennials? I'm a millennial, how are all these millennials going to deal with? You know, this, how are they going to weather this? And one of the economists I spoke to was like, well, I don't think they have a choice. And he's right. So yeah, w we're all, a lot of us are living through this for the first time and it sort of unique.
Speaker 5: (18:01)
Um, I've been speaking with the San Diego union Tribune, senior business reporter, Phillip Molnar, Philip. Thanks for joining us. Thank you so much. You're listening to KPBS midday edition. I'm Jade Hindman with Maureen Kavanaugh homes. Low-balled for hundreds of thousands of dollars during appraisals students profiled and ushered into the school to prison pipeline. These are a couple of ways. Contemporary harms of racism impact black Americans. This week, California is reparations task force met to explore those harms and everything from housing and education to banking and environmental racism. Attorney Camila Moore is chair of the reparations task force and joins us to discuss their findings. And what's next Camilo. Welcome.
Speaker 6: (19:03)
Thank you for having me.
Speaker 5: (19:05)
So first let's define our terms for those who may not know when we talk about reparations, what does that mean and who does it apply to in this context?
Speaker 6: (19:14)
So in this specific context, um, but term reparations implies, um, the need for repair of harm caused to a particular victim group. So, uh, the reparations task force, our scope and powers is predicated by AB 31 21, which is a legislative bill authored by, uh, then assembly member. But now secretary of state Shirley Webber, and it was signed into a passage by governor Gavin Newsome, uh, October, 2020. And so the mandate of 80 31 21 requires a nine member task force to study the history of slavery in this country and, um, of harms to the black American community post slavery. And then it also charges the taskforce after, you know, an extensive study, um, of those harms since slavery and onward for us to then develop proposals for reparations in order to repair the harm done that particular group.
Speaker 5: (20:22)
Um, and, and over the last two days, the task force has heard witness testimony that speaks to that Tuesday. You heard about housing and education segregation. Uh, what stood out to you about what you heard on that subject matter?
Speaker 6: (20:36)
Most notably, we had two, uh, young men, uh, provide personal testimony. Uh, one, his name was Mr. Kawika Smith and he was the name plaintiff against the university of California, charging them with discrimination or their use of act and sat scores. And then on the other side, we had Mr. Jacob Jackson, who is now an LA county youth commissioner, but he talked about his story, surviving the school to prison pipeline. And so what stood out to me is that these two young black men, one, you could say exceeded expectations and completely survived the school to prison pipeline. Now he's at Moore house, but even after surviving the school to prison pipeline, he had to deal with discriminatory practices and trying to get to college. And he was successful in his suit, right? Because now I just saw on TV this morning, that dozens of colleges across the state and even the country are getting rid of their act and sat test requirements and are implementing a more holistic admissions process. And then with Jacob Jackson, um, he talks about, like I said, his experience as a student at Crenshaw high school in LA getting arrested at an early age, but turning his life around. And now he's a commissioner at LA county. So they both came to the same conclusion in terms of black students need more resources, whether that's through K through 12. And then once they get to college, as Mr. Cavita eloquently stated, once we get to college, there needs to be resources there so that people can actually matriculate and graduate.
Speaker 5: (22:19)
And in Jacob's case, he was arrested because he was profiled. Right,
Speaker 6: (22:24)
Right. Absolutely. Is too, he told a story about his teacher profiling him and the teacher making some very inappropriate comments to him. So yes, absolutely. It was unfortunate to hear that that had happened to him, but, um, I'm so grateful that he imparted his story to the task force because his story is of many stories.
Speaker 5: (22:44)
And you also talked about environmental racism and, you know, when we talk about environmental racism, um, we're talking about also, you know, black communities that are being hit harder by climate change and that the heat rises within those neighborhoods. We're talking about communities that have ground soil contamination and water contamination. I mean, tell me about that.
