1. Preface
  2. Introduction
  3. Richmond and the Region Today
  4. Anchors and Community Opportunity
  5. Impacts and Opportunities
  6. Measuring Impact
  7. Recommendations
Eli Moore, Nadia Barhoum and Alexis Alvarez Franco

Anchor Richmond

Community Opportunities & Anchor Strategies for the Berkeley Global Campus at Richmond Bay

Anchor Richmond
Community Opportunities & Anchor Strategies for the Berkeley Global Campus at Richmond Bay

by john a. powell
Director of the Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society
Professor of Law, African American, and Ethnic Studies
University of California, Berkeley

THE COLLABORATIVE EFFORT TO PROMOTE AND EXPAND OPPORTUNITY for all in Richmond, California exemplifies the model of engaged research, community leadership and collective advocacy that can produce transformative change. Due to the imminent development by UC Berkeley and Lawrence Berkeley National Labs of an extensive new campus in Richmond, California, a unique opportunity exists to build a new model of partnership based on values of inclusion and equity.

The Berkeley Global Campus at Richmond Bay represents more than a development project – it is an opportunity to leverage the largest public investment in the Richmond community since World War II to serve the broader community goals. Building the power and capacity of marginalized communities to engage in transforming these structures is the most sustainable and effective way to create inclusive opportunity and equitable community health and expand opportunity for all.

The importance of addressing persistently deep inequality and exclusion along the axis of race and ethnicity has inspired a rethinking of conventional planning processes, especially related to the role of anchor institutions. Universities, hospitals, and other “anchors” are embedded within the community and uniquely positioned to have far-reaching impact on the local and regional economy. Their promise can be realized by connecting the core mission of the institution to the aspirations of the community.

Historically, opportunities created by major development projects have often passed over disadvantaged local communities. Without strategic and intentional planning, an anchor institution mission is not necessarily inclusive of community goals. Anchors typically pursue a self-interested path and traditionally have not been attuned to community needs. Recognizing that, the Haas Institute has been collaborating with community partners to develop an anchor mission that forges strategies that allow for the new campus to have a broad and inclusive impact.

As the Director of the Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society, I view our Richmond work as a model for strategies led by marginalized communities to develop anchor institution policies and practices that deliver a substantial and lasting local impact increasing economic inclusion and community health. We seek more than engagement with the community— we seek to facilitate and create a new platform for sustainable and deep collaboration that serves the needs and aspirations of the community. We seek to build community capacity in a way that is rarely accomplished, let alone attempted.

Our goal is to support and build community capacity and power and to have an impact on the narrative and policies shaping opportunities for marginalized communities. We support this goal with research, technical assistance, and a process of collaborative planning characterized by shared ownership, transparency and accountability, and awareness of differences in power, capacity, and resources.

In this report we offer a set of strategies that can leverage the anchor on behalf of the community. It is essential that opportunities for employment, job training, and community benefits are realized and that the harmful displacement and marginalization perpetuated by developments or expansions are avoided. It is equally important that the community have a real say and capacity to effectively participate in the process. 

“We seek more than engagement with the community—we seek to facilitate and create a new platform for deep and sustainable collaboration that serves the needs and aspirations of the community. We seek to build community capacity in a way that is rarely accomplished.”- john a. powell 


As plans move forward for a major new campus that will be Richmond’s largest publicly funded development project in a generation, community leaders are exploring what this and other projects like it will mean for their communities. What opportunities and challenges will the development create and for whom? The planned Berkeley Global Campus at Richmond Bay will be developed over the next 40 years by UC Berkeley and Lawrence Berkeley National Lab (LBNL). It will likely become the largest employer in Richmond within a decade. The development is a rare opportunity to begin at the ground floor of planning a new “anchor institution” to incorporate practices and policies that advance inclusive community economic development.

The last publicly funded project of this magnitude in Richmond, the shipyards of WWII, was an engine of opportunity that redefined the city and a generation of its residents. The Berkeley Global Campus will be one of the key anchor institutions in Richmond and the East Bay, even within the first five years of its development. The campus plans to have 1,300 site after the first phase of construction, which would place it among the top ten employers in the city.1 At full capacity by the year 2040, the campus plans to have a daily average of 10,000 workers, faculty, students, and guests. Many hope that the Berkeley Global Campus at Richmond Bay will build on Richmond’s strengths and expand opportunities in the city and the region, so that it can live up to a community vision for a twenty-first century economy that is equitable, sustainable, and inclusive.

The Long Range Development Plan—UC Berkeley and LBNL’s guiding document for developing the campus—states that one of the four primary goals of the campus is to “catalyze new discoveries, economic revitalization, and community vibrancy by facilitating inspiration along the full spectrum of the research and development enterprise and fostering connectivity with the surrounding community.”2

The Berkeley Global Campus may lead the region with a new model for inclusive development that has broad and equitable community impacts. Impacts anticipated include local living wage jobs, high-quality funding for community-based pro- grams, expanded opportunities for local businesses and residents, and other significant benefits. However, leaders have also asked whether the campus development could result in an island of opportunity that is cut off from Richmond and perpetuates the inequality and lack of opportunity that many residents face.

A number of universities and other anchors have moved beyond traditional models of development after being challenged to contribute to local community development. Recognizing the pivotal role anchors can play, these institutions have dedicated resources to an ‘anchor mission,’ an initiative to “consciously and strategically apply the institution’s long-term, place-based economic power, in combination with its human and intellectual resources, to better the welfare of the community in which it resides.”3

This report analyzes key issues in Richmond and the potential for the Berkeley Global Campus to create broad and lasting opportunities across education, employment, wealth, and other spheres critical to greater inclusion of marginalized communities and the well-being of the region. 

Richmond and the Region Today

The Bay Area has the largest concentration of national laboratories, corporate and independent research laboratories, and leading research universities, and has the most patents per capita of any region in the United States, according to the Bay Area Council Economic Institute. This concentrated research and innovation capacity both shapes the regional economy by providing new technologies, skills, and knowledge, and directly employs a broad base of workers.

Despite this, the Bay Area has developed some of the most extreme inequality in the nation. In San Francisco, the income of the wealthiest five percent is more than 16 times greater than the income of the poorest 20 percent.4 This challenge of innovation and economic growth that fails to lessen the gap between rich and poor has become a stumbling block to realizing the region’s broadly held values of diversity and inclusion. Income inequality is now understood by market economists to be a problem for economic growth. Economists at the International Monetary Fund recently concluded a study stating, “It would still be a mistake to focus on growth and let inequality take care of itself, not only because inequality would be ethically undesirable but also because the resulting growth may be low and unsustainable."

At the regional level, the Bay Area boasts some of the greatest racial and ethnic diversity in the country and this is commonly cited as an important benefit of living here. Yet at the neighborhood level in many areas there is profound and persistent racial separation and inequality. The Kirwan Institute for Race and Ethnicity analyzed neighborhood opportunity in the region, compiling data across 18 measures of neighborhood conditions spanning education, employment, stable neighborhoods, and a safe environment. They found that “Latinos are three times more likely to live in low opportunity neighborhoods than they are to live in high opportunity neighborhoods, and African Americans are four times as likely to live in low opportunity neighborhoods than they are to live in high opportunity ones.”6The report also found a trend of African American and Latino families decreasing in numbers in high and very high opportunity areas, while the numbers of white and Asian families remained constant.

