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June 23, 2010

COSW Meeting Information - June 23, 2010




Wednesday, June 23, 2010

5:00 PM

                       City Hall, Room 408


1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place

                      San Francisco, CA94102

Members Present                                          Staff Present         

                                    President Kay Gulbengay             Executive Director Emily Murase, PhD

Vice President Julie Soo               Administrative Assistant Cynthia Green

Commissioner Dorka Keehn         Senior Gender Policy Analyst Anu Menon

Commissioner Andrea Shorter      Fiscal Policy Analyst Laura Marshall

                                                   Senior Grants Administrator Carol Sacco

                                                   Commission Secretary Cynthia Vasquez

                                                                                       PAAWBAC Intern Jaime Kozono

                                                                                       Undergraduate Intern Kendra Poppy

                                                                                       Undergraduate Intern Natalie Goodis


                                    Excused:  Commissioner Carolene Marks and Commissioner Katherine Munter   



President Shorter called the meeting to order at 5:07 pm.

Action: Approved agenda.    

m/s/c (Keehn/Soo/Unanimous)

No public comment.


II.     APPROVAL OF MINUTES                                                   

President Shorter asked Commissioners to review the minutes from May 26, 2010.

Action: Approved minutes from May 26, 2010. 

m/s/c (Soo/Keehn/Unanimous)

No public comment.


III.    CONSENT AGENDA                                                            

 All matters listed hereunder constitute a Consent Agenda and are considered to be routine by the Commission on the Status of Women.  They will be acted upon by a single roll call vote of the Commission.  There will be no separate discussion of these items unless a member of the Commission so requests, in which event the matter shall be removed from the Consent Agenda and considered as a separate item.  Members of the public may speak on each item listed on the Consent Agenda.


A.           Resolution Recognizing Vicki Hennessy Director of the San Francisco Department of Emergency Management

B.           Resolution Recognizing the Bridges to Freedom Language Fluency Project Instructors

C.     Resolution Recognizing the Late Effie Lee Morris

D.     Resolution Recognizing Kate Kendell on the Occasion of PRIDE Month


Action: To approve the Consent Agenda.

m/s/c (Gulbengay/Soo/Unanimous).




Public Comment


Vicki Hennessy thanked the Commission and the Department for this recognition. She stated that she had a long career in the Sheriff's Department and spent the last 4 years at the Department of Emergency Management. She recognized Lisa Hoffman, Director of Emergency Communication, who was responsible for the police reform that introduced a 911 code identifying a stalking for the first time.    


Port Director Monique Moyer thanked the Commission for its recognition of Department Heads. Director Moyer stated that she is 1 of 3 women out of 92 Port Directors nation-wide. In terms of her work with Director Hennessy, she credited Ms. Hennessy with the superb handling of the Cosco Busan collision in the San Francisco Bay. Vice President Gulbengay also recognized Ms. Hennessy.


Lori Mesrobian, the Spanish language instructor, Sarah Curtin, the Spanish-speaking domestic violence advocate, Frances Lai, the Chinese language instructor, and Alice Biermen, the Chinese-speaking domestic violence advocate thanked the Commission for the recognition of their work on the Bridges to Freedom Language Fluency Project. They spoke about the effectiveness of the cross-training model that included participants from a variety of criminal justice and social service agencies, not only from San Francisco, but also from neighboring counties as well. 


Commissioner Julie Soo made remarks in honor of Effie Lee Morris. Ms. Morris was a pioneer in the field of library services and, among many achievements, served as the first librarian of the San Francisco Public Library's children's collection.


President Shorter stated that this year marks the 40th anniversary of Pride month and it is most fitting that the Commission recognizes the work of Kate Kendell, Executive Director of the NationalCenter for Lesbian Rights, based in San Francisco.  Ms. Kendell explained that she is very passionate about her work and feels very privileged to do the work that she does. She thanked the Commission for the resolution.



