FIERCE Committee (Elections Commission) Meeting

Monday, June 26, 2023

In this page:


    See below agenda item #1 for a PDF version of the agenda. The agenda packet document is listed below each agenda item.

    Meeting YouTube video and transcript at the bottom of this page.

    Approved Meeting Minutes for June 26, 2023 below.


    1. Call to Order & Roll Call

      A member of the Commission will state the following (from the Commission's October 19, 2022 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.

      The Chair has excused the Director of Elections from attending today’s meeting, which is permitted by Article VI of the Commission’s Bylaws.


    2. General public comment

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

    3. Redistricting Initiative

      Discussion and possible action on recommendations for changes to San Francisco’s redistricting process.

      Invited Speakers:


    4. Agenda Items for Future Meetings

      Discussion and possible action regarding items for future agendas.

    5. Adjournment

    Date & Time

    Monday, June 26, 2023
    6:00 pm to 8:00 pm

    Elections Commission

    San Francisco City Hall
    1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place
    Room 48
    San Francisco, CA 94102-4634
    View location on google maps


    Event number: 2487 500 5192
    Event password: 86982325 from phones
    Join the meeting


    Access code: 2489 943 7914

    June 26, 2023 SF Elections Commission FIERCE Committee 20230627 0110 1

    In this video

    Order of Business

    1. Call to Order & Roll Call 00:58

    2. General Public Comment (call in technical issues) 08:18

    3. Redistricting Initiative 13:14

    3a. Panelist Comments 38:15

    3b. Public Comments 2:05.21

    4. Agenda items for future meetings 2:23.05

    5. Adjournment 2:28.40


    all right let me see if I can get this started

    can we do the land acknowledge here yes I don't know

    it's just like very unfortunate City behind you

    okay we are ready to begin I think everyone can hear both online and in the

    room uh welcome everyone to the June 26 2023

    meeting of the San Francisco elections commission Fair independent and effective redistricting for Community

    engagement or Fierce committee meeting I am the chair Cynthia dye the time is now

    6 12 and we I called a meeting to order

    before we proceed further I want to briefly explain some procedures for participating in today's meeting the

    minutes of this meeting will reflect that this meeting is being held in person at City Hall Room 408 1 Dr

    Carlton B Goodlett Place San Francisco California 94102 and remotely via WebEx as

    authorized by the elections commission's May 17 2023 vote members of the public May attend the meeting to observe and

    provide public comments either at the physical meeting location or remotely details and instructions for

    participating remotely are listed on the commission website and on today's meeting agenda public comment will be

    available on each item on this agenda each member of the public will be allowed three minutes to speak six

    minutes if you are on the line with an interpreter when providing public comment you are

    encouraged to state your name clearly once your three minutes have expired staff will thank you and you will be

    meeting you will be muted while providing public comment remotely please ensure you are in a quiet location when

    joining by phone you will hear a beep when you are connected to the meeting you will be automatically muted and in

    listening mode only to make public comment dial Star 3 to raise your hand when your item of Interest comes up you

    will be added to the public comment line you will hear you have raised your hand to ask a question please wait until the

    host calls on you the line will be silent as you wait your turn to speak

    if at any time you change your mind and wish to withdraw yourself from the public comment line press star 3 again

    you will hear the system say you have lowered your hand when joining by WebEx or a web browser

    make sure the participant side panel showing by clicking on the participants icon at the bottom of the list of

    attendees is a small button or icon that looks like a hand press the hand icon to raise your hand you will be unmuted when

    it is time for you to comment when you are done with your comment click the hand icon again to lower your hand in

    addition to participating in real time interested persons are encouraged to participate in this meeting

    by submitting public comment and writing by 12 pm on the day of the meeting to election stock commission at

    it will be shared with a commission after this meeting has concluded and will be included as part of the official

    meeting file thank you so now we will take roll call

    um Commissioners please state your name at your presence at today's meeting after

    your name is called I am commissioner dye and I am president commissioner levolsi

    present and commissioner partner president let the record show that three members

    are accounted for and we are ready to proceed

    okay uh

    all right good evening everyone and uh welcome to

    the second meeting of the fair independent and effective redistricting for Community engagement or Fierce for

    short committee meeting as noted on our webpage we are a temporary Committee of

    the elections Commission and I'm sorry I can't uh I'm not I'm actually this short I apologize

    um uh we advise the full commission on improvements to San Francisco's redistricting process

    um so uh uh before we begin uh let us have

    commissioner levolsi go ahead and read Our Land acknowledgment resolution yes

    the San Francisco elections commission acknowledges that we are on the unseated ancestral homeland of the ramatasha

    aloni who are the original inhabitants of the San Francisco peninsula as the

    indigenous stewards of this land and in accordance with their Traditions the ramaphashaluni have never seen it lost

    nor forgotten their responsibilities as caretakers of this place as well as for

    all people 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 ramataj community and

    affirming their Sovereign rights as first people thank you very much okay that is the end of item number one

    we're going to go ahead and move to item number two which is general public comment

    this is public comment on any issue within Fierce it's General jurisdiction that is not covered by another item on

    this agenda is there any general public comment

    hi commissioner how you doing good foreign

    you know I I would say for you that's for you I would probably be seriously concerned

    about sitting on a condition with uh Sylvia Diane she kind of accurately Edge

    be actively participating passport members off the commission inflation

    submission even though there was no basis coming from them uh she tried to remove the director of the Department of

    Elections because he was a white straight person someone's skin color and their sexual preferences are protected

    classes under the state of California or United States Constitution I believe actually

    um I mean that's racist and that's that's racist you understand that but

    you can't tell someone they handed their job because they're a straight white guy that's actually racist and this process

    you know like last minute latch a day if you call it and it said suddenly exclude WWE

    passport members in this process to cover up the fact that if it's gonna slide my bias it's nonsensical

    and it goes against everything we stand for sin die you go for it you go against

    everything we stand for it's a democracy people are racist and the only way for this commission to be fair is if you

    resign and the two of you to really think about your proximity to her you should decide simply and I understand

    that you are a racist person thank you thank you for your comments Mr Liu are

    there any other public comments on items not on this agenda right that I'm just getting a text

    that's saying that the cold numbers is in 2489-943-7914

    . thank you um

    this number is 2489-489

    -943-7914 is that correct that says the access coding

    yeah that's the the telephone number is four one five

    four one five six five five zero zero zero one and it should be right on the

    all the instructions are in the bottom of our agenda

    the the access code number is what you read off that is that is a access code

    there uh there's also oh that's for the phone online there's a separate event number an event password

    for online but they're trying to call in yeah see

    I mean

    yeah we want to make sure people online can hear yeah so uh

    can we got a thumbs up do we not can you can people online here can you give me a

    thumbs up we got thumbs up so we'll say something please can you hear the speaker at the podium

    yes yes okay um

    okay yes go ahead and if you can help us write your name if if you're willing to

    identify yourself it helps us with spelling on the minutes

    h m a m R I'm here giving public comment as a formal elective development

    I'm here giving public comment as a former elected delegates for California Democratic party and a current concerned

