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Racial and Social Equity Action Plan

The San Francisco Planning Department’s Racial and Social Equity Action Plan aims to advance equity throughout the Department’s internal and external operations such as community planning, policy development, how we spend our staff time and budget, and land use planning. To accomplish this, the Department has created an Action Plan with specific goals, actions, and accountability metrics. The Action Plan also contains tools to help staff carry out this work. 

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Related Projects

District MapPhoto: DBA Architects/artist Jessica Sabogal/source MEDA CDCC

The Department is working to integrate and build equity into how we do all of our work. The Racial and Social Equity Action Plan Phases 1 and 2 will provide the blueprint to bring racial and social equity outcomes to the forefront of all our work. While equity is being integrated throughout, the projects below are some key equity efforts to highlight:

Environmental Justice Framework and General Plan

The Department’s Environmental Justice Framework And General Plan Policies work is being coordinated with the Planning Department’s Racial and Social Equity Action Plan. As required by California Senate Bill 1000, cities and counties will adopt policies in their General Plan to address environmental justice. The Environmental Justice Framework will outline a vision and goals to be incorporated into the City’s General Plan. It will also include guidance to City agencies and other stakeholders on how they can address environmental justice in their work.

As mandated by the San Francisco’s Planning Commission Centering Equity in Planning Resolution, all Elements (Transportation Element, Community Safety Element, and Housing Element) in the General Plan currently being amended will explicitly prioritize racial and social equity.

Housing Element

The Housing Element is San Francisco’s housing plan for the next eight years (2022-2030) and the first one that will center on racial and social equity. It will include policies and programs that will guide our collective vision and value for the future of housing in San Francisco. It will define our priorities for housing solutions and determine resource allocation for creating housing and providing housing services.

Recovery Strategies

City agencies are working together to develop a coordinated Recovery Strategies work program to provide immediate and on-going measures that will help the City promote housing access, job creation, walkable neighborhoods, and address impacts of systemic racism. The recovery work begins with the following five priorities: (1) Center recovery on racial and social equity, (2) Prioritize recovery towards just and vital San Francisco, (3) Strengthen community engagement in implementation, (4) Root action in data and analysis, (5) Coordinate strategies across agencies.

Mission Action Plan 2020

The Mission Action Plan 2020 (MAP2020) is a recent project that has been deliberate about ensuring equitable outcomes and addressing disproportionate impacts for a specific population impacted by the housing affordability crisis due to gentrification and displacement. Other examples of recent projects that highlight equity and/or use a deliberate lens to address disproportionate impacts on specific groups include the SoMa Pilipinas: Filipino Cultural Heritage District; the LGBTQ+ Cultural Heritage Strategy; Sustainable Chinatown; the Japantown Cultural Heritage & Economic Sustainability Strategy; and the Health Care Services Master Plan among others.

Welcome to the Planning Department’s Racial and Social Equity Action Plan webpage. This webpage is designed to provide an overview and updates related to a multi-phased effort. Please visit the About tab to learn more about project objectives and timelines.

Stay tuned to the latest events and project updates displayed below and on the Engagement tab – we look forward to collaborating with you, and thank you for participating.

Upcoming Events

None at this time.

Previous Events

Please see the Engagement tab.

Share Your Thoughts

We would like to hear from you! To share your thoughts, complete this form.

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How we can help meet the needs of San Francisco’s diverse population, especially those who are most vulnerable

The Planning Department's Action Plan is our primary tool to help advance racial and social equity in our work in a comprehensive way, including internal and external processes (hiring, public information, project review, outreach, etc.), policies and programs, staff capacity-building, and process improvements. The Action Plan will be updated every three years and monitored consistently.

The Office of Racial Equity is the lead agency citywide advising, conducting citywide racial equity trainings and providing coordination across departments.

This effort consists of the following phases:

Phase 1 (2016-early 2019)

A. Create the Action Plan

  • A Phase 1 Action Plan focused on internal functions such as hiring, promotions, workforce development, staff capacity building, resource allocation, and contracting.

B. Deliver a Racial and Social Equity 101 training to all SF Planning staff and Commissions

  • An Interim Racial & Social Equity Assessment Tool to help staff incorporate racial and social equity analysis into their day-to-day work.

  • Structural Racism 101 training for all staff and Commissioners

C. Produce Racial and Social Equity Assessment Tools

Phase 2 (2019-2023)

A. Launch priority projects

  • Equity Audit of the Planning Code

  • Equity Impact Analysis Guidelines

B. Engage residents to consult the Action Plan and help shape SF Planning projects

C. Assess Phase 1 results

D. Customize Racial and Social Equity Assessment Tools

Phase 3 (Ongoing)

A. Implement, track, and update the Racial and Social Equity Action Plan every three years

B. Engage with communities

C. Produce annual monitoring reports

colorful muralMural and Photo courtesy of Josué Rojas /www.josuerojasart.com

Adopted in 2019 and revised in 2020 to align with the San Francisco Office of Racial Equity's Citywide Racial Equity Framework, the Department's Action Plan is an essential component of Planning's work supported by Mayor’s Office, the Board of Supervisors, the Office of Racial Equity, the Human Rights Commission, and many other racial equity champions across the City. Phase I of the Plan contains specific goals, objectives, actions and accountability measures to implement and track progress on our internal racial and social equity goals.

