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.

Find more Economic Justice research
  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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Updates and Events

Silicon Valley Roundtable: Recovering From the Pandemic Means Addressing Systemic Injustice

News October 23, 2020
Leaders in Silicon Valley are looking at the innovations that might emerge in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. One thing is clear: This time, it won’t be an engineering solution. The Silicon Valley Recovery Roundtable, launched to help businesses safely reopen, realized that its goal was not to return to “normal” but to repair the systemic disparities that existed before the pandemic.

SPUR Co-Sponsors Bill to Make Sustainable Transportation an Essential Part of California’s Recovery

News August 5, 2020
Senate Bill 288, co-sponsored by SPUR, aims to accelerate sustainable transportation projects and jumpstart a green recovery, creating jobs and reviving local economies while improving public health and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. California can get projects — and jobs — going by taking a hard look at the regulatory processes that slow down, stop or increase the cost of sustainable transportation projects.

How Cities Can Support Ground Floor Business Survival

News June 24, 2020
SPUR has released Keeping the Doors Open, a set of 10 recommendations for cities to implement as they work to assist ground floor businesses in reopening while shelter-in-place orders remain in effect. We recommend three principles to keep in mind: move quickly and remain flexible, focus on neighborhoods, and center equity in the allocation of resources and staff time.

Four Tools for Stimulating Economic Recovery Through New Homebuilding

News June 23, 2020
During the last recession, homebuilding ground to a halt. We can’t let the same thing happen this time. What can be done to keep the pipeline of new housing open through this crisis and recovery? SPUR and the Terner Center offer four principles to help guide new housing construction and facilitate economic recovery.

A Budget Priorities Evaluation Framework for Oakland

Policy Letter June 22, 2020
SPUR believes that a city’s budget is one of the clearest statements of its priorities and as such it should reflect the city’s values. Amidst this uncertainty SPUR has offered a Budget Priorities Evaluation Framework to Council to help guide deliberations

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