SFWPC 2021 POLICY AGENDA

Working towards equity

We are proud to share the San Francisco Women’s Political Committee (SFWPC) policy agenda for 2021. Our vision as an organization is to support candidates in all dimensions of the political process and advocate on issues so that we may fundamentally (and forever) ensure intersectional equity and equal opportunities for women. This policy agenda supports this vision and summarizes our priorities for the next year.

This is the SFWPC’s first policy agenda and will serve as a guide for how we approach both State and Local policy. This document will be used to help guide and prioritize our decisions about the issues we engage in, take positions on, or champion. This may also be used to inform our interactions and relationships with elected officials and the policies they advance. We recognize the importance of the work underway in Washington D.C. However, we acknowledge our capacity limitations as a volunteer organization and have narrowed our policy scope to State and Local advocacy efforts.

The COVID-19 pandemic has shifted our lives, our perspectives and our priorities. This international disaster has disproportionately impacted women, BIPOC communities and small businesses struggling to make ends meet. SFWPC’s policy focus this year is to support and advance policies that ensure San Francisco’s response and recovery is equitable and serves the populations that need it the most. We look forward to working with you to advance this agenda and will continue to share SFWPC’s policy accomplishments.

Thank you for your continued support. If you are interested in joining SFWPC’s Policy Committee, please email the Committee Co-Chairs Megan@sfwpc.org or Katie@sfwpc.org.

Sincerly,
Megan Imperial and Katie Angotti – Policy Co-Chairs
Jessica Pizarek – Research and Analysis Chair
Dakshina Thanky – Research and Analysis Vice-Chair

policy areas

COVID Recovery: Respond to Women and Communities in Need

The COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately impacted women, especially BIPOC women, in San Francisco. Numerous reports confirm that women are leaving their jobs or reducing their hours at higher rates than men to take on childcare responsibilities due to disruptions in access to childcare and school supervision. In the U.S., almost half of all women work in low-wage jobs. According to research conducted by the Brookings Institute, the “share of workers earning low wages is higher among Black women (54%) and Latina women (64%) than among white women (40%)”. Many of these low-wage jobs were cut during the pandemic, exacerbating existing economic hardships and making it even more difficult for working moms to keep their families sheltered. Women-owned businesses were also dealt a significant blow. Women business owners reported a decline in the health of their businesses compared to men owned businesses and expressed concern and uncertainty about future revenues. Additionally, communities of color – and particularly neighborhoods where women of color are more likely to live, have been disparately impacted by the spread of COVID-19.  This is particularly true for Black, Latinx, and Filipinx, and immigrant residents who are more likely to work on the frontline.

SFWPC advocates for policies which:

  1. Establish COVID-19 specific workplace and childcare policies that provide flexibility and support for working mothers to prevent further job loss and reduced wages, workplace protections and access to benefits and training programs.
  2. Provide resources and support for childcare centers, and schools so that they can safely re-open if they were closed due to the pandemic, or continue to remain open.
  3. Establish housing and rent assistance programs for women who have lost jobs or experienced other financial hardships due to the COVID-19 pandemic and are struggling to stay housed or remain in San Francisco. 
  4. Create financial assistance programs for local women-owned businesses that are suffering due to the COVID-19 pandemic so that they can continue to run their business and thrive. 
  5. Encourage equitable access to vaccines and testing, especially to communities that have been disproportionately impacted.

Sources:

Why has COVID-19 been especially harmful for working women?, Brookings Institute, October 2020

An Epidemic of Inequality, UCSF Magazine, Summer 2020

Disaggregation for Health Equity: Shedding Light on COVID-19’s Impact on the Filipinx Community, KCET, March 23, 2021

Ensure women are treated equally

Many issues continue to limit women’s economic opportunity and gender equity in the City of San Francisco. Women working full time still typically make 82 cents on the dollar as compared to men. Women of color experience even wider gaps, black women are typically paid 63 cents, Native American women 60 cents, Latinx just 55 cents, and Asian American and Pacific Islander women are paid as little as 52 cents for every dollar paid to non-Hispanic white men.This is disparately true in the Bay Area, and particularly for women of color, regardless of educational attainment.  Women of color across the board have the lowest median hourly wages of any workers.  What is more, college-educated women of color who have earned a bachelor’s degree or higher on average earn a median wage that is $15 an hour less than their white male counterparts.  On boards, commissions, and private workplace structures, women are overwhelmingly attributed roles that are subordinate to men or absent from leadership positions entirely. We understand that a broad range of issues must be addressed in order to ensure greater equality of economic, social, political, and educational opportunities for women and girls. Policies must be aimed at eradicating unequal treatment of women by addressing unequal workplace practices, unequal economic practices, and ensuring that women have equal access to education, particularly in fields where women have been historically excluded.

SFWPC advocates for policies which:

(1) Establish equal pay, workplace protections, and childcare policies for parents and pregnant people that provide flexibility and support for working parents.

(2) Increase representation of women on boards, commissions and in other leadership roles where important decisions are being made.

(3) Fund programs which create equal access to education for women and girls.

(4) End the practice of gender-based product pricing or the “pink tax” women pay for female-marketed products, while similar goods for men aren’t as expensive.

