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June 27, 2012

COSW Meeting Information - June 27, 2012

Wednesday, June 27, 2012
5:00 PM
City Hall, Room 408
1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Street
San Francisco, CA 94102
Members Present Staff Present
President Kay Gulbengay Executive Director Emily M. Murase, PhD
Vice President Julie Soo Media & Community Affairs Director Aimee Allison
Commissioner Alicia Gamez Outreach and Development Manager Stacey Hoang
Commissioner Nancy Kirshner- Policy Director Ann Lehman
Rodriguez Grants Administrator Carol Sacco
Commissioner Andrea Shorter Commission Secretary Cynthia Vasquez
UCLA Intern Hannah Chan
Department Fellow Janet Connor
Youth Works Intern Jasmine Garcia
Department Fellow Helen Lei

Commissioners Excused: Commissioner Becca Prowda and Commissioner Stephanie Simmons

I. Welcome
President Kay Gulbengay called the meeting to order at 5:08 pm.
Action: Approve amended agenda.
m/s/c (Soo/Gamez/Unanimous).
No public comment.

Commissioner Soo provided minor edits.
Action: Approve amended minutes from May 23, 2012.
m/s/c (Soo/Rodriguez/Unanimous)
No public comment.


A. Executive Director's Report
Explanatory document: The Executive Director’s Report discusses the work of the Department based on the Commission’s Strategic Plan which reflects the principles of the U.N. Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW).

Dr. Murase highlighted key parts of the Executive Director's report. Dr. Murase reported that Mayor Ed Lee has signed a memo indicating his strong support for San Francisco to host the 5th World Conference on Women, and outreach to other local and federal representatives is being made.

Dr. Murase reported that the Family Violence Council is currently reviewing the findings outlined in the 2010 Comprehensive Report on Family Violence in San Francisco. This report brings together statistics on domestic violence, child abuse and elder abuse. The public review of the report is set for the next Family Violence Council meeting on August 15, 2012.

The Department, in partnership with hosted a successful June 2 GirlUp Town Hall. Dr. Murase acknowledged Amy Zucchero,, and Department staff for hosting a successful event. Friends of the Commission Board Member Esther Colwill introduced San Francisco First Lady Anita Lee who welcomed attendees. Vice-President Julie Soo shared her personal story as a call to action to encourage girls to study high-level math and sciences. Department Graduate Fellow Janet Connor presented key findings of the Girls Report to the audience. Commissioner Becca Prowda introduced the work of the Commission and its goals to the audience and introduced Former First Lady Jennifer Siebel Newsom. A fruitful question and answer period concluded the day, including policy recommendations.

Dr. Murase acknowledged Department Fellows Janet Connor and Helen Lei as they are concluding their internships with the Department.

Carol Sacco, Grants Administrator, reported that the Department will host 5 interns during the summer session. Anh “Yumi” Nguyen attends George Washington High School and Jasmine Perez attends Galileo High School. Both young women will be seniors in the fall and are at the office as part of the Mayor’s YouthWorks Program. We are also hosting Graduate Fellow Katherine Ray, a master’s student at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Social Work, Hannah Chan, an undergraduate from UCLA studying gender studies and minor in political science, and Natalie Liener, an undergraduate from Connecticut College studying international relations and sociology.

No public comment.

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: Approve consent agenda.
m/s/c (Soo/Kirshner-Rodriguez/Unanimous)

A. Resolution Recognizing Curry Senior Center on its 40th Anniversary
B. Resolution Recognizing Naomi Kelly
C. Resolution Recognizing Anita Sanchez
D. Resolution Recognizing La Casa de las Madres on its 35th Anniversary

David Knego, Executive Director of the Curry Senior Center, thanked the Commission for the recognition and hopes to continue working closely with the Department and Commission.

Naomi Kelly thanked the Commission for recognizing her as the first female, African American, and youngest City Administrator for the City. Ms. Kelly acknowledged her children Trey and Mason and husband Harlan Kelly for their support. Ms. Kelly also acknowledged Anita Sanchez for her leadership as well as the City for providing work life balance, flexible work hours, and lactation rooms.

Anita Sanchez thanked the Commission and Dr. Murase for their continued support and the honor of being recognized in recognition of her retirement.

Kathy Black, Executive Director of La Casa de las Madres, acknowledge the staff members at La Casa for their dedication and hard work over the years. Ms. Black recognized that many lives have been changed as well as saved by the work La Casa has done and continues to do. Ms. Black also recognized Commissioner Shorter as a past Board member of the agency.

