San Francisco Immigrant Rights Commission
Full Commission Meeting
Monday, September 14, 2009 at 5:30 PM
City Hall, Hearing Room 416
One Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place
San Francisco, CA 94102
1. Call to Order and Roll Call
The meeting was called to order at 5:30 pm by Chair McCarthy
Present: Commissioners Alexander, Fuentes, Haile, Jones, McCarthy, Melgarejo, Ng, Perez, and Lingad-Ricci.
Not Present: Commissioners Enssani (excused), Gonzalez (excused), and Moses (excused).
Staff Present: Adrienne Pon, Executive Director-Office of Civic Engagement & Immigrant Affairs; Sally Leung, Executive Coordinator; Guianna Henriquez, Senior Policy Analyst; Richard Whipple, City Hall Fellow; and Whitney Chiao, Public Administration Intern.
2. Public Comment
There was no public comment.
3. Approval of Previous Minutes from the August 25, 2009 meeting
Motion to approve minutes from August 25, 2009 meeting, moved by Commissioner Haile, seconded by Commissioner Alexander, and approved unanimously by the Commission.
4. Welcome and Acknowledgement of Incoming and Outgoing Commissioners Melgarejo and Chew (Chair McCarthy)
Chair McCarthy welcomed the newest IRC Commissioner, Lorena Melgarejo. Commissioner Melgarejo stated that she was excited to be a part of the Commission and ready to work. Commissioner Chew then gave a short farewell speech stating that it was a privilege and honor serving on the Immigrant Rights Commission. As a Commissioner on the Fine Arts Commission, he plans to continue the fight for immigrants in finding financial resources and representing the visual arts in all communities. Commissioners thanked Commissioner Chew for his contributions and wished him luck on the Fine Arts Commission.
5. Update on Ingleside Station Community Center Meeting at the Visitacion Valley Recreation Center (Chair McCarthy)
Chair McCarthy was asked by Executive Coordinator Sally Leung to attend a community meeting regarding the shooting of Xiyu Li in Visitacion Valley. Although the police investigation is still ongoing, the Chair felt that the Police Department did well publicly informing and clarifying the circumstances of the shooting. The Department stated at the meeting that there was a translator at the site of the shooting and that Mr. Li understood the dialogue and was aware of the situation. The encounter lasted approximately 20-30 minutes, in which non-lethal force was initially utilized. One remaining concern of the community is that police were not aware the man was mentally ill, which may have affected the handling and outcome of the situation.
6. Update on Excelsior Neighborhood Meeting (Staff Report)
Details for the October 5, 2009 meeting have been finalized and the public notification will be issued shortly. The meeting will be held at the James Denman Middle School Auditorium, which is accessible by both bus and BART.
The agenda has been drafted with time for residents to comment on their general concerns as well as two items proposed by Supervisor Avalos (home foreclosures and car impoundments) which will be framed under a broader category of impacts of the economic crisis on District 11 residents. Commissioners felt that since neighborhood meetings are the only occasions where the Commission goes directly out to the community to hear their concerns, their priority is to learn about all the problems and situations in the Excelsior District and keep an open agenda.
Commissioner Alexander requested that a survey be included at the neighborhood meeting. Director Pon recommended that the survey have a clear purpose and objective that will inform the Commission of concerns and issues for immigrant communities. Staff will prepare a pilot survey for the meeting and this may be used to develop a useful tool for the Commission. The survey can also include questions regarding the topics discussed in the meeting. Commissioner Pérez voiced her concern on establishing proposed outcomes for the meeting, which would also help direct Commissioners on follow-up steps, for example, speaking with the Chief of Police on the subject of car impoundments after hearing related testimony at the neighborhood meeting. Additionally, staff will request department heads to stand before the commission for issues related to their department.
The Director restated the changes being made for this neighborhood meeting. After the meeting, staff will write a report of the proceedings, emphasizing the intention of the meeting and follow-up steps. Department heads will be introduced by Chair McCarthy and will have opportunities to respond to questions at the end of the meeting. Commissioner Lingad-Ricci reiterated to the Commission the importance of promoting this event and drawing out community members through effective outreach. OCEIA staff will email community organizations as well as department heads.
Motion to approve the Neighborhood meeting draft agenda, moved by Chair McCarthy, seconded by Commissioner Haile, and unanimously approved by the Commission.
