Skip to main content

tv   BOS Rules Committee  SFGTV  December 2, 2021 5:05am-5:31am PST

5:05 am
have economic ability to afford living space. this analysis will help put the veterans with an opportunity to ease the transition and to offer to alleviate the homeless struggles struggling to transition with the support and service programs. veterans have fallen back to the homeless shelter because of high cost of living in san francisco. i want to thank you and supervisor mar for helping the veteran community. thank you. >> that was the last caller in the queue, madam chair. >> thank you very much, madam clerk. thank you, supervisor mar for all of your efforts. i want to thank allen wong, your staff and commissioner for city
5:06 am
college. he is always so thoughtful about how to involve the community in serving the community needs. i know that is supervisor important to him and is reflected in all efforts. thank you. to commissioners barnacle for coming and commenting and courtney ellington for her work on behalf of veterans and the community of veterans in san francisco. many of them live in your district, supervisor mar. did you want to add closing words before we vote on this? >> i want to thank all of the folks that called in for public comment in support of this legislation. in particular, bill and jason, courtney, nick and jenny who are part of the core group of leaders that we have been working with for over a year now
5:07 am
on this. thanks to all of you for your service to our country. colleagues, i thank you for your support and urge you to send this to the full board with positive recommendations. >> thank you, supervisor. i failed to close public comment. we are closing it now. thank you for everyone who came to give us feedback. colleagues is there a motion to send with positive recommendation to the full board? >> so moved. >> thank you. madam clerk, call the roll, please. >> motion to recommend item 2. moved by press kin. supervisor peskin. >> aye. >> preston. >> aye. >> melgar. >> aye. >> you have three ayes. thank you so much. do we have any other business before the committee today? >> that completes the business for today. >> thank you so much.
5:08 am
we are adjourned.
5:09 am
5:10 am
. >> chairman: good morning. this is the rules committee. i am the chair of the committee aaron peskin joined by supervisor rafael mandelman and supervisor connie chan and our clerk is mr. victor young. do you have any announcements, mr. clerk? >> clerk: the board recognizes that public access to city is service is essential in public participation in the following ways. public comment will be available on each item of the agenda on channel 26, 99 and sfgov is streaming the public call-in number across the screen. comments or opportunities to speak during public comment period via phone by calling (415) 655-0001. the meeting id is 24884868382
5:11 am
and then press pound and pound again. when connected, you will hear the meeting discussions and be muted and in listening mode only. when your item of interest comes up, dial star three to be added to the speaker line. speak clearly and slowly and turn down your television or radio. alternatively, you may submit public comment in the following ways, e-mail to the rules committee clerk at if you submit public comment via e-mail, it will be forwarded to the supervisors and be included in part of the file. or you can also submit your public comment by mail. that completes my initial comments. >> chairman: thank you, mr. young. can you please read the first and only item on today's
5:12 am
agenda. >> clerk: yes. item number one is to expand interested parties to compluns city officer employees, registered contract employees and to prohibit elected officials, department heads, commissioners, and designated employees from behested payments from interested parties. >> chairman: thank you, mr. young. colleagues, i know this item is familiar to you it is sponsored by supervisor haney and cosponsored by mysel in the wake of the most an reason of which was in the middle of
5:13 am
october and it is i have a number of which that has made this morning circulated to you and we'll also speak to a couple of additional amendments that have yet to be prepared because of the thanksgiving holiday as to the amendments let me just speak to them publicly and you are in receipt of the first of these page three, i'd like to codify the exemption to quote attempt to influence for written and oral public comment. so that would mean that if a member of the public shows up
5:14 am
to advocate for or against one way or another as to a piece of legislation, that would not make them an interested party for purposes of this behested payment legislation. as policy matter, we encourage members of the public to weigh in, so this exemption is designed to advance that principle. it actually is currently the interpretation by ethics, but this makes it abundantly clear. next, page three, line 17 through 18. i'd like to exempt federal government or agencies from this party. it's not our intent to make it more difficult for city officials to request relief funds from state and federal agencies and that would make this clear. finally, on page six, i'd like to define indirect solicitation
5:15 am
which is not defined to mean when a city officer or employee directly or otherwise urges another person to solicit a behested payments. so it would clearly define that, which would basically mean if i'm a commissioner and there are a number of contracts coming before my commission that if i tell an underling or a friend to go solicit from those identifiable persons, those eight contracts or whatever. throughout our goal to provide specificity and clarity and to people who have concrete interest in legislative or contractual administrator administrators before this. to that end, i'm also going to have prepared additional
5:16 am
amendments as i said that are not yet ready today that would exempt uncommon board members from the definition of parties. this is based on some comments that supervisor melgar made to me from the definition of interested parties. and also to make it clear that contracts that are not approved by the board of supervisors or the mayor would not fall into the behested payments. that would be prohibited by a member of the board of supervisors or mayor which was always our intent, but we'll clarify that. with that, colleagues, i'm happy to hear your comments and open this up for public comment before adopting the amendments and continuing the item for one additional week.
