Elections Commission Regular Meeting

Wednesday, April 17, 2024

In this page:


    Meeting video is available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2w0Ck9BOi2M

    Transcript below.


    1. Agenda

      Call to Order & Roll Call

      A member of the Commission will state the following (from the adopted 10/19/22 Elections Commission Land Acknowledgment Resolution):

      The San Francisco Elections Commission acknowledges that we are on the unceded ancestral homeland of the Ramaytush Ohlone, who are the original inhabitants of the San Francisco Peninsula.  As the indigenous stewards of this land and in accordance with their traditions, the Ramaytush Ohlone have never ceded, lost, nor forgotten their responsibilities as caretakers of this place, as well as for all peoples who reside in their traditional territory.  As guests, we recognize that we benefit from living and working on their traditional homeland.  We wish to pay our respects by acknowledging the ancestors and relatives of the Ramaytush Community and affirming their sovereign rights as First Peoples.

    2. General Public Comment

      Public comment on any issue within the Elections Commission’s general jurisdiction that is not covered by another item on this agenda.

    3. Approval of Previous Meeting Minutes

      Discussion and possible action on previous Elections Commission meeting minutes.

    4. Director's Report

      Discussion and possible action regarding the April 2024 Director’s Report.

    5. Commissioners’ Reports

      Discussion and possible action on Commissioners’ reports for topics not covered by another item on this agenda: Meetings with public officials; oversight and observation activities; long-range planning for Commission activities and areas of study; proposed legislation which affects elections; others.

      Election’s Group Media Guide for Covering Elections and Voting in 2024

    6. March 5, 2024 Primary Election Review

      Discussion and possible action on the March 5, 2024 Consolidated Statewide Primary Election.

    7. Racial Equity Progress Report

      Discussion and possible action on the Elections Commission’s Racial Equity Progress Report. The Commission may provide an update on its FY23-24 efforts alongside the Department of Elections’ submission no later than Thursday, May 9, 2024.

    8. Agenda Items for Future Meetings

      Discussion and possible action regarding items for future agendas.

    9. Adjournment

      There will be an opportunity for public comment on each agenda item.

    Date & Time

    Wednesday, April 17, 2024
    6:00 pm to 9:00 pm

    City Hall, Room 408

    1 Dr. Carlton B Goodlett Place
    San Francisco, CA 94102
    View location on google maps


    Webinar #
    2664 152 0151

    Webinar Password
    AprMtg (277684 from video systems)
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    April 17, 2024 SFEC Regular Meeting

    In this video

    there we go you can continue as authorized by the elections

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    of the meeting to elections. commmission sfgov.org it will be shared with the

    commission after this meeting has included and will be included as part of the official meeting file thank you

    president Stone thank you secretary Davis I guess um will you proceed with

    item one commission roll call uh president Stone president vice president

    Parker here commissioner bur holes she has an excused absence

    okay commissioner Dy here commissioner Loli here commissioner Wong

    present president stone with six members uh excuse me five members present and

    accounted for you have a quorum thank you uh the San Francisco elections

    commission acknowledges that we are on the unseated ancestral homeland of theu shalone who are the original inhabitants

    of the San Francisco Peninsula as the indigenous stewards of this land and in accordance with their Traditions the

    raay to Shalon have never seated loss nor forgotten their responsibilities as caretakers of this place as well as for

    All Peoples who reside in their traditional territory as guests we recognize that we benefit from living

    and working on their traditional Homeland we wish to pay our respects by acknowledging the ancestors and relatives of the ritish community and

    affirming their Sovereign rights as first peoples that closes agenda item number one we'll now move to agenda item

    number two general public comment public comment on any issue within the elections commission's jurisdiction that

    is not covered by another item on this agenda

    there are no hands raised that closes agenda item number

    two I'm actually going to move to agenda item number four and not uh address

    agenda item number three as I did not complete the or post have the meeting minutes posted for the uh last month

    we'll get the draft posted after this meeting and um uh we will review them at

    the at the next meeting in May so agenda item number four director's report discussion and possible action regarding

    the April 2024 director's report I will hand it over to director Arns thank you

    president Stone um just a few items I guess to add to my report we have

    received I think three or four state petitions the last several days we had had one on Friday had 28,000 signatures

    which we had to do the raw count and start the random account we've got another one coming on Friday so that

    that time frame is hit and we'll expect more petitions be coming our way and

    then also we met with the school district's communication group last week I think it

    was and we'll start to uh move material move content through that office

    hopefully uh to the administrators and also to the the parents um in the near

    term and I think from there I can take any questions based on my report I'll be

    talking later on too thank you director

    ARS open the floor for

    questions vice president Parker um thank you as always um for the

    report um just a couple of questions um I was interested in the

    item about um Deb things that you've had with um ballot and voter information

    pamplet translation production assembly mailing vendors on Lessons Learned and I just wondered is there anything of note

    worth sharing are they just you know not very exciting but is there anything

    interest um interesting to share on the lessons learned that would be interesting for

    us no there's always you always review the process and determine if you can do something better so there's nothing

    unique in that approach and then for November we expect just such so much

    content to be in the voter information pamphlet and also on the ballot so we're already strategizing how uh to handle

    the content and the within the time frames we have to to meet within for the deadlines so no there there's

    nothing exciting or you know unusual it's just uh it's a process we undertake

    after every election then just the scope this the larger scale of of the November

    upcoming November election makes the planning even uh more necessary because we have to make sure that we hit our

    milestones in time as we go through the election cycle um thank you uh then I was also

    wondering if you happen to know uh how many folks in San Francisco qualify for

    the non-citizen voting um because I saw all of the notes there do you know offand how many qualif

    I don't think anyone knows okay actually uh we I don't know and I've never been given a number no once really provided a

    number to me I don't know how we would ascertain the number uh when I when when

    nonant voting first was moving through this this process to be approved in San

    Francisco there was a number of around 30,000 that was put out there but I

    don't know what the basis was for that for that total uh but no I don't I don't have a number of potential registrants

    or non-citizens okay um and do you remember how many voted in the last last

    election November 2022 yeah I think between 1 and 200 I believe

    okay point of clarification also ahead of the 2022

    midterm I believe that there was a lot of litigation back and forth leading up

    like right before that and so I also think just I want to make sure like it

    doesn't NE necessarily demonstrate a lack of like effort or work of the department because I think there was a

    lot of confusion for non noncitizen voters around that time as well um although you could probably you could

    certainly speak to that better than I could just knowing I think it was like three weeks or a month um right before

    the election is that is that correct that it finally was decided right and

    sorry to interject but wanted that no that's great thanks and we never stopped

    planning we actually continued the planning and we we couched our Outreach accordingly because we didn't know what

    the outcome would be but we we thought if there was a change at the the pellet

    level then we wanted to make sure that people were ready to and we were ready to to to uh want to accept the

    registration then to conduct the election so uh but there probably there likely will be a higher number of of

    Voters for the the presidential general election yeah I recall that also thanks

    for raising that president Stone um okay thank you uh and then um two other quick

    things um I just uh you know was glad to see again kind of the new approach with the

    go green effort and just I guess actually wanted to um as you know as as Commissioners president Stone encouraged

    us to put a lot of links in our um in our own email signatures you know about

    voter registration and such and I just wanted to encourage us all to put the the go green um links in our signatures

    and to OTE that um and and so just wanted to encourage us to do that and I also wondered because I don't know the

    logistics for this um does the department or can the department ever do text message campaigns um to folks about

    opting in or do we not have are there permission issues related to those kinds of lists because I know obviously we do

    people can get texts about where their ballot is in the process but I don't know that that actually Ops them into any other

    communication yeah so voters opt in like you say for that for the boutot related message is we've just started the the

    text messaging approach to sending out information so I don't know if we'll be doing messaging through text for

    November I don't think we're quite there yet okay so I suspect um that that could

    be something useful for these kinds of campaigns where it's just oh it's on my phone I'm going to click a you know a button so if you know we're not ready

    for that yet that's understandable but it might be something to consider for the go green effort um especially if

    folks who are on their mobile devices are probably more like likely to also opt into something like that I suspect

    no evidence but I suspect um all right thank you um and then just last thing I

    just wanted to comment that I appreciated the focus of the upcoming rfps um on both the non-citizen voting

    and the rank Choice voting I've been thinking about both of those a lot lately and the need for communication

