tv BOS Government Audits and Oversight Committee SFGTV December 2, 2021 6:00pm-12:01am PST
chair supervisor connie chan. supervisor hillary ronen will be substituting for supervisor mandelman today. she will be joining us later in the hearing. our committee clerk is john caroll and our thanks to sfgov tv for staffing this meeting. mr. clerk, do we have any announcements? >> clerk: yes. thank you, mr. chair. the minutes will reflect that committee members are participating in this meeting through remote conference. access to city service social security essential and advises public participation in the following ways. first, public comment will be available. each speaker will be allowed two minutes to speak unless otherwise stated by the chair. comments or other opportunities to speak during public comment are available to you by phone
by calling (415) 655-0001. the meeting id for today's meeting is 24976478686 following that, you will press the pound symbol twice to connect to the meeting. you with hear the meeting discussions, but your telephone line will be muted and in listening mode only. when your item of interest comes up on the agenda dial star three to be added to the speak are line. speak clearly and slowly and turn down your television, radio, streaming device, or whatever else you may be using to access today's proceedings. you may submit your public comment in writing either by e-mailing them to me. i'm the government audit oversight committee clerk or you can send your written comments to our office in city
hall, that's the clerk's office. city hall's address is 1 dr. carlton b. goodlet place san francisco, california. and items acted upon today are expected to appear on the board of supervisors' agenda on the 15th. >> chairman: thank you, mr. clerk. and before we get started with our agenda, i'd like to make a motion to excuse supervisor mandelman for today's g.a.o. meeting. please take a roll call. >> clerk: on the motion offered by chair preston, [roll call] mr. chair, there are two ayes and supervisor ronen is absent. >> chairman: thank you.
the motion passes. please call the first item. >> clerk: agenda item number one is a memorandum of understanding international union operating engineers and stationary engineers local 39 to revise san francisco public utilities commission wastewater enterprise rules regarding work schedules and shift assignments members of the public call (415) 655-0001. today's meeting id is 24976478686. mr. chair, i received a memo that this item be recommended as an committee report. >> chairman: thank you,
mr. clerk. we have a number of folks from d.h.r. who are available for questions. my understanding is that the employee relations director for the department of human resources is here to present. so you have seven minutes or up to seven minutes, mr. graham. and the floor is yours. >> thank you, supervisors. i don't think i'll need 7 minutes, but i appreciate the time. the information item in front of you is operation wastewater in the city. we are eliminating the mandatory annual shift wastewater. there will be a voluntary semi-annual shift. however, we just have to give appropriate notice to the union and to the employees. and we agree to expand the
number of city and union members in our joint labor management committee from two to four and the parties agree to remodify language about re-opening the contract prematurely to deal with the work issues etc. that's kind of the changes in sum. >> chairman: thank you, mr. graham. and unless we have questions from vice chair chan, we'll go ahead and, mr. clerk, please open public comment on this item. >> clerk: thank you, mr. chair. we're monitoring the public call-in number. for those who are watching our meeting on cable channel 26 or via streaming link through sfgovtv.org please call in now by following the instructions displayed on your screen. by dialling (415) 655-0001. enter the meeting id of
24976478686. press the pound symbol twice followed by three to enter the queue to speak. mr. chair, i'm checking now to see if we have any callers in the queue. please let us know and we'll connect to the first caller. mr. chair, i'm hearing there are no callers. >> chairman: thank you, mr. clerk. no callers? i'm sorry. i heard someone tried to say something at the same time. i just want to make sure we have no callers. >> clerk: we were both simultaneously letting you know we have no callers in the queue. >> chairman: okay. thank you. just wanted to make sure. with no callers on this item, public comment is now closed. and thanks to mr. graham and the d.h.r. team as well as the leadership at local 39 for
their work in putting these provisions together. i have no questions and i'm seeing none from my fellow committee members. so i would like to go ahead and move this item with recommendation as a committee report. >> clerk: on the motion offered by chair preston this ordinance be recommended as a committee report, [roll call] noting ronen absent. there are two ayes. >> chairman: thank you. the motion passes and, mr. clerk, let's call out of order our closed session items, items seven through nine at this time. >> clerk: okay. just a moment, while i jump far forward in my script. agenda items seven through nine
members of the public who wish to comment on the litigation, call in the public comment number (415) 655-0001. meeting id is 24976478686. and press pound twice. one more thing, mr. chair, i note that agenda item number seven is also a committee report item at your request. >> chairman: thank you, mr. clerk. let's go ahead and open up public comment for the closed session items. >> clerk: okay. i will repeat the routine for public comment. members of the public should call (415) 655-0001. the meeting id is 24976478686, press the pound symbol twice
and press star followed by three to enter the queue to speak and await until the prompt indicates your line has been unmuted. let's see if we have any callers in the queue. do we have any callers? >> we have no callers in the queue. >> chairman: thank you. with no callers in queue on these items, public comment is now closed. and i'd like to move to convene in closed session. mr. clerk, please call the roll. >> clerk: on the motion offered by chair preston on the agenda item closed sessions to conduct the item discussions, [roll call] mr. chair, there are two ayes. >> chairman: thank you. the motion passes
. >> clerk: the government audit and oversight committee was in closed session. item number seven was recommended as a committee report. it will be considered at the december 7th, 2021, meeting, and acted unanimously to recommend agenda items eight and nine to the december 14th board of supervisors meeting as regular business. >> chairman: thank you, mr. clerk. and has supervisor ronen joined us yet. >> chairman: let's go ahead and call item three, please. >> clerk: mr. chair, before we do that, there's one more item
of business. that's the committee's decision about whether or not to close the case. >> chairman: thank you. motion not to disclose the closed session deliberation. >> chairman: on the motion offered by chair preston to not disclose the closed session deliberations, [roll call] there are two ayes and i note that supervisor ronen is absent. >> chairman: thank you, mr. clerk. the motion passes. let's call item three. >> clerk: item 3 is adoption of the minutes and revitalization finance district and determining other matters in connection there defined in the resolution text.
members of the public should call the public comment call-in number. call (415) 655-0001. meeting id 24976478686 then press pound twice. >> chairman: thank you, mr. clerk. we will present on this item. >> thank you, chair preston and good morning, supervisors. the item before you today is a resolution approving additional territory to and adoption of the amendments infrastructure treasure island. this legislation is directly related to two resolutions brought before this committee
and the board approved in october. this is the next step in a relatively complicated legislative process. it includes many steps that sort of culminated out of a january 11th hearing we have coming up. at which point, we will be finalizing, the resolution is the city approving the amended i.f.p. which will be prepared pursuant to the way we presented to this committee back in october. so it's just a formality and if there are any questions, myself and the treasure island development authority are available. >> chairman: thank you. and welcome supervisor ronen. any questions before we open up
for public comment. >> clerk: thank you, mr. chair, we're checking to see if we have callers in the queue. for those watching our meeting on cable channel 26 or via streaming sfgovtv.org. call (415) 655-0001. today's meeting id is 24976478686 followed by pound twice. and it informs you that your line has been unmuted. that will provide you times to begin your comments. let us hear from the first caller. >> we have no callers in the queue. >> chairman: thank you. with no callers in queue, public comment on this item is closed and thank you. this is, you know, we spent
some time on this item previously and there were a number of followup items we were anticipating to come to the committee as one of them and so we've talked about this previously. i have no additional questions about this item. seeing no one on the roster. i want to move this item with recommendation. >> clerk: on the motion offered by chair preston that this resolution be recommended to the board of supervisors, [roll call] there are three ayes. >> chairman: thank you. this item passes. let's call item two, mr. clerk. >> clerk: agenda item number two is a resolution approving a historical property contract
involving and administrator's code 71 and authorizing the planning director to record the historical contract. the public call-in number is (415) 655-0001. meeting id 24976478686 press the pound symbol twice followed by star three if you wish to enter the queue to speak. a system prompt will indicate you have raised your hand. you may then begin your comments, and, mr. chair, i am in receipt of your memo that this. >> chairman: thank you, mr. clerk. and we also have supervisor peskin joining us. so welcome, supervisor peskin
to the g.a.o. committee. colleagues, this particular address is within 500' of my residence. therefore, i will be seeking to recuse myself from this item and will turn the gavel over to vice chair chan in my absence and hope that there will be a motion to excuse me from this item. thank you. >> supervisor chan: thank you, chair preston. i'd like to make a motion to excuse chair preston from this item. mr. clerk, can we please have a roll call on that motion. >> clerk: on the motion, [roll call] i note the recusal of chair preston, madam vice chair, there are two ayes.
>> supervisor chan: great. the motion passes. i understand today we have a joint presentation from the planning department and i believe we have ms. elizabeth gordon john here and jonathan from the planning department and michael james of the assessor's office to present. i'm sorry about that. and i think you each will have seven minutes to present. >> good morning supervisors. planning department staff. legislation authorizes local governments to enter into ten year contracts. this agreement provides property tax reductions to owners of those properties who can then allocate the savings towards an appropriate maintenance restoration
process. local landmarks in san francisco, significant downtown buildings as well as those listed on the national california places eligible to apply for the mills act. the planning department currently holds 45 active mills act contracts. these include single-family homes and large scale commercial buildings. this program creates an incentive for proper payments of the city's architectural landmarks so as not to delay rehabilitation progress. mills act applications are due may 1st of every year. department staff reviews applications for completeness and works with applicants to revise rehabilitation and restoration and maintenance plan to ensure future work will be conducted with a national secretary of interior
standards. staff also reviews mills act applications. as noted, these considerations are number one necessity, the project will require a financial incentive to help ensure the preservation of the property. meeting this criterion establishes that the property is deteriorated and the need for substantial restoration that has significant associated cost. two, investment. the project will result in investment in the property other than maintenance. meeting this criteria establishes that the property owner is committed to investing the investigation rehabilitation and maintenance of the property. three, distinctiveness. the project preserves a distinct example of the property that's especially deserving of the contract due to exceptional. recently designated landmarks.
of these are properties that have been recently designated and that should be given priority consideration. and five, legacy business. the project will preserve a property at which a business included in the facility in the legacy business. meeting this criteria establishes that the owner is committed to preserving the property including the physical features. the application review process often includes determining whether the ability requirements in addition to being formally listed, eligibility is limited to properties with an assessed value of $3 million or less, a single-dwelling. however, if the property exceeds the assessed value, the historic preservation commission may recommend that the board of supervisors grant an extension. if, one, the site building or structure is particularly significant and, two, granting
the exemption or fits in the exemption oversight. >> good morning. jonathan zimmer. planning department staff. the application before you is for 714 steiner street which is located on the east side between hayes and grove streets. 714 steiner is one of the buildings on postcard road directly across from alamo square. it's a three-story overcar garage constructed in 1895 featuring a bay window. 714 steiner is currently valued by the assessor's office by
over $3 million and a report to determine the condition of the property as they meet the requirements. 714 steiner is an important contributor to the alamo. it survived the ravages of the 1906 earth cakes and fires. the building contributes to the alamo square as a highly in tact architecture spanning from the 1870s into the 1920s. although the property is not in danger of demolition or substantial alteration, the applicant's commitment to preserving the building including addressing deferred maintenance and removing the original driveway to restore lower windows and siding.
window surrounds and the front dorm registry way among other items. removing the garage, restoring the historical location of bay street windows. replacing steps and restoring and repairing windows and doors. the estimated cost of proposed rehabilitation work is $1,299,900. it includes annual inspections and any necessary related repairs to roof, siding, windows, and stairs. the estimated cost of maintenance work is $4,500 annually. all proposed work is intended to meet standards. the subject property meets three of the five priority. necessity, distinctiveness. rehabilitation will require significant cost and
preservation of subject property and the property owner will invest additional money other than for routine maintenance. finally, the proposed rehabilitation process will preserve and enhance the integrity of those renowned resilience. the application for 714 steiner street was unanimously approved by a historic preservation commission on october 26th. this concludes my presentation. we can answer any questions that you have. thank you. >> vice chair: i see supervisor peskin raised his hand. >> supervisor peskin: thank you, acting chair chan.
i have not spoken to the planning department about this or the project sponsor, but i have a long interest in the involvement of the mills act and shepherd but ultimately led to a smoother glide path that i'm delighted has resulted in over 40 contracts being enter into by the city, but i do have some general comments and then some specific questions. one is that i appreciate in the packet, the planning department i have been asking questions and some of my colleagues have been asking questions about
whether these contracts should go on in perpetuity or whether they should be terminated at some point. because it's a rolling ten year contract and to that end, the board of supervisors terminate them ten years in the future based on the idea that recoup through reduced property taxes their investment in the historic resource and rehabilitation and maintenance. so i think -- i'm not speaking specifically to this project. it would be great if an additional collum could be added to that chart that shows it's current termination date and if, indeed the board of supervisors have finally terminated otherwise it continues to roll on an annual basis. i think that would be a helpful
thing to have in the board of supervisors to be able to review as contracts come forward. with regard to the current proposal at 714 steiner, i wanted to ask a couple of questions. when looking on the project information map and maybe mr. zimmer you mentioned this, maybe you didn't. i didn't hear you mention it. it sounded like the proposed scope of work was not just a historic rehabilitation, but also a rear addition in the rear yard. am i correct on that? >> department staff, i can answer that question. you are correct, supervisor peskin. it's a separate application hand in hand with the repair work that's proposed as part of this mills act contract, but there's additional work that was proposed and kind of separate from rehabilitation
and that was heard as a certificate of appropriateness by the historic preservation commission. >> supervisor peskin: and was that granted? >> it was approved unanimously. >> supervisor peskin: okay. the reason i ask that is -- while i think it's great and lotable for property owners to invest in historic resources and receive a benefit from the city in the form of property tax reduction, the question i always ask myself in these mills act contracts where the board has wide discretion and latitude to grant or not to grant or for that matter to grant longer than 10 years. i always ask myself, would this project happen anyway. would the project sponsor invest in these historic
rehabilitations were it not for the mills act contract. and so when i see it combined with a with other investment in the property, it makes me want to ask that question which is, okay, if and god bless the property owner for expanding their house and rehabilitating the historic resource on postcard road in alamo square, would it be happening anyway and the way i think about this is hey if you're making a major investment and putting a rear yard addition on the property, you're probably going to do these things anyway in which case, i wonder whether or not we should be giving somebody a $30,000 a year tax break and that kind of raises the second question which is, okay, if we
grant this. do we want to then terminate it by subsequent action. so those are the questions i wanted to raise and what i wanted to get clarity on is that the $31,000 or $31,578 or whatever it is that does not in any way include the otherwise permitted additions. and that was not part of the calculation. >> good morning supervisors. michael john from the assessor's office. the additional work will be assessed and added on top of a current existing base value. if the additional work is part of the mills act contract, the added value would be included
in that if it's not part of it, we would value the existing property and add that on top. for the living area. >> supervisor peskin: included from the mills act. >> thanks for that question. the addition and this is the work we're talking about that's not pertaining to rehabilitation is not part of the contract. >> supervisor peskin: okay. and then i guess maybe to the project sponsor and, again, let me thank you for investing and
one of the most historic spots of the city, i mean, i saw on the information map that the property was recently purchased and again to the question that i raised earlier which is would you be likely to do these historic rehabilitations absent the mills act? >> vice chair chan: thank you, supervisor peskin. i think that's directed at the property owner ms. elizabeth culver. sorry. i think she is here, isn't she? mr. clerk? >> clerk: yes, madam vice chair. her line is muted presently. she can unmute her line to address the question. >> vice chair chan: i just wanted to double check to make
sure i know we had the planning department's presentation and assessor's office you're also going to have a presentation. is that correct? i just want to confirm. >> just a short presentation, yes. >> chairman: would you mind and then we can continue on with the presentation from the assessor's presentation as well. >> yes. thank you, supervisors. the question is what i have continued with the restoration. i just want to make sure i understand this properly. regardless of the mills act, i was aware of the mills act when i purchased the home and i had known based on that it was in alamo square historic district that it would potentially qualify. that being said, the condition of the home is not great. it's over 100 -- it's about 130 years old and it needs a lot of repair. in discussions with the
historic preservation committee and evaluation of the home, i'm seeking the mills act sort of in helping covering the cost to repair specifically the exteriors of the home and help maintain it going forward in the future as a historic resource for san francisco. thanks. >> chairman: supervisor peskin, does that answer your question or do you think we can go on to the assessor's office presentation? >> supervisor peskin: yeah. let's go on to the assessor's office presentation. >> chairman: great. and please go ahead. >> thank you. thank you, supervisors. so when a property is subject to a historical mills act contract, the assessor is formed to do a value comparison test. if you remember on each january lean day, a new value will be enrolled each year.
the subject property of the two-family dwelling currently undergoing a full renovation at the time of the appraisal and the mills act value will reflect this temporary condition. the first comparison test is a 2021 fact share value. and this value is simply the original purchase price of $3,550,000 in year 2022. and that's located in the seventh column from the left on the report that you're seeing in front of you. the second comparison test is the value based upon the restricted income approach and set by the state board of equalization and a risk rate established by the revenue and taxation code. the property rent could achieve
and the expenses the property would incur. an estimated $110,000 is then used in 11.5% built-up cap rate. this results in income value of $951,784. that's the eighth column that you see in front of you. the third comparison test is the value based upon comparable sales and this value is estimated to be $2,500,000 for the subject property. and it's the restricted income approach would be the mills act value of $951,784.' the difference between the value of $3,586,777 and the lowest income value of $951,
by virtue of the fact supervisor preston lives within 500 feet this isautomatically within state conflict law required to recuse himself . given that situation, usually i would talk with the district supervisor but given the district supervisor is forbidden from talking. if the commission iswell and i would like the opportunity to speak about this a little further with the project
sponsor and planning department . two, with what i think is the right solution but i think eight $31,000 a year first year tax reduction in perpetuity is not the right solution, but again if other situations we limited it for a period of 10 years and not let it roll in perpetuity so i like the opportunity to create more work for myself andmeet with planning the project sponsor about this if the committee is willing to do so . >> yes and should we consider. i'm willing to present a motion to continue. i think my question to supervisor peskin and ronan is that knowing should we have a time certain, i do not think we should have another meeting, is
that right? this is the last geo government oversight committee meeting for the year of 2020, 2021 and so we will not be havinganother one until 2022 but i want to be clear about that. if we were to continue it would be in 2022 . >> if we get together i can go to the clerk andcommittee chair and have it scheduled for your first meeting in january . so i think if you continue to thecall of the chair given this is the last meeting that's probably the right action . >> i want to call on to planning ms. elizabeth borden. i blew do believe there is some kind of difference if i'm not mistaken with this that there
is a statutory deadline with this contract. >> yes, thank you supervisor. the contract to get all the signatures needed, that needs to be done by the end ofthis year . otherwise the contract will roll over so it wouldn't be able to be accessed. it would actually go until next november. >> my apologies, i do not have theknowledge of that .>> it's too late to get it on the lien this year. it's too late for it to go to the tax collector has to know in a certain time period for it to affect property taxes for the next property tax cycle. >> got it, which is like may 2022 supervisor ronen .
