Bay Area Social Equity Caucus
The Bay Area Social Equity Caucus holds decision makers accountable to the San Francisco Bay Area’s low-income communities and communities of color by uniting organizations across the nonprofit, public, and private sectors and building power around a shared regional agenda for environmental, economic, and social justice. Urban Habitat founded the Bay Area SEC in 1998 and continues to serve as the lead organization.
More than 75 organizations comprise the membership of the Bay Area Social Equity Caucus and are committed to moving a regional equity agenda. Caucus participants represent economic, social, and environmental justice community-based groups, as well as, labor, faith, and youth organizations—our diverse coalition represents a wealth of ideas, energy, talent, and leadership.
The Bay Area Social Equity Caucus integrates four core strategies that support a comprehensive movement building approach in support of low-income people and people of color. These strategies span across our regional programs:
- Strengthen, build, and sustain multiissue, multisector relationships throughout the region with members that formally endorse a common platform around social equity.
- Build the capacity of local organizations by providing customized, consistent trainings and educational opportunities.
- Support local member campaigns by sharing data, political analysis, member turnout, and proactive solutions.
- Advance regional initiatives that result in concrete, measurable improvements in low-income communities and communities of color and strengthen the regional movement for progressive social change by supporting and developing effective decision makers.
Quarterly Meetings: The Caucus at large convenes on a quarterly basis to explore regional issues impacting our local communities. A sample of recent topics include: Climate Change Policy for the People; Building a More Equitable California State Budget; and the Campaign for Clean & Safe Ports. These meetings are open to the public and provide an excellent opportunity for potential members and allies to learn more about the Caucus.
State of the Region: Urban Habitat and the Bay Area Social Equity Caucus hosted our first annual State of the Region on December 15, 2008 at the California Ballroom in Downtown Oakland. Facilitated by Dr. Manuel Pastor, Director of the Program for Environmental and Regional Equity at the University of Southern California's Center for Sustainable Cities, the day examined the current state of the Bay Area using a regional equity lens. With over 200 individuals and more than 50 organizations representing labor, business, and non-profit sectors, the event was an opportunity to deepen our coalition's understanding of the macro political, environmental, economic, and social forces impacting the lives of low-income people and people of color in the region. We built partnerships and alliances while sharing strategies and challenges and publicly demonstrated that a commitment to social equity in the Bay Area unites organizations across sectors and issue areas.
Trainings & Resources: The Caucus coordinates trainings and Leadership Institutes for member organizations and allies that are promoted through the Caucus mailing lists: our monthly e-updates, and un-moderated listserv, “Bridging the Bay.” These lists are the best way to find out about the next Caucus-related event, and it’s easy to sign-up.