As an affordable housing provider, we know firsthand that safe, affordable housing is central to everyone’s well-being, but we face a local housing crisis of unprecedented proportions. That’s why we’re working with partners and bringing our constituents together to promote creative solutions.
Flexible Housing & Junior Units, Won!
Our advocates played a key role in passing AB 2406, which creates a simple, inexpensive permitting process for Junior Units (small secondary apartments inside an existing home). This is an immediate and creative solution for our serious shortage of affordable, quality housing. It is especially relevant for the Bay Area, where there is an abundance of large, single-family homes and a deficit of affordable apartment housing. By enabling homeowners to create a separate rental unit within their existing home, Junior Units generate rental income, make it affordable for homeowners to stay in their homes, and simultaneously create much-needed, affordable rental apartments.
We advocate for strong family-friendly workplace policies that benefit our whole economy. No one who works full time should live in poverty or have to choose between her health, her family, and her paycheck. Living wages, paid sick days, family and medical leave, and fair scheduling are all key components of making jobs work for women, for people of color, and for the families and communities they support.
$15 Minimum Wage, Won!
We were proud to join the Lift Up California coalition in 2016 for a $15 minimum wage and be recognized as a champion community partner. YWCA Advocates collected petition signatures and organized our communities to raise the wages of millions of CA women and people of color. Since 74% of minimum wage workers in California are people of color and over half are women, raising the minimum wage will have an immediate and significant impact on the race- and gender-based wage gaps in our state.
Paid Family Leave, Take Action
Family and medical leave are essential job protections that many cannot afford to use. Paid leave insurance ensures that time off for caregiving and medical care is accessible to the people who most need it most. The FAMILY Act creates a national paid leave program similar to California’s. Since the CA program began in 2004, 1.7 million claims have been filed, 1.5 million of those by parents with new children, providing health and economic benefits to millions of families. This is a win-win for families and business, with 90% of employers reporting favorable or no effect on productivity, profit and costs.
Reliable Scheduling, Take Action
Inconsistent scheduling and unpredictable shifts have negative domino effects on everything from budgeting to childcare to transportation to employees’ mental and physical health, all of which contribute directly to the cycle of poverty. Fair scheduling allows employees to predict earnings and plan household budgets, transportation, and childcare. Better morale and employee retention save employers money in the long run and help employees balance their responsibilities.
Study after study proves that women over fifty often face significant discrimination in the workforce, the “double bind” of age and gender discrimination, which leads to their economic vulnerability. We support policies and applaud employers who take active steps to address discrimination of all kinds and to value the experienced contributions of older workers.
Eliminating racism is central to our mission. We advocate for policies and practices that will move the needle on racial inequity, and we invite our communities to join us in this work.
End Racial Profiling in California, Won!
In 2015, we advocated for the passage of AB 953, the Racial and Identity Profiling Act. This landmark legislation requires law enforcement in California to collect data on stops, detentions, and citizen complaints alleging racial profiling. Racial justice advocates have used this kind of information in places like Ferguson to help address institutional racism and transform law enforcement’s disproportionate negative impacts on communities of color.
End Racial Profiling Nationally
The End Racial Profiling Act would prohibit any law enforcement agency or agent in the United States from engaging in racial profiling. Racial profiling is a manifestation of prejudice on an institutional level that leads to disproportionate negative impacts on people of color. We are working to educate our lawmakers about the impact of racial profiling and implicit bias in law enforcement and the ways this bill will protect communities of color and ultimately help make all of us safer.
Stand Against Racism
Stand Against Racism is a signature, nation-wide campaign to raise awareness about the negative impact of institutional and structural racism in our communities. This annual event is one part of our larger national strategy to fulfill our mission of eliminating racism.
Combating Institutional Racism
In the spirit of beginning with our own work, YWCA San Francisco & Marin provides anti-racism training to staff and board members, and our hiring and leadership development activities are guided by a racial justice lens. We regularly create space to lift up the activist voices of communities of color through our issue education, annual Stand Against Racism and ongoing racial justice forums. We know conversations and taking action on racial justice can be challenging, so we create opportunities for people at all levels of engagement to come together and connect with racial justice frameworks and concrete changes we can make together.