>> i want to give supervisor peskin the opportunity to meet with the property owner. supervisor peskin is our resident expert on supervisors so i very much respect his opinion onthese issues . i'm wondering if in order to you know, make sure we make this cycle, we could ask the president to transfer this item to the budget committee which meets weekly.so that we could you know, have an opportunity for supervisor peskin to meet with the property owner and then decide the matter before the end of the year. >> will that work for everybody here?that would be decided if we wereto make a motion and then we can decide hereafter . okay. i'm moving this to item ... we
need to open to public comment thank you mister clark. i can readhis face . mister clark , please open this item for public comment. >> checking to see if we have callers in the queue. for those watching on cable 26 or elsewhere if you wish to see on this agenda itemnumber two . please call in now.you would dial 415 550001, enter today's meeting id which is 2497 647-8686. press the pound symbol twice and pressstar followed by three to enter the queue to speak . and for those who may be on hold in the queue please continue to waituntil you're prompted to begin you will be informed your linehas been on muted .please all hang on for a moment . dowe have any colors in the queue ?
>> we have no callers in the queue. >> president:seeing no public comment , public comment is closed. i want to before we move on to make the motion to continue this item to the chair i want to get a moment to miss alert to see if she were to make any final remarks on her property. are you still present? >> yes, thank you so much. i've prepared a few words to say if you don't mind supervisors. thank you and i'm happy to continue this conversation going forward . as you may know a lot of the repairs are things that have been put off for a long time so it would be helpful to get this done sooner than later but anyways, i'll just read what
i've prepared. i'm leah colbert, and today i want to tell you a bit about why i purchased this all. one of the things i love about san francisco are these beautiful victorian and edwardian homes and when it came time to purchase my own house i knew i wanted something special. when i saw another famous square come up forsale i decided to take a look . as you may know the home is nearly 130 years old and in need of much repair i fell in love withthe house , location in the alamo square neighborhood and the views particularly evil and the golden gate bridge. based on the condition of the house i knew it would be an undertaking to restore it but i consider it a great honor to preserve the iconic properties of alamo square and i'm seeking to move back to covering the cost of the repairs to the exterior of the home that has been neglected for a long time and i'd also like to help keep
it looking beautiful hopefully for many years to come and i think i'm open supervisor peskin todiscussing ending the contract over a period of time after these repairs have been made . i think i'm open to that . i'd definitely be happy to show you the house as well if you like to come by and see for yourself . the row of houses is really special so thankyou all so much >> i had a good friend for many years who lived a couple of doors up so i spent a lot of time on 700 block >> i want to say watch out for the invitation. he might never leave .>> i look forward to having that conversation . i think that i agree with supervisor ronen that supervisor peskin is our in-house historian and truly has a lot ofknowledge . i think the conversation will be productive about the preservation of this iconic property that i think people all around the world are coming to san francisco just forthat .
supervisor ronen. >> i want to thank you for taking this on. it is not an easy or inexpensive task and we all love this block so much so it really is a local patriotic undertaking to san francisco's history to take this on and to be so thoughtful about it and do it right and work with us in such a positiveway. thank you for doing that . >> thank you all so much. >> i moved for this to contain this item and do i need a second or can i go ahead and move to roll call? >> there no need for a second in thecommittee . >> i will get information from planning and be in touch.
>> president: thank you supervisor ronen. >> on the motion offered by vicechair chan thatthis resolution be continued , vice church and . [roll call vote] and noting chair preston is recusedfrom acting on this item there are two votes . >> should bring back the chair. >> clerk: here he is. mister chair,we concluded with agenda item number 10 . >> run back! here's your virtual gavel. >> thank you vice chair chan. and mister clark let's call the next item.
>> clerk: agenda item number four is a hearing to receive and review the external auditors printed annual financial report and management letter if any related to the city audit forfiscal year ending june 30, 2020 . external audit for fiscal year 2022 2021 asrequired of the charter section . members of the public wishing to provide public comment should call the call in number, it is still 415 655-0001. id is 24176478686. press the pound twice and press theákey followed by the number three toenter the queue . assistant prompt will indicate youhave raised your hand . wait till the system indicates your line has been unmuted and you may begin your comments. >> president: colleagues, as you know as gao chair my duty to introduce the hearing or the
comprehensive annual financial report and independent audit results for fiscal year 2019 2020 and our duty as a committee to review and the item before us.the financial report and the independent audit apartment to ensure that the city is complying with governmental accounting standards. also requires an independent audit to ensure material compliance with those standards by a certifiedaccounting firm and we will be hearing more in detail from the auditors . i really do want to thank the independent auditor from the ngo and tmg for not just their work on this extensive project but also for the time spent breathing my office, our staff,
myself and other offices as well and being in such good indication leading up to this hearing.i want to thank the controller'soffice , our controller ben rosenfield. he is also financial report manager and congressman frank who answered our offices call at all hours of the day this evening as we prepared for and try to tackle this extensive material. so it's an extremely important work for the greater public. i want to go ahead and just introduce the presenters on this item who i've mentioned that we are joined by our controller ben rosenfield. by congressman frank and also by our external auditor amy louis, partner at ngo and lisa
avis, managing director at tp mg. and they will be presenting on this item and then i also understand we have representatives of the department that some of the findings referenced who are available for questions should committee members have them. i will turn it over perhaps to mister rosenfield. i leave it to you to start us off or tell us who will be starting it off and i will start the clock at 10 minutes. >> thank you mister chair and good morning supervisors. i'll introduce the item and turn it over to kpmg and ngo to take your questions. as you know, each fiscal year begins with animportant document and ends with an important document . the board of supervisors adopts
a budget for the fiscal year financially for the city and then each year our office works with the department that closes the books on that fiscal year and to report results, actual financial results for the year. we did that in the annual comprehensive financial report and that financial statement which we produced is then audited by external accounting firm . to ensure it. >> the city's financial conditionand to offer you as a governing board for your auditing their findings regarding that . so that's what we're here today to do. it's an opportunity for the auditors to work on their findings for fiscal year ending 2020. and their plans for their work for the fiscal year 2021. which are in the process. with that i will turn it over
to andy louis from ngo. >> thank you very much. lisa and i have prepared a short presentation so i'll go aheadand share my screen . can everyone see this? we will have questions for the two of us. the presentation today is a selection by mister rosenfield is to cover the audit results as well as planning items for fiscal year 2021. first of all i'm going to start with the 2020 audit results. this particular slide arises the different components that each of our audit team has. they have the different audit components performed by ngo and
those that are rotted by kpmg. these still have not changed from the previous year. these are items that are covered by our contract board with in their audit with the city. in terms of the audit results we had a couple of findings with the committee at today's meeting.the first one was on financial reporting for san francisco general hospital and then related to receivable credit balances or accounts receivable for patient billing purposes, as you may know there are differences for patient accounting for the electronic health record system. it's the one that keeps track of thebilling as well as any adjustments that may be necessary in the building process . while there are processes here for adjustments and credit balances within the electronic
health record system such as those that would not translate to a financial system or financial reporting purposes. for that we had management had agreed to review the issues that were brought up and had been adjusted for financial statements for fiscal year 202 . going on to the second item this particular report relates to the compliance audit over financial the federal awards for the year 2020 and in particular this particular program affects the grants for a public assistance program that relate to some of the additional funding that we are provided to enter the pandemic and these awards have very specific performance period in which the expenditures must be incurred and when we went through the expenditure we found that certain expenditures
that were claimed were not considered to be incurred within the eligibility period. and as such the management had to adjust the schedule of the expendituresfor the city . and as you can see in the management forms there are some on the slides here. management did agree with the findings and revise their processes to prevent further reoccurrence of such findings . we did issue a smaller opinion on the financial payment and other major programs. these were the only issues that we identified that were significant to be reported in our audit report. next i will turn it over to lisa for coverage on the sf puc. >> as it relates to the entities that were audited by kpmg, the opinions that were issued were all green opinions
>> the one change i would like to point out as you probably know is there has been a name change in the report. the report that was previously noted known as the comprehensive annual financial report has been changed to the annual comprehensive financial report understatement 98 and that was just issued months ago so that was achange in terms of the name only . this next slidepresents our audit team. this is the audit team on the ngo side . these are the audits for each of the components . this is the kpmg audit team.
the next couple of slides covers our responsibility as the auditor. this particular slide is to summarize some of the communications we have with respected engagement letters. the one thing to note is that we perform our audits in accordance with generally acceptedauditing standards as well as government auditing standards . in our audit reviews we have internal controls as well as compliance requirements that may have a potential impact on the financialstatements but that is not the purpose of our audit . our audit is not designed to discover deficiencies in internal control but if we come across any deficiencies that are significant , that require attention frommanagement as well as the audit committee we will report them and bring it to your attention . similarly this slide covers the
responsibilities of management as you know. management is responsible for preparing the financial statements at one of their presentations as well as to define, implement and maintain effective internal controlsover financialreporting as well as compliance . i won't go over the details here . more importantly their audit timeline as we have mentioned already, the audit for 2021 is currently underway. this is very much a year-round process.we started off planning back in march through may when we meet with the respective management teams of the members of the audit committee on a planning process and performing risk assessment during the june through august timeframe is when it will be called interim procedures on testing internal controls and performing it applications as
such. in the september through october timeframe is when they come back to audit the year end financial statements after the books are closed. we are actually going through that process right now. in november through march it's a long period. this is the time to issue many of the financial statements as wellas the compliance audit over federal reports . that's one thing i would like to highlight is the federal awards audits arenormally to nine months after the year and of the march deadline . because of the new funding and additional funding that we have received under the care zach . the omd has extended the timeline by six months so the due date for the federal audit is technically september 2022 so i did want tomention that change . this last slide here, i have
summarized the accounting update. they are effective for the city in fiscal year 2021. there are three factors that are effective. the ones that have themost significant change is 84 . activities which may change the way certain activities are accounted for in the city's financial statements and you may see a difference in presentation as it relates to thecustody and funds and the agency funds that have been included in the financial statements in the past . and with that i'd like to close with questions and we would like to also thank management in our audits throughout the year as we go through the audit process currently. i'll open that up for questions. >> thank you for your presentations.if you have some questions first four miss
davis, you how to slide around the top with respect to puc. and i'm trying to understand why that was limited to puc. let me just kind of offer there are limits within your role as auditor and presenting these reports as to getting into the weeds of various allegations or certain testingthe veracity of different claims and i recognize that . i've spoken with the controller and others around the various different ways that allegations around corruption or fraud can play out and are reflective or not reflective of the scope of some of these but i do , i did want to drill down a little on
why that slide was just held out to you. we have allegations and indictments, we have resignations and supervisor at public works. we have major issues with city leadership at the and i and resignations at the office of human services andmayor's office , the administrator general manager kelly. so can you comment on whether and to what extent what she put on that slide around puc is sort of the same analysis of the departmentsor if there's some reason that's excluded ? >> of the various entities that you requested, puc was the only
one we at kpmg at audited so we had to keep thescope of what we did specific to puc . i can d for twoanti-on the other entities . >> thank you lisa in response to a question mister chair , in relation to the issues that may have brought up, during the audit process we have these issues in materiality in relation to the financials as a whole. unlike the situation in puc where the general manager was at the top with that particula audit , the different departments as i mentioned while they there have been allegations made in the grand scheme of things the impact as well as the potential control issues and what not in relation to the city as a whole were not considered significant for that
matter. but you did mention the city administrator having a role in it but i did want to clarify that the administrator has not been formally charged with any activities . while there were allegations made and we did look into the allegations as part of our audit processes it was not so pervasive that we thought it warranted a particular comment by the city as awhole . >> i guess point taken as to there's folks who resigns, folks who've been indicted and each individual was in a different situation and sometimes there's no finding one way or another . iappreciate that . what i don't get those for example is with the wrong menu or situation for example in publicworks . why the comments around the tone at the top and ... my
understanding is what we're really talking about is whether there may be grounds to question the veracity of you have someone in charge like insuring the initial laws are followed and then there's an indictment for corruption and does that undermine his representation so we're not? i don't want to suggest that that changes and in fact i think in some ways it doesn't really change the numbers on the spreadsheet or at least we don't know what it does. i don't want to make assumptions about that but we are saying or you are saying that that creates a tow that the top issue that you're sliding as a material weakness. and not necessarily there's an impact on the financial statements , but there's still regardless a material weakness
because of that. i don't, i still don't understand why thatsame statement wouldn't be made . for example around public works under the leadership of monica. >> in regards to that let me explain. this was one of many departments the city had so in relation to the city's annual comprehensive financial report while it is a significant apartment department and there are many dollars we did not think that it questions the city's integrity as a whole . if we were to perform an audit for that specific department, that may be a different matter. i do want to emphasize that we do just with assessments accordingly according to this situation as well as some of the laws that have come to light but it's very important
to remember that our audit as a whole or purposes of the annua comprehensive financial report have been considered . we wouldn't necessarily report a finding for a particular department if unless it's pervasive. i think one other comment addressed as well. we did not find any evidence, fraudulent financial reporting in the financial report or any misstated amount inthe financial statement . so hopefully that addresses your concerns . >> i think so. maybe the piece i was saying is if there's a specific audit of puc and therefore this finding flows from that it's not, even if you have the identical situation in another department you wouldn't necessarily find a
material weakness on the overall sitting audit as distinct from this specific audit of thatdepartment . is that right? is that why puc is singled out in that way where other departmentsmay have had similar issues ? wouldn't it be in the scope of this report? >> that could be the case. we did have to report separately on puc. >> chair: thank you, supervisor chan. >> i wanted to actually follow up what chair preston's thought. one is that the fact that we know for sure because now it's a public and approved settlement between the city and county of san francisco which
we have $100 million overcharging, returning that ratepayer and we know that that fell to mister mohammed nuru so in that instance we know there is misconduct there with city and county of san francisco in relation to precollege he. how did your audit address something like that for is it even within your scope through your audit?>> we did look at significant contracts as part of our audit but it's very much expenditure driven if you will. interms of the audits that occurred in past years we look
at whether expenditures were reported in the financial statement . so even though in this case there were questions as to how the procurement process had occurred andthe legitimacy of such contracts ,the expenditures were in fact incurred and properly reported in the financialstatements . >> what we're saying is and there is no gap . i have no doubt and thank you so much for your audit and i have no doubt as to your professionalism and your ability to audit our city as a whole but i guess what i'm drilling down to is that your audit is there's a specific scope and you're looking at specific protocols within departments of the city so therefore in this case while you do the due diligence something like that would not be detected in the normal routine audit that youwould conduct anyway , is that correct?
