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November 17, 2010

COSW Meeting Information - November 17, 2010

Wednesday, November 17, 2010
5:00 PM
City Hall, Room 408
1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place
San Francisco, CA 94102

Members Present                                                             Staff Present
President Kay Gulbengay                                                 Executive Director Emily Murase, PhD 
Vice President Julie Soo                                                   Fiscal Policy Analyst Laura Marshall 
Commissioner Dorka Keehn                                             Senior Gender Policy Analyst Anu Menon 
Commissioner Katherine Munter                                      Commission Secretary Cynthia Vasquez
Commissioner Rebecca Prowda                                       Graduate Intern Katherine Ray 
                                                                                        Willie L. Brown Jr. Intern Tracy Williams

Excused: Commissioner Carolene Marks and Commissioner Shorter

President Gulbengay called the meeting to order at 5:05 pm and gave welcoming remarks.
Action: Approved amended agenda.
m/s/c (Gulbengay/Keehn/Unanimous)
No public comment.

President Gulbengay asked Commissioners to review the minutes from September 22, 2010. Commissioner Soo provided edits to the minutes.
Action: Approved amended minutes from September 22, 2010.
m/s/c (Soo/Munter/Unanimous)
No public comment.


A. Executive Directors Report
Dr. Murase directed Commissioners to her written report. Dr. Murase just returned from receiving the 2010 Americas Award at a ceremony featuring U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke for promoting the human rights of women and girls on behalf of Mayor Gavin Newsom. This award was presented on behalf of the United Nations, the Organization of American States, and the Jimmy Carter Center based in Atlanta as part of the Americas Competitiveness Forum held in Atlanta. Attendees included government officials, corporate executives, and staff of non-governmental organizations based throughout North, Central, and South America.

Grants Administrator Carol Sacco attended the Association of California Commission for Women annual retreat were she shared the work that San Francisco is doing. Dr. Murase explained that the California Commission on the Status of Women is annually targeted for proposed budget cuts which make it difficult to make progress without permanent funding. Dr. Murase encouraged Commissioners and all qualified to apply for the State Commission appointments.

Dr. Murase thanked Commissioner Soo for initiating an outreach opportunity to have a presentation by Friends Fellow Mariya Taher and Dr. Murase before the Women Physicians Group at St. Francisco Memorial Hospital where Commissioner Soo serves as a Trustee. In historic appointments, St. Francisco Hospital currently has women serving as President of the Board of Trustees, Chief of Staff, and President of the Hospital Foundation Board. They were welcomed by Dr. Patricia Galamba, Chief of Staff, and her colleagues on the medical staff. They were provided an overview of the Commission and Department, highlighting, in particular, the anti-human trafficking work. The women physicians have prioritized anti-human trafficking as a key issue of focus. Ms. Taher presented her research on female genital cutting as practiced here in the United States. This was followed by a substantive discussion about how doctors can contribute to solutions. Dr. Galamba suggested that during the upcoming anti-human trafficking awareness month in January 2011, I be invited back to address all of the doctors at the hospital at one of their regularly scheduled meetings. This would bring awareness about the issue throughout the hospital staff.

Dr. Murase reported that on November 18 there will be a hearing on CEDAW ratification in the Senate Judiciary's subcommittee on human rights. The Department has been part of the national coalition to ratify CEDAW. The hearing will feature testimony on the importance of US ratification to women locally and around the world. The purpose of the hearing is to publicize CEDAW ratification to encourage the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to bring the treaty of for ratification.

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 November 25th as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence towards Women and Girls
B. Resolution Recognizing Charlie Toledo on the Occasion of Native American Heritage Month
C. Resolution Recognizing Liz Aguilar-Tarchi on the occasion of the Claire Joyce Tempongko Memorial Mass
D. Resolution Recognizing the Friends of the Commission on the Status of Women
E. Resolution Recognizing Asian Pacific Islander Legal Outreach on the occasion of its 35th Anniversary

Action: To approve the Consent Agenda.
m/s/c (Keehn/Soo/Unanimous).

Dr. Murase announced that Commission Secretary Cynthia Vasquez will be presenting the Commission proclamation at a press conference on November 23 at City Hall for the International Day for the Elimination of Violence towards women and girls.

Human rights expert Julianne Cartwright Traylor a board member of CAWA accepted the resolution on behalf of Charlie Toledo. Ms. Toledo is the former chair of Women’s Intercultural Network as well as a long-time member of the leadership of the California Women’s Agenda.

A. National Organization of Women Presentation
This item was postponed for a future meeting.

B. Women’s Intercultural Network – California Women’s Agenda
Julianne Cartwright Traylor explained that Women’s Intercultural Network (WIN) is an international non-profit organization based in San Francisco. WIN has special consultative status at the United Nations Economic and Social Council and links women and girls across cultures, globally and locally, for collective action on common critical concerns. It has been building policy mechanisms on the ground and on the internet since the United Nations 4th World Conference on Women, convened in Beijing, China, in 1995. WIN works to implement the women’s global platform for action at the grassroots level and to ensure that the voices of all women and girls are heard by providing venues and forums for their active participation in democracies and economies. WIN brought the Beijing Platform for Action (BPFA) home to the California grassroots for implementation by creating the California Women’s Agenda (CAWA). CAWA is the first state-wide policy mechanism to implement the BPFA at the grassroots level. CAWA has grown to a million women network for action on the ground and on the internet, with 25 counties or regions connected for advocacy, and with several hundred participating organizations. Throughout all of its activities since its founding, WIN has advocated for U.S. ratification of CEDAW as a matter of high priority.