Sources:
America’s Women and the Wage Gap, National Partnership for Women & Families, March 2021

An Equity Profile of the Five-County San Francisco Bay Area Region, Bay Area Equity Atlas (The San Francisco Foundation, PolicyLink, USC Equity Research Institute), 2017 Report

The Women’s Leadership Gap, The Center for American Progress, November 20, 2018

Gender Analysis of Commissions & Boards, San Francisco Commission on the Status of Women, 2019

How California’s ‘woman quota’ is already changing corporate boards, CalMatters, December 19, 2019

Promote Housing for Women

The SFWPC believes housing is essential to the wellbeing of our community members. Families deserve the right to live somewhere in security, peace and dignity. We recognize this City and the State of California are experiencing an unprecedented housing shortage and affordability crisis. We advocate for policies that promote building a more diverse and inclusive San Francisco for all residents. We support pro-growth measures that address providing housing options for women in historically excluded groups. We support creative approaches by the City and its partners in eradicating the homelessness of women and families.

SFWPC advocates for policies which:

(1) Support pro-production of housing in San Francisco aimed at enhancing affordable housing opportunities for women in historically excluded groups.  

(2) Focus resources and attention on housing and sheltering homeless women and families in San Francisco through a City wide approach. 

Support and Protect Women in San Francisco

Two centuries worth of systemic racism have created unacceptable inequities in San Francisco’s communities, economy and institutions. BIPOC women have suffered an inordinate amount of oppression due to racist policies and practices. The horrors of brutality from law enforcement misconduct and fatal shootings targeted against people of color cannot be ignored. BIPOC communities routinely receive more jail time and harsher punishments; 36% of people currently on death row in California are Black and although San Francisco’s population is 5% Black and 40% White, the jail population is approximately 48% Black and 40% White. Moreover, in the not so distant past, the City has instituted policies aimed at demolishing entire neighborhoods, displacing communities of color and resettling them in industrial areas where there are environmental hazards and pollution. For instance, Hunters Point Shipyard remains a Superfund site in this City, with known environmental hazards impacting the large number of BIPOC communities who reside there. Environmental justice and climate change policies should be prioritized for the health and safety of us all, but especially in BIPOC communities. This means creating programs with equal opportunity for disadvantaged communities and reversing trends of systemic racism. Measures must be taken to ensure that policies and programs explicitly include marginalized and disadvantaged populations to advance their well being and equality in this City.

Advance a More Just Society

Two centuries worth of systemic racism have created unacceptable inequities in San Francisco’s communities, economy and institutions. BIPOC women have suffered an inordinate amount of oppression due to racist policies and practices. The horrors of brutality from law enforcement misconduct and fatal shootings targeted against people of color cannot be ignored. BIPOC communities routinely receive more jail time and harsher punishments; 36% of people currently on death row in California are Black and although San Francisco’s population is 5% Black and 40% White, the jail population is approximately 48% Black and 40% White. Moreover, in the not so distant past, the City has instituted policies aimed at demolishing entire neighborhoods, displacing communities of color and resettling them in industrial areas where there are environmental hazards and pollution. For instance, Hunters Point Shipyard remains a Superfund site in this City, with known environmental hazards impacting the large number of BIPOC communities who reside there. Environmental justice and climate change policies should be prioritized for the health and safety of us all, but especially in BIPOC communities. This means creating programs with equal opportunity for disadvantaged communities and reversing trends of systemic racism. Measures must be taken to ensure that policies and programs explicitly include marginalized and disadvantaged populations to advance their well being and equality in this City.

SFWPC advocates for policies which:
(1) Address the issue of unwarranted racial disparities in the criminal justice system for BIPOC women. Promote equitable dispensation of justice for all. Including reversing the trends of disproportionate incarceration, racially motivated policing strategies, and racially biased, discriminatory, and mandatory minimum sentencing.


(2) Promote environmental justice in historically disadvantaged communities to remove existing, and prevent additional, environmental hazards that negatively impact the health and well-being of the community and women who provide care infrastructure.


(3) Given that women are twice as likely to have asthma, support policies to reduce airborne pollution and support clean air policies, as industrial sources of pollution disproportionately cause health issues for adult women.

Sources:

Racial Demographics, Death Penalty Focus
An Epidemic Inside a Pandemic, San Francisco City Attorney’s Office, November 30, 2020
How Urban Renewal Tried to Rebuild the Fillmore, Hoodline, January 10, 2016

words into action

Assembly Bill 123 sponsored by Asm. Lorena Gonzalez passed the Senate Appropriations Committee this week!! SFWPC was thrilled to support this bill that guarantees workers 90% of their income while on Paid Family Leave, a significant improvement from the existing state program allowing more workers to take advantage of this benefit when they need it most.

― SFWPC Post July 5th, 2021

On San Francisco Board of Supervisors Time Study: SFWPC believes that equal and proportional representation in our city and across our Board committees is essential to racial and gender equity and that achieving this equity is only possible by making very intentional decisions.

― SFWPC Co-President Nadia Rahman, March 24, 2021

San Francisco Women’s Political Committee
FPPC ID# 1243711 • PO Box 713 San Francisco, CA 94104