Street Artists Committee - November 4, 2019 - Minutes
SAN FRANCISCO ARTS COMMISSION
STREET ARTISTS COMMITTEE
Monday, November 4, 2019
401 Van Ness Ave, Suite 125
Janine Shiota, Chair
Tom DeCaigny, Director of Cultural Affairs
Anne Trickey, Program Officer
Barbara Mumby, Director of Community Investments
Thanh Hong, Program Associate
Agenda Item 2: General Public Comment
Chair Janine Shiota calls for public comment. Sets comment for 2 minutes.
No public comment.
Agenda Item 3: Action: Hearing and possible motion to approve revocation of certificate for street artist Walter Molina #8337 for:
- Parking at the fire hydrant, having an open container of alcohol, engaging in a verbal altercation, and refusing to comply with Rec & Park personnel at the Embarcadero Plaza.
Chair Janine Shiota called for public comment.
There was no public comment.
Chair Janine Shiota called for Community Investments Program Officer, Mx. Trickey for summary of Walter Molina’s case.
Community Investments Program Officer, Mx. Trickey began by describing the procedure for the hearing, highlighting the format for speaking time allotted to each individual. They then provided background information about Walter Molina’s case including evidentiary photographs and previous violations on record. Mx. Trickey reported on the incident as described in the action above providing verbal statements obtained from witnesses and other evidence (see explanatory documents).
Sergeant, RPD Park Ranger Maya Follin gave their five-minute statement of the incidents described in the above actions.
Molina gave their five-minute statement of the incidents described in the above actions.
Follin passed on their rebuttal time.
Molina gave their two-minute rebuttal.
*Commissioner Nabiel Musleh joined the meeting at 12:22 p.m.
The Committee deliberated. Commissioner Shelby inquired about verbal abuse and the photographs pertaining to the incident and asked if Walter ever used profanity during the incident.
Molina responded to Commissioner Shelby’s questions.
Commissioner Shelby inquired about Molina’s response to Ranger Maya Follin and not having his license.
Community Investments Program Officer Mx. Trickey confirmed that Molina did not have a new license at that time because it had not yet been printed.
Rich Trager, Molina’s witness stated has been a part of the program for 16 years, was set up across from Molina. He observed the Sargeant approach him. Trager claims he didn’t hear any curse words and remarked that there was attitude between both parties. He opined that Molina probably regretted how he originally responded to the Sergeant.
In response to Commissioner Shelby’s question about Molina’s response, Trager mentioned the state of the program at the plaza saying he did not know why someone in an already struggling program should be disciplined.
The Committee called up Molina’s second witness, Alejandro Carillo. He made comment about the state of the program and said it was his car Molina was sitting on the day of the altercation. He stated that he did not hear any curse words, but also left to move his car during the majority of the altercation.
Trickey referred to the redacted witnesses testimony who feared of retaliation from Molina.
Chair Shiota called for Director Barbara Mumby to make the recommendation.
Community Investments Director Barbara Mumby recommended the revocation of the certificate for street artist Walter Molina #8337.
Chair Shiota highlighted Rec & Park’s role as the jurisdictional agency over the plaza. She emphasized that the actions of a single artist can put the whole program in jeopardy. This is why Code of Conduct exists.
Chair Shiota asked if there was a movement for approval of revocation of the certificate for street artist Walter Molina #8337.
Commissioner Shelby inquired about other witnesses and evidence. He Refered to the rules of verbal abuse and drugs and alcohol.
Chair Shiota discussed the Code of Conduct of the program.
Commissioner Musleh asked about the witnesses that did not want to be identified, reporting about this particular incident.
Community Investments Program Officer, Mx. Trickey confirmed the witness statement.
Commissioner Shelby requested clarification about revocation and suspension.
Chair Shiota mentioned other options for artists such as the Peddler permit through the Police Department. She asked for any other questions or comments.
Trickey mentioned that they review an artist’s entire history with the program before making a disciplinary recommendation.
Commissioner Shelby inquires about Molina’s 2015 drinking violation.
Trickey confirmed, and commented that there seems to be a pattern to Molina’s behavior.
Commissioner Musleh inquired if Molina was inebriated during the altercation.
Trickey referenced the witness’s testimony.
Director Tom DeCaigny discusses the evidence of violation of the Code of Conduct and the behavior from the artists in the program.
Trickey states that all artists at the plaza know the role of the Park Rangers at the plaza.
Chair Shiota asked if there are any other questions. There were none. She called for a motion.
Motion passes unanimously. Motion passes.
4. Action. Hearing and possible motion to approve six-month suspension of certificate for street artist Xiao Ying "Catherine" Zhang #7606 for:
- Engaging in a verbal altercation at the morning lottery, suspected false reports to the office, and interfering with another artist's business.
Chair Shiota called for public comment for agenda item 4.
No public comment.
Community Investments Program Officer, Anne Trickey summarized their report regarding the incident involving Catherine Zhang (see explanatory documents).
