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Meeting Information

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Wednesday, July 25, 2007

6:00 P.M.

1800 Oakdale Avenue

San Francisco, CA 94124

  1. Commissioner Bobbrie Brown called the Wednesday, July 25, 2007 meeting to order at 6:10 p.m. in the Alex L. Pitcher Community Room at 1800 Oakdale Avenue.

    Commissioner Brown read the Sunshine Ordinance aloud.


          RESOLUTION (SECFC-2007-85) Be it resolved that the minutes of the Southeast Community Facility Commission meeting of Thursday, July 12, 2007 were approved as submitted with amendment.

  1. Ms. Espanola Jackson announced that the Planning Commission would hold a meeting to discuss “rezoning issues” in the Bayview district on October 4th, 2007 in the Alex Pitcher Community Room.
    Commissioner Brown took the agenda out of order and asked that Mr. Edwin Lee, City Administrator step forward to present on San Francisco Slavery Disclosure Ordinance.

Mr. Edwin Lee,
City Administrator reported that the ordinance, sponsored by Supervisors Maxwell and Mirkarimi and signed into law by Mayor Newsom last year became effective December of 2006. It charged the City Administrator’s Office in partnership with the Cultural Historical Society with implementation and investigation as to which companies may have historical business ties with the slave trade.

The three areas of investigation for slavery ties fall into three categories: (1) Banking and financial institutions, (2) textile industry, and (3) insurance industry. The three objectives of the Ordinance are: (1) to investigate all historical business records and disclose whether companies doing business with the city were involved in the slave trade and require disclosure in detail of how, when, why and with whom they were involved in the slave trade. (2) to submit an annual report nine (9) months from execution of the ordinance (September 2007); and (3) to set up a fund on behalf of the City and County of San Francisco for the benefit of African American community to persuade any of the companies who might have participated in the slave trade to then contribute to this fund.

The goal of the fund as explained in the ordinance is to identify programs and different kinds of grants the city might create to help alleviate the negative impact of slavery on anyone or any group of people here in San Francisco or the bay area who continues to suffer the impact of slavery now.

The City Administrator’s Office in conjunction with the Cultural Historical Society created an affidavit to be signed by business owners doing business with the city that affirms whether or not they have any participation in the slave trade, and what they did or didn’t do, and who was involved in that. Most affidavits collected signify that the vendor has researched their records and determined they were never involved in the slave trade.

Two student interns have been hired by the City Administrator’s office to assist in doing additional research of companies that are not forthcoming in disclosing their involvement. The interns have been conducting research in other cities on the east coast and cities in the south to determine whether or not they have similar ordinances as San Francisco and what their experience with their affidavits have been and whether they can be used to compare with the same companies the city is being asked to report on.

Mr. Lee reported that he is working with four other city department heads covering those three basic areas, who are to report their findings to the City Administrator.

Mr. Lee concluded by stating that the department is learning and wanting to participate in a very public dialogue with the Historical Cultural Society on the whole issue of reparations.

Commissioner Brown asked if cities in the south were investigated. Mr. Lee responded research was also done on cities in the south; however, not as many cities in the south or counties have passed a similar type of legislation as cities in the north.

Commissioner Churchwell asked whether the research was being funded and if so by whom. Mr. Lee stated expenses for research and support and implementation of the ordinance have been covered by the City Administrator’s office.

Commissioner Jones asked what method or methods of persuasion will be used to get companies that were involved in the slave trade to be involved in donating to the fund once research has been done and affidavits are received.

Mr. Lee clarified that the reference to “persuade” means contributing to the fund. However, there is no legal requirement that any company who might have been discovered as participating in the slave trade are required to participate in the fund. That aspect in defining persuasion has not yet been discussed in detail. However the City Administrator is responsible for reporting back to the Board all of the persuasive processes that could be used to get them to cooperate.

Commissioner Brown thanked Mr. Lee for his presentation and asked that Mr. Alfred Williams step forward to address the Commission who presented on the same subject several weeks ago.