A. Election of Officers
Commissioners Julie Soo and Nancy Kirshner-Rodriguez were nominated for President and Vice President, respectively. The Commission elected a President and Vice President for FY12-13 for a one-year term beginning July 1, 2012.

Action: To elect Julie Soo as President of the Commission for FY12-13.
m/s/c (Gamez/Gulbengay/Unanimous).

Action: To elect Nancy Kirshner-Rodriguez as Vice President of the Commission for FY12-13.
m/s/c (Gamez/Soo/Unanimous).

Commissioners thanked Commissioner Kay Gulbengay for her leadership over the last 2 years.

No public comment.


A. Girls Report
Graduate Fellow Janet Connor presented an overview of An Update on Girls in San Francisco: A Decade of Success and Challenges Report which is a follow-up on A Report on Girls in San Francisco: Benchmarks for the Future (2003). With input from girl service providers such as Larkin Street Youth Services, DCYF, Youth Justice Institute, YouthWorks, Bay Area Women’s and Children’s Center, Mission Neighborhood Centers, Oasis for Girls, Lavender Youth Recreation and Information Center, Legal Services for Prisoners with Children, Boys Hope Girls Hope San Francisco, GirlVentures, Bay Area Women’s and Children’s Center was this report possible. The Report looks at emerging trends in the lives of girls and reexamines key findings. Using the 2003 Girls Report as a baseline, we have seen many improvements in the lives of youth in San Francisco, yet disturbing trends remain that demand attention and redoubled efforts in order to ensure positive change. The report also includes data from the census, California Department of Education, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance Survey. Ms. Connor reviewed various data trends including updates on: girls race and ethnicity, girls in poverty, girls in foster care, teen birth rates, girls who passed the physical fitness test, weight perceptions among high school girls, high school girls’ safety in relationships and at school, girls enrollment in math and science class, and enrollment in computer education courses by gender.

The following recommendations were made:
• Continue to explore disproportionality in the juvenile justice and foster care system.
• Support media literacy groups, sex education, and fitness important programs.
• Support programs to decrease dating violence, bullying, and cyberbullying.
• Invest in STEM education, with a focus on expanding girls’ participation.

The Commission will be voting tonight on approving the report and recommendations.

B. Public Comment
Chief Wendy Still of the Adult Probation Department would like to urge a focus on African American and Latina overrepresentation in the juvenile justice system and foster care. This trend continues in the adult system. The Adult Probation Department has a dedicated caseload of women 18 - 25 years who represent almost 3% of the entire probation population in San Francisco. A large percentage of girls (estimated at 70-80%) coming out of the juvenile justice and foster care systems eventually become victims of human trafficking. The Chief’s recommendations overlap with Update recommendations regarding Hispanic/Latina and African American girls’ disproportionate numbers in juvenile hall and foster care.

Leah LaCroix, Chair of the San Francisco Youth Commission, explained that there are 17 people on the Youth Commission and they range in age from 12-23 years old. Ms. LaCroix participated in the June 2 Girl Up Town Hall event as a Table Facilitator and was inspired by the event. She expressed enthusiasm for partnering with the Commission and Department. Ms. LaCroix urged the audience to connect with girls and young women as mentors. Ms. LaCroix has also been selected as a delegate to the Democratic National Convention that will take place this summer.

Jasmine Dawson, Senior Planner & Policy Analyst Violence Prevention and Intervention at the San Francisco Department of Children, Youth and Their Families, agrees with the recommendations from the update. Ms. Dawson emphasized the need for more services that promote healthy relationships, empowerment, and safety in order to address pregnancy rates, sexual assault, and prostitution. She recommended reexamining best practices for girls’ dating violence services, as well as continuing focusing on decreasing teen pregnancy rates. Her recommendation is to provide more services that promote healthy relationships, empowerment and safety in order to address pregnancy rates, sexual assault, and prostitution.

Ilsa Bertolini of Support Services for LGBTQ Youth, Student, Family & Community Support Department at the San Francisco Unified School District, explained that the school district administers the Youth Risk Behavioral Surveillance Study (YRBSS) by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention every 2 years. In 2011, San Francisco was the first school district to ask about transgender status. Ms. Bertolini stated that the "Safety & Bullying" data shows that lesbian/bisexual girls are much more likely to be depressed and suicidal than heterosexual girls. They are also more likely to be bullied, feel unsafe, fight, smoke, use drugs, drink alcohol, have sex, and get pregnant. Lesbian girls are a very disadvantaged and underserved demographic. Through the data presented, Ms. Bertolini emphasized the need to carry out the recommendation to further improve and enhance the data collection on LGBTQ youth in order to better serve them.

