Supervisors Sandra Lee Fewer and Vallie Brown already have the votes lined up to approve their proposed Office of Racial Equity, an equality-based arm of the Human Rights Commission.
Recent discussions of the term “equity” at City Hall have generally centered around the San Francisco Office of Cannabis’ Equity Program, which that department is quick to point out is a “color blind” program meant to specifically promote victims of the war on drugs and makes no race-based decisions. But Supervisors Vallie Brown and Sandra Lee Fewer have proposed an Office of Racial Equity, according to the San Francisco Examiner, which is very pointedly proposed to “advance a racial equity framework within city government.” The office was proposed, though not voted upon, at Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors meeting.
But Fewer and Brown’s Office of Racial Equity looks certain to pass. The bill has four co-sponsors (Sups. Mandelman, Mar, Ronen, and Walton), which right there gives you six ‘Yes’ votes on an eleven-member body.
“We need meaningful and tangible action now to close the racial gap in San Francisco,” said Sup. Vallie Brown said in a release. “This is not just the prerogative of social movements past, but the moral, social and economic imperative of our present. Doing so means holding ourselves accountable to dismantle unjust systems and recognizing our harmful history.”
The office would analyze the Board’s legislation to ensure it promoted racial equality, and root out any City Hall hiring and service delivery practices “where one racial group systematically and disproportionately experiences worse outcomes in comparison to another racial group or groups.”
San Francisco would not be the first city to create such an office, as a Budget and Legislative Analyst’s Office analysis says that 33 other municipalities nationwide also have a similar racial equity body. The office would have five employees, and will cost about $640,000 a year.