San Francisco Department on the Status of Women
The Department on the Status of Women's 2006-2007 Annual Report consists of an aggregation of 12 Executive Director's Reports. These reports were submitted by Dr. Emily Murase, Executive Director of the Department, to the Commission on the Status of Women at each of the monthly meetings during FY 2006-2007. Within this report, each heading refers to a specific principle of the local Convention to Eliminate All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) Ordinance as reflected in the Commission's Strategic Plan. The Community Calendar within each Report has been omitted for this compilation.
I. Implementation of Women and Girls' Human Rights
A. Convention to Eliminate All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) Committee
The CEDAW Committee met on Thursday, July 18, 2006 to discuss a draft of the Gender Analysis Report for the Department on the Status of Women. This meeting also included a presentation by the Department on the Environment, which previously underwent gender analysis.
The CEDAW Committee met on Thursday, September 14, 2006, and the Department of Public Works (DPW) presented an update of their original Gender Analysis in 1999 and 2001 update. DPW reported on their progress in the fields of employment and training, in particular its apprenticeship and internship programs. As with the Department on the Environment, we have asked CEDAW Committee members to formulate recommendations for DPW and Policy Analysts Ann Lehman and Carol Sacco will continue to work with both departments. Maria Catoline, Women's Institute for Leadership Development for Human Rights (WILD), announced the publication of Making Rights Real: A Workbook on the Local Implementation of Human Rights. I am pleased to welcome Krishanti Dharmaraj, Executive Director, of WILD to tonight's Commission Meeting. Ms. Dharmaraj will provide an overview of CEDAW from a global context, and answer any questions about the workbook.
The Department is convening a small working group of the CEDAW Committee to review and revise the Gender Analysis Guidelines.
Per instructions from the Annual Strategic Planning Retreat, we are planning a CEDAW training for Commissioners, scheduled at the November Commission meeting. This will be a 2-hour intensive training and supporting materials are being provided to you tonight.
The CEDAW Committee met on Thursday, November 9, 2006. At the meeting, our Department presented a draft of our gender analysis for feedback.
The Department of the Environment was one of the first of six departments to undergo a gender analysis and is an excellent example of how best to utilize CEDAW to ensure the human rights of women and girls. In December, Policy Analyst Carol Sacco met with David Assmann, Deputy Director of the Department of the Environment, to discuss a case study of the Department and its work on CEDAW.
The CEDAW Committee met January 18, 2007. Ms. Nancy Yalon of the Juvenile Probation Department presented a historical overview of the Girl's Services Unit that existed in the department between 2002-2004. She cited a number of national statistics on the disproportionate number of youth of color in the juvenile justice system. She further outlined key recommendations and next steps for a Girls' Services Unit and stated that these efforts are part of an ongoing commitment to young women in juvenile detention by the entire department and numerous community service providers. The Department agreed to convene a meeting with girls service providers in an effort to coordinate a Directory of Girls Services.
B. CEDAW Outreach
The Department is pleased to once again be a member of the Association of California Commissions for Women (ACCW).San Francisco was one of the charter members, instrumental in the foundation of the ACCW. Commissioner Williams attended the annual planning retreat early August in Palm Springs. The purpose of the retreat was to review the short and long term goals to meet the mission and to discuss future use of ACCW funds, staffing, financial agreements, and the develop support mechanisms to ensure a level playing field for all member commissions, as well as, elect officers. Ms. Lehman met with Jovida Guevara-Ross, Associate Director of The Women's Building, and Emily Arnold-Fernandez of Asylum Access, who serve as Co-Chairs of Woman's Leadership Alliance, to discuss the work of the Alliance and how the C/DOSW could be supportive.
On July 11, 2006, Mr. Eijima met with Dinny Jusuf, Secretary General of the National Commission on Violence Against Women, from Jakarta, Indonesia, and provided a brief history of the Commission and Department. The National Commission was established by Presidential Decree No. 181/1998, following an increasing demand from concerned women that the Indonesian government exercise its responsibility to respond to violence against women. The demand stemmed from the sexual assaults against ethnic Chinese women that occurred during riots in May 1998 in several major cities across Indonesia. Ms. Jusuf is working to find the right balance of support in developing service infrastructure and increase public awareness.
As part of the "Calling the Circle" Program, the Women's Intercultural Network of the California Women's Agenda, led by President Aileen Hernandez and Coordinator Marilyn Fowler, hosted Heba Tarzi and Raihana Popalzai of Afghanistan who participated in the Global Women's Network Leadership Training Institute at Santa Clara University. Ms. Tarzi is working on a leadership training program to prepare women to run for office in the next parliamentary elections. Dr. Popalzai, head of the Women's Council at Kabul University, plans to open a Women's Center, the first of its kind. As part of the delegation's visit, Commissioner Carolene Marks hosted a reception, including many prominent San Franciscans, to welcome the Afghani women.
On October 25, Policy Analyst Ann Lehman, Executive Director Emily Murase, and Commissioner Andrea Shorter met with Judy Patrick, the Interim President of the Women's Foundation of California, to discuss areas of cooperation and support. In particular, Ms. Lehman, Ms. Murase, and Commissioner Shorter applauded the Women's Foundation's new initiative on girls and media and offered to work on coordinating policy work to increase media literacy. We discussed other policy positions as well as work on economic development for women in San Francisco.
Commissioner Carolene Marks participated in the Mayor's Trade Mission to the Philippines in November. She was joined by Marilyn Fowler of the California Women's Agenda, and Marily Mondejar, Executive Director of the Filpina Women's Network, who also serves on the Justice & Courage Oversight Panel.
Ms. Lehman provided technical assistance on CEDAW implementation to Paula Petrotta, Executive Director of the Los Angeles City Commission on the Status of Women.
Policy Analyst Ann Lehman and Secretary Jennifer Baker met with the law firm Heller Erhman, which has agreed to partner with the Department on the first private sector gender analysis, to discuss a revision of the gender analysis guidelines for the corporate world.
On November 7, I met with a delegation from the Asia Foundation that included Ms. Mohna Ansari and Ms. Shumei Huang, women featured in the Foundation's upcoming exhibit, "Portraits of Leadership: Women Changing the Face of Asia." Ms. Ansari is Nepal's first female Muslim attorney who works on women's rights issues. Ms. Huang, an advocate for women migrant workers in Southern China, is a leader in the Guangdong Women's Federation.
On November 9, I met with a 13-member delegation from the International Women's Education Association of Japan on a study tour of women's issues, education, and welfare. For each of these visits, I discuss the mission and organization of the Commission and Department, our key policy priorities, and the CEDAW work.
CEDAW Policy Analysts Ann Lehman met with the Department of Public Works to assist with the budget gender analysis and assisted in drafting up recommendations for the CEDAW Committee.
