Chaun Reynolds, 41, sits near his home in Imperial Beach on Feb. 16, 2022.
Chaun Reynolds, 41, sits near his home in Imperial Beach on Feb. 16, 2022.

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You may have noticed more businesses going cashless during the pandemic. Public health professionals were concerned at the time, right or wrong, that COVID could spread on physical currency.

Even some public agencies are making the conversion with the hope of providing more convenient service.

But as Jesse Marx writes in his Fine City column, the transition to digital payment systems also exposes a blind spot — one that threatens to deny the poorest of the poor from accessing the goods and services others take for granted. 

Tens of thousands of San Diegans don’t have a bank account and they’re more likely to be Black and Latino. Many can’t afford to make the minimum payment or just got tired of paying overdraft fees.

Marx interviewed people who were turned away from stores or ended up paying more than their counterparts with debit and credit cards. What works in more affluent parts of town doesn’t necessarily work in low-income ones. The tech gains in one community don’t automatically trickle down. 

Read the latest Fine City column here. 

News Roundup

  • A homeless-serving nonprofit is offering a mobile shower facility to homeless Oceanside residents, the Union-Tribune writes, and plans to offer another one in National City as a means of connecting with people it hopes to direct to a shelter and navigation facility it’s opening there.
  • The National Weather Service predicts San Diego is in for another bout of cold, rainy weather starting Tuesday.
  • Also, there was a 2.9 magnitude earthquake reported near Anza Borrego Thursday afternoon. (CBS 8)
  • The San Diego County Board of Supervisors OK’d an ordinance that guarantees wage and training standards for construction workers on contracts over $1 million on county land. (Union-Tribune)
  • One of the teams competing to redevelop the Sports Arena property has reached an agreement with local construction unions for the project’s labor needs. That’s now two development teams that have agreements with local construction unions. (Union-Tribune)
  • The old county courthouse downtown is gone, and in its place is a soon-to-be skyscraper that will include office space and 430 apartments, 20 percent of which set aside for people earning below the median income, spread across its 37 floors. (Union-Tribune)
  • The district attorney’s office, law enforcement and county leaders are touting their efforts to crack down on illicit marijuana operations in East County. (NBC 7)
  • The governor announced his plan to begin treating COVID-19 as endemic. (10 News)
  • Religious leaders and homeless activists showed up at a Midway homeless encampment Thursday for the city of San Diego’s announced clean-up operation to draw attention to the practice they decried as inhumane. The city has said it will visit the encampment twice a week with law enforcement to offer residents shelter services, with those who refuse facing potential citations or arrest. The crews also ask residents to move their belongings so they can clean the area and throw away trash. (NBC 7)
  • An attempt to recall Poway Mayor Steve Vaus has failed, Times of San Diego reporter Ken Stone reports.

This Morning Report was written by Jesse Marx, Andrew Keatts and MacKenzie Elmer. It was edited by Megan Wood.

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