Mr. Alfred Williams stated since he has presented recently, he would just like to briefly offer a couple of comments. With regard to Commissioner Jones’ question regarding the persuasion issue, it is important to understand the ordinance would not have been passed had there been any language in it that required anyone to do anything. It was a very conscious effort on the part of the committee in working with the city attorney and all people involved to use passive language about encouragement with the understanding/hope that once the information is made available, there would be a tool to say you in fact did that. We’re in the process of identifying who did it and then hopefully the information around it will enable us to go and encourage those people to do something about it.

Mr. Williams summarized one line in the ordinance in which basically one can encourage anybody to contribute to this fund.

Mr. Williams also clarified that all funds being expended on this process to date are in fact coming from the City Administrator’s office; however it does not fund the Historical Cultural Society’s time and effort and the committee that sponsored this ordinance time and effort.

Mr. Williams concluded by explaining that Congressman John Conyers has been trying without success, to get a national commission appointed to congress to study slavery and its effects. The challenge is that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has not supported him. Mr. Williams suggested that everyone could help by encouraging House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to get the measure out of committee and onto that national debate.

Mr. Williams explained consistent with the “Society’s” efforts to educate, educational programs are taking place. He listed the following upcoming guest speakers: Dr. Manning Marable will be a featured black speaker on August 26th. On September 16th Dr. Leon Litwack who has done much research on slavery will also speak.

Commissioner Sampson suggested that research be done on ship manifestation records since that industry played a big part in the slave trade. Mr. Williams clarified the ordinance covers companies that have contracts with the City and County of San Francisco.

Commissioner Brown asked whether the student interns could share some of the information they have discovered.

Mr. Adam Engelhart, student intern, explained that he has been researching other city ordinances throughout the nation and have met with people from Berkeley and Oakland to discuss their ordinances. He commented that San Francisco’s slavery ordinance is “state of the art” and goes beyond what many other ordinances do in calling for a report and the setting up funds.

Ms. Jackson asked that the City Administrator request that Mayor Newsom send a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senators Feinstein/Boxer to move the ordinance out of committee.

Mr. Williams clarified that the Board is already on record as supporting HR40 and have adopted it. He suggested that the Board resurrect HR40 and take some action to move forward with it.

3.0                 COMMUNICATION:

-           Mr. Nathaniel Ford re: Update on Muni T-Line Operation;

-           Captain Albert Pardini, SFPD: Bayview Station re: Crackdown on Crime/Gang Violence

-           Mr. James Buckley, Citizens Housing Corporation re: Overview on affordable Housing Program

-           Mr. John Loiacono, SFPUC Principal Engineer re: Placement of Digesters at Southeast Plant.

5.0                 DIRECTOR’S REPORT(Discussion & Approval):
Dir. Moses reported that the Commission Secretary has been bumped and will be relocated to PUC, 1155 Market Street. Dir. Moses asked that Mr. Joseph Singh give update on the Comcast installation.

Mr. Joseph Singh, Mgmt. Assistant reported that the Comcast installation is nearly complete, which will allow the Facility to broadcast and view Board of Supervisor meetings. Renovation of the community room floor is scheduled for completion by August 3rd or 4th.

Dir. Moses explained that staff is in the process of working out legal issues to remove the snake structure from the Head Start playground area. Dir. Moses stated the mural is still in progress and once complete, the artist will contact staff to schedule a meeting to review it.

Dir. Moses also reported he was told by the Mayor’s Office that the motion the Commission
passed at the last commission meeting to amend the jurisdictional transfer agreement for the four (4) childcare centers was not necessary.

Ms. Espanola Jackson asked for clarification of the jurisdictional transfer childcare centers. She voiced extreme displeasure that the transfer took place and said, “You have been unfairly treated”.

MOTION: Moved by Kennedy, seconded by Fuentes to accept the Director’s Report. Motion passed unanimously to accept report as presented (4-0).


There was no new business introduced at this time.

10.0                 PUBLIC COMMENT:
There was no public comment at this time.

11.0                 ANNOUNCEMENTS:
Dir. Moses announced that the Police Commission will hold their next meeting on Thursday, August 9th @ 6:00 p.m. in the Alex Pitcher Community Room. Commissioner Brown instructed staff to include that information in the next mail out.  Mr. Singh announced two upcoming ad-hoc meetings, Public Safety (7/30/07) and Health & Housing (7/31/07).

12.0                 ADJOURNMENT
The meeting adjourned at 7:22 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,


Commission Secretary