Speaker 6: (23:05)
What we learned at the, uh, at the hearing, and we heard testimony around black Californians being exposed to air pollution and other environmental contaminants due to displacement or due to conscious decisions by industry and government choosing to place environmentally harmful fat theories and industries. And in black communities,
Speaker 5: (23:31)
You know, you all also heard about racism and banking tax and labor. A testimony from Paul Austin stood out to me. He was a homeowner who was low balled by 500 K on his appraisal. Tell me about his story and how common that
Speaker 6: (23:46)
Is. So Paul Austin and his wife's and Nisha Austin, as you stated, their home was appraised for $500,000, less than when their, um, white friend who, um, helped them out, switched their African and black art out of the house, switched out, um, uh, pictures of their, of their family, and then placed into their house pictures of their white friends, family, and things like that. And then once that happened, as you stated, uh, their house was appraised for $500,000 more. And to your question about how common this is, uh, uh, after those stories broke, after the story went viral, um, seven or eight other families, um, came out and told their stories about the same thing happening to them. And then something else that I found was very eye opening from Paul Austin's testimony is that he said that he is a descendant of the great migration.
Speaker 6: (24:51)
His family came from the south to the bay area and his grandfather actually, um, he, he told a story about his grandfather and how his grandfather had to build a house in the bay area, in the forties and fifties at night and on weekends. And then the plot of land, um, uh, the house was hidden. The driveway was like on a 90 degree angle, you got to do all of that. His grandfather said so that he wouldn't be detected by white racists. And, um, he even said, I think a white woman who sewed his grandfather, the house was even in blackballed in the real estate industry for selling that house to his, his grandfather. And so Paul Austin, in part of that story to the task force to, to, to, to show his dismay about, you know, my grandfathers worked so hard and in a way I'm still dealing with these same issues as a black home owner.
Speaker 5: (25:55)
And, you know, all of that is contributes to the wealth gap. What do you see as a solution?
Speaker 6: (26:02)
Uh, it reminds me of something that another, uh, expert in part of Suez, Dr. William Spriggs, he made a good point about the racial wealth gap. When he talked about, for instance, fireman black and white firemen, some of these black firemen in the forties and fifties had more credentials than the white fireman, but they were getting paid half as much. And so he was saying the racial wealth gap, look at it in the lens of saving, right these white environment, over a length of time, given that they were able to get paid twice, as much as the black fireman think about all the money that they were able to save over time and the money that black these black farm and were not able to stay and how that contributes to the racial wealth gap. So in terms of solutions, but the task force actually hired in our September meeting and economics consultant. He is going to be working with the task force to come up with calculations, right, to figure out how to close the racial wealth gap and figure out what potential compensation could be provided to California. A blackout
Speaker 5: (27:17)
I've been speaking with Camila Moore chair of California's reparations taskforce. Can we let thanks for joining us?
Speaker 6: (27:25)
Thank you so much. Appreciate it.
Speaker 5: (27:30)
We often look to the sea to understand how climate change has impacted our world. For years, oceanographer Kim McCoy has been studying environmental change in our ocean and in his new book waves and beaches, the powerful dynamics of sea and coast, he offers his insights and perspectives on the fascinating world of ocean science and how it furthers our understanding of climate change. We spoke to him about the book in March. Here's that interview. So start off by telling our listeners a little bit about the book.
Speaker 7: (28:02)
Well, this is the third edition of a book waves and beaches, and it was accepted and loved by surfers and scientists throughout the last few decades. It was originally published in 64, and I brought it up to date with the significance of climate change and how humans interact in the coastal zone. And that's where the items that are going to be disturbing us from sea level rise are going to hit us the hardest.
Speaker 5: (28:31)
And the book is something of an update of the original publication by Willard Bascom. What about the original book inspired you? And what did you hope to add to this updated edition?
Speaker 7: (28:42)
Well, I actually used the book in graduate school and it was almost a little pamphlet at that time. Then the second edition came and I was lucky to have known Willard Bascom quite well. The last couple of years of his life. And he was endeavoring to do a third edition. This edition really focuses on how humans interact with the coastal zone. And it gives a fundamental understanding of how waves are created, how they propagate and how they interact with the coastline. Of course, humans are on the coastline, and we want to know what's going to happen to the coastline in this period of climate change.
