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COSW Meeting Information - February 26, 2014 - Meeting Minutes

COSW Meeting Information - February 26, 2014


Wednesday, February 26, 2014

4 pm

City Hall, Room 408

1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place

San Francisco, CA  94102


Members Present                                        Staff Present        

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

Commissioner Amy Ackerman                    Associate Director Carol Sacco

Commissioner Alicia Gamez                       Fiscal & Policy Analyst Stephanie Nguyen

Commissioner Mary Jung                            Women’s Policy Director Minouche Kandel

Commissioner Julie D. Soo                         Senior Grants Administrator Carol Sacco

                                                                Commission Secretary Cynthia Vasquez

                                                               Gender Equality Principles Program Manager Elizabeth Laferriere  

Excused: Vice-President Andrea Shorter


 I.      CALL TO ORDER/ AGENDA CHANGES                          .

President Kirshner-Rodriguez called the meeting to order at 4:09pm. 

Action: To approve the meeting agenda.

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


II.      APPROVAL OF MINUTES                                                    

Commissioners reviewed the draft minutes from January 22.  Commission Secretary Cynthia Vasquez reported that the February 20 Commission minutes will be available for approval at the March 26 Commission meeting.


Commissioner Soo requested that the January 22 minutes reflect her recommendation to include monitoring of childcare to the strategic plan and the fact that the Commission did not incorporate it as a specific goal as other Departments are charged with that function.


Commissioner Gamez requested that edits to the minutes be submitted beforehand and included in the final draft minutes that are up for Commission approval.


Action: To approve the amended minutes from January 22, 2014.

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

No public comment.


III.     EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR’S REPORT                                

Dr. Emily Murase directed Commissioners to her written report. Dr. Murase reported on the On January 30 Gender Equality Principles Initiative event " Honoring Progress: The 2013 Gender Equality Practices."   The conference brought together more than 110 participants for an in-depth conversation around the implementation and direction of gender-responsive workplace policies. Dr. Murase recognized Women’s Senior Gender Advisor Ann Lehman, Legislative Director Elizabeth Laferriere, and Department Fellow Tara Gamboa-Eastman for their tireless efforts to ensure a successful event.


Dr. Murase reported that the February 14 One Billion Rising event was a huge success.  There were over 3,000 participants including elected official, Department Heads, Partner Agencies and the general public who participated in this inspiring event to rise against violence against gender violence.  Dr. Murase reminded Commissioners of the free legal clinic for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault, scheduled for March 1, 2014 at Hastings College of the Law. 


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.

Explanatory documents: Resolutions honoring the below-listed organizations and individuals

Action:  To approve the Consent Agenda.

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

A.        Resolutions Recognizing the 2014 Women’s History Month Honorees

B.        Resolution Recognizing Catherine Rauschuber

C.       Resolution Honoring Lisa Hoffman on her Retirement

D.       Resolution Honoring Talitha Guinn

E.        Resolution Recognizing Aimee Allison


Dr. Murase reminded the Commissioners of the annual Women’s History Month Celebration that will take place at the Board of Supervisors meeting on March 4 at 3:30 pm with a reception to follow hosted by the Friends of the Commission.   

Legislative Director Elizabeth Laferiere read a statement on behalf of Sharan Terman and Julia Parish of the Legal Aid Society thanking Catherine Rauschuber for her leadership on the Family Friendly Workplace Ordinance, authored by President of the Board of Supervisors David Chiu.  . 


Ms. Rauschuber thanked the Commission and President David Chiu for their recognition and looks forward to continuing to work with the Department.  Dr. Murase recognized Ms. Rauschuber as previously serving as the budget analyst for the Department. 


Judson True, Aide to President David Chiu, recognized the work of Ms. Rauschuber and expressed what great work she has done.  Mr. True explained that women leaders such as Ms. Rauschuber provide a critical perspective on public policy issues. 


Dr. Murase announced that Lisa Hoffman from the department of Emergency Management will be retiring on April 11. Ms. Hoffman was a part of many reforms at the Department of Emergency Management, including tracking bilingual officers in order to provide language assistance to limited English speaking victims. 


Dr. Murase recognized Talitha Guinn for her leadership as a tri-chair of the Family Violence Council. 


Beverly Upton, Executive Director of the Domestic Violence Consortium, thanked Ms. Rauschuber for her wonderful work on behalf of the women of San Francisco.  Ms. Upton also expressed what great leadership and knowledge Ms. Guinn brought to the Family Violence Council.  Ms. Guinn also help create an app for police officers to access a guide for elder and dependent adult abuse. 


Commissioner Soo expressed her concern over the deficiencies of the Language Line, which provides translation services over the phone.  Commissioner Soo recognized the progress the Family Violence Council has made over the last 3 years. 


Dr. Murase recognized former Media and Community Affairs Director Aimee Allison for her in connecting he Department with various media outlets during her time at the Department.  Commissioners expressed what a great pleasure it was to work with Ms. Allison on various projects. Commissioner Soo congratulated Ms. Allison for being a regular panelist on the local PBS program hosted by Thuy Vu. 


Ms. Allison expressed her gratitude to the Commission and Department.  Ms. Allison explained that in her new role she is supporting women in leadership and will continue to partner with the Commission.  


