San Francisco Community Equity Advisory Council Meetings

2022 Meeting Summaries

About

The San Francisco Community Equity Advisory Council is a group of community leaders dedicated to addressing racial and social equity.

Below is a record of meeting information.

November 30, 2021 - Meeting Summary (Draft)

Council Members Present in person at 49th South Van Ness: Norma Garcia, Raquel Redondiez, Mary Travis-Allen, Ben Wong, Del Seymour

Council Members Present online: Lara Kiswani, Malcolm Yeung, 

Council Members Absent: Majeid Crawford, Tiffany Carter, Mahsa Hakimi

City Staff Present: Rich Hillis (Planning Director), Miriam Chion, Claudia Flores, Maia Small, Kamene Ogidi

Facilitator: Ben Wong

Topic: This meeting was focused on a presentation of housing strategies developed in the Equity Council’s Housing Stability working group and proposed changes in the Planning Budget and Work Program. 


1. Opening

Ben welcomed the Equity Council to the hybrid meeting. Ben asked the Council about meeting in the mornings. Feedback is that mornings work well, as it allays traveling safety concerns for senior members of the Council. Some Council members communicate that morning meetings may require adjustments to personal meetings, but that they are happy to make accommodations for those who need it.  

2. Presentation of Housing Strategies by the Housing Stability Working Group 

Norma presented the first portion of the Housing Strategies from the Housing Stability working group. Her presentation introduces four areas in which equity can be operationalized through housing strategies: Reparative Housing, Housing Proximity, Community Stabilization, Wealth and Homeownership. Each of these recommended strategies are further dissected into associated Housing Polices and recommended Housing Delivery – the method by which to achieve the policy. The recommended housing strategies are identified according to implementation timelines including short-term and long-term, and flagged if they require structural change.

Housing Stability Strategies
Goals Delivery
Housing Policies Housing Access and Funding Housing Data and Accountability
Reparative Housing
  • Prioritize return of displaced communities
  • Prioritize return of displaced communities in collaboration with MOHCD
  • Create community strategies to integrate housing, businesses, jobs, parks, and services
  • Increase community capacity for housing development
  • Develop a housing portal to access and track communities served by income, race and location
  • Track community impacts and accountability for projects
  • Prepare data and historic context statements addressing public housing and redlining
Community Stabilization
  • Expand resources for housing preservation and to retain low-income and households and communities of color
  • Protect communities of color, including residents, cultural institutions and landmarks
  • Increase community capacity for housing development
  • Create community strategies to integrate housing, businesses, jobs, parks, and services
Wealth Building
  • Prioritize homeownership programs for Black and American Indian and other households of color
  • Identify housing opportunities in high-resource neighborhoods

Table 1: Housing Stability Strategies

Raquel presented the second portion of the Housing Strategies from the Housing Stability working group. &Specifically, she presented on Housing Access and Funding delivery. 

Strategies by Subject
Housing Access and Funding - Efforts
  • Prioritize return of displaced communities in collaboration with MOHCD
    • Extend Certificate of preference to families
    • Expand mixed-use site acquisition for very low income
    • Build four new affordable housing projects in low density, high resource neighborhoods by 2025
    • Create pilot housing reparations financing program
  • Create community strategies to integrate housing, businesses, jobs, parks, and services
    • Complete Community Strategies or CHESS processes for four communities by 2025
    • Mixed-use small sites program and acquisition
  • Increase community capacity for housing development
    • Funding for community and development capacity building
    • Support co-ops and land trusts  

Table 2: Housing Access and Funding - Efforts

Strategies by Subject
Housing Data and Accountability - Efforts
  • Develop a housing portal to access and track communities served by income, race and location
    • Demonstrate change in ratio of affordable housing tenants by race
    • Reverse decline of Black and American Indian population
    • Expand DAHLIA to include all housing services and complete data tracking by 2023
  • Track community impacts and accountability for projects
    • Expand housing portal to track approved projects
    • Create monitoring of community and city agreements and requirements
  • Prepare data and historic context statements addressing public housing and redlining
    • Complete San Francisco Oral and Documented History projects of Redevelopment by 2023

Table 3: Housing Data and Accountability - Efforts

3. Discussion

Some Council members feel that framing affordable housing and housing access strategies according to access for communities of color or low-income communities, is a reproduction of old thinking by the City. That low-income communities of color should not be limited, due to the location of affordable housing, to live only in low-income communities of color neighborhoods. Council members believe that the lack of housing choice for low-income communities of color points to a wealth equity issue. Some Council members feel there is a need to respond to the current crisis of displacement to stabilize existing communities.

