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.

 

Read our policy agenda

Homeless Camp

SPUR Report

Mending the Net

Long before COVID-19, 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. Streamlining the application process would help Californians receive the public support they have a right to.
Bay Area Market

SPUR Report

Undue Burden

Sales taxes are a common revenue-raising tool, but they also play a role in reinforcing structural inequality. SPUR explores three options for creating a more equitable tax code.
More Harm Than Good

SPUR Report

More Harm Than Good

California’s system of fines and fees is causing significant financial harm to low-income, Black, and Latinx communities in the Bay Area. California should eliminate its reliance on punitive fees and introduce more effective ways to promote behavior that supports safety and the greater social good.
Ladders Out of Poverty

SPUR Report

Ladders Out of Poverty

Thousands of Bay Area households struggle to pay their bills each month, a situation worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic. The region should look to the promise of unrestricted cash transfer programs, which give people money with no specific requirements on how it is spent.
 Economic Prosperity Strategy

SPUR Report

Economic Prosperity Strategy

The Bay Area has one of the strongest economies in the world, but the benefits are not universally shared. Over a third of the workforce earns less than $18 an hour. How can we make sure the region’s rising economic tide lifts all boats?

Updates and Events


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.

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.

Keeping the Water On

SPUR Report
Due to COVID-19, Governor Newsom has issued a moratorium on shutting off water service when people can’t pay their bills. But eventually, customers who have fallen behind will face either paying a large lump sum or losing water service. SPUR proposes a combination of solutions that can prevent shutoffs for vulnerable families while preserving the financial health of water agencies.

How Do Fines and Fees Hurt Californians — and What Can the State Do About It?

News /
Fines and fees are an often-overlooked aspect of California’s criminal legal system. A recent SPUR forum took a close look at the role these charges play in a starkly inequitable, illogical and unjust system. Our panelists discussed the harms caused by fines and fees, why they cost too much, who they impact most and how to end biased enforcement.

Ladders Out of Poverty

SPUR Report
Tens of thousands of households in the Bay Area struggle to pay their bills each month, a situation only worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic. The region should look to the promise of unrestricted cash transfer programs, which give people money with no specific requirements on how it is spent. SPUR looks at the successes of existing programs and offers five possible options to consider.