    Outreach and I just maybe want to flag like maybe I'll reach out to you and and meet and share some thoughts um or

    something we can talk about in a future meeting but those are both of high to me to talk with communication efforts

    around those and that's all thank you vice president Parker

    commissioner Wong thank you um director ARS I really

    enjoy reading um the report is really detailed um and kind of going along um

    commissioner Parker what you just talked about noncitizen voting I'm really happy to um to see um the outfit of already

    planning for outreach and media outreach and then you mentioned that there had been some media outreach with a athic

    media and I saw that is especially with Spanish language athic media and this is

    something that we can talk about to see if we already have covered other ethic media such as Chinese and Filipino media

    will be great to do non-citizen voting Outreach especially but we can talk more about that but I'm just really happy to

    see some planning going into it and the other is more so like a comment about

    how to do Outreach about non-citizen voting and from my work experiences one

    barrier preventing immigrants uh parents from registrating and actually voting

    during those elections is a one huge concern about naturalization application

    right as we already understood during on the applic um the Naturalization application they ask you about U whether

    or not you have ever voted or registered to vote which in the case of San Francisco you're allowed to do so so

    usually people don't really understand um and there will be some you know information spread among the communities

    that you should not register this is going to negatively impact your naturalizations and thus right that

    impacts the registration rate um and this is something that you know I come across with all the time basically prior

    to my time on the elections commission so one thing we can talk about actually I reveal um the um elections commission

    sorry the Department of Elections website on non-citizen voting is really detail minded but we can maybe think

    about how to like spread that information more clearly about the legality of this issue and from my

    understanding this is that I want to check with director Arn is that um after voting um immigrants parent can actually

    request a letter from the Department of Elections okay um to make sure that basically the letter can prove that they

    are legally allowed it to vote on Schoolboard elections and they can take that letter with them that's my

    understanding that I want to check with you um going into the naturalizations interview if you know a USCIS officer

    ask about that so I think that's something that people don't usually know and it would be great to include that on

    the website and be more clear about that so people feel more comfortable doing that yeah so just want to provide that

    comment yeah and we can talk more about that too if this is also your understanding okay and the other thing I

    want to also comment is and also maybe for future followup um I'm really

    pleased to hear that the department staff have been currently reviewing and updating information related to language

    preference identified by voters I'm really excited to hear that I think that's would be really important and

    relevant for you know the Outreach planning moving to our uh presidential

    elections so you know once the system is updated I would love to learn more about that data and it would be great if you

    know director arens we could also include that on the report so everyone can see that including the public yeah

    just a request yeah for the future thank you thank you commissioner Wong commissioner

    loli yes um my question it um director

    Arts is more of a legal question and maybe DCA uh our DCA can answer that

    question we are a sanctuary city are we prohibited from requesting information

    um about non citizant R residents in the

    city can we go to to the um US immigration department and get that

    information because they would know who is a nons resident who's able to vote is

    that something that we could do legally despite our Sanctuary City status uh

    Deputy City attorney Brad R I'm sorry I missed the first part of your question because we are a sanctuary city

    um would it prohibit us from going to the US immigration department to find

    the number of residents that they if they have record what they know about how many people would be

    eligible to vote in San Francisco who are non citizen residents to actually get that number um I so the sanctuary

    Sanctuary is prohibiting witheral government in terms of immigration enforcement so I

    don't this doesn't sound like an issue under the sanctuary ordinance but whether I don't know whether they would

    give us that information or whether it's available or anything about those that okay okay is if so it doesn't prohibit I

    thought it wouldn't but I wanted to make sure would that be something director ARS that you would be interested because I I would also love to know the number

    of people who are eligible um to vote we can contact uh agencies and ask

    but it's also not a matter of being a non-citizen it's also having a child of

    18 years or 19 years and and and young or younger living in San Francisco so there's criteria besides the the adult

    having residency in San Francisco and it applies not just to parents but to caregivers and to to Guardians so we we

    can certainly reach out and see if it's if it's an Avenue where we get information okay I think I think that

    could be helpful to get a start to get a sense I understand that the the law is more comprehensive but that could be a

    place to find at least some of the data that um commissioner Parker was asking

    sure because I'm also interested as well thank

    you commissioner commissioner D you can go first and then commissioner Wong just

    because she hasn't gone yet okay great thank you your mic is off I'm going to

    channel commissioner Parker here and ask about the um High School

    votation weeks um uh your report you've received 12 24 applications does

    everyone who apply automatically get accepted yeah so for this go around and also for November whoever applies to be

    an ambassador will be part of the ambassador program it's a little different this time too since we had we're just coming out of the March

    election we had ambassadors prior to the March election which were separate than the high school educ uh election uh

    education weeks uh but yeah so everyone who who requested to be part of the program is a part of the program

    currently and I'm kind of curious it's a um 24 application from 10 high schools

    does it tend to be the same high schools or you're getting some kind of diversity among the high schools usually the

    larger high schools are we get the most of with volunteers um I have I have not

    I have to get back to you have not tracked the high schools over the years compared to the number of of ambassadors

    so I don't I can't really give you an opinion on that yeah I mean I'm just wondering if there's um you know kind of

    more targeted Outreach um so that we can get a diversity of high schools represented and also because you know we

    have obviously pockets of population in the city that are concentrated around those high schools and they may be

    Target populations for us that are underrepresented that there might be some more effort to actually really

    recruit at certain high schools um as opposed to just waiting for people to volunteer because that tends to you know

    attract you know schools from a certain socioeconomic demographic is a suggestion I don't know

    what is actually done um if it's very proactive where you just

    kind of put the word out and then whoever applies you know yeah we we try to be as proactive

    as possible and we go to as many high schools as we can to get the word out about this and now that this this

    program has been ongoing now for several years the both these administrators and the and the instructors know that

    elections has the ambassador program so there's probably a little bit easier now actually to recruit or to have people

    join the the uh the program than it was

    initially and uh you know certainly we can look at where

    we had previously to do more Outreach to certain schools certainly we'll look at

    that and consider that sir great I think it's a fabulous program

    thanks um commissioner Wong yeah I just have a quick response

    to Commission a comment on like requesting information on you like eligible um p uh immigrants

    parents um in non citizen voting I think that two other you know Avenue that we

    can look at one is sfusd the school district I wonder if they are already doing similar research on like learning

    because that's their you know people that they served so I wonder if they have such information that we can

    request um and then it will be more d cor because it's not exactly to director AR point it's not just about being

    non-citizen but also having a child um androd in public school and other

    schools in San Francisco I don't think we'll get information regarding students from the school district right privacy

    yeah okay that makes sense just wondering about that the other um thing that I'm thinking about is um a

    collaborative called immigrants parents voting collaborative they are are kind of like um nonprofits GR rot Coalition

    that have been working in this issue for a long time so I wonder if they also have similar more updated because they

    have been doing constant research on this topic that that said I don't know for sure I just I just learned that

    Department of Elections actually collaborate with with with the Coalition and they they because they have been

    doing the Outreach under theg ground I wonder if they have similar or at least some references for us so just a thought

    yeah thank you thank you commissioner

    Wong um I had a couple of comments I was going to mention I would be surprised if

    sfusd would share that private information it's also very very sensitive um but I think working with

    the schools is probably a good Avenue of information giving um and not just

    seeking um but Outreach with sfusd and perhaps the Coalition that commissioner

    Wong mentioned a couple other items I just wanted to touch on thank you

    director ARS for sharing AB the legislation uh draft for ab1

    1416 um I think it's really helpful for folks to read and I found it very

    helpful to read actually um and know we've talked about this in previous meetings but it's really helpful to see

    it laid out and also see uh what the supervisor ERS will be uh reviewing I

    just wanted to ask the status you talked about three to four state petitions in

    the last couple of days I'm just curious a status if if you have a sense of

    length of ballot cards at this point I mean I know it's super early so yeah I don't I can't no worries um and then I

    had put well I had written down a couple of dates based on previous conversations

    would you say the um the week after August 9th is when we

    would be able to get a sense from you like as the last cut off of whether or

    not you will move to opt out so I think you would said e88 yeah e88 is the primary deadline for

