Commentary

Vince Vasquez

Vasquez is the senior policy analyst at the National University System Institute for Policy Research.

News from NUSI

San Diego has long been denied the chance to host a Major League Soccer team, but that doesn't mean we're out of the running. Local sports boosters should consider the wisdom of laying the foundation for future professional-grade play by fulfilling immediate amateur needs.

This month, a new study by the National University System Institute for Policy Research (NUSIPR) revealed that a key federal tax credit has a substantial economic impact in San Diego County. Rather than lose out on hundreds of jobs and tens of millions of dollars, local lawmakers must redouble their efforts to increase claims of the earned income tax credit (EITC).

On Wednesday, Aug. 4, the San Diego County Board of Supervisors will be asked to approve legislation that will literally open the doors of our region's wineries to the public.

This July, San Diego City residents will have a rare and historic opportunity to help shape the future of representative government at City Hall. As ethnic politics evolve in our region, it is critical that every San Diegan learns the importance of the Redistricting Commission.

This month, a key survey revealed a wide disconnect between San Diego's small business owners and their elected government representatives. Rather than discourage future job growth and corporate spending, local leaders should consider reinstituting a proven program that enables entrepreneurs to be heard loud and clear at City Hall.

For nearly 20 years, the month of May has been a special time to honor the rich culture and historical contributions of Asian-Americans, but too often the challenges of this large, vibrant community are overlooked by San Diego's elected officials. To expand public awareness, this author hereby introduces the first in a monthlong series on how local government can build better bridges with the more than 337,300 Asians and Pacific Islanders that call San Diego County home.

Though it wasn't likely to make headlines in 2009, San Diego taxpayers won a decisive courtroom victory against an illegal city fee last fall, but City Hall now stands in the way of achieving final justice. Rather than allow back-door tax grabs to linger one more day in our community, the city of San Diego should quickly make proper amends for its illegal practice of "double taxation."

New polling data reveals that San Diego's small business community have struggled in a bleak economic climate since 2009, and aren't tilting towards expansion. However, if more business-friendly partnerships are developed in our region, the prospects for new growth and job creation may change dramatically in the near future.

Despite the historic rise in California's unemployment rate, two recent polls suggest that small business owners are cautiously optimistic about our state's future economic climate. Working today to remove the regulatory obstacles of Sacramento can turn the expectations of small businessmen and women into reality.

This month, City Auditor Eduardo Luna released a revenue audit report for the city of San Diego, identifying how local government taxes and fees are collected and verified. For a city that budgeted more than $886 million in major revenues and lease payments this fiscal year, accurately counting every dollar is a difficult task, but one that clearly is not being done.

As the nation's dreary economic climate hovers above San Diego for yet another year, job creation and regulatory relief must continue to be on the forefront of our local policy agenda. Paying closer attention today to a silent segment of entrepreneurs can help local lawmakers craft a more representative and balanced pro-business agenda that is desperately needed.

This January, San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders made a key announcement that will literally pave the way for more recreational land in the heart of Balboa Park. Community leaders should consider advancing this mayoral directive as the first of many steps to cultivate the civic and economic value of our public spaces.

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