Speaker 5: (29:21)
And of course, a big part of your work deals with climate change. I mean, how has your work and your many travels furthered your understanding of environmental changes on the planet, particularly in the topics of global warming and sea level rise
Speaker 7: (29:36)
Spent over a year of my life in polar regions, I've done nine trips to those areas and I've spent years of my life at sea, over 40 major field experiments. And when I started out, some of the areas that I went to in the Arctic were extremely difficult. One area to get to one area hadn't been visited since the 1840s and that group died. So in the 1980s, it was very difficult. Now there are cruise ships heading to those areas. So it's drastically changed. I spent a couple of months in Antarctica and there the penguin species that have been there for 5,000 years of being displaced by warmer species of penguins as the poles warm. So it's, it's everywhere. The outflow from rivers and Delta formations have completely changed because of how we've dammed the rivers and pulled lots of groundwater out that changes sea level and affects sand dynamics in the coastal region.
Speaker 5: (30:43)
And I mean, we know change is inevitable, but it seems like this is all happening at such an accelerated pace.
Speaker 7: (30:48)
Well, it is one proxy for that is how much carbon dioxide is in the atmosphere. And everyone knows if this hot hockey stick, however, we can observe these things very easily in Jakarta Indonesia and the Mekong Delta in Vietnam, the Ganges bomber [inaudible] Delta in India and Bangladesh and Kiribati in the south Pacific. These things are not fictitious. They are currently occurring where sea level rise is really attacking those, those areas. And some of the groups are just simply ignoring it and other countries full countries have codified it. And that's something that city councils and state assemblies and federal, federal groups need to do that we need to codify that things are occurring along the coast, which means that instead of having a city council debating whether or not they're going to do this or do that, they just simply need to say, okay, when something like this occurs, it is now by law allowed we're allowed to do something. So they don't say who's going to pay for it, things like that. And so that, that change needs to occur.
Speaker 5: (32:04)
The updated text provides perspective on some of the major climate events and disasters of the, of the past 20 years, including the deadly 9.0 earthquake that devastated Japan 10 years ago this week. How do you think our understanding of climate change has evolved in that time?
Speaker 7: (32:21)
The Tohoku earthquake that caused the disaster at Fukushima, it had, you know, that's a naturally occurring thing. Earthquakes could not influencing those. However, um, the repercussions of that, the tsunami that struck Fukushima changed global energy policies. It's subtle, but it's incredibly important and not to be ignored. The Japanese decided that they're going to remove nuclear power from their energy slate. Uh, the Germans also passed some laws, pulled nuclear reactors off the energy supply chain, and that needs to be replaced with other forms of energy production. That's because of its tsunami. This book looks at the dynamics of those things, and it looks how humans need to react there. The book has a lot of references at the end of the book. So anyone who wants to get more involved there is quite a bit of, uh, information to dig deeper into quite a few subjects.
Speaker 5: (33:27)
And what have been some of the most obvious impacts here locally?
Speaker 7: (33:32)
Well, uh, not too long ago, we had a collapse along the railroad tracks up near Del Mar. Now that track is the major conduit to the north in and out of San Diego. It collapsed and people start asking, well, who's going to pay for it. There's an estimated cost of about $3 billion. No funding is currently available. And this project, if they relocate the tracks should take 10 to 20 years, $3 billion, no funding is currently available. It might take 10 years to repair, but see Lebow creeps along a few millimeters every year.
Speaker 5: (34:12)
I'm curious, you know, has COVID-19 affected your ability to carry out your work and research. I mean, it's, it's hard to get much more socially distance than out on the ocean, but I don't know.
