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


Four Trends Shaping the Future of Downtown San Jose

News /
San Jose — long known as the bedroom community for Silicon Valley — has struggled to grow its job base. But four new trends in downtown development may be about to change that. In 2014, SPUR made recommendations for how to encourage growth downtown. Five years later, we are seeing these ideas unfold — with positive indications for San Jose’s financial footing.

SPUR provides comments on the City of San Jose proposed extension of the downtown high-rise incentive program

Policy Letter
SPUR supports staff recommendation to extend the downtown high-rise incentive program until 2023. While we believe that downtown must have a large concentration of jobs to support transit, it is also important to maximize the potential of high-rise residential development downtown. This program helps ease the financial burden due to the cost of construction and land to help spur greater development in the urban core.

Tackling Inequality

Urbanist Article
Collaboration has been key to solving’s Miami's most pressing challenges around housing, transit and access to economic opportunity.

SPUR responds to City of San Jose proposed General Plan Four-Year Review Scope of Work

Policy Letter
SPUR weighs in on city staff recommendations for the scope of work for the San Jose General Plan four-year review, which will begin in the fall of 2019. SPUR supported staff recommendations but proposed additional items to be considered by the Task Force. The letter address SPUR's recommendations for consideration by city council.