Our Policy Platform

Posted on June 4, 2018

Our policy platform stems from our values and principles:


The Bay Area’s strength lies in the lived experience and expertise of our diverse communities. But big corporations, banks, and real estate developers are hijacking the laws, institutions, and policies that are meant to serve the people. That’s why Bay Rising demands a world where the communities who bear the burden of corporate influence in our government – low-income working families and people of color – manage our local budgets, economies, police departments, and land. We believe in community control that respects the rights of our Indigenous family. This includes:

  • The right to vote for all people, including local and state resident voting for noncitizen people as well as formerly and currently incarcerated people
  • Community seats on government boards and commissions for the people most impacted by those decisions
  • Collaboration between agencies that own or exert control over land in our neighborhoods and community-based planning for public good

Real democracy is about the voices and political power of our diverse communities. When big money takes over our government, the very wealthy reduce our communities to bargaining chips rather than the constituents of elected officials. We envision a Bay Area where Black and brown communities and working people can exercise full and independent political power through representation and the right to vote for all people. This includes:

  • The right to vote for all people, including local and state resident voting for noncitizen people as well as formerly and currently incarcerated people
  • Public financing of elections that match with local demographics and conditions to serve as a racial and economic justice reform
  • District elections
  • Ranked-choice voting
  • Voting day holidays

Beyond a roof to sleep under, our homes are diverse Bay Area neighborhoods built by working people, where we find a sense of belonging. When landlords, investors, and big corporations drive housing decisions, they displace neighborhoods out of greed and destroy the possibility of home – especially for people of color, working families, seniors, and people with disabilities. We need to build better neighborhoods that include our longtime neighbors. We should all have the right to our homes – the ability to live where we work, and the right to stay in our homes through protections against unfair evictions and rent hikes. This includes:

  • “Just cause” protections against unfair evictions
  • Rent caps and rent control
  • Fair compensation for renters displaced from their homes
  • Renters’ right to return to their homes if temporary relocation is necessary
  • Fair chance for housing regardless of conviction history (ban the box)
  • New and rehabilitated housing that is truly affordable to low-income people living in the neighborhood
  • Affordable housing on new and existing public land, built with good union jobs and in environmentally friendly ways (public land for public good)
  • The Affordable Housing Act of 2018, which would restore the power of local governments to enact strong rent control

We all have the right to not just a job, but a good job that allows us to afford housing and to raise our families with dignity. The Bay Area economy is booming, yet low wages and barriers to good jobs mean many people still live in poverty. More and more companies cheat their way out of labor protections by hiring workers on a temporary basis, or as “subcontractors.” CEOs’ decisions often lock people of color out of stable employment, especially Black folks affected by mass incarceration and immigrants living in fear of deportation. Bay Rising stands for work with dignity. This includes:

  • Living wages (minimum wage increases)
  • Paid sick days and family leave
  • Fair scheduling
  • Wage theft protections
  • Limits on exploitative temp jobs
  • Equal protection for subcontracted workers
  • Fair chance in hiring for formerly incarcerated people through “Ban the Box” policies
  • Sanctuary Workplace agreements
  • Opportunity to join unions and freely organize as working people to better our lives

Sanctuary means safety and dignity in our communities. Bay Rising stands against the state-sanctioned criminalization, incarceration, deportation, and killing of immigrant, Indigenous, Black, Latinx, Muslim, Arab, and South Asian communities. To create sanctuary is to offer bodily protection, to offer the possibility of life. A sanctuary is a place where Black Lives Matter; where women, queer, and trans people control their own bodies and sexuality; where we know that our children and loved ones will return home to our arms at the end of the day; where we can live and work without fear. This includes:

  • A clean DREAM Act
  • The demilitarization of law enforcement
  • The reinvestment of resources into jobs, education, healthcare, and community supports
  • Local sanctuary resolutions and enforceable sanctuary policies
  • The end of Urban Shield, a SWAT team training and weapons expo held in Alameda County for police-military units to engineer new forms of surveillance, state repression, and state violence; county supervisors voted in 2018 to end Urban Shield as “currently constituted”
  • An end to the use of past conviction history to determine eligibility for housing, education, licenses, voting, loans, employment, and other services and needs (ban the box)
  • Full implementation of California’s Prop 47 (2014)
  • The end of zero-tolerance school policies and arrests of students
  • The removal of police from schools
  • The reallocation of funds from police and punitive school discipline practices to restorative services

All people have the right to a clean and healthy environment in which our communities can live, work, learn, play and thrive. As CEOs profit from pollution and the escalating climate crisis, our survival lies in community-rooted solutions that shift us towards harmony with the earth and with each other. That’s why Bay Rising supports a just transition, from an economy that extracts life from our people and planet to a regenerative economy where life flourishes. Just Transition is a principle, process, and a practice. This includes:

  • Opportunities for low-income entrepreneurs to launch community-rooted solutions to the environmental crisis, including worker-owned cooperatives, urban farms, and renewable energy projects
  • Prioritization of investments in low-income communities of color as federal, state, and municipal funds are allocated to “green” the Bay Area
  • Guarantees that investments to “green” the Bay Area, and all development and construction projects, prioritize the health, safety, and stability of neighboring residents as well as that of the workers who build new developments
  • Green public transit that serves and is affordable to low-income communities of color
  • Transformation of communities that are overburdened with environmental hazards and lacking economic opportunities into healthy, thriving neighborhoods where low-income immigrants and people of color can continue to live
  • Local government-community partnerships for vibrant, public green spaces

Caring for young people and families creates a world where our minds are free and where everyone can pursue their dreams. We must protect public education, childcare, and public support for families to make it possible for everyone to learn and thrive. When charter school associations spend millions to get their candidates onto local school boards and police treat our children like criminals, we’re faced with attacks on our students, teachers, education workers, and families from all levels. All young people deserve the opportunity to learn in schools with the resources and leadership to support their dreams, no matter what their zip code or what public school they attend. This includes:

  • Publicly funded childcare programs such as Oakland’s Measure A (2018), which will bring quality childcare to more families and stability to early educators by increasing their earnings to $15 per hour
  • The Schools and Local Communities Funding Act of 2020, which would restore over $11 billion a year for community services, including health clinics, trauma care and emergency rooms, parks, libraries and public safety; $4.5 billion would support K-12 education and community colleges
  • Programs that ensure all students of color take the courses they need to be eligible to any CSU or UC system; support creative use of local resources to ensure all students, particularly Black and Latinx students, are successful