The disparities in neighborhood opportunity are paralleled by racial gaps in income and wealth. African American and Latino households in the East Bay have median incomes that are about half and two-thirds, respectively, of white households’ median income (FIGURE 1). This gap has widened since 2000. Nationally, the 2010 median household net worth of white families was $110,729, while the net worth of Latino and African American households was $7,424 and $4,995, respectively.7

The income and wealth gaps are not only economic issues, they are also closely tied to the stability and cohesion of communities and the persistent trend of displacement in low-income communities of color in the Bay Area. African American and Latino populations have decreased in San Francisco, Marin, and San Mateo counties, while simultaneously increasing profoundly in Eastern Contra Costa, Stanislaus, San Joaquin, and Solano counties.8 In 1970 nearly 100,000 African Americans lived in San Francisco and less than 20,000 lived in San Joaquin County, but by 2010 the San Joaquin numbers had passed those of San Francisco (FIGURE 2).

The trend of low-income communities and communities of color growing on the margins of the region, while shrinking in the core urban areas, has been called by the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco and others, the “suburbanization of poverty.” A Federal Reserve study of the region found that between 2000 and 2009, “The number of people living in poverty rose 16 percent in the suburbs, compared to seven percent in urban areas. Blacks and Hispanics saw the greatest percentage growth in suburban poverty, as did the native-born population.”9 The departure of long-time residents from communities of color points to a larger problem of gentrification within the Bay Area, a problem that has been aggravated by the ongoing foreclosure crisis.

Richmond has been an inner-ring suburb of the Bay Area, and like other inner-ring suburbs, it did not experience the elevated growth of the suburbs during the 1980s and 1990s. Likewise, it is not experiencing the elevated growth of inner city areas happening today. Richmond faces many of the same challenges of cities across the country: a concentration of low-wage jobs, an education system unable to prepare many students to access opportunity, a heavy environmental health burden, and housing costs that outpace income. Income inequality in Contra Costa County is as high as in the United States overall: the top five percent receive more than half of the total income.10,11 Richmond is home to many of the families at the bottom of this pyramid; the percentage of families in poverty in the city is three times the rate of poverty in Contra Costa County overall (FIGURE 3). This has a heavy burden on children and youth, 28 percent of whom live in households in poverty in Richmond.

Richmond also has a cumulative pollution burden estimated to be worse than 85 percent of California and is home to the state’s leading emitter of greenhouse gases, the Richmond Chevron Refinery.12 The legacy of heavy industry still hampers development; there are 90 properties in the city with some kind of cleanup required by the Environmental Protection Agency.13 

Health conditions in Richmond mirror the socioeconomic and environmental challenges within its communities. Childhood asthma hospitalization rates in Richmond neighborhoods are more than twice the state rate. More than one out of three fifth graders in the local school district are overweight or obese.14 The causes of these health challenges are related to multiple factors, but it is well understood now that they can be significantly impacted by social and economic conditions. In addition, health challenges cannot be attributed to access to medical services alone.15

Scientists now understand the cumulative health effect of living in an unhealthy and inequitable environment by measuring the body’s reaction to acute and chronic stress, or allostatic load. Allostatic load is the “cumulative biological burden exacted on the body through daily adaptation to physical and emotional stress. It is considered to be a risk factor for several diseases — coronary vascular disease, obesity, diabetes, depression, cognitive impairment, and both inflammatory and autoimmune disorders.”16 The American Psychological Association defines stress and the stressors related to health disparities as the following: 

Acute stress, the most common form of stress, is short-term and stems from the demands and pressures of the recent past and anticipated demands and pressures of the near future. Chronic stress, a long term form of stress, derives from unending feelings of despair/hopelessness, as a result of factors such as poverty, family dysfunction, feelings of helplessness, and/or traumatic early childhood experience. Chronic stressors associated with health disparities include perceived discrimination, neighborhood stress, daily stress, family stress, acculturative stress, environmental stress, and maternal stress.17 

This helps explain how health disparities are related not only to lack of access to health-supporting conditions (education, employment, etc.), but to inequity itself.

The opportunity structures that support a healthy and thriving community can be measured and combined to look at the overall level of opportunity in a given community like Richmond. The Kirwan Institute mapped opportunity in the Bay Area using 18 indicators known to shape opportunity with respect to education, economics, transportation, and housing and neighborhood environment (TABLE 1). The study found that when all 18 indicators were combined into a single index score for each census tract, 89 percent of the census tracts in Richmond were low or very low opportunity (FIGURE 4). 

Despite these challenges, Richmond is increasingly recognized as a leader in public policy and community-based solutions. The city achieved a 45 percent reduction in homicides and a 44 percent reduction in firearm assaults over the last three years.18 Richmond has been recognized for installing more solar watts per capita than any other large city in California. The city has a municipal bond rating of “AA-” after having faced bankruptcy just 10 years prior. 

The progress in Richmond is closely tied to widespread community involvement and organizing with a commitment to visions that are bold and strategies that are homegrown and practical. The city became one of the first to join a Community Choice Aggregation energy provider, giving residents the choice of 50 percent or 100 percent renewable energy sources. Richmond has also passed ordinances addressing campaign finance, employment rights of people coming home from incarceration, access to IDs for immigrant residents, and has negoti- ated an agreement with Chevron to settle its disputed utility tax payments, resulting in a payment of $114 million in taxes over 15 years. Richmond’s groundbreaking General Plan includes an element on Energy and Climate Change, as well as Health and Wellness. The city also put a measure to voters for an ordinance to tax high-sugar drinks and use the revenue for sports and healthy activity programs.

Community-based organizations and city officials are now developing a novel policy using eminent domain to reduce the principal on loans for homeowners at risk of foreclosure.19 This backdrop of challenges, innovation, and achievements in Richmond shows both the critical issues and the incredible resources upon which efforts to leverage the Berkeley Global Campus can build. 

"The Berkeley Global Campus at Richmond Bay project is going to play a crucial role in the economic growth of Richmond. I'm excited to see our community fully benefit from this new development. I hope this project does not do more damage to our community than it does good." -Edith Pastrano

Anchors and Community Opportunity

Major development projects such as the construction of a new campus have had mixed results for marginalized communities. While the era of leveling communities for new freeways and taking homes for the development of sports stadiums is mostly history, modern day development projects often generate opportunities that bypass disadvantaged communities. This inevitably results in the displacement of local businesses and vulnerable residents. But increasingly, anchor institutions and communities are creating innovative policies and practices that have shown promising results in generating inclusive community economic development.

Anchor institutions are large non- profit and public entities (hospitals, universities, etc.) that as community embedded and responsive institutions have multiple capacities that are critical to community economic development (FIGURE 5). Their promise can be realized by connecting the core mission of the institution to the aspirations of the community. Anchors are a primary conduit for capital moving through the community. The size of anchor institution budgets and spending on procurement often comprise a substantial portion of capital moving through a region. For instance, UC Berkeley alone spent $842 million on purchasing goods and services in 2012.20 Anchors are also major employers; six out of the top 10 employers in Richmond are public or nonprofit entities. 

Anchors are less likely to move than private sector businesses. In the current economic and policy environment, local communities often compete intensely to attract and retain major private employers, although this tends to happen at the expense of wages and job quality, local tax revenue, and other important benefits. However, economic geographers and planners have found that universities, hospitals and other anchor institutions are uniquely “sticky” in that they are less likely to move because they rely to a greater degree on their location within a region and can have wide-reaching impact on the local and regional economy.21 Recently, some policy groups have referred to the approach of leveraging anchor institutions for economic development as ‘innovation districts.’ 

