tv Womens History Month 2022 SFGTV May 2, 2022 6:00am-7:01am PDT
well, happy women's history month to you all. i'm kimberly ellis. i'm the director for the san francisco department on the status of women. and i have the incredible honor of not just working for a department that's dedicated to women, girls, and nonbinary, but a city and county that's committed to uplifting women,
girls, and nonbinary. but the best mayor in the country who is committed to supporting women, girls, and nonbinary. not just in march, women's history month, but 365 days and 366 days on leap year of the year. and so i want to thank all of you for making time in your schedule, for us to come together in community as we round off women's history month. we know there's a lot of angst and heart break and uncertainty in the world right now. the other thing that we know to be true is that women, especially strong bold tenacious women like the women of san francisco will ensure that we are doing everything to
bring about peace and love and justice not just here in san francisco, not just in the great state of california, not just in america, but all over the world. i am incredibly privileged and honored to bring up our mayor, your mayor, give it up for mayor london n. breed. >> well hello everyone. thank you all for joining us to celebrate women's history month in the city and county of san francisco. what was that? thank you. i want to first acknowledge the two amazing women that serve on the board of san francisco here in san francisco. we have with us today supervisor kathrine stefanie
and supervisor myrna melbar and our fire chief and a lady who's an institution in san francisco who is a historian. ellen, please stand up and take a bow. and i think i got all the department heads, but there's also a lot of commissioners. so all the women commissioners in the house. please raise your hand. i need a little more enthusiasm from the fact that we have 55% of the commissioners that serve the city and county of san francisco are women. thank you. and today as we really think
about how far we've come, we also just have to be reminded that there's so much work to do and we talked that. there was a time when the majority of the women on the board of supervisors were women. there was a time where we had to fight to get to that point and so we want to get back there and, you know, sadly, i'm only the second woman in the city and county of san francisco to serve as mayor and we want to make sure that it doesn't take another 30 years before another woman serves as mayor of the city. and i see debbie from from the department of environment. thank you so much for being here. and i know there are a number of other people we have in the audience. duane you are not a woman so you're not going to take away the attention okay. this is televised. so before i forget in honor of
our extraordinary women that we are fortunate enough to have to honor here today, today we're going to be lighting city hall in the color purple to recognized the three of you and recognize your extraordinary accomplishments not only in your life, but what you have always done to touch the lives of other people. the theme for this women's history month in san francisco centers around philanthropy. it centers around women without the desire to be recognized consistently have given financial resources to things that have not always been a priority. things that matter to that community group but it's not
always the big, bold, exciting, shiny new car or penny, whatever you want to call it and they do so because they care and they believe it's how people should be and they do so because of san francisco and their desire to see things change for the better and so when i was thinking about who are the women i could honor, i couldn't help but think about the four women that i'm honoring here today so we're going to start with my friend brenda wright. let me tell you something about brenda. i remember when i first started getting active in san francisco and i used to see this woman who walked around with such
grace and took charge of a room and everyone was trying to be her friend. they were trying to be her friend because not only was she the type of woman to get things done, she was the type of woman that you wanted to be like. she also had a kind word of advice. and when she worked for wells fargo, let me tell you wells fargo has not done half of what it should be doing if it were not for brenda wright. and let me tell you, one year alone, $60 million to almost 300 organizations because it wasn't just about giving to the large institutions that had
development teams to apply for funding, it was about the small african american art art it was about the different groups. they have the heart for the community and no one could wear stillettos like brenda wright. and let me tell you she will step just as good in those halls of power in those stillettos just as she would step in the halls of the hood to transform community in the way that uplifts people. and so the reason why we're honoring brenda wright for her philanthropy is because of her not only able to support and
uplift organizations, but to support and uplift a mentor for young women and girls. part of why i dress so nice is because brenda wright and i see her daughters all in here. her daughter amanda, but her children. pull your dress up right, fix your hair because she cares. her whole life has really been about uplifting people. helping to support young women. helping to provide opportunities. helping to make sure that the right resources are at the right place and nothing was too little, nothing was too big for her work, for her advocacy and for her efforts and no one fries chicken better than brenda wright. but at the end of the day, she has not been appreciated for
