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January 26, 2011

COSW Meeting Information - January 26, 2011


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

                                                                                    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                                    Fiscal Policy Analyst Laura Marshall

Commissioner Katherine Munter            Senior Gender Policy Analyst Anu Menon         

Commissioner Andrea Shorter                Grants Administrator Carol Sacco

Commissioner Stephanie Simmons          Commission Secretary Cynthia Vasquez

                                                            Korean Fellow Sook Ja Kim

Graduate Intern Katherine Ray

                                                            Graduate Intern Fatemah Simmons


            Excused:  Commissioner Carolene Marks and Rebecca Prowda


I.       CALL TO ORDER/ AGENDA CHANGES                          

President Gulbengay called the meeting to order at 5:05 pm and gave welcoming remarks.  President Gulbengay welcome welcomed newly appointed Commissioner Stephanie Simmons.

Action: To approve the meeting agenda.

m/s/c (/Unanimous)

No public comment.


II.                APPROVAL OF MINUTES          

President Gulbengay asked Commissioners to review the minutes from December 10, 2010.

Commissioner Soo provided edits. 

Action: Approve amended minutes from December 10, 2010. 

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

No public comment.                                       


III.    EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR’S REPORT                                


A.     Executive Director's Report                                     

Dr. Murase directed Commissioners to her written report.  Dr. Murase welcomed Commissioner Stephanie Simmons to the Commission.  Dr. Murase welcomed UC Berkeley Goldman School of  Public Policy Intern Fatemah Simmons, and UC Berkeley School of Social Work Intern Katherine Ray.  Dr. Murase introduced Sook Ja Kim, Director of the Family Policy Division, Ministry of Gender Equality & Family in Korea who will be with the Department for an 18-month fellowship.  Ms. Kim will be joining Department staff in New York in February to attend the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women meetings.  The Department is hosting 2 presentations:

·               Violence Against the Girl Child – Responses to Family Violence and Human Trafficking

·               How Women Learn to Earn from Rural Panama to the Schools of Oakland, CA to the Factories of Korea.


Dr. Murase and Ms. Kim attended the Working Families Policy Summit in Sacramento, sponsored by the CaliforniaCenter for Research on Women and Families.


Dr. Murase announced that the Request for Proposal for the next 3-year grant cycle, 2011-2014, was released this week and will be due on February 25. A bidder's conference is scheduled for February 1. The Department is seeking community members to serve on the review panel for each of the 6 funding categories: Crisis Line, Intervention & Advocacy, Legal Services, Prevention and Education, Emergency Shelter Services, and Transitional Housing.  She welcomed recommendations for panelist from Commissioners. 


Dr. Murase reported that, in December, Senior Gender Policy Analyst Anu Menon and Policy Director Ann Lehman held a conference call with the Australian government about a potential collaboration, and on the Departments CEDAW work and the Gender Equality Principles Initiative. 


Fiscal Policy Analyst Laura Marshall reported that the San Francisco Collaborative Against Human Trafficking (SFCAHT) is sponsoring a variety of events that began on January 11 and will wrap up with a final event in mid February.  Ms. Marshall reported attending training on the response to human trafficking within law enforcement and the community.  The Department and UNIFEM will be co-hosting a lecture and film screening on the 21st century slave trade on Friday, January 28 and welcomed Commissioners to attend.  There is also an exhibit at the San Francisco Main Library that will be on display until March 3, called Modern Day Slavery.  On February 7, there will be panel discussion at UC Hastings to discuss forms of relief for survivors of trafficking.  Ms. Marshall also announced that the Modern Day Abolitionist Award Ceremony will be held at the film screening of The Dark Side of Chocolate on Friday, February 11. 


Commissioner Soo expressed her concern over an article in the San Francisco Examiner at the University of San Francisco Campus about the fingerprinting of anyone filing a police report.  In one case, there was a woman who filed a domestic violence report and is now in the process of being deported.  Ms. Marshall welcomed Commissioners to attend the panel discussion that would discuss that exact topic. 


Dr. Murase announced that the 2011 International Women’s Day Summit will be held on Tuesday, March 8 at the Kabuki Hotel.  Commissioner Andrea Shorter explained her enthusiasm for this upcoming event.  The organizing partners are meeting and discussing possible panels, including one on the feminization of water politics.   


Finally, Dr. Murase met with staff from the City’s Administrator’s Office to discuss completion of a centralized database with information on City Commissions and Taskforces.  The data would include vacancies, and terms for all City Commissions and Taskforces.  San Francisco is on the cutting edge of encouraging public participation.  Dr. Murase acknowledged President Gulbengay’s contribution to ensuring that the Board of Supervisors appointment information stayed current.    


