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Meeting Information

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Immigrant Rights Commission
Minutes of Meeting on March 14, 2005

A meeting of the Immigrant Rights Commission (IRC) was held on Monday, March. 14, 2005 at City Hall Hearing room 416. 
I. Roll Call:

Members Present            The meeting was called to order on 5:07 p.m., Commissioners Alexander, Escobedo, Haile, Huie, Kaff, Lau, Lee, Nguyen, Ow, Specktor, Tran were present.  Commission Alexander arrived at 5:28 p.m. Tran left at 6:30 p.m.

Members Absent            Commissioner Jones, Melara was absent excused.  

Others Present           Dang Pham, Executive Director & Winny Loi, Secretary

II.                Approval of minutes for Feb. 14th: The Commission unanimously adopted the minutes.

III.             Certificate of Honor to Isabel Huie, Ex-IRC Commissioner: Commissioner Huie was not present to receive the Certificate of Honor.  She started with the Commission in 1997, and done great work for the Commission.  We appreciate her work & contribution to the Commission.  We will all miss her greatly.
IV.              Resolution Naming Victoria Manalo Draves Park in the South of Market:  Jay Gonzalez, former Commissioner & Professor at USF, Anthony Mandap- Filipino Consulate General, Candice Ramirez-USF student, Juner Valencia- USF student, Diane Romualdz- USF student, Glen Andag community outreach coordinator & Volunteer coordinator at the Filipino & American Foundation, Chris Wiseman, Anatalio Ubalde Filipino & Architect & Design, Marie-Lorraine Mallare-former Commissioner & Professor USF, Juree Kim- USF student, Fred Basconcillo from the Filipino National Historical Society, Mc Canlas. They all support this resolution & asked the Commission to adopt the resolution.  Victoria Manalo Draves is the only woman of Filipino ancestry to win an Olympic gold medal.  She was recognized in the 1948 edition of Life Magazine as one of the top athletes at the 1948 Olympics.  She was born in San Francisco to an English immigrant mother and a Filipino immigrant father. She studied at the Fairmont Elementary School, when Bessie Carmichael was the Principal.  She graduated from SF Junior College.  She is an important role model to more than 40,000 Filipino American in SF.  She faced discrimination when SF’s Nob Hill diving club required that she drop her father’s Filipino name, Manalo and take her mother’s maiden name, Taylor, in order to be accepted to represent the organization.   South of Market Project Area Committee voted unanimously to name the park after her.  Commissioner Haile moved to approve the resolution & second by Commissioner Ow.  The Commissioner unanimously adopted the resolution.

V.                 Issues in Chinatown-Chinese Radio Interview of Chair: Commissioner Lau informed the listeners about the work of the Immigrant Rights Commission.  She received many calls of labor disputes & people who were working & not getting paid.  Ms. Loi has been getting calls from the community asking for help on how to get their wages back. Rebecca Clark who is an investigator for the Dept. of Wage & Hour Unit, investigates violation of wage & hour claims. Chinese Progressive Association is also another organizations, which helps many workers get their wages back. 

VI.              Activities:
1. Retreat Summary: The Commission talked about issues of the Equal Access Ordinance.  Commissioner Escobedo invited Mr. Willie Nguyen, Staff Attorney from The Legal Aid Society, to educate the commission on the language terms.  The Commission also discussed about the Day Labor Program, Citizenship & the Summit.   

2. Committee Structure:
The Program & Access Committee & the Policy & Legislation Committee is currently joint committee at this time.  The Program & Access will continue to work on the Equal Access Ordinance; the committee will be a larger group.   The Policy & Legislation Committee wanted to work with the Program & Access committee to do a hearing since the Departments were not fulfilling their goals.  They wanted to get some kind of legislation passed that would prevent departments from cutting out the interpreter staff, since everyone is facing budget crisis this year. They should not be allowed to cut out bilingual staff.    
3. Bylaws: The Commissioners discussed about the committees work & tries not to amend the bylaws.

VII.           Director Report: Mr. Pham passed out information about a draft letter to the governor’s office not to cut the budget such as Calworks & SSI, which impacts the immigrant communities.  Mr. Pham, William Lee & Commission Lau met with Aryan Rodriguez & her assistant from Government of the District of Columbia.  Mayor Anthony Williams supports the Language Access. They came to San Francisco to learn more about how the Immigrant Rights Commission implements language access.  They have budget & staff to work on Language Access. 
Day Labor Program:
The contract needs four signatures.  The director of La Raza Central Legal, William Lee, City Attorney & Naomi Little needs to sign the contract in order for it to be effective. Due to budget cuts, the contract is only good until the end of June & the amount given to them is $48,500.  After the end of June, the city will issue another contract for the whole year until June next year.

Commissioner Specktor attended the forum in the Richmond district. There were 11 judges to answer general & basic questions. They discuss drunk driving, landlord tenant & other common issues, which happen daily.      

Adjournment:            The Commission meeting was adjourned at 6:50 p.m.