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COSW Meeting Information - January 22, 2014 - Meeting Minutes

COSW Meeting Information - January 22, 2014

Wednesday, January 22, 2014
City Hall, Room 408 
1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Street 
San Francisco, CA 94102 

Members Present 
President Nancy Kirshner-Rodriguez
Vice-President Andrea Shorter
Commissioner Amy Ackerman
Commissioner Alicia Gamez
Commissioner Mary Jung

Staff Present       
Executive Director Emily M. Murase, PhD
Associate Director Carol Sacco
Women’s Policy Expert Ann Lehman
Fiscal & Policy Analyst Stephanie Nguyen
Women’s Policy Director Minouche Kandel
Senior Grants Administrator Carol Sacco
Commission Secretary Cynthia Vasquez
Gender Equality Principles Program Manager Elizabeth Laferriere

Excused: Commissioner Julie Soo

Note: The Commission will hear public comment on each item on the agenda before or during consideration of that item.

President Kirshner-Rodriguez welcomed everyone.
Action: To approve the meeting agenda.
m/s/c (Ackerman/Shorter/Unanimous)
No public comment.

II. APPROVAL OF MINUTES Draft Minutes from November 1, 2013.

President Kirshner-Rodriguez explained that the notes from the November 1, 2013 retreat were available but would not need to be approved as there was no quorum for that meeting. 


A. Executive Director's Report 

Dr. Murase introduced Jessica Kinard and Marissa Pereira Tully with the Budget Analyst Office. 

Dr. Murase referenced a letter from Soon-Young Yoon, UN representative for the International Alliance of Women and Chair of the NGO Committee on the Status of Women, New York. Ms. Yoon has formally invited our Department to serve as a “peer leader” in the new “Cities for CEDAW” Initiative. The basic idea is to build on the success of the San Francisco CEDAW Ordinance that has contributed to so many achievements for San Francisco. We will partner with the Women’s Intercultural Network headed by Marilyn Fowler, who maintains a state-wide and national network of women leaders. The Initiative will include events showcasing elements of the 1995 Beijing Platform for Action, which remains the guiding document for advancing women’s human rights, through 2014 and 2015, and it is proposed to culminate in the 2015 U.S. Conference of Mayors to be held in San Francisco. 

Dr. Murase reported that at the request of the Mayor’s Office, she and Women’s Policy Director Minouche Kandel presented an update on the City’s anti-human trafficking work at the Northern District of California Human Trafficking Task Forces Executives’ Session held on January 13. This event, organized by U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag, featured updates from San Francisco Bay Area counties on anti-trafficking work.

Dr. Murase announced that the Department welcomed Policy Fellow Stephanie Nguyen as a staff member and who will be overlooking grant responsibilities previously held by outgoing Fiscal & Development Director Stacey Hoang. Ms. Nguyen will also provide administrative and fiscal oversight of the OVW Arrest Grant moving forward.

Commissioner Ackerman thanked Department staff members for all of their diligent work over the various areas we are working in. 

1. One Billion Rising Update
Noelle Colome, V-Day Development Director with encouraged all Commissioners and the public to attend the One Billison Rising for Justice event taking place on Friday, February 14. V-Day has partnered with the Department, the Filipina Women’s Network, the Mayor’s Office and various Partner Agencies to Rise, Release and Dance, and demand Justice. One Billion Rising for Justice is a global call to women survivors of violence and those who love them to gather safely in community outside places where they are entitled to justice –courthouses, police stations, government offices, school administration buildings, work places, sites of environmental injustice, military courts, embassies, places of worship, homes, or simply public gathering places where women deserve to feel safe but too often do not. It is a call to survivors to break the silence and release their stories – politically, spiritually, outrageously – through art, dance, marches, ritual, song, and spoken word. 

There will also be a free legal clinic for women survivors of violence seeking justice on Saturday, March 1 in partnership with the San Francisco Bar Association from 12-1:30 with details to follow. 

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 (Shorter/Gamez/Unanimous)

A. Resolutions Recognizing Gender Equality Challenge Model Practices
B. Resolution Recognizing the Late Libby Denebeim
C. Resolution Recognizing the 40th Anniversary of Cameron House
D. Approval of 2014 Commission Meeting Schedule
E. To accept intern stipend funding from the Pacific Asian American Women Bay Area Coalition 

Dr. Murase announced that the resolutions for the Gender Equality Challenge Model Practices will be presented at a forum to be held on January 30 recognizing over 10 model practices from 10 different organizations that entered into this year’s Challenge. 

Ed Denebeim, son of the late Libby Denebeim, thanked the Commission for the recognition of the work that his mother did and the passion she had for her work. Commissioner Shorter thanked the late Libby Denebeim for her fierce leadership and tireless commitment for women’s human rights. She added that Ms. Denebeim has mentored so many people in San Francisco and the City will be forever grateful. 

May Leong, Executive Director of Cameron House, thanked the Department and Commission for their continued support and for recognizing the work for Cameron house. Yulonda Kwong also thanked the Commission for the support to the Partner Agencies. 


A. Approval of the Strategic Plan

Dr. Murase explained that the Commission reviewed the proposed strategic plan at the November retreat and incorporated the input from Commissions to the currently proposed strategic plan. Commissioners reviewed the plan. 

President Kirshner-Rodriguez thanked the community partners for their participation and input at the November Commission retreat. 

Commissioner Ackerman expressed how important it is to be able to measure the success of the Department’s in the strategic plan. Commissioner Ackerman also thanked the Department for all of the work that is being done with limited staff. 

Dr. Murase explained hiring Elizabeth Laferriere as the new Legislative Director will enable the Department to advance its legislative policy work. 