"The new campus is a big opportunity to pull our community out of poverty. It will bring different ways to improve our incomes, education, and livelihoods. We need to take care of our people who have been living in Richmond for many years. We need to be aware of the planned development so we can take advantage of the opportunities that it will bring" -Lorenzo and Maria Avila

Having public or nonprofit status implies that generating community benefits is part of the mission of anchor institutions. In order to be exempt from many taxes, hospitals, universities, and other anchors are required to have a mission that serves the public. For hospitals, this includes conducting a Community Health Needs Assessment, developing a Community Benefits Plan, and dedicating a percentage of their revenue toward community benefits.22  The University of California was created as a public trust in the California constitution, giving it exceptional legal and political autonomy to accomplish its mission of public education. 

Broadening the mission and practice of anchor institutions to strategically increase community opportunity and inclusion is increasingly recognized as critical to achieving a fairer society.23 For example, University of Pennsylvania changed its procurement policies and increased purchasing from African American-owned businesses from half a million dollars to more than $18 million annually. University Hospitals partnered with local foundations to incubate and contract with worker-owned cooperatives that became self-sustaining businesses with more than 80 worker-owners. Both of these and other promising cases are described in greater detail in the CASE STUDIES in this report.

There is, in fact, a long history in the United States and other countries of government procurement being leveraged to meet a social need. In 1938, U.S. legislation aiming to address barriers to employment faced by blind workers required that “all suitable commodities procured by or for any Federal department or agency shall be procured from such non-profit-making agencies for the blind.” In 1971, this targeted procurement was extended to include ‘other severely handicapped workers’ and applied to services as well as commodities. By 1976, there were more than 3,000 shops and daily employment of disabled workers had increased to 155,000.25

More recently, the U.S. Department of Transportation agreed to the “U.S. Employment Plan,” a model procurement process that awards points in the bidding process to firms that hire disadvantaged workers. They define disadvantaged workers as those whose household income is less than 50 percent of the Area Median Income and face one or more barriers to employment, including: receiving public benefits due to poverty, disability, veteran status, and/or residing in an Area of Concentrated Poverty.26

Community leaders and policy makers have increasingly negotiated these innovative policies and practices directly with developers and ensured implementation by creating legally binding written agreements between developers and community leaders that ensure accountability and specific benefits. Sometimes called Community Benefits Agreements, Community Workforce Agreements, or by other names, major development projects are more and more governed by these agreements.27

As UC Berkeley and Lawrence Berkeley National Lab plan for the development of the campus, they have a historic opportunity to develop an anchor mission that embodies their commitment to inclusion and diversity. It is rare that a new anchor institution like a university campus is established, and this offers a unique opportunity to incorporate an anchor mission into the initial planning and development. The campus will join several other anchor institutions in the Richmond area, such as:

  • City of Richmond
  • Contra Costa College
  • Contra Costa County
  • Doctors Hospital
  • Kaiser Hospital
  • Social Security Administration
  • U.S. Postal Service
  • West Contra Costa Unified School District

The planned Berkeley Global Campus will cover 133 acres, which amounts to three-quarters the size of UC Berkeley’s main campus. It is planned to eventually include 5.4 million square feet of building space that can host, on an average day, 10,000 staff, faculty, and visitors. The campus will house research labs, conference space, and other facilities.28

UC Berkeley is the lead agency in this project and is partnering with LBNL, and they both plan to move some of their research activities to the new site. Together, UC Berkeley and LBNL published a Long Range Development Plan (LRDP) to guide the development of the Berkeley Global Campus through the year 2050. The LRDP, along with a programmatic Environmental Impact Report, were both approved by the UC Regents.29 As funding is secured, specific projects will be developed. Potential funding sources include the US Department of Energy, the University of California, UC Berkeley, donors, and private investors. Construction was planned to start in late 2014 but will likely start later due to delayed funding. UC Berkeley Chancellor Nicholas Dirks established and is chairing the Berkeley Global Campus Executive Committee to oversee the planning of the campus.30 Research initiatives anticipated on the new campus include work on new manufacturing technology, biofuels, and other areas that are already changing the way work, business, and ecological systems are organized.

This report focuses on the campus’ relationship to the surrounding communities and region, in addition to best practices that the university can implement as an anchor institution. Part of going forward with this planning involves understanding other examples of anchors and community economic development that can inform initiatives at the Berkeley Global Campus. The following Evergreen Cooperatives CASE STUDY offers insight into one example of how UC Berkeley and LBNL could leverage their purchasing power to build wealth and economic opportunity within low-income neighborhoods. 

Impacts and Opportunities

The new campus' interdependecy with Richmond and the region will shape communities and the campus in a multitude of ways. In this section we look at six of the key areas where this relationship will take place:

  • Community Workforce and Employment Opportunities;
  • Business and Community Wealth;
  • Housing;
  • Youth and Education;
  • Environmental Health;
  • Community Investment and Other Benefits; and,
  • Community Engagement and Planning.

These six areas reflect the priorities raised by residents, community-based organizations, the city of Richmond, and UC Berkeley and LBNL. We examine each area with an analysis of the existing conditions in the community, relevant activities and capacity at the new campus, and policy and program strategies based on best practices informed by research and community input. We have also developed a logic model for each area that illustrates the relationship between the policy strategies and the desired outcomes over the short, medium, and long term.

COMMUNITY WORKFORCE AND EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES Employment in Richmond continues to be a critical challenge affecting the well-being of children, youth and adults, and neighborhood stability overall. Unemployment in the city is reported as 12 percent, which is equivalent to 6,400 adults without paid work. Lack of work is substantially higher among young adults, formerly incarcerated residents, immigrants, and others with additional barriers to employment. For example, 78 percent of formerly incarcerated Richmond residents are unemployed, according to a recent survey.31 While African Americans are 7.3 percent of the total workforce in the East Bay, they are 19.5 percent of the unemployed workers (FIGURE 6).

Many residents are employed but still earning too little to move out of poverty. The percentage of Richmond households living in poverty is three times the rate of Contra Costa County as a whole. One out of every four workers in the county earns less than the Self-Sufficiency Standard, a measure of the minimum income required to cover an adult’s basic expenses without assistance.32 One out of three parents in the county do not earn this basic minimum income.

In the region, the job market is generating racialized outcomes where Latino and African American workers are underrepresented in the occupations with the highest median wages. Among the 15,000 workers in the East Bay who are Laborers and Helpers, the median wage is $14 per hour, and more than 50 percent of workers are Latino, while Latinos are 20 percent of the total workforce.33 In the science, engineering, and computer occupations, the median wages range from $37 to $46 per hour. In these higher paying professions, the Latino and African American populations combined are less than 10 percent of the workers, even though they are 27 percent of the total workforce.

Looking at the occupations that will comprise many of the jobs at the Berkeley Global Campus, it is clear that campus employment is an important opportunity to create more equitable access to family-supporting professions. Employment opportunities at the Berkeley Global Campus will fall into four broad categories:

Construction. Building the campus infrastructure and buildings will occur in periodic phases over as many as 40 years, and will begin soon after its initial funding is secured. An early analysis of construction jobs estimated that Phase 1 (2014-2018) would generate 2,700 jobs.34

Permanent Academic Positions. Professors and scientists will begin carrying out research at the new campus after phase one of construction is completed. New positions will depend largely on which research projects secure funding.

Permanent Non-Academic Positions. A broad range of technical, service, maintenance, and other workers will work on the campus. See Appendix 2 for a list of current occupations and the number of employees and median wages at UC Berkeley. An early analysis estimated that after Phase 1 construction, some 800 staff of LBNL and more UC Berkeley staff would begin work at the campus.35 There is a wide range of wages and benefits for these jobs and some recent trends—such as changing career jobs to temporary jobs, increasing injury rates, and outsourcing to companies that pay poverty wages—highlight the need for policy change.36

Businesses Selling Goods and Services to the Campus. UC Berkeley and LBNL buy goods and services from external businesses ranging from manufactured goods like information technology or laboratory measuring equipment to services like health-care and education and training. In recent years, annual spending on procurement was $76 million by LBNL and $842 million by UC Berkeley.37 Employment with these businesses is an important piece of the potential economic impact of the new campus.