5:17 am
seeing no comments. let me hit the chat box, god only knows what's in that thing. supervisor chan. >> supervisor chan: thank you, chair peskin. i know you are in the process of preparing the language, so i do look forward of seeing the language itself. but also to provide an exemption for accept and expend legislation. i guess i'm trying to understand better. does that mean that for an interested party, that donates through the city through accept and expend process. >> chairman: so the notion there is if a -- the action before the board, that the
5:18 am
board takes is the approval of accept and expend. so in taking that action by accepting a donation from a third party, that would not prohibit a member of the board of supervisors from soliciting behested payments from a party that had made a distribution to the city that the board had to vote on to accept. does that make any sense? because the board has had to take action. so i'm differentiating that in the board, approving a contract. so if we approve a contract with the xyz corporation, it would be prohibited that a member of the board of supervisors go to the xyz corporation to solicit a behested payment. but if the board approved and accept and expend from a third party, that in and of itself would not prohibit a member of
5:19 am
the board of supervisors from from that party through accept and expend to be identified through a permit or contract. >> chairman: correct. >> supervisor chan: to explain further is the public appeals exemption in the legislation for public appeal and that and along with it, it sort of striked out that, you know, for the nonprofits that we see
5:20 am
donations at the supervisors are elected, right now, it requires them to require. but now that it will not require them to report because that assumption is with the public appeal exemption. we don't know if people are really donated at the behest of the supervisors, therefore they no longer need to report. is that question clear. >> i don't exactly understand the question. >> supervisor chan: to the question is nonprofits will have to report at the behest of the elected.
5:21 am
because of now the way it is, we literally spend the behest request for the interested party. so there's no reporting there because you're not even supposed to be doing it. there's no exemption for a public appeal. with that exemption for public appeal. for example if i show up to a mass e-mail or mass appeal, like public appeal, say donate to a nonprofit and whatever that nonprofit receives really because of the to the public in general. is that correct? >> so it sounds like you're asking about the legal
5:22 am
significance of striking the language having to do with public appeal. is that correct. >> supervisor chan: yes. so they no longer have to report it because the supervisor is asking on a social media posting. >> my recollection is that other things that are being to do with public appeals that will answer your question. i don't know if supervisor peskin recalls the origin of striking that language. >> chairman: i would have to look -- i'm looking right now. the general thinking was public appeals are generally low dollar amount and when you send
5:23 am
out something on social media. please contribute -- it's giving tuesday. they tend to be very small dollar thresholds and they wouldn't even rise to the level of what's a behested payment. i think that was the thinking that i can go back and look at section 035. >> i'm happy to do the same, supervisor chan, and get back to you this week since this item may be continued. >> thank you. i think that may be the reason that just so we're clear for some of especially for nonprofits and perhaps also for my own clarification in the previous process of being on an honorary committee for nonprofit or event or things like that. i'm only asking for my own personal just making sure that i do understand about the
5:24 am
reporting requirements. that's all. i'm not trying to change the language itself. >> chairman: yeah. and that's precisely why we're trying to nail down clarity in each and every one of these things and that's why it's taken so long and by the way, i do need to say i've traded calls with supervisor haney but not spoken to him including this morning, we traded calls, but at some point we'll catch up. >> supervisor chan: thank you. and my assumption is according to page 9, line 22, that public appeals are already not required to be reported. i know that we're trying to be super thoughtful about all the language and so my assumption is that this process can continue and that's all. thank you so much. >> chairman: and i will get back to you with answers to those very good questions. >> supervisor chan: thank you, chair peskin. that's all i have.