Dr. Murase directed Commissioners to her written report.  Dr. Murase announced that the Gender Equality Principles Initiative (GEP) website is set to launch this month (  The official launch of the website will be at the Friends CEDAW Luncheon that is scheduled for October 18.  The website will feature an online self-assessment tool that companies can utilize to determine where they stand in terms of gender equity in the workplace. 


Commissioner Soo asked for a report from the City Attorney's Office on the Memorandum of Understanding with Calvert on intellectual property aspects. She stated that while the tool is now based on self-reporting, she wondered if, down the road, it would be geared to measurable goals to be posted, for companies to be measured against each other. She wanted to make sure that the data is protected and that there are incentives for companies to even participate. She expressed concern that the business atmosphere seems less than friendly in San Francisco, so we want to give incentives for companies to participate and make sure it's a win-win situation for everyone.


Dr. Murase explained that Calvert Asset Management was very concerned about trademark issues from both the Department and Calvert's perspectives. This whole effort grew out of the Calvert Women’s Principles so Calvert initiated an MOU with to cover how to protect both of our interests in the GEP. She reported that the Department just concluded the MOU, which was a requirement before launching the website. 


Commissioner Soo asked if there has been discussion about who will move the project on, in-house or otherwise.


Dr. Murase responded that it's all still up in the air and subject to further discussion. She wanted to share with the Commissioners that because this was an unique public-private collaboration, staff worked from the very beginning with Deputy City Attorney Mariam Morley. Dr. Murase reported that staff began these consultations right when we were starting to work with Calvert because we weren’t sure what we could do as a government agency vs. a private sector for-profit entity. She added that staff worked very closely with Deputy City Attorney Adine Varah, whom Commissioner may remember because she was previously assigned to the Commission/Department, on the specific language of the MOU.


Commissioner Soo wanted to remind the Commissioners that Calvert does have a research arm. She stated that there has to be some kind of understanding of the rewards both on the government side and on the private side, especially when government dollars are being spent. 


President Shorter stated that she hopes we continue to move forward and that the Commissioner brings up a lot of very good points.  President Shorter said that she is always thinking globally and that, as we move forward, we use whatever experience we gain from this.  We are looking for ways to replicate or to extend our expertise in this particular area on the GEP beyond our jurisdiction and sharing our experience. She hoped that we would also be able to offer some advisement in terms of how to best work with the private and public partnership.  She remarked that this is great, very good. Dr. Murase will set up a meeting with Commissioners to discuss the next steps for this Initiative.


Dr. Murase reported that Policy Director Ann Lehman is currently in New York attending the UN Global Compact Leaders Summit 2010 and will provide a full report at the July meeting. 


Dr. Murase reported that the Cantonese and SpanishBridges to Freedom classes will conclude by the end of June and a total of 110 participants will have been trained.  The majority of these participants are City employees in a variety of criminal justice, social service, and health fields, with the remainder coming from community-based agencies. Dr. Murase thanked Commissioner Soo for participating in the Cantonese class.  Commissioner Soo recognized Fiscal and Policy Analyst Laura Marshall and PAAWBAC Intern Jaime Kozono for their great work with this project. 


Dr. Murase announced that the 4th Annual Women’s Policy Summit is scheduled for Wednesday, September 15, 2010, 11 – 5 pm, at the Milton Marks Auditorium in the StateBuilding. The Department has been an active participant in the planning process, and will keep the Commission informed as the planning moves forward. The theme for this year’s Summit will be “Building a Family-Friendly San Francisco”.


Dr. Murase asked Commissioners to save the date for the Friends of the Commission 2010 CEDAW Awards Gala Luncheon on Monday, October 18, that will be held at the Merchants Exchange Building Julia Morgan Ballroom. 


The Department was informed by the Real Estate Department that the Department of Public Health received a major federal grant to open a clinic for AIDS research and requires the entire ground floor of

25 Van Ness Avenue
. The target date for vacating our current space is next June. If the space negotiations go smoothly, staff hopes to move our offices in the November/December timeframe


Dr. Murase is pleased to announce that she attended the budget hearing before the Board of Supervisors and it was the smoothest budget approval process in her tenure.  The Mayor fully and recognized the importance of the services the Department fund.  Dr. Murase recognized the Partner Agencies and Commissioners for their support and avocation for the Department.  President Shorter thanked the partner agencies and survivors for sharing their stories in support of vital services.   


