EAST BAY FORWARD

East Bay Forward is a regional economic assessment and guide to best position the East Bay for a more equitable, resilient, and sustainable economic recovery. Learn more and download the full report today!

OVERVIEW

Click below to navigate the sections of the East Bay Forward publication and research, including Goals, Guiding Principles, Focus Areas, and Priorities. Download the full report.

EAST BAY FORWARD INITIATIVE

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many changes in the global economy, some of which came from the rapid accelerations of existing trends, and others of which represented new economic patterns and ways of doing business. East Bay Forward provides an assessment of how the pandemic’s impacts have played out in the East Bay, and what this means for the region’s economy going forward. The East Bay has many powerful opportunities for future economic growth, based on the region’s distinct assets, people, and places. East Bay Forward establishes a roadmap for regional leaders to address the region’s most pressing challenges, including the growing economic and social divides that pervade our communities. East Bay Forward will move the East Bay toward a new economic paradigm to capitalize on the many existing and potential opportunities this region offers, ensuring that our diverse businesses and residents can grow and thrive.

To realize this vision, everyone involved in the East Bay economy will need to be engaged in these efforts – business and nonprofit leaders, education professionals, elected officials, local governments, community members, and other stakeholders. We must increase investment and build greater resilience into our human and physical infrastructure if we are to steer our region toward a healthy and sustainable economic recovery that supports our businesses and residents. And we must remain committed to this goal by charting a new course forward rather than merely succumbing to the pull toward “business as usual.”

GOALS

East Bay Forward provides a framework to undertake this exciting transition based on East Bay EDA’s core activities, which include providing informed and data-driven guidance for leaders to:

  • Maximize the East Bay’s opportunities within the greater Bay Area and Northern California economies and position the diverse subareas of the East Bay to benefit from them.
  • Promote economic recovery efforts that reduce income and wealth disparities by gender and race.
  • Promote efforts around regional emergency preparedness and safeguarding public health to protect against future economic shocks.
  • Realign and reorganize local and regional networks and systems that influence and shape issues related to business climate, land use and infrastructure, workforce development, and community health and well-being.

GUIDING PRINCIPLES

East Bay Forward is centered around six principles that are foundational to helping our region realize a future that creates more widely shared economic prosperity and security. These principles underpin each of the priorities outlined in this report and were informed and developed with extensive input from diverse East Bay stakeholders. 

Connected

Many of our region’s greatest challenges are inextricably linked, requiring coordinated regional advocacy, policy actions, and investments that address multiple challenges and deliver shared benefits.

Equitable

An equity-first approach ensures that current and future generations will achieve meaningful economic inclusion, access to opportunity, and upward mobility.

Measurable

For our region to move forward, we must be able to measure meaningful indicators and outcomes showing whether we are accomplishing our goals. Enhanced data collection by socioeconomic and geographic lenses can improve outreach, program planning, and monitoring of outcomes.

Regenerative

Supporting clean and renewable investments and supporting the just transition to a dynamic, healthy, and circular economy has immense potential to drive innovation and growth, as well as yield economic, environmental, and community benefits.

Resilient

From destructive wildfires to public health crises, there is an urgent need to mobilize and prepare for complex, intersecting disasters, and future-proof our physical and human assets to provide maximum resilience against ongoing and future challenges.

Transformational

Public and private investment must focus on dismantling structural barriers and creating opportunities for long-term and systemic solutions; it is imperative that we do more than promote incremental change. Transformational leadership and purpose-driven strategic planning must come together to not only confront failures of “business as usual,” but also to build long-term organizational capacities and cultures to sustain and implement initiatives and actions.

FOCUS AREAS

East Bay EDA will pursue the priorities outlined in East Bay Forward by coordinating with various East Bay stakeholders across four different “focus areas.” Each of the focus areas represents specific topics around which East Bay EDA brings together members and partners with specific knowledge, networks, and resources. 

Business Climate

Encompasses efforts to attract, grow, and retain businesses of all sizes and industry sectors to ensure that the East Bay continues to enjoy the benefits of a diverse composition of companies and industries.

Land Use & Infrastructure

Encompasses efforts to address critical, interconnected land use policy issues to support the mobility of people and goods across the East Bay and beyond, as well as the needs for resilient, responsive and safe transportation, utilities, and other essential infrastructure systems to withstand climate-related risks and other disasters.