Some Council members pointed to historical policies including the Termination Policy and Indian Relocation Acts, and events including stolen indigenous land and stolen labor which have undermined wealth building for communities of color. Some Council members noted that communities of color struggle to compete with corporate entities that buy up commercial properties, unable to start businesses and build wealth.

Some Council members reflected on home ownership as an opportunity for wealth building, while others believe that San Francisco is at a crossroads, and that wealth building is not possible through affordable home ownership opportunities including Below Market Rate (BMR) homes or cooperative home ownership models. Some Council members likened affordable homes to leasing, believing that it is too difficult to gain equity through affordable home ownership opportunities.  

Council members mentioned challenges, current and historical, that are displacing community members. Displacement, alongside housing choice, were framed as an outcome of wealth inequity.

Some Council members believe that it is necessary to make progress in the short-term addressing the housing crisis, as well as longer-term challenges, addressing root systemic issues which underpin overall wealth building and housing access. Council members also feel that it is important to achieve something substantial and not reactionary during their tenure on the Equity Council. Council members feel that the work isn’t simply to recognize the harm of the past but to stop the harm now.  

Council members addressed both reduction in luxury housing and the true affordability of affordable housing as obstacles to housing access. Some Council members believe that, to address past and current harm, the city should stop building luxury housing or that luxury housing should be deprioritized. Some Council members feel that even affordable housing is no longer affordable to very low-income populations, and that that resources should be focused on affordability to this population. Some Council members noted that all options should be grounded by the presence of material constraints, and that Council conversations should be focused on achievable goals, rather than large, systemic issues. 

Some Council members believe that the City should expand beyond Certificate of Preference, and pursue fair housing with the City Attorney. 

Miriam Chion suggested that inter-agency collaboration is key to addressing these issues, and that the Planning team would work to bring leadership from the Office of Economic and Workforce Development and the Mayor’s Office of Housing to the January meeting.  

Some Council members highlighted the pandemic as a parallel event impacting potential for wealth-building and moves toward equitable housing access. A Council member noted that during the pandemic, storefronts were purposely left vacant by owners who are waiting until rents increased to rent out space, demonstrating a pattern in which low-income communities barred from access certain assets or paths to wealth building. Additionally, another Council member shared that since the pandemic has impacted the Planning Department’s financial capacity, it is necessary to ensure that the changes toward equity are permanent, and cannot be undone due to limited Department funding. Therefore, ensuring that efforts toward housing access and housing choice for low-income communities of color are not tokenistic. 

Miriam Chion pointed to the Housing Element as another parallel event and opportunity for the Equity Council’s work to be integrated into long-lasting policy.

A Council member asked if the Council could see the demographics of employees hired since the first convening of the Council. Director Hillis agrees with transparency, stating that this information, along with promotion or other jobs demographics, can be shared with the Equity Council (note that this information has to be presented in a way that it protects the privacy of individual employees so I will be shared in a way that complies with this). 

The Council addressed the need for youth access to planning jobs, commenting that youth aren’t drawn to planning as a profession because of limited representation. A Council member noted that it is important that community members and leaders plant seeds within their communities that would yield interest and awareness of planning as an option. And, that this work of seeding interest goes hand-in-hand with Planning Department’s committed efforts to build a pipeline from communities of color to the Planning Department.  

4. Presentation of Planning Budget and Work Program 

Miriam Chion and Director Rich Hillis present changes to the proposed fiscal year 2022-2023 and FY 2023-24 Planning Budget, work program, and interagency policies. 

5. Closing

Oscar Grande resigned in-person due to his offer of employment with the City of San Francisco. 

6. Next Steps 

Miriam Chion asked for volunteers to help with the process to fill the Equity Council position left by Oscar Grande’s departure and the hire of a new Community Engagement Manager. 