>> that is correct.the objective ofour audit is necessary and the statements as well as compliance over federal awards . if we do note matters that warrant further attention we will communicate to the appropriate level of management and bring it forward to the committee for your consideration but depending on the objective of the audit is designeddifferently to identify specific issues . issues such as procurement fraud and procurement deficiencies would not be a purpose of our financial statement audit . but if we did see those matters we would bring it to your attention. >> help me understand and it's really my layperson knowledge that when it comes downto it , while we're doing an audit of our city, it's actually very different than something like a forensic financial investigation which a forensic financial investigation is
specifically drilling down with different expertise and scope and what they're looking atis a whole different realm of things . look into finding fraud or concerning that there's a fraud. so in trying to find fraud or mismanagement of city funds it wouldn't be from an audit but more from something like a forensic financial investigation audit or through our controller's office integrity review, is that correct? would you agree to that? >> that would not be the purpose of afinancial statement audit. it would be the purpose of a forensic audit . >> i think that'smy last comment . i am, thank you so much for the audit because i think that that
helps for us in terms of our material witness in complying for our fema grant. i must say federal agencies have not always been the easiest to deal with during a pandemic and in transition to what happens or administration but i really appreciate the auditor for helping us make sure we are in compliance and able to go to our job but also while knowing that you are not in a forensic financial investigation or audit , we do actually have material witness in our financial reporting specifically and i find that alarming but at the same time appreciated because i understand that in good faith
that you sort of find it for us and say hey, this is what's happening with youragency . although within the scope of your work this is a review. would you say that you could confirm that your expertise here? >> we can confirm that. >> thank you chair. >> chair: thank you supervisor. i wanted to give our controller an opportunity to ... i think many of the questions i asked supervisor chan i imagine anyone watching this hearing has similar thoughts and i know that's been kind of our challenge is understanding this is not the sole investigation or analysis of unpacking and investigating a lot of things that have been revealed over
the past couple of years. i know there's a number of fronts that this is being addressed on and within the limits of obviously something maybe pending investigation and so forth but i wanted to give mister rosenfield the score to maybe add a little more context to this about what we've heard what is within the scope of what the external auditors did. if you could share or your team what's in the scope of or confirmation of your understanding of that but also how your office is addressing some of the issues that supervisor chan just raised. >> thank you for the question. i think it's been discussed. it's probably important to differentiate financial statement audit which is the auditors arepresenting here today versus other tools we
have two follow-up , investigate, detect and prevent illicit activity in the city . as you know our office in the city attorney have spent thousands of hours at this point going up on issues raised in the indictments of several former city officials including the former director of the puc and public works and others. that work continues. to date we've issued seven integrity reports that detail our findings regarding weaknesses in the control environment in different parts of the city government with recommendations to improve those environments . similar to the findings for kpmg we have noted lapses in the tone at the top in several places that has contributed to those weaknesses . and as you know as well the board has worked quickly as has the mayor to implement those recommendations . we do have additional
deliverable plans incoming. i expect we are going to issue an audit related to the puc community benefit plan this month and we are following. we have plans early in 2022 to issue follow-up work related t specific allegations related to former director or former general manager kelly . as well as other products. so as was discussed here i think it's been as you said important to note this is a financial statement audit the city has a broader array of work ongoing related to the troubling accusations beginning in 2020. >> and the status update on what i think supervisor chan referred to as the more forensic audit or analysis year is that ongoing? >> supervisor chan was specifically referencing
ecology and some of our work with the city attorney and that's including kind of the detection and settlement of $100 million to residential customers in the city. which theboard approved earlier this year. our work in that space does continue . we have ongoing meetings with ecology continuing.we have a large information request that was filed a month ago and weare looking forward to working through that with them . one point to make on the ecology itemand kind of why it's not touched by our financial statement . in that case our financial statements and ouraudit is covering activities flowing into the city and out of the city . so money into and out of and in the specific case our findings in that settlement spoke to money doesn't pass through us. it did involveproblems between
ecology and residential customers . so that's another reason that topic was not touched in the scope of this financial audit. >> got it, thank you. and i guess maybe my last question on this and i've got a couple of the questions with specific findings but what happens from here? we have an audit where there is no reason to believe that some of these top issues, the criminal indictment had an impact or a significant impact on the numbers before. to the extent ... i don't want to speculate too much but to the extent that investigations
or other forensic analysis or anything finds differently, is that the subject of a future audit? does it get amended? i don't want to assume the worst. i want to assume the best but what i'm hearing is an audit can be completed, signed off on by the board without really knowing what impact if any there is on the tone of the top issues on any of the line items before us. and that there's ongoing work to look in to do that more forensic analysis. what is the mechanism just procedurally which with which thosefindings are complete and the final investigation everything is wrapped up . what if any mechanism is there to really look at whether there is that impact on these numbers? >> of course and financial
statements for subsequent period will continue to be audited so that's kind of one chapter that we have is a board to ensure our financial statements are free and clear. i guess as someone that works to prepare the statements and then present them to the external auditors and brings them off into the mayor and the board i would consider nothing more important than evidence of fraud or miss doing or to reporting. so if i were to ever detect something that crossed over into that space, some of my first calls would be to the external auditors to review with them and ask them to help with the review andfrankly to the audit committee and board of supervisors to make you
aware of it . so beyond that kind of urgency and immediacy if we were ever to detect anything that implicated financial statements we will continue to publish in public reports our findings regarding the lapses in the control environmentwe find as part of this public integrity series . >> i appreciate that. i did want to ask a couple of questions about some of the pacific's findings and adjust the status particularly on the credit balances you on general hospital. and i'm encouraged by what sounds like dph both being cooperative and trying to resolve that issue but also i think the $31 million item at the end of last fiscal year being currently inthe neighborhood of $4 million . but i just want to give dph the opportunity since that has been
raised and i know there's been good work on it and thank you for the additional info you provided our office since we have a letter from dph on, i would love to hear from them what the status of meeting those recommendations is. >> i believe we have matthew dph on to this item. >> chair: welcome. >> thank you for your question chair. so we did have when we transition over from our legacy patient billing system to our existing or new epic billing system, there was a technical issue that occurred during fiscal, during the implementation in the first year of epic which created duplication of adjustments that were right off the adjustments
that were posted to the system. and it was not resolved by the end of the fiscal year and it was obviously a finding and we noted the finding and we responded by taking, by reviewing our policies and procedures as it pertains to credit balances and implementing procedures to mitigate any incorrect postings that had been made to the system or to the epic financial system and in addition to that we on a monthly basis on our financial statements we are reviewing transactions posted as credit balances to ensure they are appropriately reflected on our financial statement goals ona monthly basis and an annual basis . >> chair: thank you and with those changes to the avis, those have fully met the
concerns raised in the report? >> i'll take this question. we performed a auditover the general hospital . it's something we are looking into as part of our 21 audit process and we always go by the puritan action plan as related to the previous year's deficiency so any findings we mayhave corrected . we are continuing to go through fiscal year 2021 audit. we do believe the deficiency hasbeen corrected . >> chair: thank you. and on the fema disaster fund area where there was material weakness identified, i just wanted to give mister delarosa from the controller's office the floor to address the status of addressing those. my understanding is that was
primarily a timing issue of expense outside the applicable period. i don't know, maybe you can elaborate . both on the issues laid out but on the steps the city is taking to address those. >> certainly supervisors, mark delarosa for the controller's office and also the need for the citywide cost recovery. regarding the fema public assistance as you know the cost of the covid pandemic is unlike any otherincidents . so in the very beginning we track the data and processing actions including how we captured the fema eligible costs and expenditures in our financial system. there was a lot of care in
terms of how they track certain expenditures and one thing that we also noticed is that some of the eligibility requirements fema had kept on changing which also impacted quality that we had earlier on. but since then cost recovery team has been working closely with the department and various financial phones to ensure that there is increased sharing of information to ensure that we capture expenditures more accurately and completely in termsof what it is and up submitting . we are continuously working on that and hopefully on the next round of the audit that will be observed. >> chair: was that an issue across the board or was it with a particular type of expense or particular department expensing them? where was the issue? >> it was definitely
across-the-board. fema had a dozen different buckets of cost eligible so at the beginning we had to make sure the department's new buckets to capture a certain cost so that took a little bit of time. i think the year and a half into it most departments have certainly captured the various costs. >> chair: thank you mister delarosa. i have one more question before wego to public comment . you commented on to miss louis i believe commented on the timing of the current audit that's occurring but i wanted to focus on the timing here on the period covered by the report. i know this is all later than usual but in terms of any applicable deadline to this report and the timing of that.
>> may i clarify, are you asking about thereport on the federal compliance these ? >> yes. >> normally that would be march 31of 2020 . has extended the current deadline is september 30 of 2020. we are working diligently with the city to try to issue the report before the deadline but knowing that it is a very involved process, one of the situations that everyone is dealing with nationwide is we are currently awaiting further guidance from the us management budget which issues the minimum auditing standards for many of these federal award programs so i'm sure that guidance is available on that auditor as well as oddities depending on the guidance to finishthe fiscal year 2021 audit .
we are conducting the award compliance audits for programs that are not effective necessarily by the tv issue but many of the programs are pending that guidance so as it relates to this fema program as well as others funded by care to, those will likely be on hold until the new year in january 2022. at this point unfortunately we don't have a time certain as to when the audits may be completed but the goal is to issue a finished report as soon as possible before the federal deadline. >> chair: thank you miss louis and miss rosenfield. >> i want to expand for the committee. miss louis is speaking to the single audit or grants compliance . our hotel is that the majority of the enterprise financial
statements will be issued. we hope in december and we hope the annual financial report will be issued in january. the auditors then management findings regarding those portrayals somewhat but i hope we will have financial audited financial statements flowing out on that schedule as well. >> chair: those are a few months later than usual, right? but not anything that runs up against a deadlinethat's problematic . we think it was a highly unusual last year and a half but are we lookingat ? >> are general has been that the enterprise financial statements are october and november timeline timelines and if you were to look at our history the annual report would be issued in the november and december horizon.
that's been complicated during this period given the staff and resources to otheractivities . given the complexity created by these new federal revenue streams that we're learningto live with and the changing rules that account for them . unfortunately in the coming fiscal year just to be transparent with the committee we also have this major new implementation of anew accounting standard for the subsequent fiscal year next year regarding leases as louis mentioned . so i'm hopeful we will continue to make improvements and pull back towards that historic mark but this year and probably next will take a bit longer than normal. >> chair: thank you for providing that additional detail and thank you controller rosenfield and your team for staying, keeping us on the committee and board up-to-date as the stakes have been evolving pretty rapidly in terms of the various rules we
are all operating under. unless there are other questions or comments right now from committee members mister clark , let's go ahead and open up public comment. >> for those watching on cable channel 26 or by streaming link to sfgov.org, if you wish to speak on this matter pleasecall in by following the instructions displayed on your screen . you would dial 415 655 0001 and enter the meeting id of 247647 8686 in order to join the meeting. following that you would press the pound symbol twice and star followed by three to speak and for any that are on hold continue to wait. you will hear a prompt line has
together. 5 and 6. >> item 5 is hearing on prioritizing criminal trials and safely opening courtrooms to ensure speedy trial rights of both defendants and victims are upheld and to address back recognize of 437 felony cases and 248 untried defendants. and item 6 is resolution urging the san francisco superior court to prioritize soiment of criminal trials and open more courtrooms to ensure that trial rights of both defendants and victims are up held. public comment is number 1-415-655-0001. the meeting i.d. is 2497 647 8686 ##.
press star followed by the number 3 to indicate that you'd like to speak on this item. and then await a prompt that information you that your line has been unmuted. mr. chair? >> chair: thank you, mr. clerk. and supervisor ronen will be taking the lead on this item today. before i hand it over to supervisor ronen, i just want to welcome the representatives. i know we have a number of folks, representatives from the public defenders office, district attorney's office, sheriffs as well and a reminder that the presenters have 10 minutes each. and i really want to thank you, supervisor ronen for your leadership on this very important issue. looking forward to this hearing and discussion today. so i'm turning it over to you, supervisor ronen. >> thank you so much, chair
preston. i also wanted to not only thank the public defender and district attorney's office for being here with us today, but for all of their ongoing leadership on this issue. i know the public defender has sued the courts in order to make sure that their clients have their right to a speedy trial. and i know that the d.a. has also been advocating to reopen the courts. i also just want to note before i make some opening comments that my office personally reached out to the chief judge asking them to participate in this hearing today. and very disappointed that judge feng rejected the invitation. i would think that as a matter
of courtesy to different branches of government, but also to explain to us, you know, if the courts aren't open already, why is that? and is there any way that the city and the courts can work together to speed up this process? unfortunately, we're not going to get those questions answered today. it's incredible disappointment on my part and i wanted to just put those comments on the record. but let me make some opening comments. colleagues, today we will be hearing about how the san francisco superior court has been dealing with a backlog of 451 criminal cases, with 218 people in custody pretrial. i am also asking the committee to vote on a resolution urging the san francisco superior court to prioritize trials and uphold justice. our san francisco criminal justice system is broken.
over the past 21 months, our courts have failed to adhere to one of our most constitutional rights, that's a swift and fair justice. every single person has a right to a speedy trial. during this time, the court has cited the pandemic as a reason to continue cases and keep people in custody. in san francisco with the rise in vaccination rates and the easing of restrictions such as social distancing and indoor activities, the court cannot use this excuse to continue cases. continuing cases under the facade of good cause when none exists has detrimental effects on victims and defendants alike. allowing a person to be caged for an extended period when they have not been convicted of a crime is contradictory to one of our nation's most basic principles, that's a person is innocent unless and until the government proves the case against them beyond a reasonable doubt. currently, over 200 people are
sitting in jail awaiting trial. victims also have a right to a speedy trial under marcy's law. witness, memories fade, evidence can be lost and the victim may continue to experience emotional distress due to a lack of closure from their case. people in jail suffer. victims suffer. families suffer. and everyone continues to lose faith in the criminal justice system when justice is delayed. in san francisco people are coming to city hall, attending holiday parties, getting haircuts, going to bars and slowly returning to some sense of normalcy, yet people who have exercised their right to a speedy trial have been told to wait. the court has been dragging its feet to deal with this backlog. it is my understanding that the civic center courthouse is being used to conduct civil trials, while pretrial defendants
languish in jail. this is completely unacceptable. the civic center courthouse has held both in and out of custody cases. until the backlog has been dealt with, the civic center courthouse should put a hold on sending any civil cases to trial. they must utilize the departments they have exclusively for criminal trials. there is no reason this many people, over 200 people, should be awaiting justice, accused persons and victims alike. we need to find adequate solutions to deal with this backlog and i don't want to just complain here. i want to partner with the courts to problem-solve. unfortunately, as i said earlier, the courts are not here today to do that brainstorming with us, which is incredibly unfortunate. i also want to thank the
sheriffs department who have graciously made themselves available to be here today to answer any questions. first i wanted to see if my colleagues have any open remarks and then we will have presentations starting with the public defenders office, with a few members of the office that are going to present. and then we will hear from marshall klein from the district attorney's office. colleagues, did you have any remarks before we hear presentations? >> supervisor chan: thank you, chair preston. and i thank you, supervisor ronen. i just want to express my thanks to your leadership in calling attention to this very important matter. i think with the holdup and not having our courts open to the people and it's the justice not
just for those who deserve the due process, but also the victims of crimes and just many other matters that really waiting for the courts to decide. it creates a lot of hardship on people. so thank you so much, supervisor ronen, for calling this hearing. >> chair: thank you, supervisor chan. i just had a question, supervisor ronen, to share your concern around the absence of a representative from the court. were you provided any explanation from the superior court on why they did not have a representative here today? >> supervisor ronen: i'm sorry, i've been behind because i've been out for a while. can i get back to you on that? >> chair: absolutely. it's concerning to me as you
stated that they obviously have quite a bit of firsthand information around their courtrooms and how they administer the courthouse. but, yeah, anytime. >> supervisor ronen: i will get back to you, but the main reason i do know is that they're claiming that they want to remain silent because of the lawsuit and don't want to put the lawsuit in any jeopardy. i don't -- i don't understand that questioning -- or that response brainstorming with the city about how to join forces to get the resources to open up more spaces for trials? i don't see how that would jeopardize the lawsuit. and the bottom line is that it's the responsibility of the courts to uphold the constitutional rights of defendants and victims and they're failing to do that. so, you know, again, i'm incredibly disappointed. i even looked into subpoenaing the chief judge.
it looks like there is separation of powers' issue and that might be impossible, but i was ready to go to those lengths, because i believe this issue is this urgent and this serious that perhaps we should set a precedent and subpoena the chief judge. so, you know, i'm in dialogue with the city attorney's office about that at the moment. in the meantime, i didn't want to delay this hearing, because, you know, the public defender and the district attorney have been advocating quite a lot on this issue and have a lot of information to share with us and ideas that perhaps we can pursue with both offices. again, it's a shame the court isn't here. >> chair: thank you, supervisor ronen, for the additional detail. let me just say that i share that frustration. i think it would enrich the
conversation. i'm sure that we'll hear from the various presenters and be able to get to the bottom of a lot of this, but, of course, there are always separation of power issues potentially when there are specific questions or actions that a board is taking with respect to judicial branch. and, of course, it would not be the first time, nor would it be the last where there is ongoing litigation of some kind that someone comes before the board in our oversight and information-gathering role and -- and there may be specific questions that can't be answered because of pending litigation done from my perspective not having the court here. so i appreciate you moving forward despite that, but just wanted to make clear on the record that i share your frustration on that front and really would urge the superior
court to have a representative present in any future discussions that we have at the board on this issue. thank you. supervisor? >> supervisor ronen: thank you so much for that, chair preston. i would also just say one other thing. again, i want to know what we have -- my colleagues to know what we have tried to do to get the superior court here, because, you know, as we all know, partially because the courts are shut down, this takes a long time to resolve. meanwhile there are over 200 people waiting for their right to a speedy trial that might be innocent that are languishing in jail that have lost their jobs, perhaps lost their homes. all the consequences of being in jail, not to mention the stress and emotional harm on victims. but i looked into the funding
that the city and county provides to the courts. is there a way of withholding that funding until the courts at least have a dialogue with us about how to fix this issue? and, unfortunately, the little funding that the city gives to the courts mostly goes to the bar association for indigent defense. so we certainly didn't want to withhold that money, but i will continue to look for leverage and continue not only to speak out about this and hold hearings, but to use any power we have in our arsenal to push this issue, because i believe it's that urgent. and with that, i want to turn over the floor to the chief attorney in the public defender
office, public defender matt gonzales. >> thank you, supervisor ronen, chair preston, supervisor chan. we're all very grateful you're conducting this hearing and bringing attention to this important matter. kathleen, the head of our research unit is going to be leading the presentation on behalf of the public defender office. i'll be available throughout the hearing and i'll turn it over to kathleen now. she's joining us from the east coast by the way. thank you. >> thank you, matt, and thank you to all of you and supervisor ronen. and appreciate the opportunity to talk to all of you about this really important topic. and i'm going to echo a lot of supervisor ronen's comments. the san francisco criminal legal system is currently in a state of crisis. there is a literally
humanitarian crisis occurring in our backyard and there are laws that i want to talk about that are not being followed. one is penal code section 1050a that says criminal trials are prioritized over civil trials. that makes good sense because liberty is more important than money. and then there is the state statute on speedy trial, penal code 1382, which provides that someone has a right to a speedy trial if charged with a felony within 60 days or a misdemeanor. that right is important because it protects individuals. unfortunately, those rights no longer meaningfully exist for san francisco residents. and if you had told me, right now if you're charged with a crime in san francisco and it's a felony, and you're incarcerated, you could wait, on average, about eight months before you get your speedy
trial. you know, if you told me two years ago there were violations of the speedy trial law, you know, one or two or three, i would have said that is outrageous and it would have been a story. can you turn the slide please, larry. but now we have a literal humanitarian crisis. i mean, there are 451 people that are waiting past the deadline that i just told you about. past the legal statutory deadline. 218 of those folks are incarcerated in custody under covid, which is extremely oppressive conditions of confinement. and some of those folks have waited almost a year past their trial deadlines. this is -- what is happening today is madness. and, you know, incredibly, the backlog is actually getting worse. the san francisco superior court officially reopened at the end of june of this year. so the court is reopened, fully reopened, but since then, the
backlog of cases has grown from 416 to 451 today. the number of people incarcerated past the legal deadline has grown from 125 now to 218. which is basically an 80% increase. if this were plotted on the grass, the way this is going, the grass would be pointing straight to the sky in terms of the sky. if we don't do something, the backlog will never be cleared. what is happening today in san francisco's criminal courts is extraordinary and unprecedented. and it risks an epic decimation of our clients' fundamental rights. we're very sympathetic to the fact that covid has upended everything and the superior court has had to make adjustments. and we're appreciative of the fact that they were able to reopen and conduct trials and put a priority on that. but it's important to protect everybody from the virus, but we
can't lose the rule of law in the process. covid has been with us for 20 months. government agencies, hospitals, businesses and superior courts in other counties have figured out a way to resume public services and return business as usual. other counties, the backlog is actually going down. the pandemic can't become a permanent excuse to justify people waiting in jail for months past the deadline for trial. and, you know, the failure doesn't exist in a vacuum. i mean the statistics are shocking. san francisco's population is 5.6% black, but the number of people incarcerated past their last day of that group, more than 50% report african-americans and these numbers should be shocking. if this disparity reflects as it
does, race and class oppression in our country, the fact to afford the most vulnerable of our community a speedy trial should give us all pause. and, of course, there is a human cost to this as well. you know, 200 people is a shocking statistic, but behind that statistic are 200 stories. you know, our clients who are legally innocent and presumed innocent tell us, you know, that they're locked in their cell. they write -- one of them suffers from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, says he's locked in the cell 23 hours a day and sometimes he feels like he's going insane and talks to himself. the only time he gets to use the shower or phone, is 30 minutes. sometimes i have to choose because we don't have time to do
both. the effects of this delay -- of course, the effect of this lengthy pretrial incarceration that during covid involved many of our clients confined to their cells 23 hours a day are as terrible as they are predictable. people become hopeless and sad and some people want to plead guilty. we know that innocent people plead guilty in order to get out of jail, but can you imagine how our clients feel, when we tell them, we'll fight your case and we can't tell them it will be in 60 days. we can't tell them when it will be. it's been eight months, sometimes a year. can you imagine how hopeless they feel then? you don't have to imagine, this has been our clients' experience for the last 20 months.
