On Tuesday, January 24, 2017 The San Francisco Foundation held an informative session on community benefit opportunities for local and national construction contractors in partnership with the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC). The SFPUC is close to embarking on a city-wide $8 billion Sewer System Improvement Program (SSIP). The first steps to SSIP is completing a $2.9 billion remodel and retrofit the Southeastern Sewer Treatment Plant located in Bayview Hunters Point, a historically neglected neighborhood of San Francisco.
Through the SFPUC’s Community Benefits Program, any construction contractors bidding on a project will have to demonstrate their commitment to partner with the SFPUC and local community-based organizations. The goal is to make significant, positive community impact in the communities and neighborhoods throughout the SFPUC’s service area. The $2.9 billion remodel of the Southeast Sewer Treatment Plant will result in approximately $9 million in community benefits over 10 years.
Most contractors bidding on these projects with the SFPUC do not have a local context of the neighborhoods like Bayview Hunters Point. The SFPUC and The San Francisco Foundation have formed a partnership to provide more information and resources to the contractors to help them develop their strategies for impactful community benefits opportunities.
During the information session, The San Francisco Foundation presented its Regional Equity Strategy and its alignment with the SFPUC’s Community Benefits Program. The San Francisco Foundation walked the contractors through a brief history of Bayview Hunters Point and presented demographic information to provide more contexts of the impacted area and the barriers faced by residents to the contractors. We outlined our investment strategies in Bayview Hunters Point and provided examples of some of our core community partner in Bayview Hunters Point. We led the contractors through a robust discussion of the community-based organizations in Bayview Hunters Point to help them shape their investment strategies.
All of the contractors appreciated the partnership between the SFPUC and The San Francisco Foundation and stated that they have not seen this type of partnership in working with previous public agencies. Many of the participants were inspired to craft holistic strategies to their investment and asked to have The San Francisco Foundation as a continued resource.
The San Francisco Foundation and the SFPUC will continue to partner around expanding access to good jobs and career opportunity for San Francisco residents in these impacted areas.