tv [untitled] December 10, 2013 7:30pm-8:01pm PST
francisco. as supervisor cohen has importantly mentioned, one out of three to one out of four individuals in this country have an arrest or conviction record. in many parts of the country and here in san francisco, decision makers in the business and housing world can ask about your conviction history at the very first application. this is what we normally call the box. today, any business or housing provider can say, if you have a conviction record, you need not apply. the bureau of justice statistics and the office of the u.s. attorney, one in three adults in the u.s. has had contact with the criminal justice system, whether it is a dui when you are in college or an arrest that didn't lead to a conviction. but these frequently show up on your criminal back ground check. we know that having a job and home are the two most important factors predicting whether one will commit a crime in the future or not. at the same time, employers and housing providers are concerned
about opening the door to [speaker not understood] who might commit a future crime that might hurt a customer, a coworker, another tenant, and even if the decision maker believes in second chances, there may be an unconscious bias towards someone with a conviction in their past. i have met and heard stories of many returning citizens along with supervisor cohen as well, one, mary who survived a severe domestic violence situation. finally left her abuser and made the mistake of stealing in order to survive. even after she had served her time, went back to school and got a job, mary couldn't find stable housing which impacted her ability to regain custody of her children. peter, another individual, got into a fight with a neighbor when he was 18 years old and for years after could not get his foot in the door to explain his past and how he had changed his life after paying his debt to society. after finally expunging his criminal conviction record when he was in his 20s, he he still ran into closed doors because
many commercial background checks were still showing his expunged conviction. all of these men and women want to own their past and make no excuses for the mistakes that they may have made, but they do all want the opportunity, a fair chance to be able to apply for a job and housing and be able to get their foot in the door, an opportunity to work, a place to call home is something that we should all have a fair chance to pursue. and we all want that whether you are an employer or a job seeker, a landlord, or a tenant. ~ looking for that chance. with this ordinance, we are both proud to introduce a law that is designed in collaboration of many stakeholders, from members of the business community through san francisco chamber of commerce, the civil rights advocate such as all of us [speaker not understood] and lawyers committee for civil rights. we are also able to work with members of the small business commission, the apartment owners association and nonprofit affordable housing
providers. even more miraculously, everyone is on board and in support. and even a couple of months ag i'm not sure i could have predicted such consensus around legislation that i expected to be much more controversial, but i really believe we were able to work together because we all believed in the final objective, which is that if you want an opportunity to work, you should be able to get your foot in the door and at least be able to explain yourself and have an opportunity to interview. and talk about how you have either rehabilitated or how your skill set is applicable to the job that you are applying for. ultimately, the question was mainly around the process. employers wanted something that wasn't overly burdensome, but allowed them to review candidates that may have had a conviction history, and those with the conviction history wanted an opportunity to be able to explain their history and also not be turned away immediately at first blush just by checking that box. this law will make a significant change in how we view, share, and use conviction
information for work-related and housing related decisions and. of you read the cover story in the chronicle today, [speaker not understood]. one of our tenants in the tenderloin who talked about how he was recently fired from his janitorial job when his employer discovered that he had a conviction back from 1974. this legislation would prevent that from being the reason for firing you from your job because that was 7 -- that was before the 7-year timeline at which you can look at your conviction history. it doesn't mean that employers, affordable housing pro he vieders and contractors cannot review anyone's background check. in fact, you will always have that opportunity after you've either made a conditional offer for employment or after a first live interview. and this came after many discussions with small business owners and with employers. san francisco, one of the very first cities in the country to initially quote-unquote ban the box in its own city-wide hiring, again set the barbie
expanding and strengthening its banned the box form to cover private businesses, contractors and affordable housing. i want to thank in particular supervisor malia cohen. both of us represent the highest number of individuals with a conviction record in our two districts in 6 and 10. so, this is something that really impacts many of our residents. i am also often asked what we are doing to work on combating homelessness and creating more employment opportunities for many of our most vulnerable residents. this legislation is one of those pieces. i also want to thank our co-sponsors today. president chiu, supervisor avalos, supervisor campos, and supervisor mar for your early support of this legislation. so many organizations worked on this legislation over the past 12 months. whether it was our department such as olsc, dhr, to many of our organizations that i've mentioned and of course some small business securities and
exchange commission and san francisco chamber of commerce, honestly that would not have been possible if not for the work of two staff members, [speaker not understood] and ivy lee. the level of diligence and detail to which they worked on this legislation was outstanding and i think that's why we're going to be presenting legislation that will hopefully smoothly sail through the legislative process without a lot of controversy. but beginning a very important dialogue. so, again, i want to thank supervisor cohen, ahn drape a and ivy. i don't think we would have been able to get this far without all of these individuals. ~ >> i want to take a moment and acknowledge supervisor cohen who i know wanted initial comment on what was just discussed. >> yes, one very brief comment. i want to go on record and make sure we're very clear we're not asking employers or housing providers, we're not asking for favors or a preference, per se, but we are asking them to not automatically disqualify people solely based on a conviction
history, conviction history, if you think about it, think about it in relationship to your credit history. oftentimes on our own individual credit histories there are mevishes or things that are mistakenly put on this. ~ blemishes there are people who are wrongfully convicted and exonerated. denying them to move forward with their life. i want to make sure that we give voice to this very important piece of legislation and i would welcome every member to support this. thank you. >> thank you, supervisor kim. and supervisor cohen. supervisor mar. for your introduction, supervisor mar. >> i wanted to thank supervisor kim and cohen for the banned the box legislation, too, and thank all of us and many of the
prisoner legal services and others for their hard work on this as well. first, i wanted to say that i'm introducing a request for the budget analyst to do yet another study and analysis, this one on the very controversial issue of corporate techy shuttle and their impact on traffic and infrastructure and pedestrian safety and housing costs in the city. i think at the transportation authority, many of us look closely at the transportation map that exists in shuttles, especially the ones that some have said we've become the bedroom city for silicon valley, not only the google shuttle, but also many other ones that are growing especially in the eastern neighborhoods of the city, but there are others that are touching along park presidio to the richmond district as well.