    sampling system I'm terrified that appointed officials are blatantly wearing the lines between what they are

    and are not legally authorized to do residents happen to take time to police our appointment officials to defend our

    laws and our Democratic processes is more than robust civil engagement it's a disgrace sadly these subtle power grabs

    are happening everywhere in the city but the self-appointed fierce committee's attempt to force an unauthorized

    incomplete and premature Charter Amendment onto the 2024 ballot so there is nothing I'm Sorry Miss Lehman and

    that's actually related to the main redistricting item so if you wouldn't mind holding your comment until later thank you

    that's all right we're happy to hear from you um is there anyone who is speaking on

    something that's not related to tonight's agenda item which is to to discuss the redistricting initiative

    if not we will go ahead and move on to uh anyone see anyone online raising a

    hand not actually fun just double check to see if there's

    anyone else online particular

    the microphone over there yeah let's um Chris is listening to him okay

    is that better try that again

    testing ah there we go sorry we're our own tech support so okay

    so I will keep this brief my name is Paulina fair and I am calling on

    commissioner Cynthia zai to resign from your duties on this commission thank you

    thank you for your comment any other comments if not we will

    hi I'm Gabe schreier and I'm also calling on Cynthia dye to reside thank

    you all right thank you for your comment if you comment on the general

    redistricting process that's what the next item is so if we if

    we can just move on to the next item there are no more other general public comments

    okay uh I don't see anyone else online so I'm going to close item two

    and move on to the main event here

    all right so I'd like to make a few introductory comments here

    for those of you who missed our previous meeting on May 31st and maybe joining us for the first time I'd like to orient

    you and provide a little context as part of our mandate to ensure Fair free and functional elections and fair

    representation the elections Commission embarked on a public study of how to improve our

    redistricting process over a year ago as some of you no doubt recall many San franciscans expressed concerns about our

    appointees to the most recent redistricting Task Force at a protest in front of City Hall and at our March 2022

    meeting at a special public Hearing in April of 2022 we heard many hours of

    testimony about political interference and Secret side meetings lack of transparency and concerns that

    communities were not being held it exposed both the flaws and the lack

    of remedies for these issues in the charter removing our appointees a week before the map deadline which some

    wanted us to do seemed like a blunt instrument at best instead we urged our

    appointees to do better and finish the job which they finally did several weeks past the legal deadline

    our response was the redistricting initiative project San Francisco has always been a Pioneer

    in protecting democracy as you wouldn't expect we were among the first to establish an independent Citizen's

    redistricting commission the redistricting task force 10 years before we the people passed the voters First

    Act creating the California citizens redistricting commission which I had the great honor of serving on in the 20 plus

    years since the first task force however San Francisco has not kept up with the times as a charter City we did not adopt

    the crc's best practices which have been recognized nationally as the gold standard in independent redistricting

    and were codified into state law as part of the fair Maps Act of 2019. at the

    elections commission's May 2022 meeting we discussed these differences which you

    will find as the last attachment in the agenda packet

    as you can see in the second attachment in the agenda our project plan we spent

    the latter half of 2022 Consulting with historical experts in San Francisco redistricting including members of all

    three past redistricting task forces City support staff and the elections

    task force which preceded the creation of the elections commission as an independent body

    we read all the rtetf's final reports we heard from Good Government groups

    uh as well as from other successful citizens Commissions in California and

    in other states at our March 2023 meeting we spoke with the author of the

    promise of fair maps California's 2020 local redistricting cycle Lessons

    Learned this is a copy of the report um this was a report evaluating

    local redistricting Statewide which called out Los Angeles the city of Los

    Angeles especially but also San Francisco for four practices this report and all the expert testimony

    is available for download or for viewing from our archived website

    the commission the committee has been charged by the commission to refine and

    finalize best practices we've been studying for San Francisco which are summarized in the first attachment in

    the agenda packet these are structural and process improvements to ensure that

    future redistricting task forces have qualified members representative of the

    city's demographics and free of political conflicts of interest that they have the benefit of tested

    guidelines to ensure transparent Community engagement protected from political interference to draw Fair maps

    for all San franciscans to clarify the elections commission has no legislative Authority

    but we do have a forum to discuss and recommend appropriate reforms to our legislative body the Board of

    Supervisors some of you may be skeptical that the board cares about good government but

    remember they also approved previous Charter amendments creating supervisorial districts ranked Choice

    voting the redistricting task force the elections commission and other Democratic reforms

    and now for the purpose of today's meeting which is a continuation of the

    March 31st Fierce committee meeting to consider the impact of pending State legislation on San Francisco

    ab1248 and 8764. you will find these in the agenda packet

    as well along with a the city attorney's legal

    analysis of ab1248 in response to concerns

    uh expressed at our last meeting we reached out to all former rdtf

    members for whom we had contact information and all three former chairs agreed to

    join us virtually tonight along with another another member in person um actually

    we have two we have uh one of our most recent chair here in person and I'm

    sorry to say that uh Gwen Craig who was from of the very first redistricted task

    force just texted me and said she will not be able to make it uh others have and will submit written

    comments but first we have a very special guest from the 2020 California citizens

    redistricting commission who has graciously taken Time Out From A CRC meeting in Sacramento to be with us

    so allow me to introduce Russell Yee a CRC rotating chair and a

    report co-author of the final recommendations report they are currently working on Mr Yi is an Oakland

    native but traces his roots to San Francisco almost a century ago he's a fellow Cal grad go Bears uh an

    author teacher pastor and a museum docent and I do not know if we have been able

    to throw his uh image up there but at least you'll be able to hear him uh Mr Yi I know you've been incredibly

    busy trying to finish up the recommendations report so thank you for speaking with us tonight you are

    actually the first 2020 CRC commissioner to address us so I guess I'd like to start by asking

    how you got to a successful unanimous decision on the maps despite a

    multi-partisan composition the census delay and a global pandemic and what

    aspects of the design of the CRC structure and process

    helped you succeed go for it Mr Yi thank you so much

    commissioner dye and thank you all of you in the room for caring about elections and our democracy and the

    efforts you're making to help us form a more perfect union uh the 2020 commission is the second

    state commission and succeeded in passing its Maps

    um on time despite the pandemic despite the census delay and not only passing

    our maps on time but also face no lawsuits which was uh nobody expected

    everyone you just expect lawsuits when you do this work and our Maps um we

    believe we're done yeah it was such an open process and with clear criteria and with such

    impartiality that in the end we received no legal challenges fabulous I think the three things in my

    mind that contributed most to Our Success number one the selection process

    focusing on impartiality it's kind of like a jury you're looking for people who will simply put

    all other considerations aside except the criteria they've been given and of

    course we were given the six ranked criteria that are constitutional and um

    and our goal was to apply those and the impartiality selection process

    you know it focuses on getting people who can tell you in their

    lives what have they done to show their impartiality that they are capable of changing their minds in discussion in a

    group uh are have associated in mixed groups with different backgrounds politically and otherwise uh looking for

