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tv   Government Access Programming  SFGTV  May 26, 2019 2:00am-3:01am PDT

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hearing, first? >> sure. >> if we could file item number 1 without objection, the hearing is filed. [gavel]y , that means it's not on the agenda next week? >> that's right. [laughter] >> i would make a motion to move this forward without recommendation and let the full board weigh in and have a conversation at the full board about it, s.b. 1045. >> is that okay with you, supervisor mar? >> without objection, this item moves forward to the full board without recommendation. [gavel]. [applause] can you please call item number 3. >> that is a bad decision.
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that is a bad, bad decision. >> item number 3, the motion to improve and reject the mayor's appointment of bivett bureaucrat brac tett. for a four-year term ending november 3rd, 2020. >> thank you. if you could please move the conversations outside, i would appreciate it. we have a full rest of our agenda. thank you so much. good morning, miss bracket t. we are moving forward with the next item of the agenda. if everyone could please take their conversations outside. we would appreciate it. >> good morning, everyone. thank you for having me here today. just wanted to let you know that i was frankly shocked and humbled when i received the call from mayor london breed to be nominated for a seat on the infrastructure commission.
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without going into too much detail and out of respect for adhering to my two-minute time limit, i hope my prepared speech suits you. i will not get into the resume, all of the current supervisors had an opportunity to read my previous statements via email or meet me with personally to discuss. i want to focus on what matters most to me, the constituents of san francisco and our pathway to promises of a better tomorrow collectively. while lci. is implementing the major approved development projects and mission bay, hunters point shipyard, the redevelopment area, the shipyard candle stick point and the transbay power authority, more open park space, affordable housing and over 10,000 new jobs to san francisco by 2027. however, the real impact of oci. commission is not just economic revitalization, many communities were negatively impacted by the now-defunct redevelopment
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agency, still fighting daily for environmental, social, racial and economic justice. justice that's going to require the board of supervisors to vote for commissioners who are committed to putting in sweat i can quit to make sure the values real intangible. this intersectional focus must remain at the forefront of all of our decisions moving forward. this community deserves representation that makes them feel seen and heard. i have attended community meetings over the last two decades and watched our elders, like doris vincent shout, watch single mothers cry out of fear of being displaced and men bury their heads in their hands -- listening to community concern but never following through with the addressing the concerns. our community members should not have to resort to protests on the steps of city hall and media surfaces in order for the demands for information and transparency to be met. they should not have to wait for crisis to arise to gain access to resources they paid for through the tax dollars. many of the same services offered freely in other
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neighborhoods with as much fanfare and civic engagement in underserved communities should not be as opportunallistic as it is. not just complaints and protest. when you demonstrate to people you give a damn about you, then they'll give you a damn about democracy. and so we have to do a better job of showing up and meeting our constituents where they are. people in san francisco are no doubt suffering. and they're suffering sufferingg silenced. the marginalize ready tired of hearing slogans, none of us live in the boxes we don't live in bumper stickers, we live in communities historically ignored and underserved. we live in communities that have economically deprived and in environmental and infrastructure decay. in 2019, in the richest city in the world, many families in the southeast side of town live in a food desert. if that doesn't disgust you, nothing will. we represent every level of the
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socioeconomic ladder. we live in intersectionality and demand more than a promise of affordable housing the promise of a better san francisco requires those of us sitting on boards of commission hold each other accountable, that we drill down into the dirty details and ask the tough questions like we were asked earlier today. one of those questions has to be who will be served by tomorrow, by the decisions i make today. and as a san francisco native, who grew up in the fillmore district, went to school in la mission and spent her entire life working for communities, as a mother who raised her children just feet away from the entrance of the shipyard from 1999 to 2007, while attending bayview pack meeting, fighting with literacy for environmental justice, to shut down the dirty plant and serves ombudsman for local merchants or not 3rd street corridor, i built a track record of over 20 years of prioritizing various community concerns over competing
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interests. my experience is authentically from the community and my voice resonates from those past, present and future. and if i'm appointed to ociwere, i want to enforce transparency and to san francisco's capital budget planetary -- between the years of '19 through the end of my serving term. i want the community to feel like they're a partner in the newest revisions to housing plans and i believe we have a duty to share information and properly educate the community about the recent completion of the cdph testing of a1 and a2 and the promise to retest parcel g in a manner that's competent and safe. our safety is of higher support and long-term residents and future generations, and we must do whatever we can to advocate for those who rely on oversight and restore trust and faith in us and the processes under oci.