colleague, the sfmta or muni will soon be implementing an 18-month pilot of a policy that will limit corporate shuttles to 100 of the 250 stops that they currently use and charge a fee for maintaining the stops. on the other hand -- or on the one hand, these corporate shuttles provide roughly 35,000 rides per day for companies including not just google, but facebook, yahoo!, apple, jen entech, intuit and ebay. but they also cause major and minor delays for muni and intense frustrations to passengers and she's shuttles have not followed the rules for using the public [speaker not understood] as well. this was highlighted yesterday in much of the mainstream and the alternative press as well. i believe the mta's pilot project a good first step in regulating these buses that provide a valuable service to many of our residents and get cars off our road. however, i would also like to note how our city is financially impacted by these shuttles in terms of
infrastructure cost, pedestrian safety and housing costs now are heavily impacted along the routes that these buses run. this is not just about transportation, but about the city's fabric and about who gets to live in san francisco. and to this edv i'll be directing our budget and legislative office to study this matter. i will convene a hearing after the report is published to look at other solutionses. also, this friday december 13th, friday the 13th, our district 1, the richmond district, will host a clement street holiday shopping from 4 to 9:00 p.m. please come and support our local community based businesses. also, many of us may have been mourning the december 5th passing of nelson mandela and i wanted to ask if the board can end our meeting in commendation in memoriam of nelson mandela madiba. i wanted to say -- and i'm just going to improvise this one because i didn't really write
anything up. i was expecting as our city [speaker not understood] the mayor's liaison to the board was reminding me there is an 8:00 a.m. in the rotunda celebration of nelson mandela's wife tomorrow, and i'm hoping that folks can join us. but for my comments on nelson mandela, when i had heard he had passed away on december 5th at the age of 95, a lot of strong emotions came through me. i don't know if others were active in the antiapartheid movement like i was, but mandela lived a full life at 95 years. he was imprisoned or 27 of those 95 years, over a quarter of his life. i think about the antiapartheid movement and others that passed away and contributed so much. but for him, like labor and transafrica leader bill fletcher wrote in some of the comments that he reflected,
mandela was like a elder family member or grandfather to many people, i think, and i felt this loss of a family member. i joined the antiapartheid movement in '84. i think it had the most profound effect on my life because it was so up lifting and it was so sharp in how governments and systems oppress people, not just on racial lines, but economic and other lines as well. i wanted to also say that in my work in the entire apartheid movement, i got to meet anc leaders and leaders that spear the nation, the armed wing of the amc, chris honey was one of my heroes, a leader that was assassinated about 20 years ago and in many cases i was really fortunate to be in key places with our san francisco bay area antiapartheid movement. as a student activist, i was able to meet so many other students that were working on central america solidarity and
other issues, and we looked up what happened in the u.s. with what was going on in south africa. the amazing transformation of my life by the struggle of mandela and others as well. also artists were the key place where i learned so much about south africa. and nelson mandela died in johannesburg, but i remember just playing the hell out of [speaker not understood] johannesburg and see him on saturday night live in 1975 when i was 13 years old, my daughter's age, and just being amazed by what artists can do to support justice and to support movements. i also wanted to say i ended up joining asian american artists against apartheid or a lot of the students against apartheid. it was a great experience working with so many other folks as well. and within the uc system where we organized major protests with leaders like pedro [speaker not understood] from u.c. berkeley, it was an amazing experience, artists
[speaker not understood] came out of the movement as well and [speaker not understood] spearhead as well. but i wanted to say that bill fletcher, jr., and others have written, they could say it much more eloquently than i can, in celebrating mandela's life bill flesh assays that celebrating mandela's life is celebrating the very fact that this man lived and made the immense contributions that he made, celebrated his commitment and integrity, celebrating the extent of his courage, a courage that few of us can ever imagine. this is bill fletcher talking. i find myself celebrating his comrades, some alive, many dead, who against all odds took up a multi-decades struggle for freedom and social transformation. i celebrated the fact that mandela believed both passionately in organization and did not wish to be worshiped as the supreme leader. he saw in organization that the organization of the people, the
