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May 26, 2010

COSW Meeting Information - May 26, 2010


Wednesday, May 26, 2010

5:00 PM

                       City Hall, Room 408


1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place

                      San Francisco, CA94102

Members Present                                          Staff Present         

                                    President Andrea Shorter                 Executive Director Emily Murase, PhD

Vice President Kay Gulbengay        Administrative Assistant Cynthia Green

Commissioner Dorka Keehn            Senior Policy Analyst Anu Menon

Commissioner Carolene Marks        Administrative Analyst Laura Marshall

Commissioner Katherine Munter      Administrator Carol Sacco

Commissioner Julie Soo Grants        Commission Secretary Cynthia Vasquez

                                                                                          PAAWBAC Intern Jaime Kozono

                                                                                          Summer Intern Kendra Poppy



President Shorter called the meeting to order at 5:07 pm. She proposed changes to the agenda order: moving the Consent Agenda before the Executive Director's Report, moving officer nominations up, and including a purely commendatory resolution.

Action: Approved amended agenda.    

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

No public comment.


II.     APPROVAL OF MINUTES                                                   

President Shorter asked Commissioners to review the minutes from April 28, 2010.

Action: Approved minutes from April 28, 2010. 

m/s/c (Shorter/Munter/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 PacificAsianAmericanWomenBay Area Coalition

B.           Resolution Recognizing Jane Morrison

C.           Resolution Recognizing the Junior Leagues of California and San Francisco

D.           Resolution Recognizing May as Elder Abuse Awareness Month 

E.           Resolution Recognizing Sandy Holmes on the Occasion of her Retirement

F.            Resolution Recognizing Andrea Dew Steele

G.           Resolution Supporting the Women's Empowerment Principles by the United Nations Global Compact and the United Nations Development for Women


Action: To approve the Consent Agenda.

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


Public Comment

Jane Morrison stated that she is greatly honored to receive the resolution. She explained that when her grandmother became a widow with 4 children to provide for, she had no way to make a living, so she married a widower with 5 children and became a caregiver to 9 children. Ms. Morrison's mother had a 3rd grade education, but worked to ensure that Jane and her siblings received a college education. She graduated college in 1941 and traveled all over her home state of Oklahoma seeking employment in a newsroom. Everywhere she interviewed, she was told that women could not be hired to do news. She eventually secured a position as an editor for the Associated Press in Kansas City. Later, she moved to California when her husband enrolled at StanfordUniversity on the GI Bill. While the San Francisco Chronicle hired her husband as a journalist, Ms. Morrison continued to face gender discrimination. She was eventually hired as a secretary at KNBR radio and moved into publicity, but women were paid much less than men for similar work. She noted that in, 1970 a woman in Washington, DC sued the NBC newsroom over pay equity. Ms. Morrison promptly received a substantial raise in the wake of that lawsuit. She thanked the Commission for the honor.


President Shorter thanked Ms. Morrison for her pioneering work. Commissioner Soo underscored Ms. Morrison's legacy as a tireless political activist. Dr. Murase noted that Ms. Morrison had a long career as the Public Affairs Director at KNBR and has worked on every major political campaign over the course of decades of activism.


Gwinneth Berexa, President of the Junior League of San Francisco, thanked the Commission for recognizing the legislative work of the Junior League.  The state-wide organization launched an advocacy program around designating May as Perinatal Depression Month (ACR 105) which was adopted this year.  She explained that there are 160,000 members world-wide. The San Francisco Chapter, composed of 2,000 members, focuses on strengthening families and children in need and will be celebrating its centennial next year, in 2011.


Sandy Holmes stated that she was deeply honored by the Commission resolution. She said she came to San Francisco 25 years ago, young and naive but with a strong conviction that women could run large organizations. She graduated from USF with an organizational development degree and started in the City's Payroll Department. She is retiring as the Payroll Director. Throughout her career, she has relied on the ability of women to make things happen. In closing, she acknowledged the unsung heroes who work on a daily basis to deliver high quality payroll services to City employees.


