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COSW Meeting Information - March 26, 2014 - Meeting Minutes

COSW Meeting Information - March 26, 2014


Wednesday, March 26, 2014

4-6 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

                                                                     Policy Fellow Iris Wong

Excused: Vice-President Andrea Shorter


  1. CALL TO ORDER/ AGENDA CHANGES                              

President Kirshner-Rodriguez welcomed everyone all called the meeting to order at 4:14 pm.

Action: To approve the meeting agenda.

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

II.      APPROVAL OF MINUTES                                                             

Action: To approve draft minutes from March 26, 2014.

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

III.     EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR’S REPORT                                       

A.     Executive Director's Report                                                       

Dr. Emily Murase directed Commissioners to her written report. She briefly highlighted the following events.


  • March 1: As part of One Billion Rising, the Department, the District Attorney’s Office and the Justice & Diversity Center of the Bar Association of San Francisco at Hastings College of the Law coordinated a successful free legal clinic for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault.


  • March 4: In partnership with the Board of Supervisors, the Commission, the Department, and the Friends of the Commission on the Status of Women held the annual Women’s History Month celebration honoring women leaders in the community. On March 25, at a reception held on the Mayor’s Balcony, Mayor Lee recognized his honorees for Women’s History Month, Lynne Benioff, UCSF Foundation Board of Directors, Susan Desmond-Hellmann, MD, MPH, Chancellor of University of California San Francisco, and Susan Celia Swan, Executive Director of V-Day. Dr. Murase recognized Associate Director Carol Sacco for her work on both of these successful events. 


  • March 9 - 7: Department staff led a delegation of 50 women leaders to New York City to participate in the 58th Session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women. In a video greeting, Mayor Edwin Lee announced the "Cities for CEDAW" Campaign and its goal to have 100 cities adopt local measures reflecting the principles of the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women by September 2015. The Department convened 3 parallel sessions, on CEDAW, human trafficking, and girls' education. Dr. Murase acknowledged the participation of President Nancy Kirshner-Rodriguez and Commissioner Amy Ackerman in the sessions. Department Fellows Tara Gamboa-Eastman and Iris Wong will provide a full report at the April Commission meeting. 


  • March 18: the Department, the Bay Area Council, and GenderAllies hosted Gender Partnership: The Economic Imperative for the 21st Century, designed to bring together leaders to create gender equitable workplace. Special gust Congresswoman Jackie Speier welcomed the audience of over 50 attendees. Dr. Murase recognized Policy Fellow Tara Gamboa-Eastman for her hard work organizing the success of the event. 


  • April 5: With the leadership of Women’s Policy Director Minouche Kandel, the Department mailed 687 anti-human trafficking posters to certain businesses in San Francisco (e.g., bars, massage parlors, hospitals, transit stations) that are required to post them by state law. These were sent in advance of the April 5 Cross-Bay Community Day of Action to check on businesses who are supposed to display the notice. This Day of Action was conducted in collaboration with allies in San Mateo and Alameda Counties.



  1. Women in Dialogue – In Defense of Prostitute Women's Safety  

Project Coordinator Rachel West reported on the successful advocacy by her organization, in collaboration with other groups, to change the California Victim Compensation Regulation so that sex workers who are victims of crime can receive benefits. Until the recent change, sex workers were precluded from these benefits because they were deemed to be engaged in criminal activity. Following the change, 14 sex workers who were victims of rape and were previously denied compensation were able to receive benefits. Ms. West thanked the Department for its support and Commissioners recognized Ms. West for her leadership and that of other supporting organizations.


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


Commissioners removed the resolution on the recommendation for the Children’s Amendment Renewal from the consent agenda in order to discuss the matter as a separate item.




Action:  To approve the Consent Agenda without the resolution on the recommendations for the Children’s Amendment Renewal.

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

  1. Resolution Honoring the 100th Anniversary of the Mary Elizabeth Inn
  2. Resolution Recognizing Ann Lehman
  3. Resolution Recognizing Marianne Barrett for Child Abuse Prevention Month
  4. Resolution Recognizing the 130th Anniversary of the American Association of University Women
  5. Resolution on the Recommendations for the Children’s Amendment Renewal
  6. Resolution Recognizing the Need for Increased Funding for Paid Family Leave Outreach


Mary Elizabeth Inn Executive Director Dion Roberts introduced her Board Chair Mary Glide who is a descendant of the founder Lizzie Glide.  Ms. Roberts thanked the Commission for the recognition, stating that the need for housing continues to increase.


Dr. Murase thanked Ann Lehman for many contributions to the Department including the City’s passage of the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), the gender analysis of various City departments, and the creation of the Gender Equity Principles Initiative. Commissioner Ackerman thanked Ms. Lehman for her many years of service and explained that CEDAW would not have passed without the tenacity of Ms. Lehman and her vision for what a gender equitable world would be.  President Kirshner-Rodriguez thanked Ms. Lehman for her service to the City. Ms. Lehman thanked the Commission and Board of Supervisors for their support. She explained that she was able to see, experience and participate in the many advances over the years.  From participating in various taskforces and committees, to thinking creatively and the ability to create inventive models to implement and share, Ms. Lehman enjoyed her time at the Department.  Working at the Department provided her the flexibility to be successful at work as well as be attentive to her family. 