Education & Workforce Development

Encompasses efforts to advance access to and implementation of early childcare, K-12 education, higher education, and workforce preparedness to ensure the East Bay provides a globally competitive and diverse workforce that can access quality jobs and careers.

Community Health & Well-Being

Efforts within this focus area recognize that community safety, health, and empowerment are all critical ingredients for addressing disparities between the East Bay’s communities and ensuring greater resiliency against economic downturns and other external shocks.

EAST BAY FORWARD PRIORITIES

East Bay Forward has identified twelve critical priorities to ensure that the region succeeds in coordinating and mobilizing its assets and resources to build an equitable, sustainable, and resilient economic future. The priorities respond to the findings from this report’s analyses regarding the East Bay’s future opportunities and challenges, as well as the input and recommendations from the many stakeholders that participated in the development of this blueprint.

Together, the twelve priorities serve as a comprehensive framework for engaging and activating efforts by East Bay EDA’s many stakeholders to ensure a more inclusive, resilient, and sustainable economic future for our businesses and residents.  Section 5 of the report provides more details about the twelve priorities, including implementation actions.

PRIORITY 1

Prioritize delivering resources and services for East Bay small to mid-sized businesses – especially those most severely impacted by the pandemic.

 

  • BUSINESS CLIMATE
  • EDUCATION & WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT
PRIORITY 2

Promote assets and opportunities in the East Bay region to attract and retain a diverse range of businesses and quality jobs.

 

  • BUSINESS CLIMATE
  • EDUCATION & WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT
  • LAND USE & INFRASTRUCTURE
  • COMMUNITY HEALTH & WELL-BEING
PRIORITY 3

Concentrate education, workforce training, and broadband infrastructure investments that expand equitable access to economic opportunity.

 

  • BUSINESS CLIMATE
  • EDUCATION & WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT
  • LAND USE & INFRASTRUCTURE
  • COMMUNITY HEALTH & WELL-BEING
PRIORITY 4

Align land use policy and infrastructure investments to ensure sufficient flexibility to respond to regional trends around remote work, e-commerce, and related innovations.

 

  • LAND USE & INFRASTRUCTURE
  • BUSINESS CLIMATE
PRIORITY 5

Mobilize the East Bay’s robust network of institutions and organizations to address regional housing affordability.

 

  • COMMUNITY HEALTH & WELL-BEING
  • LAND USE & INFRASTRUCTURE
PRIORITY 6

Protect and invest in the East Bay’s industrial employment lands to support economic diversity.

 

  • LAND USE & INFRASTRUCTURE
  • BUSINESS CLIMATE
PRIORITY 7

Secure regional and local multimodal transportation infrastructure investments to support job growth and accessibility.

 

  • LAND USE & INFRASTRUCTURE
  • BUSINESS CLIMATE
PRIORITY 8

Position the East Bay to be a leader in sustainability and climate advancements while spurring economic growth and innovation.

 

  • BUSINESS CLIMATE
  • LAND USE & INFRASTRUCTURE
  • COMMUNITY HEALTH & WELL-BEING
PRIORITY 9

Bolster the East Bay’s diversity of arts, culture, parks, and other essential assets to ensure a vibrant and cohesive region.

 

  • LAND USE & INFRASTRUCTURE
  • COMMUNITY HEALTH & WELL-BEING
  • BUSINESS CLIMATE
PRIORITY 10

Expand access to health resources, human infrastructure investments, and other supports that enhance the resilience of our region’s most vulnerable residents and workers.

 

  • COMMUNITY HEALTH & WELL-BEING
  • BUSINESS CLIMATE
  • EDUCATION & WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT
PRIORITY 11

Develop solutions to improve public safety outcomes while reducing systemic biases and encounters between community residents and law enforcement agencies.

 

  • COMMUNITY HEALTH & WELL-BEING
  • BUSINESS CLIMATE
  • EDUCATION & WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT
  • LAND USE & INFRASTRUCTURE
PRIORITY 12

Champion efforts to develop integrated socioeconomic data sets and metrics to evaluate equity outcomes over time.

 

  • COMMUNITY HEALTH & WELL-BEING
  • BUSINESS CLIMATE
  • EDUCATION & WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT
  • LAND USE & INFRASTRUCTURE

RESEARCH SPONSORS

Alameda County Transportation Comission

AB&I Foundry

AT&T

East Bay Regional Park District

Wells Fargo