Policy Analyst Ann Lehman met with Latika Malkani, a former CEDAW Policy Analyst, and Michele Leighton, Acting Dean of John F. Kennedy, Jr. Law School who specializes in human rights and corporate responsibility, to discuss the development of CEDAW Gender Analysis Guidelines for the private sector.
On February 15, I met with a U.S. State Department delegation comprised of representatives from the following countries: Alberia, Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, the Palestinian Authority, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, and Yemen. The delegation was visiting under the auspices of the "Human Rights Advocacy and Awareness Project for the Near East and North Africa." I presented an overview of our Department and informed the delegation of our pioneering CEDAW work. The discussion was very lively, with questions about our domestic violence work, the City's position on reproductive rights, and the issue of prostitution.
Policy Analysts Lehman and Maufas met with Dana Curran, Executive Director of World Savvy: Thinking Beyond Our Borders. World Savvy conducts Teacher Education Workshops to help bring complex global issues to local classrooms. Ms. Curran is interested in the Department's CEDAW work and the possibility of educating educators on what is happening with CEDAW locally before introducing the global perspective.
On March 15 Ms. Lehman participated in a national conference call regarding CEDAW adoption in the US Congress.
In honor of Women's History Month, the United Nations Association of the East Bay convened a panel of women to discuss key UN initiatives. About 60 community members participated in the event. I presented on San Francisco's implementation of the 1998 CEDAW Ordinance and fielded several questions about replicability in other localities. I encourage participants to take steps within their respective communities to advance the work of CEDAW, in particular, pushing local governmental bodies to adopt legislation similar to the San Francisco CEDAW Ordinance.
Senior Policy Analyst Ann Lehman revised and finalized the DOSW's brochure on Recruitment of Women in Non-Traditional Fields. I forwarded this to Police Chief Heather Fong and Fire Chief Joann Hayes-White, both of whom have made the recruitment of women to non-traditional positions a priority.
On June 20, the Department hosted a delegation from the Jiangxi Women's Federation which included women leaders in education, the labor movement, finance, and agriculture. The delegation was very interested in hearing about San Francisco's implementation of CEDAW.
The California Women's Agenda, of which Aileen Hernandez is President and Marilyn Fowler is Executive Director, will convene a Northern California CEDAW Summit on Saturday, June 30 in San Jose . I have agreed to present on San Francisco 's CEDAW work at the event. Commissioners are encourage to attend this important networking event.
C. CEDAW Accolades
In August, both the Examiner (2 articles) and Bay Area Women reported on the NaCo award given to the Gender Analysis Report. The Commission received a heartfelt thank you note from the California Coalition for Women Prisoners which gladly received the resolution commending the organization on the occasion of its 10 year anniversary in November.
D. CEDAW Implementation Review Project
On contract with the Women's Institute for Leadership Development, Professor Debra Liebowitz of Drew University is researching San Francisco's CEDAW implementation and was present at the November 9 CEDAW Committee meeting. The Department worked with Professor Liebowitz over the winter months to complete this important project. Ms. Liebowitz was supplied with materials, background information, and important contacts. The CEDAW committee will not be convened until the Department receives the final copy of the CEDAW Assessment by Prof. Debra Liebowitz of Drew University. The draft report has been delayed. The Department expects to review the draft report in July 2007.
E. Department on the Status of Women Gender Analysis
Senior Policy Analyst Ann Lehman and Policy Analyst Carol Sacco presented recommendations from the gender analysis of the Department on the Status of Women to the Commission in December 2006. The final version of the gender analysis was bound for distribution in March 2007, and is currently available on the Department's website.
F. Private Sector Initiative
The Department held the first meeting of the Private Sector CEDAW Initiative at HellerErhman law firm on January 30. Besides Policy Analyst Ann Lehman and myself, participants included Anne Mercogliano, Diversity Specialist, HellerEhrman; Latika Malkani, Lawyer, Former CEDAW Policy Analyst; Michelle Leighton, Director, Human Rights Programs, University of San Francisco School of Law; Amy Ackerman, Former City Deputy Attorney for CEDAW Ordinance; and Ethan Guillen, Research Manager, Varoga & Rice. We reviewed various guidelines, brainstormed process options and next steps.
Policy Analyst Ann Lehman drafted CEDAW Private Sector Initiative Guidelines in March 2007.
On April 4, 2007 Policy Analyst Ann Lehman and I convened a very lively second meeting at the CEDAW Private Sector Initiative at HellerErhman to gather feedback from a variety of stakeholders. We debated the pros and cons of different gender/social responsibility models including but not limited to:
· CEDAW Private Sector Gender Analysis Guidelines, Ann Lehman, DOSW Senior Policy Analyst
· Working Mother Magazine, Anne Mercogliano, Diversity Specialist, HellerEhrman
· Bar Association's Glass Ceiling Goals, Amy Ackerman, Former City Deputy Attorney for CEDAW Ordinance
· Social Responsibility, Ethan Guillen, Research Manager, Varoga Consulting
· United Nations Transnational Corporation Norms, Julianne Cartwright Traylor, Director, Human Rights Programs, University of San Francisco School of Law
· The Millennium Challenge Corporation's Gender Policy, Sharon Hoff, Broker Associate Paragon Real Estate Group, former DOSW Sexual Harassment Task Force member
In addition, the group was asked to review draft CEDAW Gender Analysis Guidelines for the private sector.
In May, Ms. Lehman attended the Amnesty International's recruitment efforts for human rights trainers where she recruited the Deputy Director Mona Cadena to join our CEDAW Private Sector Initiative.
The Department convened another meeting of the CEDAW private sector initiative on June 11. We discussed draft private sector gender analysis guidelines drafted by Senior Policy Analyst Ann Lehman and focused on questions we want to include in the first roll-out of a model private sector gender analysis with the understanding that this first effort will be limited in scope. The committee discussed two levels of private sector participation: 1) signing on to a set of CEDAW principles, and 2) undergoing a limited gender analysis with a focus on best practices.
G. Women: Rock the Vote!a Get Out the Vote Forum
The Department, together with the California Women's Agenda, and the Women's Leadership Alliance hosted a voter education forum on Wednesday, August 30, 2006 at the Senator Milton Marks Conference Center, State Building. The forum featured a short video about women legislators in California, and two panel discussions, Women in Elected Office moderated by Belva Davis, and Grassroots Campaign Strategies, moderated by Rose Aguilar. About 50 people attended the event.
H. Friends of the Commission on the Status of Women to Launch CEDAW Awards
The Friends are planning to celebrate the 30th Anniversary of the Commission on the Status of Women with an awards luncheon to honor 7 women in various human rights categories (e.g., education, government, arts & culture). One of the awards will be the Claire Joyce Tempongko Memorial Award for Community Service, which was announced at last October's Domestic Violence Awareness Month event.