Speaker 7: (34:22)
Well, interestingly enough, here at Scripps institution of oceanography in LA Jolla, COVID stopped the entire fleet from going out to sea. So for quite a few months, all the vessels were called back to ports and people were disembarked and it was quite a few months until they reassume the field deployments. And that's extremely difficult for an oceanographic cruise. You go out and you plan for a year and you throw things overboard and come back in a year or several months later. And oops, oh wait, we can't use the boat anymore because so, uh, also along the coastal zone, uh, COVID has in a roundabout way, augmented awareness of the coastal zone during the lockdown, the beaches were inundated with humans. Why? Because it's a nice, wonderful, open place where those things are changing and glad it brought awareness to it. But cliffs are collapsing and things such as roads, train tracks, Naval, shipyards, Harbor facilities, coastal businesses. Those things will continue to be in an dated way beyond COVID.
Speaker 5: (35:32)
I've been speaking with author and oceanographer, Kim McCoy, Kim, thank you so much for
Speaker 1: (35:37)
Speaker 7: (35:37)
Us. Thank you very much Jade for having me.
Speaker 1: (35:47)
This is KPBS midday edition. I'm Maureen Cavenaugh with Jade. Heinemann just six weeks after the death of the San Diego born Chicana artists and activists, Yolanda Lopez. The museum of contemporary arts, San Diego will reopen this weekend with an exhibition of Lopez work. Surprisingly the first solo museum exhibition of her long and celebrated career. Jill Dawsey curator at the museum of contemporary arts, San Diego spoke with KPBS arts editor and producer Julia Dixon Evans. And we hear from artists and curators as a Sandra Moctezuma and Latisha Gomez Franco.
Speaker 8: (36:27)
I want to start with the profound impact of Yolanda Lopez beginning with Latisha Gomez, Franco, who is executive director of the Bubba art conservation center, who has also curated Lopez works in the past.
Speaker 9: (36:43)
One of my favorite visions of Yolanda Lopez has always been the photograph of herself inside of the Vietnam developmental, just the look on her face and to imagine her always in her usefulness and in her, her hunger and her eagerness and that, and that passion that she always had, but to try to put myself, you know, I always think, what would I have done if I had been alive in the seventies and during the height of the Chicano movement, what role would I would have played? Uh, and I, I love imagining myself as a, as a young and vibrant you'll love the Lopez. Um, but I'm, I'm really excited to see, um, her, we can do a loop, um, series because those were the first of her pieces that I saw. And, and those were the first of the pieces where I saw myself and I saw ourselves
Speaker 8: (37:35)
Jill Dossey from the museum of contemporary art, San Diego. On that note, can you give us a look into the art of Yolanda Lopez?
Speaker 10: (37:44)
I loved what Leticia was sharing in conjuring. Uh, Lopez's exuberant 1978 performance that was called Tableau Vivaan, which she appeared again as Guadalupe and Guadalupe here is both an athlete and a cultural producer. And, um, it's a series of photographs that document Lopez his performance in which, you know, it's sort of conceptual art beats improv comedy meets political revolution because she's wearing her UCLA track shorts. And she has a handful of paint brushes, which are the tools of her trade. And she's clasping them like a bouquet or she's, you know, holding them up in the air like a trophy. And you really have this sense of the contagious exuberance that defines many of her works. And in her most, uh, her most work, which is the oil pastel portrait of the artist is the Virgin of Guadalupe, you know, in which she famously depicts herself as, as Guadalupe and in running shoes, bounding off a black Crescent moon.
Speaker 10: (38:47)
And, and Guadalupe's a star pattern. Mantle is billowing behind her and she's smiling broadly. And, you know, there's this sense of defiant, joy and a kind of almost rebellious joyfulness. And if we think of the Virgin of Guadalupe as a figure who was, you know, both this kind of lofty and unrealistic vision of femininity, uh, you know, one of the associated with, um, uh, her own suffering and grief, I think we get a sense of, of why Lopez his self portraits have been, you know, so, so popular and so beloved and have inspired, you know, so many other iterations of the image. So,
Speaker 8: (39:32)
Um, the works that you're including in this exhibition are from the 1970s and the 1980s, why these years, and what was the backdrop for Lopez, then
Speaker 10: (39:44)
Our exhibition explores roughly a decade period in, in Lopez's production. It was an incredibly transformative period when she had returned to San Diego in the early 1970s, after a decade in San Francisco, a period in which she became, you know, an artist and activist of tremendous statue within the Chicano civil rights movement. Um, so she comes back to San Diego to complete her education first at San Diego state, where she gets her BA and then in 1975, she enters the department of visual arts at UC San Diego. And it's this period in which she, you know, really through her embrace of Chicana feminism produces this feminist Corpus of work that investigates and reimagines representations of women within Chicanex culture and society at large. And so, you know, during this period, she produces many of her most iconic and beloved works. We have more than 50 paintings, collages, photographs, and large scale drawings in the show. And many that will be well known and others that have never before been exhibited. Uh, the exhibition extends into the late 1980s when she concluded her well-known Guadalupe series. And by that time had returned to San Francisco. And so it's this kind of, you know, very, it's, it's very much a compendium of, of her work from, from this period.