so what can we do about this? well, fortunately, you know, this problem actually is solvable. you know, the cases where there has been a speedy trial violation should be dismissed. but one of the real reasons for this current crisis is that the court has declined to use available civil courtrooms for criminal cases. and, you know, many -- the criminal proceedings in san francisco generally take place in the hall of justice, but the court has sent out criminal trials to the civic center courthouse and that courthouse has 12 trial departments that are currently -- some currently lying unused at all. some trying civil cases where money is at stake and all of which could be used and repurposed for criminal trials. and that's really a key part of any workable strategy to reduce the backlog of criminal cases, is reassigning civil courtrooms to criminal matters.
the superior court reassigned all the general civil departments to hear criminal cases and that was part of the one of the factors in alleviating the backlog. another key factor is the use of alternative venues. public buildings like the war memorial building could be used for spillover cases or for civil proceedings, so that the civil proceedings can still occur when all the civil departments or general civil departments are used for criminal cases. that's what they did in riverside. they used an elementary school. we could do that here, too. san francisco has many public buildings that could be used for this purpose. and, you know, the convention center, the civic auditorium, the war memorial building, however, since march of 2020, the court has not held any
sessions in alternative venues. should tell you in the interest of fairness that the court told us, that they claimed they explored looking for alternative and additional sites, but those explorations were not fruitful. >> supervisor ronen: can i just interrupt there for a sec. nobody to -- from the court system to my knowledge has explored the possibility with any member of the board of supervisors. i'm not sure if they've gone to the mayor, but that's the reason we're here. we're saying we want to actively work with you to solve this problem. in addition to the war memorial building, there is city hall. we used to have active courtrooms in city hall. the sheriff department is here in this building and there is security at the entrance. you know, this is something that we would jump at the chance of
helping to make happen if anyone would actually respond to us and work with us on it. so i am publicly making that offer today. myself and i think i can probably speak for my colleagues on this committee, supervisors preston and chan, would be happy to work with building management, to work with our sheriffs department and figure out an arrangement. we are not using our committee rooms right now, for example, because we are still -- i'm at home doing this hearing. supervisor preston and chan are in their offices. we're not in the committee room, because we have not yet invited the public back. we're in the process of figuring that out. so there is a ton of rooms in city hall that could be used right now. part of the reason that we're holding this hearing today is to scream out loud there are people that want to help and see this
as a humanitarian crisis, please, courts, step up and work with us to figure this out. it's not rocket science. >> i think those are all great ideas. and they -- i believe that the court only looked into this at the beginning of the pandemic. i think that it was maybe in june of 2020 and we certainly asked them again in october of 2020. we did a judicial records request for any documents that supported the search and they didn't provide any responsive documents in writing and said there were no responsive documents in writing substantiating the nature of the search, because we too were puzzled by why these public buildings that were totally unoccupied during shelter-in-place and still available as you point out, were not being used at a minimum for some of the civil proceedings so we could use the civic center courthouse, but also some criminal proceedings, particularly given there are
courtrooms. so, yes, you know, that's -- i think that's a terrific idea. next slide, please. so, the other thing i just wanted to point out because it's something that the court has said as a reason that this sort of -- that it's not possible, they have claimed that the civic center courthouse is not secure enough to hold criminal trials. and that claim is contradicted by the court's own records which show that it has safely tried many serious cases in the civic center courthouse, where departments were in custody and -- defendants were in custody and facing life in prison. so very serious case. since 2006, the court has sent 56 felony cases to the civic center courthouse between -- and during that period, half of those folks that were sent there, the defendants were in custody. and nearly most of them were
tried to verdict. so it's certainly possible and it's historically happened. in july of 2012, the court closed. two trial departments at the hall of justice. they sent those -- they dedicated two replacement courthouses to the civic center to hear criminal trials. the most recent example was in 2021. there was a juvenile in custody murder trial, which is in front of a judge, not a jury. but there were so many concerns about security that it was moved from the juvenile justice center to the civic center courthouse and held there. and that was the sheriff office provided security for about 15 days of the trial and according to the court did a good job providing security. >> sorry to interrupt, that is the 10-minute bell. >> okay. >> chair: why don't you go ahead and if you need a couple more minutes to wrap up the
presentation. >> sure. just in sum, i'll just say that it is possible, i'm encouraged by the idea that covid has taught us anything, we can work creatively at these issues. the last two years have certainly upended our legal system, but the bottom line is what is happening at 850 bryant is outrageous. the idea in san francisco we cage hundreds of members of our community for a year as they await a speedy trial, just makes a mockery of the term. and it makes a mockery of the fundamental rights that we hold dear and the presumption of innocence. and history is going to judge. we think the answer is to follow the law and enforce the speedy trial statute, prioritize the cases, and return to honoring the fundamental rights of people in san francisco to a speedy trial by jury. [please stand by] [please stand by]
this happened in august of 2020. he spent 259 actual days in custody. when we finally got into a trial courtroom, we had a jury verdict in less than two hours. he was found not guilty in two hours. he was released from jail a couple hours later. that was in may. robert is a family man. he lived and cared for his disabled mom. he did so every day. he financially cared for her, too. worked as a tree cutter in california preventing fires. he also has three younger siblings. while incarcerated, his
10-year-old sister had spinal surgery and was not age to be there for her. his dad had to take a month off work to take care of her. his dad did what he can to send money to robert in custody. while still awaiting for trial, his family had a lot of issues. they needed robert. he has a younger brother 20, a brother 8. they had emotional issues not having their brother who was like a father figure as well to his younger brothers. his parents worked a lot growing up. while incarcerated one of his best friends from childhood died of seizure. his family didn't want me to tell robert because they were afraid that was going to mess
him up even more emotionally and mentality. him not being there for his family and friends for those things was very difficult for him. while incarcerated for 259 days, he gained 85 pounds. he went from 155 pounds first arrested in august of 2020. when he was released in may of this year he was 250 pounds. he was on 23 to 24 hour lockdown where he sometimes was unable to even bathe before coming to court, before seeing jurors in a murder trial. robert asserted his innocence
when i met him when he was arraigned. we went on a city preliminary hearing. we wanted a city trial and should have went to trial before december 15th. that is even counting the emergency covid orders. that extended some of the time limits. we did not go to trial. he spent 259 days in custody. the district attorney evidence was only two days long, less than two days long. the jury got the case. it was two hours of deliberation before they said he was not guilty. then i because his family is from another county. he is from another county. i picked him up from jail. i am going to show you when that
happened. >> is that all your food? what is this? holy cow. >> thank you, thank you, thank you. you are amazing. >> we are going to kick it until we get it. >> yes. >> after only two hours of deliberation after waiting eight months. after asserting his innocence, he was finally released from jail. immediately after release, he was very serious about getting a job. he started working for another tree company that cut trees so
the powerlines and things would not cause fires. in fact, weeks after being released, he sent me a video. they had him fight a fire so he actually fight the monument and cal door fires through this job. he texted me that it feels so good to be outside in nature physically helping people and seeing beautiful places. robert is a beautiful soul. i got to know him and his family very well. everything that affected his family from being incarcerated when he should not have been. we filed bail motion. he was charged with something serious. knowing the evidence, he still had to wait eight months. the next photo that i am showing
you. this is robert two weeks ago. he was watching movies with his grandfather. his grandpa got diagnosed with cancer earlier this year. in custody for 259 actual days, he missed a lot of precious time. now that is what he does. he is now currently with his grandfather every dataing care of him -- taking care of him. his grandfather had surgery last week. i urge all of you to imagine spending over eight months in jail. when you finally get your day in court, the da only presents two hours of evidence, the jury only deliberates for two hours, you are acquitted. you get out. this is why the right to a
speedy trial exists. in san francisco, they failed robert and his family. thank you. >> thank you so much. this is just unbelievable. i just want to sum this up briefly. robert spent 259 days in jail as an innocent man. missing death of his best friend, not being able to take care of his grandfather puhas terminal cancer because the court can't find enough creativity to find a space to hold the trial. this is mind-boggling. all we have to do to fix this problem. imagine if every problem was this easy to fix.
find a space to hold the trial. that is all we need to do. in a city with a $13 billion budget and more beautiful huge government buildings guarded by the sheriff's office than perhaps anywhere in the state. this doesn't make any sense. it doesn't make any sense. my challenge to the judge and the entire court system is 20 months is not only outrageous. it is embarrassing. a bunch of lawyers who have become judges can get in a room and figure out how to find some space to uphold the constitutional rights of san francisco residents and families and everyone involved in the case. this is outrageous. we need to fix it now.
thank you. i am angry incation you can't be tell -- in case you can't tell. next if you don't have questions. we will hear from marshall klein, managing attorney at the district attorney's office. >> good afternoon, committee, great to see you, supervisor chan. thank you. audit and oversight committee members. thank you, supervisor ronan for facilitating this hearing. i am the chief assistant district attorney. i have worked here for almost 23 years. covid-19 has imposed hardships for the operations of the criminal justice system for everyone involved. i am here to share our perspective of the impacts of
the felony trial backlog. i will talk about our efforts to talk about individuals rating in custody. we waited the lockdown and restrictions would create a backlog. heeding warnings from public health officials we recognized that. allowing the jails to become incubators for covid infections. using data and advice from experts, we aggressively implemented policies to reduce jail population to the level recommended by jail health services medical director. this reduced jail population to 700. half the population from years earlier. the majority in custody at this point are facing some very serious charges and have many
offenses pending. while the jail population has declined. violent crime rates are below historical averages. this collaboration with the court and bar and sheriff to keep infection rates remarkably low. we worked together to avoid major outbreak like other facilities nationwide. we struggle with billed up of cases by shut downs and restrictions. we have fewer in custody and less cases presented to the office less cases filed in pre-pandemic. we do have a far greater proportion of cases on a no time waiver status. a charged individual has asserted statutory right to speedy trial. for felony that is to commence trial within 60 days of arraignment on the information. that is the name of the charging
document after the court certifies the charges at preliminary hearing. the court may go beyond that day. with many cases we are past 60th day based on good cause finding related to the pandemic. for 15 months the courts were under social distancing and only able to be open within state and local guidelines an the the end of june this year. the directive has hampered the conducting of jury trials with over 100 people in confined spaces for many hours with poor ventilation in an old courthouse. we invite exploration to conduct the trials. to be fair over the past five months court engaged to expedite trials. prioritizing custody cases, consistent with code 1048. in order of oldest last day and
courtrooms at civic center for nonviolent be misdemeanor trials reduced backlog 130 cases over the past five months. it is progress. the figures are constantly changing. daily settlements, continuances and trials. this past month the court cleared a year of backlog since the start of the pandemic. the progress is hopeful. in addition the court shut down restriction flowing the ability to facilitate trials and factors should be considered about the build-up no time waiver cases. proportion of cases where they speak a speedy trial increased in six month spans in 2019 before pandemic defendants
asserted 60% speedy trial. now it is 90% seeking speedy trial. they are out of custody which competes within custody defendants for courtroom resources. delaying a case usually benefits the charged individual if they are facing serious charges or out of custody. also the entire criminal justice system relies on pre-trial settlements to resolve much of the caseload. no court or office is to go to trial on all of the filed cases otherwise we would see massive increases in courtroom and staffing for offices. during the pandemic district attorney has proactively worked to settle cases by applying tools to assess risks and offers. our rate of settlement dropped from prepandemic time. it has impaired our ability. >> sorry to interrupt you.
i am confused. in the purpose of this hearing is to talk about the backlog in cases in the court, not whether or not an individual defendant chooses to settle or go to court. that is the right of the defendant to choose. i am not interested if defendants decide to go to trial more often. that has nothing to do with the purpose of this hearing. i am confused why you are talking to that. the topic of the hearing is there are a backlog of cases, 200 people sitting on average six months to a year in jail when they have asserted right to speedy trial at not getting it. i don't understand the information is beside the point. >> i agree with you. every defendant has the right to assert whenever rights available to them by statute and the constitution.
i am rounding out the conversation to explain the background for some of the build-up as well. i will move on to how the build-up impairs our ability to effectively serve the interest of the victim. it is essential in the interest of every prosecutor to avoids unnecessary delays. the aging cases weaken prosecution and takes toll on the victims and survivors they want and need resolution to help through grief. stops and starts and continuances is very costly involve time off work, child care and traveling multiple times to san francisco to attend court. long delays deprive victims of the justice they deserve. it forces us to reduce cases we must dismiss cases.
we rely on witnesses. over time witnesses lose interest, become uncooperative and move to distant places and become unavailable and sometimes die. the build-up of cases created a backlog and huge workload burden for u.s. at district attorney's office. attorneys have huge caseloads. another area of workload for us without additional resources. we have to defend many motions to dismiss and this is a huge litigation burden that did not exist prepandemic. i would point out some of the administrative challenges persist for us to meet the city and county early requirements of reducing density. we have to change many processes to digital overnight with little planning to rely on.
these paperless processes created problems without sufficient parallel support. previously we relied on fixed set date for trials. trials now have moving trial dates when courtrooms are available, cases are advanced. that creates a significant challenge for us when trial dates move this presents difficulties for us to constantly rearrange the schedule for many witnesses inconveniencing many. trail on the trial calendar the number of witnesses multiplied many fold. witnesses are apprehensive coming to court during the pandemic with large indoor gathering of people. others don't want the risk. managing all of these witnesses, fears, frustrations daily to ensure trial readiness is a
challenge when unlike other counties we don't have a witness coordinator. for these reasons we continue to work hard to be trial ready this really highlights our need for additional staffing which would improve our ability to serve and benefit every agency in the system. we look forward to tipping work with justice and health partners to advance cases to resolution safely while we explore strategies to alleviate the backlog of cases. we must consider the new covid variant on the horizon and the impact on future function. this compels us to be part of this conversation. we need to ensure continued manage jail population by creating transition for low level unhoused individuals with substance abuse or mental health
issues and residential treatment options to ensure we can cycle individuals out of custody safely and responsibly. i would conclude by saying the district attorney is committed to finding ways to make the system fair and keep the public safe. thank you for asking awareness on this important issue. >> quick question. has the da office had any meetings with the court about this issue and to brainstorm ways to address it? >> we continually meet at a justice partner's meeting where all of the agencies and partners involved are in a collaborative meeting. we don't meet ex-parte with the court about these issues. we meet with the invitation to the public defender and sheriff and to probation. the conversation is inconclusive of all parties involved.