    nominations and also for district measures we'll get the local measures before 88 days before which I don't know

    what day August 7th I think it's sorry I should have just said e88 it's August 9th August 9th okay would you mind sorry

    would you mind talking into the oh August 9th yeah yeah so August 9th is a

    one of the uh I guess primary deadlines for the election in November we'll we'll

    know the number of candidates by then we we we'll know the number of local measures by then uh we won't

    have potentially all the information that would go on the ballot by then but we'd

    have a a good sense of of where we are uh and you know and and yeah and I don't

    I can't I can't foretell what we'll have at that point but that's when the majority of information should be in our

    possession yeah I vaguely recall B you shared with me that ballot formatting

    and the state measure translations won't yet be complete by e88 is that correct right okay um yeah I think it would be

    just I think you had mentioned between e88 and E7 three is when you could probably notify us that whether or not

    you would have to opt out and therefore we would have time to be able to discuss it if we want to I obviously at that

    point I think well not obvious let me take a step back I think you had

    mentioned between a e88 and e73 was when we would basically have a you would

    notify us um and then the second piece I wanted to say is thank you for the

    collaboration on this um specifically I know this has been something we've talked about for about a year or so uh

    and I know that this is an effort I know you put additional effort into this um

    Advocates had also asked us to explore this issue it was an area of interest for me as well and so I just I want to

    say thank you for putting the effort into it and for the collaboration and um I I'm hopeful that

    this is the the best resolution that doesn't overburden the department and

    also serves the interests of the public so just want to say thank you for that

    uh one question I had about registrations um because it's still awesome to see what the department

    is able to do um in the course of even just a month uh but it occurred to me

    when I was reviewing it that I'm not sure how many folks are actually removed from the voter roles I know that there's

    a uh specific process pretty robust that you and your team do but that also you

    have to communicate with the Secretary of State because we have our own uh voter registration um uh our voter role system

    in California we're not on Eric so I'm just curious how many folks are going off the

    roles because if we're thinking about new registrations but we're not thinking about who's coming off of the roles um

    it may influence ultimately the way I think about things when we get to November

    you know what is the net increase um not that I'm asking you for the net increase I just wanted to share my thinking

    behind it do you know generally by month or quarter how often how what the

    average amount of folks uh who are removed from the roles would be not that many I

    don't yeah it also depends on the category uh too I think you know if

    someone moves there's less interest in that versus if someone passes away uh

    and I don't have I have to we'll have to look at some numbers I don't I don't I don't know yeah NOP I it's I asked you

    totally on the spot uh no problem at all I think mostly just a general the

    general idea of is it a significant percentage of the number of folks

    compared with the number of folks that we are adding to the role that's kind of where my head was at so I may ask about

    that again in the future um not necessarily by month but just perhaps by election year by quarter something a

    little bit broader um that is that's it on my end

    with the director's report but thank you again for putting this together and for the ordinance anyone

    else okay anything else from you director okay let's move to public

    comment okay we have a call in user um

    619 are you there yes can you hear me yes give me a

    minute to set the timer for you hold on thank


    oops okay you're ready to go thank you my name is Brent Turner I

    was originally calling for public comment but for some reason my my um

    star three trying to raise the hand didn't operate properly so um I will

    just respond to the director's report and say thank you to director ARS

    for giving comment regarding the report um re regarding rfps coming up uh for

    rank Choice voting I just wanted to make comment that I think it's fairly

    Elementary and probably well understood by this elections commission but you

    should not have rank Choice voting without open-source software being

    involved for I think obvious reasons um it with rank Choice voting on top of a

    proprietary software the problems integral to the proprietary software are

    exacerbated um I wanted to thank this commission for its previous work regarding open Source we were not

    successful in San Francisco uh for a multitude of reasons

    but thanks to your work Mississippi uh now has five counties using the systems that voting

    Works uh was glad to gift to the city and county of San Francisco but

    unfortunately that gift was again rejected um New Hampshire is also

    following suit and going with the work done in San Francisco for their open

    source voting machines and and uh we hope that San Francisco reconsiders

    establ establishing a relationship with voting works and and the secretary of

    state will then I think follow suit which will be helpful to the state of California recognizing we already had

    300 million allocated to Los Angeles County that also went down the drain and

    was not successful but thanks to this good commission uh the work is taking

    hold in other states and counties and we hope that you keep it in mind as you

    move forward thank you for your time thank

    you there are no further

    commanders thank you secretary Davis that closes agenda item number four we'll now move to agenda item number

    five Commissioners reports discussion and possible action on commissioner reports for topics not covered by

    another item on this agenda meetings with public officials oversight and observation activities longrange

    planning for commission activities and areas of study proposed leg legislation which affects elections and

    others I will open it to commissioners

    all right well I will well I wait to see if hands come in I'll just talk about the item that I uh the attachment that I

    included on the packet um and one other item I'll start with the other item first so in the last uh meeting uh vice

    president Parker brought up the performance evaluations for the director

    and the secretary and we had discussed where the status of that was and so I

    did some digging and I looked through the documents I also looked at where it

    landed with DCA Flores and she did have the opportunity to review those documents already and

    after upon my review I think that it needs to the process needs to be

    significantly simplified um and I am planning to kick off that process in the

    May meeting um we had originally in those documents slated having it start

    in may though there were other uh requirements that had timeline like

    months out other steps um that the for that uh commissioner jeronic had

    suggested and I think it just adds a lot of complication no um no shade on him

    but I just think we can do it a little a little simpler so I'm going to kick that off as a agenda item in our next meeting

    I'm going to share that process and uh start opening it up with the director

    and the secretaries um and then the other item I just wanted to touch on was uh the

    elections group media guide uh just to keep the conversation going about communicating with the media ahead of

    November so the elections group is a it's a nonpartisan organization of former election officials who work to

    really Advance election Administration the profession they develop and share resources best practices tools um and so

    it's this is a really kind of rudimentary media guide uh with reporting tips and ideas and and links

    to resources but I'd like for us to keep talking about this as a commission um

    how we can continue to empower the media to report properly on the results and

    also the counting process um so really just to kind of keep the conversation

    flowing and keep inspiration going um curious if anyone has any other

    thoughts I think there was also um the another Association it was nass said did

    a recent webinar on what happens after ballots are cast and so I'll continue to

    share those resources as I see them so that it we can as a group keep keep an

    eye on that and see how we can support the department those were my two those are my two items to share any other

    Commissioners okay let's move to public comment no public

    comment okay thank you secretary Davis that closes agenda item number five we're going to move to agenda item

    number six the March 5 2024 primary election review discussion and possible

    action on the March 5th 2024 Consolidated Statewide primary election um and obviously the all of the

    associated uh reports from the director so I'll hand it over to you unless you

    don't have comment but um well I think the election was free fair and functional and uh I think

    that the department did a really good job in conducting the election um we had a year and a half off between elections

    so uh certainly it's like kind of learning to walk again some ways when you have to have a long layoff but I

    think we did a good job and I think it was a good uh uh election for us to conduct as far as complexity and size

    and scale in relation to getting ready for November and uh that's kind of we've

    mostly completed our debriefing meetings in internally and externally on the March election we've already begun

    planning for November um but to get back to the March election I do think that was free fair and functional I think

    that we uh met met our responsibilities and I think we provided uh really good

    support and services to the not just to the voters of San Francisco but to the the residents of San Francisco um and I

    can take any questions U or comments

    commissioner D director ARS um I'm curious if you had

    um noticed any Trends or um have any comments on the incidents that were

    reported um it seemed like people were running out of I voted stickers and

    provisional you know envelopes seemed like the most common things I was glad to see they were not any um you know um

    violent incidents or anything like that it seemed like a outside of the normal kind of technical issues that we see in

    every election the two things that kind

    of at me I don't know if you

    have thoughts on it on the provisional envelopes yeah voted stickers we moved

    to the new sticker for the March election the and the and the the Genesis

    behind those calls was the previous I voted sticker roll 500 and the new V were

    what [Music] and wasn't reallying so we won't have

    the issue going into

    November going to the ping places plus maybe they were in hot demand well

    Al send the i in the by mail back packets to each

    voter more

    thatan they just

    other than those two items those those were the the main topics that even caught my attention there was nothing did you say violence did you say violent

