What’s Stifling the Bay Area’s Recovery?

Dear Atlas users,

Recent news headlines have brought the Bay Area’s slow recovery to the forefront, highlighting that the region is still struggling to rebound from the pandemic. To ensure an equitable recovery and bolster local efforts, the Bay Area Equity Atlas has released two trackers: one that highlights investments made with federal recovery funds and another that illustrates how residents are faring. Here’s more information about our efforts to track the region’s recovery and other Atlas updates:

New Tool: Bay Area Recovery Dollars Tracker

Bay Area cities and counties collectively received more than $3 billion in flexible federal resources from the Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (SLFRF) program. But are these funds being used to lay the groundwork for an equitable recovery? The Bay Area Recovery Dollars Tracker — developed in partnership with the San Francisco Foundation (SFF) and an advisory group of local advocates — provides a clear and comprehensive look at how governments across the nine-county region are allocating their SLFRF dollars. Our assessment of the most recent public data (which covers reporting through December 31, 2022) reveals that Bay Area localities have made spending plans for more than $2 billion (67 percent) of the SLFRF funds allocated to the region, leaving $1 billion (33 percent) left to be allocated.

In Focus: The Vital Role of Immigrant Inclusion to the Bay Area’s Cultural and Economic Vitality

The Atlas includes data on nativity and ancestry, as well as stories that illustrate the lived experiences of the people behind the numbers. Our latest feature story centers on Darling Ruiz, an immigrant who moved to the United States after a devastating fire destroyed her entire home in Mexico and all of her possessions. She now lives in Marin County, where nearly 18 percent of its total population are immigrants and 7 percent are Latinx immigrants (18,000 residents). Read Darling’s story to learn more about how she’s advocated for immigrant inclusion in the Canal neighborhood of San Rafael.

Atlas on the Road

The Atlas team regularly engages with local advocates and organizations. Here’s a brief look at our past and upcoming presentations: On March 4, Ryan Fukumori and Simone Robbennolt presented on the state of equity in the Bay Area during the League of Women Voters of the Bay Area’s annual League Day. To dig into the insights they covered, watch the recording of their presentation. On March 20, Jennifer Tran joined SFF and other local experts to share data and insights from the Bay Area Recovery Dollars Tracker. On April 5, Abbie Langston will provide the keynote presentation during the Marin Economic Forum’s annual “Forecasting the Future” program, which will focus on economic equity in Marin County.

Atlas in the News

This month, the San Francisco Examiner cited findings from our 2021 analysis of Bay Area homeownership rates in a story about the high rates of housing burden in the region. Bay Area News also recently included data from our housing burden indicator in a piece about the issue of housing affordability in the region. For more, check out the complete list of our media coverage.

News from Our Network

Urban Habitat recently launched a new website that makes it easier for those who are interested to learn more about its campaigns, coalition work, and leadership development opportunities. Mariana Moore, senior director of the Ensuring Opportunity Campaign to End Poverty in Contra Costa, used insights from the Bay Area Recovery Tracker during her testimony before the Contra Costa Board of Supervisors on March 21. During the meeting, she joined several residents and advocates in highlighting the region’s unequal recovery. The data helped them make the case for the county to explore launching a guaranteed income pilot program.

Thank you,

Bay Area Equity Atlas team


Ryan Fukumori
Ryan Fukumori