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 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.

Six Ways Oakland Should Take the Long View for Its Downtown Plan

News /
SPUR has been advocating for comprehensive, visionary and ambitious Downtown Oakland Specific Plan ever since we published our Downtown for Everyone report in 2015. After many years of work, the City of Oakland has released a preliminary draft of that plan. SPUR offers suggestions to help realize a vision and strategy for building a true downtown for everyone.

SPUR Recommends Changes to Airport Flight Paths to Increase Building Heights in San Jose

Policy Letter
The City of San Jose is currently considering several scenarios for altering flight paths at Mineta San Jose International Airport in order to allow for taller buildings downtown. SPUR recommends accepting Scenario 4, which would use the Federal Aviation Administration's own safety standards to determine maximum building height limits downtown and in the Diridon Station area.