    incidents no I was saying I'm glad to see there weren't oh yeah right yeah no there was no election hearing was was minimal yeah for this we'll have more

    election hearing for November this be a potential issue to deal with um but no

    this was this was a good election I think we did a good job and I think we were resourced well and I think we uh

    implemented the resources well and I think I think we like I said I think we provided really good services to both

    the voters and to San Francisco it it did look like the it just percentage

    wise there was an uptick in the last um couple of Elections for provisional ballots is that is that just because of

    you know people changing changing precincts or well for the primaries because of the

    party cards mattered as far as who people could vote for they if it was a presidential so that was the reason for

    this election for no November 2022 you know a lot of the of the get

    out the vote efforts focus on getting people to polling places uh specific

    polling places as large groups and that's why you'll you'll have a run on on provisional voting at certain precincts but not not at the precincts

    around that Precinct experienced High provisional voting um so so no there's

    there's no I don't think there's a common theme for these the past few elections and we will see more provisional voting for November than we

    saw in March right and then um I just wanted to thank you for all of the the

    nice graphs and I want to thank commissioner jonic for making the requests but um thank you for putting

    all that data together and just to note that you know some of this data I had

    also put um in in my in my memo uh last month because members of the public

    would like to see this too that some of this trend data it's really interesting um did you have any thoughts

    on you know for a while we had been seeing you know very high V by mail 95%

    in many cases and now we're starting to see a little more in person any any

    speculation on that no I I I can't speculate on why voters would choose to

    go to playing places versus above mail okay the main thing that we do is make sure that the service is available to

    voters yeah all right thank

    you thank you commissioner Dy vice president Parker um thank

    you I had uh one clarifying question um

    and that was it's on the provisional ballot um chart that you had um and

    there's the the note about the vote by mail see let me look at the actual chart and see what it says um it's in the

    challenged section and it says um vote by Mal vot vote by m vote my gosh vote

    by maale ballot was received and counted and I just wanted to clarify does that

    mean that um because the vote by Ma vote by mail ballot was received and counted

    and you also received the provisional ballot that if not if it was uh not counted means that you counted the vote

    by mail ballot not the provisional ballot is that correct with that okay I wanted to make sure interested thank you

    um and um and then the other things they weren't questions they were just comments um you know this is the first

    elections report that I've seen um as a commissioner and so just noting um a

    couple of things just when I was looking at the um the Cure rate charts and just

    it's so much work to remedy all those BS and I just wanted to appreciate all of the work of the staff in doing that

    that's so much followup with individual people I um really appreciate that um

    and also seeing the plan um for staff to do follow up with those voters to let

    them know how to make sure their vote is counted next time um so just wanted to express appreciation for that um and

    also just the transparency of an incident report I mean it's so long with all like little tiny things that maybe

    people don't care about but to me that kind of stuff builds trust because it's so transparent by detail by Precinct so

    I really appreciate that as well um and then the other thing on that last um document of charts that I thought was

    just interesting um frankly was getting to see some of the voters we don't

    always have a lot of visibility into for instance the number of people voting who had intersections as their um as their

    location or who um you know who are incarcerated those kinds of things we just don't see that kind of data very

    often so I just appreciate that chart as well and that's

    all thank you vice president Parker I will add um I that is also something

    that the commission had talked a lot about in 202 Cynthia keep me um and so that's

    something I you're kind of teeing up a little bit agenda item8 as well I think

    um because that was also an important item I could not agree more having that

    Insight is phenomenal

    I will jump in with mine um and folks are welcome to uh raise their hands as well I had a

    few items so I also wanted to Echo the

    transparency piece about the incident reporting um so actually let me take a

    step back director arens you had said that it's was a year and a half from the last election but can you remind folks

    how many elections you administered in the previous year five

    yes so I just I just want to say thanks um I know it's been kind of a crazy

    crazy couple of years um and so even though even though you said that it was

    a year and a half and people are still picking it back up I mean it's a Well oiled machine um and so just going back

    to the incident report I really appreciate these reports because not only the transparency but also it shows

    how much work goes into what what the department actually does on Election Day

    um the minutia of that but also the speed of responsiveness so one of the things that

    really stood out to me while I was reviewing the incident report is that in

    many ways um and no shade again um

    against the police department but in some ways the responsiveness of the department to some of these issues

    across 500 poll sites is faster than calling 911 when there is an issue um

    obviously very very different um but it's just really amazing I there were

    many incidents where I kind of said whoa this is a problem and as I was reading the report and then within 10 minutes

    resolved um and I think that's just phenomenal really excellent um and

    builds trust that uh with the public even if they're not reading these

    incidents I think just knowing that they can show up to the poll site and if they have an issue they can trust it will get

    addressed is excellent um I did not violence but I did observe in the

    incident report that there was some heightened tension um with voters and couple inspectors um and so I just

    wanted to ask if deescalation training is going to continue to be something the

    department does um ahead of November um I have seen a couple new there was

    something called um uh it's like deescalation um uh Ninja there's like

    something like this that I've heard from other uh from other counties um that

    their elections their pole workers have done I can't I couldn't I tried to quickly Google it before I came here it

    actually is called ninja I just don't remember the first word of it it's like verbal ninja or deescalation ninja

    something like that anyways I just wanted to confirm that the department will steal will be doing that ahead of November to um to make sure folks are

    have that tool in their toolbox yeah and we review the information in the process

    around deescalation before reelection then also the city's kind of catching up they're going to have a broader

    antiviolence prevention program that departments have to implement so that's something else

    that will be brought into people's U perview as we go into the November cycle

    so so the answer is yes and and more will be added so that people will be more cognizant of of the situations what

    to do and how to deescalate that's awesome thanks I wasn't aware of that so

    really really glad to hear that um a couple other questions I also was really

    excited about the report for the commission I know we've done that the last couple of Elections um but it's

    just so great uh to see that level of data thank you for also including the

    points about the Cure rate which I had asked about last month I appreciate it and additionally the background on the

    state law um I was curious about the number

    and percentage of ballots reported on Election night relative to the total and

    that let me pull it up um yes before eay on eay after eay I

    just noticed that it was slightly lower on the for the March election um that's

    not a knock on you at all or the department I think it I more just want to shine a light on it because of the

    media um and the concerns around the media um and how much the result how

    much this is it really is dynamic and fluid but is there anything else you

    would add to why perhaps um uh it's a

    little bit smaller relative to the total for March 24 of of maale ballots primaries always

    have a later turnout than do other elections presidential primary especially uh that's just how it is um

    and November I mean if if if there's in November 2020 there was a real push in the media to have voters return their

    ballots early or was Lot was based on fear though too it wasn't really based

    sure your vote was was in so to help out the Department of Elections is more make sure your ballots counted

    no one steals it which was somewhat improper but it helped get the ballots to us and so we had a much higher

    percentage of ballots counted and reported on Election night for the for the presidential election November 2020

    than I would expect will have for this upcoming election just based on the messaging that was so consistent uh

    about getting ballots early for in in 2020 that's actually really helpful because I did have a question about the

    vbm report and how three 3,000 were postm postmarked or received after

    election day um and that seemed kind of high to me did that seem high to you no

    okay I'm glad to glad to have that Insight um yeah that's I mean that makes

    a lot of sense because of 2020 that very consistent messaging um it is it was

    interesting to see that about 50% and I think I read this correctly granted you

    know I'm rereading my notes so I'm not looking back at the data itself but that around 50% of people who voted by mail

    actually didn't use USPS they dropped it off they dropped it off in dropboxes at

    poll sites or not and least often at vote centers um is that correct so they

    were using their mail ballots but they weren't sending them through the mail yeah and and what I'm seeing is the post

    the the polling places are actually growing they're receiving more ballots through time than the post office is

    losing as far as volume is concerned so I mean polling places still matter in

    San Francisco if people aren't voting at the polling places they're using the polling places to drop off their ballot

    and get a thicker you know I mean so I think for November 20 2024 we're going

    to see we'll probably get 75 to 85,000 ballots back at the polls on an election

    day uh and that'll be our that'll be our greatest single source of Whata mail ballots uh for the election will be that

    those B the voters delivered to the polling places that thank you that's that was actually exactly where I was

    going next is about the relevance of the relevancies of the poll sites themselves

