The Committee on African American Parity of the Human Rights Commission
The Unfinished Agenda
Economic Status of African
Americans in San Francisco
The Committee on African American Parity (CARP) of the San Francisco Human
Rights Commission was formed to assess the status of African Americans in San
Francisco between 1964 and 1990, to determine whether African Americans are
better or worse off today, and to recommend actions designed to correct any
inequities identified in the course of the assessment The CARP decided to focus the
inquiry on eight areas:
· Employment and Entrepreneurship
· Criminal Justice
· Health Services
· Media Relations
· Political Empowerment
· African American Families
In 1992, the Human Rights Commission contracted with Polaris
Research and Development,
a minority owned
The study looked at the
developmental history of the African American community in
The study found that in the period since the founding of the Human Rights Commission in 1964:
• The African American population has
deceased in size. The number of African Americans in
• The African American population is getting older and there are fewer children under 18 years of age.
• The African American population which
used to be the second largest ethnic group in
• The shift in the
• The income of African Americans compared to that of white San Franciscans has declined since 1970 from a high of 60.1% to 45.1% in 1990.
• The income of African Americans compared to that of other non-white ethnic groups in the city indicates that Asian Americans have higher per capita and household incomes than African Americans and Latinos have slightly lower per capita incomes but higher household incomes than African Americans.
• African Americans suffer higher rates of poverty and unemployment and have higher levels of dependency.
• African Americans are greatly underrepresented in many job titles in the private sector.
• African Americans have benefited from the consent decrees addressing the hiring and promotional policies of the fire department and police department even though they have not fully met the goals.
• African Americans have benefited from employment in City and
County agencies in
• Many African Americans have been pushed out of the city by a combination of governmental programs like urban renewal and the high costs of housing. At one point, rental costs which had been reasonable until 1979 or 1980 escalated until they reached almost 90% of the per capita income of African Americans in 1985.
• Traditionally black communities-like Bayview -Hunters Point-- are becoming more integrated as a result of the net outmigration of African Americans, greater desegregation in the housing market for African Americans, and increased competition for the housing in those communities.
Recommendation 26-Order City agencies to provide better information, data and analysis of African American housing and economic conditions and that such effort be periodically updated. This reporting and analysis of the impact of various other development proposals on housing and the African American Community should be made available.
Recommendation 27-Develop other special programs to increase and preserve housing ownership opportunities. Encourage
development of affordable housing with land write downs and sweat equity participation. Negotiate land deals
with SF Redevelopment
Agency, Section 8 subsidization with SFHA, and assess experience of local sweat
equity housing examples-such as jubilee West and
Recommendation 19-Preserve and enhance African American equity in real estate through purchase of rights of first refusal and/or reverse annuity mortgages with African American homeowners. Implement through the development foundation (see Recommendation) or a community development corporation (Goals: 1, 10, 11)
Recommendation 20-Analyze benefits and liabilities of public housing privatization and/or tenant management programs and develop position on those issues. (Goals: 1, 4, 9, 10, 11)
Recommendation 21-Institute a policy that a portion of affordable housing funds generated by such City programs as Tax increment from Redevelopment Areas, the Office of Affordable Housing Production Program (OAHPP), Revenue Bonds, Hotel Tax Housing Fund and tax credits be allocated specifically to affordable projects serving African American community_
Recommendation 22-Provide a greater emphasis on family housing projects (34 bedroom units) in general and specifically in the projects serving African American households.
Recommendation 23-Use tax increments and other City funding mechanisms to buy out affordable housing units in Black neighborhoods that are threatened with conversion to market-rate units.
Recommendation 24-Foster increased participation of African American developers, non-profit housing organizations, consultants and planners in the production of affordable housing in Black communities in particular and throughout the City in general.
Recommendation 25-That neighborhood non-profit improvement programs be fully staffed in African American neighborhoods and administrative services be comparable to those provided in other major ethnic communities.
capable of fulfilling contracts in these areas. (Goals: 6, 9, 10)
Recommendation-15-Negotiate a commitment to increased lending to African American homebuyers and entrepreneurs on the part of banks and other lending institutions. (Goals 1, 7, 8)
Note: According to the Assembly's
Preliminary Report on the Status of African American Males in
Recommendation 16-Establish a clearinghouse for African American businesses to facilitate networking, mutual purchasing and sales opportunities through the
Black Chamber of Commerce. (Goals: 6, 9,11)
The clearinghouse should also provide links to the myriad of business development assistance programs in the private and public sector.
Recommendation 17-Develop a City housing policy that
recognizes and addresses
specific housing needs in the African American community. While needs for affordable housing are widely shared
Recommendation 18-Institute a policy that African American households have improved access to affordable housing projects in other areas of the City. Access can be improved by encouragement, recruitment and economic assistance.
vocational training programs in the public schools and link training to job placement.
(Goals: 4, 5, 7)
Recommendation 10-Establish an African American economic development district in
Recommendation 11-Establish an African American development foundation and fund it through: a voluntary "tax" of .005% (half of one percent) on gross revenues of African American owned businesses-especially those that receive city contracting preferences under the MBE/WBE Ordinance, minority preferences from the corporate sector, and/or subsidization through the African American development district recommended above. Issue stock to investors. Seek. matching funds from banks and local corporations. (Goals: 8, 10, 11, 12).
Recommendation 12-Establish training programs for African American entrepreneurs linked to venture funds provided by the development foundation (recommended above in conjunction with Recommendation 11). Require a commitment to hire African American employees a condition of capitalization(Goals: 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 10, 11)
13-Negotiate goals with private sector companies for subcontracts with
Recommendation 14-Meet with municipal agencies and negotiate broad goals for contracting with African American MBE/WBE firms-especially in the areas of finance, insurance, and real estate, fuels and equipment purchases. Identify firms
action hires in targeted areas of municipal employment-especially at the upper levels of municipal agencies.