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purview and lastly but most importantly, i'm committed to ensuring that the community can enjoy and equitiably share in current and future benefits of the projects. thank you. >> thank you so much. and thank you for your willingness to serve and for being here. really appreciate it. is there any questions? seeing none, i'm going to open this item up for public comment. any member of the public who would like to speak, now is the time. >> this is why i came. i just got caught up -- i'm so proud of bivett. i have known bivett all of her life. i met her when she was a 4-year-old child prodigy, going to school with my daughter alana. and it is just such a privilege to listen to her eloquent and to and i know it's real. i just really want to support her and i think that what we
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just went through previous is an extreme example of why we need this young woman in this position, because frankly housing is a big problem. and i have lived here all my life. i'm a home girl. i mean, i went to sherman, marina, galileo, city, state. i mean, i have got it. i was homeless. i was drug-addicted. i was somebody you stepped over in the library 18 years ago. you probably went to the public library and stepped over a toothless, drug-addicted, you know, homeless, out of her mind person. because i had housing, because i was able to get subsidized housing, i was able to get clean and sober, 18 years, went to college, founded way pass, the women's after-care program at city college. i was the associate director of drug and alcohol studies for over a year. and it -- and i am the example
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of why this young woman should be able to implement her ideas, because it's all about what you can do when you have a roof. [bell ringing] >> thank you. thank you so much. next speaker. >> [ please stand by ]
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>> it is supposed to be for very low income bracket people, but because these people, she made the lowest income, $36,400, when you can't -- when you're on the back of hispanics, and put the later -- lady's daughter on t.v. to make sure she can't afford to live in an apartment building complex or self, and her teacher
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as well. the truth of the matter is, none of them can afford to live there it is disgusting. when you get that job, that is the first thing i want to see you take care of. and about additional housing, this is the reason why you have a mental problem out on the street because you are disturbing them. the best get -- the best way to give them hell, the best treatment is to give them permanent housing. >> hello, there. i am here today as a district ten resident and i have had the pleasure of working with that bracket and community organizing , both in bayview and in sunnydale. i just want to let you know i'm so honoured to be able to speak in favour of such an incredibly strong community advocate. i was out there on saturday in the plaza getting cotton candy
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in our hair, playing with kids out there for a really important family and community celebration she was out there volunteering with her whole heart. they are seamlessly there with the community in supporting our people in the southeast that often get forgotten on these important oversight boards. i have also had the honour of working with her as we engage with the merchants on the corridor, sunday streets, and i can also attest she has seamlessly been able to talk to the small business owners on the corridor and make connections to all of the resources that the city actually has, and i would say, sun lighting those opportunities, especially for minority owned businesses in her perspective is really critical, especially as district ten faces a lot of redevelopment and changing in the zoning, and a lot of money and opportunity
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there to support the community. we need a fighter and a advocate who is there and understands it and can walk side-by-side with all the people who have been in there for decades. i am supportive of that. >> thank you so much. next speaker. >> good afternoon, supervisors. i am a lifelong resident of district ten, i'm here to speak on behalf of of the appointment of the oci i advisory committee. i don't think there could be a better choice. and two areas in particular, i just learned not to question her one is in her commitment to equitable outcomes for people of color and especially women. and the other is that she is very resourceful. i just learned not to question her in those two areas. i think she would be an excellent addition to oci i
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advisory committee, and she would bring a very unique and equitable perspective. i hope you guys will support moving her nomination forward to the full board. >> thank you so much. next speaker. >> as you can see, i am straight out of hunter's point. i don't really know what to say after that. she pretty much summed it up. you don't even need me here to support you, but i would like to say that i feel like she should be on the advisory committee of oci i as a woman of color. i think that she would be dynamic in the community in terms of from a cultural aspect and also from a gender aspect. she has the insight and the humility to look at both issues from people of color, but also
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as a woman, to separate those issues. because i think as a look at the bayview hunter's point, it is turning into another fillmore. i have extreme resentment for those who come into our community, and from the city, they don't really give a damn about the southeast corner of san francisco. all of a sudden everybody cares about the south of san francisco let's face it. because of -- some say class, and some say race, so it is this notion that white legitimizes the neighborhood. those issues are very sensitive. i don't think they are bought -- brought to the forefront or they are knowledge, but i do think that would protect people in the fillmore and who have lived in the bayview, and lord knows where else that child lived, too she had a good sense of these
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issues that are of concern to me they would probably give san francisco more offices of community instead of us versus them and that kind of mentality. to him -- to me, that is going on in the bayview. there's a lot of resentment. >> thank you so much. if there is any other members of the public, line up to my left. if there is anybody else who wanted to speak. >> thank you, honourable supervisors for the opportunity to speak. i just want to say that i feel, given the tragedy of the redevelopment agency, and the impact they had on the fillmore, this destruction of businesses and homes, and the fact that they still own land, you know, they owned the warriors stadium, which i don't know if the community benefit was correct, and they own a lot of land. i feel like we need somebody on this commission that can really