To ensure inclusive opportunity in each of these four areas of employment, policy and practice must include targeted strategies for removing barriers to employment, designing pathways to employment and advancement, and improving job quality standards. This will make the difference in whether broader trends of inequitable economic opportunity are reflected within the Berkeley Global Campus sphere of influence.

Several strategies have been identified and prioritized by local community leaders that align with research on best practices (FIGURE 6)

Invest in workforce development programs that support historically excluded workers. Historically excluded workers include groups that face additional barriers to employment and thus require targeted training and support. These include but are not limited to people returning from incarceration, long-term unemployed, and people on public benefits. Targeted workforce development will: account for the strengths, assets, and challenges particular to the group, use appropriate social networks for outreach and referrals, and hire trainers with shared experience. Workforce development must also be designed based on labor market research and in partnership with unions and industry to ensure high placement and retention.38 If successful, these programs will graduate participants who are placed in positions at the Berkeley Global Campus in con- struction and ongoing operations.

Adopt a hiring policy targeting local and disadvantaged workers for Berke- ley Global Campus positions. Hiring policies that set and reach goals for employing local and disadvantaged workers are becoming the norm in major development projects in the SF Bay Area and beyond.39 The UCSF Mission Bay local hire policy is a precedent for the UC system. Other projects using federal funding have adopted hiring policies that target workers not based on geography but on socioeconomic status.40 This latter approach has the added benefits of not pitting one local community against another, and more specifically targeting individuals and neighborhoods that are highly impoverished and face added barriers. Without such policies, the jobs created by major development projects like this have historically amounted to only minimal opportunities for local or disadvantaged workers.41

Institute a living wage policy, and extend union bargaining agreements to the new campus. While unemployment conditions are dire, there may be an even greater number of employed workers with income and benefits that are insufficient to meet their basic needs. A living wage policy that uses the Self-Sufficiency Index could be applied to Berkeley Global Campus direct hiring, as well as hiring by contractors. This is a metric that uses local data on cost of living in each county to calculate the wage needed for self-sufficiency.42 In Contra Costa County, the wage needed for a two-adult family with two young children to be self-sufficient is $20.18, or $28.67 for one adult with an infant child. Ensuring that the living wage level is sufficient for new parents ensures that a birth does not push families into poverty, and also addresses the exorbitant rate of childhood poverty – a major factor shaping later educational, employment, and health outcomes.

When put into practice, these policies promise to reduce disparities in unemployment and increase income in neighborhoods with higher concentrations of historically excluded workers. They will also increase median household income in high poverty neighborhoods and allow working households to meet additional needs, afford health insurance, and create savings. Ultimately, these strategies will improve educational outcomes for children and enhance community health and safety.

Business and Community Wealth

While employment income is a critical component of economic opportunity, wealth allows families and communities to weather periods of hardship and to pass economic opportunity to the next generation. Wealth can be understood simply as what you own minus what you owe. Wealth can be built over time through owning a business, a home, retirement accounts, investments, land, or other assets.

The wealth of a typical American household fell by one-third between 2005 and 2010. The loss hit African American families hardest, for whom wealth fell by 60 percent, while white families lost 25 percent of their wealth. The result is an even wider racial wealth gap than before the recession. As mentioned previously, in 2010, the median household net worth of white families was $110,729 while net worth of Latino and African American households was $7,424 and $4,995, respectively.43

The development of the Berkeley Global Campus offers a rare opportunity for wealth-building strategies that could have a long term impact on community economic development in Richmond and the East Bay. Increasingly, communities, universities and others are analyzing the role that anchor institutions like university campuses can play in advancing greater equity in wealth and more sustainable models for building community wealth.44 A key component of these strategies is the power of the institution to generate business opportunities through its purchasing of goods and services.

The LBNL divisions that initially planned to relocate to the Berkeley Global Campus spend an estimated $76 million annually on procurement.45 Of this amount, 26 percent went to small businesses and only 10 percent went to East Bay firms in 2010.46 The UC Berkeley Department of Engineering, a UC Berkeley division interested in developing facilities in Richmond, spent $47 million in 2012. UC Berkeley as a whole spent $842 million that year.47 This spending could have a major impact on supporting new and existing local businesses and increasing employment and ownership opportunities in Richmond and disadvantaged communities in the region.

Universities, hospitals, and other institutions have found that cultivation of local businesses can offer multiple benefits to their institution as well as the surrounding communities. In Cleveland, a hospital’s interest in energy and water efficient laundry services could not be met because existing providers were national chains unwilling to change their operations locally. The hospital partnered with a local foundation as part of a comprehensive wealth-building initiative that incubated a local green laundry worker cooperative that has become a self-sustaining business and provides services tailored to the hospital and other clients, as discussed in the CASE STUDY on University Hospitals and Evergreen Cooperatives. 

The following strategies for enhancing community wealth reflect community visions and relevant research (FIGURE 7). 

Sponsor an ‘anchor opportunity study’ analyzing campus purchasing opportunities for new small, minority- owned, and worker-owned businesses. For the university and community to leverage university purchasing to catalyze community economic development, an in-depth analysis of the purchasing needs and procedures will be needed. In the University Hospitals case study, this analysis identified areas where the anchor institution had a specific interest that became a competitive advantage for a new local enterprise. The anchor opportunity study must account for the assets and strengths in the community in order to develop strategies to build off existing capacity and remove barriers to participation.48

Dedicate UC Berkeley and LBNL staff to meet regularly with a community business working group to identify new opportunities for collaboration. Establishing a working group to develop and monitor strategies for community wealth-building can facilitate communication and planning across community, campus, and business. This would ensure that opportunities identified in the anchor opportunity study mentioned above are pursued by a group that can devise strategies that are community-oriented and based on sound economic analysis. Key capacities for partners in the working group are a community foundation, business incubation capacity, and cooperative development. 

Create a fund for launching and building capacity of small, minority, and worker-owned businesses offering goods or services to the campus. Based on the opportunities identified in the anchor opportunity analysis and the strategies developed by the working group for building local enterprises, funding will be needed for establishing and/or building the capacity of minority and worker-owned businesses. Such a fund can draw investment from other contributors, and typically only comprises a small portion of the financing needed because its loans are leveraged to secure private and public loans and grants.49

Structure contracts and the contract bidding process to encourage inclusion of small, minority-owned, and worker-owned business. Outreach, incubation, and financing may not result in sustainable community wealth if barriers in anchor purchasing practices still put small, minority or worker-owned firms at a disadvantage. Key practices for removing barriers include breaking up contracts into smaller contracts, assisting with bonding requirements, requiring that contractors mentor and sub-contract with small firms, and offering points for firms that are local, small, minority or worker-owned.

Combined, these strategies would transform opportunity and capacity among small, local, minority, and worker-owned businesses, allowing UC Berkeley and LBNL to significantly increase the amount of business it does with these firms and its impact on community economic development. This would result in progress toward reducing the racial wealth gap, strengthening commercial districts in Richmond, and increasing local tax revenue. 