Meeting End

October 26, 2021 Meeting Summary

September, 28, 2021 Meeting Summary

August 24, 2021 Meeting Summary

Council Members Present:  Tiffany Carter, Majeid Crawford, Norma Garcia, Oscar Grande, Lara Kiswani, Raquel Redondiez, Del Seymour, Mary Travis-Allen, Ben Wong, Malcolm Yeung
Council Members Absent:  Mahsa Hakimi
City Staff Present:  Tameeka Bennett, Miriam Chion, Carla De Mesa, Rich Hillis (Planning Director).
Facilitator:  Del Seymour 
Topic: This meeting was focused on the Equity Council priorities on issues and strategies as well as paths to actions.

1. Opening 

Del welcomed Equity Council members provided some reflections and reminders of the work at hand.  He asked Mary to read the acknowledgement of the Ramaytush Ohlone Land. Del reviewed the common ground and read the agenda.

2. Discussion of priorities for Equity Council 

Rich provided an overview of Goals, Context Resetting, and Planning responses to Equity Council questions.

Based on the Equity Resolutions adopted by the Planning Commission, input from Equity Council members, and Equity Plans, these are the overarching goals to guide the Equity Council’s work: 

  • Focus on low- and middle-income families of color.  

  • Increase the American Indian and the Black population and provide stability to communities of color.  

  • Expand access to resources for low- and middle-income families of color. 

  • Expand participation for American Indian communities, Black communities, and communities of color.

Context Resetting by Equity Council

  1. Today we face a window of opportunity. 

  2. We need to get to work.  

  3. Define specific goals and deliver bold actions in 18 months.

  4. Build trust by working on specific tasks together.

  5. City staff need to define clear paths of influence on decision-making. 

  6. Equity Council will assess how and when to engage with their networks. 

  7. Small groups of Equity Council members and staff need to work in between meetings.  

In response to Equity Council questions, Rich also provided an overview of the Planning Department historic and present inequities and summarize key efforts in the past year:

  • Internal Equity plan: Trainings, budget equity tool, hiring guidelines, creation of Community Equity Division, increasing staff on community engagement and strategies

  • Equity resolutions: Mandates to address racial and social equity by Planning Commission and Historic Preservation Commission  

  • Interagency: Directors’ meetings focused on addressing equity in housing plan and recovery, interagency collaboration creating the Equity Council

3. Targeting Key issues and Strategies

Miriam summarized the key issues and strategies identified by Equity Council members individually, at previous Equity Council meetings and in their reports.  

Issues

Potential Strategies

Approval and Implementation Plans

Displacement of low- and middle-income communities of color

  • Community stability strategies (i.e., neighborhood preference programs, housing rehab funding)
  • Emergency response – rent stabilization 
  • Support middle-income homeowners 

Policies, Strategies, Regulation:

  • Housing Element
  • Capital Planning
  • MOHCD Funding

Invisibility of communities, marginality, erasure

  • Reframing narratives of communities
  • Data disaggregated by community, challenges, and improvements
  • Expand staff dedicated to Cultural Districts to ensure visibility and coordination
  • Increase opportunities for youth and staff of color in planning

Planning: 

  • Budget
  • Communications and engagement strategy
  • Data team priorities
  • Equity Plan

Interagency:

  • MOHCD/Planning reframing work
  • Recovery Strategies: DPH, MOHCD, OEWD, Planning

Community opportunities are constrained by fragmented City strategies

  • Community clinics that integrate access to health, housing, and jobs
  • Increase accountability on community strategies

Planning: Inventory Reports

 

Interagency:

  • MOHCD/Planning reframing work
  • Recovery Strategies: DPH, MOHCD, OEWD, Planning

Communities of color have limited access to wealth creation, job opportunities

  • Funding for community organizations in all plans
  • Tech coalition to open job opportunities 
  • Access to life science and production jobs
  • Small business coops – Shared Spaces 

Planning: Budget, Work Programs

 

Interagency: 

  • Planning-OEWD Strategy
  • Planning-OEWD-CBOs-Small Biz collaboration

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Miriam also described the three Pathways to Equity Outcomes:

