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Meeting Information

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Immigrant Rights Commission
Minutes of Meeting on January 10, 2005

A meeting of the Immigrant Rights Commission (IRC) was held on Monday, Jan. 10, 2005 at City Hall Hearing room 416. 
I. Roll Call:

Members Present            The meeting was called to order on 5:20 p.m., Commissioners, Escobedo, Haile, Huie, Kaff, Lau, Ow, Specktor, Tran were present. 


Members Absent            Commissioner Zheng was absent & unexcused.   Alexander, Jones, & Lee, Melara, Nguyen, were also absent, but they were excused.

Others Present           Dang Pham, Executive Director


  • II.Approval of minutes for Dec. 6th: The Commission adopted the minutes with the amended changes: correct spelling of Western Addition & correct sentence structure: Commissioner Malara has suggested that we could contact the community leaders & ask them what issues concern them, so that the public will be interested in attending the meeting.  The Commission unanimously adopted the amended minutes.

  • III.Future Activities:  Goals & Objective for the Commission in the next 12 months:Planning Retreat:  After discussion, the Commissioners would like to plan a retreat on February 12 or 26.  Ms. Loi will follow-up with each commissioners to see which days is best.  Commissioner Ow suggested having the Staff & Commissioners to facilitate the meeting.  Commission Escobedo suggested that she might have someone, her husband, who would be a good facilitator for the meeting.  Commissioners also considered having potluck for the retreat. 
  • IV.Meeting Rules & Guidelines:  Chair Lau would like the other Commissioners to speak up & participate in the discussion.  When there is a discussion & a Commissioner goes off the subject or is out of line, Chair Lau will remind the Commissioners to come back to the subject. If a commissioner cannot make it to the meeting, please call Ms. Loi & inform her.  If there are not enough commissioners for a quorum, the Commission will cancel the meeting.  Commissioner Bondoc has resigned from the Commission.
    E-Mail Guidelines:  The e-mails that are sent to all commissioners & communications are considered passive meetings & if the public would like to review the e-mails, they are untitled to review.  Ms. Loi has sent out the training manual to every commissioner & they must attend the training every year.  If there are issues that the Commissioners would like to discuss, please send the e-mails to the staff & Chair.
  • V.Director Report-Update on the Status of the Day Labor Contract: Mr. Pham has worked closely with Bill Lee, City Administrator to issue the RFP for the Day Labor Program on August 23, 2004.  He also worked closely with the City Attorney’s office & Gary Wong with the Human Rights Commission to create a review panel.  There are five members of the review panel to assist the City in the selection process.  The review process ended last October 15th at 5 p.m.  Mr. Pham tally the score of each proposal and the scoring sheets have been reviewed and approved by the Human Rights Commission.  On October 29th, Mr. Lee made the announcement that the City will intent to negotiate the contract agreement with La Raza Centro Legal.  Mr. Pham is assisting Mr. Lee’s office to negotiate a performance-based contract.  The draft of the contract currently being reviewed by the City Attorney’s Office and in the same time, he is also submitting the Professional Service Contract to the Department of Human Resources & Civil Service Commission for their approval.  Mr. Pham anticipates that the new contract will not be in place until the third week of January or the beginning of February of 2005.  The amount for the contract is $148,500.00 the city decided to cut back by 10% on the contract.  The Commission will be monitoring the day-to-day program & the right to inspect them on site.  The DLP needs to send the commission records of the program. We will make sure that they are providing services to the immigrants before we pay for the bill.  The Commission will have a report form for them to fill out.  Both parties have set the goals and it has been approved by the City Attorney’s office.  Commissioner Escobedo suggested inviting the Director to attend the next meeting & have them on the agenda for discussion/action item. 

Information Related to the Immigration Issues: Mr. Pham received a notice from Department of Home Land Security, that the US Citizenship and Immigration Services announced that it has received enough H-2B petitions to meet this year’s congressional mandated cap of 66,000 new workers.  After Jan. 3,2005, they will not accept any new petitions subject to the FY 2005 annual cap.
President Bush’s immigration proposal: President Bush’s plan to liberalize the nation’s immigration laws to allow millions of undocumented workers the opportunity for legal status appears to be on a collision course with newly aroused sentiment among House Republicans pushing for a crackdown on illegal immigration.
Renewal date expires for visa that lets Hondurans, Nicaraguans stay in US: As of January 3, 2005, the immigration officials said roughly 47,000 people from two Central American countries had reapplied for temporary protection status.  This renewal will allow the applicants to remain legally in the US for a short of period.
Special Immigration Information Regarding Different Visa Status: This afternoon, I received the information package from Sally Kinoshita, Staff Attorney of the Immigrant Legal Resources Center (ILRC) about the different visa status.  As you know on behalf of the Immigrant Rights Commission, I have been working closely with Eric Cohen, Sally Kinoshita and other at the Immigrant Legal Resources Center in a number of issues such as: Deportation issues involved with the Southeast Asian juveniles, citizenship education, backlog at the SF District Office of Citizenship & Immigration Services, etc. Recently, Eric Cohen, Legal Director of the ILRC has invited me to represent the IRC to be a part of the monthly liaisons meeting with the Office of Citizenship and Immigration Services.  This is an important meeting to raise the concerns and issues with the officials of the immigration services.  Mr. Pham suggested inviting David Still to address concerns from the Commissioners.   
Translator Services for Immigrant Residents: On December 20th, Mr. Pham had been contacted by Samara Marion of the Office of Citizens Complaints to assist her and her office regarding the draft of the translator services for the non-English speaking residents.  He provided the Commissioners with a draft and asked them to review it & forward him any feedback on January 28, 2005.
Other meetings and activities:  On December 2nd, He met with Bill Slotnik, Executive Director of the Community Training and Assistance Center (CTAC).  CTAC is a well-known organization provides technical assistance to many community based organizations, coalitions and public institutions, annually. CTAC is particularly sensitive to the needs of disfranchised groups.  In response to the severity of problems confronting the immigrant, low-income families, CTAC ahs intensified training efforts to respond to the increasing needs of the most severely disfranchised low income groups- people infected and affected by HIV or AIDS, related health care systems, and groups concerned with community development, urban education, and the reconfiguration of human services.  Bill Slotnick has indicated that CTAC would like to learn ways that CTAC can assist or collaborate with the San Francisco Immigrant Rights Commission in better serve the immigrant community here in San Francisco.
            The Commission meeting was adjourned at 7:00 p.m.