Major development projects like the Berkeley Global Campus cannot be separated from issues of housing affordability and inclusion. Although plans for the new campus do not include the construction of housing, the development is likely to have a major impact on housing values and costs in the area. The Berkeley Global Campus is already changing the way Richmond is perceived, and as a major employer, will host workers who want to live close to their workplace, both of which would increase the demand for and value of housing in the city. Increased property values will likely be welcomed by Richmond homeowners, but many Richmond residents are renters for whom increased housing demand may do more harm than good. The increased housing demand brought about by the new campus may contribute to increases in rent, threatening to make housing less affordable for low-income residents.

Sub-prime mortgage lending in Richmond has been rampant and still more than 40 home foreclosures occur every month.50 More than half of Richmond’s homeowners have “underwater” mortgages. Richmond homes are on average still worth less than half of what they were worth seven years ago.51 Despite a recovery in housing values in much of the SF Bay Area, Richmond has lagged, and home values still remain 60 percent lower than their pre crash peak in 2006.52 The boost in housing demand related to the new campus may help with this recovery.

Many of the new homes purchased in the city have been bought by absentee owners investing in property, thereby increasing the percentage of residents who are renting. The percentage of homes bought by absentee owners was under 15 percent in 2006-07 and over 40 percent in 2011-12.53 

Many households near the project site are low-income renters overburdened by housing costs, making them vulnerable to displacement if housing costs increase. More than 9,000 Richmond residents (48 percent of all renters) are low-income renters who are already overburdened by their housing costs, meaning that they pay more than 30 percent of their income toward housing (TABLE 3).54 One out of five Richmond renters is burdened and has an annual income under $20,000. These residents have no disposable income and are vulnerable to displacement in the event that their housing costs increase at a greater rate than their income. While housing costs are relatively high across the region, Richmond stands out for the percentage of households that are low-income, renter-occupied, and housing cost-burdened. In the neighborhoods across Interstate 580 from the project site, 25 to 50 percent of all households are low-income, housing cost-burdened renters (FIGURE 8). Rents have also been rising as much as 12 percent in one year.55 

The effects on housing affordability are likely to be racialized, as African Americans and immigrant communities were disproportionately targeted for sub-prime lending and have higher percentages of renter-occupied households.56 Despite their long-time presence in the city, in 2009 only one-third of African Americans in Richmond owned their homes, while 70 percent of white residents were owners.57

The trend of low-income communities of color being displaced from their historic neighborhoods in the San Francisco Bay Area is well-documented. In an analysis of Oakland and San Francisco by the Alameda County Department of Public Health and Causa Justa/Just Cause, the data showed that from 1990 to 2011, Oakland’s African American population decreased from 43 to 26 percent of the population. During the same period, San Francisco’s African American population decreased from 10 to five percent of the population.

The City of Richmond is projected to need an additional 742 units of housing for low and very low-income residents over the next eight years, according to the Association of Bay Area Governments Regional Housing Needs Assessment.58 Ensuring that the existing stock of housing is affordable to low-income workers is as critical as producing new affordable housing. Richmond neighborhoods include some of the few remaining stocks of housing with relatively affordable rates for moderate and low-income residents. While the City of Richmond is developing new land use designations in the area around the planned campus through the South Shoreline Specific Plan, the housing in this project is unlikely to be sufficient to meet the demand for affordable housing. Moreover, this plan does not address the inevitable impact that the Berkeley Global Campus will have on increasing housing costs in the surrounding neighborhoods. Other anchor institutions have recognized the potential for displacement that their development will have and subsequently created policies to develop affordable housing along with their construction (see UCSF CASE STUDY).

Several measures have been proposed by community groups and reflect promising practices for policy to protect residents vulnerable to displacement. These recommenda- tions focus on stabilizing rent and increasing ownership opportunities for low-income renters and stemming the tide of foreclosures and loss of home ownership so that current homeowners could benefit from the anticipated increase in home value. To be effective, each would necessitate a partnership of city government, community-based organizations, and UC Berkeley and LBNL. 

The following strategies for ensuring housing affordability and availability reflect community needs and complement UC Berkeley’s anchor mission (FIGURE 9)

Fund a rental assistance program for low-income housing cost-burdened renters. Such a fund would be operated by an independent entity such as a community foundation and would have an application and selection criteria for assisting low-income renters whose rental rates have increased.59

Support local rent control and renter protections. Rent control policy “protects tenants in privately owned residential properties from excessive rent increases by mandating reasonable and gradual rent increases, while at the same time ensuring that landlords receive a fair return on their investment.” The policies are in effect in a dozen cities in California and have proven to be instrumental for affordability during periods of increased development, such as what the Berkeley Global Campus will likely catalyze.60 Recently, 75 technology firms wrote in support of renter protections such as these.61

Invest in the creation of a Community Land Trust, a strategy that can ensure a long-term stock of affordable housing. A Community Land Trust is a nonprofit-owned land owning and planning institution that, because it owns the land, is able to ensure permanently affordable housing. A CLT has been explored and pursued in Richmond but has languished due to lack of financing. Major development projects like the Berkeley Global Campus can garner enough capital to launch a land trust.62

Expand participation in the Homeownership Voucher Program to facilitate Section 8 tenants re-allo- cating their payments toward home- ownership. The Richmond Housing Authority and Contra Costa Hous- ing Authority participate in a HUD program that allows residents with a Section 8 subsidized housing voucher to buy a home and use their voucher toward mortgage payments.63 Reports indicate that only a few residents have benefited from the program, despite the program’s potential for allowing low-income residents to build equity and self-sufficiency.

Together, these strategies would ensure that new development and demand for housing in Richmond does not result in the displacement of the residents who need to benefit most from its impact. The stabilizing effect on low-income renters, and increased opportunities for ownership, would result in enhanced community cohesion and family stability. 

Youth and Education

Richmond’s youth make up a rich local knowledge base and should be considered a major resource to the Berkeley Global Campus project; they are multilingual, highly diverse, and have grown up in a dynamic urban environment. With a youth population of more than 25 percent (“youth” includes anyone younger than 18 years old), the need for services and programs tailored to their future success is great. The majority of Richmond’s youth have not been exposed to the outside world, and many young adults have rarely ventured beyond city borders. The Berkeley Global Campus has the potential to create educational and career pathways for Richmond’s youth to broaden their future opportunities and benefit from their insight and experience.

An estimated 28 percent of youth in Richmond live in poverty.64 Accord- ing to the most recent data available, little more than half of the graduates of Richmond’s three public high schools went on to further their education. On average, going to and finishing college increases a person’s wages by more than 40 percent.65 TABLE 4 further demonstrates the need for education to ensure economic success. However, the education system in Richmond is not fully cultivating its potential in lifting youth beyond the cycle of poverty that often persists in low-income neighborhoods and cities.

Educational attainment in key classes such as science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) and University of California/California State University requirements fall short of the pressing need for Richmond students. As stated in a letter from the Executive Office of the President, “High quality science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education is critical for the prosperity and security of our nation.”66 Yet, Richmond schools leave much to be desired in STEM education. Statistics from Richmond High School offer a glimpse into the state of education for youth in Richmond: in the 2013 Annual Yearly Progress report from the California Department of Education, 16. 1 percent of African American students and 28.6 percent of Latino students from Richmond High School met proficiency rates in math.67 While tests do not provide a full picture of aptitude, they do uncover broader systemic issues within Richmond’s schools that cannot go ignored.

