Data Points

County diversity and ethnicity of Top Elected Officials

(Photo by truthseeker08 via Pixabay)

San Francisco is a model for other Bay Area counties for the ethnic diversity of its elected officials. 

Fifty-four percent of San Francisco elected officials are either black, Hispanic, Asian or Pacific Islander, Native American or a mixed/other race than white. Those populations make of 59 percent of the county’s total residents.

That’s according to the Bay Area Equity Atlas, a repository of data focused on quantifying racial and economic inequality in the region. 

Other counties do not fare as well. Here’s how the counties rank by the gap in the ethnicity of elected officials and the ethnic population.

1
1. San Mateo County — 60%
2
2. Santa Clara County — 50%
3
3. Solano County — 44%
4
4. Sonoma County — 36%
5
5. Marin County — 29%
6
6. Contra Costa County — 22%
7
7. Alameda County — 18%
8
8. Napa County — 14%
9
9. San Francisco — 5%

1. San Mateo County

60%

2. Santa Clara County

50%

3. Solano County

44%

4. Sonoma County

36%

5. Marin County

29%

6. Contra Costa County

22%

7. Alameda County

18%

8. Napa County

14%

9. San Francisco

5%

The percentages show that San Mateo County has the least diverse cadre of elected officials, a problem that political party leadership can help change in any county, said a professor at UC Berkeley.

“I would actually lean on the parties to do more,” said John Powell, a professor of law and African-American studies at Berkeley, and an expert on inequality, racism and civil rights. 

For instance, parties can increase efforts to attract minority candidates for office, Powell added.

Source: Bay Area Equity Atlas