Approved by First 5 San Francisco commission on: October 7, 2020
Last Revision: October 21, 2020

Ratified by a Vote at the August full commission meeting, August 2020


Be it resolved that the First 5 San Francisco Commission, in collaboration with the Office of Early Care and Education, condemns all forms of racism, sexism, homo/biphobia, transphobia, ableism, xenophobia, and other forms of discrimination; and affirms that all people – explicitly including Black, Indigenous, and People of Color – have a right to be in our City and have a right to safe and affordable housing, neighborhoods free from pollution and violence, opportunities for educational advancement and wealth creation, healthy births, early childhoods with abundant opportunities to thrive free from the toxic effects of racism, and access to essential services such as parks, transportation, health care, and child care; and

Be it resolved that the First 5 San Francisco Commission, in collaboration with the Office of Early Care and Education, stands in solidarity with the civil unrest and the demands for justice of our fellow San Franciscans and communities across the nation, and affirms that Black Lives Matter; and

Be it resolved that the First 5 San Francisco Commission, in collaboration with the Office of Early Care and Education, asserts along with the San Francisco Human Rights Commission that anti-Black racism is a human rights and public health crisis affecting our entire community; and

Be it resolved that the First 5 San Francisco Commission, in collaboration with the Office of Early Care and Education, directs leadership and staff of both Departments to align racial equity efforts with the Office of Racial Equity (ORE) framework to dismantle structural and institutional racism, support the ongoing work and mission of ORE, and diligently meet departmental expectations established by ORE; and

Be it resolved that by Spring 2021, the First 5 San Francisco Commission and the Office of Early Care and Education will formalize the above commitment through a comprehensive joint Racial Equity Plan that will guide, deepen, and profoundly shift practices across six areas, with a visible focus throughout on anti-Black racism, a recognition of how it manifests, and specific strategies to actively disrupt it through centering of the Black community. The six areas to be addressed with concrete action, clear timelines, and accountability metrics, include:

  1. Staff growth, learning, personal and professional development, and internal leadership development;
  2. Recruitment, hiring, retention, and promotion of staff;
  3. Strategic investments, resource allocation, grant-making, and grantee accountability structures;
  4. Partnership, civic engagement, and external leadership development;
  5. Evaluation methodologies and practices;
  6. Communication and policy development; and

Be it resolved that the First 5 San Francisco Commission and the Office of Early Care and Education will begin this critical work with an organizational and personal confrontation, analysis, and public acknowledgment of the:

  1. Actions, non-actions, behaviors, and thought patterns that have made us complicit in perpetuating inequities and racist outcomes for Black, Indigenous, People of Color;
  2. Means by which resources, power, and opportunity have been historically concentrated, maintained, and contained within and around our organizations;
  3. Impact of institutionalized and structural racism and anti-Black racism on our grant-making and the broader service delivery system; and

Be it resolved that the joint First 5 San Francisco and Office of Early Care and Education Racial Equity Plan will accompany a robust internal and external accountability framework with clear lines of responsibility between First 5 San Francisco and Office of Early Care and Education executive leadership and staff, First 5 San Francisco Commission, funded programs, and community. This accountability framework will allow us to monitor, evaluate, course-correct regularly, and share our progress confronting and dismantling racism in all of its forms, and specifically anti-Black racism, in order to improve outcomes for Black, Indigenous, People of Color; and

Be it resolved that until this plan is complete and so long as work is ongoing, First 5 San Francisco and Office of Early Care and Education leadership and staff will show up every day to drive expectations that San Francisco is a place where everyone’s rights are protected, no exceptions.

Accompanying Rationale

As the First 5 San Francisco Commission and the Office of Early Care and Education have reflected on the current events of COVID-19 and its disproportionate effects on Black, Indigenous, and People of Color; the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, Ahmaud Arbery, Alex Nieto, Mario Woods, Luis Góngora Pat, and countless others as a result of police brutality and misconduct and the underlying social, governmental, and economic structures that create, condone and perpetuate the platforms for these events, we have based the above resolutions on the following which we know to be true for young children and families:

Whereas the years between birth to age 5 represents the time of the most significant opportunity to impact child health and well-being and change the entire trajectory of a young child’s path toward life-long success; and

Whereas children from birth to age 5 undergo a formative period of rapid development and thus are particularly vulnerable to the experiences of bigotry, poverty, and violence; and