For students aiming to gain skills that will help them attain employment after high school, Richmond high schools have a small number of classes in Health Science and Medical Technology, Building Trades and Construction, and other professional fields. Yet these courses are under-resourced; for instance, Kennedy High School students report that the school has no science lab equipment. Only the equivalent of two full-time teachers taught Health Science and Medical Technology in 2011-12 in the district, though there were more than 8,500 high school students in Richmond’s high schools. Advanced Placement courses are also lacking. Only 11 courses were offered and had the capacity to enroll 190 students per class per year. This is enough for only 11 percent of the high school graduates to take an AP class.68

The immense wealth of resources at an institution like UC Berkeley, which is world-renowned in its science and engineering programs, would certainly enhance the opportunities for improving early education in STEM, experiential learning and internships, workforce development training, and certification in fields using emerging technology. UC Berkeley has a variety of educational programs that utilize the extensive scientific and academic capacity to run programs in off-campus communities. These include the Lawrence Hall of Science, the Osher Lifelong Learning, Center for Cities and Schools, Cal Corps Public Service Center, and others. The numerous programs and technical expertise at the UC campus create the opportunity for enhancing the capacity of Richmond’s schools and educational programs.

Specialized programs for youth, seniors, and job seekers, and district-wide enhancement of curriculum could result in “pipeline” or linked learning programs linked to technical professions, and could more broadly improve the quality of education for Richmond’s residents. Moreover, UC Berkeley also stands to gain immensely from its investment in its neighboring communities. As shown in FIGURE 10, increased opportunities for students translate into increased opportunities for education and employment at UC Berkeley from communities that are largely underrepresented in STEM fields. Furthermore, such investments also create healthier neighborhoods overall, which is part and parcel to the goals stated in the Long Range Development Plan.

The following strategies for enhancing educational opportunities reflect community visions and related research.

Support Richmond teachers with training, curricula, and equipment. Build on existing programs that UC Berkeley and LBNL have supporting STEM education programs for K-14 by providing training and curricula for teachers, lab kits and equipment, and integration of classroom teaching with experiential learning programs with the Berkeley Global Campus. This could be packaged as an accredited lab internship for teachers from Richmond schools to develop hands-on experience and strengthen their curricula for the school year. These credits could result in a system that would increase their pay grade in the school district and/or give them priority in scheduling for their classes.

Provide internships and experiential learning opportunities for high school and community college students to help build career pathways in STEM fields. A paid internship program for youth and young adults at the Berkeley Global Campus could provide early workforce development, address race and gender disparities in science fields, and offer meaningful employment for low-income youth. The overarching goal of the program would be to help participants prepare for college and careers in math and science, thereby creating a “school to lab pipeline.” This could be complemented by classroom-based partnerships where UC Berkeley and LBNL scientists volunteer in Richmond schools and co-teach to support achievement among students traditionally underrepresented in the sciences.

Create a process for coordination of UC programs with community input and transparency. For there to be community awareness of and engagement with the existing UC Berkeley programs in Richmond a process must be developed to offer a centralized method of communication and outreach to Richmond residents and school districts about programs and opportunities for education. This could be in the form of an education committee that includes students, parents, teachers, school district officials, and UC Berkeley and LBNL staff to communicate needs, priorities, and opportunities around education in Richmond. In addition, to communicate this work, there could be a website, a physical space with office hours, and a staff person who provides a single point of contact.

Environmental Health, Community Investment, and Other Benefits

Other areas for looking at the impacts and opportunities brought about by projects like the Berkeley Global Campus are environmental health conditions, investment in public and community resources, transportation planning and access, and research and technology. While these areas have not been prioritized by Richmond leaders as issues of equity and inclusion to the degree that other issues have been explored in this report, there are still compelling reasons for giving them attention.

Environmental Health

The environmental backdrop for any new development in Richmond is the existing over-concentration of environmental health hazards. The neighborhoods around the campus location have higher pollution burdens and vulnerabilities than 85 percent of the state’s communities.69 Soot or particulate matter, heavy metals, and other contaminants are released by diesel traffic, the refinery, chemical plants, and other sources. There are 90 hazardous waste facilities and toxic cleanup sites in Richmond.70

The health burden is wide-reaching, manifesting in high rates of asthma and heart disease, stunted economic development, and unsafe neighborhood conditions. Childhood asthma hospitalization rates in Richmond neighborhoods are more than twice the state rate. More than one out of three fifth graders in the local school district are overweight or obese, with higher rates among Latino and African American students.71 Similarly disproportionately high rates of diabetes and heart disease are also present.

“I love Richmond because it is the area I grew up in and
it’s where all my history and life experience is. I’m hoping the new campus can bring in new waves of opportunity and culture. I hope the people who live here today and our future generations will be uplifted by this campus.”

However, the Richmond community has also led environmental innovation that provides a foundation for healthy alternatives. The legacy and ongoing work of local environmental justice leaders has shaped thinking nationally on how to advance environmental health in low-income communities of color, the principles and strategies for climate justice, and frameworks for a just transition to a healthy and clean economy.72 Current efforts establishing new community-based systems for environmental health include community gardens aiming to produce five percent of Richmond’s food locally, a solar energy cooperative, and the rethinking and renovation of community parks.

The Berkeley Global Campus is a historic opportunity for a major development project to reduce the cumulative environmental health burden. This means preventing emissions and hazards that would add to the burden, and supporting the growth of healthy environmental resources. The soil at the project site has a legacy of contamination that may still not be fully understood. It is also next to the site of contamination by the Zeneca corporation, which was recently found to include high levels of radioactive waste.73 The construction of the lab will involve the removal of contaminated soil, heavy diesel machinery, truck traffic, and other potential environmental hazards. The materials used in research activities are not known but could potentially pose an additional risk.

The potential displacement of low-income residents could also pose a significant environmental impact. As discussed in the Housing section, a rise in rental rates could force some residents to relocate. The areas in the region that offer more affordable housing where low-income residents are moving to are on the periphery of the Bay Area. These areas are substantially further from the urban core where the region’s jobs are concentrated. Displaced residents working in the urban areas will have longer commutes and will be further from public transit. Increased driving will generate additional greenhouse gas emissions.74

Community Investment

Local public revenue and financial support for community-based programs is key to ensuring the infrastructure of services and resources necessary for community health and wellbeing. Fiscally, Richmond has come a long way since 2003 when it had a $35 million deficit and considered bankruptcy, forcing the city to close libraries and community centers, and lay off 87 city workers. It now has achieved a high municipal bond rating of “AA-.” A key component of this rebound was that the city negotiated a tax agreement with Chevron securing $114 million over 15 years.75 This stabilization has been challenged by the housing crisis; the drop of home values to their current level of 60 percent of their pre-crash value means less tax revenue for the city from property taxes. The city is currently facing a budget that requires cuts, keeping the city from being able to sufficiently fund needed services.

Because the Berkeley Global Campus is under the auspices of public entities, the campus will directly gener- ate very little in local public revenue from taxes. Growth of locally-based businesses enhanced by the campus could generate some indirect public revenue. The campus will be drawing upon public infrastructure that requires expanded capacity, such as roads, sewer and waste, water, and utilities. Because the state has eliminated Redevelopment Agencies, local governments do not have their usual tool—tax increment financing—for financing such infrastructure.

Although UC Berkeley and LBNL have yet to secure financing for the new campus, in the long term the campus may even generate its own revenue. A recent article stated that the university is pursuing a strategy to use its real estate to generate revenue, and that it expects the Berkeley Global Campus to “create a significant revenue generator for the school.”76 Financing of campus construction will require over $1 billion, which will be pursued from private, state, and federal funding sources. The process of securing and processing this financing could involve insti- tutions that the community or public has ownership of, thus allowing the profits generated to circle back to the community. One model for this is to use a non-profit development entity that fills the role of developer and is able to reinvest any profit from the development into the community.77 This could create a revenue stream for community-driven projects and capital that could be leveraged for low-interest loans or grants for community challenges such as home foreclosure or business incubation.