Initiate and sustain the linkages between the affirmative action programs of the municipal sector and the private sector to identify talent and resources and for increasing the pool of African American recruits for all levels of employment
Recommendation 5-Work with labor unions to increase recruitment of African American youth for apprenticeship programs and to develop joint ventures" with schools for vocational training courses and credits. (Goals: 2, 3, 4, 5)
Work with labor unions to increase recruitment of African American youth for apprenticeship programs and to develop "joint ventures" with schools for vocational training courses and credits. (Goals: 2, 3, 4, 5)
Note: A pre-apprenticeship program has been launched on one of large public works projects (Islais Creek) through the cooperation of the City department (DPW) Business Development, Inc.. and the labor community, to target the hiring of African Americans on that specific jobsite. The program will link other jobs to continue the employment cycle. Special support and attention should be given to this pre-apprenticeship program.
Recommendation 6-Develop/expand mentoring program and recruit black male adults to serve as models/tutors/mentors for 1-2 black male youth (Goals: 5, 7,11)
Recommendation 7 -Establish vocational
programs in jails and in conjunction with
programs offering alternatives to incarceration. Contract with local companies
to supply goods built, grown, or developed by participants. Models such as the
horticultural training program at
Recommendation 8-Promote alternatives to incarceration and oppose construction of additional jails and prisons. (Goals: 5, 7)
Recommendation 9-Seek improvements in the scope and effectiveness of
That is, the unstated policy has been to allow people to in-migrate and out-migrate from the city without regard to social policy or goals regarding the composition of the city. In contrast, this-recommendation calls for the establishment of a clearly articulated and publicly stated "vision" which speaks directly to the issue of defining diversity as it pertains to African Americans within the city. This vision should provide the rationale for policy initiatives designed to preserve or enhance the size and condition of the African American population and provide yardsticks for measuring whether the city is achieving its vision. (Goals: 1, 11,12)
Recommendation 2-Note: Negotiate training and hiring goals and subcontracting goals in conjunction with non-profit and for-profit developments in the city such as: the Laurel Heights campus of UCSF, Mission Bay, SFO International Airport, the Navy Yard, the Presidio, the Port, etc. (Goals: 2, 4, 6, 9) Note: The San Francisco International Airport's $2.3 billion expansion offers the unique opportunity to implement a targeted employment program which will serve as a catalyst for both public and private employment enhancements for African Americans.
Note: The negotiated agreement with Host/Marriot to sub-lease on third of their restaurant operations at SFO to minority firms in return for a non-competitive extension of their lease offers a potential model for any organization or corporation seeking concessions from the city whether for building, easements, land, contracts, etc..
Recommendation 3-Negotiate specific private sector hiring and training goals with the private sector companies in San Francisco-especially those that benefit substantially through sales to African Americans. (Goals: 1, 2, 4, 5)
Develop an agreement with the private sector through the Chamber of Commerce and other business associations, to adopt a targeted employment recruitment program aimed at training and fulfilling all levels of employment. Special emphasis should be given to San Francisco African American residents.
Recommendation 4-Implement aggressive recruitment and increase affirmative
Goal 5-To increase the employability and employment of African American males. Studies show that when incomes are held constant, the rates of single parent families are more or less equal among blacks and whites. Effective economic interventions aimed at black males should, therefore, provide leverage on a number of problems-increasing per capita and family incomes, increasing family stability, and decreasing the number of black males in prison (currently 1 of every 3 black males in California between the ages of 20 and 29 are under the control of the criminal justice system and they make up a third of the prison population although they comprise only 3.7% of the overall state population).
Goal 6-To increase the number of economic viability of African American entrepreneurs and businesses.
Goal 7-To increase the level of 'human capital" in the African American community.
Goal 8-To increase access to capital for entrepreneurs.
Goal 9-To provide access to "protected" or "captive" markets for goods and services provided by African Americans. These should include: goods and services attractive to, or needed by, African American consumers, goods and services attractive to non-African American consumers but accessible only through African American businesses, and access to markets protected by set asides or preferences.
Goal 10-To preserve and/or increase the level of capital and wealth in the African American community.
Goal 11-To increase community cohesion and strengthen identity.
Goal 12-To increase the community's political power and influence on public policy.
The recommendations that resulted from analysis of the data included the following:
Recommendation 1-Secure a clearly stated public commitment of the public and private section leadership of the
city to the existence of a viable African American community in
• The African American community is becoming increasingly bifurcated as working class moderate income blacks are migrating out of San Francisco leaving behind one group of higher income more educated African Americans who are dispersed throughout the city and another group of lower income more dependent and less economically competitive African Americans who are concentrated in public housing and other federally subsidized housing.
• The average level of education of African
Americans is increasing. The percentage
of African American residents of
• The urban renewal program in the Western Addition destroyed the economic base of black owned small businesses in that part of the city.
• The number and size of Black owned
The report concludes by setting forth 12 proposed goals to
guide the development of the
the African American community over the next decade. and twenty three recommendations for a broad range of public and private
actions aimed at achieving those
goals. The recommendations include a variety of self-help initiatives in the African American community as well as
calling for both public and private sector commitment and involvement in assuring an equitable place for
in the economic life of
The proposed goals are:
Goal 1-To halt, and/or, reverse the
decline in the size of the African American population
Goal 2-To increase per capita and/or household income in the African American community.
Goal 3-To raise the income of African American individuals and families with the lowest incomes above the poverty level.
Goal 4-To create jobs and job opportunities that fit the full range of skills within the African American community from entry level to those requiring technical skills and professional training