San Diego Unified has drafted a list of high poverty zip codes whose residents will be considered first when construction companies hire workers under the district’s $2.1 billion facilities bond.

The list is bound to be controversial: Under the labor agreement that the school board approved on the construction bond, building contractors are supposed to give priority to workers who live in the chosen zip codes for at least 35 percent of their work force. It is meant to give an advantage to impoverished areas. But which areas it chooses — and how — will be closely watched by builders and neighborhood advocates.

George Harris, who is managing the labor agreement for the school district, came up with 10 recommended zip codes. The list, still in draft form, ranks zip codes in San Diego based on their percentage and number of children who qualify for a free or discounted lunch and the percentage and number of people living in poverty.

The favored areas include zip codes in City Heights, Skyline, Logan and Clairemont, among others. For the more geographically savvy among you, here’s the numeric list: 92105, 92113, 92102, 92114, 92104, 92115, 92111, 92116, 92139 and 92117. I’ll update this post with a map when I receive it.

Harris said he tipped the rankings towards the statistics on children to avoid getting a list of zip codes that was dominated by low-income seniors or students who would be unlikely to vie for construction work. He said he was unsure if the zip codes need to be voted on by the school board because the board has already delegated the creation of zip codes by approving the labor agreement.

I’m still scanning the numbers and comparing them to other data. Can you help me out? If you notice something interesting or have questions, send them my way at

Update: Here is a map of the zips codes that will make for easier reading.


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