    people like that and the group was strikingly impartial I think uh so much

    so that I think if you'd watched any of our sessions you would have been hard-pressed to quickly identify our

    political associations um rank criteria of course

    gave us a clear goal of course you have to apply the VRA Voting Rights Act of

    course you have to have contiguity of course you have to have equal populations within a specified percentage and so forth and in a certain

    order and so that just gave us a clear goal and allowed us to focus on objectively as much as we could applying

    those criteria uh with the impartiality by the way I should mention that you know the 14 of

    us each represented all of California we were not Regional representatives and so

    we were not trying to promote Regional interests uh of course each of us came I come from the East Bay and you know we

    brought special knowledge and interest in that sense to the work but each of us

    had equal say about all of the different parts of California and uh if San Francisco uh goes the same

    route I know you have certain requirements about supervisorial districts and how you're going to represent those but hopefully each of

    the commission members would represent the whole city not only their own District's interests

    uh so impartiality uh ranked criteria the third one is adequate staff you know

    especially a citizen commissioners you go in and you need to learn open

    meeting laws you need to learn all kinds of things often from scratch just how to

    navigate the um the the government uh Contracting laws

    and all those kinds of things and so uh thankfully the California state commission I would say had adequate

    staff and uh full-time legal counsel and so forth and that helped enormously

    to propel our work and keep us going on time in my own hometown of Oakland we had an

    independent redistricting commission for the first time this last round it did get its Maps done but three or four

    months late and a lot of that I think was because uh the netiquette Staffing unfortunately

    you know you have one part-time City staffer and you know so on it's just really hard to

    keep the work moving along as Citizens you know volunteer citizens to um to

    meet that deadline so adequate Staffing in partiality range criteria I think

    were the most important ingredients to Our Success thank you very much Mr Yi

    um I don't know if you you how familiar you are with uh 1248 and 764 but if you

    are are there you know since its model left of the CRC are there any particular

    elements that uh outside of the ones you've mentioned that you particularly like or not for local registering based

    on your experience at the state level and perhaps any observations of the Oakland process

    yeah I've read uh both but since I have not been on a local registering commission it's hard for me to have a

    sense of informed sense of how they would actually work out I like that they do replicate or

    the uh so much of the state registry and commission structure and the reducing

    criteria and so forth the use of random draw it does add the

    um um use of alternate Commissioners the state does not have that the state has

    14 Commissioners You're simply selected and um the 2010 commission did have one

    replacement uh 2020 did not um we have discussed whether alternates

    would be a good idea it would you know it's more cost and expense and effort uh luckily we didn't have to face that but

    if we had it certainly would have been convenient or would have been useful to have alternates available so that's one

    difference all right uh yeah we had to replace the

    commissioner before we even started anything so that was definitely challenging uh

    Commissioners do you have any specific questions for Mr Yi before we open it up to the other redistricting task force

    numbers this is our this is your chance we finally got a 2020 CRC Commissioners go

    ahead commissioner Parker um thank you so much for being here um I appreciate you sharing those

    specific uh things that you think were really important and worked and I'm wondering as I look at some of the

    various components of these assembly bills that are forward I'm wondering about um

    I mean there are several that I think people have varying perspectives on and one of them wondering for you is this um

    the requirement of a vote to get to agreement on something you know a super majority versus a simple majority and

    wondering if you have an opinion about that I've heard I'll just leave it at that and not sure what I've heard the

    various opinions about that being sure so as a reminder the commission is

    composed of five members of the largest uh registered political party in California Democrats uh five for the

    second largest Republicans and then four that are neither of those two and a super a majority a vote on any

    business takes nine votes out of Fourteen and then a vote on the Final maps as well as on contracts and and

    staff hiring requires a super majority which is a majority of each of those three subgroups so three out of five Democrats

    around five Republicans three out of four uh neither of those two uh that worked well for us and um

    you know it doesn't require a unanimous vote like a jury but it certainly pushed

    us to um to find that consensus that we needed the only times that it was a problem was

    when we might not have had Quorum in a particular meeting you know for one of those three subgroups then sometimes a

    vote had to be postponed uh but otherwise it worked well for us as it did for the 2010 Commission

    um and um you know both commissions easily passed uh their final Maps uh with this

    majority vote so you know if we found that if you have people that are focused on the same goal which is fair Maps it's

    not it wasn't that hard to find consensus you know because you have the reducing criteria in front of you

    and you have the data in front of you and of course there are some differences of opinion that you have to hash out but

    really uh it's not that hard to find a consensus when you have people dedicated in that way to the same goal

    thank you mystery yes this is commissioner lavalsi uh

    thank you Mr Yi for being here with us I have a question when we you talked about the selection process and it being akin

    to a vadir and looking for a jury at a trial how and what my question is what agency

    or organization should vet the application in that process I think some

    of the concerns from the public are who is a body that can actually do that here in

    San Francisco San Francisco given the goal is to remove political influence

    that is the goal for the state Condition it's the state auditor's office that

    does The Selection that runs the selection process and the three state Auditors who run

    that process are themselves selected through a random process and represent uh one from the largest

    one from the second largest and one neither of those two political affiliations so um and and they were admirable also

    in their impartiality and their focus on the Constitutional selection criteria so

    um whichever body can do that well incredibly and be perceived as being

    impartial uh can do that can do that work I think do you have an opinion being that you

    are familiar with San Francisco area what agency that might be for San

    Francisco I do not know okay thank you any other specific questions for Mr Yi

    before we open up to the rest of our panelists nope okay uh all right so I am going to

    ask we have a a couple of um this is really annoying we have a couple of

    uh panelists in person so please join me in welcoming from the uh

    2021-22 registering task force our most recent one um Jeremy Lee appointed by the Board of

    Supervisors and Reverend Townsend did he step out no he's back if you

    would come up as well if you if you wouldn't mind coming up to the mic

    they're two here yeah thank you commissioner Parker

    um and then virtually we also have the check test yep good we also have the

    chair of the uh 2011-12 uh registering task force um Mr

    Eric McDonald Who was appointed by the Board of Supervisors

    did we succeed in throwing that up there it's on okay great so we can see uh

    oh okay and then unfortunately as I mentioned we

    will not be joined by Gwen Craig who is the chair of the very first redistricting task force

    and she also chaired the elections task force that actually brought districts to San Francisco to increase representation

    but she was appointed by the elections commission so we have a mix of folks

    yes feel free to sit we do not intend for you to stand um

    for the benefit of the public in case uh you know play a lawyer on the internet

    like I do I'm going to go ahead and try to provide a summary of of

    uh the key points of ab1248 and also AB 764 my fellow

    Commissioners can uh tell me if you read something different in these bills so ab1248 puts

    in a default independent redistricting commission structure that's modeled after the CRC if a jurisdiction does not

    have its own version of an independent redistricting Commission in place by the next redistricting cycle San Francisco's

    current model is not acceptable due to its political appointment process at the

    beginning of the bill it states quote political appointment of Commissioners has been found to create potential