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connect the community to the board and be involved in what is going on. right now there is a total of disconnect. she's someone highly regarded in the grassroots community among every day people that really doesn't have a voice and really hasn't been connected to city hall. i believe by bringing someone like her onto this commission has really -- who is really grossly disconnected to the -- from the community, but i just feel like if you go to any of the commission meetings, you will not see people from the community. she's someone engaged and wants to make people part of this process, which is sorely needed. she is a very brilliant woman. she has a powerful analysis on social injustices and how to communicate it in a way where people can understand. she doesn't compromise. i just want to strongly encourage this board to put her on the commission. this is one of the most exciting
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pieces of news in terms of redevelopment, and there's really not a lot of excitement that comes around. it still feels like we are being left out. i'm very disappointed about the redevelopment of oci where they sold the stadium to the warriors with no real community benefit that i can really see. thank you for the opportunity to talk. >> thank you, so much. any member of the public would like to speak? >> my name is connie and i am here to support this nomination. i don't know her as long as other people in this room have known her, but what i have seen for her if she dedicated her community and to san francisco and to all people, not just people of color or white people, but of all races and -- it doesn't matter to her if you are mentally ill or if you are hard on your luck. she will take an interest in she
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will help you. that is the kind of person i see and i would just like to support her in her new job. >> thank you so much. any other member of the public who wishes to speak? public comment is closed. supervisor walton? >> thank you. i just want to echo the sentiments of the community who came out to speak on behalf of her. it is not often you get an appointment from the mayor's office that you would make yourself, so i'm excited to see here here and would have pushed to move this board a couple of weeks ago, but i think it was important people hear from you and see you and hear what you are about and what you represent i am glad you were able to be here this morning. as we look at the role of o.c.i. i and the importance of keeping our community affordable and keeping it indigenous, we need people who understand and know what this communities about and the means -- the needs of our
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community, so i'm excited to have you here in terms of daunting eyes and crossing teas from commitment, dedication, to also being knowledgeable about the issues and the needs of the community. this is an important commission, and i think this is one of those times where we actually have a great appointment before us. thank you all for speaking on her behalf, and i'm excited about moving this forward. i don't know if my colleagues have anything to say because i would like to amend item number 3 and take out rejecting, and motion to approve this appointment moving forward. >> without objection, that motion passes. congratulations. [cheers and applause] >> congratulations. >> mr. clerk, please read item number 4. >> item four his motion approving rejecting the motion of dave washroom into the residential rent stabilization and arbitration board for a term
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ending august 1st, 2022. >> would you like to come up? >> good morning, welcome. >> i prepared a short statement if you would like me to read it. i would be happy to do so. >> please do. >> dear supervisors. first and foremost, thank you for giving me the opportunity to address you. supervisor ronen, thank you for your time last friday afternoon to meet and discuss the issues surrounding my reappointment to the rent board. as a preliminary matter, i have been a member since january of 2015 when the late mayor, ed lee, appointed me to the alternate landlord position. mayor breed reappointed me to the rent board last december when i replaced commissioner abbey as the voting commissioner i think some of you know what happened in the paperwork was not filed. nobody filed the paperwork from
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the mayor's office, hence i am here. allow me to address had on speculations that i believe are the reasons for this hearing. there was an s.f. weekly article about my participation in a matter involving veritas, and speculation that i should have recused myself from the case before the rent board because the attorney, the quote unquote stern of wasserman offices represents a veritas. i would like to clear up that rumour because it is based on several misconceptions. first, daniel stern and i are not law partners. we have separate business licenses with the city and county of san francisco, and operate ezell proprietors, which means we cannot and do not share income or confidential client information ever. we have operated our separate practices out of the same office building since 2006, and we share office expenses in that space. two kind commissioners on the rent board have similar arrangements within their law practices, both commissioners
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are active tenant litigation attorneys and they share websites with other attorneys. they operate under the same fashion as daniel and myself. second, i have always done that, and always shall recuse myself from any matters before the rent board where daniel stern or wasserman stern has or is participating. let me stress this point. at no time have i ever participated in a matter as a commissioner where mr. stern has been active as a -- as an attorney. last week, we presented a letter from veritas to supervisor ronen affirming that daniel stern had no involvement with the baker street veritas operating and maintenance petition, which was the case referenced in the san francisco weekly article. it is widely known that mr. stern does not represent veritas. rather an internal veritas employee represents veritas on these matters.