I. Action Alerts / Legislative Concerns
Based on the Commission's interest in pursuing legislative concerns as discussed at the July 28 Commission Retreat, the following is illustrative of the issues that Policy Analyst Ann Lehman has responded to on behalf of the Department:
August 16, 2006
- Support for the National Organization for Women's call for reform of the 2006 Immigration Bill.
- Opposition to an extreme abortion ban in the Ohio legislature.
- Support for Planned Parenthood's call to stop the war on birth control.
- Opposition to silicon breast implants which contain dangerous levels of platinum salts.
- Support for Amnesty International's call for an action to stop the killing of women in Guatemala.
September 27, 2006
- Support for gender pay equity which attempts to persuades employers to end discriminatory pay practices.
- Support for health insurance to cover all Californians and enable them to choose their own doctor.
- Support for the Prison Reform Bill which will establish facilities throughout California to house non-violent incarcerated women and create rehabilitation programs to help women make a successful transition upon release.
- Support access to critical state services for immigrant survivors of human trafficking to critical state services.
- Support for the Global Resources and Opportunities for Women to Thrive (GROWTH) Act of 2006.
- Support for over-the-counter emergency contraception for women 18 years and older.
- Support for Sudanese survivors of sexual violence.
- Support for the United Nations Security Council to take a leadership role in promoting the election of a qualified woman to the post of United Nations Secretary-General.
October 25, 2006
- Oppose legislation that could endanger young women's lives, The Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act (CIANA), which would restrict young women's ability to access abortion services.
- Oppose "The Secure Fence Act," H.R. 6061, a bill to erect a 700 mile wall on part of our 2,000 mile shared border with Mexico.
- Oppose President Bush's detainee legislation, which would redefine rape and sexual abuse to exclude acts previously considered abusive.
- Support measures to stop the murders of women in Ciudad Juarez and Guatemala.
- Support justice for survivors of Japan's military sexual slavery.
- Oppose targeting of lesbians in Uganda (Homosexuality is a criminal offense in Uganda).
December 12, 2006
- Urged Nancy Pelosi to sign on to House Resolution 1081 which among other things expresses the sympathy of the House of Representatives to the families of women and girls murdered in Guatemala and encourages the government of Guatemala to bring an end to these crimes.
- Contacted Secretary of Health and Human Services Mike Leavitt, urging him to reject Dr. Eric Keroack's appointment to direct the federal family planning program since he has dedicated his career as a doctor to advising women against birth control and abortions as morally wrong.
- Contacted the New York Police Department to call for an investigation into the allegations of mistreatment of transgender women.
- Took action to tell national pharmacy chains to adopt a written policy to stock the emergency contraceptive Plan B in all their pharmacies.
- Contacted the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regarding problems with breast implants, stating that silicone gel breast implants pose unacceptable health risks to women.
- Joined a call to stop the killings in Darfur, to stop rape in Darfur, and to strongly encourage support for peacekeepers in Darfur by supporting an amendment to add $60 million to the FY07 Foreign Operations Appropriations bill.
January 24, 2007
- Congratulated Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.
- Supported a call to replace Eric Keroack as head of the US government's family planning program due to his position against family planning.
- Supported the increase in the national minimum wage.
- Supported the Global Resources and Opportunities for Women to Thrive (GROWTH) Act. This legislation (H.R. 5858) would authorize micro-credit and larger business loans to enable women to start and grow businesses and create opportunities for poor women in developing countries to benefit from global trade through programs such as trade capacity building and training for women entrepreneurs.
- Opposed HR 6099, a bill strongly supported by legislators with positions against family planning, which would compel doctors to give women biased and unproven information about reproduction.
- Supported an amendment to increase funds for African Union (AU) peacekeepers in Darfur, Sudan.
February, 28, 2007
- Supported the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) which opposes any regulatory changes that would weaken the existing worker protections guaranteed by the law.
- Supported the repeal of the Hyde Amendment, which has forced women to carry unwanted pregnancies to term by excluding abortions from covered Medicaid services.
- Supported a clear policy in Florida forbidding workers in government facilities from denying women access to emergency contraception.
- Asked Congress to assess the state of human rights and to consider policies that will help restore America 's traditional leadership on human rights
March 28, 2007
- Support letter to the local Public Broadcasting Station to encourage them to play "The Motherhood Manifesto," a documentary film that illustrates how the U.S. falls behind almost every developed country in its support of work-life balance policies.
- Sent support letter to Senators for CEDAW Treaty hearings.
- Signed petition in support of women's rights for International Women's Day.
- Helped get the word out about paid family leave in California, http://www.paidfamilyleave.org/.
- Support for the Healthy Families Act, relating to paid sick days.
- Sent support letter to Nancy Pelosi for the bipartisan H.R.819, the Prevention First Act, which increases information about and access to affordable contraception.
April 25, 2007
- Signed support for Planned Parenthood's objection to the Supreme Court's decision to ban an abortion procedure without an exception to protect women's health.
- Sent a letter of support to KGO for news anchor Jessica Aguirre, the only Latina anchor in this television news market, who intends to terminate her contract at the end of this year.
- Signed support letter to members of Congress urging international pressure to end the genocide in Darfur.
- In response to the tragedy at Virginia Tech University, signed a support letter urging the California Assembly Public Safety Committee to support the Crime Gun Identification Act of 2007 (AB 1471); signed a support letter to members of Congress advocating for strong gun laws.
- Signed a letter to MSNBC condemning the racist and sexist remarks of Don Imus and Bernard McGuirk after the NCAA championship game.
- Signed support for Assemblymember Sally Lieber's AB 76, co-sponsored by the California Commission on the Status of Women and the NAACP, which addresses the unique needs of women prisoners. AB 76 requires the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to create a gender-specific master plan to improve the correctional system for women prisoners, establish small community facilities throughout California to house low-risk, non-violent incarcerated women, and create a community-based program with comprehensive rehabilitative services to help women make a successful transition upon release.
- Contacted our Senators regarding support for CEDAW and our hope that the Convention will be considered and ratified during the 110th Congress to re-establish the leadership role of the United States in promoting human rights.
- Requested members of Congress to support HR 100, sponsored by Representative Hilda Solis, to urge the government of Guatemala to improve its procedures for investigating and prosecuting crimes of violence against women.
- Signed support for S 766, the "Paycheck Fairness Act," introduced last month by Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) and Representative Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn). The bill aims to reduce the pay gap by enhancing the enforcement of the Equal Pay Act and require a stronger commitment from the Department of Labor in its responsibilities to women workers.