V.      NEW BUSINESS                                                                  


A.       2014 Violence Against Women (VAW) Community Needs Assessment Request for Proposals (RFP)

Fiscal and Policy Analyst Stephanie Nguyen provided overview of the 2014 VAW Needs Assessment.  This project is for the period beginning March 10, 2014 to June 30, 2014 and for the amount of $60,000.


The main objectives are:


  1. Implement an assessment of service needs for survivors of violence against women in San Francisco;
  2. Identify priority service populations and programmatic needs for at-risk communities and survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, and human trafficking in San Francisco; and
  3. Produce a final needs assessment report of the research findings and present the findings to currently Department-funded VAW Partner Agencies and the Commission on the Status of Women.


Ms. Nguyen summarized the application and review panel process.  Ms. Nguyen reported that only 1 proposal (submitted by ETR Associates) met the eligibility requirements.  Ms. Nguyen reviewed the research design which includes conducting interviews with Partner Agencies, their clients, and other service providers. 


Dr. Murase recognized Ms. Nguyen, Associate Director Carol Sacco, and Women’s Policy Director Minouche Kandel for developing the RFP and assisting with the review process.   


Commissioner Ackerman expressed her concern over having just one application eligible for this contract.  Dr. Murase explained that the funding for this project was very limited and there were many constraints in regards to who could apply.  Only non-profit organizations, not individual consultants, were eligible.    


Ms. Nguyen explained that many companies inquired about applying but due to the vigorous requirements, the scope of work, and limited funding, many of those companies declined to apply. 


Commissioner Soo asked if interpreters will be provided for the interviews that will be conducted with clients as some are limited English speakers.  Ms. Nguyen explained that given the very limited funding, this was not part of the initial grant application.  However, the Department was in the process of identifying additional funds for professional interpretation.


Action: To award the Needs Assessment contract to ETR Associates.

m/s/c (Kirshner-Rodriguez/Soo/Unanimous)

VI.     Reports                                                                                                         


A.       Human Trafficking                                                               

Commissioner Soo recognized the leadership of Women’s Policy Director Minouche Kandel on this issue.  Commissioner Soo reported that the San Francisco Collaboration on Human Trafficking (SFCAHT) held a strategic planning retreat in February was working to develop a sustainable future for SFCAHT.  The Department will also be distributing posters for SB 1193, which requires businesses that serve alcohol to post human trafficking notices in several languages.  On April 5, there will be a regional “Day of Action” to check required businesses have signs posted and to provide posters to those who are not compliant. 


Commissioner Soo reported that in her role as Co-Chair of the St. Francis Memorial Hospital Board, she is   currently working to get hospitals and churches to become safe sanctuaries for human trafficking victims. 


  1. Gender Equality Principles Initiative

Commissioner Ackerman recognized the Department for the success of the Gender Equality Challenge event.  "Honoring Progress," held on January 30.The energy was incredible and the turnout was great.  There were many representatives from various companies and organizations that added to the richness of information-sharing.  Commissioner Soo recommended having the Duanne Morris Women’s Initiative Group share their practices with the Gender Equality Principles participants.  . 


  1. Family Violence Council     

Women’s Policy Director Minouche Kandel reported that the Police Department is starting to use a training video for officers on how to handle limited English speaking victims of domestic violence, elder abuse and or child abuse.  Commissioner Soo urged that officers be trained about various visas available to victims of violence. 


Dr. Murase reported that she attended the opening of the Children’s Advocacy Center which is a wonderful facility that includes a health center, a wellness center, a children’s advocacy center, and provides a warm environment for families. 


D.       One Billion Rising   

Dr. Murase reported that the Mayor has committed to supporting this event next year.  Dr. Murase recognized the contributions of various organizers and planning committees, which included some Partner Agencies, to the success of this event. 


E.        General Commission Business     

Commissioner Soo expressed her disappointment that monitoring childcare was not included in the strategic plan at the January Commission meeting.  Commissioner Soo hopes it can be reconsidered for the next strategic plan.                                  


VII.    PUBLIC COMMENT                                                                       

Beverly Upton of the Domestic Violence Consortium thanked the Commission for its tireless leadership on behalf of the Partner Agencies. 


Elizabeth Kirton, Executive Director of Asian Women’s Shelter, thanked the Commission for its leadership. 


Katharine Berg, Associate Director of La Casa de las Madres, thanked the Commission for the awareness it brings to services for women who are victims of violence. 


Jill Sawisza, Executive Director of WOMAN, Inc.,  thanked the Commission and Department for their support during a time of leadership transition. 


Roberta Guise with the American Association of University Women (AAUW), announced that AAUW will be celebrating 130 years of service on March 22. The Commission will recognize this milestone at the March Commission meeting.  


VIII.  CLOSED SESSION                                                                          

  1. Public comment on all matters pertaining to the Closed Session.

No public comment.

B.      Closed Session pursuant to Government Code Section 54957(b) and San Francisco Administrative Code Section 67.10(b):


Action:  Motion to move into closed session.

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


C.     Open Session

Action:  Motion not to publicly disclose any or all of the information discussed in the closed session under San Francisco Administrative Code Section 67.12(a).

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

IX.   ADJOURNMENT                                                                   

Adjourn the meeting in memory of Isabel Huie and Paul Weiland. 

Action: To adjourn the meeting.





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