>> has there been a conversation in that forum to use all available courtrooms for criminal trials? what has the court said? >> the security issue at the civic center court house is the same answer we have heard the public defender that represented. i would point out as i did that the court did open up and dedicate a number of courtrooms at the civic center court house for nonviolent misdemeanors which did assist with clearing a significant number of misdemeanor cases off the backlog. that is the same explanation we heard. >> asking the public defender's office is that the only explanation you heard or were there any other explanations? >> for not using the civic
center court house? >> no, they made this claim of security which falls on deaf ears. we looked at the data to find out how many cases. they assigned over 150 misdemeanor trials between 2018 and right before the pandemic hit without regard to the arbitrary classification. we are concerned about our clients who are incarcerated waiting for nearly a year for their trial and their acquittal. we think the court needs to do more than just nonviolent misdemeanors. there are only three that are trials at the civic center court house. we have heard the same thing. it doesn't ring true with our experience. >> i would just add.
in fairness to the court. and i am not going to be able to articulate it the way they would because i don't subscribe to their reasoning, but they have put out a fundamental idea when they send a case to trial if the case resolves that somehow that is a failure on the part of the parties or something like that. that we shouldn't have been ready to go to trial because now the keys is settled or there may be a need for postponement. sometimes last minute discovery provided or new information or you might have expert wit unavailability because you are waiting for months to get to trial. however, what we try to explain both prior to covid and essential now, it is one of the realities of the way cases work at the hall of justice. you prepare for trial and in the
last moment when the parties know the very most about a case, you have last comment negotiations that might be able to resolve a matter. it might be suddenly go from life in prison case to misdemeanor offer offer dismissal or whatever it might be. these things actually happen. that is not failure of the system. that is the way the system works the entire time i have been practicing law. what we have been urging the courts to do. when they send a matter to trial if it resolves for some reason they should say, great, and send the next one in the queue to the courtroom available. the other one just settled. that is a real disconnect between the way we perceive the system and the way the courts have been looking at the situation. somehow something has gone wrong in their opinion if the matter settles at the last comment.
on the contrary we have oneless case to worry about in the backlog. >> thank you for that. that doesn't make much sense to me. i wonder if we could call up the representatives from the sheriff's department. >> good afternoon chief kevin mcconnell. just left cod. custody division now, i am in charge of transportation and security in the courts. >> thank you so much for being here, sheriff mcconnell. i want your perspective on this issue whether or not it would be safe to hold criminal trials of
in custody or out of custody nonviolent or violent crimes charged, whether or not it would be safe to hold these types of trial in the civic center court house. >> ma'am, we have done threat assessments in the past. the civic center courthouse was never set up for criminal trials. it was set up as civil trials. we only have three holding cells there to two social distance during the pandemic. a lot of stairwells have access to the streets. everything could be overcome. some of the individuals and upgrade that would have to be accomplished quickly would be alarm system, panic system like we have in the justice courts and self-locking doors. i don't know if you are familiar. if something was to go wrong or
justice involved individual did try this case there are things to be done to automatically secure the doors. if it was to be held at the civic center court house, this is not superior court we sent 12 trials all nonviolent misdemeanors this year. we do have out of custody trials there because at the time if there is a decision by the court that the individual has to be remanded to custody we have three holding cells to transport them to the county jail for booking. currently, we do have assessments on hand what needs to be done to bring this up. i am not saying it couldn't be accomplished. there were large increases in
staffing to ensure the security of that building. there is also rent legislation title 15 and 24 that deal with how we can hold individuals while they are in courts. we can't staff them or stage them on buses or anything like that. it is inhumane. we don't have bathrooms, things like that. of course, if our court partners decide to make this, we would have to reese to the challenge. -- rise to the challenge. we are challenged by staffing. we are currently through the courts 64% of staffing. current currently down 13 staff members. [please stand by]
>> prior to the pandemic. >> supervisor ronen: has the court been in discussions with the sheriffs department on what it would take to implement that plan? >> no ma'am. it's nothing more than what we would need to secure a building. >> supervisor ronen: as far as you know and i know that sheriff hennessey isn't here, as far as you know, there has been no official discussions about whether or not your plans for making the civic center courthouse space for criminal trials in custody could be implemented or should be implemented? >> no, ma'am, there has not been. >> supervisor ronen: that's incredibly frustrating. can you send that assessment to the members of this committee? >> yes, ma'am, i can.
i will send it to the sheriff and have them send it to you. we did update what we see. based on that, these are the quick bullet points. that would probably be a better document for you to review. >> supervisor ronen: okay. >> and i can send it to the sheriff and then have him forward it off to everybody. >> supervisor ronen: that would be very helpful. if there was a decision to implement the assessment -- the changes that you suggest, how much time do you think that would take? >> i would not want to make a guess at the infrastructure enhancements that would have to take place. some things that would have to happen, too, in all of this, is the underground parking for the civic center, would probably have to be eliminated for a while. we have to shut down one street as far as the staffing as we're all aware, i do not think we
have the staffing on hand to do it. and then the recruitment, training and then placement of staff would probably take about eight months, ma'am. >> supervisor ronen: okay. well, i would love to sit down with the public defenders' office, the district attorney's office, the sheriffs department and look at this assessment and see what we could do to speed it up, implement it, et cetera. of course, if the court decides that it can spend some time and energy on this as it should and has not done so far, so -- really appreciate that and looking forward to receiving that assessment and thanks for being here today, sheriff mcconnell. any other questions for sheriff mcconnell? >> yeah, thank you.
this was not specifically for mr. mcconnell. but just a couple comments and thoughts. first and, you know, this is many ways beyond the scope of this hearing. i just want to note that while we're talking about staffing issues, i understand there are personnel issues and cost issues, but i'm having a bit of a moment here with trying to reconcile the fact that we have proposals before the board of supervisors we are about to vote on on whether we should be authorizing sheriffs to use extra time to staff walgreens and other places against retail theft, as advanced by some of my colleagues on the board, and yet we are thinking it would take eight months to get to a point where if the resources were there, that we could staff the courthouse to be used for criminal trials. that's not the criticism of
sheriff mcconnell or the comments, it's just looking at those two things next to each other, i just think in terms of the statements of our priorities, you know, if there are additional staffing needs, you know, regarding the, you know, sheriffs being hired by other departments or entities would seem to me this should be top of the list. and obviously, that's a call for the court and it's a call for the sheriff and beyond this hearing. but i did want to note that. and in the same vein i wanted to address this broader issue around courtroom availability and what is a priority and what is not a priority. you know, as you know, my specialty has been around landlord tenant cases, eviction cases. i won't to note that the speedy
trial requirement is not the only place in california law where the courts prioritize something over something else. and i just find it absolutely offensive that right now we are disregarding the speedy trial rights of criminal defendants who as the public defenders' office laid out in the slides -- we're talking in san francisco -- that over 50% of the people suffering from that are african-american folks in this city. while at the same time, the courthouse doors have fully reopened -- fully reopened to property owners that want to kick people out of their homes, that have a statutory right to a summary proceeding. i mean think about that, right? and, of course, there are some civil summary proceedings that need to be quick, if you're seeking a temporary restraining order in domestic violence, of course, we want that expedited
and moving fast through the courts, right? but we have things like ellis act eviction, like literally would have no impact to wait six months more to set those -- those things get set on three-weeks notice for trial from when the answer is provided. i have not heard of the judicial council. i have not heard of anyone proposing that until we meet our speedy trial rights of criminal defendants, that we suspend at a state level some of those existing priorities that streamline, prioritize and clog up our courtrooms with vindicating the rights of, you know, real estate speculators to kick people out of their homes. it's mind-blowing to me. especially if -- and i think your questions, supervisor ronen, some of the comments from
the sheriff, so forth, highlight that it is possible to repurpose some of these civil courtrooms for use in criminal trials. and i'm sure, you know, there are different levels of staffing needed, so there is details to work out, but it's like if we can do that and we are continuing to prioritize cases that vindicate the rights of property owners, for example, to evict people, or business disputes between two multimillion dollar companies have a business dispute and we're going to set that for trial while the gentleman that you highlighted is kept locked up in a cage for eight months
before being set free? it's just unconscionable as a statement of our priorities. so i don't know if these discussions are happening at the state level as well, but if this is an issue that extends beyond san francisco -- which i believe it does -- maybe that's a question, because i do think other jurisdictions are struggling with some of these same issues, you know, as covid continues to plague us. i guess that's my question. is this occurring in other jurisdictions? and is there any engagement or hope that the state judicial council would look at what else are we prioritizing here under state law if we have limited resources over the rights of mostly people of color facing criminal prosecution and being jailed for extended periods of
time while they await trial? i don't know who that is a question to, but if anyone can shed light on it, that's great. >> i can answer that. at least i can try to. you're correct, it is a problem across the state. there are counties that are doing better, better than san francisco. for example, contra costa county has sent out over 150 jury trials in the same period of time and is clearing their backlog, they're backlog is going down, not up and they managed to do that by using courtrooms and sending cases out to courtrooms. orange county didn't have a backlog at all. they, during the pandemic, suspended civil trials and so they were able to use those resources and, so, they don't have a problem, but it is a problem across the state. l.a. superior court, which is huge, a third of the state, has
a problem with the backlog. in answer to your question about the judicial council, we sent them -- when the public defender wrote them an op-ed, i think we sent a copy of the op-ed to the judicial council. i believe they're aware of the issue. riverside, they were involved. cases were getting dismissed. if the superior court is dismissing cases, they have to contact the judicial council and then the judicial council kind of came in, assigned out of county judges, they reassigned the courtrooms and took it seriously and cleared the backlog. and there was a tremendous amount of resources they put in it. you know, it happened. the judicial council -- i don't know whether the superior court here has had conversations with the judicial council about that or not. part of it is so far we're --
the public defender is bringing many motions to dismiss under penal code 1382, the d.a. is opposing all of those motions and so far those motions have not been granted. we're hopeful that the court of appeal or california supreme court will see it differently as we do, that the pandemic does not supply indefinite good cause to deny our clients and force them to be caged up to a year waiting for a speedy trial. but it is a problem across the state. >> chair: thank you. look, if the issue is simply dealing with some of the hurdles to using some of the courtrooms, you know, the civic center courthouse or other locations, that's one thing. if the issue is that those courtrooms are in use or other types of priority cases, then,
to me, that suggests that we need to be really bumping this up also with the judicial council around whether some of those other priorities, if they are not imminent health or safety-type cases, are re-evaluated unless and until -- and i guess would be a call to judicial council as well as our state elected of convening that conversation. but if we can accommodate both and all the various things that are being prioritized right through statute on both the civil and the criminal side, that's one thing, but if we're operating from a position of scarcity in terms of courtrooms available, in terms of the personnel, the deputy sheriff and so forth, then we have a more comprehensive conversation on what we're prioritizing and i don't know, as i mentioned, some
t.r.o.-type situations and maybe other select cases, i can't imagine what would be a higher priority than complying with the speedy trial rights of defendants. >> to that question, we did look into this data of whether or not the civic center was full all the time. i'd be happy to share our underlying data with the board, if you'd like to look at it. it's in declarations we filed in support of our speedy trial motion. but my colleague looked into it and in many cases the courtrooms are not totally full up. we're just talking about the general civil department, so not the specialty family department or anything like that. but you know they're trying, you know, asbestos stuff and not stuff that is super urgent or couldn't be moved to an alternative venue or just delayed. >> thank you.
>> supervisor ronen: thank you so much. before opening up this for public comment, i wanted to thank you all for being here. i think this was a very important conversation to have today. i think there are many things to follow up on. and we will be following up with you, not only meeting with the sheriff and both of our offices to see what we can do to implement this plan, what financially it would mean, how the funds can be accessed perhaps, you know, facilitating meetings with the judicial council and our state representatives to look at this even more broadly than san francisco and we will continue to urge and request the court to be present. i will continue to review the board of supervisors' right to subpoena the court, if they continue to refuse to be
present. and what i will say is that we're not going to let go of this issue. i want to give a very, very special thanks to nikita from my office who is formerly of the public defenders office and came into my office incensed about this issue and educated me on what was happening and has been working tirelessly on this. thank you, nikita, for all your excellent work on this topic. and with that, after hearing public comment, supervisor preston, i would ask that we continue the hearing to the call of the chair, as i think there is much follow-up to be done. i don't want to give any impression this issue is closed. it will only be closed when the problem is solved and ask that you forward the resolution with
positive recommendation to the full board. so with that, we can open this item up for public comment. >> chair: thank you, supervisor ronen. and we can take those motions after public comment. before we go to public comment, i did not introduce chief attorney gonzalez before when he spoke, but did want to note, as we often like to when we have former supervisors coming back to the board of supervisors, thank you for being here and also i am proud to represent the district that mr. gonzalez represented very well for years. so i just wanted to thank you for your service, not just at the office, but as a former district 5 supervisor and board president. with that, mr. clerk, please open these items up to public comment. >> thank you, mr. chair. we're checking now to see if we have callers in the queue. for those who are watching our
meeting on cable channel 26, or via streaming link or through sfgovtv.org or elsewhere, if you wish to speak on the item call in now by following the instructions on your screen. that is by dialing 1-415-655-0001. enter today's meeting i.d., which is 2497 647 8686 ##. and then press star, followed by 3 to be entered into queue to speak. for those already in the queue, please continue to wait until you're prompted to begin. you'll hear a prompt that informs you that your line has been unmuted. could you bring us the first caller? >> hi, my name is -- i'm a deputy public defender. i represented a person. we will call him a.p.
a.p. was charged with very serious crimes and he insisted on a speedy jury trial which means the case must be brought to trial within 60 days or the case must be dismissed. his last day for trial was may 11, 2020. i filed a motion to dismiss based on violating his speedy trial rights which is denied on the good cause findings related to the pandemic. 458 days after his last date for trial, the jury returned a verdict of not guilty on all charges. so for 458 days he had serious charges hanging over his head as a result he lost his home. i represented another person. we'll call him t.p.
he was charged also with very serious crimes and he insisted on a speedy trial. his last day was october 19, 2020. after his last day, i filed a motion to dismiss based on violating his speedy trial rights which was denied based on the pandemic. on february 24, 2021, a jury was unable to reach a decision by a margin of 10-2. that means 10 people voting not guilty and two people not. 161 days after his last day, all charges were dismissed. he has a wife and four kids. he lost his job. he lost his home. he had to move to las vegas and spent 151 days in custody. >> his time is concluded. thank you for sharing your
comments. i'm sorry to cut you off. we are recognizing a two-minute timer for each speaker. could we have the next caller, please? >> this is -- i'm an attorney at the san francisco public defenders office. i recently had the honor of representing a man acquitted of all charges, including several that were felonies. i was unable to explain to my client why a trial that should have taken place in 60 days of his arraignment took 17 months. 17 months with a threat hanging over his head of being thrown in jail for years. 17 months knowing he was the victim of misidentification, yet his attorney had no recourse. over those 17 months, waiting, he began to see restaurants, barber shops open, but he could not challenge the false charges
against him. and he was considered one of the lucky ones, because you have to go through the experience and anguish out of custody. i have several clients in custody with no good answers. my frustration is underscored by the fact that here seemingly arbitrary titles like violent misdemeanors, when six years before these extraordinary events, the courts had no issue trying my client for a "violent misdemeanor". so far the only answer i have for my clients is i have no good answers for why more efforts haven't been made on their behalf. thank you. >> thank you for sharing your comments. next speaker, please. >> hi, yes, this is eric, i'm also a public defender. and i really appreciate all the stats earlier, but i think the human element is really crucial
and, unfortunately, i'm seeing a common cycle with my clients when i explain to them that i don't have an answer for how long they're going to have to wait for their trial. it starts off as denial, panic and despair. i'm worried about the lingering trauma that will follow these people. this is a new level of cruelty, this uncertainty, and it's time for creative solutions, so thank you for taking on this issue. >> thank you so much for sharing your comments. could we have the next caller, please? >> good afternoon, everyone. my name is christopher. i'm public defender. and the trial rotation, i represent a lot of the folks that are currently in jail waiting for their day in court. it's really hard to understand
why we aren't dedicating every resource possible towards criminal trials, especially in the civic center courthouse. considering all of these drastic negative effects on my clients and every other defendant in the criminal justice system. in this line of work, it's one of the most important parts of it to me is earning our client's trust. and helping to show them that you're really going to fight for them. and three words that i hate to tell my clients are i don't know. i hated saying that before the pandemic and i hate it even more now. i find myself saying that more and more now given all of this uncertainty. i don't know. i have to tell them i don't know when you can have your trial. i just don't. i don't know when you're going to be released from jail. i don't know when you can go back to work. i don't know what to tell your landlord when they ask the next time you can pay rent is?
i don't know what to tell your mom when she calls crying when she can have you back? i have to say i don't know too many times. and i think it's important to understand some behind-the-scenes conversations we have to have with our clients that have a really concerning impact with the situation it's in right now with the trials. and that is because of all of this uncertainty, clients are in a situation where they are forced to plead guilty or where they feel forced to plead guilty even if they have a strong defense, just because they want to get out of jail. they've told me -- [bell ringing] >> thank you for sharing your comments. could we have the next caller, please? >> good afternoon, my name is herman holland, i'm a public defender. i've been with the office 11 and
a half years. i wanted to touch on the notion that the civic center court cannot accommodate the violent trials, that's just simply not true. i personally have tried incustody trials in the civic courthouse. i've personally tried violent trials. i'm confused by whatever proposal or meeting may have happened or findings that may have happened in 2014. the voluntary manslaughter trial that i tried at the civic center courthouse and department, 505, was in 2016, so that's just a representation that is simply not true. we have to open that courthouse. we have to start accommodating these criminal trials. imagine having to tell your client you can't tell them when their trial is going to be. these are people that may have to choose between their right to a trial and keeping their apartment, maintaining their relationship, you know, seeing
their children, it's simply unfair. the fact that we're using these spaces for civil litigation, it's wrong. the fact that other counties, other jurisdictions are doing 10 times the trials that we're doing right now is wrong. we should be embarrassed that that's the state of things in san francisco and something has to be done. thank you very much. >> thank you for sharing your comments. could we have the next caller, please? >> good afternoon. i'm gabriella, i'm a deputy public defender at the san francisco public defender office. i work in the misdemeanor unit. the designations of the courts about which cases can be heard in which courtrooms or which courthouse are arbitrary. i conducted a covid trial for a client charged with a third dui.
he was facing minimum of 120 days if convicted. fortunately, my client was acquitted, however, i just completed a jury trial at 850 bryant street because i was prohibited from conducting this trial at the civic center courthouse because i was told my case qualified as a violent offense. my client was charged with throwing an uncooked egg in the air and it broke and landed on somebody. that qualified as a violent offense and could only be heard at 850 bryant street. my client had to wait eight months in order to have a jury trial that he decided he wanted to have. this is unreasonable. the designations mean nothing in practice. our clients should have access to the civic center courthouse. thank you. >> thank you for sharing your comments with the committees. next caller, please. >> we have no more callers in queue.
oh, one caller just popped up. sorry. >> could you connect us. thank you. >> hi, good afternoon. this is julie from the bar association, i'm sorry i have a bad cold, but supervisor ronen, someone from your office did reach out to us in september. didn't hear back after that. i have one suggestion to make to you. i'm going to suggest that the supervisors meet with the sheriff and go to the civic center courthouse to find out what the problems are from the sheriffs' perspective. i think that -- i know from my role as the director of court programs at one of those holding cells does need to be used for our dependency court when parents are in custody, but i think that a meeting with the sheriff and understanding what -- what facilities might be available, what needs the sheriffs might have to understand when we can send
cases to the civic center courthouse and when we can't. i think that would be really helpful to solving the problem. you know, we don't have the lion's share of these cases, the public defender does, but i do know that the people who are in custody awaiting trial are serving hard time. all the programs that the sheriffs department had prior to covid no longer exist. and people are in their holding cells for long periods of time. so whatever we can do to get these cases out, it's a facilities' problem. that's a big part of the problem. and if the board of supervisors is willing to invest the time and money into accessing more courtrooms, i'm sure the court would be sending more trials out. i wanted to add that and make that suggestion that you work with the sheriff about this civic center. thank you. >> thank you for sharing your comments. do we have any further callers in the queue? >> no new callers.
