Immigrant Rights Commission
Commission Bylaws (Amended in 2008)
The Commission shall be known as The Immigrant Rights Commission of the City and County of San Francisco IRC ), hereinafter "The Commission."
The Commission shall be located in San Francisco City hall, San Francisco City Hall, 1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place, Room 352, San Francisco, California 94102, or such other address where the Commission may be located from time to time. The telephone number for the Commission is (415) 554-7583, and can be found on the web at www.sfgov.org/immigrant.
Compliance with Applicable Laws:
The Commission shall comply with all applicable laws, including but not limited to the Ralph M. Brown Act (Cal. Gov't Code § 4950 et. seq.), the Political reform Act of 1974 (Cal. Gov't Code § 87100 et seq.), the San Francisco Charter, the San Francisco Sunshine Ordinance (San Francisco Administrative Code § 67.1), San Francisco Administrative Code, Section 5.201.
"The mission of the Immigrant Rights Commission shall be to improve, enhance and preserve the quality of life and civic participation of all immigrants in the City and County of San Francisco."
Duties and Responsibilities:
The Commission shall have the power and duty to:
Make recommendations to the Board of Supervisors and the Mayor to further involve immigrants in local government process;
Hold annual public hearings to obtain input from the immigrant community about programs, policies, and issues that relate to immigrants who are the residents of the City and County;
Report recommendations developed from the public hearings to the Board of Supervisors and the Mayor.
Advise the Board of Supervisors and the Mayor on state and federal legislation related to immigrants;
Cooperate with and make recommendations to other City and County departments, agencies, and commissions that administer and enforce regulations relating to health, human services, law enforcement, human rights, language access, sanctuary city ordinance, municipal identification, and all other issues that affect immigrants;
Prepare and submit to the Board of Supervisors and the Mayor an annual report on the review and evaluation of the services and programs in place for immigrants residing in San Francisco.
Develop a plan for outreach to, and education of, the public to increase public awareness of the contributions made by immigrants to the local economy, educational institutions, and other fields in San Francisco;
Recommend to the Board and the Mayor on the participation of the city and County of San Francisco in publicizing and presenting concerns of immigrants in San Francisco within regional and national efforts to protect the rights of immigrants.
The Immigrant Rights Commission shall consist of at least fifteen voting members, eleven members shall be appointed by the Board of Supervisors and four members appointed by the Mayor. At least 8 members shall be immigrants to the U.S. who are appointed in accordance with Section 4.101 of the Charter. Members appointed to the Commission shall have a demonstrated knowledge of and interest in the health, human service, educational, or employment issues that affect immigrants residing in San Francisco and shall reflect the geographic, ethnic, and sexual orientation populations of San Francisco [San Francisco administrative Code § 5.201(b).]
2. Term of Office:
The term of each member of the Commission shall be two years, provided, however, that the members first appointed shall, by lot, classify their terms so that eight members shall serve a term of three years and seven members shall serve a term of two years. Members shall serve at the pleasure of the appointing authority.
In the event a vacancy occurs during the term of office of any member, a successor shall be appointed to complete the unexpired term of the office vacated in a manner similar to that for the initial member.
The officers of the Commission are the Chair and Vice Chair. The Chair and Vice Chair shall serve at the pleasure of the Commission.
1. Nomination & Election of Officers:
a) Election of officers shall be conducted at the monthly meeting of the Commission in October of each year. At the regular monthly meeting held in the September of every two years, any Commissioner interested in running for office shall state publicly his or her interest and willingness to run for a specific office. Such Commissioners, and any other Commissioners nominated at the October meeting, shall be candidates for office to be voted on at the October meeting.
b) If the office of the Chair is vacated before the expiration of a term, the Vice Chair shall serve as Chair until the next regular meeting. The Commission shall conduct an election for Chair at the next meeting to fill the vacancy. If the Vice Chair is elected as Chair, there shall be an election for a new Vice Chair at that meeting. If the office of Vice Chair is vacated before the expiration of a term, it shall remains vacant until the next regular monthly meeting, at which time an election shall be held. Any Commissioners nominated at a meeting at which a special election is held shall be candidates for office.
2. General Duties & Responsibilities of the Chair:
The Chair shall preside at all meetings of the Commission. The Chair, working with the Commission's Executive Director, shall oversee the preparation and distribution of the agenda for all monthly Commission meetings. The Chair shall be accountable to the Commission as a whole and shall perform such other duties as may be assigned by the Commission. The Chair shall make any necessary public appearances on behalf of the Commission at meetings of the Mayor, Board of Supervisors, other commissions, and any other bodies requiring representation of the commission.
3. General Duties & Responsibilities of the Vice Chair:
The Vice Chair shall perform the duties and responsibilities that may be delegated by the Chair. In the absence or disability of the chair, the Vice Chair shall perform the duties of the Chair, as provide by in this Bylaws.
1. Attendance Requirements:
Except in the event of a notified absence (defined below), each member of the Commission is expected to attend each regular or special meeting of the Commission. The Executive Director shall maintain a record of members' attendance.
2. Notified Absences:
A member's absence shall constitute a notified absence where the member, in advance of the meeting, informs the Executive Director of the Commission or other person whom the Commission has designated that the member will be absent. An absence due to unforeseen circumstances such as illness or emergency shall also qualify as a notified absence where the member reports such absence to the Executive Director as soon as reasonably possible. The Executive Director of the Commission shall record as non-notified all absences involving neither advance notice nor unforeseen circumstances.
