San Francisco Department of the Environment

San Francisco Department of the Environment’s Racial Equity Action Plan

The San Francisco Department of the Environment is pleased to announce the release of our Racial Equity Action Plan - Phase 1. This plan outlines steps, objectives, and goals to create an anti-racist organization and advance racial equity in the environmental field.

San Francisco Department of Environment’s Environmental Justice Program has spent nearly two decades working alongside low-income communities of color to mitigate environmental burdens, increase the accessibility of environmental programs and benefits, engage the community, and improve the health outcomes of these communities.

Although progress has been made in the environmental justice movement, there is still a long way to go in broadening missions, reach, and inclusivity of the overall environmental movement. Additionally, the environmental movement is still predominantly white, though Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) are and have always been environmentalists.

Recognizing the lack of diversity in the environmental movement and the Department's opportunity and responsibility to help address it, in 2016, a group of staff created a volunteer-led ad hoc equity, diversity and inclusion working group. In March 2018, the Commission on the Environment adopted Resolution No. 005-18-COE codifying the Department's commitment to racial equity and formally announcing SF Environment’s Racial Equity Initiative.

The City and County of San Francisco has recognized that there must be a more cohesive and coordinated approach to addressing racial inequities and, in July 2019, the Board of Supervisors unanimously passed Ordinance No. 188-19 amending the Administrative Code to create an Office of Racial Equity (ORE). One component of the ORE legislative mandate is for City Departments to create Racial Equity Action Plans, in two phases:

  • Phase 1 focuses on internal programs and policies, workforce, and boards and commissions.
  • Phase 2 will focus on procurement, contracting, grants, and delivery of services and programs to the community.   

Resources

San Francisco Department of the Environment’s Racial Equity Resolution
Ordinance mandating the creation of The Office of Racial Equity
Office of Racial Equity Website


Photo: Soko Made and Sraddha Mehta, Racial Equity Leaders

Illustrative Image