The Bay Area is at a crossroads. We live in one of the most industrious, exciting places anywhere. We know that our vitality, ingenuity, and broad array of cultural identities make the region special. Yet despite historic levels of prosperity, we are seeing widening inequality, increasing poverty, and declines in upward economic mobility. The rising tide is not lifting all boats.
Our challenge is to ensure that everyone can thrive and reach their full potential. This is not only a moral imperative, but it’s also an economic necessity. Our region cannot afford to continue to leave so many behind if we hope to achieve sustainable growth and prosperity.
At the center of this is the need to provide greater racial and economic inclusion into the vast array of assets our region has to offer. The Bay Area needs to come together to commit to an ambitious agenda to help bring transformative change to disrupt the trajectory of inequality. Across the region, we need to ensure that everyone has a chance to get a good job, live in a safe and affordable home, has a strong political voice, and can live in a community that provides real access to opportunity.
That is why The San Francisco Foundation has launched a grantmaking strategy that focuses on advancing racial and economic equity. We are organizing our work in three interrelated pathways that we are referring to as People, Place, and Power.
People: Expanding access to opportunity through removing systemic barriers
Place: Anchoring communities that reflect people’s culture and identity
Power: Nurturing equity movements to ensure a strong political voice for all
These areas are mutually reinforcing and overlapping. Nurturing movements will help build power within communities that can demand and produce good jobs, affordable housing, and vibrant neighborhoods. This same power and agency helps anchor communities, making sure that they encompass the various elements of equity – strong community engagement, good housing, and jobs that pay a living wage. And we know that it takes political power that reflects the community to build economic power for people across the region.