all she has done for san francisco. she has not been recognized in a way she should for what she's done to help people in san francisco. yes, when she did her job, she made sure that the ballet and the symphony and the opera and the large institutions received resources, but so many organizations were the beneficiary of wells far go because brenda wright didn't see through them, she saw who they were and what they represented and it meant a lot to be recognized by brenda right because you know that you must be doing something right if she took the time to understand what your organization was about and how she could help you because she was always there wanting to help. she's saying okay. no. brenda, this is about you. yes, she served on the
retirement board and the asian art museum board and now the war memorial board. she's worked and opinion appointed by the california for i can't even read my own writing here. yes. and you can talk a little bit be about that. the women's foundation of california. a number of other very great organizations that have led to real change and, yes, she's my friend, but i'm also in awe of her ability to continue with grace to always figure out a way to do something great, to touch the lives of other people and, brenda, on behalf of the city and county of san
francisco, today in celebration of women's history month, we recognize you for your contribution to san francisco and we are grateful and honored for everything you've done to touch the lives of individuals and organizations in san francisco. [ applause ] >> these are beautiful. thank you. >> you can say a few words. >> amanda. >> be a dear. >> okay. you want us to take the picture. >> and we're going to do more afterward. >> well, thank you.
you know, i'm like the biggest cry baby. i have all these emotions that always show up but i want to thank you and one of the things that makes me so proud is to see london and the woman and the leader, i mean, are a courageous warrior in the woman she has become. so if you ever do anything for everyone i don't know why i'm here, but i do know that in my very young life, i was taught that it was always about service, it wasn't about you and my mom said this is not
about you and when you're little, you don't understand why it's not about you because you think you're everything and my grandpa used to always say, if you want something to change, go do the work. and that's all i know is doing the work. but i just wanted to say there's so many wonderful women in san francisco doing so many wonderful things and for you i'm very grateful because many times, we do them together. so i'm very grateful for that. i'm thankful to my friends who hold me up, lift me up. my partner steve who gets the brunt of my anger at home.
not at him. thank you for always supporting me. thank you to amanda, my daughter. and a person growing up saying i'll never have children, it was the best thing i've ever done. but i just want to say that when you think about, i want to tell you, one of my favorite quotes and you've heard it before but it's a tenant by which i live and exist. service is a rent you pay for living and i always ask people, have you paid your rent today? if you can't answer "yes" when you leave here, you need to go pay your rent. even if you put a down payment on a bigger place, you know, because the world needs you. we're just in such desperate times. you know, the world needs you and no disrespect, but if you
want a job done, give it to a woman. no disrespect and those of you men that are here and the women, you're probably yeah i know. i know. you don't want to hear it. thank you so much. i'm so proud of you. i'm proud of your courage every day and i know this isn't an easy job, but i'm proud of you. to my fellow honorees, thank you. i'm just proud to be in your company and just know that we are not finished yet. so thank you. >> all right. i'm just feeling good already.
our next honoree is my next friend who is equally amazing and sophisticated. i've got to say i've heard about dd and her. when the de young museum was getting built and the whole ventilation system on the ground. they said, no, we have to make sure they're just small enough to dee dee's heels don't get stuck in the vents. i said i know that's right, take control and get it done. dee dee has been an institution in san francisco for as long as i can remember. the work she has done is people have heard about how she single-handedly raised all the
money to rebuild the beautiful deyoung museum today. she continued to give to over 100 organizations annually both large and small. but i do know what her favorite organization is and it has a lot to do with her canine babies, an organization that she has been giving to for so many years, they recently honored her for her philanthropy. and the thing i like about dee dee is when you call her, she didn't even know who i was and she still took the time to talk to me. and this was before i was an elected official or anything else. she wanted to know more about the organization and what she could do and she's like that
with everyone. yes, she looks amazing all the time just like b. wright. but, again, another woman who cares about giving back but she consistently vests in san francisco and as i said, whether it's our cultural institutions like the deyoung, like the opera, like the symphony, there have been times i'm at events and the whole event is sponsored by dee dee and she's not even there. because she always makes herself available to give. to give up her time if she can, but also give up the resources to support the causes that, of course, are worthy.