>> chair: thank you. with no callers in queue, public comment on these items is now closed. and we can take the two items separately here. supervisor ronen, i don't know if you had any additional comments or questions and i see that mr. gonzalez may have a comment as well. >> supervisors, chair preston, we're just very appreciative of the board conducting this hearing, the public defender is very grateful. you can see the impact this is having on our clients and their families is significant. and we appreciate your help. thank you. >> chair: thank you. so, let's first do a motion on
the hearing and i fully concur with -- to the call of the chair. sounds like we have some information that would be helpful that we heard from some of the presenters. it would be great to get that as well as, supervisor ronen, please let me know how our committee can be of assistance in urging the court to participate in a follow-up hearing on this item again. we're all sensitive to the fact there may be litigation issues, there may be other issues or interaction between the legislative body and the courts, but we also need all folks who have the information and control over the facilities and so forth to be at the table to make progress here. so if anything we can do we'd be happy to. but do you want to make a motion to continue this to the call of the chair, supervisor ronen?
>> supervisor ronen: yes, i'm on this committee, i can do that. i make a motion to continue this item to the call of the chair. >> chair: clerk? >> on the motion offered by member ronen that 5 be continued to the call of the chair. >> supervisor chan: aye. >> supervisor ronen: aye. >> chair: aye. mr. chair, there are three ayes. >> chair: thank you, mr. clerk. the motion passes. and then on item 6, the resolution, i did want to offer a friendly amendment on the line -- let's see -- page 4, the first resolve clause there, before the word civil at line 2, to put nonurgent civil -- i guess we should add cases.
so nonurgent civil cases, instead of just saying civil. i wanted to do that to clarify, there are certain types of civil cases, you know, that may have a similar level of urgency like as i mentioned t.r.o.s, seeking injunctive relief in a civil rights case, actions to compel landlords to make certain repairs. i'm hoping to distinguish that the vast majority of civil litigation is not in that category and i think that's what we're trying to say, the nonurgent cases should not be prioritized. >> supervisor ronen: i am in agreement with that amendment. i'm so glad we have an experienced trial. thank you, supervisor preston.
>> supervisor preston: thank you, supervisor ronen. i'll move to make that amendment as stated, mr. clerk? >> clerk: on the motion to amend the resolution on page 4, line 2, to insert the words non-urbom -- nonurgent offered by chair preston. >> supervisor chan: aye. >> supervisor ronen: aye. >> chair: aye. >> clerk: there are three ayes. >> thank you. supervisor ronen, would you like to make a motion on the resolution as amended -- i see that supervisor chan may have a comment before then? >> supervisor chan: thank you. just would like to add myself as a co-sponsor to the resolution. >> chair: myself as well. thank you, supervisor chan. >> supervisor ronen: thanks, to both of you. yes, i would like to make a motion to forward this item to the full board with positive
recommendation. >> as amended? >> supervisor ronen: as amended. >> clerk: on the motion offered by member ronen, 6 be recommended to the board of supervisors as amended. >> supervisor chan: aye. >> supervisor ronen: aye. >> chair: aye. >> mr. chair, there are three ayes. >> thank you, the motion passes. and thank you, again, supervisor ronen for all of your leadership on this. and thank you to public defenders office, district attorney office and sheriffs department for all being here. and we look forward to hopefully having the superior court be part of this conversation more directly when we get back to committee. thank you. mr. clerk, do we have any other business before us? >> there is no further business. >> thank you, mr. clerk. thank you, everyone. we are adjourned.
>> hello. how are you. >> very well. >> your helpers are here. >> you are looking wonderful. >> my goodness. you know what is so funny? we are anxious to get started with christmas. we haven't had thanksgiving. that is okay. in san francisco, we are celebrating this holiday cheer. we are going to enjoy the season
because last year during this pandemic it was so hard for us to come together. santa, are you going to deliver those toys this year? >> a lot of toys. we will brick through at the port of oakland and get all of the toys. >> mayor breed: thank you, santa. santa is going to do what he needs to do to get toys to the kids all over the city. hi, everybody. i am mayor london breed. it is good to be here on chestnut street in the heart of the marina. i was here this weekend, and the area was buzzing. people were everywhere, shopping, dining, hanging out. it is good to see you all here today. i hope that is not covid. [laughter].
i got my mask, don't worry. anyway, it is great to be here at one of my favorite praises to shop. ei candle. i buy all of my candles here. i am glad to have the owner, eric, with us today. if you want any kind of candle that smells like anything, including christmas, this is the place to come. i have been shopping here for a long time. there are unique businesses like ei all over san francisco. in fact, they are gifts, candles, things unique to san francisco. part of the launch of today's campaign has everything to do with reminding you how special san francisco is. how unique san francisco is. how when you shop at a place like this, you find something that you may not find at any other store anywhere.
today as we kickoff shop and dine in the 49, we are asking san franciscans and those who visit our city to shop locally. shop on hate and chestnut and union street and hayes valley and the inner sun sept where you see these incredible stores. because not only do we help to ensure trees storefronts remain open and available in these thriving neighborhoods we make sure we support our economy. with just a small increase in shopping locally, that can increase our support and revenues to the city by millions of dollars pouring into our economy to help businesses, to help employees and to help continue to make sure we are making the kinds of investments that we know will continue to
support san francisco. it is great to be here with so many people to shop and dine in the 49. since i knew i was coming today i know which candles i need today. one of my friends have a baby. they have baby clothes, pet toys and other really cute unique gifts. lastly, let me say this because i know that it has been challenging not just with the pandemic but what we have seen with a number of the things we see on the news around the burglaries and robberies and other things that happen in san francisco. i want to be clear. we are not going to let what others try to do to our city define who we are as a city. we are better than this. the reason why you see now especially during the holiday season a significant increase in
police and ambassadors and other things because we are going to make sure we do everything we can to keep our city safe. the people, employees, merchants and residents alike. i want to thank the san francisco police department for being here with us today. i saw them late hours on chestnut street on saturday night. they were working. they weren't out hanging out afternoon drinking. they were working. we are grateful for their service and grateful for everything that they have done to serve and protect the city. with that i want to take the opportunity to just again thank all of you for being here. happy thanksgiving. with that please help me welcome our executive director of the san francisco chamber of commerce, rodney fong. >> don't go too far.
a little bird told me one of your favorite candles is in here. it is a tough year for you. i want to thank you for all of the work you have done. i believe it is one of your favorite candles. petite louise. >> mayor breed: thank you. >> on chestnut street. the chamber has been around for 171 years. 53% of the members are small businesses, familiar many on the street. they have been here for a long time. the fireside camera. patronize them and shop locally as we celebrate shop and dine in the 49. i will mention san francisco is unique from retail perspective. it is difficult but there are fine things that are handmade in san francisco. they are manufactured locally.
enjoy shop and dine in the 49. i am going to pass it to someone who is important for commerce. mcgill from master card. [applause] >> thank you very much. i will be brief. this is a fantastic occasion to be back. not just with you but to help small business come back here in san francisco. we all know in our communities that we live in that small businesses are a key component of that community. not only for the commerce and economy, but frankly for the community and society that surrounds them. at master card we see that in every community we serve and are engaged in how important the small business community is. we have been investing heavily in helping the small business through the pandemic to compete in the new reality. as we focus on recovery helping them come back stronger and better than before.
partnerships like this with mayor breed and the shop and dine in the 49 has been around since when i lived here. it was an opportunity to come back and invest in san francisco to help the small business community thrive and grow and demonstrate leadership around the world. thank you, rodney. thank you for hosting us. it is a pleasure to be here. we look forward to continuing our engagement partnership here in san francisco. [applause] >> thank you very much for coming today. don't forget to shop local with us this season. thank you so much. [applause] >> mayor breed: thank you, eric. eric owns ei home. thank mcgill and master card
for providing resources to advertise shop and dine in the 49 to remind people to shop locally. usually on black friday the day after christmas most of the time -- hello -- i am first one at the door at 5:00 or 6:00 in the morning. i decided i am not going to do that because i am going to make sure i am able to get up on friday and go out in the neighborhoods and become a new plant mom since this pandemic. i will be shopping for plants at various locations and shopping for gifts and toys. toys are hard to find. i am hopeful to get some toys and other great things all over san francisco. i want to thank each and every one of you for being here. i think santa's elfs are passing out bags. fill those with local gifts on
chestnut street. thank you for coming here today. [applause] >> shopping in san francisco with what is happening, what are you telling people to make sure they turn-out and shop? >> mayor breed: one announcement through the end of the city all city-owned parking garages will be two hours free parking. that is almost unheard of in san francisco. i think how we get the word out is what is happening and what happened this past weekends is people have noticed increased presence of police officers. they have noticed ambassadors, changes. we are hoping that not only will
the media help us get the word out but our advertisement through shop and dine social media and word of mouth. i have been getting a lot of great responses from people about experiences in shopping downtown this past week end. i was down there myself to see how people feel. i know that people feel a certain kind of way because there is a number of stores boarded up. they are still showing up and shopping. we have police officers in those garages as well. we have an escort program, a number of ambassadors. we are keeping the streets clean. we are going to work at this every single day. we are hopeful people will come back. i think this past weekends when you saw all of the folks out aye skating, shopping, going to restaurants. the city was jumping. people were going to plays at golden gate theater.
there was a performance at the war field. san francisco was jam-packed on saturday and sunday. we hope those experiences will lead to others knowing that we are going to do everything we can to keep the city safe and open for business. we hope to turn the image around. >> how are you going to hold people accountable to show that this is not going to happen again in san francisco? >> mayor breed: part of what we are doing to hold people accountable is within my ability to do so. number one, make sure we have officers on the streets and on the ground. once the arrests are made, we are hopeful that our da will prosecute. it is my understanding today he already made an announcement or will be making announcement about felony charges on the eight people that we were able
to arrest during what happened this past friday. i think there is a lot of tough talk. talk doesn't mean anything unless we can demonstrate we followed through on what we say we are going to do and people are held accountable for the crimes they commit in our city. >> concerns about covid in the holidays? >> mayor breed: that is why we ask people to get vaccinated and get your flu shot. i got the booster shot and flu shot on the same day. so far i am okay. that was about two weeks ago. >> the surveillance cameras. >> part of what we need to do
there are privacy laws and we don't want to violate anybody's rights. at the end of the day we have to be strategic how we provide safety. being able to access cameras to deal with the most violent of crimes in our city is important. we dealt with this issue many, many years ago in public housing sites where the number of homicides that occurred weren't being solved. people would witness this but concerned about their own safety. having cameras were significant in helping solve these crimes and prosecute people. definitely it is a conversation that needs to be had and a change we need to make. we will work with our chief on trying to make some changes to that. [ inaudible ]
>> mayor breed: i think a couple of things we have been doing and resources allocated. we have had small businesses that had windows broken not necessarily for theft but random acts. we have a broken windows fund we provided for small businesses and provided resources in the budget. through our department of office of economic and work force development. working with merchants to install more cameras. we can't put a camera on somebody's property. we try to work with the businesses. we have provided funding for hundreds of cameras all over the city. the latest one we did was sf safe in chinatown, in particular. the outreach we are doing with the office of eewd and talking to and working with small businesses we are try to help
when they do experience those particular problems with either grants or no interest loans. we have had to do a lot of that with discussions with business associations. they have been hard-hit and we provided support in some instances, not every single instance. [ inaudible ] >> we have not finalized the plans to close any streets to through traffic. right now what is happens is the main points of entry in the evening time to union square have been cut off. we are cutting off from what time, chief? 7:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. we are looking at permanent street closures. the goal is, of course, to make
it difficult for cars to commit the acts that they have where they have basically rushed the stores, taken a lot of items and jumped in vehicles and taken off. we are looking at ways to make downtown shopping more safe for pedestrians. this is not just about stolen goods. this is in the process of getting away how someone can get hurt. having the ability to shop without concern about a vehicle hitting you is really important. we are currently working with m.t.a. to have those discussions. thank you all. after you have finished wrapping up your cameras. go eat at one of the restaurants on chest nut street. what a beautiful san francisco. thank you for being here.
multidimensional artist. i came out of painting, but have also really enjoyed tactile properties of artwork and tile work. i always have an interest in public art. i really believe that art should be available to people for free, and it should be part of our world. you shouldn't just be something in museums. i love that people can just go there, and it is there for everyone. public art is art with a job to do. it is a place where the architecture meets the public. where the artist takes the meaning of the site, and gives a voice to its. we commission culture, murals, mosaics, black pieces, cut to mental, different types of material. it is not just downtown, or the big sculptures you see, we are in the neighborhood.
those are some of the most beloved kinds of projects that really give our libraries and recreation centers a sense of uniqueness, and being specific to that neighborhood. colette test on a number of those projects for its. one of my favorites is the oceanview library, as well as several parks, and the steps. >> mosaics are created with tile that is either broken or cut in some way, and rearranged to make a pattern. you need to use a tool, nippers, as they are called, to actually shape the tiles of it so you can get them to fit incorrectly.
i glued them to mash, and then they are taken, now usually installed by someone who is not to me, and they put cement on the wall, and they pick up the mash with the tiles attached to it, and they stick it to the wall, and then they groped it afterwards. [♪♪♪] >> we had never really seen artwork done on a stairway of the kinds that we were thinking of because our idea was very just barely pictorial, and to have a picture broken up like that, we were not sure if it would visually work. so we just took paper that size and drew what our idea was, and cut it into strips, and took it down there and taped it to the steps, and stepped back and looked around, and walked up and down and figured out how it would really work visually. [♪♪♪] >> my theme was chinese heights
because i find them very beautiful. and also because mosaic is such a heavy, dens, static medium, and i always like to try and incorporate movement into its, and i work with the theme of water a lot, with wind, with clouds, just because i like movements and lightness, so i liked the contrast of making kites out of very heavy, hard material. so one side is a dragon kite, and then there are several different kites in the sky with the clouds, and a little girl below flying it. [♪♪♪] >> there are pieces that are particularly meaningful to me.
during the time that we were working on it, my son was a disaffected, unhappy high school student. there was a day where i was on the way to take them to school, and he was looking glum, as usual, and so halfway to school, i turned around and said, how about if i tell the school you are sick and you come make tiles with us, so there is a tile that he made to. it is a little bird. the relationship with a work of art is something that develops over time, and if you have memories connected with a place from when you are a child, and you come back and you see it again with the eyes of an adult, it is a different thing, and is just part of what makes the city an exciting place.
san francisco is surrounded on three sides by water, the fire boat station is intergal to maritime rescue and preparedness, not only for san francisco, but for all of the bay area. [sirens] >> fire station 35 was built in 1915. so it is over 100 years old. and helped it, we're going to build fire boat station 35. >> so the finished capital planning committee, i think about three years ago, issued a guidance that all city facilities must exist on sea level rise. >> the station 35, construction cost is
approximately $30 million. and the schedule was complicated because of what you call a float. it is being fabricated in china, and will be brought to treasure island, where the building site efficient will be constructed on top of it, and then brought to pier 22 and a half for installation. >> we're looking at late 2020 for final completion of the fire boat float. the historic firehouse will remain on the embarcadero, and we will still respond out of the historic firehouse with our fire engine, and respond to medical calls and other incidences in the district. >> this totally has to incorporate between three to six feet of sea level rise over the next 100 years. that's what the city's guidance is requiring. it is built on the float,
that can move up and down as the water level rises, and sits on four fixed guide piles. so if the seas go up, it can move up and down with that. >> it does have a full range of travel, from low tide to high tide of about 16 feet. so that allows for current tidal movements and sea lisle rises in the coming decades. >> the fire boat station float will also incorporate a ramp for ambulance deployment and access. >> the access ramp is rigidly connected to the land side, with more of a pivot or hinge connection, and then it is sliding over the top of the float. in that way the ramp can flex up and down like a hinge, and also allow for a slight few inches of lateral motion of the float. both the access ramps, which there is two, and
the utility's only flexible connection connecting from the float to the back of the building. so electrical power, water, sewage, it all has flexible connection to the boat. >> high boat station number 35 will provide mooring for three fire boats and one rescue boat. >> currently we're staffed with seven members per day, but the fire department would like to establish a new dedicated marine unit that would be able to respond to multiple incidences. looking into the future, we have not only at&t park, where we have a lot of kayakers, but we have a lot of developments in the southeast side, including the stadium, and we want to have the ability to respond to any marine or maritime incident along these new developments. >> there are very few designs for people
sleeping on the water. we're looking at cruiseships, which are larger structures, several times the size of harbor station 35, but they're the only good reference point. we look to the cruiseship industry who has kind of an index for how much acceleration they were accommodate. >> it is very unique. i don't know that any other fire station built on the water is in the united states. >> the fire boat is a regional asset that can be used for water rescue, but we also do environmental cleanup. we have special rigging that we carry that will contain oil spills until an environmental unit can come out. this is a job for us, but it is also a way of life and a lifestyle. we're proud to serve our community. and we're willing to help people in any way we can..
