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COSW Meeting Information - April 23, 2014 - Meeting Minutes

COSW Meeting Information - April 23, 2014

Commission Meeting Minutes

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

4 – 6 pm

City Hall, Room 408

1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place

San Francisco, CA  94102

Members Present:

President Nancy Kirshner-Rodriguez

Vice President Andrea Shorter

Commissioner Amy Ackerman

Commissioner Alicia Gamez

Commissioner Julie Soo

Commissioner Mary Jung


Staff Present:

Executive Director Emily M. Murase, PhD

Associate Director Carol Sacco

Fiscal & Policy Analyst Stephanie Nguyen

Women's Policy Director Minouche Kandel

Legislative Director Elizabeth Laferriere

Policy Fellow Iris Wong

Gender Equality Principles Program Coordinator Tara Gamboa-Eastman

Policy Fellow Kristin Snell


  1. CALL TO ORDER/ AGENDA CHANGES                              

President Kirshner-Rodriguez welcomed everyone and called the meeting to order at 4:14 pm. She asked to have the presentation of Male Champions of Change moved to after the Executive Director’s Report.

 Action: To approve the meeting agenda as proposed.                  m/s/c (Ackerman/Soo/Unanimous)



Action: To approve draft minutes from March 26, 2014.              m/s/c (Soo/Ackerman/Unanimous)

  1. EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR’S REPORT                                     

 Dr. Emily Murase directed Commissioners to her written report. Below are highlights from the report:


  1. Engaging Women Veterans

As a follow-up to the presentation last fall, the Department has partnered with Swords to Plowshares for a day-long workshop in July on enhancing career opportunities for women veterans.

  1. U.S. Department of Labor Regional Summit on Working Families

Dr. Murase encouraged Commissioners and members of the public to attend the U.S. Department of Labor Regional Summit on Working Families scheduled for San Francisco on March 27.

  1. Community Needs Assessment

Dr. Murase reported that the needs assessment was well underway. She recognized Fiscal and Policy Analyst Stephanie Nguyen, Associate Director Carol Sacco, and Women’s Policy Analyst Minouche Kandel on their hard work thus far.

  1. Justice & Courage Oversight Panel

Dr. Murase stated that a draft report of the Justice & Courage Final Report was now complete and ready to be reviewed by the Justice & Courage Oversight Panel at its next meeting set for April 30.

  1. Cross-Bay Community Day of Action on Anti-Human Trafficking Enforcement

The Department mailed close to 700 letters with posters to businesses required by a 2013 state law to post the national human trafficking hotline. The Community Day of Action brought together 30 volunteers to visit local businesses and educate them on this bill. Department of Public Health has committed to follow up with businesses when the agency conducts routine inspections.


Janet Morrison Menzies, Secretariat for MCC, explained that the Australian Commissioner of Sex Discrimination Elizabeth Broderick structured the MCC in recognition of the existing power structure. Below are highlights of her presentation:

  1. Started in 2010, MCC is a way to build more momentum for men to step up in their rightful place to support gender equality. Commissioner Broderick contacted 12 CEOs of major corporations in Australia to take a stand on the issue, and contribute on matters of national significance.
  2. The group meets four times per year, and participation cannot be delegated to subordinates. Members cannot join MCC unless they can make these meetings that are set the previous year. Agendas and meetings are structured by the members.
  3. In 2013, MCC developed a 12 Point Plan which has 4 themes:
    1. Stepping Out as Leaders
    2. Creating Accountability
    3. Disrupting the Status Quo
    4. Supporting Care at Work
  4. MCC is invested in helping other cities and countries initiate their own MCC.

Commissioners thanked Ms. Morrison Menzies for the presentation.

  1. 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 Honoring Janet Morrison Menzies                m/s/c (Gamez/ Soo/ Unanimous)


  1. NEW BUSINESS      


A.         Gender Analysis of the Fire Department

Fire Chief Joanne Hayes-White acknowledged Fire Commissioner Francine Covington and introduced her staff accompanying her: HR Director Jesusa Bushong, Director of Training Ramona Williams, and Fire Marshall Michi Wong.


Chief Hayes-White reviewed the recent history of the San Francisco Fire Department and the consent decree that was in place from 1988-1998. She reported that, currently, the composition of the Fire Department includes 16% women (c.f., less than 4% nationally) and 52% minority. Chief Hayes-White stated that she was a founding member of the United Fire Service Women.


She highlighted two programs that engage many women: the Neighborhood Emergency Response Team (NERT) Program that has, to date, trained 23,000 people with a free, 18-hour curriculum available in Cantonese and Spanish, and the SF Firefighters and Safety Education program in which 40 active volunteers deliver K-5 fire safety curriculum in the public schools.