  1. Proposals for strategies within the Planning Department 

Example: budget for community engagement, staff assignments to communities of color, priority projects

  • Equity Council small group works with staff to draft priority strategies 
  • Deliberation of Equity Council strategies with Planning Director and staff 
  • Commitment from Planning Director 
  • Implementation of strategies 
  • Equity Council share wins with their networks
  1. Proposals for interagency strategies 

Example: Cultural Districts, Neighborhood Preference Programs, small business coops, community clinics

  • Equity Council small group works with staff to draft priority strategies  
  • Planning staff presents Equity Council strategies to City partners 
  • Deliberation of Equity Council strategies with City directors  
  • City agencies’ Director's agreement to implement strategies 
  • Equity Council share wins with their networks
  1. Proposals for city policies, investments, or regulation

Example: Housing Element policies, proposals for affordable housing allocation in City capital planning, Shared Spaces regulation

  • Equity Council small group works with staff to draft priority strategies  
  • Deliberation of Equity Council strategies with City directors and staff 
  • Staff incorporate Equity Council proposals in staff reports 
  • Staff present reports to Mayor, Planning Commission, Board of Supervisors 
  • Equity Council community networks support approval of proposals 
  • Equity Council share wins with their networks

Equity Council Discussion:
The discussion questions below guided small group discussions. Responses were shared out and reflected upon by the entire group: 

  1. Do these issues capture the Equity Council’s core collective challenges?  

  2. What strategies would you want to prioritize under each issue to deliver equity actions within the 18-month window?  

Bringing communities of color to the Planning Department: We want to see more details around recruitment. Planning needs to find creative ways to recruit people of color like going to places in the community you haven’t been before.  We want to know how we get our community into the Planning Department; what is the process? Focus on creating pipelines directly from SFUSD so that our students know what Planning is; focus on pipelines through our universities to the Planning Department. Planners need to be in the community, interacting in the community, hearing a broader voice of the community to inform critical decisions.  Sometimes people of color are hired at the Planning Department as tokens, and they do not represent the community.  The hiring selection panelist have to be uncomfortable with considering someone who don’t talk like them or look like them.

Opening planning possibilities to youth: It is important to build a pipeline of future planners, from tiny kids to youth.  Can we explore a youth advisory council? They will not be setting the tone, but they will understand what the Planning Department does, and they can begin building the communities they want to be in. We need to shape our future by listening to our children’s desires.

Community conversations: How can we work with planners to stop harmful development.  Beyond the long-term plans, we need staff on the ground who understand and collaborate on critical projects that are being built today. The fragmentation of city strategies is an issue that we see time and again preventing the implementation of community organizations’ strategies. Citywide strategies do not always transfer down to the local community; the City needs to also incorporate the community’s solutions in their strategies and plans. The city’s responsibility is to address the needs of its constituents by listening to people on the ground who know how to solve community problems.

Return of the displaced communities: We need to address not just risk of displacement but the return of already displaced communities, particularly American Indian, Black and Latino. We need to name the policies that displaced our communities. Communities gaining control over community assets: land, buildings, community centers, grocery stores, clinics, etc., will reduce displacement.
Integration of strategies across agencies, a challenge and a need: Planning has limited resources and leverage to lead comprehensive efforts.  It is very difficult to address the fragmentation within the City. This is also a very important task. We have thoughtful strategies in front of us. We have powerful planning voices.  We need to convince people that the strategies are valuable. We need to identify common ground issues and show our communities we are taking collective action toward solutions. 

Equity and Equality: We need to make a distinction between equity and equality. Equity is to provide what is needed. Equality is to assign the same level of resources to each party regardless of need. At some point, the American Indian community had no place to go, no housing available to buy or rent. Other groups had choices. Each community has its specific needs – sometimes our communities are pitted against each other.  For example, the Fillmore community played a part in displacing the Japanese community.

Shifting the housing conversation towards housing that we can afford: Market rate housing is not affordable to our communities. The trickle down approach of building luxury units to get a few affordable or to hope that some housing at the bottom becomes affordable hasn’t worked. Our communities need access to good wages and wealth creation opportunities. What policies are needed to make this happen? What needs to change structurally? NIMBY’s are able to lock projects and keep families out- how do we combat that? We need to work on Community Land Trusts, land banking, public banking, and other alternative housing solutions.

