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Here's My Blog

The Jumping-Off Place: Politics, Labor, San Diego is Launched!

The Jumping-Off Place: Labor, Politics, Culture, San Diego
Mission Statement

The Jumping Off-Place: Politics, Labor, Culture, San Diego takes its name from Edmund Wilson's famous essay about San Diego in the early 1930s that gave our fair city that moniker in noting its high suicide rate and observing that:
"Here this people, so long told to "go West" to escape from poverty, ill health, maladjustment, industrialism and oppression, discover that, having come West, their problems and diseases still remain and that there is no further to go. Among the sand-colored power plants and hotels, the naval outfitters and waterside cafes, the old spread-roofed California houses with their fine close grain of gray or yellow clapboards—they come to the end of their resources in the empty California sun." 
What we share with Wilson is both his attention to the harsher realities beneath the Chamber of Commerce boosterism that built San Diego and continues to dominate our city's official version of itself, and his sympathy for those suffering from the deep inequities of American life, made harsher by the broken promise of "the empty California sun."  In that spirit, this space will seek to "comfort the afflicted, afflict the comfortable," as the journalist Finley Peter Dunne put it. 
Our goal is to feature voices intent on challenging the local and national hegemony during a time when market forces are destroying news outlets across the country and here in San Diego.  Our politics are generally left, but not driven by sectarian or Democratic Party pieties.  We see ourselves as committed to playing a small part in building a more progressive San Diego by supporting the labor, environmental, and other social justice movements of all stripes rather than elected politicians. 
We are also interested in featuring the arts at a time when there are fewer venues that promote creative work than ever before.  Thus, we aspire to regularly publish short fiction, poetry, book reviews, and writing about all the arts as much as possible and preferably with a San Diego/California focus.
The Jumping Off-Place is an all-volunteer effort that does not claim to play the role of a news outlet but hopes to fill some of the gaps left by the unfortunate decline of our major newspaper and other weekly print outlets.  The voices published here are unpaid as are the editors, so whatever money we make from this endeavor will go to continuing to improve and expand our outlet.


Who We Are… 
Jim Miller is the author of the novels Last Days in Ocean Beach (City Works Press, 2018), Flash (AK Press, 2010), and Drift (University of Oklahoma Press, 2007, 2024). He is also co-author of a history of San Diego, Under the Perfect Sun: The San Diego Tourists Never See (with Mike Davis and Kelly Mayhew on The New Press, 2003 and 2005) and a cultural studies book on working class sports fandom, Better to Reign in Hell: Inside the Raiders Fan Empire (with Kelly Mayhew on The New Press, 2005).
Jim is also the editor of Sunshine/Noir: Writing from San Diego and Tijuana (City Works Press, 2005), Sunshine/Noir II: Writing from San Diego and Tijuana (with Kelly Mayhew on City Works Press, 2015), and Democracy in Education; Education for Democracy (AFT 1931, 2007).
He has published poetry, fiction, and non-fiction in a wide range of journals and other publications, and has a weekly column in Words and Deeds (Doug Porter's Substack), a monthly column in the San Diego Union-Tribune's "Community Voices Project," and previously wrote for the San Diego Free Press and the OB Rag.
Jim is a professor of English, Humanities, and Labor Studies at San Diego City College and is the Political Action and Community Outreach Vice President for the American Federation of Teachers Guild, Local 1931.

Kelly Mayhew is the co-author with Mike Davis and Jim Miller of Under the Perfect Sun: The San Diego Tourists Never See (The New Press) as well as co-author with Jim Miller of Better to Reign in Hell: Inside the Raiders Fan Empire (The New Press), and is co-editor with Alys Masek of Mamas and Papas: On the Sublime and Heartbreaking Art of Parenting (City Works Press), co-editor with Paula S. Rothenberg of Race, Class, and Gender in the United States 9th edition (Worth Publishers), and co-editor with Jim Miller of Sunshine/Noir II: Writing from San Diego and Tijuana (City Works Press).
She is also a founding member of the San Diego Writers Collective, which created City Works Press (a progressive, all-volunteer non-profit publishing project that is housed at City College) in 2005, for which she serves as Managing Editor.
Kelly is a professor of English, Humanities, Gender Studies, and Labor Studies at San Diego City College where she also serves as a Vice President for the American Federation of Teachers, Local 1931.
Doug Porter was active in the early days of the alternative press in San Diego, contributing to the OB Liberator, the print version of the OB Rag, the San Diego Door, and the San Diego Street Journal.
He left San Diego in 1974 to become editor of CounterSpy, an anti-establishment publication that constantly probed the undersides of US security practices.
And then, he went away for a few decades, popping up as a restaurateur in the mountains of Virginia and finding his way to the Caribbean. In 2008, he returned to San Diego, once again smitten by the reporting bug. An online version of the San Diego Free Press started up in 2012, and he's written five days a week for most of the past dozen years, pondering issues both local and national.
He won nine awards from the Society of Professional Journalists for his daily columns in the San Diego Free Press over a six year period. When that publication folded, he started Words & Deeds.
Doug is a four time cancer survivor (sans vocal chords) and lives in North Park.


You can find The Jumping-Off Place here!

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