Bay Area

America’s hub of technology and innovation


  • Highest cost of living in the state

  • Very diverse and a hub for immigrants

  • Gentrification displacing historic communities of color

North Bay, South Bay, and East Bay counties make up the Bay Area region. Anchored by San Francisco, Oakland, and San Jose, the area is very economically and ethnically diverse. It is a hub for Asian and Latino immigrants.

After years of job growth driven by an expanding tech industry, the Bay Area has struggled to keep up with a growing population. Housing and infrastructure have fallen behind, making this region one of the most expensive in the state and in the nation. Economic inequality and displacement due to gentrification are two major challenges. 

We conducted three listening sessions in the Bay Area — two in Oakland and one in San Francisco. The Oakland sessions engaged African-American communities in the East Bay. These sessions exposed anxiety around violence and over-policing, as well as the rising cost of housing. Many residents struggled to make enough to stay in the communities they call home.

The San Francisco session brought in Chinese, Vietnamese, and Filipino service workers. These participants also shared their struggles with the high cost of living. Many had specific challenges around language barriers, wage theft, and immigration status.

Community Listening Advisors and partners


Community Listening Advisor
Alex Tom,
Executive Director

Chinese Progressive Association

Community Listening Advisor
Lori Fogarty, Director & CEO

Oakland Museum of California

Community Listening Partner
Chris Iglesias,
Chief Executive Officer

The Unity Council




October 11, 2016
Fruitvale-San Antonio Senior Center
3301 E. 12th St., Oakland, CA
Hosted by The Unity Council


December 2, 2016
Unite Here Local 2
209 Golden Gate Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94102
Hosted by the Chinese Progressive Association


December 15, 2016
Youth Uprising
8711 MacArthur Blvd., Oakland, CA
Hosted by Youth Uprising