Equality protesters in downtown San Francisco

Economic Justice

Our goal: Enable all people to participate in the region’s thriving economy and attain economic security

SPUR’s Five-Year Priorities:

• Develop and seed ideas that redress the fundamental inequity in the distribution of resources in our region.

• Grow and improve public support systems so that all people seamlessly receive the benefits they are eligible for and need to thrive in the Bay Area.

• Remove the financial burden placed on low-income families and people of color by making taxes, fees, and fines more equitable.

SPUR Report

Mending the Net

Long before the COVID-19 pandemic and economic slowdown, California had the highest poverty rate in the nation. The state is also one of the worst at getting benefits to those who need them, with some programs missing over a million eligible people. Streamlining and automating the application process would help Californians receive the public support they have a right to.

SPUR Report

Undue Burden

Sales taxes are a common revenue-raising tool, but they also play a role in reinforcing structural inequality. Every consumer pays the same tax rate at the register, but low-income households pay a higher percentage of their income. In a new report, SPUR explores three options for instituting a low-income sales tax credit or supplement to help create a more equitable tax code.

SPUR Report

Economic Prosperity Strategy

The Bay Area has one of the strongest economies in the world, but its benefits are not universally shared. How can we make sure the region’s rising economic tide lifts all boats? We identify a three-pronged approach to economic mobility for low- and moderate-wage workers.

Updates and Events


SPUR asks Congress to Fund Childcare as Part of Infrastructure Package

Policy Letter
SPUR joined a broad coalition of Bay Area stakeholders, including the Cities of San Francisco and Oakland, the San Francisco Foundation, and the Unity Council, in sending joint letters to Senator Schumer, Senator McConnell, Congresswoman Pelosi, and Congressman McCarthy, asking them to include funding for increased access to child care in upcoming infrastructure legislation.

More Harm Than Good

SPUR Report
California’s system of fines and fees is causing significant financial harm to low-income, Black, and Latinx communities in the San Francisco Bay Area — which runs counter to the region’s commitment to an equitable economic recovery. To address these challenges, California should eliminate its reliance on punitive fees and introduce more effective ways to promote behavior that supports safety and the greater social good.

Regional Challenges Need a Regional Approach

News /
SPUR’s recently released Regional Strategy outlines a vision for the Bay Area of 2070 as an equitable, sustainable and prosperous region. The strategy provides a roadmap for building that future and centers deep regional cooperation as critical to transformational change. To celebrate the release of the project, four Bay Area civic leaders gathered on May 13 to talk about the role of regionalism in advancing a future where everyone thrives.

Can Automated Speed Safety Systems Advance Racial and Economic Equity?

News /
Automated speed safety systems are in place in more than 150 communities around the United States. Such systems offer the potential to reduce traffic violence and establish a more equitable framework of traffic enforcement. But those outcomes are not guaranteed. Achieving them requires thoughtful planning and design, an opportunity that California now has as legislators consider Assembly Bill 550, which would authorize a 5-year speed safety camera pilot program in six California cities.