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Southeast San Diego is the southeastern portion of the City of San Diego, generally represented by the urban neighborhoods directly east of Downtown San Diego, bordered by Interstate 5 and south of the Martin Luther King Jr. Freeway (State Route 94).
Southeast San Diego is an economically and ethnically diverse area that is largely urbanized toward the city's core to the westand characteristically hilly, with lower-density residential neighborhoods toward the east.
In 1992, Councilman George Stevens (Rest In Peace) campaigned against any official usage of the name "Southeast San Diego," since the designation had long been viewed as shorthand for the community as being a crime-ridden and impoverished area. His campaign was successful and all official use of "Southeast San Diego" had been discontinued by the city. Most residents and locals however, still refer to the area as "The Southeast."
Historically, Southeast San Diego had been represented as the communities directly east of the downtown area which lies south of Martin Luther King Jr. Freeway, west of 125 freeway, east of Interstate 5,north of the 54 Freeway and sharing its borders with surrounding cities of San Diego County National City to the south, Lemon Grove to the North East, and Spring Valley to the east. These communities include Sherman Heights, Barrio Logan, Logan Heights, Grant Hill, and Stockton of San Diego's Central District, represented by City Council District 8. However, Southeast San Diego also encompasses the urban communities east of Interstate 15, which are represented by City Council District 4 (Southeastern District). Southeast San Diego is limited by the city of Lemon Grove to the northeast, Spring Valley to the east, and the Filipino-American Highway (State Route 54) to the south.
Southeast San Diego covers the southeastern portions of San Diego's Central Neighborhood and all of San Diego's Southeastern Neighborhood.
San Diego Central Neighborhood 
San Diego Southeastern Neighborhood
Southeast San Diego is widely viewed as one of the most diverse areas in the city, inhabited most visibly by Latinos, African-Americans, and Filipinos. Estimates based on the neighborhoods spanning the 92102, 92113, 92114, and 92139 Zip Codes of Southeast San Diego put the population at roughly 195,000 people over an area of 21.2 square miles (55 km2), placing the area's population density at 9,285.7/sq mi (3,565.5/km²).
The area of Barrio Logan, for example, had been first settled by Mexicans arriving in the 1890s, followed soon after by refugees fleeing the violence of the Mexican Revolution and the poor Mexican economy between 1910 and 1920. Barrio Logan is predominantly Latino and is home to Chicano Park.
Prior to "White Flight" in the 1960s and early 1970s, many neighborhoods in Southeast San Diego were subject to discriminatory restrictive covenants, a problem faced by African-Americans like former Councilman and Deputy Mayor George Stevens, who was denied the opportunity to purchase a house in the Skyline Hills from a white realtor. Presently, much of the Skyline Hills, as well as other Encanto neighborhoods such as Emerald Hills, Lincoln Park, Mountain View, O'Farrell, South Encanto, and Valencia Park, have a substantial African-American population.
With the great influx of Filipino immigrants joining the United States Navy, especially from the Vietnam War era on to the 1990s, many Filipinos inhabited the Southeast San Diego neighborhoods of Alta Vista, Bay Terraces, Paradise Hills, Skyline Hills, and Valencia Park, both for the relatively affordable housing prices and its close proximity to Naval Base San Diego.
Additionally, enlisted military personnel (ranks E-1 to E-6) and their families occupy the Bayview Hills, a sprawling military housing complex operated by Lincoln Military Housing. This community of townhouse-style homes occupy a significant portion of Paradise Hills.
Demographics from Samuel F. B. Morse High School in the Skyline neighborhood alone provides a snapshot sample of the area's diversity with the school's 3,000 students characterized by a slim plurality of the students as Filipino (35%), followed by Hispanic-Latino (34%), Black (21%), and non-Hispanic White (4.0%). The latter statistic is most telling considering that as of 2000, US Census data indicates that non-Hispanic Whites alone represent 49.36% of the population of the City of San Diego. Additionally, roughly 63% of the student body is eligible for Free or Reduced-Price Lunch, a figure that reflects the working-class nature of the area.
Southeast San Diego had long struggled with an image problem plagued by street gangs, drug dealing, assaults, and homicide throughout its communities. In 1992, Councilman George Stevens campaigned against any official designation of the area as "Southeast San Diego" since the name labeled the area in an entirely negative light.
The San Diego Police Department's Southeastern Division includes some of the city's peak crime areas including the neighborhoods of Encanto, Paradise Hills, Lincoln Park, Chollas View, Skyline Shelltown, and Southcrest. Many of the inhabitants in these neighborhoods are working class or lower-income, and a typical sight that is evident throughout Southeast San Diego are homes outfitted with iron bars over the ground-floor windows and doors, and in many cases, cast-iron gates and chain-link fences guarding driveways, a reflection of the perceived need for security in these high-crime urban neighborhoods.
Although crime has gone down citywide, shootings are still a regular occurrence throughout Southeast San Diego, and the area routinely has a disproportionate amount of homicides in relation to the rest of the city. Additionally, many crimes in the area are not reported to the police which makes it difficult to give a completely accurate assessment on crime statistics in Southeast San Diego. Over the last few years, statistics from the San Diego Police Department show that about half of all homicides in the whole city had been accounted for in southeastern San Diego neighborhoods (covered by both the Central and Southeastern Districts), a substantial figure considering Southeast San Diego's relatively small geographic size and population in relation to the rest of the city. For example, in 2004, of the 62 homicides in the City of San Diego, 32 of them (roughly 16.4 murders per 100,000 residents or three times the national average of 5.5 murders per 100,000 for that year) had been accounted for in sixteen southeastern San Diego neighborhoods, from Barrio Logan to Lomita Village. In comparison, the northern San Diego suburb of Mira Mesa, which covers a substantial geographical area sizeable to Southeast San Diego's (21.4 square miles to Southeast San Diego's 21.2 square miles),  had no homicides for that year.
The rash of violence in Southeast San Diego had been met with community outrage over the years and prompted a series of anti-violence marches and rallies. More recently in 2005, as a response to the spike in violence in the area, hundreds of middle school students took part in an anti-violence rally from the Lincoln Park area to Gompers Park in Chollas View, echoing chants of "Peace in Southeast" as they marched.
The San Diego Unified School District oversees all public elementary, middle, junior and senior high schools in Southeast San Diego.
The Southeast San Diego area is served primarily by three urban senior high schools.
Through the District's Voluntary Enrollment Exchange Program (VEEP), students from the Southeast San Diego community may be bused to high schools in San Diego's more affluent northern suburban neighborhoods, namely Mira Mesa High School, Mission Bay High School, Scripps Ranch High School, Serra High School, and University City High School.
Jaybee THe Bandit Kearny High School
- Adams Elementary
- Albert Einstein Academy Middle
- Alcott Elementary
- Angier Elementary
- Arroyo Paseo Charter High
- Audeo Charter
- Audubon Elementary
- Balboa Elementary
- Barnard Elementary
- Bayview Terrace Elementary
- Bell Middle
- Benchley/Weinberger Elementary
- Bethune Elementary
- Bird Rock Elementary
- Birney Elementary
- Burbank Elementary
- Cabrillo Elementary
- Cadman Elementary
- Carver Elementary
- Muirlands Middle
- Mt. Everest Academy
- Morse High
- Montgomery Middle