V.           OLD BUSINESS                                                                    

A.     Election of Officers                                                    

At the May Commission meeting, the Commission approved nominations for President and Vice President for FY10-11, for a one-year term beginning July 1, 2010. Commissioner Kay Gulbengay and Commissioner Julie Soo were nominated for President and Vice President, respectively.  President Andrea Shorter moved that Kay Gulbengay be elected President and Julie Soo Vice President of the Commission for FY10-11.  Commissioner Keehn seconded the motion. 

Action: To elect Vice President Kay Gulbengay for President for 2010-2011.

m/s/c (Shorter/Keehn/Unanimous).


Action: To elect Julie Soo for Vice President for 2010-2011.

m/s/c (Shorter/Keehn/Unanimous).


Commissioner Keehn thanked Commissioner Shorter for her leadership as President these last few years. 


B.     Violence Against Women Prevention and Intervention Program (VAW) Update               

Senior Grants Administrator Carol Sacco provided an update on the VAW Grants for FY2010-2011. She presented charts illustrating the breakdown of grants. A new RFP will be conducted in the coming fiscal year for the next 3-year cycle of grants. Carol reported that the Department does not have funds to commission a new needs assessment. Commissioner Keehn suggested conducting a survey of our Partner Agencies to identify changes to needs.


1.  Jewish Family and Children's Services

Julie Kaper of Dream House, Jewish Family & Children's Services, explained that Dream House has been around for 16 years, growing in capacity from 4 to 12 families. Women, many of whom have limited English proficiency and are on CalWorks, stay between 12 to 18 months in either of two residences located in quiet and safe neighborhoods. The facility offers intensive case management, weekly support groups, budgeting training, and referrals to vocational training and other programs in economic self-sufficiency.


She mentioned that an emerging need in the community is the problem of e-mail brides, women solicited through the Internet to come to the US to marry. Some of these women from abroad become victims of domestic violence, and then become stranded as undocumented residents. Commissioners expressed concern around this issue which deserves additional research and attention.


C.     Friends of the Commission Update                                                                                      

Friends President Marily Mondejar updated the Commission on the organization since her last report was provided last November. She introduced Friends Board member Carmen Campollo, President of the San Francisco Chapter of the National Association of Securities Professionals, and Paula March, a fundraising consultant who worked with the FineArtsMuseum for many years, and serves on the board of Leadership California with Ms. Mondejar. She walked Commissioners through the Friends website, reviewing board member profiles, the text of UN CEDAW, the membership application, and upcoming events.


Commissioners asked whether the Friends had a policy regarding accepting corporate sponsorships. Ms. Mondejar stated that there is not yet a policy, but this should be subject for discussion at the Friends retreat.

Commissioner Gulbengay stated that the Human Rights Commission maintains a list of companies that the City does not do business with.


Commissioners expressed deep appreciation to Ms. Mondejar and the Friends Board for achieving so much progress in the past year.


VII.   PUBLIC COMMENT                                                                       

Beverly Upton of Domestic Violence Consortium, Aiko Pandorf of Asian Women's Shelter, and Emberly Cross of the Cooperative Restraining Order Clinic expressed appreciation for the collaborative efforts that resulted in protecting the budget for services that address violence against women. They were very pleased with the

partnership with the Commission.


Commissioner Soo inquired about judicial training. Emberly Cross reported that the state Judicial Council, under Chief Justice Ronald George, is now requiring specialized judicial training whereas, in the past, this training was optional.  Ms. Cross serves on the Violence Against Women Education Planning Committee at the Administrative Office of the Courts, which is responsible for developing the training.


VIII. Adjourn

President Shorter asked that the meeting be adjourned in memory of Anne Yamasaki, Norma Satten, Effie Lee Morris, and Angelina Genaro Alioto.

Action: Motion to adjourn.   

m/s/c (/Unanimous)

The meeting adjourned at 6:55pm.








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