President Kirshner-Rodriguez expressed how she hopes to include some of the ideas from the Women’s Policy Summit “When Women Succeed, America Succeeds” that staff attended on January 21 in Sacramento. 

Action: To adopt the Strategic Plan for FY2015-17. 

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

VI. NEW BUSINESS A. FY2014-2015 Proposed Budget 
Commissioners reviewed the proposed budget for FY14-15. President Kirshner-Rodriguez thanked all of the Partner Agencies for the great work they do to help so many women, girls, and families. Dr. Murase presented the proposed budget for FY14-15 and FY15-16. The Mayor announced that there is a projected shortfall and has asked that all Departments provide his office with a budget with targeted cuts by February 21. The Department is being asked to cut 1.8% in the first year, 1.27% in the 2nd year and 1.27% in contingency cuts. Commissioners reviewed the proposed budget. Commissioner Gamez recused herself from discussion given her position as a board member of the San Francisco Bar Association which serves as the fiscal agent for two grantees. 

Budget Analyst Jessica Kinard explained that although we are experiencing an economic recovery, the expenditures the City has, outpaces the new revenue, especially salaries and benefits. 

Beverly Upton, Executive Director of the Domestic Violence Consortium, thanked the Commission for its continued support and requested that the Commission reject the proposed budget cuts. 

Gloria Romero, Mission Neighborhood Center/Mission Girls, explained that there are many youth who continue to go unserved and that funding from the Department helps serve and the underserved community. Ms. Romero asked the Commission to reject the proposed budget cuts.

Jill Zwisza, Executive Director of WOMAN, Inc., urged the Commission to reject the cuts. She stated that San Francisco has gone 3 years without a domestic violence homicide due to the vital services our partner agencies are providing. 

Elizabeth Kirton, Executive Director of Asian Women’s Shelter, expressed how many of the Partner Agencies provide peer support to one another and how dedicated all the Partners are to ensuring the safety of women and girls. With the proposed cuts, many clients with English as a second language may go unserved. Ms. Kirton requested that the Commission reject the cuts. 

Becki Hively, Riley Center, explained that, with the proposed cuts, the case manager’s ability to serve clients would suffer and many clients could go unserved. Ms. Hively urged the Commission to reject the proposed budget cuts. 

Denny David, LYRIC, explained that the Commission has a legacy of rejecting budget cuts and hopes that the Commission will do the same this year. The proposed budget cut would equal to a reduction of 3 weeks of group meetings that serve this LGBT youth population. 

Pablo Espinoza, CUAV, explained that transgender women of color tend to be victims of violence. This is the community he serves and he urged the Commission to reject the proposed budget cuts. 

Lexi Adsit, El/La Para TransLatinas, serves as an office assistant, and explained that the proposed budget cuts would mean that the agency which receives such small funding would have to close its office for 1 month. Ms. Adsit encouraged the Commissioners to reject the proposed cuts. 

Stephanie Bilinski, Justice & Divesity Center, urged the Commission to reject the proposed cuts. The Center’s services allow victims to have a voice. 

Yulanda Kwong, Cameron House, explained that the proposed cuts would mean a 120 hour or 3 week reduction in counseling, case management, legal support, or shelter services. About 12-18 families would directly be affected by the funding cut to Cameron House. Ms. Kwong thanked the Commission for its years of support and urged the Commission to reject the cuts. 

President Kirshner-Rodriguez recognized the Partner Agencies for their fearless advocacy for these vital services. 

Action: To reject the proposed budget for FY14-15, FY15-16. 

m/s/c (Shorter/Mary/Recused:Gamez/Passed)

VII. Reports Commissioners reported on activities related to the work of the Commission. 

A. Human Trafficking
President Kirshner-Rodriguez reported that January was Human Trafficking Awareness month and many events have taken place, including the SFCAHT Teen Poster Contest that generated 15 entries. Winners were recognized at the January 10 Human Trafficking Awareness Month Kick-Off Event, which had great attendance by city officials, the public, and the media. 

The SFCAHT Teen Poster Contest winners were as follows: 

1st Prize: Mary-Claire Amable, Tin Dinh, and Lauren Hernandez, all 12 graders at Woodside International School
2nd Prize: Sabrina Farrar, a 12th grader at City Arts and Technology High School.
3rd Price: Elsa Ma, a 12th grader at Raoul Wallenberg High School, and Mimi Truong, a 12th grader at Burton High School.

The event was made possible with funding support from the Friends of the Commission on the Status of Women. 

B. Gender Equality Principles Initiative
Commissioner Ackerman acknowledge the great work of the Department on the upcoming Honoring Progress: The 2013 Gender Equality Practices forum that will be held on January 30, and encouraged Commissioners to attend. 

C. General Commission Business
Commissioner Gamez reported that she participated in the November 7 co-sponsored event with the Human Rights Commission on “Safe at Work,” which addressed the sexual abuse of low income immigrant women at work. 

Erick Oranates, with Don’t Harass Me Bro, thanked the Commission for its wonderful work here in the City. Mr. Oranates explained that his organization is hoping to end street harassment in San Francisco, and to ensure that San Francisco streets are safe for women and girls. Mr. Orantes hopes to work with the Department in the future and welcomed recommendations for partners. 

Commissioner Jung spoke on the memory of Anita Sanchez and her great leadership. 

Action: To adjourn the meeting in memory of Anita Sanchez and Sophia Liu.

The ringing of and use of cell phones, pagers and similar sound-producing electronic devices are prohibited at this meeting. Please be advised that the Chair may order the removal from the meeting room of any person(s) responsible for the ringing or use of a cell phone, pager, or other similar sound producing electronic devices. 

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