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OK so what is the San Diego Institute? We are a San Diego-focused public policy think tank. We will be research driven, thoughtful, analytic, and committed, first and foremost, to the highest standards of scholarship. I hope that makes us engaging but, first and foremost, the concern is with getting it right rather than getting it “interesting.”
We are NOT an advocacy group (SDI is not going to be down at council wearing buttons or urging a “Yes or No” vote on some specific piece of legislation). Our goal is to improve decision making and public policy discourse by getting information and research into the public space. We believe that government should be as efficient and effective as possible and that its first priority is to provide taxpayers with the services they demand for the best value possible. We believe in the free marketplace — it is efficient and does a particularly good job in aggregating preferences. (I would be happy to discuss much further if folks wish). We are more than any one person (We are not “Francis’” think tank but more precisely the think tank founded and initially funded by Steve Francis). We are fully committed to the idea our success hinges upon broadening our appeal and financial base. We are not “CPI’s counterpart.” While ideologically different than CPI, we are much more focused on government effectiveness and efficiency than CPI seems to be. Conversely, we will be less focused, at least initially, with some of the labor economic questions CPI works on. We are neither critics of the mayor nor supporters. Rather we believe that irrespective of who holds office there is value in having a rigorous debate based upon facts. Indeed, I personally believe that at the root of many of San Diego’s biggest problems is our region’s failure to nurture and develop independent voices that stood a distance outside of City Hall and could offer counter analysis and counter proposals to those working up from within the government. And finally, we are an organization trying to gets its website done (Thanks for all the emails asking about it ;-). and launched February 1. In the interim, feel free to email me any questions that you have at firstname.lastname@example.org. I may not get another chance to blog today (my turn at daycare pick up) but it has been a BLAST. The comments were great and thinking about them really was fun, inspiring, and helped me think more carefully about things.
Finally, one more correction: Navigating my way through the maze of city information, it seems that police and fire are NOT eligible for SPSP. They are eligible for pensions at 50 with 20 years of service and at 55 with 10. I apologize for any errors or misunderstanding.