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February 7, 2011

San Francisco Youth Commission
Monday, February 7, 2011
City Hall, Room 416

There will be public comment on each item.


1. Call to Order

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

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

2. Approval of Agenda (Action Item)

Commissioner Herzstein, seconded by commissioner Sun, moved to approve the agenda. This motion was approved unanimously by acclamation.

Public Comment on Items not on Agenda

There was none.

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

A. Presentation on the City & County of San Francisco’s Budget for the 2011-2012 Fiscal Year
Presenter: Greg Wagner, Mayor’s Budget Director
Documents B, C

Chair LaCroix then called item 6A out of order and welcomed the Mayor’s Budget Director to the Youth Commission.

Mr. Wagner prefaced his presentation by thanking the assembled Youth Commissioners for their service to the City. He then proceeded to offer a high-level presentation of the City’s budget for the upcoming 2011-2012 fiscal year, for which the City will have a significant General Fund deficit—at this point, it is estimated to be $379.8 million.

Mr. Wagner underscored the importance of the fact that less than 45% of the City’s entire $6.5 billion budget is in the General Fund; it is for this reason that the General Fund is the cause of such consternation. General Fund services are largely state-mandated: public safety, general welfare, etc. Thus, any shortfalls in money that the City expects to receive from the state are exceedingly important.

Mr. Wagner concluded with a walk through of the City’s annual budget process, whereby individual departments propose budgets through their respective commissions to the Mayor’s Office, after which the Mayor presents a proposed balance budget to the Board of Supervisors, which makes modest amendments.

Commissioners Herzstein, Yang, LaCroix and Benezra asked questions. Mr. Wagner noted that the Youth Commission has historically produced budget priorities for the Mayor’s Office and the Board of Supervisors to bear in mind in their work, and he emphasized that, from his perspective (that of being responsible for balancing the City’s budget), it would be very helpful for the Youth Commission not only to call for funding new programs and initiatives, but also to offer examples of where to find savings and reductions.

Public Comment:
Sharen Hewitt urged the Youth Commission to pay particular attention to homicides in the Southeast Sector of the City. She urged the Youth Commission and the City to think about the importance of funding programs that are preventative and can eliminate violence before it begins.

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

B. Resolution commending the Children’s Book Project
Sponsor and Presenter: Commissioner Fierro
Document G

Chair LaCroix then called item 7B out of order. She proceeded to read in the public record the resolution commending the Children’s Book Project, which provides books and other literacy tools to young (largely African American) youth in the Western Addition and Visitacion Valley. Vicky Pollock, the founder and head of the Children’s Book Project, graciously accepted the commendation. Sharen Hewitt also spoke in support of the Children’s Book Project.

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

B. A Presentation on Youth Speaks and a Proposal for Collaboration
Presenter: Josh Healey, Youth Program Director, Youth Speaks & Youth Speaks youth poets
Document D

Chair LaCroix then called item 6B out of order. Josh Healey, Brandon Santiago and Melody Chen, all of Youth Speaks, then provided the Youth Commission with a presentation and a request. Mr. Healey and Mr. Santiago, both Youth Speaks employees, described the mission, purpose and vision of Youth Speaks, a nonprofit organization dedicated to increasing the literacy abilities of young people throughout the Bay Area by providing writing workshops, organizing poetry slams and otherwise providing youth with a forum for creative, constructive interpersonal connection.

Ms. Chen—a young poet and participant in Youth Speaks’ programming and current John O’Connell High School student—explained that Youth Speaks has begun to host forums on particular issues before their regularly-scheduled “Open Mic’s.” This coming Friday, February 25, from 5:00pm—6:30pm, Youth Speaks’ was planning to host such a forum regarding youth violence at the nonprofit literary arts organizations 826 Valencia (located in the Mission District of San Francisco at that address between 19th and 20th streets).

Commissioners Marshall-Fricker, seconded by commissioner Kaminsky, moved to endorse this event. This motion was approved unanimously by acclamation.

C. Health Education Task Force: A proposal for Improving Health Education in the SFUSD
Presenter: Natalie Davidson, 2008-2009 and 2009-2010 Youth Commissioner
Document E

Chair LaCroix then yielded the introduction of this item to Commissioner Kaminsky. He then explained that he had invited the coming present, Natalie Davidson, to the Youth Commission, because of the current commission’s interest in improving health education for young people in San Francisco.