    um when I initially when we've been talking about people voting by mail I

    was starting to go back on the track of thinking about vote centers and the voters Choice act but then when I saw

    this report and that so and so few not so few but relative compared with the

    Alternatives people weren't using the vat Center to drop off their ballots um it's really interesting Insight um not

    that if you said you know that you thought it was the best thing for the city to move to that model I wouldn't

    necessarily say I I disagree but I think based on what you just said it seems like for November and for the short-term

    plls sites to use your words still really matter um it's really really

    great I mean it gives people the experience of be voting in person but the convenience of doing it at home I

    think that's that's ultimately the makes people feel like they're still participating in the Civic

    process um I did have two other questions about uh the actually three so

    did any poll sites have zero in-person voters I don't think so I'm not aware of

    any okay but they still may have had like very like under 10 voters in person

    there were some with light turnout as far as in person voting wild um and then our pole

    workers primarily full day shifts or do you do half day Shi have you considered

    the half day or would that just be a very kind of

    Labor Personnel manag have the number

    versus the actual operation of the polling place

    the half a day till noon or so so so and that or they will go out to a polling

    place afternoon just to to give someone a break or to replace them when who wants to to to leave but we don't don't

    we don't have the number of people available to us to actually have shifts at the polling places makes sense seems

    like it would be very to manage so the flex pole workers

    that basically alternates right do you also have alternates for the

    in inspectors okay um and then the only

    other question that I wanted to ask about was the type of analysis that the department does pertaining to the

    incident reporting uh you had mentioned at the beginning that you the department

    had completed its review of the of all all of the administration of the election but also in the incident

    reporting review and so would you mind just a little bit of light what look for

    in order to optimize for November that I personally look for well just the team who's doing the review of the incident

    like the analysis of the incident reporting for so everyone who's involved in ele election day operations will

    review the inent report and mean they're all me they're also reading between the lines they know why something might have

    happened more as much as looking to see what happened at the polling

    places during the day and that's what other folks are doing too just I mean

    it's not it's not really complicated just like trying to get as much information from the day you can while

    the action was occurring and then just incorporating that information and our plans going forward so okay thank you so

    much those are my questions any other

    Commissioners I move that we designate the March 5th 2024 primary election is

    Free Fair and functional

    second thank you commissioner D any anyone else let's move to public

    comment Mr Turner are you there

    there yes can you hear me yes can hello can you hear

    me yes okay thank you and thanks thanks for allowing public comment on

    this item uh I just wanted to make a a couple comments regarding you know the

    normalization of this escalation of violence and all that that that was the

    reason we we tried to get in front of this issue before 2016 which obviously was the election

    that raised the eyebrows not not the 202 which seemed fairly

    regular uh but the 2016 was not regular according to our

    intelligence folks on on you know uh doing National Security um so the public

    trust will a uh is the key to avoiding

    escalation and then you don't have to focus so much on deescalation I think because of trump

    there's been a focus on paper ballot management that may or may not be

    relevant but the uh folks that storm

    capital buildings and all that they haven't really gotten to the software issue um we're hoping to remove that

    issue and that was the reason since early in the 2000s we focused on San

    Francisco to lead regarding open- Source elections we felt like we could have

    avoided the 2016 issues um by having tighter systems in

    the swing States but we didn't get there unfortunately and now I think as we see

    the world is suffering the the consequence so again I implore you to

    keep the good work toward the upgrade of the election system software keeping it

    relevant and San Francisco will help lead the state which then will expedite that effort throughout the country

    unfortunately director arnst has been adverse to that progress that security

    upgrade um and the incident reports are good that we know the flaws and and the

    problems uh but it doesn't necessarily lead to betterment of the situation and

    and that I think should be noted also you know there was mentioned that why

    would voters Trend toward in person um I think communities of color

    historically have been hesitant to trust

    the Post Office although I think they do deserve trust but that that may be a reason with the Press pushing that issue

    sort of triggers that response and uh I

    I think that's about it the the uh thank

    you that was the only comment thank you secretary Davis um let's move to a vote roll call

    vote on the motion to designate the March

    5th primary 2024 primary election as free fair and

    functional president Stone yes vice president Parker yes

    commissioner bur what here commissioner Dy hi commissioner lvol yes commissioner Wong yes okay um

    motion passes

    great thank you direct k free fair and functional

    election looking forward to November um that closes item number six let's move

    to it number seven translation

    of name into Chinese characters discussion

    and possible AC to the just before we dive into this a

    couple of quick comments so last meeting we had a candidate [Music]

    for super so DCA advised us that if we plan

    to discuss the matter it should be properly agendized uh and so that is why it is on the agenda for

    today um one

    I wanted mention

    that um and as it as kind of additional

    content I I

    included all of the materials that the director

    has but uh all of the materials over the last I would say I think November I

    think it was in the December January February meetings and so I reposted them here uh in addition to um a few articles

    that talk about this issue uh in from a couple of perspectives uh namely on the

    director resources um I've included the resolution draft resolution from or the

    resolution from the Board of Supervisors initially in October the director's

    response to the board's resolution in November the proposed amendments the California elections code the

    Declaration forms for the names given in birth that are now uh are used to uh

    follow the two-year the new two-year policy in San Francisco but then also I

    included at the end the director's report uh for February this past February which also speaks to uh the

    director's uh decision and kind of process around this policy so that folks

    could really understand as much scope as as possible um and so with that I will

    open it up to conversation it's possible you know there's no pressure on us to to

    go anywhere with this necessarily um but I do think it is worthwhile for us to

    follow our word when we say we want to talk about something that we agendize it so uh I will open it up to

    Commissioners commissioner Wong thank you president Stone um I just

    want to say I really appreciate the public comments made um on our last meeting and I think it was really

    genuine and and transparent when you know the candidate shared impact of the

    change of policy on her campaign as especially as a firsttime candidate but that being said I I do think that the

    Department of Elections has an obligation to implement and comply with ab47 and now actually qualified in the

    California elections Cod that require candidates to use a Chinese character base name for two years

    um and I'm really happy you know after reviewing everything uh president Stone posted that we allow flexibility for

    Chinese American candidates or any individuals really to use their Chinese names given at Birth I think that's very

    reasonable um and by submitting a declaration instead of a birth certificate or out written documents

    that might not be available especially for those who are born and raised here um and I am in support of the state law

    and you know find the twoyear require M for non-chinese candidates actually really reasonable um for two main

    reasons and first of all I think it is really important to actually widely circulate adopted Chinese name for a

    substantial amount of time before elections because you know lots of time Chinese immigrants communities you know

    those who don't speak English fluently got confused a lot about different names and stuff so I think having two years

    would prevent those confusion and making sure the names are widely circulated on Media news media or any public record so

    I think that's you know speak to the two years requirements that I found reasonable and the other thing is that I

    truly value you know the dedication of any firsttime firsttime candidates in reaching out to Chinese speaking

    communities and as someone who sered low-income Chinese immigrants every day you know they often face a lot of

    discrimination and isolation in polic making and frankly you know any levels of decision making in the society so I

    think you know I would really recommend you know really any first-time candidates investing time in

    understanding and meaningfully engaging with you know Chinese immigrants and this process might take you know more

    than months to a year before official launching a campaign which I understand especially hard for uh first-time

    candidates who are not in the communities but I think the state law in general seres as a reminder that maybe

    we you know the importance of more inclusive community engagement as a whole um you know especially for those

    who doesn't speak English often have a harder time to understand right elections or engaging with candidates so

    versus you know kind of a quick fix to adopt Chinese names um you know months to or year before election so I I I

    stood by you know the state Laine I think that's incredible the flexibility that the Department of Elections made

    for um Chinese and Chinese American individuals um so allow them to use you know give a name at Birth and for

    non-chinese folks I think that definit Ely you know um compliance issues that we have to you know stand by so that's

    kind of my take on it

    yeah thank you commissioner Wong vice president

    perker um yeah thanks for agendize

    that I'm and I'm very curious right there's such a w wide range of perspectives and I'm very interested in hearing about them

    um you know when I was reading all of the attachments I you know there were a

    few things that came to mind um one is I actually still felt um a little unclear

    whether the state law whether we were acquired to comply with the state law um

    because I understand the interpretation the department has had and we have our own Municipal Code um and so but but I'm

    reading the Articles it was reported in different ways you know some one I think said we're required to and um so that

    still felt a little unclear um to me and I understand you director arnst worked

    worked with the city attorney's office to you know um to come up with this revision to mun uh municipal code here

    in San Francisco um and and I appreciate and understand

    some of the concerns that have been brought up around cultural appropriation uh I think they're really valid and

    that's why you know especially want to hear from Chinese community members and I also thought it was interesting that there are some folks who were born in