5:25 am
>> chairman: okay. i do not see supervisor mandelman's name on the screen, why don't we open this up to public comment, mr. clerk. >> clerk: yes. members of the public who wish to provide public comment on this item should call (415) 655-0001. the meeting i.d. is 24884868382 then press pound and pound again. if you haven't done so, please press star three to line up to speak. please wait until the system indicates you have been unmuted and you may begin your comments. we currently have three listeners and three people in line to speak. can we have the first caller, please. >> caller: good morning
5:26 am
supervisors. this is debbie lurman from the san francisco human services network. i spoke previously about our concerns had some unforeseen consequences. we thank you for the amendments that address some of our concerns. we also appreciate supervisor peskin's attempt to uncompensated board members who have no economic interest in the contract and are likely to be motivated by corruptive influence. the city's database of nonprofit board members currently has over 600 nonprofits with contracts and the database with affiliates and subcontractors and board members contains over 33,000 entries. so this would be an implementation nightmare to include those folks. we do still have one concern with the legislation which is that it has an extremely broad
5:27 am
definition of interested party which includes grass roots advocates and nonprofit volunteer board members. what happened is it includes anybody who attempts to influence legislative action. so the public official may not even know that somebody is attempting to influence, for example, if they attend a rally or send a tweet to their followers or sign a petition. so by expanding this so broadly, we get lots of people who make no sense in the context of behested payments and it will again be impossible to track. so we hope we can continue some conversations about expanding the exceptions to include advocates who have no financial or personal connection to a matter when they do things like sign the petition. thank you for considering that
5:28 am
and thank you again for these current set of amendments. >> chairman: thank you. next speaker, please. >> caller: linda chapman. again, i want to urge the board of supervisors, have the city attorney or the controller or both consult the federal guidelines and then consider following that model. when i worked for the army, they said it was the largest corporation in the world and other corporations followed the example. even more so, the federal government, we didn't have these kinds of problems. you know, it's very shocking because the city charter of is san francisco was designed in order to avoid corruption as you know and yet all of these practices have crept in. they couldn't happen in the federal government because there were rules. you didn't have to get into all of these things like can i do this or that or whatever. you couldn't. you know, if you were a federal
5:29 am
civil servant, manager, not manager, decider, not decider, you did not use your position. you did not solicit money in the office for your favorite charity. you are not prevented from soliciting money for your favorite charity outside of work. you didn't use your position to do it. it should be the same here. there was a way in which the federal government supported numerous charities. they had something like let's call it the community chest, it wasn't called that and a number of local charities were considered for giving tuesday, if you want to call it that or for the campaign, the federal campaign to raise money for charities and you can either donate to all of them on the list or you can donate select ones. you know, i would assume also that if it was something like let's say supervisor haney's and peskin wanted to say the
5:30 am
tndc is having its pool tossed, things like that can be allowed. as i've said before, planning commissioners asking developers to give to nonprofits before they would make their decision and then they would make their decision on that. >> clerk: time has elapsed. >> chairman: thank you, ms. chapman. next speaker, please. >> caller: can you hear me now? >> chairman: please proceed. >> caller: good morning. david pilpel. several comments on this. i think it's important to make this workable. i think ethics is absolutely critical here with regulations, forms, and examples. whether you write it into the legislation or not, you may want to think about notice to various actors such as a notice to