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further, mr. stern has almost never participated or assisted veritas and rent board matters, and when he does, i would always recuse myself and never participate. third, i am almost done, veritas is not, and never has been a client of mine. i have never participated in any of their business operations, i have never provided them legal advice, i do know them from my involvement in industry trade groups such as a san francisco apartment association where i serve on the board of directors, and the coalition for better housing where i serve as the vice president. outside of those forums, i have no interaction with veritas or its employees. indeed, a some of you may recall , i specifically called out the controversial practices of veritas during public comment before the supervisors, the board of supervisors last year when you are considering changes to the rent ordinance provision, and the local media widely quoted my concern in the coverage of that event. fourth, in late 2014, before
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being sworn as a commissioner, i conferred with both senior staff at the rent board to disclose and discuss my loss of structure and relationship with daniel stern. i received clear and comprehensive advice at that time from the city attorney on how to ensure that a properly recused myself in all instances where an actual or perceived conflict might lie. i believe i have diligently followed that advice and instruction from january 2015 to the present time. respectfully, i believe this controversy surrounding my appointment only arose -- arose because of the highly contested petition involving veritas that came before the rent board in april of this year. supervisors, i want you to know, and i want the record to reflect that i have always recuse myself when matters of economic interest exists, or where there is a conflict created by mr. stern's director independent involvement in any case, or when the advice of the city attorney has required me to exercise recusal. lastly, i humbly act -- ask for
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the following. whether you vote to remove me or not, at the end of the day, that is unimportant compared to the bigger picture of not politicizing the rent board, and i believe that is somebody who has been involved with the rent board for 23 years as a practitioner and almost five as a commissioner. we have great talent down there, on both sides of the tenant side and on our side, and i'd hate to see that system become politicized. for the last 40 plus years, since 1979, we had a rent board that works, and robert collins and other members of the rent board our senior staff employed by the city i believe would affirm that. thank you very much for your time. i am available for questions if you have any. >> thank you so much. i really appreciate you coming today. i did call this hearing as i was concerned. i have been under the impression that you were a law partner with mr. stern, and even veritas'
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role being a very large landlord in the city, it made some very questionable tactics, and sometimes harassing tenants out of their units, rent-controlled units, that was a concern for me i appreciate you addressing that concern very much. any other questions? yes, supervisor mar. >> thank you. i just had a question, there was some information presented to me about your primary residence, in san francisco or the county. >> , supervisor, i do own a home in the valley, which i have disclosed every year. at that home -- that home was purchased in '06. when ed lee was contemplating my appointment with the rent board,
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i scrambled very hard to find residency here and at that time, a couple months, i purchased a four unit apartment building in the richmond district, which is now where i reside primarily. i do not claim it as a homeowner 's exemption on my tax returns, because according to my account and the c.p.a., that would be improper, i don't know if it is true or not, but that would be improper because it is a rental property. there are three groups of tenants that also live in that building, it is a four unit building, and that is why it is not claimed as such. i do have a home, i do go there from time to time, but my children -- they are not so much children anymore, but two of my three children go to school in san francisco. the oldest one graduated from high school in san francisco last year, about a year ago this month, and is currently in school in pennsylvania. that is where she lives.