Catherine Zhang gave their statement and submitted a medical note from a doctor to the Committee (see explanatory documents).
At the behest of Commission Shelby Trickey clarified Zhang’s original claim.
Commissioner Musleh commented that the doctor’s note was not related to Zhang’s original claim.
Trickey observed that there is no evidence of physical assault.
Prompted by Chair Shiota, Trickey summarized Zhang’s history with the program.
In response to Commissioner Musleh, Trickey mentioned patterns of behavior with Zhang’s programmatic history.
Trickey provided further information at Commissioner Shelby’s request that Zhang had submitted multiple pieces of evidence, but none that pointed to a physical assault.
Commissioner Shelby, Director of Cultural Affairs, Tom DeCaigny and Trickey discussed the format for suspensions, based on the quarterly license payments for the program.
The Committee discussed the efficacy of a six month or three-month suspension and starting the suspension after the holiday sales. They discussed if the Fisherman’s Wharf selling area is affected by holiday foot traffic.
Commissioner Musleh asked if the art vendors are endangering people with their behavior. Trickey stated that so far, there was no evidence in the artist files that members of the public were affected by these interpersonal arguments.
Commissioners deliberated further on the length and start date of the suspension.
Chair Shiota Amends recommendation of a six-month suspension to a three-month suspension starting January 2020 for street artist Xiao Ying “Catherine” Zhang #7606.
Chair Shioto calls for a motion.
The motion was unanimously approved. Motion passes.
5. Action. Hearing and possible motion to approve six-month suspension of certificate for street artist Zhenjie Feng #7936 for:
- Interfering with another artist's business, and interfering with the morning lottery.
Chair Shiota called for public comment.
No public comment
Community Investments Program Officer, Mx. Trickey began by stating the incident is in relation to the previous agenda item.
Catherine Zhang gave their statement of the incidents described in the above actions.
Zhenjie Feng had his interpreter read his statement of the incidents described in the above actions. He provided a list of signatures to the Committee (see explanatory docoments).
Catherine Zhang gave their rebuttal.
Zhenjie Feng gave their rebuttal.
Zhenjie Feng’s daughter gave their report of the incident.
Commissioner Musleh asked if there were any witnesses to the alleged physical assault and Commissioner Shelby asked if it was an assault or a disagreement.
Zhenjie Feng responded that there was no assault.
Trickey summarized Feng’s historical complains regarding the selling of commercial goods but highlighted that there were no physical altercations on record.
Commissioner Shelby asked about the recommendation stating that this did not feel the same as the previous discussion.
Trickey clarified that they recommended the same disciplinary action for all artists involved because there was no definitive evidence as to privilege one side over the other. They stated that it was in the Committee’s power to determine disciplinary action for each artist.
At Chair Shiota’s request, Trickey reported that the program plans to implement the online lottery at the Fisherman’s Wharf location to mitigate further incidents. They explained how artists gain access to the system and that, even with no administrator, that the lottery committee at the Wharf could post the document for sign in.
The Commissioners debated the incident and the length of the suspension.
Chair Shiota calls for motion to amend six-month suspension to three-month suspension with the start date in January 2020.
The motion was unanimously approved. Motion passes.
6. Action. Hearing and possible motion to approve six-month suspension of certificate for street artist Xiu Ping Li #7935 for:
- Engaging in a verbal altercation at the morning lottery, and interfering with another artist's business.
Chair Shiota calls for public comment.
No public comment
Community Investments Program Officer, Mx. Trickey summarizes the incident in relation to the previous agenda 4 and 5.
Director Mumby recommends amending six-month suspension to three-month suspension beginning January 2020 for street artist Xiu Ping Li #7935.
The Commissioners agree to amendment recommendation.
San Francisco Arts Commission Director Tom DeCaigny excused himself from the hearing at 1:33.pm
Catherine Zhang gave their statement.
The translator read and assisted with Xiu Ping Li’s statement.
Catherine Zhang passed on their rebuttal.
Rina Lin License #6009 spoke as a witness during Xiu Ping Li’s rebuttal. She acted as a character witness for Li and Feng and stated that Zhang was a troublemaker in the program who regularly embroiled other artists in their personal issues and disagreements.
Witness #2 also gave testimony on Li and Feng’s behalf.
Commissioner Shelby asked Zhang to give further details of the assault. During Zhang’s testimony they changed their version of events from Feng assaulting her to actually not touching her during the alleged altercation.
Chair Shiota asked about a family unit license versus an individual artist license and Trickey clarified that this disciplinary action only affects the individual artist license, not the family unit. They further clarified about booth set up at Commissioner Musleh’s request.
The Committee further deliberated options for Li’s license.
Chair Shiota notes that since they are husband and wife the Committee’s disciplinary action has already affected their business by 50%. She called for a motion to table this item with a strong warning.
The motion was unanimously approved. Motion passes.
There being no further business, this meeting was adjourned at 1:50 p.m.
Posted 11/15/19 02:36 p.m. TH
Edited 11/19/19 12:00 p.m. TH
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