7. Update on Comprehensive Immigration Reform Symposium (Staff Report)
Senior Policy Analyst Guianna Henriquez provided a brief update on the November 9, 2009 symposium. Two remaining items need to be finalized: the location of the symposium and the commission’s prioritization of candidates for panel speakers. Commissioners have already suggested potential national speakers and are still looking into local, community, legal, and possibly policy experts. Commissioners should forward names to be considered as soon as possible to Ms. Henriquez.
Motion to adopt report on symposium update moved by Commissioner Alexander, seconded by Commissioner Jones and unanimously approved by the Commission.
8. Update on April 13, 2009 Joint Hearing on Federal Immigration Enforcement Policy Report (Staff Report)
Senior Policy Analyst Henriquez is currently drafting the executive summary for the report. The Human Rights Commission will most likely review the report in October. Ideally, the report will be reviewed and finalized before November 9, 2009 so the publication of the report can be announced at the November 9, 2009 symposium. Overall, the findings from the hearing and the report are straightforward, and the staff plans to use the report as a prelude to the symposium.
Commissioner Pérez asked the Director if resolutions related to the testimony heard at the hearing were being drafted. The Director stated that the report may include recommendations form both commissions and strongly encouraged commissioners to attend the joint meetings to discuss the direction of the report. Her goal is to ensure that the IRC’s voice is clearly reflected in the final report.
Motion to accept report of the April 13, 2009 joint hearing update, moved by Commissioner Alexander, seconded by Commissioner Jones, and unanimously approved by the Commission.
9. Final Update on 2009 Annual EAS Compliance Report (Staff Report)
Director Pon thanked the Programs & Access Committee chaired by Commissioner Alexander for providing excellent direction for the EAS Compliance Report, which has been distributed to the Mayor’s Office and City departments. Email responses from departments have been informative; many departments responded with questions, unaware of the EAS Ordinance and what was required from their departments. The Director plans to address this by holding a meeting to inform departments of changes and legal requirements in the amended ordinance. Senior Policy Analyst Henriquez and City Hall Fellow Whipple have also created an online survey for departments regarding their language services needs. The EAS Compliance Report will be available on the new OCEIA website within the next couple of weeks.
Motion to adopt the final update of the 2009 EAS Compliance Report, moved by Commissioner Jones, seconded by Commissioner Alexander and unanimously approved by the Commission.
10. Executive Director’s Report
The Director thanked her staff for all their accomplishments in the past month. Senior Policy Analyst Guianna Henriquez, who is leaving on September 23, 2009 to begin her teaching assignment in Spain, is very talented and has set a high bar for the policy work; City Hall Fellow Richard Whipple has already made a positive impact in the office in a short amount of time. Executive Coordinator Sally Leung and Senior Public Administration Intern Whitney Chiao were recognized for their continued hard work and numerous contributions to the team.
The Commission in turn thanked Director Pon and her staff for their excellent work.
Motion to accept the Director’s report, moved by Commissioner Alexander, seconded by Commissioner Jones, and unanimously approved by the Commission.
11. Adoption of Committee Reports
a. Executive Committee: The committee’s next meeting is on September 23, 2009, and the committee will prepare for the next full Commission meeting.
b. Programs and Access Committee: Committee Chair Alexander congratulated and thanked his committee for their hard work.
c. Outreach Committee: Chair Fuentes reported that the committee is focusing on preparations for the October neighborhood meeting. They hope to begin holding separate meetings and invited Commissioner Melgarejo to attend one of their Committee meetings to see if she is interested in joining. The committee chair would like to discuss changing the meeting time for the committee at the next meeting, which is on Thursday, September 17, 2009.
d. Immigration Reform Committee: The committee has been unable to meet for the last few months, but will meet in October to discuss the November symposium.
Motion to adopt committee reports, moved by Commissioner Alexander, seconded by Commissioner Jones, and unanimously approved by the Commission.
12. New Business
Director Pon mentioned that all Commissioners received a binder containing updated Commission information. Information will be updated on a continual basis and OCEIA staff asked committee chairs to review the meeting schedule and notify them of any changes.
Commissioner Pérez invited Commissioners to attend an event on October 18, 2009 and hosted by CARECEN that celebrates leaders and activists from Central America, such as Supervisor David Campos. She also informed Commissioners that she would be attending meetings related to immigration reform in Washington D.C. and would bring back information to the IRC. Commissioner Melgarejo invited Commissioners to an interfaith meeting on September 26, 2009, which is being held to give hope to people.
The meeting was adjourned at 6:40 by Chair McCarthy.