Giving Compass Take:

• In a speech posted by Brookings,  Metropolitan Policy Program's Amy Liu discusses how the Bay Area must confront how the boom in the tech industry is affecting the area's economic ecosystem. There are vast disparities in mobility, divided along racial lines.

• Though this might not be new to those who have watched Silicon Valley grow, the numbers put things in stark relief and should spur those involved in workforce training, homelessness and other community-based organizations to redouble their efforts to address disparities.

Here's a discussion on what we can do to create more affordable housing, not just in the Bay Area, but across the US.


Whether Bay Area residents like it or not, city leaders across the country are watching how this high-tech region grapples with the consequences of dizzying economic growth — expensive housing, stark inequalities, and congestion, to name a few.  While the most obvious policy failures may lie with transportation and housing, focusing on the built environment alone is insufficient. The economy matters too. Increasing the availability of good-paying jobs and training more local workers for stable careers can help residents earn enough to keep pace with the region’s rising costs of living. This region is adept at attracting talented workers from across the world to take lucrative positions in fast-growing, tech-savvy companies. Yet more must be done to help existing residents access quality jobs in the innovation economy and in the industries that support it.

Like other regions, the Bay Area confronts two futures: one in which innovation and economic growth continues to drive social upheaval and inequities; and another in which leaders in business, government, and the civic sector work together to help everyone in the region to participate in — and contribute to — economic growth. As America’s undisputed capital of the innovation economy, though, the Bay Area stands apart. Its path in the years ahead could serve as an exemplar to other regions for how to navigate economic inclusion in the 21st century — or as a cautionary tale.

If they are to pursue the second future, leaders across the region would do well to understand the economic challenges their region faces, and consider a wider set of strategies that can make the Bay Area a center of innovation and inclusion.

Read the full article about the urgency for an inclusive economy in the Bay Area by Amy Liu at Brookings.