Several billion dollars in transportation and land use planning funds flow to the San Francisco Bay Area each year – a projected $287 billion in the next 25 years.
In a groundbreaking policy shift, the regional planning and transportation agencies that oversee these funds voted this week to adopt two new priorities: stemming the Bay Area’s displacement crisis, and tackling inequality by growing good, middle-wage, career-path jobs.
The votes were the culmination of more than two years of advocacy by Bay Area communities and workers, spearheaded by the Quality Jobs Network and 6 Wins for Social Equity. Working Partnerships USA and our networks of grassroots allies have been working with these partners to say that displacement and good jobs need to be at the center of the regional debate.
$287 billion and the transportation and infrastructure they build have a profound impact on what kind of jobs and housing we have in the Bay Area, who gets to live and work here, and what their lives will be like.
Yet until recently, Plan Bay Area – the region’s plan for those investments – paid no attention to whether the growth that it supports was creating good jobs or bad.
As Bay Area communities have struggled with the double whammy of soaring rents and soaring wage inequality, development often happens in ways that exacerbate existing disparities and widen the wage gap.
Now the regional agencies have said that the success or failure of Plan Bay Area’s investments will be measured in part by whether they added middle-wage jobs and combatted displacement.