key to liberation. nelson mandela will be mourned and celebrated, but something else will happen. there will still probably very soon be efforts to reinterpret his life. i do not mean leaving things out as happened in the otherwise film just released about his life. rather, as we have experienced here in the u.s. with great leaders like martin luther king and malcolm x, there will be efforts to convert mandela into a very safe character in order to advance the ends of the global elite. the battle over mandela's legacy will not await his burial nor will it await a period of mourning. it happens immediately. and for that reason, how we interpret his life and work will determine which nelson mandela we are actually recognizing and praising. mandela will be missed, but we cannot end our thought there. we must express our appreciation to the creator of all things that this planet was blessed with nelson mandela and those who stood with him in the
global elite declared the situation [speaker not understood]. i never thought nelson mandela would be released from jail, and then he appeared in oakland at the oakland coliseum in 1990. that was probably one of the best days of my life. but i just wanted to end with a song, so many songs uplift me from peter gabriel to jerry damers and the special to sun city [speaker not understood] including [speaker not understood], jeffery osborne and others, but i'll just say the ub 40 song is my favorite song of the whole movement. and it goes, we will fight for the right to be free, we will build our own society. we will sing, we will sing, we will sing our own songses. when the ancient drum ribbonses ring, the voice of our forefathers sing. forward africa run, our day of freedom has come. for me and for you, [speaker not understood]. thank you, nelson mandela.
>> thank you, supervisor mar. colleagues, can we -- (applause) >> thank you. colleagues, can we do that in memoriam on behalf of the whole board? without objection, that should be the case. [gavel] >> madam clerk? >> thank you, mr. president. supervisor wiener? >> thank you, madam clerk. today i'm introducing a hearing request about the status of the roll out of the at&t uverse boxes. a year ago this board rejected the c-e-q-a appeal relating to those boxes and the roll out began almost a year ago ~. i'm sure, colleagues, that you all heard from constituents as the process moves forward. i know we work closely with neighbors, some with at&t, planning department, department of public works to try to make sure the process is a good and inclusive one. under the memorandum of
understanding that i and i think a number of us entered into with at&t last year, i think, one of the requirements was for at&t after a year and again after two years to participate at a hearing at the board of supervisors to provide us with updates, but also to hear from the department about how things are going and from neighborhood groups as well. so, i am introducing a hearing request to trigger that hearing. i am hoping that we'll conduct it sometime in january. and, colleagues, i look forward to all of us participating so that we can make sure that the process is as good as possible. and the rest i submit. >> thank you, supervisor wiener. supervisor yee. >> thank you, madam clerk. i would like to add my name to ban the box legislation, too, and as a late supporter. colleagues, [speaker not understood] a amendment from the members of the long term
design group, group of stakeholders and advocate nominated through the department of aging. represented the work they recently have completed on the long term care strategic plan. i was really impressed with the thoroughness and insight of the report and i would like to call for a hearing to give they have an opportunity for the members of the design group and the department of aging and adult services to present their finding. i believe this is a great example of city staff and community stakeholders working together to provide a detailed analysis, [speaker not understood] a clear path for the next steps. i look forward to the hearing next year. >> thank you, supervisor -- >> the rest i submit. >> thank you, supervisor yee. supervisor avalos. >> , madam clerk. i have one item for introduction. it's a hearing about the backlog of cases in the medical
examiner's office. there was a recent story in the chronicle that described how the medical examiner's office has a significant backlog in pending death certificates. as of last month there were 609 cases that had been pending for more than three months, 389 cases that had been pending for more than sick months and 80 cases that had been penting for more than a year. ~ six the medical examiner's office is budgeted to have four assistant medical examiners, but it is currently only one permanent -- has only permanently -- currently only one permanent and one temporary assistant examiner. the short staffing slow turn around times led the association of medical examiners to downgrade the office's accreditation this year from full to provisional. these extreme delays can prevent family members from reaching closure in the loss of their loved ones and can delay their ability to resolve issues with insurance and retirement funds. i have actually heard from a
couple of constituents who have been waiting in this backlog for news of the official death certificates of loved ones and i can't imagine how much anguish this could cause a family. therefore, i am calling for a hearing to review the backlog in the medical examiner's office, their staffing levels, and what steps can be taken to expedite the resolution of these pending cases. that's my item for submission. >> thank you, supervisor avalos. supervisor breed. >> thank you. i have a few in memoriams that i want to submit today. one is very personal to me. [speaker not understood] who sadly was killed on december 1st. some of you might have read the story in the paper about the playstation 4 and the situation surrounding that. but this kid was an amazing young man.