Commissioner Soo suggested collecting bullying statistics with girls on reasons why they are being bullied, such as sexual orientation and ethnicity. Dr. Murase stated that this information is on Supervisor Campos’ radar and is slated to be discussed at the Board of Supervisors Select Committee that is jointly held with the Board of Education at some point in the future.

Marlene Sanchez, Executive Director of The Center for Young Women's Development (CYWD), stated that the agency just launched a summer pilot program to incorporate math into the weekly programming designed for girls who are below grade level. CYWD is also collaborating with WOMAN Inc. and Mission Girls to train young women survivors of violence to become advocates. The collaboration is currently conducting a bus campaign on teen dating violence awareness. Aysha Ballau, Drama Therapist at CYWD, explained that the agency focuses on alternative interventions such as massage and yoga. Ms. Sanchez supported the report's recommendations and urged that alternative interventions concentrating on the cultural strengths of girls’ communities also be considered, specifically reexamining best practices for girls’ dating violence services.

William Sifferman, Chief of the Juvenile Probation Department, reported that nationwide, gender responsive programming has waned due to a drop in girls in custody. The gender specific program previously under the Center’s consideration has not been implemented. In 2011, there were 146 bookings in Juvenile Justice Center; 28% were young women from outside of the City & County of San Francisco. Few were repeat offenders. Chief Sifferman reported that there is an overrepresentation of African American girls: they represent about 60% of those booked into juvenile hall. These girls’ offenses are similar to those young boys commit: robbery, assault, burglary, assault and battery, prostitution (12%). Over 70% of bookings are felonies. Today, there are only 7 young women at the Juvenile Justice Center. This is the result of dedicated efforts by CYWD, Youth Justice Institute, and the Queen's Bench. The average length of stay is shorter for girls than that for boys. Chief Sifferman stated his concern over the disproportionality of African American girls represented in the juvenile justice system and recommended examining this issue further. Chief Sifferman also suggested advocating for a youth court to be developed. Commissioner Kirshner-Rodriguez suggested looking at data of how many youth and parents are incarcerated.

Gena Castro Rodriguez, Executive Director of the Youth Justice Institute, provided a brief history of the agency and explained that the agency focuses on specialized services for girls. In 2010, the average daily number of girls in custody was 38. Today this number is much lower for a shorter period of time. However, girls spend more time on probation than boys. While the number of girls in custody for trafficking are relatively low, this masks Internet exploitation. Girls are further exploited as accessories to drug sales and holding weapons for older men. Ms. Castro Rodriguez expressed particular concern over increasing teen pregnancy among African American girls, bullying and violence, as well as overrepresentation in the child welfare system among Latina girls. She recommended that funders support long-term girls’ services that are built on the relational model, as well as additional research on what works for girls in the long-term, such as during and after probation. Ms. Rodriguez recommended exploring why Hispanic/Latina and African American girls’ are disproportionately in juvenile hall and foster care, as well as Hispanic/Latina girls’ increased rates of experiencing bullying and violence than do girls of other backgrounds.

Wendy Kalima, Senior Program Director with Girls, Inc. in Alameda County, stated that the ACT (Advocating Change Together) program trains girls to become advocates to address teen dating violence. Ms. Kalima supports the recommendation to reexamine girls’ services in teen dating violence. Ms. Kalima provided some of ACT’s recommendations: increase support and education about teen dating violence and teen domestic violence, create more resources and accessible services for girls who have experienced domestic violence, and implement peer counseling programs and peer-led workshops supported by school administration. Specifically, Girls Inc.’s Youth Healthy Relationship Policy Recommendations in 2011 were to provide on-campus peer counseling for high school students, incorporate Teen Dating Violence and Healthy Relationships into existing curriculums, hold at least 2 peer led workshops and trainings per month for high school students focusing on healthy relationships and dating violence, provide quarterly teacher and parent workshops, trainings, and informational support on adolescent relationships and health, and make information and resources accessible at schools overall.