Invisibility of communities: The invisibility of race in communities and places is a very important issue.  Planning is not in the community. Planning needs to go beyond the brick-and-mortar.  We need to reframe planning to incorporate the cultural, spiritual, and social dimensions of our communities We need to design our communities as places where we live and play.  Planning needs to accommodate our social and cultural resources. Calle 24 is a success to be repeated. Bayview, 3rd street needs more of that.

Building generational wealth: We need to create opportunities for wealth building. We need to support small businesses in our communities of color. We need to create opportunities for middle-income housing where it is needed.

Shaping our strategies, consulting with our communities: The summary of key issues reviewed at this meeting is going in the right direction to help this council start to implement these strategies. This is a good process because these are our issues and comments, it’s not just staff directing us with random issues.  As we move towards implementation, we need to engage our communities, we need to go back to the community to talk to people about what the possible strategies are and be able to host a discussion and get feedback.

The meeting concluded with Equity Council members signing up to work in small groups to establish and present strategies to address the key issues identified: 

  1. Displacement of low- and middle-income communities of color

  2. Invisibility of communities, marginality, erasure

  3. Community opportunities constrained by fragmented City strategies

  4. Communities of color have limited access to wealth creation and job opportunities

Next Steps 
  • Staff to support formation of small groups
  • Discussion of Planning Budget at next meeting
  • Next meeting:  September 28, 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm

June 15, 2021 Meeting Summary

Council Members Present:  Tiffany Carter, Majeid Crawford, Norma Garcia, Oscar Grande, Mahsa Hakimi, Lara Kiswani, Raquel Redondiez, Del Seymour (first part of the meeting), Mary Travis-Allen, Ben Wong (first part of the meeting), Malcolm Yeung 
Council Members Absent:  None 
City Staff Present:  Tameeka Bennett, Miriam Chion, Kimia Haddadan, Eric Shaw (for Housing Element discussion) 
Facilitator:  Norma Garcia 
Topic: This meeting was focused on discussion of priorities and discussion of Housing Element draft policies. 

1. Opening 

Norma invited people to introduce themselves by sharing their favorite place in San Francisco.  She read the acknowledgement of the Ramaytush Ohlone Land, reviewed the common ground and the agenda. 

2. Discussion of priorities for Equity Council 

Overview  

Miriam provided an overview of equity concerns and potential Planning and City projects as a framework of discussion to define the agenda for July and future Equity Council meetings. 

Equity concerns: Based on the preliminary round of Equity Council consultations, first two Equity Council meetings, and additional individual input from Equity Council members over the past week, staff summarized equity concerns under the following three equity areas: access to land and housing, access to jobs and wealth, and support for community resources.  In addition, Equity Council members have emphasized the need for institutional changes to bring community voices to local government and access to decision making.  

Potential Planning and City Projects: Staff proposed three projects to address institutional changes, Communication Strategy, Equity Plan, and Planning Budget.  Staff also proposed three major efforts with high potential for equity changes in policies, strategies, legislation and investments, which include the Housing Element, Recovery Strategies, and Cultural and Community Strategies. 

Questions: 
  • What are the core equity challenges? ​ 
  • What are the Planning/City projects that can best address core equity challenges? 
  • ​What would be the agenda for July? 
Discussion summary 

Collective decisions that recognize differences among communities: The Equity Council needs to deliver collective decisions that address the needs of individual communities.  We need to make space to recognize differences. 

Community exhaustion: Our communities have been working very hard to make change. Our communities are confronting multiple requests to engage and in many cases it is just to check a box. Developers have the resources to sustain their engagement through the planning process.  Our communities are investing much personal time, weeknights and weekends, and it is hard to sustain this work over a long period of time.  Our communities have been explaining the same issues for many years to planners and other City agencies without substantial change. Planners and the City need to be educated, need to understand that this American Indian land was stolen. It is hard for community leaders to ask our people to participate when they don’t see change or change is too small.   