me i stuck out like a sore thumb for sure hey everybody i'm susan kitten on the keys from there, i working in vintage clothing and chris in the 30's and fosz and aesthetic. >> i think part of the what i did i could have put on my poa he focus on a lot of different musical eras. >> shirley temple is created as ahsha safai the nation with happens and light heartenness shirley temple my biggest influence i love david boo and el john and may i west coast their flamboyant and show people (singing)
can't be unhappy as a dr. murase and it is so fun it is a joyful instrument i learned more about music by playing the piano it was interesting the way i was brought up the youth taught me about music he picked up the a correspond that was so hard my first performing experience happened as 3-year-old an age i did executive services and also thanks to the lord and sank in youth groups people will be powering grave over their turk i'll be playing better and better back la i worked as places where men make more money than me i was in bands i was treated as other the next thing
i know i'm in grants performing for a huge protection with a few of my friends berry elect and new berry elect and can be ray was then and we kept getting invited back you are shows got better we made it to paris in 2005 a famous arc we ended up getting a months residencey other than an island and he came to our show and started writing a script based on our troop of 6 american burr elect performs in france we were woman of all this angels and shapes and sizes and it was very exciting to be part of the a few lettering elect scene at the time he here he was bay area
born and breed braces and with glossaries all of a sudden walking 9 red carpet in i walgreens pedestrian care. >> land for best director that was backpack in 2010 the french love this music i come back here and because of film was not released in the united states nobody gave a rats ass let's say the music and berry elect and performing doesn't pay very much i definitely feel into a huge depression especially, when it ended i didn't feel kemgd to france anymore he definitely didn't feel connected to the scene i almost feel like i have to beg for tips i hey i'm from
the bay area and an artist you don't make a living it changed my represent tar to appeal and the folks that are coming into the wars these days people are not listening they love the idea of having a live musician but don't really nurture it like having a potted plant if you don't warrant it it dizzy sort of feel like a potted plant (laughter) i'm going to give san francisco one more year i've been here since 1981 born and raised in the bay area i know that is not for me i'll keep on trying and if the struggle becomes too hard i'll have to move on i don't know where that will be but i love here so so much i used to
dab he will in substances i don't do that i'm sober and part of the being is an and sober and happy to be able to play music and perform and express myself if i make. >> few people happy of all ages i've gone my job so i have so stay is an i feel like the piano and music in general with my voice together i feel really powerful and strong >> i view san francisco almost
as a sibling or a parent or something. i just love the city. i love everything about it. when i'm away from it, i miss it like a person. i grew up in san francisco kind of all over the city. we had pretty much the run of the city 'cause we lived pretty close to polk street, and so we would -- in the summer, we'd all all the way down to aquatic park, and we'd walk down to the library, to the kids' center. in those days, the city was safe and nobody worried about us running around. i went to high school in spring valley. it was over the hill from chinatown. it was kind of fun to experience being in a minority, which most white people don't get to experience that often. everything was just really within walking distance, so it make it really fun. when i was a teenager, we didn't have a lot of money. we could go to sam wong's and
get super -- soup for $1. my parents came here and were drawn to the beatnik culture. they wanted to meet all of the writers who were so famous at the time, but my mother had some serious mental illness issues, and i don't think my father were really aware of that, and those didn't really become evident until i was about five, i guess, and my marriage blew up, and my mother took me all over the world. most of those ad ventures ended up bad because they would end up hospitalized. when i was about six i guess, my mother took me to japan, and that was a very interesting trip where we went over with a boyfriend of hers, and he was working there. i remember the open sewers and gigantic frogs that lived in the sewers and things like
that. mostly i remember the smells very intensely, but i loved japan. it was wonderful. toward the end. my mother had a breakdown, and that was the cycle. we would go somewhere, stay for a certain amount of months, a year, period of time, and she would inevitably have a breakdown. we always came back to san francisco which i guess came me some sense of continuity and that was what kept me sort of stable. my mother hated to fly, so she would always make us take ships places, so on this particular occasion when i was, i think, 12, we were on this ship getting ready to go through the panama canal, and she had a breakdown on the ship. so she was put in the brig, and i was left to wander the ship until we got to fluorfluora few days later, where we had a distant -- florida a few days
later, where we had a distant cousin who came and got us. i think i always knew i was a writer on some level, but i kind of stopped when i became a cop. i used to write short stories, and i thought someday i'm going to write a book about all these ad ventures that my mother took me on. when i became a cop, i found i turned off parts of my brain. i found i had to learn to conform, which was not anything i'd really been taught but felt very safe to me. i think i was drawn to police work because after coming from such chaos, it seemed like a very organized, but stable environment. and even though things happening, it felt like putting order on chaos and that felt very safe to me. my girlfriend and i were sitting in ve 150d uvio's bar, and i looked out the window and
i saw a police car, and there was a woman who looked like me driving the car. for a moment, i thought i was me. and i turned to my friend and i said, i think i'm supposed to do this. i saw myself driving in this car. as a child, we never thought of police work as a possibility for women because there weren't any until the mid70's, so i had only even begun to notice there were women doing this job. when i saw here, it seemed like this is what i was meant to do. one of my bosses as ben johnson's had been a cop, and he -- i said, i have this weird idea that i should do this. he said, i think you'd be good. the department was forced to hire us, and because of all of the posters, and the big recruitment drive, we were
under the impression that they were glad to have us, but in reality, most of the men did not want the women there. so the big challenge was constantly feeling like you had to prove yourself and feeling like if you did not do a good job, you were letting down your entire gender. finally took an inspector's test and passed that and then went down to the hall of justice and worked different investigations for the rest of my career, which was fun. i just felt sort of buried alive in all of these cases, these unsolved mysteries that there were just so many of them, and some of them, i didn't know if we'd ever be able to solve, so my boss was able to get me out of the unit. he transferred me out, and a couple of weeks later, i found out i had breast cancer. my intuition that the job was killing me. i ended up leaving, and by then, i had 28 years or the years in, i think. the writing thing really became intense when i was going through treatment for cancer because i felt like there were so many parts that my kids
didn't know. they didn't know my story, they didn't know why i had a relationship with my mother, why we had no family to speak of. it just poured out of me. i gave it to a friend who is an editor, and she said i think this would be publishable and i think people would be interested in this. i am so lucky to live here. i am so grateful to my parents who decided to move to the city. i am so grateful they did. that watching. >> ever wonder about programs the city is working on to make san francisco the best place to live and work we bring shine won our city department and the people making them happy what happened next sf
oh, san francisco known for it's looks at and history and beauty this place arts has it all but it's city government is pretty unique in fact, san francisco city departments are filled with truly initiative programming that turns this way our goal is to create programs that are easily digestable and easy to follow so that our resident can participate in healing the planet with the new take dial initiative they're getting close to zero waste we 2020 and today san francisco is diverting land filled and while those numbers are imperfect not enough. >> we're sending over 4 hundred
thousand tons of waste to the landfill and over the 4 hundred tons 10 thousands are textile and unwanted listen ones doesn't have to be find in the trash. >> i could has are the ones creating the partnerships with the rail kwloth stores putting an in store collection box near the checks stand so customers can bring their used clothes to the store and deposit off. >> textile will be accessible in buildings thought the city and we have goodwill a grant for them to design a textile box especially for families. >> goodwill the well-known store has been making great
strides. >> we grateful to give the items to goodwill it comes from us selling those items in our stores with you that process helps to divert things it from local landfills if the san francisco area. >> and the textile box will take it one step further helping 1230 get to zero waste. >> it brings the donation opportunity to the donor making that as convenient as possible it is one of the solutions to make sure we're capturing all the value in the textiles. >> with the help of good will and other businesses san francisco will eliminate 39 millions tons of landfill next year and 70 is confident our acts can and will make a great
difference. >> we believe that government matters and cities matter what we side in san francisco, california serve as a model phenomenal in our the rest of the country by the world. >> whether you do not to goodwill those unwanted text told us or are sufficient value and the greater community will benefit. >> thanks to sf environment san francisco has over one hundred drop off locations visit recycle damn and thanks for watching join us
>> and the office of mayor london breed would like to welcome you all to the american indian heritage celebration. my name is ariana. i was born and raised here in san francisco american indian community. i currently work at the california consortium and serve on the board of directors of the american indians of san francisco. i have the immense honor of being your masters of ceremony this evening. [cheering and applause] >> before we get into our program, i want to acknowledge mr. tom phillips, who could not be here this evening but i attended this event for almost my entire life and i remember seeing mr. phillips as the emcee
here every year. it's an honor to follow in his footsteps. [cheering and applause] >> i know i have a couple years to get up to his caliber as an emcee but i'm going to do my best tonight. at this time, we would like to acknowledge that we are on the unceded land of the original inhabitants of the san francisco peninsula. in accordance with their tradition, they have never seeded, loss, or forgot their responsibility as the caretakers of this place and all people that reside in their traditional territory. we recognize we benefit from living on their homeland. we honor the relatives and elders of the community and recognize their sovereign right as first peoples. now i want to introduce -- for
our opening prayer. >> i just want to open up with a prayer for everyone. we've all been through trying times and i just want to ask the ancestors of this land that we know of for the ancestors and ask them for permission to share our songs and open up with a prayer. for the ancestors, i ask your permission to be able to share what we have tonight with all goodness, with love, kindness. [speaking indigenous language] >> for this beautiful gathering and those who participated in making it happen, for those who
will participate, all those who came to honor us as native people from all over this world and for this land, our ancestral land as native people. i ask you to continue to bless and watch over everyone, continue to watch over and give good health and protect everyone from all harm and danger and we ask that you bring your sweet spirit down so that we can enjoy one another with the laughter and the happiness and the stories. i ask tonight that everyone that walks in this building that you will protect them, you will watch over and guide them and help them to understand our way of life. >> thank you for that beautiful opening prayer. with that, it's time to bring our dancers in for our grand entry.
at this time, i would like to call up my mentor and executive director of the american indian cultural center san francisco to offer a few opening remarks. [cheering and applause] [speaking indigenous language] >> thank you arianna for being our emcee tonight. we wanted to acknowledge that usually this time of year tom is here with us and he's been our emcee for a very long time. he is not able to be here, but we wanted to acknowledge tom and just send him good spirits and
if you all could around of applause for tom phillips. [applause] >> thank you. it's an honor for me to be up here in front of you as your host here tonight. i want to thank all those that made this happen tonight. it's been a really tough year for -- well, year and a half for all of us throughout covid-19. this is a special time for us because we're able to come together and be together and hear these songs and hear these prayers and just honor our community. i just want to say i feel really blessed that we get to do that today. i also want to thank the all nations drum for being here tonight. if we could get a round of applause for all nations drum.
[cheering and applause] >> all nations has been performing for us every year, so it's really special to have them here tonight. also, for all of our dancers, if we can give a round of applause for all of our dancers, a big oh for our california dancers. [cheering and applause] >> tonight is going to be very special as we're going to be honoring the american indian cultural center advisory committee. can i see the hands of where our advisory committee is [applause] >> it's very special to be able to honor them tonight. as executive director of the american indian cultural center, i wouldn't be able to do this work without their guidance, their input, and all of their historical knowledge of the american indian center and all the work they have done to make
sure the american indian community is visible here in san francisco. i just want to thank them and it's exciting to honor them tonight. i also want to shout-out to twice as good tonight. we have them here performing. so after -- yes, after tonight, we'll be able to hear some good music from them. i also want to remind everybody because of covid-19, we ask that you do keep your mask on, you practice social distancing, and unfortunately we're not able to have food this year, but we have a dessert for you on the way out. we want to thank verna for that from friendship house. thank you. [applause] >> as i look around, i want to thank everybody here. i see so many people who have supported the american indian community here and i want to say thank you. i am really excited for tonight.
i see the american indian health center here, friendship house here, the american indian cultural district, indian ed, so just want to say hello to everybody and thank you for being here. i am going to hand the mic over the arianna who will introduce the mayor. >> thank you april for taking time to share those words with us. as many of you know, it's difficult advocating for our community, advocating for our people at a government level, whether it's local, state, or federal. it's not something that is easy for us to do. we try, but it gets easier when we have elected officials that will go to vat for our community. in san francisco, we're lucky to have elected officials that do such thing. at this time i have the great honor of calling up mayor london breed to give a few remarks. thank you so much for being here
with us this evening. [cheering and applause] >> thank you so much. it is really great to see so many people back at city hall and it is especially delightful to celebrate american indian heritage month in san francisco. [cheering and applause] >> we know the disparity that has existed with this community for far too long. that's why it's important for me here in san francisco to make a very powerful statement. when this community came together and advocated for resources, the city made an unprecedented investment of
$3.9 million to help -- [cheering] >> to help with various organizations, businesses, health and wealth and disparities that exist in this community. it wasn't what the city said we wanted to do, it was what this community said that they wanted to see. [cheering and applause] >> and as someone who come from a community where sometimes people aren't listening, it is so important that we as elected leaders, we open our ears and listen with our hearts and understand the challenges and make the appropriate investment. our president joe biden just held the first tribal nations summit in the white house in this country. [cheering] >> one of the first american indians is serving as secretary
of the interior in this country. [cheering] >> extraordinary gains, but we know that there is so much more work to do. just recently i met with a number of people to talk about a building, a historic building that centers around heritage, culture, housing, a place here potentially in the american indian historic district and i am committed to doing everything i can to spot this -- support this endeavor so the american indian cultural center april, has a place to call home. [cheering and applause] >> there is a lot of power when we come together. there is a lot of power and love
in this room for transformative change. so i am looking forward to continuing the work that we know has to be done for that transformative change. april knows that i, myself use to run a cultural center. i know how hard it is to bring people together, to create great events like this, but i also understand that it is important that we continue to do this, that we continue to up lift our community, that we continue to support and up lift our artists, that we maintain a lot of those traditions that need to be passed on to the next generation. so today, as we celebrate here in city hall, we acknowledge that. we acknowledge what we need to continue to do every single year to empower and support this community. i want to thank you for allowing
me the opportunity to be a part of it. it is truly my honor. april, i want to -- at this time, on behalf of the city and county of san francisco, present you with a certificate officially declaring it american indian heritage month in the city and county of san francisco. thank you all so much. [cheering and applause] >> now let's celebrate! [cheering and applause]
>> the american indian advisory committee has been a key component in our community for helping establish the american indian cultural center as a virtual center. they played a key part in establishing an american indian cultural district here in san francisco, so we're here to honor them here today. if you like, we can have you stay down here. it's up to you if you can come up here. okay. come on up. i just want to be mindful. >> so the american indian cultural center will be honoring you today with an award and some gifts. i would like to share that with you. can you bring up the awards? so everyone on the american
indian cultural center advisory committee has played a huge part in making our cultural center what it is now. it is a virtual center and they played an immense role in getting us to where we are today. i'm just going to read the certificate of recognition that each of our committee members will be receiving today. so it reads, to celebrate american indian heritage month and in honor of your years and in some cases decades of work on behalf of the american indian cultural center of the san francisco bay area for your dedication -- on behalf of the american indian cultural center for your work on international indigenous communities and tribal communities. we the board of directors and excoup uhtive director of the american indian cultural center acknowledge and declare today november 18, 2021, american indian advisory council day and
honor all american indian cultural advisory board who advanced our effort to create a new cultural center for the san francisco bay area. we honor and give thanks for your kinship, knowledge, and leadership that has led to a virtual cultural center with an achievable vision and achievable plan for a space for the next seven generations. thank you for your stewardship. [cheering and applause] >> the american indian cultural center would like to recognize november 18, 2021, as the american indian advisory council day. so we're going to honor you this day for all of your work. thank you. i'm going to read each of your names and will be handing you an award and necklace and all these beautiful gifts.
[applause] >> janine lawa. [applause] >> last but not least, the last honoree is randy burns who could not be here unfortunately be that doesn't mean we can't give him a round of applause. [applause] >> in addition to the certificate and necklaces, the staff also obtained these beautiful shaws for all our
honorees so we will take a moment to shawl everyone. ls fo honorees so we will take a moment to shawl everyone. >> as many of you know, but some may not, every tribe has their own tradition and customs for honoring someone. intertribal communities, we do the best of what we know and what we got. in our way, we honor with gifts and shawls and blankets, all types of things. that's why we have these gifts for our honorees.