Commissioner Shorter requested that the Department keep recently appointed Attorney General Kamala Harris’ office appraised of the work being done on human trafficking.  SFCAHT has had great conversations Attorney General Harris and she would like to be kept in the loop with anything that can help her and her administration make strides forward on human trafficking.  Dr. Murase reported that, in 2005, then-District Attorney Harris teamed up with Assemblymember Sally Leiber to enact the first Anti-Trafficking Act in California, making human trafficking illegal, in 2005.


1.      Introduction of the City Attorney Alicia Cabrera

2.      Status Update on Calvert Memorandum of Understanding

Both agenda items were handled simultaneously.  Dr. Murase introduced City Attorney Alicia Cabrera who has been with the City for 5 years and working with the Department for the past 2 ½ years.  President Gulbengay explained that she requested an update on the status of the Department’s Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Calvert Group, Ltd. since questions arose at the Commission retreat in December.   


Senior Gender Policy Analyst Anu Menon explained that the Department’s MOU with Calvert on the Gender Equality Principles Initiative materials (GEP) and website is up for renewal in March.  The Calvert Women's Principles (CWP) are the basis of the Gender Equality Principles (GEP).  The GEP was created jointly by Calvert and the Department on the Status of Women and, as such, is jointly owned by both entities. The Department has partnered with Calvert for the past 3 years on the GEP.  As part of this work, we jointly developed a website tool where companies can go to evaluate how gender equitable the workplace is.  The MOU was developed to clarify the ownership interests in the GEP tools, including the website.  At the outset, the Department worked closely with City Attorney Miriam Morley, based on guidance from President Gulbengay.  When it came to working on the language of the MOU, the Department worked very closely with Aiden Varah, whose specialty is intellectual property.  Ms. Menon and Policy Director Ann Lehman, who are both trained attorneys, worked with the City Attorney’s Office staff in developing the MOU that was executed in June 2010.


Dr. Murase reported that, in August 2010, she met with President Gulbengay, Commissioners Soo and Munter, Ms. Menon, and City Attorney Adine Varah to review the MOU and discuss potential changes to be made upon renewal.  There were 3 areas of clarification requested by Commissioner Soo and responded to, as follows: 

·         Calvert provided an organization chart to ensure transparency and to confirm the Calvert did not have a separate consulting arm that could profit from the GEP.

·         The MOU clarified ownership of the GEP, including the website and related materials.  The GEP principles are co-owned and co-copywritten by Calvert and the Department.  The website is owned by the Department. 

·         A definition page was developed to ensure that terms used in the MOU were clear and concise.


Dr. Murase acknowledged Commissioner Soo and Munter, and President Gulbengay for their assistance on the MOU and with the City Attorney’s Office.  Dr. Murase highlighted Commissioner Soo’s effort in conducting a line by line analysis and raising the concerns she encountered.  Commissioner Soo explained that, as a Commissioner, she has the power of inquiry which she decided to exercise, and as a California licensed attorney, she has the duty to inquire.   While normally, MOU approval does not fall within the Commission’s purview, she inquired if Commissioners can review unusual MOU’s.


Ms. Cabrera explained that according to the City Charter, the entire Commission sets policy.  While there is the power of inquiry, no single Commissioner can take action alone.  It is up to the full Commission to set a policy for department.  If there is no precedent for reviewing a specific MOU, the Commission can set a policy directive for the Department Head or give parameters or guidelines.  Commissions set up specific parameter.  For example, if a contract goes over a specific amount, then the Commission would have to review it.  Ms. Cabrera also announced that since Ms. Varah would be on leave, that she will be the one to continue to work with the Department.    


Ms. Menon explained that Ms. Varah worked closely with the Calvert Attorney to address Commissioner Soo’s concerns.  Commissioner Munter wanted clarification on whether edits to the original MOU would have to be approved by the Commission.  Ms. Cabrera explained that this would be a policy decision that the Commission would have to adopt. 


Commissioner Shorter explained that the Department is thankful for the partnership with Calvert and the great work that come from it.  Commissioner Shorter requested clarification whether the conduct of any commission that has attorneys on it would put a Commissioner in jeopardy with the Bar Association.  Commissioner Shorter requested clarification with regards to this specific MOU.  Ms. Cabrera explained that she prefers not to give conflict advice in a public forum.   Each case would be fact specific and individualized.  A meeting could be set up with the Commissioner who has questions that would address who the MOU is addressing and the appropriated role of the Commissioner.  Ms. Cabrera offered to meet with individual Commissioners and discuss his/her situation and advise accordingly.  Ms. Cabrera will follow up with Commissioner Shorter.    


