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January 3, 2011

San Francisco Youth Commission
Monday, January 3, 2011
City Hall, Room 416

There will be public comment on each item.


1. Call to Order

Chair LaCroix called the meeting to order at 5:20pm.

Commissioners present: Zuckerman, Marshall-Fricker, Liang, Sun, Hewitt, Perez, Fierro, Hirano, Beaulac, Yang, Benezra, Herzstein, Kaminksy, Chan, Lacroix.
Commissioners absent: Nauer.
Commissioners tardy: Lin.
Staff present: Yedidia

2. Approval of Agenda (Action Item)

Commissioner Hirano moved to approve the evening’s agenda, seconded by commissioner Marshall-Fricker. The agenda was approved unanimously by acclamation.

3. Approval of Minutes (Action Item)

Documents A, B

A: Commissioner Fierro, seconded by commissioner Herzstein, moved to approve the minutes of the meeting of Wednesday, December 1, 2010. The minutes were approved unanimously by acclamation.

B: Commissioner Fierro, seconded by commissioner Yang, moved to approve the minutes of the meeting of Monday, December 6, 2010. The minutes were approved unanimously by acclamation.

4. Public Comment on Items not on Agenda

There was none.

5. Executive Committee & Staff Report

Staff Mario Yedidia invited the commissioners to witness the inauguration for the newest members of the Board of Supervisors—those representing Districts 2, 6, 8, and 10—to take place on Saturday, January 8, 2011 in the Legislative Chamber of the Board of Supervisors. He also informed commissioners Marshall-Fricker, Perez, Hirano, and Nauer that he would set up meetings for them to meet their new appointing supervisors.

Mr. Yedidia then discussed the situation concerning the next Mayor of San Francisco, explaining that Mayor Gavin Newsom is the current Lieutenant Governor-elect of California. Mayor Newsom had that earlier that day deferred his swearing-in to the position on January 3, 2011, in favor of waiting until after the new Board of Supervisors is sworn into office. The new Board of Supervisors will decide by simple majority vote who will fill out the remainder of Mayor Newsom’s term (which expires in early January, 2012).

Mr. Yedidia then thanked the commissioners for all of their hard work on the State of the Youth report. He mentioned that 439 surveys were completed by young people from private schools and public continuation schools. He was impressed with the amount of commissioners that he saw in the office working on this.

Lastly, Mr. Yedidia discussed the mid-year retreat that all commissioners were required to go to. He then mentioned that they would discuss the matter more in depth later on in the meeting, where he wanted to check the availability of the commissioners.

6. Legislation Referred from the Board of Supervisors (Action Item)

There was none.

7. Presentations (All Items to follow Discussion and Possible Action)

A. Presentation on the History of the Youth Commission from the perspective of a first-year (1996) Youth Commissioner
Presenter: Kent Khounsombath, Youth Commissioner, 1996-1998

Kent Khounsombath, a former Youth Commissioner, discussed the first few years of the Youth Commission from the perspective of a commissioner. He mentioned that he was a part of the campaign to put the commission in the City Charter, and underscored the importance of the fact that the San Francisco Youth Commission is the first such commission in the country to be in a legal document as important as a Charter.

Mr. Khounsombath recalled his excitement upon being appointed, but was struck immediately by the fact that there was not a lot of support for the Youth Commission and its work. The first meeting was chaired by the Mayor’s Special Assistant on Youth and Families, but the Youth Commissioners made sure that he was not invited back to the second meeting. The Youth Commission felt they lacked many resources the first year, which subsequently caused them to advocate for many things. First things first, the first term of Youth Commissioners fought for a budget. They decided that they wanted two staff members, a director and assistant to the director, as well as five interns. They had to lobby to get the funding for these needs, but, ultimately, they were successful. After all of this, the Youth Commission still had no office space, so they continued to meet at a City-owned building at 401 Van Ness.

They wanted to work on bylaws, but they were told that they needed official meetings to do so, due to the Sunshine Ordinance. To avoid this cumbersome process, Youth Commissioners created informal working groups. Mr. Khounsombath worked on the working group that created the officers positions. The first term of Youth Commissioners created roles for a president, two vice presidents, and a treasurer and a community relations officer.

The Youth Commission, that first term, was extremely diverse, consisting of fifteen people of color, three teenage parents, two gay youth, and one homeless youth. Of this group, two thirds were women. There were many interpersonal issues and difficulties—everyone wanted to have their own voice heard. Moreover, there were huge problems with attendance. The first year, there were four to five commissioners absent each meeting. It was exceedingly difficult to amass quorum, because there were only twelve to thirteen commissioners who would show up regularly. As such—given that the Youth Commission needed nine votes to pass a motion—making decisions was difficult.

Mr. Khounsombath recounted his time building bridges with other youth commissions across the Bay Area. At such a meeting of multicounty youth commissions, he remembered seeing Marin County Youth Commissioners fighting over the font on a letterhead. This drove Mr. Khounsombath to resolve not to sweat the small stuff. Especially given that commissioners had terms of only a single year, he wanted to make sure that his time on the commission was as productive as possible.

During the Youth Commission’s second term, Mr. Khounsombath worked with the City Attorney’s office to craft what became known as Proposition E, which would have given the Youth Commission more power and authority (and would have, among other things, compensated Youth Commissioners for their work). Mr. Khounsombath reminded commissioners that the retrofitting of City Hall in the late 1990s caused many people to leave City Hall, but only certain offices were allowed in afterwards. Mr. Khounsombath and another commissioner lobbied then-President of the Board of Supervisors Barbara Kaufman to allow the Youth Commission office space into City Hall. He wanted young people to enter City Hall, come to Youth Commission meetings, and experience the richness of all.

Commissioners Kaminsky, Fierro, Hirano, Yang, Chan, Benezra commented on the successes of the early Youth Commission and asked clarifying questions.

Chair LaCroix thanked Mr. Khounsombath for his presentation.

B. Presentation and request for help on Youth Events and the state of Electronic Dance Music in San Francisco
Presenters: Liam Shy, former Youth Commissioner; Kyle Jimenez, former Youth Commissioner

Liam Shy, a Youth Commissioner during the 2003-2004 term, presented the Youth Commission with a request to help saving raves in San Francisco. Mr. Shy argued that raves—or electronic dance music events; he used both terms somewhat interchangeably—are an integral part of expression and sociality for young people in particular. Mr. Shy’s colleague, Matt Kaftor, then discussed the introduction of California Assembly Bill 74 (“The Anti-Raves Act of 2011”), a proposal from state Assemblywoman Fiona Ma, which would to ban raves (and many other events with pre-recorded music) across the state. Matt argued that AB 74 seeks to stifle freedom of expression, of assembly and healthy late-night events for young people.

Mr. Shy then requested that the Youth Commission and the Entertainment Commission hold a joint public hearing in City Hall to discuss late night recreation events.

Commissioners Zuckerman, Kaminsky, Hirano, Benezra, Chan, Yang and Herzstein asked questions and made comments.

Commissioner Herzstein, seconded by Marshall-Fricker, moved to make an official request to the Entertainment Commission to hold a joint hearing. This motion was approved unanimously by acclamation.

Public Comment:

Audrey Joseph (Vice-Chair of the Entertainment Commission but speaking as an individual), spoke in favor of the Youth Commission and Entertainment Commission working together to stop date rape with education in the clubs.

8. Youth Commission Business (All Items to follow Discussion and Possible Action)

A. Resolution 1011—AL04: Resolution urging the Board of Supervisors, the Mayor, the Municipal Transportation Agency and the San Francisco Unified School District to Completely Revamp the Distribution Policy for the Youth Lifeline Fast Pass (Commissioners Yang, LaCroix, Hirano)
First Reading
Presenters: Commissioners Yang, LaCroix, Hirano
Document C

Vice-Chair Liang took up the duties of chairing this item, given the fact that Chair LaCroix was a cosponsor.

Chair LaCroix and commissioner Yang then provided some background to her colleagues on the Youth Lifeline Pass—a half priced, monthly MUNI fast pass for low income public school students that the Youth Commission advocated for in the winter and Spring of 2011 (based on a resolution initially authored by Commissioners Liang and LaCroix adopted in February of 2010). After the Youth Commission garnered support for the creation of this fast pass from the Board of Supervisors and the Board of Education, the Board of Directors of the Municipal Transportation Agency agreed in April of 2010 to budget $3 million dollars for 2 fiscal years (FY 10-11 and FY 11-12) for this program—and the school district was supposed to get the passes out by August of 2010. As of today, January 3, 2011, this still had not happened. Commissioner Yang pointed out the fact that the current fiscal year is already halfway over, and nothing has happened yet on this program.

Commissioners LaCroix and Yang then read the resolution into the public record

Commissioners Zuckerman and Kaminsky offered their support.

Commissioner Kaminsky, seconded by commissioner Benezra, moved to suspend the bylaws and vote on this on first reading. This motion passed by the following roll call vote: Ayes– Liang, Sun, Hewitt, Perez, Fierro, Hirano, Beaulac, Yang, Benezra, Herzstein, Kaminsky, Chan, LaCroix, Lin. No’s – Zuckerman, Marshall-Fricker,

Commissioner Kaminsky, seconded by commissioner Herzstein, moved to approve the resolution with amendments. This motion was approved unanimously by acclamation.