Since its 2019 adoption, the unprecedented events of 2020 have forced us to reexamine how we can advance racial and social equity in our role as planners and public servants. This work is now also guided by the Commissions' 2020 Equity Resolutions to focus the Department's work and resources on achieving an equitable city that works for all.

  • On June 11, 2020 the San Francisco Planning Commission adopted Resolution No. 20738 centering the Planning Department's work program and resource allocation on racial and social equity.

  • On July 15, 2020, the San Francisco Historic Preservation Commission adopted Resolution No. 1127 centering Preservation Planning on racial and social equity.

  • On January 4, 2019, the proposed City's Five-Year Financial Plan is released, a long-term strategy for city investments driven by the guiding principles of accountability and equitable outcomes in the provision of city services and use of city funds.

  • On August 2019, the Board of Supervisors passed legislation creating a San Francisco Office of Racial Equity, which requires all city departments create Racial Equity Action Plans by 2020, see our previous and updated plan on the Supporting Info tab.


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A Racial and Social Equity Vision

Group of people outside painting on streetPhoto: SF Office of Racial Equity

We envision inclusive neighborhoods that provide everyone with the opportunity to lead fulfilling, meaningful, and healthy lives. We envision a city where public life and public spaces reflect the past, present, and future of San Franciscans. We envision a city where a person’s race does not determine their lives’ prospects and success.

We envision an inclusive Planning Department and Commissions that represent and engage the communities we serve. We envision a Department that proactively infuses racial and social equity in both internal operations and external Planning work. Together, we are reimagining what the planning field is and can be – one that is inclusive, diverse and centers racial and social equity both as a practice and as an indicator of success.

In order to achieve this broader City vision, we must do our part and address racial and social equity within the Department’s policies and practices.

What is the Racial and Social Equity Action Plan (Action Plan)?

Group of people gather at a community workshopPhoto: flickr/sfplanning

The San Francisco Planning Department’s Racial and Social Equity Action Plan (Action Plan) aims to advance equity throughout Department’s internal and external operations such as community planning, policy development, how we spend our staff time and budget, and land use planning.

To accomplish this, the Planning Department has created an Action Plan with specific goals, actions, and accountability metrics. The Action Plan also contains tools to help staff carry out this work.

Why do we need an Action Plan?

Group of people gather at a community workshopPhoto: flickr/sfplanning
  • Government and the urban planning profession have historically played a significant role in creating and allowing racial and social inequities to continue. Therefore, we have a responsibility to address inequitable practices.

  • The Planning Department has a commitment to maintain a diverse, equitable, and inclusive workforce so that Department staff can be better equipped to work with the diverse communities we serve.

  • People of color across San Francisco are facing unequal, and sometimes worsening, conditions across nearly every social or economic measure, such as unemployment, health, household income, access to housing, criminal justice, education, police violence, and homelessness.

How can the Planning Department contribute to advancing Racial and Social Equity?

Group of people gather at a community workshopPhoto: flickr/sfplanning

The Planning Department’s work deeply impacts the lives of San Francisco residents. By assessing and implementing our work with a racial and social equity lens, we have the opportunity to achieve multiple goals, including but not limited to: 

  • improved processes and better customer service

  • more inclusive community engagement

  • efficient project approvals

  • better-informed policy development

  • more accessible and responsive work programs to those most in need

  • more diverse, representative, culturally competent staff.

The following is a chronological timeline which provides a detailed account of major milestones achieved since this effort was launched in 2016. This timeline will be updated on a reoccurring basis, stay tuned.

Past and Upcoming Milestones

Late 2019 New Office of Racial Equity created 

Phase 1 of Racial & Social Equity Action Plan adopted at the Planning Commission and Historic Preservation Commission, November 21, 2019, and December 4, 2019 respectively
Summer 2020 Planning Commission and Historic Preservation Commission pass Equity Resolutions Centering Planning on Racial & Social Equity
Spring 2021 Equity Advisory Council convenes
2022 Launch of two Plan projects: An equity audit of the Planning Code and Guidelines for Equity Impact Analysis; ORE working with community on Phase 2 framework, instructions to Departments expected in late 2022
Winter 2023 Finalize partnerships with community organizations to collaborate and design community outreach and engagement for Phase 2 
Spring 2023 Full Phase 2 engagement with community partners to complete Phase 2 of the Action Plan
Mid- 2023 Target for publishing a Phase 2 draft for public review (pending ORE requirements)
Late 2023 to early 2024 Revise Phase 2 draft based on public review and bring Phase 2 Plan for Commissions' Actions
Ongoing Implementation of both Phase 1 and Phase 2 of the Action Plan

Future Opportunities for Community Partners – Participate and Support Outreach and Engagement!

We are currently in Phase 2 of the Action Plan, which is expected to continue through the first quarter of 2023 with community engagement on our Racial and Social Equity Action Plan (“Action Plan”) current priority projects and we would love to engage with you!

We would like to hear from you! To share your thoughts, complete this form.

Events

Upcoming

Note at this time.

Previous

Prior to the pandemic, we’ve held over 30+ one-on-one conversations, three presentations with community groups; one focus group; and three informational Commission hearings. Five informational Commission hearings were also held throughout the pandemic.

To see a summary of feedback to date, see Planning Commission update Memos: