Mayor's Task Force on Human Trafficking - October 24, 2018 - Minutes

Meeting Date: 
October 24, 2018 - 1:30pm

Mayor’s Task Force on Anti-Human Trafficking Meeting Minutes

October 24, 2018            1:30 pm - 3:30 pm          

25 Van Ness Avenue, room 70, San Francisco, CA 94102


Julia Arroyo, Young Women’s Freedom Center; Ida Belisle, St James Infirmary; Nathalie Bryant, Love Never Fails; Frances Byrne, Freedom House; Gena Castro Rodriguez, District Attorney Victim Services; Victoria Chan, Asian Law Caucus; Saerom Choi, Asian Pacific Islander Legal Outreach; Reshay Collier, Love Never Fails; Carly Devlin, Huckleberry Youth Programs; Cristy Dieterich, Department of Public Health; Darian Eastman, Not For Sale; Abigail Ellis, Senator Feinstein’s Office; Tony Flores, San Francisco Police Department; Maria Gaillac, Northern Coalition Against Human Trafficking; Pratima Gupta, St James Infirmary; Rita Jovick, NorCal Coalition of Catholic Sisters Against Trafficking; Carol Leigh, BAYSWAN; Naticia Leon, Love Never Fails;  Rosalia Lopez, San Francisco Unified School District; Angie Miot-Nudel, Larkin Youth Services; Jenny Pearlman, Safe and Sound; Arielle Marie, Young Women’s Freedom Center; Kristen Moore, San Francisco SafeHouse; Leah Shoecraft, St James Infirmary; Sarai Smith-Mazariegos, SHADE Movement; Dongmei Tan, Department of Public Health; Cristel Tullock, Adult Probation Department;  Hediana Utarti, Asian Women’s Shelter; Alia Whitney-Johnson, Freedom FWD; Iris Zhu, Department of Public Health;

  1. Welcome/Introductions/Check-In [Emily Murase]


  1. Review of Minutes from 8-22-18 Meeting [Alia Whitney-Johnson / Pratima Gupta]


  1. FOSTA Position Paper
    1. Background: Minouche reviewed the vote on the position paper at the August 22, 2018 meeting. The voting rules were interpreted to require a majority of all official members, rather than all members voting at the meeting.  (This would have required 10 “yes” votes.) Six members voted “yes” and 2 members voted “no,” so the position paper did not pass. However, after several members raised concerns with how “majority” was being interpreted, the Department on the Status of Women decided that it was a mistake to interpret a majority as a majority of all members, even those not present. It was decided that Roberts Rules for a majority would be used, which considers a majority of all votes by members present at the meeting that take a position(abstentions not counted), as long as there is quorum (at least one half of all members are present at the meeting. )
    2. Discussion:

Members discussed FOSTA and the process of voting on this position paper.

Some members expressed support for FOSTA and its ability to hold traffickers accountable for their actions. They said that there may be problems with the bill, but that any problems were normal and unavoidable. There was discussion of the role of survivor voice in this process and the feeling that survivors were not being listened to in this debate. One member felt that no survivor voice had been incorporated when the position paper was being written in the Sex Work and Trafficking Policy Impact Committee and that there were no survivors on that committee.

There was also discussion of the timing of the vote and the voting process. One member felt that the Task Force should have voted before FOSTA became law. There was also criticism of the fact that the interpretation of what a majority is changed between the August 22nd meeting and the October 24th. One member felt that the interpretation changed to benefit those who were in favor of the position paper.


Some members advocated for voting on whether or not to take a vote, because of the lack of consensus on the Task Force. Director of the Department on the Status of Women, Emily Murase, noted that due to public meeting rules, the Task Force can only take action on what is already on the agenda.


It was important to many members that if the position paper passed, a record of how each member voted would be added to the position paper. Members did not want it to appear that they had voted for a position just because the Task Force adopted it. It was agreed that this would be done.


Some members also felt that this position paper was not within the scope of the Task Force. They felt that the paper was more about the rights of sex workers and not relevant to anti-trafficking efforts. Members expressed feelings that the Task Force was straying from its mission as an anti-human trafficking task force.


Other members said that sex workers and trafficking survivors are not necessarily distinct populations and that individuals may move between different situations. This could be particularly true for adult survivors.


Other members stated that they would support FOSTA if it was effective, but that it was not effective and actually harming youth, immigrants, and transgender people.


  1. Vote:

Yes: Asian Pacific Islander Legal Outreach, San Francisco Department of Public Health, San Francisco Department on the Status of Women, St. James Infirmary


No: Freedom House, Love Never Fails


Abstain: Asian Law Caucus, Freedom FWD, Huckleberry Youth Programs, Larkin Youth Services, NorCal Coalition of Sisters Against Human Trafficking, Safe and Sound, San Francisco District Attorney Victim Services, San Francisco Unified School District, SHADE Movement, Young Women’s Freedom Center


Not Present: Bay Area Legal Aid, Legal Aid at Work, Legal Services for Children , National Council of Jewish Women, San Francisco Human Services Agency – Family and Children’s Services , UNA USA/SF


There were a total of 4 Yes votes, 2 No votes, 10 abstentions, and 6 members not present. The position paper passed and will be amended with the record of how each organization voted.





  1. Engaging Survivors in Workforce Development

As part of the Task Force’s efforts to increase the input of survivors, three survivor leaders who were part of programs at Love Never Fails presented.

The three presenters spoke about their experiences and how Love Never Fails helped them. The first speaker spoke about how she felt supported and found healing in the programs. Being able to speak to others with similar experiences was a positive experience. Her faith was also an important part of the process. She was also able to gain a real estate license during that time. The second speaker spoke how the program encouraged her to grow as a person and fight for herself. She had been arrested many times due to her trafficking situation, which made it very difficult to find a job. She was finally able to find employment and has since been promoted to being a supervisor. She is still in school and her record is still an obstacle, so she is fighting to get it cleared. She feels lucky that the person who trafficked her was found guilty and is serving time. The third speaker said that she escaped from her trafficking situation in June 2015. While being trafficked for eight years, she was arrested multiple times and warrants were put out for her. Her record was an issue in finding employment and she also had to come up with an explanation about the gap in her resume. Love Never Fails supported her and made sure she knew she has a voice. She feels able to speak up at her company because of that support.

Vanessa Russel from Love Never Fails spoke about the programs at Love Never Fails and the needs of survivors. Love Never Fails has a housing program for survivors and their children and a workforce development program. One need for survivors is getting records expungements. Another need is transportation, especially since many survivors have children. Housing is also significant need.

Tony Flores from the San Francisco Police Department expressed interest in how he and the SFPD can help survivors. Vanessa Russell suggested that the Task Force create a way to vouch for survivors so they can work for companies.

  1. Agenda items for next meeting
    1. A draft of the human trafficking in San Francisco report will be available soon for the Task Force to look over.
    2. Results from the first year of the youth advisory board.