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i am from here, i was born and raised here, and supervisor mar, your brother knows the neighborhood well. i was standing behind him as he was looking in about four years ago right after i purchased this residence, it is right across the street. i don't know if you will remember from the money house where they found the money that was wrapped in there, and supervisor mar and i were looking on as the various crews came by to rectify that situation. that is the honest answer on that point. thank you. >> thank you so much. >> thank you. >> i will now open up this item to public comment. any member of the public please come forward. >> the rent stabilization board. we had a big hearing about this maybe eight or nine months ago, and normally, my focus is on the most vulnerable people, but i
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happened to be there at that hearing, as a result, people who were speaking up for the rent stabilization board was given examples, schematics that favour the owner of the apartment building complex. i had to make a demonstration to show that is a conflict of interest. the rent stabilization board is supposed to help keep the people that is in the rent stabilization program, and keep their rent stable and the rent payments because their income is not inclusive. after i pointed all of that out, and now you are phasing -- favouring the owner, if you are not getting preferential treatment from the owner and the apartment -- in the apartment building complex that you live in. i want to highlight that the tenants in the rent stabilization program are in that program because their wages
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, their permanent income pertaining to the disability, jobs, their trust fund, their retirement, is not increasing, so if you get this position, you have to protect the tenant because their income is not elevated as some people's income , and you can't put profit over safety by putting people out. rent stabilization means rent stabilization. keep it stable where it is at because they are not getting no salary increase. the contract says that if you did not sign a contract agreeing that your rent can be increased because of income increase, you are not supposed to elevate their rent in the first place. >> thank you. next speaker. >> good afternoon, supervisors. i'm with the coalition of
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permanent housing. it is nice to see you again. today i am here not only as an executive director of the coalition, but also as a friend of david waterman. i would like to talk to you about that. we are pleased to express our support for dave wasserman's reappointment to the rent board. he has thoughtfully served the city on the commission. he has done so with intellectual distinction and great respect for everyone who appears at the rent board. i believe that this is why he has such a good relationship with the other commissioners, both tenant neutral and landlords alike, as well as staff. he is known for his honesty and knowledge and fairness for all san franciscans. that is important because that board is really there to look at the letter of the law, the rules and the regulations, and make sure that people who need to be
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protected are protected. i have witnessed numerous times on a professional level, at the rent board, as well as with my interactions with david on a personal level, his real commitment to the progressive values that are san francisco, and he is not afraid, as you have seen with his testimony before the board of supervisors about -- the concerns about the work that he is not afraid to stand up for those who need to be stood up for. i hope you will take those things into account and support mr. wasserman's reappointment. he is a good man. he cares about san francisco, and i thank you should support him. thank you. >> thank you so much. any other member of the public would like to speak?
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>> good afternoon, commissioners i am a tenant in san francisco, and a long-term tenant rights advocate, first, i would like to say i appreciate mr. wasserman taking the time to respond to a lot of questions i had raised at the san francisco rent board commissioner hearing this month, last month, and we will probably continue to raise in the next few months. one of my primary concerns is that david wasserman did express prejudice during the process of our operating and maintenance reform legislation that is at issue because of an appeal that was brought to the rent board commissioners, a lot of concern came up around the conflict of interest, around if wasserman is prejudiced on this issue, shouldn't he be recusing himself whenever we come to the point of operating and maintenance appeals at the rent board commissioner? in addition to this, this new
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question about does david wasserman live here, or is he registered here, unfortunately, now there are more questions in my mind raised to be secured in that he is registered here to vote, that there is no conflict with him having a homeowner exemption, but also living here in san francisco, him and his colleague have raised issues of where are you registered to vote , with many tenants who are represented at hearings at the rent board commissioner. now the question of, where are you registered to vote, where do you have your homeowner exemption, those are key questions for me, and hopefully for potential city attorneys to look a bit more into. thank you. i appreciate your time. >> jordan davis again speaking for myself. the rent board, and i have been following the news around various appointments and one
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thing i believe about this board is you have to be above reproach and there are just too many questions about wasserman's residency, too many questions about conflict, and he will have a lot of conflicts because veritas is huge. is a as a tenant's rights advocate, i know there is guaranteed land look representation, but i don't feel comfortable with this, i feel like we need to make sure that especially since landlords are a more are more powerful, and there is a power imbalance here, that we make sure that once again, they -- thank you, i am just too concerned. it is just like the integrity of the rent board is fake, and it has been for the past few months thank you. >> good afternoon, supervisors. i'm from the san francisco
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apartment association. i'm here in support of david wasserman's appointment to the san francisco rent stabilization and arbitration board. i'm also here to support mayor breed and the fact that she is able to make these appointments are the charter, and we should be here to support the appointments that she makes. thank you. >> thank you. is there any other member of the public would like to speak. >> thank you, supervisors. i'm here from the san francisco tenant union, i think there are two problems here, and one of them you have read about in the papers and heard even wasserman speak to you in terms of the issue of potential conflict of interest, and i think i am not mainly focused on that today because i'm not sure that this is the place and the time that you can fix that problem, which is whether or not -- whether or not this is legal or not. i think that is a question of what kind of rules to we have around these appointments, and
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we have something to fix. honestly, i have to say, it doesn't look good. whether this is legal, it doesn't look good that we have somebody on the rent board whose business partner represents tons and tons of people, tons and tons of big speculative landlords that have cases that come before the rent board, pushing the limit of what is legal in san francisco, and that he gets to preside on those decisions. i think we have something to fix , but today, i want to talk about this domicile issue because that is something that is up to you. if that rule is being broken, we should fix that right here and right now. you can have more than resident, but only one domicile, but it is my understanding that registering to vote in a residence does not make it a domicile. it is illegal to vote in one of your multiple residents, unless it is your domicile.
