Equitable Community Services

Where We Want to Be

In the future

  • South San Francisco applies an inclusive engagement process that allows everyone to take part in City decision-making that impacts their lives.

  • A diverse team of City staff proactively incorporates equity in all decisions and considers potential equity implications in their day-to-day work and funding decisions when developing new policies, programs, and procedures.

  • Race no longer determines one’s socio-economic and health outcomes in South San Francisco and everyone has an opportunity to thrive.

  • All South San Francisco residents, regardless of ability, neighborhood, or economic background, have access to quality programming and facilities.

  • All South San Francisco children and youth have access to high-quality educational enrichment opportunities.

  • All South San Francisco residents, especially residents of color, feel safe and have a sense of belonging in their neighborhoods.

  • South San Francisco public libraries serve as centralized hubs for educational and social services.




Equity in City decision-making


Increase in the percentage of Spanish, Mandarin, Cantonese, and Tagalog speakers; Latino, Asian, and Pacific Islanders; and residents of varying abilities (blind, deaf, mobile impairment, mental or emotional condition) who participate in the City’s boards and commissions, so that their participation rates are closer to their respective total citywide percentages. Continue to ensure that inclusive engagement is employed in all programs and procedures.


City to begin tracking data and provide in the future.


Equity in City operations


Increase in the number of racial equity impact assessments (REIAs) and equity capacity building trainings conducted annually by each City department.


City to begin tracking data and provide in the future.


Distributional equity


Increase in the percentage of the City’s budget and resources allocated to existing public facilities, community programming, and services in disadvantaged communities.


City to begin tracking data and provide in the future.

How Our Plan

Gets Us There

Though equity is like equality, they are not the same thing. Equality means everyone receives the same thing regardless of any other factors. Equity, on the other hand, is about ensuring that people have access to the same opportunities to thrive and succeed. An equity lens recognizes that people may have different starting points.

and may need different types and levels of support to flourish. Thus, equity is achieved when socioeconomic and environmental factors, such as race, income, education, or place, can no longer be used to predict health, economic, or other wellbeing outcomes.

By equitably planning and prioritizing growth for the future, the City of South San Francisco can ensure that all residents have the opportunity to thrive. This General Plan applies an equity lens in all elements. Specifically, this Equitable Community Services Element provides the opportunity to address the underlying causes of inequities through topics such as community engagement, implementation of the 2021 South San Francisco Racial and Social Equity Action Plan, and prioritizing amenities and services in disadvantaged communities.

Key Issues and Opportunities

Welcoming and Diverse Community

Welcoming and Diverse Community

One of South San Francisco’s greatest strengths is the diversity of its people. Since 1990, no racial/ethnic group has represented a majority of the City’s population. Today, Asian Pacific Islanders and Latinos are the largest racial/ethnic groups, with the majority of Asian Pacific Islanders residing in the Westborough planning sub-area and most Latinos residing in the Downtown sub-area. Residents of all generations take pride in this racial/ethnic diversity, and they support one another through volunteerism and community service.

Moreover, in terms of linguistic diversity, more than half of all South San Franciscans speak a language other than English at home. The most frequently spoken languages at home other than English are Spanish, Mandarin, Cantonese, and Tagalog. However, linguistic isolation exists in South San Francisco with nearly a quarter of the population speaking English less than very well. This Equitable Community Services Element is an opportunity for the City to ensure it conducts public processes in a multi-lingual and inclusive manner, so that all residents have an opportunity to voice their opinions now and into the future.

to Opportunity
Public Facilities and Services
People in English Lab at the South San Francisco Community Learning Center



Goal ES-1

Goal ES-1:

The City supports nature in South San Francisco to encourage healthy ecosystems, improve air and water quality, improve public health, and adapt to a changing climate.


To foster urban ecology in South San Francisco including open space and connectivity, habitat diversity, urban forestry, planting and vegetation, and land and vegetation management. 
Policy ES-1.1: Develop a connected open space network.
Continue to develop a system of well-connected parks and open spaces to support biodiversity, enable the movement of wildlife, and increase climate resilience.
Policy ES-1.2: Strive for habitat diversity across the city.
Strive for habitat diversity ranging from coastal wetlands and marshes to upland habitats.
Policy ES-1.3: Create a connected network of wildlife corridors.
Transform Colma Creek, implement the City’s Urban Forest Master Plan, and manage the Bay Trail and Centennial Way to create a connected network of wildlife corridors.
Policy ES-1.4: Plant for biodiversity.
Discourage the use of invasive non-native plantings in landscape areas across the city, working with regional agencies and local nurseries to educate residents and employers in removing non-native plant species and instead using native species. 
  • Action ES-1.4.1: Manage vegetation at parks and open space for biodiversity.
    Manage vegetation at parks and open spaces in South San Francisco to support biodiversity by reducing pesticide use, reducing light pollution, reducing non-native species, and planting native species that provide valuable resources for native wildlife and to increase resilience. 

Policy ES-1.5: Conduct equity assessments for conservation efforts.
Assess conservation efforts for distributions of benefits and burdens to diverse and marginalized communities (both geographically bounded and identity-based), including implications for environmental and public health. Engage communities in decision-making about programs and priorities.
For related policies and implementation actions related to urban forestry, landscape design, and recreational programming about ecology and environmental stewardship, see Goals ES-4, ES-5, and PR-9.
Goal ES-2
Goal ES-3
Goal ES-4
Goal ES-5
Goal ES-6
Goal ES-9
Goal ES-7
Goal ES-8
Goal ES-10
Goal ES-11