Community ownership: Planning and the City needs to move from community  engagement to community ownership. The City needs to clarify who we are planning for and consider investing in community planners within our communities. We need to know that community recommendations are implemented.  We need planning to move beyond supporting capital investments and focus on our communities. Community knowledge needs to become working knowledge and practice. 

Building bridges of collaboration: Community Equity planners could be effective partners addressing equity.  What does a real collaboration look like? How do we really involve community? How do we defer to community  when making decisions?  How can we bring diversity within the Planning Department? 

Changing racist land use policies in real time: It takes too long for land use policies to change and achieve equity.  Many times city agencies blame the past for the inequities of today without acknowledging we are drafting and implementing racist policies today. 

Political will for bold changes: The city has the resources, we need the will to address equity.  This is the time for bold changes.  This is the time for process and engagement leading with race and color.  Housing can be streamlined in white neighborhoods and neighborhoods for people of color should be protected.  Planning doesn’t have to be bound by capital investments.  Planning can respect, honor and engage our communities 

Agenda for July: (1) Discussion of racial equity issues across the various communities. (2) Discussion of the Equity Plan to address the questions and concerns raised at this meeting.   

3. Housing Element Discussion 

Overview 

Based on the input from Equity Council at the previous two meetings, Tameeka and Kimia provided an introduction to the discussion and presented three questions with some potential actions for discussion under each question.   

  1. What are concrete actions to reverse inequities? 

    • Define share of investment in priority geographies for affordable housing, amenities, and infrastructure 
    • Expand Rental Assistance  
    • Bring back displaced communities through homeownership opportunities 
    • Limit zoning changes to serve American Indian, Black, and other communities of color 
       
  2. How to guide location and type of future housing? 

    • Direct more housing to areas with low rates of recent housing production and higher income 
    • Lower concentration of new housing in priority geographies 
    • Focus on small and medium size housing to serve low to middle-income communities of color 
       
  3. How can we frame our housing policies for communities of color? 

    • Priority tasks, priority communities, and priority geographies 
    • Access to housing and land for communities of color across all neighborhoods  
    • Investments in Priority Geographies 
Discussion of Draft Housing Policies:  

Support jobs and wealth in communities of color: Access to jobs and wealth are essential for our communities to secure appropriate housing. The City should support good jobs and access to homeownership for communities of color.  Small family businesses in communities of color can support wealth building.  PDR can provide good stable wages to support families of color.  These jobs and businesses will support the return of families of color.  City policies need to support space for those businesses and jobs.  Good jobs and good wages for communities of color can allow access to housing.  Access to homeownership in communities of color is also essential to increase stability and build wealth in those communities. 

Make neighborhoods good places to live: The City should connect housing with services and cultural activities.  Housing is about good places with appropriate transit, jobs and other services.  Our communities of color bring cultural practices and traditions that are a valuable asset for our neighborhoods and for the city.  Housing policies need to incorporate these cultural assets and services to support good places and address equity.  

Change legislation to address racial justice: Now is the time to remove the legal barriers to racial equity.  The City needs to give preference to communities of color to ensure displaced people and their families can return to the city.  Housing preference for communities of color should also be expanded from homeownership to rental units.  The City also needs to consider adaptive reuse of office buildings to affordable housing and light manufacturing.  

Focus on retaining our housing in our neighborhoods: There is strength in staying where our communities of color have been able to live for a long time. The City needs to ensure the preservation of existing housing in our neighborhoods through acquisition and rehab, as a task that needs to be implemented in the short term. 

Invest in communities of color and produce housing across all neighborhoods: The City needs to expand investments in communities of color and support housing production across all neighborhoods to reverse historic inequities.  We are concerned the State’s High Opportunity Areas definition can be a vehicle to shift resources away from communities of color.  In this effort, we need to find a language that doesn’t setup an oppositional relationship between communities across neighborhoods. 

Define timing of investments: In the short-term, the City should revise policies to streamline production of housing in exclusive white neighborhoods or High Opportunity Areas without reducing investments for communities of color. The City should also be acquiring land for future affordable housing development across all neighborhoods. In the medium and long-term, the City should focus on services and infrastructure to support communities of color and 100 percent affordable housing. 