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and applying for an exemption, that is your domicile. so you need to register to vote at the same place you claim homeowner's exemption, at your domicile. david wasserman and his wife are at their four bedroom, 3.5 bathhouse in the valley where they have an exemption filed under penalty of perjury. yes, he has another residence because he owns 100 plus apartments -- >> thank you. thank you. is there any other member of the public who would like to speak? >> good afternoon, supervisors. i am a former rent board commissioner of 17 years. i think dave wasserman took over for me when i retired.
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i'm here to speak in support of his reappointments. i am troubled by the expressions that are cast on his character by some of the speakers. it is clear mr. wasserman has been operating under the advice of the city attorney, just the same as you do and the same that you do as commissioner, and that is the baseline for every single one of us who do public service in san francisco. we operate under the advice of the city attorney, and the expression thrown out against him today are baseless. david is honest, he is hard-working, he represents his community, he is exactly the type of person that you want as a volunteer commissioner in san francisco. i'm sure none of you want to see a nullification of any community in san francisco having the right to representation on the commission. that is unfair. whether you are a landlord or a tenant or a neutral, and it is not a san francisco value.
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he has testified to you, he has signed an oath under penalty of perjury that he resides in san francisco, he does a good job. i'm troubled, i am really troubled that certain advocacy groups would stand up here and make those expressions against him. i would ask you to support this reappointment to the commission. >> thank you. let me close public comment for one moment. his any other member of the public would like to speak? seeing then, public comment is closed. mr. wasserman, did you want to make another comment? >> very quickly, just to confirm , i vote here, i have voted since 2015. might oldest daughter used to work at the polling place, and i spend the majority of my time here, as does my family. we are not always here, but this is my permanent place of
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residency, and i more than meet that structure." not get into the size of the home that i have here, the number of bedrooms or bathrooms, needless to say, it suffices, and we are here. thank you. >> thank you. if you could hold on one second, supervisor walton, do you have any questions. >> i do. mr. wasserman, do you have a homeowner -- >> i do. as i explained to supervisor mar , it is in hip no valley. it has been since 2006 or 2005. the apartment building in san francisco, my accountant said it was multiunit. we have rental income from it and he advised me not to take a homeowner's exemption on it, for tax purposes. >> maybe just to close this issue, to our deputy city attorney, for the residency
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requirement, is this issue of the homeowner's exemption, does that come into play any way, shape, or form? >> sure, yes, residency under state law incorporated into our local means that you are physically present and you have an attempt to make that your permanent home. their physical presence is easy to determine. the intent question involves a number of different factors. when we look at whether someone is domiciled in san francisco, whether they are registered to vote, whether they have a driver his license, vehicle registration, and other similar factors. under the state elections code, there is a presumption, a rebuttable presumption that the place where you have your homeowner's exemption is your residence, that presumption can
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be rebutted by any number of other factors, and the presumption does not apply if your d.m.v. record has another residence as your home. >> my drivers license, you're welcome to look at it, fourth avenue and my vehicle is registered here. >> any other questions? thank you so much. >> thank you. >> do we have a motion? >> i would move that we amend this item, and we will reject this and move it forward with a positive recommendation. >> as a committee report. >> as a committee report. is that okay? without objection, that motion passes. thank you. mr. clark, clerk, please call item number 5. >> item five is a hearing conservator appointing one member with the term ending for
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bird 21st, 2023. we have 22 applicants, however one applicant has withdrawn their application. >> thank you. mr. gray, welcome, thank you for your patience. [laughter] >> good afternoon, supervisors. >> thank you for being here. take it away. >> i met a couple of you, i didn't have the opportunity to mention, but i met with some of your staff. just a little bit about me, i'm a native san franciscan, i a group of food -- few blocks from here. i went to high school within walking distance. san francisco, and what happens in san francisco is very important for me because san francisco is near and dear to my heart. this is a little bit about my background, i am an attorney. i started off that the san