    conflicts of interest an opportunity for corruption of the redistricting process so San Francisco

    was targeted and is swept up by The Spill as some of you may have read in the city attorney's legal analysis it

    requires reasonable funding and Staffing to address a point that Mr Yu made uh it

    requires an opening competitive selection process from a large representative pool whose numbers and

    demographics must be made public it has minimum qualifications to serve

    including residency history Civic engagement and ability to be impartial

    also mentioned by Mr Yi analytical skills and an appreciation of San

    Francisco's diverse demographics in geography it has pre-juring and

    post-service requirements and conflicts of interest checks including for family members we also

    don't want people drawing districts are going to run in for example lobbyists staffers major donors are also

    not allowed to serve a vetting agency to check to make sure

    all candidates meet these requirements which commissioner levolsi was asking about in in the case of San Francisco

    the City attorney has confirmed it would be the ethics Commission uh if we were

    to accept this default form it calls for a commission of 14 members

    including two alternates eight randomly selected from the 40 most

    qualified applicants as determined by the vetting agency the ethics commission and they all need to

    be from different districts these eight then select six of the remaining candidates to balance out the

    diversity because randomness can do bad things for diversity

    and while the multi-partisan structure is not appropriate at the local level it does require that that all 14 cannot be

    from the same party there is a ban on ex parte communication meaning

    electeds cannot speak to Commissioners outside of a public meeting no public

    interference I think we saw a lot of that this last cycle it sets a minimum of 250 days before the deadline for this

    commission to be established our last redistry task force was started

    kind of late uh so this would force it to be started earlier and it does specify a super majority of

    nine Commissioners must approve any map and it also has a removal process so one

    of the challenges we had was there's no removal process so if there's a problem it's kind of currently is just up to the

    appointing authority there's no removal process that allows the task force itself to make that

    decision moving on to AB 764 it strengthens the fair Maps act which was passed in 2019

    that San Francisco was exempt from it would no longer be exempt it requires a

    published education and Outreach plan mapping tools and a website to make this information available to the public it

    has the ranked mapping criteria that's identical to what's in California's constitution

    requires a five-day notice for meetings seven days for the final map so increase increased transparency requirements it

    requires a final report which is not currently required but in San Francisco although every single redistricting task

    force has done one but in specific this final report must identify and explain why neighborhoods and communities of

    Interest were split uh it accounts for hybrid meetings accessibilities weekend and evening

    meetings for greater uh accessibility to the public

    and it requires a minimum number of public hearings before the draft map and uh and seven at least seven afterwards

    and finally it provides recourse if the commission fails to meet the deadline

    which again there was no recourse in in our in our Charter right now there's no recourse it's there's just a deadline in

    this case if the task force was unable to come to an agreement it would be

    punted to Superior Court and they could hire a special Master to draw the districts note that both bills indicate

    that good local redistricting is a matter of State concern so Charter cities are no longer exempt

    however we did get clarification that the San Francisco Unified School District would not be subject to AB 764

    as it does not have district election so this would again still apply mostly to supervisorial elections so

    with that background I hope that was consistent with your reading of both bills I'd like to open it up to any and

    all of our panelists to comment on what you liked about these different

    elements uh in both 1248 and or 764 and

    or didn't like things that you think would have helped your process or things that might hinder it and

    I will point to our two in-person panelists first whoever would like to

    jump in feel free um so uh first off thank you

    Commissioners for the opportunity uh to speak here um I did have a chance to listen to the

    May 31st meeting in full um and was very enlightening uh I will say I am in very strong support of

    ab1248 uh just really the the selection process

    um the idea that eight people are chosen at random and they get to pick the uh

    remaining six I think would have immensely helped um if that was in place during uh the

    2012 2022 redistricting task force um because uh like as uh you

    commissioner die said that um our process is inherently political and that

    was on full display throughout the the entire life of the task force okay

    right thank you Reverend Townsend do you have any thoughts things favorites

    um I haven't

    made in my mind clearly on what changes or how the changes

    ought to be uh administered certainly I'm uh convinced that the problem with

    the red District in task force or even your own body which I served on for way

    too many years um is that the biggest problem for me is

    trying to hold the tide against an activist commission or an activist body

    that is trying to get a specific outcome for one side or another

    um I have my own preferences I have my own political beliefs on what I think is

    right or wrong and as much as I may find a a

    some other people's beliefs to be rather painful I work hard to recognize that

    they are entitled to them and that I have a responsibility to

    recognize them even they though they may go against what I personally believe I I

    don't know if this is the right spot to say it but during the whole redistricting process

    the idea of that the task force members were encouraged to

    create safe districts for one political belief another is something that I consider so

    dangerous that it almost destroys of the the the the importance or the

    cleanliness of Elections you know having an activist body is fine when they're my

    activist but then I'm going to take another view when the other side holds power and

    those are not my activists so trying to um you know because what I think

    we confuse forget is that the mentality to create a certain uh safe district for

    a certain kind of politician in San Francisco is no different

    than the people in Alabama trying to create safe districts that deny black

    people they're they're voting rights or in Georgia or Mississippi or anywhere

    else and I think it's dangerous no matter who's doing it and and I think

    that was for me uh the biggest problem throughout the whole process there are

    some other nuances there that we may get to I will also say clearly

    that the almost

    hostile attitude in the room to the this to uh with the discussion of

    the desperate crises that the black community is in especially when it comes to voting was

    real difficult for me to endure and uh I can answer answer questions

    about that or get into it later I don't want to monopolize the time but I really

    think that it it it's something so ugly that I think no one talks about it

    because no one wants to face it because in this city I've discovered that the

    problems of black people have pretty much uh become uh like the wallpaper you

    know it's there but you can't really remember what it looks like and and uh I I think that's uh really

    sad and really dangerous and carries a real real potential

    ugliness for the future of San Francisco period

    and when we get to the place where the problems of certain segments of our city

    are too difficult to address I told someone recently I might have

    even said it during the task force I had to stop using the term bipok

    when I found out that the bee was silent thank you for your comments Reverend

    Townsend do you think that um I mean what you describe is actually

    consistent with what Mr Lee described as well that there were apparently task force members that had agendas

    um and part of this non-political selection process is to try to weed that

    out in the vetting process do you think that would have helped

    well as I say when I start I don't know how uh you people people cannot divorce

    themselves from their own subjectivities sure to say that I'm objective

    is uh usually a lie you can say I'm trying to be but we all

    have our own beliefs and preferences but the way to deal with that is for people

    to voice them at the beginning where they're coming from what they

    believe in I tried to do it when I started out I I made it very clear I was

    concerned I'm concerned with the city I am especially concerned with the plight of black people when we're the only

    ethnicity in this city that's losing numbers every year and there's a real good chance by the time they do this

    again there may be only ten thousand people black people left in San Francisco if we're lucky

    and but but I said that out front so people would know where I was coming from the response was if you bring it up

    if you keep bringing it up we're going to sue you though we talked about almost every

    ethnicity in the city during this whole process and never heard that threat

    voice except the times when I would bring up the issues with the black men so I think to that people need to be