The following individuals provided public comment recognizing Ms. Lehman's tenure at the Department: Anu Menon, Aditi Mohapatra, Patricia Bovan-Campbell, Christine Lee, and Christine Falvey of the Mayor's Office who presented Ms. Lehman with a Certificate of Appreciation from the Mayor.


Dr. Murase explained that April is Child Abuse Prevention Month and that it was very fitting to recognize Assistant District Attorney Marianne Barrett who has demonstrated tremendous leadership, partnership and compassion in her work in the District Attorney’s Child Assault Unit, and has contributed greatly to the work of the Family Violence Council and to helping survivors of violence. Ms. Barrett thanked the Commission for the recognition and acknowledged District Attorney George Gascon for allowing her to serve the families of San Francisco.  Ms. Barrett, recognized, the various investigators, victim advocates, colleagues, community partners, City partners, her siblings, her mother, and her partner who were all present to support her. 


The following individuals provided public comment recognizing Ms. Barrett's work. Carlos Sanchez, Beverly Upton, Kathy Baxter, Janet Hynes, and Sharon Woo of the District Attorney's Office who presented Ms. Barrett with a Certificate of Recognition from District Attorney George Gascon.


Cathy Corcoran, President of the San Francisco Branch of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) San Francisco Branch, thanked the Commission for the recognition.  Ms. Corcoran explained how AAUW has a long history of hard work and success in advocacy, education, philanthropy and research to empower women and girls. Ms. Corcoran recognized Roberta Guise, the Co-Chair of Public Policy, who introduced an AAUW pamphlet on the gender pay gap. Jane Bernard-Powers, with Democratic Women in Action (DWIA), stated that it important to partner with organizations like the AAUW that are well-established.


Commissioners reviewed the resolution on the recommendations for the Children’s Amendment Renewal. Commissioner Ackerman explained that the Children’s Fund was created by setting aside 3% of local property tax revenues each year for children services. Unfortunately, girls' services were cut drastically in the latest round of funding allocations. Commissioners Ackerman and President Kirshner-Rodriguez have been working very closely with the Girls Alliance to ensure that the discussion around the Children's Fund renewal includes the needs of girls.


Action:  To approve the resolution on the recommendations for the Children’s Amendment Renewal.

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

   V.      NEW BUSINESS                                                                  


  1.  United Nations Presentation

Legislative Director Elizabeth Laferriere reported on US compliance under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), having returned from the 109th session of the United Nations Human Rights Committee (UNHRC) in Geneva, Switzerland where she presented on the Department's Report on Sex-Based Discrimination in the American Workplace. The report details inequities from pay gaps to inadequate child care that remain problems in American workplaces, as well as recommendations to address these. Normally filed by non-governmental organizations, this shadow report was the first to be submitted to the committee by a local government agency. Ms. Laferriere concluded her report with the following recommendations:

  • Continue to hold the United States accountable by advocating for the federal FAMILY Act
  • Support paid family leave in California.
  • Maintain and enrich relationships with national women’s rights organizations and experts.


  1.  Gender Analysis of Commissions and Boards                 

Department Fellow Iris Wong provided an overview of the 2013 Gender Analysis of Boards and Commissions, a report that is required by San Francisco law every 2 years. Generally, the trends are positive. Most Commissions have gender parity, although some Commissions do not reflect the ethnic diversity of San Francisco as much as they should. This report is available on the department website.


Commissioner Amy Ackerman thanked Ms. Wong for her work on this report.  Commissioners Ackerman recommended reporting on the number of employees connected to the respective Commissions and Boards.

Commissioner Soo stated that each board or commission should have gender parity, and recommended adding the zip code of appointees as a measure of diversity. Dr. Murase reported that the Department will share the findings with the Mayor’s Office and the Board of Supervisors.. 


VI.     Reports                                                                                 


  1. Human Trafficking                                                               

Commissioner Soo reported that the San Francisco Collaboration on Human Trafficking (SFCAHT) is undergoing a transition as the Department is having to focus its staffing on the Mayor's Task Force on Human Trafficking. The SFCAHT Steering Committee is reviewing the website and planning additional outreach to partners with a goal of holding a labor trafficking conference sometime this year.


  1. CEDAW                                                                                 

Commissioner Ackerman reported that a full report on the “Cities for CEDAW” campaign will be provided at the April Commission meeting. 


  1. General Commission Business                                         

President Kirshner-Rodriguez expressed how important it is to recognize the various collaborations and partnerships of so many strong women organizations. 




VII.    PUBLIC COMMENT                                                                       

Robin Brasso of Democratic Women in Action expressed her concern about seniors living in poverty. Commissioner Soo suggested having a presentation by the Older Women’s League at a future Commission meeting.


Dr. Murase introduced Archana Agarwal as the new fellow with the Friends of the Commission.


VIII.   ADJOURNMENT                                                                 

Adjourn the meeting in memory of Charlotte Berk and Florine Beverly Lerner.  Meeting adjourned at 6:19 pm. 

Action: To adjourn the meeting.



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




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