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September 25, 2013

COSW Meeting Information - September 25, 2013


Wednesday, September 25, 2013

                                                                                   5:00 PM

City Hall, Room 408

1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Street

San Francisco, CA 94102


Members Present                             Staff Present         

President Nancy Kirshner-                 Executive Director Emily M. Murase, PhD

Rodriguez                                            Media and Community Affairs Director Aimee Allison

Vice President Andrea Shorter           Outreach and Development Manager Stacey Hoang

Commissioner Amy Ackerman          Women’s Policy Director Minouche Kandel

Commissioner Alicia Gamez              Commission Secretary Cynthia Vasquez

Commissioner Mary Jung                  Gender Equality Principles Program Manager

Commissioner Julie Soo                     Elizabeth Laferriere    

                                                            Department Policy Fellow Stephanie Nguyen

                                                            Department Fellow Iris Wong


I.              Welcome

President Nancy Kirshner-Rodriguez called the meeting to order at 5:06 pm.  President Kirshner-Rodriguez welcomed new Commissioners Mary Jung and Amy Ackerman who were sworn-in by Mayor Ed Lee earlier in the day. She stated that it has been 50 years since the initial report on a Presidential Commission on the Status of Women and she feels privileged to be leading the local Commission.

Action:  Approve agenda. 

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

No public comment.


II.            APPROVAL OF MINUTES           

Commissioners reviewed minutes. 

Action: Approve amended minutes from August 28, 2013.

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

No public comment.                                               


III.           EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR’S REPORT                 

Dr. Emily Murase directed Commissioners to her written report and reviewed highlights. Women's Human Rights Specialist Ann Lehman testified at the Board of Supervisors Land Use Committee in support of the Family Friendly Workplace Ordinance on behalf of the Department. Dr. Murase also recognized the efforts of Grants Manager Stacey Hoang whose federal grant progress report was recently approved by the Department of Justice Office of Violence Against Women. She commended Gender Equality Program Manager Elizabeth Laferriere for her work organizing the September 9 Healthy Mothers Workplace Awards Program. Commissioner Ackerman and President Kirshner-Rodriguez echoed their accolades to Ms. Laferriere and, in particular, the beautiful awards featuring original artwork by children in the Boys & Girls Club.

Dr. Murase reminded Commissioners of the upcoming annual CEDAW Luncheon that will take place on Monday, September 30 at 11:30 am at the Julia Morgan Ballroom at the Merchants Exchange Building.  Ms. Soon Young Yoon, Chair of CSW/NGO/NYC will be a special guest at the luncheon.


Dr. Murase concluded her report with an announcement that Mayor Lee, the Department, and the Domestic Violence Consortium will be marking the Domestic Violence Awareness Month Launch on Tuesday, October 1, 6 - 7 pm on the Polk Street Steps. The event will feature lighting up City Hall in purple, the color that marks Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Invited speakers include Board of Supervisors President David Chiu, District Attorney George Gascon, Police Chief Greg Suhr, and Adult Probation Chief Wendy Still.  Commissioners are urged to attend this important event. 


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

Pacific Asian American Bay Area Coalition Policy Fellow Stephanie Nguyen presented the FY2012-2013 annual report of the Violence Against Women Prevention & Intervention Grants Program. Commissioners requested demographic data from the City to provide a context for the report. Commissioners suggested that the Department contact Lyn Rosenthal, the White House Domestic Violence Advisor, for guidance on reporting criteria. Another resource is available from the Department of Health where health measures can be accessed by zip code. Discussion focused on the numbers of youth and male clients included in the report.


IV.     CONSENT AGENDA                                                                       

Action:  To approve the Consent Agenda.

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


A.       Resolution Recognizing Budget Director Kate Howard

B.       Resolution Recognizing the 40th Anniversary of San Francisco Women Against Rape

C.       Resolutions Recognizing the 2013 CEDAW Women’s Human Rights Honorees


Janelle White, Executive Director of San Francisco Women Against Rape (SFWAR) thanked the Commission for the recognition and for funding SFWAR since 1997.  Ms. White explained that SFWAR provides resources, support, advocacy, and education to end sexual violence.  The agency currently operates a 24 hour crisis line which began in 1973 at 20 hours a week. 