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francisco public defender's office where i worked for six and a half years, representing all kinds of people from all walks of life, mostly poor people. what that gave me was the ability to ask tough questions, and not only ask tough questions , but demand answers, it also gave me the ability to deal with a voluminous caseload, from what i understand, the ethics commission is a little bit backed up, so i'm used to dealing with value, i am now a civil rights attorney on the plaintive's side where i represent people who have been abused by the police, as well as dealing with employment discrimination on the plaintiff 's side, so if someone is wrongfully terminated, i deal with that kind of stuff, and what that gave me the ability to do is to hold everyone accountable, because a lot of the people i speak to are powerful, with lots of money and
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lots of resources. i think government should be transparent. i think we should demand answers when i say we, i mean the public , and we should get answers. i have done my research on the ethics commission, and there is a lot that needs to be done. they need to hire staff, they need to deal with some of these cases that have been lingering for however many years, so i think that if i am appointed, i can help build them. >> thank you. is that your statement? >> yes. >> great. any questions? no. i just had one. the seat that you are applying for is open because the previous appointee couldn't -- the previous appointee resigned.
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the commission has often been criticized for being ineffective and there is pain and number of resignations, as a matter of fact. what are your ideas for improving the work of the commission and restoring confidence in the role? >> sure. i think there should be multiple meetings per month, as opposed to just one. it is hard to get things done with only one meeting. a lot of the other commissions of multiple meetings per month. i think there should be some subcommittees where we invite people from the public you have an interest in this and care about this to participate. like i said, we should hire staff to get some of these things done, to deal with the backlog. i think each commissioner should take a certain amount of cases from each year that they have been lingering and write a comprehensive report on what the facts are, what investigation has been done, why, and bring it before the commission, and we
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read the report, and we say yes, this is something that needs to be ruled on, this is something we can put to the side because it is a moot point, things like that. >> it looks like there's no additional questions. i will open this up to public comment. >> good morning, perhaps it is afternoon now. and erwin, i'm here to speak on behalf of mr. gray's appointment to the ethics commission. it is such a pleasure to be here speaking on behalf of him. i have known him for well over a decade now. we are both san francisco natives and grew up about half a mile from each other but in very different worlds and he is
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incredibly humble about the life path that he has made for himself and he grew up in san francisco's fillmore district, which was a neighborhood that was changing around him with different obstacles that every corner. he was raised by a single mother who really emphasize to her children hard work, and being a good person, those two guiding principles will help you navigate, and it did. he put his head down, did the work and got himself into some of the best schools in the city and in the country, he and i land together as office mates at the public defender's office as young adults, and now when you are an office mate for someone, that means you sit about 4 feet away from them. i was privy, day in and day out
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to mr. gray's incredible moral and ethical compass. he navigated very sticky situations perfectly. he was my sounding board, and how much this man cares about this city, and making sure that it is representable, it respects , and is inviting for all people, working people, every day people, people who are down and out, and he will do the work. this is a commission that requires a lot of work and he will put his down head down and he will do it. he is a gift to this city. i hope you all will recommend his appointment. >> thank you so much. >> mr. wright, always excited what to hear what you have to say. >> i can tell you right now, i have talked to you several times to begin with, it is working with jeff at the public defender for seven years.