Whereas racism contributes to the disproportionate experience and occurrence of toxic stress, which can develop when young children and their communities experience prolonged adversity such as family economic hardship, community disinvestment, and consistent lack of basic needs, with potentially lasting impacts on children’s physical and emotional health; and

Whereas child well-being is intimately tied to family and community health, well-being, and financial stability; and

Whereas San Francisco Kindergarten Readiness Research has consistently indicated that San Francisco kindergarteners are not entering school equally prepared, and further that inequities grounded in race and socioeconomics are a significant factor in kindergarten readiness disparities, specifically, Latino/a/x, Black, and Pacific Islander children are all far below the overall 63% readiness rate with readiness levels between 44% and 47%; and

Whereas the adverse impacts of racism begin prenatally and are reflected in significant disparities across every key indicator, including education, income, health, and incarceration, as well as in rates of maternal mortality, infant mortality, and childhood asthma. For example, the 2019 San Francisco Community Health Needs Assessment conducted by the San Francisco Health Improvement Partnership (“SFHIP”) found that asthma and COPD hospitalizations in the Black community are more than ten times higher than for Asians; Pacific Islanders have the second-highest rates. In San Francisco, Black women are twice as likely as white women to give birth prematurely, and Black and Pacific Islander women have the highest prenatal morbidity rates. SFHIP also found that between 2007 and 2016, Black mothers had about 4% of births in San Francisco, but experienced 50% of maternal deaths and 15% of infant deaths. While health data for Indigenous populations in San Francisco is limited, this community also faces persistent health disparities across several indicators. For instance, even though the overall rate of infant mortality in California has been declining since 2005, the American Indian/Alaska Native infant mortality rate in California remains high, averaging 6-7 infant deaths per 1,000 live births between 2005 and 2012; and

Whereas public health studies have concluded that structural racism, not one’s race, is the explanation for health inequities and that racism is the root cause of disparities and the driving force of the racial wealth gap and educational attainment gap.

We further support, acknowledge, and align with the following, which we know to be true for the City of San Francisco:

Whereas the San Francisco Human Rights Commission states that racial equity means the systematic fair treatment of people of all races that results in equal outcomes while recognizing the historical context and systemic harm done to specific racial groups; and

Whereas San Francisco has a long history of creating and or enforcing laws, policies, and institutions that have promoted white supremacy and perpetuated racial inequities in the City and County of San Francisco, much of which is difficult to document due to historical erasure. The intersection of race also compounds the conditions that have created such racial inequities with class, gender, sexuality, immigration status, disability, and other social identities and experiences that result in inequitable treatment or opportunities; and

Whereas the Board of Supervisors, through Resolution No. 190547 on July 11, 2019, amended the Administrative Code to create an Office of Racial Equity as a Division of the Human Rights Commission, with authority to create a citywide Racial Equity Framework, analyze the impact of Board ordinances on racial equity, and create a racial reconciliation process; require City departments to create Racial Equity Action Plans and to provide annual updates on such Plans; require City departments to designate employees as racial equity leaders, and require the Department of Human Resources to produce an annual report concerning racial equity in the City workforce; and

Whereas the Human Rights Commission requests that CCSF agencies work with the Office of Racial Equity to disaggregate all data by race and prioritize racial equity in all programs; train employees to understand anti-Black racism and how it affects individual and population health; acknowledge their complicity in these racist outcomes; work with, and center the Black community to dismantle institutionalized, anti-Black racism; commit to review all portions of codified ordinances with a racial equity lens; commit to conduct all human resources, vendor selection and grant management activities with a racial equity lens, including reviewing all internal policies and practices such as hiring, promotions, leadership appointments and funding; advocate for and support local, state, regional, and federal anti-racist policies that advance efforts to dismantle systemic racism in order to improve the lives of Black people; require community partners and stakeholders in the education, economic development, employment, housing, and criminal justice and safety arenas to recognize anti-Black racism as a public health crisis and to activate the above items; secure adequate resources to successfully accomplish the above activities; and create an anti-Black racism program evaluation framework for all City

departments and City grantees where the data must be produced at least every two years for the public as instructed by the legislation that created the Office of Racial Equity.

This position statement may be printed, copied, and disseminated without permission from First 5 San Francisco.