Ms. Traylor reported WIN/CAWA just celebrated and commemorated 15 years of connecting women across cultures for collective action summit on September 25th and thanked the Commission for the Proclamation honoring this work. Representatives from 6 other states representing US Women Connect WIN’s National Partner (which has 30 action networks) joined WIN and CAWA policy makers and activists from around California, for a summit meeting. Participants recognized that the economic and political environments have changed dramatically since 1995 and talked about the need for a new, more sustainable model for CAWA and other progressive, grassroots alliances. CAWA as a project of WIN is formed a 'working ad hoc committee' to look at new innovative ways to organize on the ground and on the internet. CAWA is also receiving agendas from California counties and CAWA policy chairs for an agenda that will be included in a US Women's Agenda.

Ms. Traylor congratulated the Department for the stellar work that has been done both here in San Francisco and elsewhere - including the United Nations, which demonstrates what can be considered best practices about how to implement the principles of CEDAW on the local level, both in the public and private sectors. Dr. Traylor has collaborate with the Department and other Non Government Organizations such as the Women’s Institute for Leadership Development and Amnesty International USA to do educate and provide training, which resulted in the passage of that groundbreaking SF City Ordinance on CEDAW back in 1998.

WIN is also preparing for the 55th Session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women which will be meeting from February 22 to March 4, 2011 with a theme of access and participation of women and girls to education, training, science and technology, including for the promotion of women's equal access to full employment and decent work. It will also evaluate progress in the implementation of the agreed conclusions from its 51st session on "the elimination of all forms of discrimination and violence against the girl child." This will be an extraordinary meeting as it comes soon after the establishment of a new high-profile and resourced UN body that will seek to improve the lives of women and girls around the world - officially known as the UN Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women to be referred to as U.N. Women ( UN Women will be headed by newly-appointed Under-Secretary General and former President of Chile Michele Bachelet. WIN has been an NGO with Special Consultative Status to the UN since 1998 and each year it credentials WIN members as delegates to the UN Commission on the Status of Women sessions. Dr. Murase and staff members attend each year and convene panels on the work San Francisco has done.

The National CEDAW Task Force now situated in the office of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights in Washington, DC is chaired by June Zeitlin, Director of the Conference's CEDAW Education Project. The CEDAW Coalition's website is . Ms. Traylor announced that the US Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Human Rights and the Law will be holding a hearing on November 18 at 2 pm (11 am our time) to discuss US ratification of CEDAW. This is the first hearing on CEDAW since 2002 and it will focus on the importance of the US remaining a world leader on human rights issues and ratifying this critical treaty. The Webcast of the hearing can be found at: WIN/CAWA is also in the leadership of advocacy for a 5th World Conference on Women proposed for 2015. Ms. Traylor will inform the Commission on the progress on this proposal.

C. Transition Network
Luanne Mullin provided an overview of the work of the Transition Network which provides support to older women through various transitions professionally and personally. She is on staff at UC San Francisco but spends considerable time on the Transition Network as a member of the Bay Area Chapter Steering Committee. The Network was founded in New York City in 2000 and now has 13 chapters nation-wide including chapters in San Francisco Bay Area, Washington D.C., Long Island, Chicago, Connecticut, Houston, Ohio and Philadelphia. One of New York members authored Smart Women Don’t Retire, They Break Free.

Member-organize monthly gatherings are a very popular. The Bay Area Chapter has about 100 paid members (membership is $60/year), and a total of 450 on the mailing list. Member benefits include:

• Meet interesting, supportive women.
• Participate in members-only peer groups. Small groups (8-10) discuss individual transitions, share special interests, plan outings and activities, form friendships.
• Attend monthly program meetings and special events at discounted rates.
• Engaging speakers address concerns and issues we share.
• Join a pioneer organization recognized as a leader by national media and national conferences.

The San Francisco Bay Area chapter’s monthly programs include:
• Workshop on transitions and what’s next in our lives
• Special Events, such as walking tours, lunches, museum trips, cooking class
• Health programs with UCSF on heart, cognitive Health, bone Health, fatigue
• Jennie Chin Hansen, president of AARP, on health and economic issues
• Marc Freedman, founder of Civic Ventures, on finding work that matters
• Aging in Place: Creating Caring Communities to Get Help at Home in Times of Need
• Financial Perspective and Planning in Our Economic Times
• Sex After Fifty and Beyond
• Taking Risks in the Second Half of Our Lives

President Gulbengay suggested that a link be placed on the Commission web page. Vice President Soo suggested collaborating with the Older Women’s League. Dr. Murase explained that member participation in the annual Women’s Policy Summit, where older women’s issues are discussed. The Department is working on a policy roundtable to discuss older women issues and suggested the Transition Network partner with the Department.

D. COSW Strategic Planning Retreat Agenda .
The Commission is currently in the 2nd year of a 3 year strategic plan. At the retreat the Commission will receive an update. There will also be a closed session to have the Executive Director’s annual performance evaluation. Julianna Hynes will facilitate the retreat. The Commission retreat will be held on Friday, December 10 at the Duane Morris LLP One Market Plaza, Spear Tower, Suite 2200 from 9 am – 3:00 pm.

Sheva Schulz with the Jewish Community Center of San Francisco (JCC) announced that the JCC runs programs for older adults at low or no cost and would like to work with some of the agencies that are doing similar work. Commissioner Soo explained that the JCC keeps the women’s community centralized and more cohesive.

VIII. Adjourn
Action: Motion to adjourn.
m/s/c (Munter/Soo/Unanimous)
The meeting adjourned at 5:55 pm.

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