Adult Trafficking Committee - December 1, 2017 - Minutes

Meeting Date: 
December 1, 2017 - 2:30pm
55 Columbus Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94111

Mayor's Task Force on Anti-Human Trafficking - Adult Trafficking Committee Meeting 


Friday, December 1st, 2017 from 2:30pm to 4pm 

Advancing Justice - Asian Law Caucus: 55 Columbus Avenue, SF, CA 94111


Attendees: Minouche Kandel (Mayor's Task Force on Anti-Human Trafficking), Jessica Scandron (Social Harmony), Lily G (Mayor's Office), Beverly May (California Massage Therapy Council), Tony Siacotos (American Massage Therapy Association - California Chapter), Dongmei Tan (Department of Public Health), Mary Steiner (United Nations), Randy Ly (San Francisco Police Department), Greg Moore, Megan Kalsman (Department of Environment), Jessica Lem (Hotel Council of San Francisco), Victoria Chan (Advancing Justice - Asian Law Caucus)

Meeting Notes:

Welcome/Introductions/Check-In, Agenda Review/Identify Minute Taker

Task Force being honored at United Nations event

Update on Healthy Nail Salon Program          


Department of Environment, Department of Public Health, and Advancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus met a few weeks ago to finalize the Training PowerPoint, which included previous content (such as toxic products, ventilation, and equipment) and a lot of new content (such as labor law and health insurance) for nail salons who are interested in being a part of the Healthy Nail Salon Program in San Francisco. The PowerPoint slides are now being finalized and then will be translated into Vietnamese and Chinese. In terms of timeline, the contract with the contractor who was translating the previous PPT is ending soon; hopefully early 2018 the PPT will be finalized.

Google Ads:

Google has a program where they can give non-profits up to $10,000 to solely purchase Google Ads. For example, if one were to Google search terms like manicure or nail salon, the nail salons that match the searched terms and purchased ads would be on top of the search. The ads would elevate the listing higher up and the cost of the ad depends on how many other people purchase ads. Minouche did a search and almost no individual salons came up from the search, so not a lot of individual nail salons are purchasing Google ads. Therefore, a potential idea now is that when one types manicure in the search bar, the Healthy Nail salons would show up. Government agencies cannot purchase Ads through this program, so Advancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus will look into this more.

Social Media Campaign:

Jessica Scandron is looking for a social media/communications campaign/project.
DOE did a social media campaign on increasing consumer awareness of the Healthy Nail Salon program over this past summer. DOE’s outreach team contracted with the School of Thought to increase awareness in some of the following ways: (1) promotion of Facebook posts related to the Program and (2) bus shelter ads about the Program. In the past, the Program did purchase and utilize Google Ads, but this past year DOE did not utilize Google Ads (Megan to follow up with her team about this).
Jessica to connect with Megan to write potential editorials on the Program.

Open Data/Yelp   

There was some talks of working with Yelp to increase exposure about the Program. However, we had hit a roadblock with them and one way to achieve a similar result is through the DPH’s Open Data Listing. If Healthy Nail Salons were able to upload their data to SF Data, and then we would go back to Yelp and pitch that this data is already in SF Data (since they already pull it for DPH scores for restaurants), they could potentially do the same for nail salons. After a brief conversation with folks, this idea may not work because sometimes there be a lag because sometimes DOE needs to derecognize nail salons when they are going through the renewal process or not they are unintentionally not following through their commitment (for example, not using the toxic trio products).