President Gulbengay thanked Ms. Cabrera for her work with the Department and her continued support.  President Gulbengay explained that the Department relies on the expertise and knowledge of the City Attorney.  For a future agenda item, President Gulbengay will request someone from the Ethics Commissions to make a presentation at a future Commission meeting.     


IV.    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.

Action:  To approve the Consent Agenda.


A.           Resolution Recognizing the Centennial of Women’s Suffrage in California

B.           Resolution Recognizing Amanda Heier for Her Tenure at the MaryElizabethInn

C.           Resolution Recognizing Judith Klain for Her Service to the City and County of San Francisco

D.     Resolution Recognizing Dianne M. Easton On the 25th Anniversary of Leadership San Francisco

E.      Resolution Recognizing Lisa Caper for Her Tenure at the Dream House

F.      Approval of JaMel Perkins to Serve on the Justice and Courage Oversight Panel


Action: To approve the Consent Agenda.

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


Dr. Murase explained how essential Ms. Caper has been at Dream House one of the newer agencies funded by the Department.  Ms. Caper expressed appreciation for being acknowledged by the Commission. 


Kathy Black, Executive Director of La Casa de las Madres, expressed her support for the appointment of JaMel Perkins to the Justice and Courage Oversight Panel. 


Ms. Black expressed her pleasure in working with Amanda Heier former Director of the Mary Elizabeth Inn (MEI).  During her tenure, Ms. Heier made a difference in the lives of many different women.  Currently there are 165 women housed at MEI. 


Beverly Upton, Executive Director of the Domestic Violence Consortium, echoed Ms. Black’s sentiments and looks forward to working with Ms. Perkins on the Oversight Panel and continuing to make progress.


Ms. Perkins thanked everyone for their support and explained that she brings 20 years of experience to the Oversight Panel and looks forward to working with the Oversight Panel. 


Dr. Murase also announced that the Board of Supervisors passed a resolution, introduced by Supervisor Malia Cohen, to mark the 100th Anniversary for Women’s Suffrage.


V.           NEW BUSINESS


A.           Comprehensive Report on Family Violence in San Francisco                                                        


1.      Laura Marshall, Fiscal and Policy Analyst, Department on the Status of Women

Ms. Marshall explained that the Family Violence Council produced the report, Comprehensive Report on Family Violence in San Francisco, 2010 which has now been released as is available at the Department website.  The report is a comprehensive review of data showing scope of family violence in SF including Criminal Justice, City Medical and Social Services, County Protective Agencies, Community-Based Organizations.  The report highlights a multitude of access points and help-seeking patterns, not an exact number of victims.  The 2010 report includes:

·         Expanded child welfare information

·         Unified School District statistics

·         Family Court restraining order statistics

·         Child Support Services and CalWORKS data

·         Elder Financial Abuse information

·         3-year trends for most indicators.


Ms. Marshall shared various data from the Criminal Justice Agencies.  Ms. Marshall explained that one great accomplishment is being able to gather data on stalking calls now that there is a 911 call code for stalking related calls, which was not the case before October 2008.  San FranciscoCounty’s Family Violence Council is the first to include child abuse and elder abuse.  Data was shared on Family and Children Services, Adult Protective Services, City Social Services, the San FranciscoUnifiedSchool District, and Community-based services.  Ms. Marshall explained that after evaluating the data the Council provided a variety of recommendations and will continue to work with the various partners to implement the recommendations.       




2. Karen Roye, Executive Director, Department of Child Support Services

Ms. Roye thanked the Family Violence Council for their work on the report and the support of Department staff. Ms. Roye explained how the Report is a valuable tool, providing a wider perspective in family violence.  At the Department of Child Support Services (DCSS) case workers often deal with victims of domestic violence and receive training annually on how to work with victims, which in the majority of cases are women.  Ms. Roye explained that her agency seeks to empower parents to provide economic support for their children.  DCSS works with custodial parents to ensure that children and families receive financial support.  Mr. Roye explained that abusers use control of money, resources, housing, custody, and other necessities to maintain control and often make it difficult for a victim to leave.  Once a victim leaves and they seek social services they must identify the non-custodial parent and the City will pursue child support from that individual.  If the client states that this will be put into a dangerous situation, DCSS will keep track of the information, but will not proceed with the child support case.  Personal contact information in domestic violence cases is automatically redacted to ensure a client safety.  If a client has to attend court proceedings, arrangements can be made to attend by being on the phone or in another room.  DCSS works to gain support from the non-custodial parent at a reasonable amount, and to ensure that the child is being financially supported but also to ensure that the parent will be able to support him or herself.  There are many obstacles to secure child support including incarceration, lack of stable housing, earning only minimum wage.       