and when i think about how fortunate we are in san francisco, how fortunate we are to have dee dee and her desires to want to be that person to contribute and support, it's important for me to make sure she knows how much she's appreciated. i remember when the new millionaires came to san francisco. she feels as though when you have it, you have to make it a responsibility to help somebody
else's life. for continuing to serve the city and making sure that she is spearheading a lot of the major causes that keep the opera, the symphony and the ballet, these incredible world class institutions here in san francisco that are recognized all over the world and they're like that because of dee dee. so, today, let me just honor you and let me make sure i don't forget the other thing. we honor you because as a woman in philanthropy, dee dee doesn't ask for anything. all you do is ask for something that's going to make san francisco better. it's never about anything personal. it's always about how do you change the lives of people in san francisco. how do you work on this project. how do we get this done, how do we clean up this, how do we
make things better. so today, dee dee, we honor you because of your commitment to san francisco and i know you don't do it for the recognition. i know you do it because you love to do it. i know you love san francisco. and we are so fortunate and blessed to have you as one of our well-known, well respected citizens of the city. and so on behalf of the city and county of san francisco, we honor you today for women's history month. thank you so much for your philanthropy. so this is your little gift in there. >> well, london, thank you for
everything. i have to say i have been a grown-up in san francisco because i didn't come here until i was a grown-up and i've known a lot of mayors and some have been really fun, but no one's been fun like london. nobody is the breath of fresh air and you know when you call her or she calls you, i always just sort of get a dog, put it in my lap and think this is going to be nice and relaxing and funny and i laugh and i laugh and even if it's something serious, we find something to laugh about, something that's good. i have to say when i was 14, i was growing up in washington, d.c. and one day, my father said to me, "do you realize that you could grow up to marry the president of the united states. you could be the first lady of the united states." and i said to him, "daddy, i'd
like to be the president." [cheers and applause] >> well, that didn't go over. in those days. in the late '50s, early '60s absolutely didn't work. my father at first was horrified and then he laughed. that's really she's so funny. so i have to say, i listened to him because he used to always say, "you were lucky enough to be born in the good right bassinet, now you have to give back." and he always said that to me. it took me into my early 20s to figure out what he was talking about because i lived in the city with a building called the capital. and i couldn't understand how you possibly could spend it. those are the two things i kind of live by. i have to say as far as the
president goes, i'm very pleased to live in a time now where i have two beautiful, smart granddaughters. one is here today. i am absolutely convinced either one of them could be president if they wanted to. at least they have that possibility which my generation has not. i have hit more glass ceilings and glass walls, even some glass floors that most people that you'll ever meet because i couldn't understand why i couldn't go where i wasn't supposed to go and often that was in a room full of men and i will never forget being introduced to an important dignitary from china when we were building the deyoung. i was standing next to my husband who was alive at the time and harry said i'd like to introduce you to the chairman of the board and the guy puts his hand right out across me to
my husband. i thought, that's interesting, isn't it. i guess in china, they don't have chairman who are women. my husband had a very good sense of humor and he directed his hand and said i'm so happy for you to meet my wife. i thought, lessons learned. this is the way it is and we have to work very hard, very carefully and try not to irritate as many people as possible and find a way to be sure that women have the opportunity they may not want to do some of these things, but we just need to have the opportunity to do that and, of course, i agree with brenda if you really want a job, well done. you should find a woman. and i'm happy you found all of us, london. thank you so much. [ applause ] >> don't you just love her.
so now i have the privilege of honoring merriam -- merriam m.. i met merriam at her house that larkin street was holding focused on ending youth homelessness. the rising up campaign has beenen about raising millions of dollars to get to a point to end youth homelessness. we're talking about kids who are in their early 20s as well and a passion of hers has been to focus on the challenges of homelessness for children, for families, for young people and she's been consistent in her advocacy and i was really not
only impressed by her work, but also her excitement for the work and it wasn't just about raising the money or giving the money. it was also about being apart of the various committees and rolling up her sleeves and being actively engaged on the ground with these various organizations to understand what they're doing and how we can make a significant impact. and the nitty-gritty, and the nuts and the bolts. and i thought to myself, goodness, this woman is amazing. and she's the chair of the opera gill. she's still involved in the arts in san francisco. she still is actively engaged in the san francisco bay school and other various causes, but i know that her desires to help address homelessness in san francisco for young people is something that she is never
going to walk away from because it's important to her and until we're at a point where we end homelessness in san francisco, we know that we have an advocate in merriam. and so i am so grateful that she is actively engaged in the city, in this capacity that i found you at this event. she wasn't i don't think trying to get involved in the world of politics. she was just trying to do her part and you know what's very interesting is when you're out there doing the work you never know who's watching and part of why you do the work is not because of who's watching, but because of what you care about, what's near and dear to your heart. so for all the time and the resources you spent as a native san franciscan caring about this city, investing in youth
homelessness, investing in the arts, supporting our city in various capacities, we are so grateful for you for your time, your commitment, and, yes, you've been hiding out a little bit too long, but we're bringing you to the surface, merriam. and so on behalf of the city and county of san francisco, thank you. and congratulations. we honor you for women's history month. >> wow. it is truly an honor to be recognized amongst these legendary women with woman i've looked up to for quite some time and mayor breed thank you for your leadership in this
city and for your continued support and trust. for all the efforts that we all do for our beautiful city that we love. you set an example for everyone and we are truly grateful for that. you know, my father talking about family anecdotes, when i was younger, he said you have to be stronger than everybody else around you because if you have a husband who leaves you with five kids, you need to be able to take care of yourself. luckily, that did not happen and i ended up with a very supportive husband who is always supportive of all of my efforts on a daily basis and as you mentioned, mayor breed, i love our city. i love every inch of our city and i believe that every single one of us is here because we
truly believe in our efforts to enhance and preserve our -- what we want to do for the youth and for investing in early education and celebrating the strong legacy in arts and culture. so we're all here i think with a common theme of our love for san francisco and i really appreciate this recognition. and someone said if actually we had an all-women group chat late at night inspired by ruth bader ginsburg who always stood strong and recommended to act virtuously, then our world
would be a better place. so thank you again. >> thank you. and last but not least and she couldn't join us here today, i wanted to honor susie tompkins buhl. she's really been an extraordinary person in san francisco. a person who supports and uplifts and pushes women in office. she's supported programs like emerge. she is really when it comes to getting women elected. she does what's near and dear to her heart is the environment
and making sure this is a better place we leave for our children. i'm proud of san francisco and its focus on equity and our plans around our new environmental climate action plan. they are the professionals and they should decide what happens around san francisco. it centered around making sure that communities that have been disenfranchised like the bayview hunter's point and i know we have some women here today that they are at the forefront of the change we need to make in san francisco. and susie believes very strongly in not only focusing on the environment, but making sure that equity is at the
center of the decisions that we make as a city and as a country. she believes again firmly and supporting and uplifting women and she is consistently doing everything she can to support those causes. now i've got to tell you, i became a big fan of susie once she found out i was the founder of the sfree. i don't know if you remember the spree outlet we'd go to this free outlet that was off of 3rd street near mission rock. you guys all know it. yes. but she took her resources and used them to support causes that mean a lot to uplifting and supporting women and we are so grateful for her work and
wish she could have been with us here today but she's here with us in spirit. to congratulations to susie tomkins buhl for her work in san francisco. and so with that, we are going to bring an end to our program but we see the man of the board of supervisors joined us late. but he's here nevertheless. supervisor asha safai, thank you so much for joining us. and i just want to say as i know kimberly ellis mentioned earlier, it's been a tough time in the world. it's been a tough time with what happened during covid. it's been a very challenging time we know with what's happening sadly every single second in ukraine. we know that there are people in this city and this world who