- Sent letters to Assemblymember Mark Leno and Senator Carole Migden expressing support for SB 840, the California Health Insurance Reliability Act, which would provide all Californians with comprehensive health insurance and the ability to choose their own doctor.
May 23, 2007
· Support for CARE's Safe Motherhood Platform to increase funding for international family planning and maternal health programs carried of the United States Agency for International Development.
· Support for HR 1964 Freedom of Choice Act, which would codify the protections of Roe v. Wade in federal law.
· Urge that the media refrain from using gender stereotypes when reporting on presidential candidates.
· Support for legislation to increase work/life balance, such as proportional benefits for part-time workers, and to reduce the economic risks for those who take time out of the paid workforce to raise a child or care for a loved one.
· Support for habeas corpus legislation that would restore human rights to government detainees.
· Support for policies to keep Head Start programs free of employment discrimination based on religion.
· Support for the health and reproductive rights of Native American and Alaska Native women.
June 27, 2007
· Support for SB836 which prohibits employment discrimination based on family caregiving responsibilities.
· Support for the FDA Scientific Fairness for Women Act, to protect women from FDA decisions not grounded in scientific research.
· Support for AB22, Provide for Each Child Act of 2007, to repeal California's child exclusion rule and allow for cash assistance for children born into families already receiving temporary aid.
II. Right to Adequate Standard of Living - Underserved Communities
A. Underserved Communities
To follow-up on the Visitation Valley Community Meeting, Policy Analyst Kim-Shree Maufas has started working with the Visitation Valley Beacon Center's Youth Council, composed of girls living in Visitation Valley. In response to persistent violence, community blight, and general lack of economic opportunities for young people within the community, the Youth Council has taken an active role in the well-being of the community.
Through an agreement between the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce and the City and County of San Francisco, staff of City Departments can join the Chamber. On August 9, Policy Analyst Carol Sacco attended a New Member Orientation on behalf of the Department.
On Wednesday, September 13, I hosted a meeting of the Women Executive Directors of Color at the Willie Brown Community Center located near the Sunnydale Housing Projects to invite Fred Blackwell, Director of the Mayor's Office of Community Development to discuss the Mayor's Communities of Opportunity Initiative which is focusing City resources on the neediest neighborhoods. While only a few other Executive Directors could attend, the exchange with Mr. Blackwell was very constructive and positive.
B. Economic Development
On Friday, September 29, the Women's Initiative and Speaker Pro-Tem Leland Yee hosted a kick-off to October as Micro-enterprise Month with the Women and Micro-enterprise Symposium and Women's Business Fair. Women's Initiative presented its vision for utilizing micro-enterprise as a strategy for economic development in San Francisco and Supervisors Chris Daly and Sophie Maxwell shared their commitment and shared vision for investing in women micro-entrepreneurs as a key element of San Francisco's economic development strategy. A recent report released by Women's Initiative revealed that its training program generates a return of $23 for every $1 invested to the local economy.
Per the October Community Meeting on Women's Economic Development and a request for assistance in outreach efforts, the Department distributed Partner Agency rosters and Social Services Directories to the Treasurer's Office (Bank on San Francisco initiative), the Elections Department (elections outreach), and the Small Business Commission (Shop Local Week, December 4 - 9).
Staff is looking into working with the Human Rights Commission to address the concern raised by Commissioners about business enterprises owned by women minorities. Virginia Harmon, Director of the Human Rights Commission stated that the Commission continues to collect data about women and minority-owned businesses, although there can no longer be preferences for this category of business owners due to a court decision. The Human Rights Commission will have new statistics about women-owned, minority-owned, and women/minority-owned businesses in February 2008.
I attended the final meeting of the Homeless Families Services Redesign Advisory Council, in which a final report was presented to Trent Rhorer, Director of the Human Services Agency. Recommendations included rental subsidies, goals for affordable housing units, and outreach on addressing evictions. The six-month intensive effort was highly collaborative and based on an equal partnership between city agencies and community advocates. La Casa de las Madres played a key role in advocating on behalf of the domestic violence shelters. A presentation on the final report, Homeless Families Services Redesign: Recommendations from Community Stakeholders Report, will be scheduled for a future Commission meeting.
D. Exotic Dancer Legislation
Following the approval of the legislation as part of the June Commission Meeting agenda, Secretary Baker has been working with various City Departments to brief them on the status of the of the legislation, including the Department of Public Health, the Human Rights Commission, and the Entertainment Commission. In addition, she continues to address inquiries from members of the public on an as needed basis and has received and processed several requests over the past several weeks for copies of the legislation, from both individuals and members of the media. On August 4, Commissioner Dorka Keehn and I briefed the Entertainment Commission's Legislative Committee on the status of the legislation. Public comment focused on the negative economic impact the legislation would have on dancers if private booths, already illegal according to existing police codes, were prohibited. Other public comment related to the risk these booths posed to dancer safety. The committee lost quorum before public comment could be completed, so the Legislative Committee agreed to hear additional public comment on the legislation at its next meeting, scheduled for Friday, August 18, 4 pm.
The Department is exploring ways in which the Department of Public Health can contribute to enforcement of the legislation. The Entertainment Commission has not yet scheduled the issue for consideration by the full Commission. Department Secretary Jennifer Baker has also been conducting briefings with members of the public on the issue.
Supervisor Michela Alioto-Pier convened an inter-agency group to review revised legislation in March 2007. An introduction date has yet to be determined.
E. Combined Charities Campaign
The start of October marked the beginning of San Francisco's annual Combined Charities Campaign that will run through October 31, 2006. The Heart of the City – Because it Matters campaign will raise money for numerous non-profit organizations working in our communities – from clean water to domestic violence services to medical research to educational/scholarship opportunities. Last year the City's workforce raised a total of $850,000. This year the goal is to increase citywide participation and achieve the fundraising goal of $1 million. Last year, 100% of Department staff participated and raised $820. Again, this year, 100% of staff participated and raised $2,100. This 156% increase represents a dedication and commitment to issues staff holds dear.
F. Policy Briefings
January 24, 2007
Graduate Intern Laura Marshall prepared policy briefs on the following topics.
1. Highlights of Women's Earnings in 2005
(brought forward by Commissioner Carolene Marks)
Women continue to earn less than men, at a rate of 81% of men in 2005. This gap increases for women between 45-54 years old (75%), African American women (89%), and single women (earning 34% less than married women).
2. Family Responsibility Discrimination (brought forward by Commission Dorka Keehn)
California is among 1 of only 22 states to prohibit employers from asking about marital status in the job interview process. On average, a single mother earns $0.61 to the $1 that men earn. This is a national issue being addressed in proposed legislation by Representative Lynn Woolsey (D-Marin County).