he participated in programs at the african-american art and culture complex. he was always my helper. he was always -- he he always listened. he was always the one to get some of the younger kids to behave ~ and he comes from an amazing family. mom, dad, brother, sister, and folks in the community loved him. so, what happened to [speaker not understood], he he was one of the kids that when you think about -- when i think about a lot of the kids that i've worked with over the years, he was the kid that i was never worried about because i always felt he would be okay. and to have something like this happen to someone like ikenna is one of the saddest things
that anyone could ever experience. ikenna is a kid that was going places. he wanted to be his own businessman. i actually just saw him halloween. he told me he would be scheduling an appointment and he would be wearing the appropriate clothes to come to city hall to meet with me because he was studying business at santa monica college in los angeles. and what this situation suggests to me is that as hard as we all work to make sure that there are great programs in the city, as hard as we work to make sure that kids like ikenna have opportunities, there are other kids that are being neglected. there are other kids that need those same opportunities. there are other kids who are
not growing up in an environment where they're learning what it means to be compassionate towards other people. there are other kids that, sadly, are capable of killing kid like ikenna. and we just have a lot of work to do. i'm sad that the circumstances in this case have happened in this way, and i just wanted to express that this makes me want to work harder and fight harder now more than ever because of this particular loss. this is a great human being and he he will be dearly missed. he he died at the age of 22, and my heart and thoughts are with his family.
another in memoriam is for mr. melvyn holmes. i actually attended junior high with his daughter, and he was a great person. he loved his kids. he had two daughters, kenya and sarana, and he had reminded me of a story of i guess his daughter told him about how i took up for her at ben franklin because she came in seventh grade and not sixth grade with the rest of us. but she was quiet, she kept to herself, but she had a beautiful smile and she was always really sweet. and she's still a great person and her dad was a great person. it was clear that he was a great person because he had great kids and he was a loving, caring person who actually spent 39 years working for the city at the department of human services.
mr. holmes had a collection of over 365 art pieces, of over 100 different african-american artists, including some of my favorites. [speaker not understood] and [speaker not understood] and sergeant johnson. and not only did he collect this amazing art, he shared it with museums. he shared it with the african-american art and culture complex. although we could barely afford the insurance to exhibit the work. he was just such a giving person, such an amazing person. he he passed away in his home in alamo square not too far from the african-american art ask culture complex, where he he was married and raised his two daughters and he will be truly missed ~. the last in memoriam which -- thank you, supervisor mar, for mentioning nelson mandela. i was, of course, going to ask
that the entire board and it's appropriate that the entire board join in together to remember mr. mandela. and i know that there had been mention that there would be a service tomorrow at 8:00 a.m., a public service. this is a -- my first activism in school was at galileo high school was everything was malcolm x. everything was [speaker not understood] power. during a time of public enemy and apartheid and all of these incredible things happening, they were the first opportunity i had to learn about what was going on in south africa, what was going on with people like mandela, our history at martin luther king and malcolm x and what it meant to be african-american and what it meant to not only study african-americans in our public
schools, but what it meant to understand what happens globally in the world. we at galileo high school had some amazing teachers who basically deviated from the curriculum to teach us about mandela and to teach us about apartheid. and i made it my personal mission to make sure that my grandmother didn't purchase those products or we didn't -- she has this old broken down car, but i said, we can't go to shell because, you know, of all the places that supported a divided government in south africa were not thing that i wanted to support because of the challenges that the people faced there. and to have him released from jail in my lifetime and then a few years later when i was in college, when we were fighting proposition 209, to have him become the first african president, words cannot express the joy and excitement we had
at u.c. davis celebrating and, again, recommiting ourselves to be fighters and to do more. this was a person who chose to be better, chose to be a real leader, what it means to be a real leader. not hold a grudge, not dwell on the fact that he had been held in prison for over 27 years, and to come out with this spirit of love and forgiveness, and just to -- he was the example of what i strive to be as a legislator, as what i strive to be as a person. and, yes, he he will be missed and he was just -- really to have him alive during my time on this earth, to be able to
know that he fought for something greater than himself and succeeded in that battle just is truly amazing. the fact that so many leaders, so many leaders from all over the world were together, leaders that have fought against one another over the years, but they came together for an occasion to celebrate such a great man, it's clear that his spirit lives on. and i wanted to read a specific quote from mandela and there are so many great quotes, but this one struck me as what was really clear about his nature. "no one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or had i background, or his religion. people must learn to hate. and