are suffering, but i have hope. i have hope because when i look around even the group of people that i see here today, i know so many of you from various points in my life and the consistency and the involvement that you all continue to do in the city is going to help transform it for the better. yes. it won't be easy, but we're not going to give up. we're going to keep fighting. we're going to keep working hard. and because we have these extraordinary honorees with us here today, i know that we're going to get to a better place one day at a time. i want to thank all of you for joining us and celebrating women's history month in san
francisco. and i feel really good right now. so because of i feel so good right now, i want to invite all of you into the mayor's office where we will have champaign, and a few appetizers and enjoy 1 another because after two years of a global pandemic, i'm just happy to see your faces. so thank you all so much and please talk with us afterward. thank you. there's so much involved with becoming a firefighter. and as a component of being a woman in the field, it takes a lot of perception. it takes belief in yourself. it takes asking the right questions of people who already have the job so that you have the confidence to build it and
it takes someone telling you that this job is a possibility for you. my job has given me 25 years of satisfaction. the primary thing is that i grew up here in san francisco and i'm serving in the city where i grew up. i transitioned to community training and i was able to build disaster resilient padre of volunteers and bringing us all the latest information so that we can be ready for a disaster. pride and loyalty are the heart of a firefighter. it's in the way we do our job from the very smallest thing from our everyday checks we do of our equipment. from the way that we treat each other and the community we come in contact with every day. and loyalty is to our own families is to the pride we have in this department. it's to the other members when we're out in a dangerous situation keeping each other safe. it goes throughout every aspect of being a firefighter. i'm really proud of the way our department approaches diversity, equity, and
inclusion. i was hired in a class that had 45 people and 17 women. it was an accomplishment at the time, but there were many women that came before me that laid the ground work and i had to see it to be it. someone had to recruit me into this job. i didn't know it was a possibility for myself. and so the importance of young women seeing what it takes to be a firefighter, seeing themselves when they look at me. it really brings myself a lot of pride and joy in this work.
the army and it's a long family tradition and these people that look at us as foreigners, we have been here and we are part of america, you know, and we had to reinforce that. i have been cure rating here for about 18 year. we started with a table top, candle, flowers, and a picture and people reacted to that like it was the monna lisa. >> the most important tradition as it relates to the show is idea of making offering. in traditional mexican alters, you see food, candy, drinks, cigarettes, the things that the person that the offerings where being made to can take with them into the next word, the next
life. >> keeps us connects to the people who have passed and because family is so important to us, that community dynamic makes it stick and makes it visible and it humanizes it and makes it present again. ♪♪ >> when i first started doing it back in '71, i wanted to do something with ritual, ceremony and history and you know i talked to my partner ross about the research and we opened and it hit a cord and people loved it. >> i think the line between engaging everyone with our culture and appropriating it. i think it goes back to asking people to bring their visions of what it means to honor the dead, and so for us it's not asking us
to make mexican altars if they are not mexican, it's really to share and expand our vision of what it means to honor the dead. >> people are very respectful. i can show you this year alone of people who call tol ask is it okay if we come, we are hawaii or asian or we are this. what should we wear? what do you recommend that we do? >> they say oh, you know, we want a four day of the dead and it's all hybrid in this country. what has happened are paper cuts, it's so hybrid. it has spread to mexico from the bay area. we have influence on a lot of people, and i'm proud of it. >> a lot of times they don't
represent we represent a lot of cultures with a lot of different perspectives and beliefs. >> i can see the city changes and it's scary. >> when we first started a lot of people freaked out thinking we were a cult and things like that, but we went out of our way to also make it educational through outreach and that is why we started doing the prosession in 1979. >> as someone who grew up attending the yearly processions and who has seen them change incrementally every year into kind of what they are now, i feel in many ways that the cat is out of the bag and there is no putting the genie back into the bottle in how the wider public accesses the day of the
dead. >> i have been through three different generations of children who were brought to the procession when they were very young that are now bringing their children or grandchildren. >> in the '80s, the processions were just kind of electric. families with their homemade visuals walking down the street in san francisco. service so much more intimate and personal and so much more rooted in kind of a family practice of a very strong cultural practice. it kind of is what it is now and it has gone off in many different directions but i will always love the early days in the '80s where it was so intimate and sofa millial. >> our goal is to rescue a part of the culture that was a part
that we could invite others to join in there there by where we invite the person to come help us rescue it also. that's what makes it unique. >> you have to know how to approach this changing situation, it's exhausting and i have seen how it has affected everybody. >> what's happening in mission and the relationship with the police, well it's relevant and it's relevant that people think about it that day of the dead is not just sugar skulls and paper flowers and candles, but it's become a nondenominational tradition that people celebrate. >> our culture is about color and family and if that is not present in your life, there is just no meaning to it you know?