3. COSW Previous Position on Prostitution
The Commission was represented on the 1994 San Francisco Task Force on Prostitution by then-Commissioner Carol Leigh. Later, in 1998, the Commission issued Violence Against Women in Prostitution in San Francisco: A Report and Recommendations to the Mayor and Board of Supervisors. While the Task Force recommended legalizing prostitution, the Commission did not take a formal position supporting this recommendation in its report. Instead, the Commission focused on the need for violence prevention and intervention for women in prostitution.
III. Right to Bodily Integrity
A. Violence Against Women Intervention & Prevention (VAW) Grants Program
1. FY 2006-07 Grant Agreements
Grants Administrator Richard Eijima completed the FY 06-07 grant agreements and appendices for the provision of domestic violence and sexual assault crisis line, advocacy, and education services. These 27 grant agreements for 21 community-based agencies were signed by the service providers, the City Attorney's Office, and the Department prior to their July 1, 2006 start date.
The annual VAW Partner Agency Conference was held in late June and was attended by 15 people representing eight agencies. Policy Analyst Lehman and her partner Bob Zimmerman reported on several fundraising strategies including direct mail, major donor cultivation, and planned giving, and offered suggestions to maximize partner agency efforts. The workshop also offered advice on recruiting board members who can effectively help fundraising efforts. Mr. Zimmerman generously donated his services for the conference.
Grants Administrator Richard Eijima continued to meet with and provide technical assistance to grantees on an as needed basis. In addition, Mr. Eijima reviewed third-quarter expenses and program statistics for major deviations and completed FY05 -06 budget revision discussions with grantees. As of July 2006, Kae Lewis has resigned as Mary Elizabeth Inn's Executive Director, having served the agency for the past 16 years. Mr. Eijima met with Kerry Abbott, Abbott Little-Housing and Human Services Consultant, who is working with Mary Elizabeth Inn Board of Directors and staff on strategic transition planning. Also, Jennifer Grant resigned as Program Director for the Riley Center and has accepted a similar position with La Casa de las Madres. Mr. Eijima has been providing technical assistance to Lori Bugaj, Interim Program Director, on reporting requirements, staff transition, and strategic planning issues.
The Department completed the RFP process for the Anti-Human Trafficking Education & Outreach Grant. The Funding Committee recommendation was presented to the Commission on September 27, 2006 for final grant approval. The grant has a revised start set for December 1, 2006, with Asian Pacific Islander Legal Outreach receiving the funds.
In January, Grants Administrator Richard Eijima completed the drafting and assembly of grant agreements for APILO, CROC, IOA, and P. E. Erwin Consulting for the provision of community training, as part of the Justice & Courage Cross Training Institute.
A contract amendment extending the term of the P. E. Erwin Consulting – Safety & Accountability Audit an additional 30 days through January 31, 2007, and increasing the grant amount was drafted, signed, and forwarded to the Deputy City Attorney for signature. The additional funds were identified from the remaining grant balance of a Mayor's Office of Criminal Justice federal grant.
Mark Morris Associates was selected to conduct a program evaluation of the Domestic Violence Cross-Training Institute and the contract was finalized in the spring.
In April, we began the process of renewing the current VAW Program contracts (27 programs from 20 organizations) before the July 1, fiscal year start. I am working with our accountant to have all contracts signed and the funds encumbered and in place before July 1, 2007.
2. FY 2005-2006 Supplemental Appropriation
Mr. Eijima completed the $800,000 supplemental appropriation to the 21 current service providers funded by the Department. Partner Agencies can spend these funds on one-time capital investments, items enhancing public awareness and outreach to underserved vulnerable populations, staff development, and disaster preparedness supplies.
Grants Administrator Richard Eijima reported that 14 of 21 agencies have drawn down 17% ($138,269) of the $800,000 one-time supplemental appropriation funds as of the first quarter ending August 31, 2006.
We have encouraged agencies to spend down remaining balances in the $800,000 supplemental before the June 30 fiscal year end in accordance with the grant agreements. Unspent funds will be forfeited at the end of the fiscal year.
3. FY 2006-2007 Add-back Supplemental
In August, Mr. Eijima worked to prepare amendments to the new grant renewals as a result of addbacks approved by the Board of Supervisors, to be allocated to the VAW Grants Program. The Commission approved revised grant allocations based on the $400,000 addback from the Board of Supervisors in October 2006. Signed contract amendment(s) were forwarded to the City Attorney for signature, and were completed and ready for distribution to Partner Agencies by December 2006.
4. Standard Fiscal & Compliance Monitoring Process
In August 2006, Mr. Eijima met with Sally Allen of the Controller's Office to discuss the Department's involvement with the Standard Fiscal & Compliance Monitoring Process. The goals of the process are to implement the recommendations of the City Nonprofit Contracting Task Force to streamline monitoring procedures, ensure that fiscal monitoring procedures are standardized across City Departments, and maintain or increase the quality of monitoring while decreasing the administrative burden and duplication of efforts for both the contractors and City Departments.
The purpose of the Department's monitoring is to identify issues that impact the City's annual budget cycle and the Department's contract renewal process. Effective monitoring will strengthen the fiscal capacity of non-profit contractors and prepare them for future City audits. To this end, the Department will join the coordinated monitoring efforts of the Department of Public Health (DPH), the Human Services Agency (HSA), and the Department of Children, Youth and Their Families (DCYF). We have committed to receiving notifications via an email distribution list, and will be notified of monthly working group meetings, where monitoring results and policy/procedural issues will be discussed. In addition, we will participate on monitoring teams for select site visits of shared contractors, as necessary.
For FY06-07, 6 agencies have been identified as common to the contracting process with the other city departments, including Asian Women's Shelter, Asian Perinatal Advocates, La Casa de las Madres, Mission Neighborhood Centers-Mission Girls Services, Bar Association of San Francisco, Samoan Community Development Center (Subcontractor of Asian Perinatal Advocates), and St. Vincent de Paul Society. Mr. Eijima will be the lead coordinating staff in the fiscal compliance monitoring of Asian Women's Shelter, La Casa, and the Bar Association.
In November 2006, Mr. Eijima assisted with the site monitoring visits with the Samoan Development Center and Mission Neighborhood Centers/Mission Girls Services. In December 2006, Mr. Eijima conducted a program, fiscal compliance monitoring visit with W.O.M.A.N., Inc. By January, Grants Administrator Richard Eijima completed fiscal, compliance, and program assessments for W.O.M.A.N., Inc. and La Casa de las Madres as part of the joint monitoring effort. DOSW has assisted DCYF in the assessment of Mission Neighborhood Centers – Mission Girls Services and Samoan Development Center (sub-contractor of Asian Perinatal Advocates).
