San Francisco

San Francisco Board Unanimously Approves ‘Office of Racial Equity'

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors unanimously approved legislation Tuesday to create an Office of Racial Equity which would oversee a citywide racial equity plan, according to city officials.

The new office will operate under the San Francisco Human Rights Commission, which celebrated its 55th anniversary this week.

The plan, which will mandate different outcomes for different city departments, will include financial ramifications for lack of progress, officials confirmed. New types of reports and analysis tools will be created to assess outcomes.

According to the office of Supervisor Sandra Lee Fewer, who proposed the legislation along with Supervisor Vallie Brown, there are still a variety of areas in which racial disparity persists for minorities in San Francisco, especially that of the black community. These areas include life expectancy, employment, income, arrest rates and homelessness, among others.

"This legislation will hold us accountable to moving the needle for racial equity in our city and addressing the disparities facing communities of color with regards to economic stability, housing, health outcomes or policing," Fewer said. "It is long past due that San Francisco makes real our commitment to racial equity, and this Office of Racial Equity will make sure that everyone in San Francisco has equitable opportunity to survive."

There are 32 other cities with Offices of Equity, according to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors Budget and Legislative Analyst.

Human Rights Commission Director Sheryl Davis will be working directly with San Francisco's Office of Racial Equity.

"As public servants, we must shine a light on these disparities, reconcile past harms, and identify solutions so that all San Franciscans may achieve their greatest potential without being undermined by structural obstacles to success," she said. "Creating this office is a great first step toward justice and inclusion for the most marginalized residents."

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