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working with people who are disadvantaged and all the skin colours. if he comes through, even if your skin color is green, and his implementation comes to his desk and he is assigned to take care of the problem, you get him representation. no matter what nationality of skin color. he has four and a half years of civil rights law, and that is a very, very additional asset on to on top of his public defender expands on the grounds that the civil rights act of 1964, i want to see him in force that. where you've got discrimination that has taken place based on sex. i have made a real powerful demonstration on untested rape kits that are sitting in the halls of justice. i pointed out that that is a violation of the civil rights act of 1964 on the grounds that you are discriminating against females by means of not using their evidence in their cases,
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and you -- you are processing evidence of male victims of crime, but not processes of evidence of female victims of crime. that is what started the ball rolling to adjust those rape kits. as far as employment discrimination is concerned, he has hands on demonstrated experience in that two. i'm looking forward to him to address and speak up for females that are doing the same type of work as males, but not getting the same type of pay. it is a violation of the unequal pay act. i pointed that out too when is talking to him. i also explains that you've got employment issues in the city where you've got city employees, they call them exempt employees. they are doing the same type of work as permanent employees, but yet they don't have medical insurance, annuity plans, and a retirement plan.
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>> thank you so much. mr. ace? >> how is everyone doing this morning? welcome back, supervisor. you are doing much better. god is good, isn't he? let's see. this is the appointing of an ethics commissioner, -- what do you call him again? >> mr. gray. >> mr. gray, how are you doing, sir? again, i have a few minutes to talk about the ethics commission you are coming onto a commission that has a lot to do with city hall. we have been plagued with a lot of mischievous activity.
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as you were coming on now, maybe i can make my announcement. this is the rules committee. i am going to request for the board of supervisors when i get there, but start off with a full-fledged investigation on a number departments in the city by the bay. they have a lot to do with the addition of yoshi's you may have not noticed a lot of conservation that is going on there. yours truly has been involved with that building before they had the groundbreaking. they have been excluded from reentering the place, would have been sitting down with some of the department heads talking about the art exhibit they want me to do in the fillmore. it is called rewind the tapes. faces and places. why won't this -- i want the city and county to know i wasn't part of the new leadership and
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the san francisco housing building corporation. my entity is called case. i need access back into that building to set up my art exhibit. before i continue on, i will be requesting that there be a full-fledged investigation on how those people got there in the first place. my name is ace and i am on the case. >> thank you. is there any other member of the public who would like to speak? seeing non, public comment is closed. before i recognize my colleague, i just wanted to recognize the director, liam palm and is in the room. i don't know if you want to say anything? >> no. >> supervisor mar? >> i had a brief comment and then a question for mr. gray. i don't know if you saw the article in the chronicle back in march that was titled money spent on san francisco's election reaches staggering heights.
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it highlighted how there has been a huge increase in money flowing into our local elections in the november -- the board of supervisor elections in november of last year, which supervisor walton and i run our campaign in there was nearly $7 million spent in those five races, and then in the mirror's race, among the candidates running for mayor of june of last year, there was more than $8 million spent, and a large amount of this money is coming through from outside special interests through super pacs and independent expenditure campaigns. i was just wondering if you think this is a problem. i should also add that so far as i know, there were no violations of our campaign financing laws or ethics laws in any of this
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immense spending. i was just wondering if you think that is a problem, and that is the role of the ethics commission to look at ways we can rein in this outside spending. >> it does appear to be a problem. that is something the ethics commission should look into at a minimum and investigate if the hammer needs to be brought down on someone, some entity, then that is what needs to be done. it definitely looks like it is a problem. >> i agree. i appreciate that. you may want to take a look at the chronicle article. there is some different proposals that are being discussed at the ethics commission with the director, i look forward to working with you on that as well. >> i just want to thank you for applying for this seat. it is a lot of work. the fact that you are stepping up to the plate is music to my
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ears. i have to say, someone with your background and your experience will bring a new and fresh perspective to the ethics commission, which has been needed, and it has been a long time coming. as supervisor marr mar said, the amount of money spent on campaigns and politics and the unfortunate citizens united position means that democracy is constantly under threat, and that the politicians are elected not officially or legally owing debts, but knowing that some really powerful interests have spent some time to the tune of millions of dollars to get them where they are. if that is what supervisor mar explained, it is not legally corrupt, but morally corrupt. it colours what happens in these halls of power, and one line of defence that exists is the
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ethics commission, is a huge responsibility that you are taking on. from my part, i really want to appreciate you for doing this. we need you, we are glad you are here. >> thank you. >> did you want to say anything else? if not, i will be happy to make a motion. >> i think i've said enough. [laughter] >> we will hear from you, hopefully from your seat when you're appointed shortly. with that, i would like to make a motion to amend the item to put -- >> you can make a recommendation to appoint -- >> sorry, thank you, mr. clerk. i would like to make a motion to recommend mr. gray to seat one of the ethics commission