3. Report to the Appointing Authority:
The Executive Director of the Commission shall report all instances of non-notified absences as well as any instance of three consecutive absences of a member from regular meetings in a fiscal year to the member's appointing authority.
4. Annual Attendance Report:
At the end of each fiscal year, the Executive Director of the Commission shall submit a written report to the appointing authorities of the Commission's membership detailing each member's attendance at all meetings of the Commission for that fiscal year.
If the Commissioner arrives one hour after the start of the meeting, then s/he called be considered absent from the meeting.
D. Working Committees:
Each committee established herein shall have the power and duty to hold hearings on and to make recommendation to the Commission on matters that are under its jurisdiction.
Committee members shall be appointed by the Chair of the Commission for a two-year term. The Commission shall have the following standing committees: (1) Executive; (2) Program & Access; (3) Outreach; and (4)Immigration Reform. Each committee shall have at least three (3) members. Each Commissioner shall be expected to serve on at least one committee. Committee membership is subject to attendance requirements as stated in Article III Section C.
The Executive Committee shall be responsible for overseeing that the Commission is following its own policies. This Committee shall monitor and evaluate the Commission's goals and mandates. The Executive Committee only staffed by one commissioner should not set the Commission's agenda. The Executive Committee may make recommendations for the budget to either the Chair of the Commission or theDepartment.
2. Program & Access:
The Program & Access Committee shall monitor issues concerning the promotion of active immigrant participation in local government. The Committee shall monitor the implementation of the Equal Access to Services Ordinance and provide a written report with recommendations to the Commission.
3. Outreach Committee:
The Outreach Committee assists the Commission and staff to conduct the public outreach to the immigrant communities, community-based organizations, public advocacy groups, city departments, etc. The Committee also will assist the Commission in planning for the neighborhood meetings. In addition, the Outreach Committee will continue to monitor the Day Labor program and provide a written report with recommendations to the Commission.
4. Immigration Reform Committee
The Immigration Reform Committee shall monitor issues related to the immigration reform and issues involving state and federal legislation related to immigrants. In addition, the Committee shall prepare a written report and provide the Commission with recommendations over the implementation of the sanctuary city ordinance and the municipal ID card.
5. Other Committees:
The Commission and/or the Chair, at his or her discretion, may establish other committees or task forces on an ad-hoc basis to perform specific tasks or functions as necessary, or to address issues outside purview of the above standing committees (e.g. Selection, Welfare Rights, Citizenship/Naturalization). These committees will remain in place as long as the Commission deems necessary.
A. Executive Director:
If the City Administrator provides the Immigrant Rights Commission with an Executive Director, the Director shall assist the Commission with its daily functions and workload.
The Director shall also attend all meetings of the Commission.
B. Legal Advisor:
The City Attorney, or her or his designee, shall be the legal advisor to the Commission.
A. Regular Monthly Meetings:
Regular monthly meetings shall be held on the Second Monday of each month, except in the case of City recognized holidays, when the meeting shall be held on the following day of that month. Meetings shall be held at City Hall, 1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place, hearing Room 416, in the City and County of San Francisco, unless otherwise noticed by the Commission. Such regular meeting place may be changed from time to time and sufficient notice shall be made in accordance with the Sunshine Act. .
B. Commission Quorum:
For the purpose of transacting all businesses of the Commission, at all meetings of the full Commission, the presence of a majority of the members shall constitute a quorum [San Francisco Charter § 4.104(3).] Majority shall be defined as at least 51% of the number of seats on the Commission whether or not the seats are vacant.
Except for the approval of rules and regulations of the Commission with respect to matters of procedure, the affirmative vote of a majority shall be required for the approval of any matter unless otherwise provided for in the San Francisco Charter [San Francisco Charter § 4.104(3).] Affirmative vote of the majority of the members present at a meeting shall be required for the approval of rules and regulations of the Commission with respect to matters of procedure, provided that the members present constitute a quorum. [San Francisco Charter § 4.104(3).]
D. Public Participation:
The Commission shall hold meetings open to the public and encourage the participation of interested persons. Each person wishing to speak on an item before the Commission shall be permitted to be heard. Each agenda for regular meetings shall provide an opportunity for members of the public to directly address the Commission on items of interest to the public that are within the Commission's jurisdiction.
Meetings shall be taken by the Commission staff at every regular and special Commission and Committee meeting and shall be approved by the majority vote of the Commission or Committee, whichever the case may be.
F. Notice of Meetings:
Notices and agendas of all regular and special Commission and Committee meetings shall be posted at the San Francisco Main Library and mailed to each Commissioner and any person who files a written request for such notice with the Commission. Notices of special meetings shall be posted at least 72 hours before the meeting. Notices of regular monthly meetings shall be posted at least 72 hours before the meeting. In the case of a special meeting held at a location other than the regular Commission meeting place, 15 days notice shall be provided.
The Ordinance creating IRC includes this provision. Although it is not mandatory that such a report continue, it may be a good idea to continue this process in order to inform the Board the importance of the IRC.
These bylaws shall be reviewed as necessary and may be amended at any regular meeting of the Commission by a majority vote of those present, provided such proposed amendments are circulated in writing to all Commissioners and posted publicly at least ten (10) days prior to such meeting.