Speaker 8: (41:17)
LA has been said about the respect Lopez received during her lifetime in San Diego, as well as the role of women in Chicana history in the region. Here's Alessandra Moctezuma, who is the gallery director and museum studies professor at San Diego college, who also teaches Chicano art and teaches Lopez's work.
Speaker 11: (41:38)
One of the most important things that I took from Yolanda's work was seeing how she challenged, uh, the whole concept of patriarchy. And that was not just in terms of the American patriarchy, but also in terms of being Latina and a Chicana artists. She encountered a lot of resistance sometimes from, you know, from the man that Yukon artists, this is well documented. There's a documentary about Chicano park, where there's a whole section where she talks about how hard it was to, you know, to get to paint the murals and how she supported a group of young women who wanted to paint in Chicano park.
Speaker 8: (42:19)
Jill, what do we know about Lopez's activism and, and how she brought that into her art?
Speaker 10: (42:27)
So Lopez has roots in political activism were foundational to her artistic practice and it retained throughout her career. She had moved to San Francisco in, in the early 1960s and in 1966, enrolled in San Francisco state college now San Francisco state university at a moment of just historic activism on campus and student groups were mobilizing in response to the Vietnam war, as well as to, you know, systemic racism at the university. And she was part of the five month strike at S F S U that, uh, shut down the university and resulted in the establishment of ethnic studies and black studies departments. And, you know, in the late 1960s, she was part of the larger, you know, Chicano civil rights movement. And so when she returns to San Diego in the early seventies, she really is an extraordinarily accomplished artists and activists. And I would just highlight the way in which it parallels, you know, that her work as an activist and artist parallels the movements of our own day and, um, and really, you know, paved the way for those movements. Okay.
Speaker 8: (43:40)
And I, I asked Leticia Gomez, Franco, whether you'll end to Lopez is life without major museum recognition until now is, is a symptom of Lopez, his priority of being in the community of being an activist, or whether it's a symptom of, of a bigger systemic and institutional oppression. And here's what she said.
Speaker 9: (44:03)
Being wary of institutions, is there not Chicano DNA, wanting to make things accessible to the community and wanting to decentralize things so that they, uh, appeal to us on an everyday level, I think is a big part of who we are as a community, but it doesn't mean that, that it isn't necessary to have a seat at that table. Um, and within the institutions and within the larger American cultural Canon. So it is disappointing to think that, that we are now, you know, everybody's now hearing about Yolanda Lopez has work grateful to MCAC for giving her that space.
Speaker 8: (44:44)
Jill, this is the first time the museum of contemporary art is reopening its doors since the pandemic. This is a long closure, and of course so much has changed in the last year and a half. How is the museum handling a changed public and a changed art world?
Speaker 10: (45:04)
So it has been a period for us to do a lot of soul searching as an institution. We are talking a lot about, you know, how we can be a more visitor centric institution, a more welcoming museum, um, where audiences can come and, you know, see themselves reflected. And I hope that that is, you know, is, is what can happen. Um, with the exhibition Yolanda Lopez portrait of the artist
Speaker 1: (45:32)
That was Jill Dawsey curator at the museum of contemporary arts, San Diego speaking with KPBS is Julia Dixon Evans you'll land, a Lopez portrait of the artist opens Saturday at M C a S D.