We believe that all Bay Area residents should be able to make a good living and build long-term financial well-being for their families and communities.
Even before the Covid-19 pandemic, one third of Bay Area residents had virtually no savings that would allow them to purchase an affordable home or pay for an emergency—whether it’s for car repairs so they can get to work or another pressing need. We are seeing this played out amid the pandemic as people working low-wage jobs are being stretched thin and living with greater uncertainty about staying in their homes, keeping their jobs, and balancing childcare and schooling on top of it all.
This economic distress is a result of policies put in place through elections and by government officials that discriminate against people of color and people struggling to make ends meet. Once set in place, the policies decide who gets to attend a good school or get a well-paying job. The policy decisions allow for discriminatory practices that make it difficult to get a loan, buy a home, or open a business—the most powerful ways that people build financial security and wealth and put their children on a brighter path.
The People grantmaking focus area is dedicated to changing this reality.
We use the following approaches to help people have a good job, build wealth, and save for the future.
Creating Just Laws and Practices
We partner with organizations that support students of color to develop leadership skills to advocate for practices and policies that will allow them to thrive. Beyond schools, the laws and policies that govern our lives need to be reset to work for more Bay Area residents. We support advocates and organizers who are pushing to make these systems fair and equitable, ensuring that governments don’t balance their budgets on the backs of the people who can least afford to pay.
Building Worker Power
We support efforts to ensure that workers are paid fairly and have a say in their workplace. We also support organizations that help workers use their collective power to hold employers accountable to provide a livable wage and good benefits and policies that support workers such as parental leave, fair chance employment, and scheduling. In addition to supporting worker organizing efforts, we work with partners across the region to make sure that local residents of color benefit from the rapid development that is happening in their own neighborhoods.
Building Community Wealth
We are learning about the best ways to create and sustain permanently affordable land and housing. Our current focus for this work is in Alameda and Contra Costa County, which we hope will provide insights and experience to help us expand into other areas across the Bay Area. We are strategically aligned with the Place Pathway in this work, working in partnership to tap their local expertise and underscore efforts already underway in these communities.
Grantmaking from the People focus area is by invitation only. We will share information about open funding cycles as it is available.