Transportation planning by the Berkeley Global Campus offers a rare opportunity to increase local connectivity and enhance exposure to local businesses. Many residents from central Richmond and North Richmond have not been to the southern shoreline where the campus will be located, and transit does not connect the areas. A recent participatory youth research project involving Richmond high school students highlighted this as one of their top priorities for campus planning.

The design of the shuttle system for travel by staff, students, and faculty is a key opportunity to ensure that the campus is not isolated from the broader community. A goal for the shuttle system should be to increase transportation access in the surrounding neighborhoods and further integrate the campus within the local community and improve public transportation more broadly. If shuttles were free and available to the public, they could significantly enhance transportation access in neighborhoods between the campus and the BART stations. If the shuttles provide transport to and from the Richmond BART station, they will increase exposure to local businesses along the MacDonald Avenue corridor, which is an area where concerted efforts are already underway to attract and retain local businesses. 

Research and Technology

The Richmond community has a rich history of using collaborative research to understand and address pressing community issues. The environmental health and justice issues in particular have required community groups and the city to develop highly technical skills to inform local policy.78 Many UC Berkeley faculty have collaborated on participatory and community-based research projects and planning efforts. The new campus offers an opportunity to enhance coordination and strategic collaboration in these partnerships. The LDRP for the Berkeley Global Campus sets a goal for collaborative research with nonprofit organizations and industry.

The tremendous technical capacity of the scientists at the campus could be harnessed to assist with addressing a range of challenges that face the Richmond community. Environmental justice and sustainability issues such as soil, air, and water contamination, could be the focus of technical assistance partnerships to create solutions with the community. A community-driven process for identifying research and technical assistance needs, and a structure and incentives for scientists working with the community could be developed, as well as a physical space to be shared by students, faculty and community groups. A promising model for this is the Detroit Center, created by the University of Michigan away from its campus in Ann Arbor. The center “helps facilitate a symbiotic relationship between the university and local partners to carry out research and community services.” It offers office space and conference rooms to campus and community members.79

This preliminary list of potential impacts will expand as the community develops its vision and researches the effects of similar projects. Other possible benefits include: recreational access to shoreline open space, meeting space, and community access to ancillary services like grocery stores and other businesses.

The following policy strategies relate to the areas of Environmental Health, Community Investment, Transportation, and Research and Technology:

Use legal and financial resources to ensure the full cleanup of the Zeneca site. The development of the property next to the new campus is critical to harnessing the potential economic benefits of the campus, and creating enough housing to meet new demand. But extensive cleanup of soil and water contamination related to legacy pollution is needed to ensure safety of neighbors and any new occupants. The university can use its financial resources to assist and legal resources to encourage remediation of this property by the responsible parties.

Support community-based green businesses by partnering with them on-site and purchasing goods and services. Richmond is a hub for community-based efforts to incubate green businesses, and the purchasing power of the campus institutions and visitors can provide an economic engine for growing these businesses to scale. Examples of this include hosting a site for sales of local produce, and purchasing produce and green energy locally.

Contract with a non-profit development entity to be the developer of the Berkeley Global Campus. A non-profit development organization with local accountability and appropriate business capacity that has won the contract for developing the campus could create a sustainable structure for financing community benefits aligned with many of the recommendations in this report. Examples of this across the country are the subject of forthcoming research by the Haas Institute.

Launch a grants program for community investment in issue areas prioritized by a community advisory committee. UC Berkeley, as a lead agency, can establish a grants fund and encourage LBNL and other public and private tenants to contribute. An advisory committee made up of community leaders can provide a strategic plan for best directing resources to address community needs and build sustainable community capacity.

Design the campus transit system to expand local access and support local businesses. The shuttle system providing transit to campus users is a critical opportunity for connecting the campus with the community. If use of the shuttle is free to residents, the system could fill an important gap in transit access for youth and low-income adults without cars. If the shuttle were to provide transport to and from the Richmond BART station, it could significantly increase foot traffic and customer bases for businesses surrounding the station.

Launch a center for community-based research and technology. The center could be a connecting point between students and faculty and community groups seeking to collaborate. By offering a physical space and information about on-campus projects, faculty and community in- terests, contact information, and tips for collaboration, the center could enhance collaboration, making research more relevant and impactful.

Community Engagement and Planning

The combination of the strong planning capacity of community groups and city staff and the exceptional technical expertise at the university create the opportunity for an exceptional community-engaged planning process for the Berkeley Global Campus. Several initiatives already exist in this space, including the “Y-PLAN” program that engages Richmond youth in planning initiatives, and the Richmond Health Equity Partnership,80 involving city staff, the school district, and UC Berkeley Professor Jason Corburn. Richmond community-based organizations have a rich history of engaging in policy and planning that has gained attention nationally for its innovation and impact.

The planning of the Berkeley Global Campus requires a robust and innovative process if it is to avoid pitfalls and make the most of potential opportunities. The vast, decentralized structure of university research poses a challenge for leveraging this capacity in a coordinated way. The governance structure of the UC system, with the new campus ultimately governed by the statewide body of the UC Regents creates a power imbalance with the affected local community. The legal autonomy that the UC system was granted in the California constitution poses a challenge for the city to govern the development project because the UC is exempt from most local policy and regulations. Because the campus is a public entity and does not generate the tax revenue that a private development would, it is more difficult to use the project to generate public revenue for local services and infrastructure. Many of the jobs at the new campus will be in technical and specialized fields, requiring well-researched planning for workforce development and training for local workers to have access. These challenges can be overcome with a planning process that has the full commitment of the university, city, and community.

Community engagement in the planning of the Berkeley Global Campus has taken place through a series of meetings over the last two years. The process was launched publicly in September 2012 with a meeting in Richmond that was co-hosted by UC Berkeley, LBNL, and the city, and was attended by several hundred people.81 Diverse concerns were raised by attendees, including local employment and job training opportunities, educational programs in the local schools, and community engagement. Three more community meetings were held by LBNL and UC Berkeley during the following year to present and gather input on components of the LRDP for the campus.

The planning process during this period followed the conventional model for developing a LRDP, a requirement of the UC system for all new campuses. The LRDP focuses only on land use, building form, infrastructure, and the environmental impact review and approval process. Development of the LRDP excluded analyzing the socioeconomic impact of the project and planning for the educational, employment, purchasing, and commu- nity investment strategies – all issues raised by residents and stakeholders at community meetings. The lack of a planning process covering these issues generated community concerns that campus plans would fail to respond to community needs and visions.

In late 2013, a series of meetings held by local community-based organizations ACCE, CCISCO, and the Safe Return Project with city staff, UC Berkeley, and LBNL led to the launch of a planning process to explore community benefits. UC Berkeley and LBNL held three meetings to gather input from residents and stakeholders.82 The three community groups had engaged hundreds of residents through workshops at faith-based institutions, door-to-door canvassing, and other outreach. They developed a shared set of proposals with several other community organizations and labor unions. They also partnered with the Haas Institute to secure technical and legal assistance. Attorneys for the groups analyzed the draft Environmental Impact Report and submitted comments, and the Haas Institute analyzed the risk of displacement of low-income residents.83

The outcome of the three meet- ings with UC Berkeley and LBNL focused on community benefits was a Joint Statement of Commitment that the UC Berkeley Chancellor and LBNL Director signed.84 The Joint Statement formalized commit- ments in four areas:

Educational Partnerships and Programs

  • UC Berkeley will partner with
  • educational institutions and com- munity organizations to support Richmond’s educational goals
  • LBNL will continue to designate Richmond as a core community for its educational resources
  • UC Berkeley and LBNL will help prepare Richmond youth and adults for college and careers by enhancing education and outreach programs