The Family Violence Council has served as a conduit to learn what other services are being provided by other departments and agencies.  It has also provided information for referrals for clients, the opportunity to learn of various trainings, and to build relationships with other departments and agencies.  The Report is the first step in evaluating the data and is a work in progress.  It serves as a valuable tool to see what the problems are, who are the victims, and how can we help them. 


2.      Beverly Upton, Executive Director, Domestic Violence Consortium and Tri-Chair of the Family Violence     


Ms. Upton thanked the Commission and Department for their support and expressed how Ms. Roye’s leadership has been stellar. Ms. Upton reported on the huge leaps in progress that have been made from having all interested parties around the table as a part of the Council.  The Council has brought together leaders who have not previously worked together. The Council will continue to seek partnerships from stakeholder organizations including the courts and the school district.  Ms. Upton thanked all participants in developing the Report that will serve as a tool to show what is actually going on in the City, what services are being provided, and what services continue to be needed.        


President Gulbengay excused herself at 6:35 pm, and requested that the record show her vote to not approve the proposed budget. 


B.           FY2011-2012 Proposed Budget

Commissioners reviewed the proposed budget for FY11-12. Dr. Murase explained that, per budget instructions, she is required to propose budget cuts to the Mayor’s Office and must, reluctantly, propose cuts to the Violence Against Women (VAW) Grants program.  Dr. Murase explained that the level of staffing has been cut over the years.  The proposed cuts must come from general fund allocations.  The Department met with the Partner Agencies to discuss the across the board funding cuts, explaining the proposed cuts of 15%. 


The Partner Agencies requested that the Commission reject the proposed budget cuts.  Roberta Toomer, Executive Director of Woman Inc., thanked the Commission for its leadership.  Ms. Toomer explained that agencies continue to provide services to more clients with less funding.  Ms. Toomer requested that the Commission reject the recommended cuts.       


Vanessa Flores with Asian Women’s Shelter, thanked the Commission and Department for their advocacy and support.  Ms. Flores requested that the Commission not approve the recommended budget cuts.


Maria Chavez, Executive Director of the RileyCenter, thanked the Commission for their support and leadership over the years.  Ms. Chavez explained that, in the last year, 3 children have been born to clients of the RileyCenter; 3 children who hopefully will be free of domestic violence.  Ms. Chavez thanked the Commission and Department for the Family Violence Council report as it serves as evidence and captures the work for the Partner Agencies.  Ms. Chaves asked the Commission to reject the proposed cuts. 


Janelle White, Executive Director with San Francisco Women Against Rape, acknowledged the Commission for historically supporting the Partner Agencies and not supporting the proposed budget cuts.  Ms. White expressed her concern of how the proposed cuts would affect clients.  The Partner Agencies continue to serve more clients at less funding levels.                 


Imelda Herrera, with the Mission Neighborhood Centers RAICES program, explained how many youth are benefiting from the services they are providing.  Funding from the Department has provided clients with educational trips and college tours.  Ms. Herrera asked the Commission to reject the proposed budget cuts.


Rachel West with Women in Dialogue requested the Commission not approve the proposed budget cuts. 


Amy Yu with APA Family Services thanked the Commission and Department for their support of women and domestic violent victims.  Ms. Yu urged the support of the Partner Agencies and a no vote on the proposed cuts.   


Action: To reject the budget for FY11-12. 

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


C.     Commission Roles/Duties                 

Vice President Soo requested this item be continued at the February Commission meeting. 

Action:  To include continue this agenda item to the February Commission meeting.   

m/s/c (Munter/Simmons/Unanimous).


VII.     PUBLIC COMMENT                                                           

Vice President Soo expressed her concern on the issue of finger printing in relation to Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Secure Communities program where the finger prints are used for deportation purposes.  If that practice continues it will have a chilling effect in reporting violence. 


Ms. Upton explained that she has been asked to be a part of the victim services transition team and is bringing forward the concerns of Commissioner Soo.  Ms. Upton explained that people are being fingerprinted at the time of arrest and not at conviction.  The fingerprints are being reported the ICE within minutes of being fingerprinted.  The fingerprinting program is an option for each state and California has opted in.  The team Ms. Upton will be working with is looking at how California can get out of this federal requirement.  This process is also affecting teens that are picked up by the Police and, in some cases, the teens are being detained out of state.   


VIII.       ADJOURNMENT                                                                         

Action: Motion to adjourn.  

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

The meeting adjourned at 7:15 pm






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