>> as april mentioned earlier, this past year and a half or however many months it's been has hit our community so hard. our community, unfortunately we lost a lot of local heroes this past year, but it doesn't mean we can't take the time to honor them. that's what we want to do at this time. we want to honor three amazing local heroes who we unfortunately lost, but their
legacy continues to live on. i will go ahead and read their bios. i will call up their families at this time, so can i please have the family make your way up as i continue reading their bios. so violent, who was a staff member there and was known as a powerful community elder. she was a member of the tribe. violent dedicated 25 years of her life to the american indian health center. for several of those years, she worked as a clinical director of the family and child guidance, the behavioral health department. her commitment to the community was so strong and evident that even when violet retired, she arranged her schedule so she could continue work one full day a week, packing her schedule with six or seven clients each
day. we remember her wisdom, loving smile, warmth, sense of humor and love for her family and daughter. please give a round of applause for violet as we present her family with a certificate from the american indian cultural center. [applause] >> we're also honoring janet king, who we lost earlier this year. it is with love and honor that we remember janet king who was of the tribe of north carolina. she was many things to many people, a friend, daughter, mother, sister, community keeper, leader, mentor, and elder. in her life, as well as in her work, she was warm, gentle, and clear and supported individuals across all spectrums. she was a pillar for our
community who advocated for the rights and benefits of native american people and educated staff members, lawmakers and funders on topics ranging from historical trauma to culturally specific interventions. the native community is saddened by janet's untimely passing and will continue the work she pursued. the lessons she taught us are also with us. [applause] >> our third local hero is helen wakazu. we were deeply saddened by the loss of a great leader. she is from the navajo nation. her legacy lives on today. she was the chief executive officer of a residential substance abuse organization for american indian that she cofounded in 1963.
the c.e.o. of n.a.c. and helen were married for almost 40 years. she was the beloved wife, mother, grandmother, great grandmother, and aunty. she was motivated by compassion and helped people who lost their way in life to find it. through their work, people connected to what had been lost. helen had a twinkle in her eye and made you feel like you are your best self, even if you didn't know her very well. she reminded us that our ancestors planted seeds and paved way for us to continue. at this time, the staff will be presenting the families of these individuals with a certificate that i will read at this time. [applause] >> the certificate reads, to celebrate american indian heritage month and in honor of
the years and decades of work on behalf of the american indian community of the san francisco bay area, intertribal communities and international indigenous communities, we the board of directors and executive director of the american indian cultural center acknowledge a lifetime of work and dedication across indian country whose efforts advance the attention to the lack of healthcare and health disparities for the american indian people in california. we give thanks to their leadership for laying the foundation for future generations to be leaders in the american indian community in the bay area. now presenting the certificate to the family of helen wakazu. [applause]
>> and to the family of violent lundford. [applause] >> and to the family of janet king. [applause] >> at this time, we're going to give the families each a moment to speak on the legacy that their loved ones create in this world. first we're going to the family of violet. >> instead, martin wakazu will speak for violet.
[applause] >> thank you, my name is martin. i first met violet in the mid '70s. she was a heck of a softball player, but she always had that one quality in her, inside her. she was always a positive person, always encouraging others, talking positively, but her culture, her family and her friends. she worked for the american indian health center for 25 years. 25 years, a quarter of a century. her perseverance, courage, and compassion was evident in any
interaction she had with a client as a therapist. on behalf of the american indian health center and violet's family, thank you american indian cultural district. >> cultural center. >> we're the same thing. >> okay. [applause] >> thank you marty for those words. now we're going to call up helen's daughter crystal to share a few words. >> good evening everyone. okay, on behalf of my family, i would like to thank mayor london breed, the american indian cultural center and the city of san francisco for recognizing our mom for her contribution to the native community in the san francisco bay area.
my mom was born on the navajo reservation. she came to san francisco at age 18 after a government boarding school in utah. she worked as a housekeeper and nanny, a retail store stock clerk, pricing and stocking dolls and airline safety equipment maker and tester at c.j. henry and volunteering for the church. she participated in gatherings at the american indian center, where she and others transplanted here after boarding school formed a small, but tight-knit community. she worked as the friendship house receptionist and bookkeeper and then c.e.o. she dedicated her life's work to the friendship house. senator mark leno called it the
jewel on jewel avenue. she helped others reconnect with their spirituality and reuniting families. mom would say, what else would i want to do with my life? after mom's passing, governor gavin newsom wrote us and said it's hard to measure just how much of an impact she has had on our city and the state of california, but the thousands of healthy and recovered families are any indication, it's one that will be felt for generations to come. she would love that. mom's love for her people was pure and genuine, as was her love for the city of san francisco. while she was born in new mexico. she considered the san francisco bay area her home. we are truly thankful to all of you, the mayor, the american indian cultural center, the beautiful native american people, and my mom would enthusiastically say first nations, the lovely dancers that always made her so proud and
mostly to her city of san francisco. we appreciate your honoring our phenomenal mom's memory and continuing her legacy. [applause] >> we would now like to pass the mic to the daughter of janet king, if you would like to share a few words. >> hi, my name is coralee. janet is my mom. i want to say thank you to the american indian cultural center for giving her this honor today. i think that, you know, my mom was -- she really knew how to embody that special dynamic medicine that so many indigenous women do, in that she really
balanced her tactics for justice. in the public arena, she brought her aggression against the injustices of the settler state. in those more private moments that she had many more of, with her relatives, with all of you, with me, she had a more gentle and i would say even more potent medicine. she had a way of using her decades of experience in the community to bring a story forward that would be just what you needed to hear, and that would let you know that you're not alone, that you're not crazy, and that you're going to be okay. i know that so many people in this room have had those moments and had those stories with her and i want to especially thank all of you for continuing to let her legacy live on in the way that you embody those memories for the rest of your lives and
you hand them to your children and the children in our community. i have a little book at home that i had for 20 years and you know, those of you who know my mom, she is really funny. i would write down things that she would say that were really funny or sometimes really profound. i was looking at it the other day. there was a quote from her that said, this is her voice. she said i'll know that i met my life's goal, i have achieved my life's goal if the generations that come after me don't have to suffer as much as the generations before them. even though her life was too short, her death was a shock to all of us, i also know that she did achieve her life's goal. so, i just want to thank you all for being part of that journey with her and with us. on behalf of my mother and our
>> thank you all nations for that memorial song. at this time, we're going to call out our dancers, our california dancers. [cheering] >> they may not have heard me the first time so at this time we're going to call out our round valley dancers, they may take a minute to come out from the back. [cheering and applause] >> in the meantime, while they get lined up, how are we feeling about the event? let me hear you. let me hear you. [cheering]
>> let's hear one more oh for our round valley dancers and singers. thank you all so much for coming out and sharing your gifts with us. at this time we're now going to bring out our intertravel powwow dancers one more time for some exhibition dancing. i think we're going to get start with the women's styles. so can i call out our women dancers. all nations, if you could give them an intertravel song when they're ready. so all our women's style powwow dancers, this is your exhibition time.
>> so our last performance of the night, we will have the red lightning women power singers come up. so red lightning women power, now is your time. while our singers get lined up, i was just notified that the assessor, recorder for san francisco is present and his office did prepare a certificate for our honorees, both the cultural center advisory board honorees, as well as the honorees of our local heroes that passed. i am going to take a moment to read one of them here. in recognition of the honorees
unwavering compassionate leadership as -- sorry. okay. this one is specific to helen. i'll read this one. they all say similar language. in recognition of helen's unwavering compassion and leadership as the chief executive officer of friendship house association of american indian, a residential substance abuse organization for american indian s that she cofounded. her work enabled american indians to heal from substance abuse. her holistic approach that utilizes american indian cultural practices and western approaches for substance abuse and recovery and prevention gave people an opportunity to recover their lives. helen's legacy of perseverance through institutionalized oppression is an embodiment of
resilience and source of inspiration for all. [applause] >> that's an example of the certificate that will be presented to our honorees, which we're honoring their legacy today. this is an example of the certificate that will be presented to the advisory committee for the cultural center. in recognition for your unwavering leadership and pressure -- reservation of american indian cultural in san francisco, the establishment of the american indian cultural center, a first of its kind in the united states will benefit generations to come. san francisco is grateful for your efforts during the pandemic when you ensured that native families had access to food and emergency funding. during this unprecedented time, we need only to look to you as a body for inspiration. thank you for your support for
the city and county of san francisco. i wish you the best. those will be presented to the advisory board. let's give a round of applause to all of our honorees once again. [cheering and applause] >> april will go around and hand thouz -- those out. now it's time for red lightning power women to take the stage.
>> thank you. the last song was composed by fawn wood and it means you look good, all you women singing. thank you. [applause] >> let's have another round of applause for our red lightning women power singers. thank you. [cheering and applause] >> before we wrap up, i wanted to take a moment to acknowledge assessor recorder joaquin. we know you're in attendance with us. thank you for being here with us. [cheering and applause] >> with that, it is time to wrap
up our event. it has been a beautiful event, but all good things must come to an end. thank you all for being here. i do have a few quick reminders before we go. one is that there is a photo backdrop to the left, my left, your right, in that light court over there. if you want to take pictures with an aicc backdrop, that's there. there is also a to go dessert you can get when you exit to this side of the building. please do not eat it in here. we're not supposed to eat in city hall. thank you to all our singers and dancers for coming out and for making this an amazing event. happy american indian heritage month. [cheering and applause]
my name is doctor ellen moffett, i am an assistant medical examiner for the city and county of san francisco. i perform autopsy, review medical records and write reports. also integrate other sorts of testing data to determine cause and manner of death. i have been here at this facility since i moved here in november, and previous to that at the old facility. i was worried when we moved here that because this building is so much larger that i wouldn't see people every day. i would miss my personal interactions with the other employees, but that hasn't been the case. this building is very nice. we have lovely autopsy tables and i do get to go upstairs and
down stairs several times a day to see everyone else i work with. we have a bond like any other group of employees that work for a specific agency in san francisco. we work closely on each case to determine the best cause of death, and we also interact with family members of the diseased. that brings us closer together also. >> i am an investigator two at the office of the chief until examiner in san francisco. as an investigator here i investigate all manners of death that come through our jurisdiction. i go to the field interview police officers, detectives, family members, physicians, anyone who might be involved with the death. additionally i take any property with the deceased individual and take care and custody of that. i maintain the chain and custody for court purposes if that becomes an issue later and
notify next of kin and make any additional follow up phone callsness with that particular death. i am dealing with people at the worst possible time in their lives delivering the worst news they could get. i work with the family to help them through the grieving process. >> i am ricky moore, a clerk at the san francisco medical examiner's office. i assist the pathology and toxicology and investigative team around work close with the families, loved ones and funeral establishment. >> i started at the old facility. the building was old, vintage. we had issues with plumbing and things like that. i had a tiny desk. i feet very happy to be here in the new digs where i actually have room to do my work.
>> i am sue pairing, the toxicologist supervisor. we test for alcohol, drugs and poisons and biological substances. i oversee all of the lab operations. the forensic operation here we perform the toxicology testing for the human performance and the case in the city of san francisco. we collect evidence at the scene. a woman was killed after a robbery homicide, and the dna collected from the zip ties she was bound with ended up being a cold hit to the suspect. that was the only investigative link collecting the scene to the suspect. it is nice to get the feedback. we do a lot of work and you don't hear the result. once in a while you heard it had an impact on somebody. you can bring justice to what
happened. we are able to take what we due to the next level. many of our counterparts in other states, cities or countries don't have the resources and don't have the beautiful building and the equipmentness to really advance what we are doing. >> sometimes we go to court. whoever is on call may be called out of the office to go to various portions of the city to investigate suspicious deaths. we do whatever we can to get our job done. >> when we think that a case has a natural cause of death and it turns out to be another natural cause of death. unexpected findings are fun. >> i have a prior background in law enforcement. i was a police officer for 8 years. i handled homicides and suicides. i had been around death
investigation type scenes. as a police officer we only handled minimal components then it was turned over to the coroner or the detective division. i am intrigued with those types of calls. i wondered why someone died. i have an extremely supportive family. older children say, mom, how was your day. i can give minor details and i have an amazing spouse always willing to listen to any and all details of my day. without that it would be really hard to deal with the negative components of this job. >> being i am a native of san francisco and grew up in the community. i come across that a lot where i may know a loved one coming from the back way or a loved one seeking answers for their deceased. there are a lot of cases where i
may feel affected by it. if from is a child involved or things like that. i try to not bring it home and not let it affect me. when i tell people i work at the medical examiners office. what do you do? the autopsy? i deal with the enough and -- with the administrative and the families. >> most of the time work here is very enjoyable. >> after i started working with dead people, i had just gotten married and one night i woke up in a cold sweat. i thought there was somebody dead? my bed. i rolled over and poked the body. sure enough, it was my husband who grumbled and went back to sleep. this job does have lingering effects. in terms of why did you want to go into this?
i loved science growing up but i didn't want to be a doctor and didn't want to be a pharmacist. the more i learned about forensics how interested i was of the perfect combination between applied science and criminal justice. if you are interested in finding out the facts and truth seeking to find out what happened, anybody interested in that has a place in this field. >> being a woman we just need to go for it and don't let anyone fail you, you can't be. >> with regard to this position in comparison to crime dramas out there, i would say there might be some minor correlations. let's face it, we aren't hollywood, we are real world. yes we collect evidence. we want to preserve that. we are not scanning fingerprints
in the field like a hollywood television show. >> families say thank you for what you do, for me that is extremely fulfilling. somebody has to do my job. if i can make a situation that is really negative for someone more positive, then i feel like i am doing the right thing for the city of san francisco. >> in 201,755.7 million passengers traveled through san francisco international airport. we have on average 150,000 people traveling through the airport every day. flying can be stressful so we have introduced therapy dogs to make flying more enjoyable. the wag brigade is a partnership between the airport and the san
francisco therapy animal assistant program to bring therapy animals into the airport, into the terminals to make passenger travel more enjoyable. i amgen fer casarian and i work here at san francisco international airport. the idea for therapy dogs got started the day after 9/11. an employee brought his therapy dog to work after 9/11 and he was able to see how his dog was able to relieve passenger's jitter. when we first launched the program back in 2013, our main goal was to destress our passengers however what we quickly found is that our animals were helping us find a way to connect with our pang. passengers. we find there are a lot of people traveling through the airport who are missing their pets and who are on their road a
lot and can't have pets and we have come in contact with a lot of people recently who have lost pet. >> i love the wag brigade. >> one of my favorite parts is walking into the terminals and seeing everybody look up from their device, today everybody is interacting on their cell phone or laptop and we can walk into the terminal with a dog or a pig and people start to interact with each other again and it's on a different level. more of an emotional level. >> i just got off an 11.5 hour flight and nice to have this distraction in the middle of it. >> we look for wag brigade handlers who are comfortable in stressful situations.
>> i like coming to airport it's a lot of fun and the people you talk to are generally people who are missing their dogs. >> they are required to compete a certification process. and they are also required to complete a k9 good citizen test and we look for animals who have experienced working with other organizations such as hospitals and pediatric units and we want to be sure that the animals we are bringing into the airport are good with children and also good with some of our senior travelers. i think toby really likes meeting kids. that is his favorite thing. he likes to have them pet him and come up to him and he really loves the kids. >> our wag brigade animals can be spotted wearing custom vets
and they have custom patches. >> there is never a day that repeats itself and there is never and encounter that repeats itself. we get to do maximum good in a small stretch of time and i have met amazing people who have been thrilled to have the interaction. >> the dogs are here seven days a week, we have 20 dogs and they each come for a two hour shift. >> there is a lot of stress when people have traveling so to from these animals around to ease the stress and help people relax a little bit. i think it's great. >> one of our dogs has special need and that is tristine. he wears a wheel around.
>> he has special shoes and a harness and we get it together in the parking lot and then we get on the air train. he loves it. little kids love him because he is a little lower to the ground so easy to reach and he has this big furry head they get to pet and he loves that. >> he doesn't seem to mind at all. probably one of the happiest dogs in the world. >> many people are nervous when they travel but seeing the dogs is just a wonderful relief. >> what i absolutely love most about it is the look on people's faces, so whenever they are stressed and flying is stressful these days you get these wonderful smile. >> i am the mom of lilo the pig and she is san francisco's first therapy pig. >> lilo joined the wag brigade as our first pig.
>> wag brigade invited us to join the program here and we have done it about a year-and-a-half ago. our visits last 1.5 to 2 hours and it does take a little bit longer to get out of the terminal because we still get a lot of attention and a lot of people that want to interact with lilo. >> i feel honored to be part of the wag brigade. it's very special to meet so many people and make so many feel happy and people that work here. it's been a great experience for me and a great experience for to toby. >> it's been an extremely
san francisco by supporting local services within the neighborhood we help san francisco remain unique successful and vibrant so where will you shop & dine in the 49 my name is jim woods i'm the founder of woods beer company and the proprietor of woods copy k open 2 henry adams what makes us unique is that we're reintegrated brooeg the beer and serving that cross the table people are sitting next to the xurpz drinking alongside we're having a lot of ingredient that get there's a lot to do the district of retail shop having that really close connection with the consumer allows us to do exciting things we decided to come to treasure island because we saw it as an amazing opportunity can't be beat the views and real estate
that great county starting to develop on treasure island like minded business owners with last week products and want to get on the ground floor a no-brainer for us when you you, you buying local goods made locally our supporting small business those are not created an, an sprinkle scale with all the machines and one person procreating them people are making them by hand as a result more interesting and can't get that of minor or anywhere else and san francisco a hot bed for local manufacturing in support that is what keeps your city vibrant we'll make a compelling place to live and visit i think that local business is the lifeblood of san francisco and a vibrant community
. >> chairman: would the secretary please call the role. >> secretary: [roll call] this is the recreation and park commission meeting of november 18th, 2021. the san francisco recreation and park commission acknowledges that we occupy the unceded ancestral homeland of the ramaytush ohlone people. as the indigenous protectors of this land and in accordance with their tradition, the ramaytush ohlone have never ceded,