We achieve our vision through a combination of:

Advocacy

We analyze funding and planning decisions, and provide policy alternatives in order to equalize public investments by race and class across the Bay Area. Our regional analysis includes the billions of dollars in funding decisions made by agencies such as the Metropolitan Transportation Commission. Read about our current campaigns and advocacy wins.

Leadership Development

Through our leadership development initiatives, we build the capacity and power of Bay Area leaders of color to transform policies as both advocates and decision-makers. Our programs train leaders to analyze regional planning and policy through a race and class lens, sharpen their political skills, and expand their leadership networks both inside and outside the political system. 

Coalition Building

We support regional coalition building as well as local campaigns led by grassroots allies through research, policy analysis, and advocacy. These campaigns include fights for affordable housing, equitable development, transit funding, and transit rider organizing. Read about the work of our regional coalition, the 6 Wins for Social Equity Network.

We are also members of the Bay Area Voices Coalition, part of the national Equal Voices coalition, where we work with our partner to change attitudes and policies that adversely affect people in poverty and build the political power of people of color. 

Reframing the Debate

For far too long, debates over the policy decisions that shape transportation, land use, and housing in the Bay Area have been framed by the interests of the mainstream environmental movement, developers, transportation consultants, and government planners. However, the communities most often impacted by these funding and planning decisions – low-income communities of color, students, workers, and seniors – are left out of these decisions. They are the real experts on what kinds of investments their communities need.  

By putting race and class at the center of public policy decisions, supporting campaigns that advance equitable land-use planning and transportation justice, and developing leaders for boards and commissions, Urban Habitat is changing how communities and decision-makers analyze, discuss, and engage in land-use, housing, and transportation planning throughout the Bay Area.