Chief Hayes-White was provided a list of questions to address. Below are her responses:


  1. Data shows that women who take the fire exam do very well. However, many women who sign up aren’t following through and taking the exam. Since 2011, what steps have been taken to increase the number of women applicants who sign up for and take the exam?

Interested participants can take the test online in the comfort of their own home.


  1. Having a staff recruiter, instead of asking firefighters (who are disproportionately male) to volunteer their time for recruitment, could lead to more gender-responsive best practices in recruitment, hiring, retention and promotion. What steps are you taking to ensure a staff recruiter is hired and how can our commission support your efforts?

Since 2009, the Fire Department hasn’t had dedicated staff for recruitment, but the agency is looking forward to expanding its recruitment efforts in the near future.


  1. Do firefighters receive any training for identifying and reporting family violence situations?

When there is evidence of domestic violence, the Fire Department works very closely with the Police Department to address the issues.


  1. While the department cannot collect data on LGBTQ individuals, what steps are being taken to ensure inclusivity and support for transgender and gay firefighters?

All emergency calls are answered regardless of age, sex, and ethnicity.


  1. How easy is it for a mother to work through and after her pregnancy? What kind of childcare resources are available to working mothers? Is there a referral system in place?

The Fire Department provides family leave per local, state, and federal laws. Pregnant women are offered temporary assignments, and may return to work after 6 weeks of the child’s birth with a light work load. There are no specific provisions for child care, but employees help each other out by coordinating schedules for babysitting.


Discussion focused on the barriers that women might face in applying for a position at the Fire Department and the cultural change that needs to occur in order to be more welcoming of non-traditional firefighters. Commissioners pointed out that positions in the Fire Department are well-paid and come with significant benefits, and women should be encouraged to apply.


Chief Hayes-White discussed the progress the department has made in including transgender firefighters. Also, for the first time, the Fire Department is now seeing a wave of women retirees who have 25 years of service.


However, of the 48 members of the academy class starting in January 2014, 7 were women, but only 2 have remained in the class due to a variety of reasons (e.g. family caregiving responsibilities, lack of interest). Commissioners urged the Chief to continue to pursue inclusive staffing policies.



A.          Children’s Fund Renewal

Emma Mayerson, Executive Director of the Alliance for Girls, explained that the Alliance is a membership-based organization composed of 60 girl-serving member agencies and focused on advocating on girls issues and providing leadership development opportunities for its member agencies.


Ms. Mayerson explained that following the work she has done in partnership with President Kirshner-Rodriguez and Commissioner Ackerman and the Department on the Status of Women, she was able to secure the support of Supervisor Malia Cohen to champion the priorities of the Alliance in the Children’s Amendment renewal. Supervisor Mark Farrell’s office has also been supportive.


Thanks to a continued dialogue with Executive Director Maria Su of the Department of Children Youth and Their Families, DCYF will be convening, for the first time ever, a focus group on girl services, scheduled on May 6, and another one focused on girls (at a later date) as part of its community needs assessment.


B.         UN Commission on the Status of Women 58 Presentation

Policy Fellows Tara Gamboa-Eastman and Iris Wong reported on the Department’s participation at the UN Commission on the Status of Women meetings in March. They explained that their participation in the largest ever delegation from the San Francisco Bay Area was life-changing.

  1. REPORTS                            


A.          Cities for CEDAW                                     

President Kirshner-Rodriguez will provide an update on the Cities for CEDAW Campaign at the next Commission meeting in May.


B.          Human Trafficking

Commissioner Soo noted that SFCAHT is interested in doing a second conference in the fall on human trafficking, this time focused on labor trafficking.



  1. Domestic Violence Consortium Executive Director Beverly Upton and St. Vincent de Paul Executive Director Margie English reported on recent activity on budget issues. The DVC has called for no cuts and a 10% across-the-board increase. They met with Supervisor Mark Farrell, whose priority for the budget is to lessen the impact of reduction on homeless people.
  2. Roberta Guise, Co-Chair of Public Policy for AAUW, noted that SF AAUW is funding 15 girls to attend an annual STEM camp.


  1. ADJOURNMENT                                                                 

President Kirshner-Rodriguez proposed to adjourn the meeting in honor Nani Coloretti, who was appointed by President Obama as the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Assistant Secretary for Management. Meeting adjourned at 6:30 pm. 

Action: To adjourn the meeting.                                                                  m/s/c (Soo/Ackerman/Unanimous)

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