    clear when they come on who they are and and and and and and then I know

    where your decision is coming from and and so I I that that's the only

    thing I can think of because you know if you if you find people

    that are that that let you know their objective uh and you appoint them they

    probably didn't tell you the truth because it's pretty hard to live that way in this world

    okay um uh Mr McDonald do you want to share something

    I will point out that your your registering task force was uh unique in

    the three that we've had in that it had a unanimous decision um any thoughts about

    ab1248 and 764 uh that would have helped

    uh that you did anyway even though it wasn't required

    a thank you again to you um commissioner die and the other Commissioners

    um for holding this important series of conversations so I appreciate being being a part of it

    um just before answering directly your your question I just want to kind of um

    affix a point of view to all that Reverend Townsend just share on um the

    other hat I'm wearing currently is the chair of the San Francisco African-American reparations advisory

    committee and the reality that there is a debate over the conditions of black

    saffron siskins and whether or not there should even be a discussion around

    repairing those harms is concerning so just want to to again underscore that

    reality in terms of the um both 1248 and 764. just directionally

    I uh affirm if you will the intentions around

    impartiality the removal of the influence of of political perspectives

    and yet again with with all of the good intentions to again what Reverend

    Townsend has already underscored it will not completely remove subjectivity um

    and that'll just regularly be a part of it the the I don't have concerns about the random

    selection but with just underscore and and recognize that that doesn't that has

    its own challenges um in terms of skewing that could happen um even randomly

    um and then there would need to be obviously a confidence that those eight

    um could then round themselves out um with impartiality as well to ensure a

    balance um beyond that again the overarching intentions I I concur with

    um there was a reference made to our

    um redistricting task force in our quote unquote success around

    um being unanimous while I'm certainly you know proud that we were able to achieve that I personally don't hold

    that as the uh the mark of success in comparison to

    others who had less than that um so again it's just just my point of view I don't I don't have a problem with

    dissenting voices dissenting votes um just on the face of it

    now again if they are overly contrived if they are as Reverend Townsend again

    alluded to if they are um with particular agendas that's you

    know different but just on the face of it um as frankly sometimes maybe a little uncomfortable that somehow we're the

    we're the success because of of what we're able to achieve so

    um the last point I would make is the I'm

    of a mixed mind quite honestly with regard to simple versus um super majority we were unanimous so I

    don't know that it would have um made a difference with our our task force

    um again because I I am open to dissent

    um I'm I'd be comfortable with simple majority um and would not deem into something

    less than successful if you know it were um you know

    um nine five um and and folks that have full

    opportunity to share their perspectives both on the front end as well as throughout the process I'd be comfortable with that so I'll I'll stop

    there okay and just to be clear 9-5 would be okay it's just eight six would not be okay so nine is the is the

    requirement for this for the super majority um Mr Yi if you're still with us I'm

    curious given what you've heard if you have any uh any Reflections based on

    what you heard if you're still with us yeah I am um

    um yeah I [Music] um that's an interesting thought I just

    I'm reflecting on this idea that um would not need a a

    super majority um in our case um you know we drew 176 districts and

    not one line came down to a hard vote you know it was on all done by consensus and talking it out and I think that's

    pretty remarkable again that speaks to the impartiality that we were able to achieve on the on the commission

    um but certainly there isn't any just one way to do it and the most important thing is that it's done openly it's

    unfairly some with clear criteria and uh that it builds the Public's trust in the

    system uh and in the process and in democracy

    thank you Mr Yi uh yes yes I just wanted to kind of uh respond and uh Echo just a

    lot of the comments that were mentioned uh by uh our panelists uh the idea of

    kind of a task force with an agenda um I think that was very much a part of

    this uh the task force uh most recent one the vast majority of all of our

    contentious votes were done by a five to four vote with the exact same five in

    the majority uh I would say moving on to uh the selection process of

    our the uh task force members you know you know first off you have an

    inherently political process second you have one third of the entire task force

    with like no idea of how these people were selected

    the elections commission that process was full and transparent the Board of

    Supervisors uh all the applicants were heard at the rules committee uh but the mayoral appointees the mayor just Picks

    Them um when it comes to a majority versus a super majority I think a super majority

    would have immensely affected our uh my or the task force that I was a part of

    given that all all the contentious votes were five to four having a super

    majority would have really completely changed the calculus we would not have the maps today had we

    had had a super majority uh been instituted yeah that's very interesting uh your

    colleague Mr Cooper uh who was who was the elections commission appointee that

    we heard from last September he actually said well we might still be drawing the maps

    exactly right sir I don't think there's anything wrong with the simple majority

    that's why there were nine people uh that's why I was that's why there's an odd number because that might happen

    and uh and and we've got to go with who we have now if you don't want to do that

    in the future that may be fine but then how do you get the people appointed the

    one thing I want to make it very clear I am unalterably opposed to a lottery

    and the reason I am my only experience with the lottery in San Francisco is the lottery we've

    had to select people who get into affordable housing at the mayor's

    awesomeness of housing a few years ago when two of our supervisors breed and uh uh former

    supervisor uh Cohen created the neighborhood preference

    initiative is because they commissioned a study on about 30 years of the lottery

    and out of the lottery selection of those who get affordable housing African

    Americans had gotten less than one percent sure you create

    a lottery to select members you're going to get what you get

    and that won't be two African-Americans on a task force of nine people as we had

    this time you will probably have none unless somebody who applies in this

    African-American is real lucky and I don't believe in luck

    yeah Reverend Townsend you you bring up very valid concerns about the random selection which is why

    um originally this was amended this bill has been amended a couple of times

    originally it required that uh there be at least one person

    from each district that was randomly selected which was one of my big concerns because out of 14 that would

    have been 11 you could have gotten you know probably wouldn't have gotten

    11 11 black people but you might have gotten 11 white people right um so you spend a way better chance of

    that than getting any black people right I I you know so so it has been changed

    it has been amended and and it now it's basically you know whatever whatever

    eight out of 14 is I don't perform math in public but it's it's you know a little bit over half but there's also uh

    they're actually required to reflect that that you know diverse um demographics of the

    city the so the charter to the first eight and I was one of the first eight when I was on the California

    redistricting commission is to balance the diversity I think it's an effective an effective way to exclude black people

    all right I think you if you do if you do that yeah that you'll probably be

    successful at that uh your chances are better at that than than having a representative voice of black people on

    there I mean you know uh I was surprised we had two I wasn't surprised we had one

    because I knew who the mayor was I was a little surprised it was me up you

    know like I said I've never been lucky so uh you must be good then so I but I

    am really um but I I I would say in that if you go that way the way you're intended to

    going there's a real good chance because I mean you need to look people

    need to look at the population numbers

    of not only what what exists now but what's trending

    going forward for the next 10 years I don't know what you'll be selecting from

    within the black community and by the way we probably already

    talked about black people in this meeting more than we did the whole time we were on the task for it Mr Lee you

    had a uh yes uh I I do want to Echo uh Reverend Townsend's concerns about a lottery uh really because a lottery is

    only as good as the Outreach for it so um I think uh one thing that we

    struggled with and the most recent task force was uh reaching out to uh kind of

    marginalized communities uh you know uh I think uh Reverend Townsend and the

    task force brought up the um the digital divide with the black community so um

    you know having our clerk's office just kind of push things out on Twitter or or on the Internet that doesn't work to

    fully get a representative pool as as diverse as our city right

    um and also I just want to quickly clarify that we we actually had three African-American members uh Reverend