Dr. Murase reminded Commissioners of the CEDAW Women’s Human Rights Awards annual Luncheon scheduled for Monday, September 30 which begins with a VIP reception at 11:15 am, followed by the luncheon, 12N – 2 pm, at the Julia Morgan Ballroom of the Merchants Exchange Building. 


V.      NEW BUSINESS                                                                                                      

A.       Legislation Supporting Licensing and Regulations of Massage Establishments and Practitioners

Ashley Summers, Carol Mo, and Dyanna Quezon of Supervisor Katy Tang's office gave a presentation on the proposed legislation supporting licensing and regulating massage establishments and practioners. Initial discussion focused on advertising connected to sporting events and the hospitality industry that, in some cases, facilitate commercial sex and exploitation. Discussion then focused on land use controls to regulate massage parlors. Ms. Quezon explained that land use controls do not apply to massage establishments where 100% of masseuses possess state certification. In San Francisco, 160 massage establishments are certified by the Department of Public Health. Other establishments are governed by state certification laws. Ms. Quezon further explained that, in the mid 2000's, regulation of massage parlors was moved out of the Police Code to the Health Code. One of the identified problems was understaffing of the Department of Health inspectors. Ms. Quezon stated that Supervisor Tang allocated additional funds for staffing at the Department of Health. Commissioners urged that the fines be such that they provide for further staffing of inspectors. 


The proposed legislation goes before the October 1 Health Commission and to the October 3 meeting of the Board of Supervisors Rules Committee, with an anticipated approval date of late November. Supervisor Tang's office has asked the City Attorney to craft a few amendments, including one referencing the state law that requires posting of human trafficking resources and hotlines in many businesses.


The Small Business Commission has already supported the legislation.  Commissioners urged that the posting of these notices be pursue by SFPD foot patrols.




Action:  To adopt a position supporting proposed legislation on massage establishments and practioners. 

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


VI.     Reports                                                                                                         

Commissioners can report on activities related to the work of the Commission. 


A.   Human Trafficking

Commissioner Julie Soo recognized the Department for a very successful human trafficking conference and thanked Women’s Policy Director Minouche Kandel for her leadership with the San Francisco Collaborative on Human Trafficking.  The St. Francis Memorial Hospital Board is interested in having another presentation made to doctors on human trafficking and signs of trafficked victims. 


B.       Other Commission Business                                                         

Commissioner Gamez reported that she will be attending the Conference of Delegates for the San Francisco Bar Association and reported on the group’s interest in women’s issues.


Commissioner Soo recognized Assemblymember Phil Ting for strengthening the protection of victims seeking restraining orders against stalkers.


Commissioners decided to hold the annual strategic planning retreat on Friday, November 22 from 9 am – 2 pm.  [This date has changed to Wednesday, November 20, 9:30 am -12:30 pm.] 


Dr. Murase announced that the Commission will be holding a joint commission meeting with the Health Commission on Tuesday, December 3 at 4 pm at 101 Grove Street, in Room 311. 


VII.    PUBLIC COMMENT                                                                                               

Robin Brasso expressed her concern of the Health Department citing young trafficked girls when inspecting massage parlors.


President Kirshner-Rodriguez explained how there are some loopholes in the system that do not allow the City to control how many people are licensed to be masseuses.  The true jurisdiction lies with the Department of Public Health, and unfortunately, there is not adequate staff to do this. 


VIII.   ADJOURNMENT                                                                                         

Commissioner Soo asked that the meeting be adjourned in memory of Evelyn Wilson, a Lowell alumna, a legendary parliamentarian for the San Francisco Board of Education, and community activist.

Meeting adjourned at 6:42 pm.

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


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