San Mateo County Union Community Alliance (SMCUCA) is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) dedicated to enhancing the quality of life for all workers and their families in San Mateo County through programs and partnerships with organized labor, community organizations and government, designed to support quality jobs, ensure community health, and create shared economic prosperity.
The San Mateo County Labor Council established the San Mateo County Union Community Alliance to enhancing the quality of life for working families in San Mateo County through programs and partnerships designed to support quality jobs, ensure community health, and create shared economic prosperity.
Since 2007, SMCUCA has engaged in three core areas of work:
- Health Equity and ensuring access to health care for county residents, regardless of ability to pay or immigration status;
- Improving the workforce development system with a focus on sectoral approaches to job training, and
- Working on regional planning initiatives with a focus on integrating land use, transportation and economic development plans.
The Union Community Alliance began to work on regional economic development issues in 2010. As a member of the SB375 Coalition, we proposed adding language on job standards to PlanBayArea, which the Association of Bay Area Governments was writing. The language is designed to ensure that regional development and transportation planning considered workforce development initiatives. We are continuing this work through the Quality Jobs Network and ABAG’s update of PlanBayArea.
We were a member of the consulting team that developed the first Regional Prosperity Plan, a three year project funded by the Department of Housing and Urban Development and administered by the Metropolitan Transportation Agency. The project included two key, interconnected areas of work:
- Economic Prosperity Strategy – Define a regional approach for expanding economic opportunities for low- and moderate-income workers, and provide more than $1 million in sub-grants for pilot projects by late 2013.
- Housing the Workforce Initiative – Provide tools and resources to improve housing affordability near transit, while stabilizing low income neighborhoods as new investments raise property values, and provide more than $1 million in sub-grants for pilot projects by late 2012.
As a consultant for the HUD-funded project, we co-chaired Economic Prosperity Work Group. The culmination of our work was the publication of the 2014 report, Economic Prosperity Strategy [PDF, 7 MB] The report identified three interrelated goals and offered a series of strategies and policy initiatives to—
- Strengthening pathways for low-wage workers into middle-wage jobs,
- Growing the economy with a focus on middle-wage work and
- Upgrading conditions in lower-wage jobs.
The Union Community Alliance led a community coalition in South San Francisco that advocated for equitable and sustainable transit-oriented development for the city’s 2014 Downtown Specific Area Plan. The South SF Coalition developed a Community Benefits Platform [PDF, 2 MB] to create a thriving, healthy, and stable community for all residents by ensuring a diverse range of housing options, including workforce housing; workforce development and quality jobs; more parks and open space; safe streets and transportation options.
We are working with community and labor organizations to advocate for the adoption of this Community Benefits Platform in Redwood City and other cities in San Mateo County.
See South San Francisco Downtown Specific Area Plan for more information about the South SF Coalition.