Acting Grants Administrator Carol Sacco participated in a meeting on April 10 to review and discuss the monitoring guidelines and to brainstorm potential training topics for workshops. On May 18, Acting Grants Administrator Sacco participated in the site visit of the San Francisco Bar Association Volunteer Legal Services Program, along with representatives from the Mayor's Office of Community Development, the Human Services Agency, and the Department of Public Health, all of whom fund VLSP.
5. Prop H (Public Education Fund) Advisory Committee Request for Information
September 16, 2006
Proposition H – Public Education Fund was passed in 2004, providing for up to $60 million annually through 2015. These funds will increase – not replace – the funds the City currently appropriates to the San Francisco United School District (SFUSD). The Prop H Advisory Committee recently requested information on existing Department funding provided to the SFUSD for violence prevention programs. The Committee is seeking to utilize some of the Prop H funds in FY06-07 to fund existing City programs that support the school district in this area. The Department currently invests more than $188,000 to school-based services, such as providing public awareness, support groups, counseling, and sensitivity training on domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence, and building healthy relationships. Another $280,000 in unrestricted fundraising proceeds and foundation grants is invested by Partner Agencies. Altogether, more than $469,000 is invested by our Partner Agencies to support more than 3,000 students, ages 6-17, in 22 unduplicated school sites. The Department continues to proactively seek additional funding for the VAW Grants Program.
6. Uniform Visitors Policy Amendment Development
The Uniform Visitor Policy (UVP), administered by the Residential Rent Stabilization Board, states that no owner or operator of an SRO shall deny a guest or occupant of the hotel the right to daytime visitors or overnight guests. The Department has been working with housing advocates and the Department of Human Services to amend the UVP and allow for an exemption to this rule for housing designed to serve survivors of domestic and/or sexual violence in order to protect their safety. The Department has requested the Deputy City Attorney to draft amendment language for introduction by Supervisor Aaron Peskin. The matter was referred to the Board of Supervisors Land Use Committee for a hearing on December 6, and approved.
7. Needs Assessment
Due to limited funding, the Department narrowed the scope of work needed to achieve the outcomes desired to make an informed decision on establishing priority service populations and programmatic needs for the new 3 year funding cycle. The Department waited for a FY05-06 carry forward balance approval to establish available funding to implement the Request for Proposals (RFP) process, which was approved in October 2006.
The objective of the Needs Assessment is to gather the necessary data for the Commission determine priority service populations and programmatic needs for the next 3-year funding cycle. An RFQ was issued on November 8 and a Bidders Conference was held on November 15. More than 38 individuals (16 in person and 12 electronically) received an RFP Application packet.
An independent review panel, including staff from the Controller's Office, Human Services Agency, and an independent consultant with more than 25 years experience in planning, development, needs assessment, and program evaluation, was convened and has made its recommendation to the Funding Committee. The Commission voted on the recommendation as a consent agenda item at the January 24 meeting.
On January 31, Carol Sacco and I met with Lisa Korwin and Wendy Constantine, the two consultants that the Department engaged to conduct the needs assessment of anti-violence against women programs. On February 15, we convened a Partner Agencies meeting so that the evaluators could brief agency staff on the project. A design team including representatives of Partner Agencies will meet to provide additional input into the needs assessment.
Consultant Lisa Korwin attended the April Commission meeting to provide an update and answer any questions related to the needs assessment.
As of June 2007, Lisa Korwin of Korwin Consulting was in the process of meeting staff and clients of Partner Agencies to learn about their program experiences, barriers they face, and unmet needs. Lisa Korwin has submitted an interim report, as requested by the Commission. The final Needs Assessment report will yield comprehensive information that will guide future funding and policy and program decisions.
8. FY07-08 Service Statistics
Grants Administrator Richard Eijima completed a first quarter analysis of FY06-07 service statistics. During the first quarter, service providers reported that 4,361 individuals have been served in the 6 major service categories including crisis line, intervention & advocacy, and prevention & education. That number represents more than 17,000 individuals projected to be served this year, exceeding by approximately 28% the 13,284 individuals served in FY05-06.
B. Justice & Courage
1. Oversight Panel
The Justice & Courage Oversight Panel met on August 2, 2006. A key topic was the unexpected outcome of the ethnic media roundtable. Panel members discussed the contrast with the first ethnic media roundtable that targeted the Asian/Pacific Islander community, and was attended by over 20 members of the ethnic media. The Panel concluded the there is a great deal of work that was necessary to increase awareness and interest in the problem of domestic violence in the Spanish-speaking community. Discussion turned to a strategic plan for the work of the Panel. Panel members adopted the goals outlined in the Commission's draft Strategic Plan, but identified the need to conduct a strategic planning process with community partners to determine a long-term plan for the Panel's work.
The Oversight Panel met on Wednesday, February 7. Their agenda included a presentation by Dr. Trish Erwin on the findings and recommendations of the Safety Audit. The Panel considered next steps and agreed to hold a Justice and Courage Strategic Planning Retreat in early spring to formulate its next phase, which will include a plan for the implementation and oversight of the Audit recommendations. Also at its February meeting, the Oversight Panel passed a resolution in appreciation of Judge Cynthia Ming-Mei Lee's service to the San Francisco Domestic Violence Court. The resolution will be presented to Judge Lee at an upcoming meeting.
The Oversight Panel met on April 11. The primary focus of the meeting was to plan a community meeting and a strategic planning meeting. The Panel concluded the meeting by thanking Justice & Courage Policy Analyst Colleen Montoya for her dedicated service in supporting the Panel's work and wished her the best as she embarks on a new position at a university.
The Justice & Courage Oversight Panel held a Community Meeting on Wednesday, May 30, 3 - 6 pm at the Women's Building. The meeting accomplished two objectives: 1) to brief the community about the findings of the Domestic Violence Safety & Accountability Audit, and 2) to gather input as the Oversight Panel prepares for its strategic planning retreat.
The Justice and Courage Strategic Planning Retreat was convened at the Women's Building on Tuesday, June 26, from 8 am - 3 pm. The Oversight Panel reviewed accomplishments to date and set priorities for the near term. Retreat minutes will be posted to the Department website.
2. Committee Meetings
The Protocol Committee had its final meeting on July 12, 2006. At the meeting, the Committee discussed a draft Progress Report on the status of departmental domestic violence protocols and procedures and voted to forward the report to the Oversight Panel for review at its August 9, 2006 meeting. The Resources Committee held its final meeting on June 20, 2006. Each participant received a Certificate of Appreciation from the Department. This committee reformed in the fall to become the Training Collaborative, focusing specifically on the Domestic Violence Response Cross-Training Institute.