IV.    Nominations of Officers for 2010-2011                                             

President Andrea Shorter nominated Vice President Kay Gulbengay for President. Commissioner Keehn seconded the motion. Vice President Gulbengay accepted the nomination. The nomination was approved unanimously.

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

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


Vice President Gulbengay nominated Commissioner Julie Soo for Vice President. Commissioner Shorter seconded the motion. Commissioner Julie Soo accepted the nomination. The nomination was approved unanimously.

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

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


Commissioner Keehn thanked President Shorter and Vice President Gulbengay for their service the past year.  Officer elections will take place at the June 23 Commission meeting.



Dr. Murase directed Commissioners to her written report.  Dr. Murase highlighted the May 10-12 conference hosted in New York by the Columbia University Institute for the Study of Human Rights. She was invited to present on the local implementation of San Francisco's landmark 1998 ordinance reflecting the principles of the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination.


Dr. Murase also introduced Gender Policy Intern Kendra Poppy who will be a senior at SmithCollege in Massachusetts. A native of Palo Alto, Ms. Poppy will be working at the Department through the summer.


1.      President Shorter welcomed Nancy Kirshner-Rodriguez, Director of Governmental Affairs for the Mayor. Ms. Kirshner-Rodriguez announced that the budget for the Department on the Status of Women has been protected from reductions and that the funding for the Violence Against Women Prevention and Intervention Grants Program will remain at last year's level. She stated that this reflects the Mayor's strong commitment to protecting services to vulnerable women and their children. She acknowledged the role of advocacy by Commissioners and service providers.


Dr. Murase noted that Ms. Kirshner-Rodriguez also serves as Co-Chair of the San Francisco Collaborative on Anti-Human Trafficking and recognized her for her leadership on women's issues. President Shorter thanked Ms. Kirshner-Rodriguez on behalf of the women and children served by the domestic violence network.


2.      Anu Menon, Senior Gender Policy Analyst, provided a debrief on the UN Global Compact Cities Conference held in Chicago.  She explained that San Francisco and Milwaukee are the only 2 US Cities that are party to the UN Global Compact, a set of 10 socially responsible principles that hundreds of major corporations have publicly supported. Ms. Menon and a staff member from the Department on the Environment represented San Francisco. Ms. Menon focused her presentation on the Gender Equality Principles Initiative.  Dr. Murase explained that the Department is working to insert gender equity into the UN Global Compact on the basis of "human sustainability." Sustainability, whether environmental or otherwise, relies on diversity. The Gender Equality Principles Initiative provides extensive evidence that gender equity is good for business and that a diverse workforce, especially women occupying positions at all levels of a corporation, is an essential element for success.  Commissioner Keehn asked for a copy of the Global Compact principles. Ms. Menon agreed to provide a copy of the principles to Commissioners. 


1.       Jaime Kozono, Pacific Asian American Women Bay Area Coalition Polity Intern, provided an update on the Bridges to Freedom Program. She reported that 33 people have enrolled in the 16-week language training course focused on domestic violence response in Cantonese and Spanish. There are 3 men in the Cantonese class, 4 in the Spanish class, and the balance are women. About 22% of the participants come from community-based organizations. While nearly 1/2 were from criminal justice agencies, about 1/3 worked in health services, and 1/4 in other areas. In June, there will be 3 half-day trainings.  Dr. Murase encouraged Commissioners to attend one of the training sessions. 


Public Comment

Ken Thiesen of Bay Area Legal Aid urged that if language training is offered again, pressure must be placed on departments to provide incentives for staff to participate.


Commissioner Soo stated that the Department has made exceptional efforts to outreach to departments, including reaching out to City Administrator Ed Lee, Mayor's Office of Criminal Justice Director Nicolas King, and all members of the Board of Supervisors.


Emberly Cross, Cooperative Restraining Order Clinic, thanked President Shorter, Commissioner Keehn, and Commissioner Soo for participating in the May 4 press conference highlighting the impact of proposed cuts to services addressing domestic violence. Ms. Cross thanked the Mayor for his commitment to maintaining funding levels, but expressed concern about the source of restored monies. She explained that marriage license fees are not permitted to supplant other public monies.







