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 ECS-1

Goal ECS-1:

All residents are engaged in decisions that impact their lives.


To advance equity in City decision-making processes.
Policy ECS-1.1: Enhance language accessibility for City processes.
Enhance language accessibility and public participation for all City meetings and processes.
  • Action ECS-1.1.1: Hire multilingual staff.
    Hire staff who speak multiple languages including Spanish, Mandarin, Cantonese, and Tagalog.
  • Action ECS-1.1.2: Create multilingual hub.
    Create a centralized and multilingual online hub that aggregates all public resources and services available for all residents. Include resources and services offered by the City, County, State, local non-profits, and other agencies.  

Policy ECS-1.2: Provide live multilingual interpretation.
Provide simultaneous multilingual interpretation at community meetings and translate all meeting materials into Spanish, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, and Tagalog. Incorporate participatory facilitation techniques at all public meetings.
Policy ECS-1.3: Establish equitable engagement practices.
Engage community members most impacted by racial and social inequities, including youth of color, in South San Francisco.
  • Action ECS-1.3.1: Provide navigation of City services.
    Recruit and hire diverse promotores and community navigators who can provide culturally and linguistically responsive navigation of City services, resources, and public input opportunities to low-income residents and residents of color. 
  • Action ECS-1.3.2: Create partnerships to improve outreach.
    Partner with local organizations and institutions, such as churches and community-based organizations, to increase outreach opportunities. 
  • Action ECS-1.3.3: Develop ongoing feedback portal.
    Develop an online, multilingual portal where residents can provide feedback on an ongoing basis regarding the General Plan, City services, and other needs and barriers that the City may be able to address.

Policy ECS-1.4: Engage Youth Commission.
Engage the South San Francisco Youth Commission to increase youth residents’ influence on policy and decision-making.
Policy ECS-1.5: Maintain diversity in boards and commissions.
Recruit adult community members most impacted by racial and social inequities to serve on the City’s boards and commissions. Seek to ensure that the City’s boards and commissions reflect the rich diversity of South San Francisco.
Policy ECS-1.6: Continue ongoing community meetings.
Hold community meetings and focus groups to gather community input into City decision-making processes. Locate these community meetings in locations and at times that are convenient for community members. Provide and promote opportunities for low- or no-cost meeting rooms in City facilities for community groups and local organizations as incentives for strengthening community engagement.
Goal ECS-2
Goal ECS-3
Goal ECS-4
Goal ECS-5
Goal ECS-6
Goal ECS-7