Iveta Brigis, K-12 Education Outreach Coordinator, Google Inc., stated that she found that San Francisco statistics mirror those nationally. Women constituted only 25% of the computer-related workforce. The low participation rate can be attributed to limited opportunity. Only 24% of US high schools teach computer science. Annually, there are about 140,000 job openings in computer science, but there are only 45,000 qualified grads in the US. Google hopes to work on closing the divide between consumers and creators. To solve this, Google runs its own summer camp. The company also runs RISE, a Roots in Science & Engineering Awards program that offers $10-$25K grants. The San Francisco-based non-profit Black Girls Code is a recipient of this grant. The Google Science Fair is conducted online. In the last cycle, the top 3 winners were girls. Google is partnering with Hollywood producers through Hollywood Science Salons to counter negative stereotypes of computer scientists. Google also makes community grants to local non-profits (e.g., Exploratorium, Girl Scouts). Ms. Brigis offered a big idea: San Francisco can become the first school district in the country to require computer programming as a course to graduate. Her recommendations support creating a STEM initiative between the City of San Francisco and nearby companies to increase girls’ enrollment in computer education classes, increasing STEM modeling and mentoring, and including investment in STEM education in future economic development packages.

Olivia Watkins, Program Manager with Twitter, discussed the Women in Engineering Group at Twitter which is dedicated to expanding the pipeline of women in engineering. Ms. Watkins reported that, months ago, the Women in Engineering Group hosted Technovation, an event to mentor 50 high school girls to create a prototype app, develop a business plan, and pitch to venture capitalists. The group provides coding classes for kids, including Coder Dojo, and has partnered with the Anita Borg Institute to promote women in the field. It also supports Leadership Education And Development, whose goal is to connect top universities (in Bay Area, Berkeley and Stanford) and technology companies with high school students from underrepresented groups. It also partners with "Girls Who Code" to educate 13 - 17 year old girls in STEM. Ms. Watkins expressed particular interest in high school girls in STEM and ensuring girls feel comfortable as part of that community. Ms. Watkins recommends to create a STEM initiative between the City of San Francisco and nearby companies to increase girls’ enrollment in computer education classes, increasing STEM modeling and mentoring, and including investment in STEM education in future economic development packages. Commissioners agree that it is important to communicate the various programs for youth, to the youth themselves but also to parents.

Taara Hoffman with Girl Ventures stated that it is important to empower adolescent girls through outdoor activities. Girl Ventures funded activities include rock climbing, backpacking, and kayaking. Ms. Hoffman welcomed the various service providers to speak to the Girl Ventures Advisory Group.

Sara Lim with the San Francisco Lesbian Gay Bi-Sexual Transgender Community Center thanked the Department and Commission for such an informative report. Ms. Lim recommended seeking data on mental health issues as there is a 38% suicide of high school students who identify themselves at LGBT. Ms. Lim also stated that sex education is very important, especially among same sex couples.

Ana Lisa Hoopes, Director of Iridescent, a program with Technovation Challenge, explained that Technovation Challenge is a non-profit which provides STEM education for underserved and underrepresented youth. She explained that the program promotes girls to study computer science. The program brings together girls to develop apps for smart phones. The girls work in teams over the course of a semester with a mentor and learn how to create an app. Technovation is convening an Institute for Teachers at the end of the month. Marsha, a senior at Monte Vista High School, discussed how the program has helped her define her career goals and equip her with key skills. Ms. Hoopes stated that the first program had 43 participants. In 2012 there were 500 participants, and next year they hope to have 10,000 participants.

Jamie Dolkas, Staff Attorney at the Equal Rights Advocates announced the agency is kicking off a summer girls leadership program. This program will provide training in knowing your rights, writing blogs, and career advice to middle and high school girls.

Beverly Upton, Executive Director of the Domestic Violence Consortium and Co-Chair of the Family Violence Council, expressed her interest in bringing the Girls Report to the next meeting of the Council so that a broad base of city agencies and non-profits have access to the information, particularly around the unaddressed needs of lesbian/bisexual girls.

Dr. Jane Bernard Powers, President of Democratic Women in Action, urged commemoration of the 40th anniversary of Title IX of the 1972 Higher Education Act. The impact of Title IX on college athletics has been celebrated, but she stated that it is important to acknowledge the impact on education. Commissioners agreed to have a proclamation at the July Commission meeting.

Lenora Lee is currently researching human trafficking, past and present. She has been commissioned by the DeYoung Museum to create a performance next fall and welcomed feedback on who she should connect with. Stacey Hoang of the Department will connect with her.

Commissioner Kirshner Rodriguez reported that she will be attending the quarterly meeting of the Association of California Women Commissions in Contra Costa County. Ten Commissions statewide have committed to participate.

President Gulbengay reported that she along with Department staff have met with some members of the Board of Supervisors to bring them up to date on the Departments efforts to hold the 5th World Conference on Women here in San Francisco.

No public comment.


Meeting adjourned in memory of Te Yung Gao and Nora Ephron. Meeting was adjourned at 7:45 pm.
m/s/c (Shorter/Soo/Unanimous)
No public comment.

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