    Townsend uh Michelle Pierce and Reynold Cooper right that's right

    um yeah so that is a stipulation in AB 764 that the plan be published it'd be

    published a year in advance there's a requirement to reach out to community organizations uh so again that

    probably wasn't done that well this time given that we only had 35 applicants for the nine spots that we know of again as

    you pointed out correctly Mr Lee we have no idea how many were considered for the mayor's process but there were 35 for

    the board of well between the borders I think the Board of Supervisors had eight and we had 35. so and there was a big

    overlap between them so yes if I may I and I agree completely

    with the importance of of the Outreach and so that I'm not being presumptuous just

    want to underscore the importance of in that Outreach that there really be significant

    um investment in public education around the process around obviously its

    importance around its the mechanics of it because

    for many this is a foreign

    effort that you only hear about if and when it makes the news if it doesn't make the news you really don't hear

    about the work of the redistricting task force and so again that public education in

    particular into those communities black brown and otherwise of of

    um uh disenfranchised communities will be really really important

    and and if we're going to do this I think we

    ought to include that the city be very careful and thorough about the

    Consultants it that they that the city brings on board what their experiences are in

    every Community we had Outreach Consultants show up that had a team of a

    number of people and nobody on the team that looked like me what is their experience uh when we ask

    the questions what's your experience in reaching out

    to the faith community which is different in my community than it may be in another it may be more

    important in my community you know and and no experiences so I think all

    through the process not just with who's appointed but who's doing the work it's very

    important that it be reflective of our city in some way and so

    um and I think that was a big one because it really concerned me that the Outreach for this work I I

    don't know Jeremy might agree but the outward the real Outreach with this for this work I thought was done more

    effectively by the task force members than than by the task force consultants

    and including Mr Lee and many other people on our body we're doing the work

    to make sure the word got out and and we shouldn't have had to do that

    and and people were paid to do that right and and and then and after you

    express your concern they don't even contact you and ask you what should you

    suggest and those are the kind of things that we ought to be focusing on because

    the work of the task force is can only go as far as the people who

    Supply it the staff if what they do is limited what we're going to be able to

    accomplish will be limited and so I think that

    uh is absolutely essential going forward and and I think some people have already

    spoken this uh because I talked to a couple of task force members but just in case they haven't certainly this process

    which whatever staff that the election commission is going to vote devote to

    this Etc have to gear up a little earlier in the process than I was dead because

    there's so much work to be done and so much great work could have been done getting people ready like having enough

    time to get public service announcements on the television radio stations online

    or you know all the various things that you all do online I I think that's uh

    and I think that's absolutely essential to the work because it is finally the

    same because uh and I'm not complaining I mean you agree to do what you come on and you do the best damn job you can but

    we were put under the gun and a pandemic had a lot to do with that but uh it it

    was an amazingly difficult uh process and while we didn't

    agreeable a lot I am a real proud of all the folk

    that served and and served with uh were generally the professionalism that we

    served with I I uh I was really uh overwhelmed and proud to be a part of

    that of this process even with this difficulties yes um actually we we heard

    significant testimony from the city clerk that had to support you and she in fact recommended that you have dedicated

    team dedicated staff and a dedicated budget and it was you know clearly noted

    that it's very difficult to be an independent body if you don't have your own staff in your own budget and so one

    of the things that I saw in in the legislation is that it actually requires

    reasonable funding and Staffing which would have to be determined but at the

    local level but um uh there's a very detailed report from the city clerk on

    what should have been done and was not provided to this last redistricting task force so yes you you guys uh

    lived along quite a bit and also whatever you do

    and you have you be understand that we live in a world now

    where uh we try to accomplish things frequently not through conversation not

    through dialogue not through uh uh exchanging ideas and thoughts and

    processes but we do it now we do a lot of politics by bullying

    and so you have to uh insulate people as much as you can and

    then hire people with uh real strong repellent

    uh activities and because if not uh they'll come to the pressure yeah well

    in the part of the insulation is for example the ban on ex parte Communications you know it's to provide

    protection for the redistricting task force members who our public servants trying to do a job

    and and until and up till now I have not been paid

    commissioner levols the other question please this is commissioner walsi um for those of you who've served on a

    com um redistration Commission to your point um Reverend Thompson

    do you feel that removing the political appointment will remove to some extent

    The Bullying that you're talking about

    I refuse to accept that the legislators

    the mayor and the uh um

    and the elections commission I refuse to believe that they can't appoint good

    people I think they did I think they picked X I thought I think

    the people on that dashboard was excellent and I think there's a certain group of people

    not a city-wide group of people but there was a certain group of people who were very loud who didn't like what

    happened and that people are listening to that group

    and and you know because in the world we live in if you do a good job folks do not show

    up at the Board of Supervisors at the elections commission or at the mayor's office and say you really did a great

    job people just don't do that if they're satisfied they go to work and they get

    along with their lives but the folk who are disappointed will

    scream and yell somebody said to me during the process how could you do what

    you did and you heard from a thousand people I said no I didn't yesterday I said no I didn't I heard from 100 people

    10 times each that's not a thousand people

    I was there I'm looking at who's in front of me so because of that

    we're kind of here because some people are very vocal which is their right

    I'm not saying that and it's your right to do what you're doing but I don't think it was as bad as

    obviously I don't as some others do because it didn't go their way one of

    the reasons I didn't think it turned out that bad I didn't have a way I was there to do what had to be done

    and you know we've we got it done and

    you know when I look at the last election of the board of super life

    after the lines of original I don't think it was that bad for any

    faction I don't in fact I think it worked better

    for some of the people who were the loudest I don't think they were hurt even though they're still unhappy

    because I guess they wanted to win it all I don't know what the deal was but you know if you if you if you look at

    the board as it's constituted where is it so bad for anybody

    we're still crying about the this because folk were not trying to so many

    people were not concerned with an effective process their concerned with

    winning and and their side winning and that's the problem with politics in this

    city we don't work together anymore because my side got to win and I don't give a damn

    if it doesn't work out well as long as I win and that's why we are less effective

    sometimes when I got this down there were Republicans in office but they were

    people you could talk to and I've always had problems with well not always you know there was a time in this that I

    used to hear or Grown Folk argue over who had the best civil rights planks in

    their platform the Republicans are the Democrats so but but yeah I'm that old but I'm

    gonna tell you what happened they started creating safe districts and now the Republicans don't even have to try

    anymore and that's where we're moving in this city if we're not careful

    that's exactly it's the direction we're headed in because certain folk we've got low

    numbers so they don't even bother to come to the black community they say well I don't have a lot of black people in my district I said you are a San

