San Diego

National Action Network Targets San Diego's Urban Challenges

San Diego may have a population of 1.4 million. But residents of its most urban areas say they face different treatment and challenges than counterparts in other areas.

Demographics show that San Diego's most urbanized areas tend to have higher percentages of people of color, and lower income levels.

Many say they detect higher levels of racism – and less outreach from the corporate sector to improve their economic advancement.

"Are we being given the jobs?” asks Rev. Shane Harris, president of the National Action Network’s San Diego chapter. “Are we being given the opportunities in you coming in to make the developing plans?”

The National Action Network (NAN) is a civil rights organization founded in 1991 by Rev. Al Sharpton.

It was prominent in protests over last year’s fatal police shooting of Alfred Olango, a Ugandan refugee who was pointing a vape at officers in El Cajon.

In Friday’s recording session for Sunday's edition of NBC 7’s "Politically Speaking," Harris said minority residents are policed in harsher ways, profiled in greater numbers, and given longer criminal sentences.

NAN is pushing for improved inner-city educational systems and workforce development programs.

“All of this, I think, rounds up to the broader issue that we see of policing,” said Harris. “We see the broad issues. But the real issues are at the jobs, education, development -- all those opportunities being given."

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