B. The 2010-2011 San Francisco Youth Commission State of the Youth Report (ROUGH DRAFT)
First Reading
Presenters: Commissioners Fierro, Beaulac, Yang, LaCroix and Hirano
Document D

Chair LaCroix introduced the State of the Youth report. She urged the commissioners to add some input, as the report represents the Youth Commission. Several commissioners discussed what they were putting into the report, and it was noted that this report may well constitute an important piece of work for the Youth Commission.

9. Attendance Review (Action Item)

A. Commissioner Hewitt (November 15, 2010, December 6, 2010)

Commissioner Hewitt explained that she was sick on November 15th, 2010. She also said that she had a family emergency on December 6, 2010. Commissioner Marshall-Fricker, seconded by commissioner Zukerman, moved to excuse commissioner Hewitt’s absence. This motion was approved unanimously by acclamation.

10. Announcements (This includes Community Events)

Commissioner Kaminsky pointed out that he would not unavailable January 15th & 16th – due to the Dr. King “Know Your Rights” event.

Public Comment:
Mr. Khounsombath insisted that two days would be best for the retreat, due to the fact that the social aspect of the retreat is of great importance to commissioners’ development and cohesion. He also suggested that a core group of commissioners should plan the retreat.

Commissioner Fierro, seconded by commissioner Benezra, moved that the retreat be the 29th & 30th of January. This motion was approved unanimously by acclamation.

Commissioner Liang thanked Mr. Khounsombath for staying for the entire meeting, as well as Bill for coming to every meeting.

11. Adjournment

Chair LaCroix adjourned the meeting at 7:40pm.

Supplemental documents for agenda items are available for review at City Hall Room 345. Minutes are also available on the Youth Commission Website at


The Youth Commission meeting will be held in City Hall Room 416. The formal address of City Hall is 1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place, San Francisco, A. The closest accessible BART station is the Civic Center Station at the United Nations Plaza and Market Street. Accessible MUNI lines serving this location are: MUNI Metro Lines J-Church, K-Ingleside, L-Taraval, M-Oceanview, N-Judah, and T-Third Street at Van Ness and Civic Center Stations; 9-San Bruno, 19-Polk, 47-VanNess, and 71-Haight Noriega. For information about MUNI accessible services call 923-6142.

The Commission meeting room is wheelchair accessible. Accessible curbside parking spaces have been designated on the corners of McAllister and Polk, and Grove and Polk. There is accessible parking available within the Civic Center Underground Parking Garage at the corner of McAllister and Polk Streets, and within the Performing Arts Parking Garage at Grove and Franklin Streets.

If you require the use of an American sign language interpreter, a sound enhancement system, or a reader during the meeting, calendars and minutes of the meeting in alternative formats; such arrangements can be made by calling Mario Yedidia at (415) 554-6446, at least 72 hours prior to the meeting. Late requests will be honored if possible.

Individuals with severe allergies, environmental illness, multiple chemical sensitivity or related disabilities should call our accessibility hotline at (415) 554-8925 to discuss meeting accessibility. In order to assist the City’s efforts to accommodate such people, attendees at public meetings are reminded that other attendees may be sensitive to various chemical based products. Please help the City to accommodate these individuals.

(Chapter 67 of the San Francisco Administrative Code)

Government’s duty is to serve the public, reaching its decisions in full view of the public. Commissions, boards, councils and other agencies of the City and County exist to conduct the people’s business. This ordinance assures that deliberations are conducted before the people and that City operations are open to the people’s review.

For more information on your rights under the Sunshine Ordinance, or to report a violation of the ordinance, contact by mail: Administrator, Sunshine Ordinance Task Force, City Hall Room 224, 1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place, San Francisco, CA 94102; by phone at (415) 554-7724; by fax at (415) 554-7854; or by e-mail at

Citizens interested in obtaining a free copy of the Sunshine Ordinance can request a copy from the Administrator, Sunshine Ordinance Task Force or by printing Chapter 67 of the San Francisco Administrative Code on the internet, at

The ringing of and use of cell phones, pagers, and similar sound-producing electronic devices are prohibited at this meeting. Please be advised that the Chair may order the removal from the meeting room of any person(s) responsible for the ringing or use of a cell phone, pager, or other similar sound-producing electronic device. (Admin. Code § 67A.1).

In order to assist the City’s efforts to accommodate persons with severe allergies, environmental illnesses, multiple chemical sensitivity or related disabilities, attendees at public meetings are reminded that other attendees may be sensitive to various chemical- based products. Please help the City accommodate these individuals.

Last updated: 5/24/2011 11:19:04 AM