Move towards collective ownership: Housing strategies cannot solely focus on community benefits.  We need to address community investments and collective ownership.  We need strategies that allow our communities to invest in our neighborhoods, in our businesses and organizations. 

Clarify equity, priorities and opportunities concepts: We must ensure that concepts are clear and precise.  The City needs to communicate clearly to our communities. We need to ensure that the overall message is clear and that we target specific strategies. 

Next Steps 
  • Equity Plan study session - Second week of July 
  • Next meeting:  July 20 15, 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm 

 

 

June 1, 2021 Meeting Summary

Council Members Present:  Majeid Crawford, Norma Garcia, Oscar Grande, Mahsa Hakimi, Lara Kiswani, Raquel Redondiez, Del Seymour, Mary Travis-Allen, Ben Wong, Malcolm Yeung 
Council Members Absent:  Tiffany Carter
Staff Present:  Miriam Chion, Kimia Haddadan, Rich Hillis, Deborah Sanders
Facilitator:  Majeid Crawford 

Topic: This meeting was focused on how to define priorities and deliberations and a short briefing of the Housing Element in preparation for discussion at subsequent meeting.

1.    Opening

Majeid provided a strong opening recognizing the challenging realities of communities of color, confronting White supremacy and the need for substantial work.  Mahsa read the acknowledgement of the Ramaytush Ohlone Land. Miriam provided a summary of the May 18, 2021 meeting.

2.    Defining Paths of Change

Overview 
Key Priority Projects for Council deliberation and consideration:
•    Housing Element (Jun/Oct):  Housing American Indian, Black and other communities of color 
•    Recovery Strategies (Jul):  Investing in key community priorities 
•    Equity Plan (Aug):  Equity in land use decisions and investments 
•    Planning Budget (Sep):  Resources to priority geographies 
•    Community Engagement (Nov):  Expanding community voices and implementing equity strategies 
Deliberation process  
•    Focus on priorities that lead to actual change 
•    Moving towards consensus, acknowledging differences 
•    Recognize priority of American Indian and Black communities, while creating a collective platform for communities of color 
•    Each meeting on priority projects will close with specific strategies/actions 
Sharing advice with community and city leaders  
•    Staff to post summary of deliberation on webpage  
•    Council to share summaries with community networks 
•    Planning Director to brief Planning Commission and Supervisors 
•    Staff to integrate advice into policies and strategies proposals
Questions for Discussion by the Council:
•    Can this structure lead to equity outcomes? 
•    Are council members supported for good deliberations? 

Discussion summary

Housing is a priority: Housing is a pressing issue and needs attention.  Addressing the Housing Element first makes sense because of the housing challenges.  We should check the timelines of various projects and understand their interconnections.
Equity council to define the equity priorities: We need a better understanding of each of the five priorities and assess their value before agreeing to the schedule.  We need to bring community voices in defining these priorities. We need to deliberate and decide the key priorities as well as how to approach each project.  We need to assess the discussion of the Housing Element. Equity Council cannot be another check box used by City staff to get community credit.  We do not want to follow the staff’s agenda.  We want to set the equity agenda.  Staff needs to provide information, support for meetings, and coordination with other City agencies.  Staff needs to provide more information on the priority projects. 
Concerns about the Housing Element: Does this Housing Element have teeth?  Is this another plan that has no impact on community resources or negatively impacts communities of color?  How does the Housing Element of other General Plan Elements provide policy direction? Can we review models from other cities and their use of their housing plans for community equity? We cannot be supporting a plan that will displace our people.  We have been underrepresented in many plans.  We have seen other plans like SOMA with good ideas but without resources.  We need to make sure that the Housing Element is a plan with metrics that keeps the City accountable for equity outcomes.  We are concerned about the High Opportunity framing because it can lead to disinvestment in existing communities of color. We already see cities like San Francisco, San Jose and Oakland receiving only a small allocation of State funding..
Addressing diversity within the Planning Department: We need to discuss the representation of communities of color within the Planning Department.  The lack of diversity at the top is a pattern across City agencies.  We need to see how the Equity Plan can address this issue.

3.    Housing Element Briefing

Overview of schedule, draft policies structure, and community engagement
Discussion: Concerns about the high opportunity framing.  Additional session to review  Housing Element content.