    Francisco Citywide supervisors elected to represent a district but that's not

    the only thing you're supposed to care about in this town but we're moving in that direction

    because people are crying for districts they can't lose and therefore they not only

    they don't have to be held accountable if they don't do what they promise

    Reverend Townsend I I want to kind of bring us back to the legislation so I do

    rant so cut me off yeah the whole idea of of the bills that are being

    considered are to take the politics out of it uh and to provide protection uh

    for the members that are serving on politics out of it recognize what the

    politics are and I would I would agree with that that you can't take the politics out of it

    and I think it's important to recognize that certainly for the task force that I

    chaired and for this most recent task force I don't believe it was simply a factor

    of the um the appointments that brought with them bias as much as Community organized

    themselves it was true during our task force even though we ultimately landed

    where we landed in terms of unanimous decisions but there was considerable

    Community activation around what folks believed was important perhaps not as

    polarizing as this most recent but it was present and there's that part of the

    dynamic that I don't believe will go away simply because the selection process was improved it's not intended

    to go away right the whole point is to engage with communities and activation of communities is good because then they

    can Define what their boundaries are and we can make sure they get Fair representation so when I say get the

    politics out I'm talking about the conflicts of interest that might be present in the selection process I'd

    like to hear from um Jeremy Lee yeah thank you uh commissioner uh I I would say that it's

    it's so incredibly important to take out that conflict of interest

    um you know because we we are all like at this task force we were all appointed by our appointing authorities and you

    know the task force I would say the majority of us were well connected in

    the San Francisco political scene so um you know we we know the ins and outs

    and we have relationships with people with supervisors with different

    political groups so you know for example if one of the supervisors came to me and

    told me hey Jeremy you need to vote this way do I vote my conscience or do I defy

    what this this person of authority has has told me to do and um

    you know uh and for full disclosure I I never discussed any vote with anyone

    during the entire course of uh I served okay yeah like like I said part of this

    is to to insulate members and exactly um I mean I will share since uh

    unfortunately we lost uh Mr yay since uh he had to go back to his CRC meeting uh

    you know I knew some electives and they would like see me and cross the street and walk on the other side because they

    were not legally allowed to talk to me outside of a public meeting and it was very freeing

    so so Mr Lee in your opinion you feel removing

    doing a random selection process or a selection process that is not embedded

    in political appointments would have in your opinion been uh

    better for the last redistricting most certainly no certainly again you know we all have our political connections I

    mean it's hard to divorce that but I think the it just like those political

    connections were just amplify it even more because we had an appointing authority and

    um you know there they weren't barred from speaking to us right thank you

    thank you commissioner Parker you've been thinking for a while do you have um some

    questions I will point out one particular danger is that you know the way the

    appointments are now structured if you get a board that has a majority

    of the same political bit and the mayor shares that political

    event you could then have some real problems of people not being represented

    in the uh in the appointment process and for for being left out so and and then

    there may be a real potential for creating quote-unquote safe districts for one ideology or another so I I think

    that's the one thing to uh that we need to be aware of one potentiality right

    so so again that's that is what 12 48

    proposes to completely eliminate that our structure would not be allowed under

    the the current uh there will be other structures that arise

    trust me well because people are who people are right

    um but the question before this committee is to whether we recommend uh

    whether it's specifically 1248 or something that's modeled after 12 48 which appoints an impartial vetting

    Authority no appointing authorities um with very clear standard criteria

    that requires people to not have political conflicts of interest uh

    or their family members so we can't be the spouse of a candidate or a lobbyist

    or a major donor to really remove those political conflicts of interest I was

    struck by Mr yeast comment that you couldn't tell you couldn't tell partisan

    affiliation and I will know that I will Echo that for our commission on the CRC

    we travel to other states and we always traveled as one Democrat one Republican one independent and we would ask people

    to guess and they were usually wrong they couldn't tell and that was because those political conflicts of interest

    were removed and impartiality was important I would be very interested since all all

    of you are San franciscans what you think about the elect uh the ethics commission seeing the yeah

    because Mr Yu was not a San Francisco but you guys are San franciscans I'm not what you're not I well

    I've probably been here longer than you have but then you've been alive I I I

    grew up in uh an all-black town in Oklahoma and in Los Angeles mostly in Las Vegas but do you

    live in San Francisco but I've lived in San Francisco for 56 years okay so you

    qualify so I would like to hear from all of the panelists their opinions on

    the ethics commission being the vetting Authority or if you think some of the

    other choices in the legislation include uh the elections commission which I

    personally would not be in favor of since we have no staff and no budget either uh and are also all volunteers

    um and then there was a panel of three judges um there could be controller controller

    a controller which would be akin to the to the auditor who do you think is

    trusted in San Francisco to to decide who are the most qualified

    applicants against the standard set of criteria a question how do you become a member of the

    elections Commission all of us are appointed by a different appointing authority well that kind of

    kicks the hell out of the impartiality Theory

    that's the idea that the voters voted on was to have seven different appointing

    authorities so no elected could have any control so but anyway back to the question who

    do you think the elect the ethics commission is the right one and if not

    who should it be just a point of clarification how was the how are election Commissioners appointed or like

    power selected oh for all of us I'm sorry ethics ethics ethics

    do we know the answer to that question but once again if they're all appointed by seven of several other different

    appointed authorities how do you keep the appointing authorities from talking before they make their appointment so

    that that just kind of blows what you're trying to do if that's where the

    finality is I mean it's something you need to think about well the the question that I asked Mr

    this is commissioner lavosi the question I asked um Mr Yi was was

    to get to this um and I would like to know from you

    do you think there is a body in San Francisco that can can do this in

    the most effective and impartial way and I would like to have your your honest opinions about that

    oh that is a really hard question you know like like this is San Francisco

    like we breathe politics here so it's hard to find like a truly impartial body

    um I I think in my view it really is I I think the the structure of

    like how these people are chosen it matters far more than which body goes

    through and and chooses like the what is it 40 or so that that are random then

    randomly selected so um I I think there will be in the next

    task force cycle there will be a lot of people a representative sample of San

    Francisco applying for these um positions and if you take just a swath of just a

    random 40 of them I think you you'll have a pretty decent pool uh Mr McDonald do you

    have that opinion excuse me I guess the only objection that I would have well let me start in the affirmative I I

    don't think I agree with um Mr Lee that that there is no

    impartiality um from a purity um perspective and so I personally will

    be comfortable with the ethics um committee there are five appointing bodies for the five members

    um and I'd be comfortable with that because again I've been overseeing the process

    um absent the actual selection that would be driven by the random um

    um identify a selection process I think would would suffice um and I would not I guess to finish my

    thought I would not be in favor of an individual um because I think that's just too

    fraught with the potential for whatever again subjectivity and or bias he or she

    might be holding I have an additional question for you Mr

    McDonald would you want to see that if

    it were to be the election excuse me the ethics commission that there be

    um a bar on Communications for those members who during this election process

    that they not speak or have any communication with their appointing authorities during the process so this