VI.    NEW BUSINESS                                                                   


A.     Justice and Courage Audit Status Report                                        


1.            Oversight Panel Update                                                                    

Commissioner Keehn thanked all of the various agencies who have participated in the work of the Justice & Courage Oversight Panel. She explained that the progress that will be highlighted in a later presentation could not have occurred without an exceptional collaboration among criminal justice agencies and community-based organizations. She recognized the work of Captain John Erlich of the Police Department who has been an active participant in the Panel's work. Commissioner Keehn further announced that, under the leadership of Dion Roberts of the Human Services Agency, a new subcommittee has been formed to address public housing policies that do not account for the particular needs and risks of domestic violence survivors. Recommendations will be forwarded to Housing Director Henry Alvarez in the coming weeks.


2.            Audit Implementation Final Report

Laura Marshall, Fiscal and Policy Analyst, provided an overview of the final report of the Domestic Violence Victim Safety and Accountability Audit.  Ms. Marshall explained that the Safety Audit was conducted in 2006 and a report was released in 2007 which examined the criminal justice and community advocates' systemic response to domestic violence.  Five primary gaps where identified:  risk assessment, stalking, language and cultural competency, and complexity of risk.  From the audit, 68 recommendations arose.  As a result, an Audit Implementation Committee was created which held meetings on a monthly basis that included representatives from the Police, Sheriff, 911, District Attorney, Adult Probation and community-based agencies.  Since 2007, many accomplishments have been made including:

·         Stalking Protocols - All departments now have internal protocols.   911 has a new programmed call code for stalking and for domestic violence stalking, New police officers receive stalking trainings, and the District Attorney restarted a Stalking Taskforce.

·         Batterer Accountability Measures - New mechanisms for communicating between batterer intervention programs, field protocols for probation officers making site visits, data tracking measures to analyze trends among probationers, and a more rigorous evaluation for batterer intervention programs to assess each probationer. 

·         Court Protocols Reviewed – A Domestic Violence Bench Book was created to better inform judges about the protocols for domestic violence cases, and Court-Sponsored Community meetings were convened to assess the compliance with state-wide guidelines. 

·         Assessing and Addressing Risk – A new premise hazard alert has been created.  Risk assessment training for police has been conducted.  A new probationer assessment tool and safety measures at family court were introduced.  


As result of the Safety Audit, the following trainings were convened to address some of the gaps. 


·         Domestic Violence Response Cross-Training Institute

  2007-08, Through a Blue Shield of California Foundation grant, 430 trained, award-winning curriculum addressing gaps found in the Audit.

·         Bridges to Freedom Language Fluency Project

In 2010, in partnership with the San Francisco Office of Community Engagement and Immigrant Affairs, City personnel were trained in Chinese and Spanish legal and domestic violence terminology through grants from the Annie E. Casey and Zellerbach Family Foundations.

·         Collaborative Criminal Justice Trainings

DA, Police created 4-hour training on responding to DV scenes, evidence collection

·         Community-Based Trainings Offered

La Casa de las Madres, in partnership with the Mayor’s Office of Housing, received 3-year federal grant to train law enforcement about DV in later life.  Many community providers routinely provide free training to criminal justice agencies.



Language access to services has also made great strides including:

·         A master contract with Language Line Services providing translators in over 175 languages.

·         In 2007, AT&T donated mobile phones for police officers to connect to translation services when responding to monolingual victims.

·         All criminal justice departments have protocols so victims can receive language appropriate services.


While great strides have been made, there are still key recommendations yet to be implemented.  These include:

·         Create a City-wide MOU to formalize City’s response to domestic violence.

·         Create protocols for communicating between agencies when handling Emergency Protective Orders

·         Information access for Police officers in the fields when restraining orders are in place. 

·         Creating a system-wide stalking protocol.

·         Continue to provide ongoing training on domestic violence, cultural competency, serving Limited English Proficiency victims and other underserved/underrepresented communities and LGBTQ survivors. 

·         Ensure safety and respect at the Hall of Justice. 


Ms. Marshall reported that the success of the committee relied on open communication, cross-departmental cooperation, and support from the Mayor, Department Heads, and other stakeholders.  The remaining recommendations merit the same dedication to continue implementation.