    China who have had issues with complying with this and that concerns me um you

    know even with the allowances um in the adjustments that we made

    um are are proposing to make um or I guess did make um and so so that came up

    for me um so and and so the thing about the two

    thinking about the two years this some other thoughts they had is um the two years you do want to have people invest

    in communities I completely appreciate that and I suspect that two years was intended for State offices where people

    really are running for a long period of time to run for State office as opposed to local office and I wonder about our

    local candidates especially down ballot races um and

    and thinking about [Music] um what that means about access to the

    ballot um and you know when you have other candidates who have been known for

    a long time that does definitely um give some preference you know for voters who

    who uh for folks who were perhaps elected leaders before this kind of a law was

    um in place in San Francisco where they they will just have an advantage you

    know um and so so I have questions about access and Equity um for newcomer

    candidates um to our about and making sure there's room for folks of all different um backgrounds and ethnicities

    um so that's a question I was wondering about um and then I think when I was reading

    the director's report because I did miss the February meeting because we had changed it and I had to be away when we moved it to um have have the amendments

    to um the municipal code been submitted they have okay so those were my

    thoughts thank you vice president Parker commissioner D thank you president Stone um I have uh

    expressed my opinions on this before but I just wanted to um um validate what uh

    commissioner Wong uh said I completely agree with all of that I think um the

    the purpose of the state legislation was to prevent cultural appropriation um and that was why there

    was a a a Time

    was that name very early on I I see it all the time U with City officials uh

    even for people who are not running for office um it's just really Comm in San Francisco because of the

    high number of Chinese

    population we have here understand concerns I think that a

    rule that you we are know have a mandate to try to create

    a level field for everyone we would not want to inadvertently Advantage

    incumbents which this might be perceived as doing

    um in the timing um and and you know now that

    everyone knows what the rules are you know people can plan for

    this you

    know unlucky I don't think there was any intention of advantaging

    incumbents um and I think uh because everyone will get a Chinese name and

    just not may not be the one they want right so they'll get a clun

    Mony Chinese name put the put the state legislation forward um you know that

    that was a reasonable way to go uh is to have something that sounds as close as

    possible to the actual English name um and if you want to have a more you know

    thoughtful meaningful Chinese character-based name then you have to plan ahead and ideally you're doing it

    because you're working with that Community already and not just because you decided to run for office and so I

    do think the two years is reasonable and it um you know I I think if it were one

    it you would get a lot of people who just decided to do it because they were running for office and so I think this

    is a good way to kind of separate candidates who are going to seriously

    invest in the community and are planning ahead because they want to serve that Community um so I have applauded

    director AR's changes before to make sure to accommodate you know the the

    many you know uh Chinese potential candidates who like never formerly

    registered their Chinese names like you know my parents thought ahead and made it my middle name so it's on everything

    but not everybody's parents did that and yeah they use it at home they don't use it anywhere else so why would it be out

    there in the media and so coming up with a reasonable ways to get around that I

    thought was great because obviously you didn't want legislation That was supposed to prevent cultural appropriation from causing a problem for

    people of that culture so I think we fixed that so I do think that um it's

    well thought out and it's reasonable um and I think there's no

    intention to Advantage incumbents it's just unfortunate that some people got caught up with the change but moving

    forward everybody will know and so I think it will be not a problem moving

    forward thanks commissioner

    D I have a few comments um I appreciate everyone's

    input I just wanted the DCA to and director ARS to confirm SF was not

    required to follow the state law up until the the department was asked to implement this rule

    correct gen generally the Municipal elections code governs these issues for San Francisco so that's being changed

    now with the ordinance that um the department has introduced which which is

    consistent with the state law sorry can you repeat that we're all having trouble generally the Municipal elections code

    governs the these issues in San Francisco um and that um the section

    that governs this question is being amended pursuant to the ordinance that the department has introduced which will

    be consistent with the state law okay that was a very lawyerly answer

    um I I think that that is a very it's not

    just a very lawyerly but also very San Francisco in the sense that I think SF often plays its own rules and we have

    our own unique demographic and so I think that's also understandable I did have a couple of thoughts I think I'm

    you know very supportive of course of the

    concerns been raised particularly

    from think that we can make the assessment of what the int I was of the

    folks who introduced um I don't know what's in

    their mind and so I wouldn't Co that um was but I think you

    know it is a presidential where the candidate who introduced it is running

    for reelection it doesn't mean that they that it's not right or wrong but I I

    don't I don't think that we can can know what is in her heart and mind so I I um

    I'm not saying I it is her intention but I just think we

    shouldn't as commission jump to that

    concl thing I just go the answer I think it's just I keep hearing the term

    reasonable as an for two years and when I think about two years and I think about folks announcing

    their C their election especially for first time uh candidates for down ballot

    uh races supervisor uh School Board Etc I

    actually think two years is


    long now

    reasonable around this specific issue of um of a Chinese character-based name I I

    don't I personally don't

    know and I respect there seem to

    some that I wasn't sure how we

    wereing clunky um I think these articles also

    and some of the other articles that I chose not tost talk about the great c um which are


    no just part of the you know whenever a new policy goes into effect

    Pres capture the piece about everyone will

    know um I do think and this perhaps we could I do

    think it is

    hard be candidate and know the commission

    could discuss


    is you

    know a character-based chese name


    item that I think we is a Worth US discussing but definitely I don't think

    everyone will know because I think lots of candidates folks who are running for


    directly um and that's not a knock on anyone it's just it's hard to run it's hard to run and I think that's an equity

    issue for communities of color and for all kinds of diverse like diverse

    backgrounds socioeconomic backgrounds just basic access to information um I think that that is a

    barrier to ballot access for those types of candidates that we should continue to talk about so uh those are those are my

    comments and I I appreciate everyone's input on this sensitive and important uh

    topic yes commissioner D um DC Russy uh I just wanted to get some clarification

    of your lawyer lawyerly answer um so when um Commissioners Loli and Parker

    and I were working on uh you know redistricting reform and and trying to understand you know why San Francisco

    got accepted as a charter City what we understood is where there were um conflicts state law takes

    precedence uh and where the state law is silent uh you know and we had our own

    special Charter thing than ours would stand so for example when we were looking at AB 764 and what applied to us

    and what didn't apply to us you know there were there were things we already

    already doing and then there were things that um were quite explicit in the state

    law that that we had to adopt so I just wanted to understand if

    it was the same thing in this case commissioner I think what you're referring to are specific provisions of

    those two bills where there are carve outs for Charter cities and specific um areas so I wouldn't say it's necessarily

    apples for apples every state law um could have a potential impact on a charter City depending on how the

    legislature frames it and there's a very extensive legal analysis that might go into determining whether the city is

    preempted or not based on home rule Authority or not okay and another lawyerly answer but

    I can't give I can't give you an upper down answer for every particular situation so for this particular

    situation then um I just I think that was the question that commissioner

    Parker was asked asking is you know because this law passed in 2019 so did

    the City attorney do an analysis and decide that it didn't apply or did it

    just not come up until the until recently as you know we're in a public

    forum where the conversation is not privileged so what I can say is what I

    said earlier um in general the municipal election code governs our local

    elections unless there there's a specific provision of state law that could preempt us the Department of Elections was a had

    authority to change its policy with respect to this particular issue which it did and we have a we have an

    elections code section A Municipal elections code section that already governed this issue before the state law

    and now there is an ordinance pending with the Board of Supervisors that will make changes so I

    mean that that's B basically where we're at right now so thank

    you oh sorry uh thank you commissioner D

    commissioner Wong thank you president Stone I really appreciate our discussion I think that's

    really helpful for me to process and also think about different perspectives

    and I agree with you you know president stone that not every especially for firsttime candidate is especially hard

    in terms of resources funds and access so I want to acknowledge that for sure

    um and I I actually agree with you like moving forward if we can work on how to

    support firsttime candidates especially in terms of information sharing to you know augment accessibility making sure

    you know we can as much as possible support people that are not you know well known as our some of our longtime

    um politician would be helpful and make sure sure our election is fair functional and available for everyone

    not just those who are have more resources already and we don't need that you know so I I definitely want to

    acknowledge that um and then I agree with commissioner ding that you know when law change you know unfortunately

    um some individuals caught up in those change of Law and um and it was it is

    indeed a very unfortunate situation and also think that um the intentions of

    people adopting Chinese the time is very genuine but it just at the same time you know going back to the intention of you

    know what why to change his policy you know in the middle of the elections I agree with you president Stone we can't

    speculate you nor do I want to speculate the intention but I think it's important

    to also Prov some context as I was reading everything you know that you also shared um some incidents occurred

    when um first name had been literally the same and Sh um similar um between a

    Chinese and a non-chinese candidates and you know I read Chinese I read like I actually read the translation it is

    indeed very confusing because the first name is exactly the same the only differences is the last name but it is

    confusing enough actually when you look at the ballot for me even it took me like honestly like 30 seconds to think

    who is which so so I you know I'm native in traditional Chinese just want to

    Flack that you know as a as a perspective that it is that's why I'm a little concerning about the two years

    timeline when I said you know I think time substantial amounts of time however

    we Define it has to pass for people to actually understand for a monolingual

    folks to identify who you know that they're talking about right on the

    ballot and and that incidence I think you know from what I read on the news I

    can't really say for sure prompt you know to discussion of you know this new

    change of policy I think that's the backdrop why you know the intention again I can't speculate and I don't want

    to but that's kind of what really caught my eyes when I first talked about it uh

    with community members and myself when I read you know the the names and it is

    indeed confusing so um I think that's part of my concern about my first point

    um enough time has to pass for uh adopted Chinese Chinese name to be

    widely circulated I don't know how that looked like for firsttime candidates unfortunately but then I think if you

    know um people want to engage with Chinese communities um it should start like

    earlier in terms of not just the elections campaign in terms of neighborhood work in terms of community

    work and engagement that's why you know I I was going back to my comment about

    you know it is in General maybe a you know a reminder of a more inclusive community engagement um it like I

    actually work at a Chinese American organizations some am co-workers are not Chinese but because they do the work

    they do um you know commun members actually gave them names um they adopted

    that names and then it's not on news media per se but it was widely circulated on documents or when they

    text each other I don't know how that looked like in terms of policy I'm just sharing you know a community perspective

    that is acceptable and me as a Hong Kong Chinese person I find it completely fine

    I don't see that as a cultural appropriation per se but it is really about the background the story the

    connection with the communities um which that's why I'm saying the two years I think is reasonable not as in just on

    news media which is very hard first time candidate I want to acknowledge that but for the community work um that your name

    is well known or you your adopted Chinese name that's how people call you when they see you on the street when you

    work for um a volunteering at a church or you know working at a foot Bank on a

    weekend like you know however that looks like for you in terms of community work and I think that's more where I'm coming

    from in terms of infesting time with the communities in a meaningful way um and

    it is a you know issue deely personal to me but then also because I work with folks and then you know sometimes they

    will come up to me talking about confusion about languages um that's why I have specific concern about that when

    I read the incidents on the news about like two names that got confused so yeah just want to Flack that as a background

    information thank you commissioner Wong I appreciate that and I appreciate you touching on my specific question about

    reasonableness I think that's helpful um and informative any other comments

    let's move to public

    comment can you hear me hi um I'm Jen nosikov I spoke last

    time um it's nice to see you all again thank you so much for um prioritizing um

    this um and I'm so grateful for the time you've spent researching this and thinking about this and sharing your

    thoughts um I want you to know I have been um when I

    first moved to the neighborhood one of the things that I did was um my mom always taught me volunteer and so I volunteered I said how can I help the

    community and I've been delivering groceries um for seniors um Chinese seniors um ever since we've moved to the

    neighborhood in um

    2020 da me that I call me J um for when I

    started campaigning last July that I learned that the Department of Elections

    requires to have a Chinese name and they so that's something that should get

    factored into which is if you're going to require us to have a name if you're going to require a Chinese name for candidates to the ballot I like to get

    that at thep file um otherwise I just followed precedent um and the woman who

    um gave me the name I actually I had a conversation with my neighbor who chines

    and I said is this cation or is it um and we were a little bit on the fence and then that's when I learned we have

    to have a name so great so um I have spent 2,000 of the $133,000 that I raised on my signs I've been using this

    name um playing maang at the senior center I brought a

    CO another neighborhood um by the time election will happen in November I will have been using it for a year and a half

    um and I

    know that

    I'm not

    that if there's any way um that I can to

    have have to use G on the ballot I great

    appre um I do respect um the

    decision any

    other comments

    Commissioners okay that closes agenda item number seven

    move eight racial departments

    the the department of or the office of raal Equity has recently

    setline for submission the that uh the

    director Prov a few slides last year I also

    attached that onto the packet um and I do have some uh I have some thoughts

    about what we can discuss from our achievements last last year um so just

    going to run through those and then I'll also share some thoughts about 2024 I

    didn't want to come empty-handed today so I and this is

    not uh intended to be the exact wording

    of how we would say it these are just the ideas that I think that we can speak to of what we've achieved in the last

    year so uh first is that we aligned our policy priorities and our election

    review process from an equity lens um that uh and this goes back to what I was

    saying to vice president Parker that the election review the commission asked the director to include a an election review

    that looks at communities that are often marginalized such as those that are in housed using an intersection as a a

    registration address incarcerated in people with disabilities um so I think that is something we should certainly

    talk about um as it pertains to looking at results and policies um then of

    course we completed the redistricting initiative um that uh that we also

    shared with um uh leadersh elected officials uh across the city in an

    effort to improve the fairness of our districting process and that we also

    completed the task to to ask appointing authorities to consider diversity when

    there is an opening on the Commission in 2024 I think that we should uh talk

    about um the increase access or the the

    efforts to increase access to voter registration and also around results

    reporting I think commissioner D in our last meeting made some really great points pertaining to um uh visually

    impaired voters and Visually Impaired constituents being able to understand

    and have access in addition to uh commissioner Wong I believe you also raised multilingual access um and I

    think those are areas that we should talk about uh specifically and um

    incorporate I think that we should touch on that as our uh results reporting

    policy priority being a lens that we are using to look through and then as I

    mentioned voter registration um and that we also are we emphasize policies and agendize policies

    that affect diverse racial and ethnic groups throughout the city I think the last agenda item is a perfect example of

    that um that we are uh evaluating that that lens using that lens to evaluate

    potential policies of the department so I've talked about the commission's priorities the commission's efforts and

    also kind of meeting by meeting our uh efforts to look through this lens in a m

    in a more granular way like I said these are not the specific words but they're just general ideas to get the

    conversation going and I will open it up for commissioner discussion

    yes commissioner D I actually think you captured it quite well um my question is

    how we going to produce this would you like me to respond to

    that directly sure um well I am if folks

    all agree with that or if there's an alternative or another point or something they'd like you know anything

    else um we can obviously discuss that uh

    I would be happy to I think what we did last year was we had a similar discussion though I think the word

    smithing was a little bit more granular um and I think it was a little

    more contentious last year um if I recall contentious may be more charged than is really necessary but I

    think I think that generally if you are op if the

    commission is aligned with what I discussed I would be Happ happy to draft it and if someone would like to

    designate someone to double check it before I share it off with the director that's fine or if you'd like to have me

    just do it um based on listening to the conversation in the recording I'm also happy to just take care of it um so long

    as we have General alignment on what those items are did that answer your question I feel like that was yeah it

    does um one other thought um we had talked about and I don't know where we left it I was looking at our um

    goals for uh 2023 and we had

    um uh or maybe it was some progress I'm trying to figure

    out where it was we had talked about um uh doing some more

    to you know since we we can't we obviously don't have the choice of our own composition but we could at least Le

    be transparent about our composition and I know we added pronouns but I I don't know that we did anything else on the

    website to to make ourselves more transparent that way yes so I can speak to that there are

    a couple of things I would say to that one is I did we did look into that um

    it's not particularly easy to do it um in an aggregated way using the actual

    website platform the other thing I wanted to add um is and this is more my current feeling

