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Meeting Information

Full Commission

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San Francisco Immigrant Rights Commission
Full Commission Meeting
Monday, July 13, 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. There was no quorum for this meeting so no vote was taken on any items.

Present: Commissioners Alexander, Chew, Fuentes, Haile, McCarthy, and Silva

Not Present: Commissioners Enssani (excused), Gonzalez (excused), Jones (unexcused), Moses (excused), Ng (excused), Pérez (excused), and Ricci (excused).

Staff Present: Adrienne Pon, Executive Director-Office of Civic Engagement & Immigrant Affairs; Sally Leung, Executive Coordinator; and Whitney Chiao, Public Administration Intern

2. Public Comment
Rachel West from the U.S. PROStitutes Collective spoke about recent legislation passed that restricts the operating hours of massage parlors. She is concerned that the legislation was sped through the legalization process by the Board of Supervisors and the Mayor; and that it was passed under the pretense of stopping sex trafficking, which is different from prostitution. She stated that this will push the industry underground and impose stricter fines on prostitutes, many of whom are immigrants trying to support their families and children.

3. Action Item: Approval of minutes from June 8, 2009 meeting

Motion to approve minutes from the June 8, 2009 meeting and seconded (Haile/Alexander). This item will be carried over to the next meeting due to a lack of quorum.

4. Discussion of Commission Priorities for remainder of FY2009 (Chair McCarthy)

The Chair would like to plan the rest of this year for the Commission, while maintaining realistic expectations about what can be accomplished. The first item mentioned was to finalize and distribute the EAS Summary Report soon, and to complete the amendment to the EAS Ordinance in order to implement in 2010. The commission also has two big events coming up: the neighborhood meeting in the Excelsior District, which provides an opportunity for people to voice their concerns and make statements in their neighborhoods. Commissioners also wanted updates on the IRC website and the report from the joint hearing in April. The Director reported that the interns are in the process of rewriting the content and the site will be updated by the end of the month.  The Human Rights Commission has obtained a raw transcript of the hearing from April, and would like to form a working committee with the IRC to write the report on the April 2009 joint hearing. Chair McCarthy will make calls and submit names for the committee.

5. Discussion of Committee Chairs, Committee Assignments (Chair McCarthy)

The Chair is concerned about the attendance of some Commissioners who frequently miss full commission meetings as well as committee meetings.  There is a lack of consistency between commissioners who participate and do the work and those who do not. He feels that commissioners should attend full Commission meetings and volunteer to join committees because part of their role as Commissioners means serving the community. The Chair made sure to personally reach out to commissioners individually, but received very little response, and would like to discuss this issue and finalize committee assignments at the next meeting in August when the commission has a quorum.

6. Review of Attendance Policy and Expectations for Commissioners (Chair McCarthy & Committee Chairs: Alexander, Chew and Pérez)

From now on, the Chair will be enforcing the attendance policies as described in the Commission By-laws and will be holding people accountable for their attendance.

7. Executive Director’s Report

a. OCEIA updates: Staff is making significant progress on remaining projects.  Certificates for retired IRC Commissioners have been completed. Staff is verifying all numbers in the EAS Report to make sure they are defensible, and finalizing a draft for the Program and Access Committee meeting on July 16, 2009. Director Pon reminded Commissioners that the office dedicates Fridays to making sure they attend to various individual requests from Commissioners, however, there are limitations on assisting Commissioners with non-Commission related requests. There is currently only one commissioner who frequently asks staff to perform tasks that are personal and not directly related to Commission or Committee business.  Staff will no longer be able to assist with those requests and the Chair will determine the appropriateness of future requests.

b. City ID Card Updates: Executive Coordinator Leung is currently polling commissioners for City ID Card training dates. Over 3,300 cards have been printed, and appointments are booked until November; no incidents of fraud have been reported. Commissioners can help inform the public and promote the use of the card.  There are many misperceptions about the card’s purpose which is why it is crucial for the office to continue community outreach and education.

c. IRC: During her report, the Director was asked by Commissioner Silva about the status of two draft resolutions he authored. Per the Executive Committee’s direction, Staff was asked to have the City Attorney review the drafts for their appropriateness.  The feedback included the following: 1) since the resolution supporting the Federal Employee Free Choice Act was drafted after the Board of Supervisors already passed a resolution in April, there is no point in forwarding this item; and 2) regarding the fair reporting resolution, Commissioners are advised to address issues and not individuals and be mindful of not violating First Amendment free speech rights.  The Executive Committee will now determine if these items will be acted on.

8. Adoption of Committee Reports
a. Executive Committee – Committee updates were already discussed under previous items during the meeting.

b. Program and Access Committee – The committee would like to thank the OCEIA Director and staff for clearly summarizing the progress of the 2009 EAS Compliance report and future items with the committee. The next committee meeting is on Thursday, July 16, 2009.

c. Outreach Committee – The committee is working on the September 1st, 2009 symposium but needs details to move forward with outreach activities.

d. Immigration Reform Committee – Commissioner Pérez is heading the Immigration Reform Committee now, as well as the symposium. She will provide a plan and

9. New Business

Commissioner Silva announced that he will not be seeking another term on the Immigrant Rights Commission because he is leaving the country. Since his term has already expired, he is looking for a replacement and resigning. The Chair thanked Commissioner Silva for his service and dedication to the Commission.

10. Adjournment

The meeting was adjourned at 6:40 by Chair McCarthy.