3. Ethnic Media Roundtable
On Wednesday, July 26, the Justice & Courage Oversight Panel convened an Ethnic Media Roundtable targeting the Spanish-speaking community. Guest speakers included a domestic violence survivor, a former batterer, representatives from community service providers, immigration services, and the District Attorney's Victim Services Unit. Unfortunately, despite two press advisories distributed to an extensive list of media outlets, only one reporter, who was not Spanish-speaking attended the event. This outcome was a major topic of the August 2 Oversight Panel meeting.
4. Domestic Violence Response Cross-Training Institute
The Department received and signed the grant award contract from the Blue Shield of California Foundation. The grant is for $200,000 over two years to implement a Domestic Violence Cross-Training Institute for first-response criminal justice personnel. Policy Analyst Colleen Montoya prepared and submitted an Accept and Expend Resolution to the Board of Supervisors for their approval. Upon review of the grant, the Budget Analyst requested that the grant award include indirect costs. A modified budget was approved by the Blue Shield of California Foundation and was introduced by Supervisor Ma with the Accept and Expend Resolution on Tuesday, July 11, 2006. The resolution was assigned to the City Operations and Neighborhood Services Committee where Supervisor Bevan Dufty joined Supervisor Ma as a sponsor. The resolution was adopted by the full Board of Supervisors on August 8, 2006.
December 6 was the deadline for responses to the Department's Training Institute Evaluator RFP. We received a number of strong applicants and began the review process in December 2006. A review panel convened in January and made its recommendation to the Funding Committee. The Commission approved the recommendation as a consent agenda item at the January 24 meeting.
The Department selected four community-based trainers to be a part of the Domestic Violence Response Cross-Training Institute Training Team. The team includes Emberly Cross of the Cooperative Restraining Order Clinic, Audit Coordinator Patricia Erwin, Kavitha Sreeharsha of Asian Pacific Islander Legal Outreach, and Mary Twomey of the Institute on Aging. The Team, including Policy Analyst Colleen Montoya and Graduate Intern Laura Marshall, worked on designing the training curriculum between January and April 2007.
The inaugural class of the Training Institute, made possible by a 2-year grant of the Blue Shield of California Foundation, met on Thursday, May 3 at the Conference Center of St. Mary's Cathedral from 8:30 am - 4:30 pm. Agency personnel included staff from the following departments: Adult Probation, District Attorney, Emergency Management (911), Police, and Sheriff. The four community co-trainers have developed a highly-interactive victim-centered curriculum that has garnered training certifications to enable these agency personnel to receive credit to meet professional development requirements. Special thanks to Laura Marshall, now Policy Assistant with the Department, for her exceptional support of the Institute.
The training schedule is as follows: Thursday, May 3; Wednesday, May 9; Tuesday, May 22; Tuesday, June 5; Thursday, June 14; Thursday, July 12; Wednesday, July 18; Tuesday, July 24; Wednesday, August 1; Wednesday, August 8.
As of the end of June, over 100 criminal justice personnel have been trained over the course of 5 Institute sessions. Preliminary reports from the Institute Evaluator, Mark Morris Associates, imply that participants leave the training understanding more than when they entered, and contacts at each of the agencies report positive feedback from their staff that have attended.
5. Domestic Violence Safety and Accountability Audit
On June 23, 2006, we held a very successful video conference between the City's public safety department heads and Dr. Ellen Pence, creator of the Audit methodology. Participants included: Police Chief Heather Fong, Deputy Police Chief David Shinn, District Attorney Kamala Harris, Assistant District Attorney Jim Rowland, Acting Chief of Adult Probation Art Faro, Acting Director of MOCJ Allen Nance, Acting Emergency Communications Director Pam Katz, Sheriff Department Chief of Staff Eileen Hirst, and several members of the Justice and Courage Oversight Panel.
The Audit Week, September 18-22, was a tremendous success, thanks in large part to the dedicated efforts of Justice & Courage Policy Analyst Colleen Montoya and consultant Dr. Patricia Erwin. In 4 days, the 20-person multidisciplinary team conducted approximately 60 interviews and observations, 8 ride-alongs, and 3 focus groups, and analyzed thousands of pages of text, including police reports, probation supplementals, and 911 transcripts. Through its initial analysis, the team identified both problems and solutions within the 8 audit trails: Rules and Regulations, Administrative Practices, Resources, Concepts and Theories, Linkages, Mission, Purpose & Function, Accountability, and Education & Training.
On October 10, the Audit Team met to begin an analysis of its audit findings. Following an intense and thorough analysis of the Audit's findings, the Audit Team made a series of recommendations based on key system gaps identified through the Audit process. Over the past month, Department staff and members of the Audit Team have met with each of the participating criminal justice Department Heads – Adult Probation, District Attorney, Emergency Management (911), and Police, as well as the Mayor's Office of Criminal Justice. The briefings were all very successful and each Department Head welcomed the recommendations and expressed interest in continuing a dialogue. On January 19th, the full Audit Team made a formal presentation to the Department Heads and Mayoral Staff.
Members of the Oversight Panel and the Audit Team continue to distribute the Audit findings and recommendations to policy makers and community providers. On February 2, Policy Analyst Colleen Montoya, Audit Coordinator Dr. Trish Erwin, and I met with recently appointed Presiding Judge David Ballati to brief him on the Audit and provide an overview of the Department and Commission.
The Audit also received some positive press coverage during the week of February 5. The Chronicle's Elizabeth Fernandez published an article after attending the February 7 Oversight Panel Meeting. Additionally, KCBS Radio interviewed Dr. Trish Erwin live on February 8.
On April 10, Commissioner Dorka Keehn and Dr. Patricia Erwin briefed Lenore Anderson, the new Director of the Mayor's Office of Criminal Justice, on the audit findings and recommendations. On April 11, Commissioner Keehn, Dr. Erwin, Beverly Upton, and I met with the Mayor to brief him on the audit findings and recommendations. On April 23, Dr. Erwin and I briefed senior staff members from the Mayor's Office and the Controller's Office on the audit as part of the SF Stat meeting for public safety agencies.
At the invitation of Lenore Anderson, Director of the Mayor's Office of Criminal Justice, Dr. Trish Erwin and I presented the findings of the Safety Audit to the May 7 SF STAT panel meeting. The Panel is composed of the Mayor's Chief of Staff, Budget Director, Public Policy Director, and related public safety department heads. Discussion focused on the need for improved benchmarking of public safety statistics.