4.    Next Steps

•    Staff to send information on five priority projects and hard copies of Housing Element packet to council members 
•    Staff to schedule supplemental session to review Housing Element content
•    Mary, Raquel, Oscar, Del & Malcolm will collaborate to develop agenda for next meeting
•    Next meeting:  June 15, 5:30-7pm
 

May 18, 2021 Meeting Summary

Council members

Present: Tiffany Carter, Majeid Crawford, Norma Garcia, Oscar Grande, Mahsa Hakimi, Raquel Redondiez (first part of the meeting), Del Seymour, Mary Travis-Allen, Ben Wong, Malcolm Yeung.

Absent: Lara Kiswani.

Facilitator: Mary Travis-Allen

Staff: Tameeka Bennett, Miriam Chion, Rich Hillis, Deborah Sanders (first part of the meeting)

Topic: This was the first session of the Community Equity Advisory Council. It was focused on getting to know each other, defining the common ground for difficult dialogues, and sharing perspectives on the harms experienced by communities of color and the paths towards real solutions.

1. Introductions – First image or memory of San Francisco
  • The love and womb of my mother when I was born at the San Francisco General Hospital
  • The streets of San Francisco from my stroller
  • The Cow Palace and how I thought it was only for cows
  • Black drivers at the airport and a Jim-Crow city
  • Water fountain on Market Street
  • Female Chinese cop directing traffic
  • Golden Gate Bridge and diverse people in a film casting session
  • Vibrant Black communities in Bayview, Fillmore, Lakeview
  • Deadheads gathering at Haight and Ashbury
  • Vistas and divides from Garfield School’s hill
  • Excelsior and Mission Streets and Geneva Drive-In
2. Common ground
  • Speak your truth and allow others to speak theirs
  • Judgement into curiosity
  • Ask the hard questions
  • Intentional listening
  • Experience discomfort
  • We disagree with ideas and what's spoken, not people
  • No one knows everything, but together we know a lot
  • Proactivity to ensure transparency
3. Growing forward together Discussion

Questions

  1. What harms do you feel your communities have suffered with the development of the city over time? How have our historic and current policies pushed communities of color and low-income communities out of the city and constrained access to housing, jobs, and health?
  2. How can we begin building trust in our communities while making changes in our government policies and institutions?
Discussion Summary:

Invisible communities: Many of our communities are invisible to our city, to White people, to our economy. Many people don’t know what American Indians look like. The American Indian community had to challenge the City even on the counting of its population, changing the number from 0.3 to 1.1 percent. People of color in the gay community are non-existent. Black people are not present in many jobs (construction, financial), in many neighborhoods (Sunset, Richmond). The middle-income young black people are dismissed. Even in supposedly ‘successful’ Asian and gay communities, the number of extremely low-income Chinese in Chinatown are not recognized and people of color have no art expressions in the Castro. We also wondered where the Asian community fits in this conversation.

The city doesn’t love me back: We give so much to the city, we organize people, we support our youth and elders, we do many jobs. We love the city so much, but the city doesn’t love us back. We don’t recognize the city where we grew up, the city where makers and bakers could rent or buy a house in San Francisco, a city with black people in Fillmore. Families, workers and middle-income people are pushed out of the city because they cannot afford the rent or buy a house. San Francisco gave birth to the Anti-Chinese movement and our low-income Chinese in Chinatown are at risk of displacement today.

Planning doesn’t connect with people: Planning is boring. Who is studying urban planning? We are not represented nor validated in this field. Future generations have no room in planning. We were arrested at Planning because we spoke about our traumas.

We are here to act and to change: We are not here to just talk. We are tired of telling stories of traumas without response. We don’t want to have one more meeting to just talk. We are tired of talking about harm, we want to talk about solutions. We need new policies that bring something new that can work, we need structural changes, and we need to challenge the legal structure. We need race-based policies. We need to see support from Supervisors and the Mayor. Our work should include the following tasks:

  • Addressing economic equity is essential; we need jobs and wealth building for our communities
  • We need to bring people back
  • We need to retain families and open opportunities for youth.
  • We need to address very pressing issues like the upcoming eviction cliff
  • Make space for middle-income families and young people