    that I also think we're a very small body we're also smaller than our full

    like we're one commissioner short and I think I want to leave room for

    sensitivity and I don't think there's a lot of anonymity if uh folks aren't

    always comfortable disclosing certain components of their identity uh in in that way I think that could be a little

    bit exposing so um food for thought I personally know that there are areas of

    my identity that I wouldn't necessarily want to have included always um in a

    very public way like that with such a very small group of folks so I I'm happy

    to speak personally in that regard um but uh I did look into

    it in a way that doing it like with pie charts and things like that it's a little bit more tricky on the current

    website with how it's set up um but that answers the first first part and then the second part was more of a personal

    response is that it commissioner day thank

    you one area of the 2023 goals that I think we could incorporate into 2024 is

    including Community Voices and conversations particularly around voter

    registration as well um and so I think I'd love to continue to maybe even move

    that 2023 goal into the 2024 goal um I

    know I worked previously in my in the year prior on developing a lot of those

    relationships myself I think it's something we can do around voter registration um that I think you know

    perhaps it's areas of interest um whether it be multilingual I know I worked

    um very closely with the director on uh system impacted folks uh in fact the one

    thing that's been on my mind is voter registration for the um youth probation

    like the youth Hall juvenile hall not probation um so I've been talking to the director about going and supporting some

    voter registration initiatives there I think that it would be a great opportunity for all of us to to

    incorporate other community relationships into our goals as the

    commission around Vote or registration so um if people are interested in that I'd be happy to carry that into the 2024

    slide as well yes commissioner

    ly I I think it's also important to think about um communities that are very

    small populations here in San Francisco and as part of our goals for racial

    Equity um in 2024 2025 and looking at

    how those communities could be unintentionally marginalized because of their small populations um so I'd really

    like to think about um the African-American Latino populations are probably the smallest um demographic you

    repeat that the African-American and Latino populations in San Francisco are

    probably the smallest when you look at um demographic racial breakdowns and so just kind of looking at how the fact

    that they're small um and how they can be impacted um in Access and in um

    Sometimes some people in that Community those two communities may feel they're seen so just kind of think about

    that when we think about elections and

    [Music] um I think that'll be

    uh yeah I think you uh what just brought up I

    think it is

    you so many right um that we don't talk about um so it's interesting I mean

    that's a hard thing to solve because they are small and so how do you do that but it isn't uh something important to

    consider um I guess the only thing is just actually

    last conversation something that should be a commission priority is just the general I've heard similar things that

    other folks have commented on about candidates understanding what it what

    they need to do um in order to run and there's there's part of that's not appropriate at all for the elections

    Department to do like it's not um in in how to run a

    campaign but in knowing what the requirements are um um it it said it

    said on the website I don't know if this has changed in the last year or two but for many years before that it was uh

    there is a required training for candidates but it was never scheduled I I'm aware of that and so I

    just I think that there's some support there again I'm not sure if it something that's appropriate for

    our appropriate somewhere else an agenda does affect

    um racial communities especially those who are smaller and maybe

    not connected to um people and so I I

    yeah thank you vice president Parker yeah it sounds like ballot access um is

    definitely something worth that we've all been talk talking about and

    Equity I see that finger commissioner die go for it you

    don't if uh president Stu and and vice president Parker


    and um

    than you

    into a more action of like

    act um that he from the

    perspective rate or turnout rate which indicated actually

    that would be my suggestions for for your for your um proposal and just for

    the sake of like you know uh because this has to be public and then I have to like say it even though I've been

    talking about this for so many times so bear with me about multilingual access so I think um I really really appreciate

    the multilingual access of the website um you know look at the Chinese translation it was really great you know

    um even though um you know the notes and mammo are still written in English but at least you know community members is

    aware of what is it on the agenda um so I really appreciate that and they can you know hopefully um provide public

    comments with interpreters if needed so I appreciate that um and the other piece that I I think brought up many many

    times is about Outreach materials um and kind of just reveal the Outreach

    materials in a culturally competent way just to make sure you know I can only speak for Chinese languages but then we

    should you know once again going back to partnering with you know Community organization to evaluate um you know the

    requirements um the three threshold languages under language access ordinance which is Chinese Filipino and

    um Spanish and how we engage monolingual folks in terms of registration and also

    what is it actually on the ballot so I think I would love to like do kind of reveal or working with the Department on

    evaluating that um the LA um the language access ordinance of required

    languages the three um so I think that's yeah the thing that I would love to include and would love you know want to

    make sure I just say here in public so you can incorporate that later yeah thank you

    thank you commissioner Wong commissioner Lei thank you um commissioner Wong for

    your comment and I think it's important for us to understand that voter registration is one indicator

    of participation but I think also the

    Optics of who we are engaging with and how we're engaging are also important um

    communities of color um that we we're very fortunate to have a

    wonderful diversity in San Francisco but I think um there's a history um in San

    Francisco that we also can't ignore that some communities have felt not a part of

    the process and so that's what I was talking about really making sure that in our racial Equity plan we're looking at

    the history we're looking at um communities broadly

    um and understanding that numbers do matter if your population is only 2 or

    3% of the city um that's significant and that does not give you a lot of power um

    so I think that's important to just name and and think about it in in those terms as

    well thank you commissioner V and I'll just add I think the I

    think Commission Wong you probably weren't on the commission yet when we yeah no for sure

    I think it was right before you joined someone would have to refresh my memory when we voted on the priorities

    for the year um but uh I would be happy to share also the memo I put together on

    voter registration I've done a few memos on it I think it touches I know it's only one registration is only one

    indicator but I think it touches on the element of History IAL components um and

    so I think just one way in which when we're looking at these issues as it whether it's ballot access

    versus voter registration versus Civic engagement or just simple like access to

    basic voter information um I think history can easily be um

    considered and Incorporated so happy to add that and also happy to incorporate the support for the Department the int

    and thank you for putting it on public record so that I can go back but just to kind of recap um support the department

    in uh the multilingual access particularly for those three languages

    um around Outreach materials and ensuring that community members um have

    access to those materials as well um and I will obviously fill that in with the specifics that you share it won't be

    word for word but I wanted to recap the high level yes commissioner D yeah I mean the

    I think the other thing is a part of our oversight function is making sure that um racial Equity lens is applied to all

    of the Department's programs and that's the reason I ask um director arnst about

    the high school ambassador program because you know there are a lot of

    special targeted programs that the department does for particular underrepresented communities but that's

    kind of a general High School ambassador program but the question is who's participating in it what kind of

    Outreach was done is it all the always the same schools you know what is what

    is what are the demographics of the 24 High School ambassadors right I mean so

    these are things the reason I asked them those questions is that we know what

    parts of the city are you know have low voter registration rates um and lower

    turnout rates and can we leverage kind of more General programs like the high

    school ambassador program to Target those areas to um try to move the needle

    on that thank you commissioner

    D anyone else all right thank you all for the

    Lively discussion I appreciate it um let's move move to public

    comment there are no public commenters okay uh that will close out

    agenda item number eight and we'll move to agenda item number nine agenda items

    for future meetings discussion and possible action regarding items for future agendas so um I talked about how

    at the May meeting we are going to kick off the performance review process um

    and that will be a separate agenda item that we will likely have to do in closed

    session um so if past performance is an indicator of future results it may be a

    longer meeting but I'm hopeful that uh the work that um former commissioner

    jeronic did uh with support of BC and through my simplification of that

    process hopefully it will be kind of painless L um and it should only take a couple of meetings to get through

    it uh the other just quick announcement I wanted to make is that we have moved

    the June meeting to June well yes we are planning to schedule the the June

    meeting from uh because it is currently slated for what is a national holiday we

    are moving it to June 5th so hopefully folks um hopefully folks can still make

    that if you can't all of a sudden make that just let me know as soon as possible ideally before the end of the

    week um to make sure that we don't reserve the room if we're not going to

    have Quorum because obviously we can very quickly not have Quorum uh with one

    member down that is it on my list does anyone

    have anything they would like to add before we move to public comment

    no public comment oh all right well we are now moving to public comment still

    none okay all right thank you everyone the time is now 8:04 pm and the meeting is

    adjourned for

    English (auto-generated)


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