On June 12, 2007, Mayor Newsom issued an Executive Directive to all City departments, requiring their compliance with a variety of recommendations made by the Audit Team. Primarily, the Mayor directed the Commission's Justice & Courage Oversight Panel to oversee the implementation process, and departments are required to respond to the Audit with their implementation strategies by August 12, 2007. The directive calls for the signing of a city-wide Memorandum of Understanding between criminal justice agencies to codify responses to domestic violence and stalking; for additional training on stalking for police officers; for centralized, high-quality interpretation services for all criminal justice departments; for a more secure and appropriate space to house the Police Department's Domestic Violence Response Unit; for increased and improved oversight of batterer's intervention programs by Adult Probation; for improved connections between criminal justice agencies and community organizations providing advocacy services for survivors of domestic violence; and for participation by all criminal justice agencies in the Domestic Violence Response Cross-Training Institute.
C. Family Violence Council Planning Group
The Council has created definitions in the introductory paragraph reflective of the 3 areas of family violence including child abuse, domestic violence, and elder/dependent adult abuse. The Council composition shall broadly represent the ethnic, racial, gender, age, and sexual orientation diversity of San Francisco. The Planning Group members have been working closely with Supervisor Fiona Ma's office to explore sponsoring legislation to amend and reconstitute the Council. Commissioner Andrea Evans has taken a lead in drafting language to support this effort.
As of January 2007, final draft language amending the Family Violence Council Ordinance was agreed upon and forwarded to Supervisor Sophie Maxwell's office for potential sponsorship of the amended membership, structure, goals, and tasks of the Council. On February 14, members of the Planning Group, including Commissioner Andrea Evans, met with Supervisor Sophie Maxwell to ask for her sponsorship of the legislation to the Board.
The draft legislation was circulated to community stakeholders and relevant government agencies in April 2007. Commissioner Evans and the Department secured sponsorship of the legislation by the Mayor and Supervisor Sophie Maxwell. The Commission adopted the Family Violence Council legislation at the April meeting.
On June 12, 2007, the Family Violence Legislation was introduced to the Board of Supervisors, co-sponsored by Mayor Newsom, Supervisor Maxwell, and Supervisor Alioto-Pier. The Department coordinated with the offices of the Mayor, Board of Supervisors and District Attorney to host a press conference that morning. President Munter, Commissioner Evans, Mayor Newsom, Supervisor Maxwell, District Attorney Harris, Beverly Upton of the Domestic Violence Consortium, and Mary Twomey of the Institute on Aging all spoke at the press conference. The legislation will be sent to the Rules Committee before being voted on by the full Board. Public comment will be heard at the Rules Committee, sometime in July. The planning group hopes to convene the first official Family Violence Council meeting on August 2, 2007.
I have been attending the quarterly meetings of the JUSTIS Governance Council which oversees the implementation of case management systems in criminal justice agencies. The Police Department is rolling out the new case management system at the Taraval Station, but this process has been subject to several delays. All other agencies are well into deployment of their systems.
The JUSTIS Governance Council met on Thursday, May 10. There continues to be a bottleneck at the Police Department and Council members expressed their frustration. Lenore Anderson attended the meeting and committed to making the issue a high priority. I have consulted with Council co-chair Eileen Hirst of the Sheriff's Department on the issue and spoken with senior Mayoral staff urging that the Police Department fill the Chief Information/ Technology Officer position as soon as possible.
The JUSTIS Governance Council met on Thursday, June 14, chaired by Assistant Sheriff Eileen Hirst, and attended by Executive Sponsor Lenore Anderson, Director of the Mayor's Office of Criminal Justice. Agencies provided progress reports of their systems. Basically, all departments, with the exception of the Police Department, are ready to connect to the "hub," a data warehouse. The Police Department was noticeably absent from the meeting. I expressed concern to Chief Fong who reported that she will ensure appropriate representation at all future meetings. The Police Department is in the process of hiring a new Chief Technology Officer, who will be a civilian responsible for overseeing all technology-related areas of the department.
IV. Right to Adequate Health Care
A. Universal Health Care in San Francisco
In July, Ms. Maufas attended the San Francisco Board of Supervisor's Budget Committee hearings regarding the Mayor's and Supervisor Ammiano's Universal Health Care and Universal Health Access initiatives. During the month of August, Ms. Maufas also attended Universal Health Care and Access Outreach and Response campaign meetings sponsored by the San Francisco Labor Council. The Mayor signed the Universal Healthcare Security Ordinance on August 7, 2006. With the leadership of Commissioner Marks, the Department will continue to follow this important health issue.
The Single-Payer Universal Health Care Bill (SB840), sponsored by Senator Sheila Kuehl, was adopted by the California legislature in early September 2006. SB 840 would provide every California resident with comprehensive health insurance and guarantee patients a right to choose their own doctors. The Department has communicated support for adoption of the bill, though Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has vetoed it. Senator Kuehl will reintroduce the bill in 2007, and the Department will continue to support the bill.
Policy Analyst Kim-Shree Maufas and Commissioner Marks attended the ongoing Universal Health Care Working Group meeting at the UCSF Center on Excellence in Women's Health. This group is comprised of women working at differing levels, from nurse practitioners to disability advocates to women Executive Directors. The work group has agreed to continue to advocate that Universal Health Care/Access is a Women's Issue, and is working on five events throughout the state to support their efforts. The strategic plan includes a day that culminates the year's work of advocacy, education and gathering of varying cultural communities on the State Capitol steps during Women's Health Week estimated May 2007.
On behalf of Commissioner Marks, I attended the December 1 meeting of the Health Access Plan Advisory Committee, co-chaired by Dr. Mitch Katz, Director of Public Health, and Lloyd Dean of Catholic Healthcare West. Issues before the committee include a lawsuit filed by the Golden Gate Restaurant Association challenging the mandated employer contributions, discounts to employees whose employers pay into the Health Access Plan, and ways to reform the healthcare delivery system to reduce costs. Policy Analyst Kim-Shree Maufas continues to attend the UCSF universal healthcare working group which is planning for 2007 actions in Sacramento to promote the issue state-wide.
In January 2007, CEDAW Policy Analyst Kim-Shree Maufas and Commissioner Carolene Marks (by phone) attended the UCSF Center on Excellence in Women's Health Working Group, which is continuing to plan for the 2007 Women's Health Advocacy Day in Sacramento, California. The working group is aggressively scheduling Women's Health events throughout the state, leading up to the Advocacy Day, including Several Women's Convenings, to train and coach average women on advocacy techniques aimed towards their local and state representatives. Based on the success of the 2006 Women's Health Summit held here in San Francisco and other major cities across the state, the next Women's Health Summit is also being planned. The Department is seeking a health policy intern to assist Ms. Maufas and Commissioner Marks in supporting this work as well as current work around breast cancer issues. Another working group focused on fundraising to enable women from all over California to converge in Sacramento.
Ms. Maufas and Commissioner Marks met with Barbara Cohen of the San Francisco African American Action Network to discuss the upcoming health phase of the San Francisco Covenant based on the 2006 New York Times bestseller The Covenant with Black America.