Subsequently, Natalie Davidson, a former Youth Commissioner (2008-2010) and current senior at Lowell High School, explained to the Youth Commission that she was devoting her extracurricular time this year to following up on a resolution adopted by the Youth Commission late in the 2009-2010 term which calls on the school district revamp its health education curriculum. She walked Youth Commissioners’ through a rather comprehensive PowerPoint presentation rife with troubling statistics that underscored the great need for better health education for San Francisco public school students. Ultimately,

Ms. Davidson asked for at least one commissioner from the Youth Commission to volunteer herself (or himself) to be a point person to work with Ms. Davidson to shepherd the creation of a task force that would remake the health education curriculum in the public schools. Commissioners Kaminsky and Hirano offered themselves up as point people.

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

A. File no. 110074 [MUNI Youth Lifeline Discount Fast Pass Program Changes]
Sponsors: Campos; Mirkarimi, Avalos, Cohen, Kim and Mar
Resolution urging the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency to adopt changes to the
Youth Lifeline Discount Fast Pass Program for qualified low-income youth.
Presenter: Youth Commission staff
Document A

Staff Mario Yedidia walked commissioners through the background of this resolution referred from the Board of Supervisors: the Youth Commission’s initial proposal and advocacy for the Youth Lifeline Fast Pass (a discounted MUNI fast pass for low income public school students), which began in the winter of 2010. Despite the fact that MUNI had budgeted money ($1.4 million in the current fiscal year) for the program and the school district had committed to implementing it starting 6 months ago (in August of 2010), not a single fast pass was concluded.

The meeting was recessed for five minutes.

Mr. Yedidia concluded his presentation by summarizing the four main challenges that school district officials have identified as having, thus far, prohibited them from distributing the Youth Lifeline (many of these challenges were identified on the public record at the Youth Commission’s December 8, 2010 hearing on this matter): challenges with (1) identifying who qualifies for the fast pass, because free and reduced lunch information is confidential and cannot be used for anything except the free and reduced lunch program;(2) the use of cash (the school district does not want tens of thousands of dollars in cash flowing through its various school sites); (3) which employees the school district can hold responsible for distributing the fast pass; and (4) where to sell the fast pass.

Given these challenges and the 6-month delay in beginning distribution, the resolution currently in front of the Youth Commission, authored by Supervisor Campos, is an attempt to get as many fast passes distributed qualified low income young people as possible—by identifying qualified young students through a new eligibility form and distributing the Youth Lifeline fast passes for free.

Questions and comments were offered by commissioners Herzstein, Nauer, LaCroix, Yang, Kaminsky, Benezra, Sun, Hirano and Lin.

Commissioner Kaminsky, seconded by commissioner Marshall-Fricker, moved to support the legislation referred. This motion was approved unanimously by the following roll call vote: Ayes—Marshall-Fricker, Sun, Perez, Hirano, Beaulac, Nauer, Yang, Benezra, Herzstein, Kaminsky, Chan, LaCroix, Lin.

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

A. Resolution/In Memorium commending the life and work of Jack Mayeda, a lifelong public school educator, both in San Francisco and San Mateo County
Sponsor and Presenter: Commissioner Sun
Document F

Given the absence of Mr. Mayeda’s relatives, commissioner Marshall-Fricker, seconded by commissioner Herzstein, moved to postpone consideration of this resolution until a later date. This motion was adopted unanimously by acclamation.

8. Executive Committee & Staff Report (Informational Item)

Commissioners Sun, Chan, Lin and Yang warmly updated their colleagues on the Youth Leadership Retreat they had attended with dozens of young people the prior weekend. This retreat, sponsored by the Department of Children, Youth and Their Families’ Youth Empowerment Fund, brought together young people involved in providing City departments’ with policy recommendations with the Youth Warriors, a group of 16 young people sponsored by community based organizations who are trained in the City’s governance, budget and legislative processes. The Leadership Retreat was a great success!

9. Attendance Review (Action Item)

10. Announcements (This includes Community Events)

11. Adjournment

The meeting was adjourned at 7:27pm.

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, CA. 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