Update on SFPD’s Massage Establishments Work

San Francisco Police Department (SFPD) is (1) serving suspension and closing massage establishments and (2) working with the City Attorney on several civil lawsuits against massage establishments that engage in prostitution. For example, Queens Massage on Kearny Street was shut down a few months ago and they settled with the City Attorney’s Office. There is a 10 year injunction for them to not operate in SF. In another example, Elite Spa on Taravel and 32nd Avenue was shut down and they will not fight the lawsuit. There are a couple more establishments that are in the pipeline for settlement stage and hopefully 2 more establishments will be closing as well. Not a lot of the cases goes through the criminal route, but rather through the civil route. SFPD’s stance is to go after the offenders and hold them accountable and for them to decease their operations. Their stance is also for workers to trust them, and that they can provide the support services that workers need.
There used to be a Task Force compiled of SFPD, DPH, DBI, and a civilian interpreter that would go into massage establishments together but that Task Force was suspended. In communicating to workers who speak in a language other than English, usually there is a call-out for officers who can speak in-language (Cantonese, Mandarin, and Vietnamese) and there is also a reserve on the language phone line. Currently, there is an officer that speaks Vietnamese and is female. There are 4 officers on the Special Victims Unit and the Unit shifted from a centralized model to a major and general crimes model, which will not just help solve human trafficking but also domestic violence crimes in general. 
SFPD’s Anti-HT Unit is has been reaching out to the masseurs and masseuses and offering support services if they needed. For example, Randy Ly invited advocates to personally reach out to the workers who are being exploited. These agencies include APILO, Freedom House, and the District Attorney’s Victim Services Division. So far, no masseurs and masseuses have come forward that they have been a victim of human/labor trafficking. But SFPD always does an assessment and give out their contact info when they go into the establishments. Of course, there are cultural barriers and elements of fear that happens, and it’s difficult to get past that right away and they are hoping to build rapport now.
Dongmei and Victoria went to some massage establishments a few weeks back to do outreach about labor law and Project CONNECT’s services. This list of massage establishments was given from Jenn, someone that Randy works with. Dongmei and Victoria to connect with Randy.
Recently, SFPD and the DHS as well as other agencies worked together to crack down on a big labor trafficking construction case in the Bay Area. The trafficker would bring the victims to renovate the Marriot Hotel in SF, and when the workers went to the Labor Commissioner’s Office to report the wage violations, the trafficking portion was also uncovered. 38 victims were rescued and the trafficker was arrested and there are federal charges against him.
SFPD is also doing hotel operations where they go after the Johns that are purchasing women. They try to do about 3 operations every 2 months. Generally, about 20 to 25 Johns are arrested at each operation. SFPD would set up fake ads on the Internet, the Johns would show up, and they would be arrested and given a citation. There is an option for first-time offenders to attend the First Offender Prostitution Program (aka John School) instead of going through criminal court (which is a misdemeanor). At the 1-day class, the offenders would learn about topics including the danger of buying women, hear from former sex workers/addicts, and STDs. About 90% to 95% of Johns take advantage of the Program and they pledge to stay clean for 2 years. There is no such program for repeat offenders.

Update on Good Food Purchasing Program:

Continues to be movement on this goal. The Center on Good Food Purchasing (CGFP) connected with the purchasers at SF General and Laguna Honda hospitals. They have a contract to do a baseline analysis of where they are getting their food and to provide that information to (CGFP), where CGFP will compare that information with buyers and give them a score. The Sheriff’s Department is not that far ahead compared to the hospitals, but they did issue an RFP for their food supplies and hopefully those who put information to bid can provide data to do a baseline assessment.
Supervisor Fewer is interested in having a hearing about the Program in January 2018, so folks can voice their support for agencies to sign onto this program. More coming soon.

Update on Resource List:

No one from Committee present to provide an update.

Update on Stanford On-Line Human Trafficking Training:

The training is a series of 5 or 6 videos that are 3 to 5 minutes long per video. It’s designed as a watch-as-you-can video class where those learn and identify signs of human trafficking and what to do if when one suspects that there is a possible case. It’s designed so that workers who are on a 10-minute break can watch the video, take a quiz, and if they pass they move to the next video. Once they pass all quizzes, Stanford will mail a Certificate of Completion.   
Minouche was able to get the English training (video and transcription) translated into Spanish, Tagalog, and Chinese but it is not on Stanford’s website yet. Her contact at Stanford has been out of the country and Minouche will follow up when she returns.
It would be great to do more outreach regarding the training, to get the word out about it to hotels. There was an initial round of outreach in January 2017 when the training came out then, but it would be great to do more. Potentially reach out to the SF Green Business Program at SF Environment, Community Benefit Districts (CBDs) such as Union Square and its Ambassadors.

Update on Vocation Services:

No one from Committee present to provide an update.

Update on Record Expungement Efforts

Record expungement for those who have are victims/survivors of human trafficking. APILO did a training recently and Minouche reached out to the San Francisco Public Defender’s Office because they have Clean Slate program and wanted to know if they have any data broken down by specific crimes.
Record expungement is available to victims/survivors. For example, if someone was convicted to prostitution and they were forced to engage in those acts, the victim could get their record expunged for that specific crime. There are qualifications for expungement of records that are more general and more specific to victims of human trafficking for arrests and convictions.

Setting 2018 meetings

Continuing with an Adult Trafficking Committee meeting every 3 months. Next meeting is Friday, March 9th from 2:30pm – 4pm.
There will be a Task Force-wide retreat in February. No facilitator/specific date for retreat set yet.