Ken Thiesen opened his remarks by thanking La Casa de las Madres, the Cooperative Restraining Order Clinic, the Asian Women's Shelter, the Institute on Aging, and his own agency, Bay Area Legal Aid, for being active participants on the Audit Implementation Committee. He also recognized the criminal justice agencies for their collaborative work.  He explained that there were a few weaknesses of the committee. He highlighted the lack of participation by the courts. Appropriate training of judges has been an ongoing issue.  Commissioner Soo recommended checking in with the Judicial Council to ensure that new judges or judges who are reassigned receive domestic violence training.  Mr. Thiesen also explained that given the current budget cuts it is important to keep in mind how the cuts affects the various agencies that are providing key services.  Most of the cuts that are being made are most like to affect women and girl services.  


Captain John Ehrlich recognized the tremendous progress at the Adult Probation Department and the Sheriff's Department.  Captain Ehlrich highlighted that this week the Courts will be meeting to discuss how to get the emergency protective orders into their system and therefore accessible to criminal justice agencies.  Currently, the courts have a scanning system that takes up to 48 hours. The meeting focused on process changes to enable police officers to access emergency protective orders when they are entered into the system by the courts.  Captain Ehrlich reported that one of the helpful tools that has come from the Safety Audit was the training officers received which was tremendously helpful.    


Captain Ehrlich reported that some of the stations, including the Bayview and Ingleside stations, have received a 4-hour training on domestic violence.  The department hopes to train another 500 officers.


Vice President Gulbengay suggested presenting the report to the Board of Supervisors to keep them informed of the work that is being done by the Department as well as letting them know what work still needs to be done. 


Ms. Marshall informed the Commission that that the Oversight Panel is reviewing the recommendations and will be prioritizing the recommendations in the context of its Strategic Plan.    


3.      JUSTIS Governance Council            

Dr. Murase explained that the JUSTIS Project began in 1999 as a federally-funded program to enable the case management systems of criminal justice agencies to communicate with each other via a centralized data hub.  Although most departments are ready to go thru the Police Department requires additional time for technology upgrades.  Currently not all police officers have access to email or voicemail.  Although the project was once federally-funded, it now relies on General Funds. 


President Shorter expressed how encouraging it is to hear that progress has been made but emphasized the importance of full implementation of the JUSTIS program despite the shrinking public resources.     


Public Comment

Ken Thiesen, of Bay Area Legal Aid stated that creating a system like JUSTIS was one of the recommendations made back in October 1991, based on the 1990 Veena Charan domestic violence homicide. He stated that his agency serves 7 Bay Area counties and maintains a record management system that tracks thousands of records. He does not understand why the City cannot deploy a similar system.


Emberly Cross, Cooperative Restraining Order Clinic, stated that she is working on a committee of the Judicial Council that is looking at these issues. The city of Santa Ana in OrangeCounty has a fully computerized system that enables police officers to see emergency protective orders in real time.


VII.   PUBLIC COMMENT                                                                       

Roberta Toomer, Executive Director of WOMAN, Inc., thanked Commissioners for participating in the May 4 press conference and expressed her appreciation for the Mayor's decision on the Department's budget.


Maria Chavez, Executive Director of the RileyCenter, also expressed appreciation to Commissioners for attending the Mother's Day press conference. She stated that she was extremely encouraged by the solidarity demonstrated by Commissioners and the grantees in advocating for domestic violence survivors and their families.


Pablo Espinoza, Communities United Against Violence, thanked the Commission for its leadership. He expressed alarm that the Police Department did not have adequate technology.


Morse Santiago, Executive Director of Asian Pacific American Family Services, thanked the Commission for its work. He stated that, as a new member of the community, he has felt privileged to work with such a collaborative collection of agencies.


VIII.  Adjourn

President Shorter asked that the meeting be adjourned in memory of Cynthia Selmar, a tireless advocate for health services in the African American community, who passed away a week ago.

Action: Motion to adjourn.   

m/s/c (Munter/Shorter/Unanimous)

The meeting adjourned at 7:06 pm.








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