Employment and training

  • UC Berkeley and LBNL will cooperate and collaborate with existing workforce training organizations, community colleges, and the City of Richmond to support training Richmond residents
  • Implement a local hiring program based on the UCSF program, applied to campus construction except for that funded by the Department of Energy85
  • Require third-party developers to meet local hire goals and pay prevailing wages, except for construc- tion of buildings funded by DOE or not “substantially occupied by UC Berkeley”
  • Conduct outreach based on best practices and assist Richmond residents and businesses to effectively respond to employment and procurement opportunities
  • Work with community organizations to develop strategies to assist women, minority, and veteran-owned businesses to respond to contract opportunities

Community Investment

  • UC Berkeley and LBNL will establish a grant-making program with an initial commitment of $75,000 per year
  • UC Berkeley will collaborate with the City of Richmond based on a separate Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to help secure needed infrastructure and services 

Community Partnership Process

  • Establish a Richmond community partnership Working Group to develop recommendations and proposals for inclusion in a Richmond Partnership Commitment focused on education, local employment, procurement, and workforce training
  • The Working Group will be co-chaired and staffed by UC Berkeley and LBNL, and will “be representative of the Richmond community and organizations that are actively engaged” in the four focus areas
  • • The Working Group will “engage with the community immediately to develop recommendations and proposals for implementation plans with benchmarks, and when appropriate, recommendations for legally binding memoranda of understanding”

The actions committed to in the Joint Statement are a major step forward toward a formal engagement process and substantive commitments to community needs and opportunities. The shortened process of planning for community benefits in just three meetings hampered the development of more detailed, well-researched, and comprehensive plans. But the goals that the statement outlines are well-aligned with community input and with strategies recommended in this report.

While the Statement has been largely well-received by community leaders, some important concerns have been raised. One is that LBNL has not committed to targeted hiring. Because LBNL is federally funded, it is largely prohibited from using geographic considerations in hiring decisions. But it is not prevented from using socioeconomic attributes in hiring, such as targeted hiring of people who were receiving public benefits, long-term unemployed, or formerly incarcerated workers. Another concern raised is that the partnership working group is not co-chaired by a community member. A good practice for community partnerships is to partner in developing the agendas and facilitating meetings.86 A major gap in the scope of the statement is the absence of a goal and strategies to prevent displacement of low-income renters, a major concern repeatedly voiced by community members. 

Measuring Impact

During implementation, institutional strategies inevitably need adjustment and refining as they produce unintended consequences or miss the mark of their goal. Monitoring impact by well-designed indicators is key to effective implementation. The following indicators are an initial list that wiill allow UC Berkeley and Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, the city of Richmond, and community stakeholders to measure the impact of the new campus as it relates to priority areas of community concern and opportunity. 


  • Math and reading proficiency in 3rd, 8th, and 12th grades, broken down by race
  • Percent of students advancing to college or apprenticeship programs, broken down by race


  • Jobs and businesses created and retained (1 year, 5 years)
  • Dollars directed toward seed funding for small, minority-owned, woman-owned, and worker-owned businesses
  • Percent of procurement dollars directed to local, minority-owned, woman-owned, and worker-owned businesses


  • Neighborhood stability indicators
  • Dollars invested in fund to ensure affordable housing
  • Number of Richmond renters benefiting from a program to ensure stable, affordable housing, broken down by race
  • Percent of households below 200 percent of the poverty line that spend more than 30 percent of income on housing, broken down by race 


  • Percent of local and disadvantaged hires in staff positions, broken down by race
  • Percent of local and disadvantaged hired by contractors, broken down by race
  • Percent employed at living wage or above, broken down by race


  • UC Berkeley/LBNL distribution of the annual community partnership report measuring progress on all indicators
  • An annual report by the Community Implementation Committee to the broader community and local organizations, presenting the data measuring progress on community benefits and the committee’s activities and priorities 

For the Berkeley Global Campus and other anchors to leverage their full potential for community inclusion, it will take an openness to refining institutional practices and policies across various spheres. The Berkeley Global Campus will likely drive growth in industries linked to research and innovation, and this growth can be structured in such a way that realizes widely held values of community inclusion and equitable opportunity. Other parts of the Bay Area have had similar developments, yet they have yielded mixed results in contributing to greater opportunities for marginalized communities.

The region needs a model for anchoring the innovation economy that does not perpetuate gaps in wealth, income, and education, and allow displacement of low-income communities of color. With its world-class research capacity and recent commitments to partner with Richmond communities, UC Berkeley and LBNL are well positioned to lead the region in visionary planning and policy. Likewise, Richmond is well suited to partner with UC Berkeley and LBNL given its track record of community engagement, policy innovation, and inclusive development.

In each area of the new campus’ potential impact that this report analyzed, there are examples and models from around the country that demonstrate practical strategies for achieving a more inclusive impact. These recommendations also reflect the input of hundreds of active community members who have been engaged through workshops, interviews, and meetings held by the report’s authors. The campus development must include values-based criteria for choosing a developer, procurement and hiring policies, sustained investments, and a formalized process for involving community leaders in substantive decisions.

The recommendations will need an implementation plan that recognizes the institutional processes already in place and builds shared ownership among all of the relevant stakeholders. Through the process of developing shared ownership and a plan for implementation, the institutions and community can generate a level of trust and mutual benefit that could have a far-reaching, positive impact. 

The following is a summary of the policies and practices recommended in each section of this report.


  • Invest in workforce development programs that support historically excluded workers
  • Adopt a hiring policy targeting local and disadvantaged workers for Berkeley Global Campus positions
  • Institute a living wage policy and honor union bargaining agreements for all Berkeley Global Campus and contractor hires


  • Sponsor an anchor opportunity study analyzing campus purchasing opportunities for new, small, minority-owned, and worker-owned businesses
  • Dedicate UC Berkeley and LBNL staff to meet regularly with a community business working group to identify new opportunities for collaboration
  • Create a fund for launching and building capacity of small, minority-owned, and worker-owned businesses offering goods or services to the campus
  • Structure contracts and offer points in the contract bidding process for including small, minority-owned, and worker-owned business


  • Fund a rental assistance program for low-income housing cost burdened renters
  • Support local rent control and renter protections
  • Invest in the creation of a Community Land Trust, a strategy that can ensure a long-term stock of affordable housing
  • Expand participation in the Homeownership Voucher Program to facilitate Section 8 tenants reallocating their payments toward homeownership


  • Support Richmond teachers with training, curricula, and equipment
  • Provide internships and experien- tial learning opportunities for high school and community college students to help build career pathways in STEM fields
  • Create a process for coordination of UC programs with community input and transparency 


  • Use legal and financial resources to ensure the full cleanup of the Zeneca site
  • Support community-based green businesses by partnering with them on-site and purchasing goods and services
  • Launch a grants program for community investment in issue areas prioritized by a community advisory committee
  • Design the campus transit system to expand local access and support local businesses
  • Launch a center for community-based research and technology


  • A legally-binding community benefits agreement signed by community organizations and UC Berkeley and LBNL, covering the areas of community workforce and employment, business and community wealth, housing, youth and education, environmental health and community engagement
  • The creation of a Community Working Group co-chaired by a community-based organization with the authority to request and receive information from and meetings with UC Berkeley and LBNL administrations
  • An annual community partnership report and public forum measuring progress on all the indicators for “measuring impact” in the four areas of the agreement (Housing, Education, Jobs and Training, and Business and Community Investment 

“By working together as acommunity, we can create more unity and bring about a better future for the City of Richmond.”- SIDIA RIVAS, WITH HER DAUGHTER DANIELA