>> we have artists as black and brown people that are in direct danger of the direct policies of the trump administration and i think how each of the artists has responded so that call is interesting. the common hi, sandy, how are you? >> hi, fine, thank you. how are you? >> good. i want to ask you what inspired you to be a paramedic? >> that's a good question. you know, i wanted to go into med school and after i found out how much time it took and all of that, i decided that that was going to be a little too much schooling, but i still wanted to figure out a way that i could provide medical care and doing that as an emt as well as a paramedic was a way to do that. >> can you give me a break down of a typical day for you? >> i come to work and sit at my
desk and then i respond to e-mails and try to figure out what are some of the issues we need to address. can we hire more people. what kinds of policies we want to try to create that will help us do our job as ems. >> what does it take to be a female paramedic? >> you know, it takes quite a bit of schooling, but also required somebody who's empathetic. it can be a very stressful job and so we want people to be able to hand that on a day-to-day basis. >> so what's your greatest satisfaction in your job? >> trying to make sure that the work that we provide and the services that we provide to the community is the best that we can in ems so that when we go out to see you if you call us for an emergency, that we'll be able to treat you in the best way possible and that you get the care as quickly and as effectively as possible. >> why is it important for young girls, women of color to see women in these roles?
>> i think it really is important for us to be able to get into these roles because we are effective, we are able to reach out to the community. we are able to do the job in a very effective manner and to be able to relate to the community and be able to do that is one of the best things that we can do. and people of color and as women of color, you know, we are in a great position to be >> i went through a lot of struggles in my life, and i am blessed to be part of this. i am familiar with what people are going through to relate and empathy and compassion to their struggle so they can see i came out of the struggle, it gives them hope to come up and do something positive. ♪
directions, they might have a question about what services are available. checking in, you guys. >> wellness check. we walk by to see any individual, you know may be sitting on the sidewalk, we make sure they are okay, alive. you never know. somebody might walk by and they are laying there for hours. you never know if they are alive. we let them know we are in the area and we are here to promote safety, and if they have somebody that is, you know, hanging around that they don't want to call the police on, they don't have to call the police. they can call us. we can direct them to the services they might need. >> we do the three one one to keep the city neighborhoods clean. there are people dumping, waste on the ground and needles on the
ground. it is unsafe for children and adults to commute through the streets. when we see them we take a picture dispatch to 311. they give us a tracking number and they come later on to pick it up. we take pride. when we come back later in the day and we see the loose trash or debris is picked up it makes you feel good about what you are doing. >> it makes you feel did about escorting kids and having them feel safe walking to the play area and back. the stuff we do as ambassadors makes us feel proud to help keep the city clean, helping the residents. >> you can see the community ambassadors. i used to be on the streets. i didn't think i could become a community ambassador.
it was too far out there for me to grab, you know. doing this job makes me feel good. because i came from where a lot of them are, homeless and on the street, i feel like i can give them hope because i was once there. i am not afraid to tell them i used to be here. i used to be like this, you know. i have compassion for people that are on the streets like the homeless and people that are caught up with their addiction because now, i feel like i can give them hope. it reminds you every day of where i used to be and where i am at now.
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