    is a little bit different going beyond what um the the proposed legislation would

    have it would you know to me it would be interesting to have that piece and do

    you think that would be effective so during the process if we were to go this way and the ethics commission who is who

    are appointed would you like to see and I also would like to hear from the other panelists would you like to see that

    there be no communication with their foreign Authority during that time outside of the public yes okay I would

    agree with that completely uh Mr Lee and Mr Thompson you have an opinion on that uh yes I think that would be a very

    prudent move Mr Johnson well I think you run into a problem

    I uh what I think you uh you know we have a

    way in this country of making sure that people become criminals I think what you

    do is you require that if there is communication of any kind it has to be

    divulged and and because and and if it's not

    that that automatically uh ends your time of service

    because you know if I run into somebody and I'm seen

    talking to them are we talking about that it's you know it it can frequently be people you know

    as far as the ethics commission is concerned I you know I wasn't going to

    say anything because I sound like a broken record because I am I'm I'm I'm

    I'm I'm 80 years old and I've been black pretty much all of them and I've been

    broken and because of that my experience with the ethics commission and it's dealing

    with the African-American Community I have not seen as very friendly or

    understanding and when I say understanding I don't mean that in they don't want to be my friend I mean they

    don't know much about our community and so that would be a problem for me but

    I'm only an individual and I'm aware of that but I hope I'm speaking for others

    which body would you be comfortable with if any I don't know I can't think of

    hardly any that are any better unless you're gonna pick a body that's in the African-American community so some of

    the other choices were um a civil grand jury that was the other one right the silver grand jury could be

    the vetting body a a panel of three retired judges

    would be another choice or in our case the controller the controller's office which you know

    they're the ones who publish the fiscal impact of every measure I'll commit to think about it and getting back to you

    I'm thinking about the judges um as a as a possibility

    um but let me I think this is a hard question I think

    as Mr Lee said San Francisco is a political it's a very political environment and if we understand

    if we understand going in that people who come on anybody are going to have

    biases and we do our best to get to what those are so once again we understand what

    their decisions are coming out of we know what kind of work they've done what

    kind of uh organizations they've worked with and so forth if we can know those

    kinds of things and then and and and we create rules that says you can't talk to

    your point appointing authority unless you let us know you know you can't I

    I have friends and I get free Giants tickets

    but it was last spring when we got through all of this at this end of spring beginning of Summer and I

    couldn't get Giants tickets because my friend said by the way I can't give you any ticket before I ever

    ask for any because I'm on the uh redistricting Commission and there's a

    limit on any gifts you know if you make those kinds of rules

    then you you but to to make a rule and say there's no

    communication and there's no way of knowing whether there is or not

    you know you you require that if there is there should not be

    or you can say there is not supposed to be but if there is you better divulge

    and divulge what you talked about yeah because if not you're automatically dismissed

    and same kinds of things down the line I think we're much more honest that way if

    a reporter writes a story and they're supposed to be objective I'd really rather know their biases

    before I read the story sure then I know what to make of it rather than they try

    to tell me that they're unbiased and they actually are

    I know commissioner Parker this was an issue that was important to you too did you want to ask any other questions

    around the selection of the vetting Authority uh no not specifically around this um I

    think a lot of the things I've been thinking about have been discussed here um but um but I will maybe cover something else

    um I listening to all of uh all of your comments today and I also read the most

    recent um redistricting task forces report um and saw all and all the statements

    that were associated with it um and it seems that there are there are

    actually a lot of things that people agree on um you know the things that are probably a bit no-brainer like making sure you're

    able to start as early as you can this this is an anomaly sort of a year we of course just had because the pandemic

    affected you all so much in the ability to do Outreach how early you could start

    because the census was delayed all of those kinds of things um so the starting early

    um the support that was needed from the clerk's office having dedicated staff you all are pretty pretty solidly in

    agreement on those kinds of things um Outreach I know you've already discussed

    that tonight um and I know that there were a lot of criticisms around interpretation services for instance that you had no

    control over it was the budget like you couldn't do anything about that um you know so and there were also some

    some pretty clear statements about the composition of the task force and um in the the main report you know

    without any involvement of elected officials or appropriate and reinforce the independence um and then alternates you all were

    pretty United around needing to have alternates so so that's um that's all encouraging I feel like

    the more that we can talk about the things we agree on the better and then we can find the ones that we want to try to improve on

    um this is maybe for a lot of people no-brainers but actually have found that there is some disagreement as I've been

    doing my own research and talking to folks last few weeks um so I wondered about stipends for task

    force members and how you all see that particular issue because that is something that's included in the legislation and it's referenced in a lot

    of these stipends so paying giving paid stipends to task force members for their

    service obviously there's various reasons we do that in a lot of these instances to try to make it possible for

    um folks to participate who may not have the time to give because they need to work and recognizing the labor you know

    that it takes to be part of these kinds of efforts so I just wondered all three of you what your perspective is on

    having stipends for task force members why don't we start with um uh Mr

    McDonald first because we always make him go last so thanks I appreciate that

    um I I support um providing stipends um for a couple reasons for me it it

    um is consistent with um intentionality around being as Broad

    and inclusive as possible for reasons that actually you just stated you know in terms of needing to work

    um and the amount of time it is a it is a it is a significant time commitment

    Amendment um that I think warrants um a stipend and

    um again I think it aids in the con in you know the efforts to ensure a diverse

    makeup of of the body right Mr Lee um I I I'm in full support of a stipend

    uh for task force members um I think uh our uh the most recent task force we we were all fortunate

    enough to where we didn't need to have a stipend but uh when you think of you

    know working class folks single mothers um the idea of those type of people

    serving on the task force um and staying for these long meetings

    into the middle of the night is is inconceivable and so you know I I think

    it would do well for us as a city to you know provide some financial assistance

    to increase the the pool of applicants thank you Reverend Townsend your

    thoughts uh certainly I I I I don't see anything wrong with stipends if if I know the

    city it's uh not going to be enough money to give anybody a reason to want

    to do it but uh but I certainly think it's appropriate

    uh certainly for people who work in the city and are not highly paid

    you know right now it just means there's certain people that just can't do this

    volunteer because they can't afford to and nobody should be priced out of

    participating in government so for that reason I certainly think uh it's

    important um and then it was so unreasonable uh

    because of covet I don't know how working you know I'm old but some of the

    people who work you know I don't know how they gave us all that time it really

    meant you could only have a certain kind of job and that was wrong I I think that

    was bad okay thank you and and I will for commissioner Parker's benefit since

    you didn't hear the September testimony from the other uh

    redistricting task forcement there was General support from all of them as well um and Miss Craig who unfortunately

    couldn't make it tonight said she supported a stipend but it should be modest that was her but don't make them

    Rich yeah that's right yeah and and I will say um on the California citizens redistrict

    we had a modest stipend it was 300 bucks for you know for a working day which is substantially less than what a lot of

    people on the uh on the commission made in their day jobs and the we had

    um a young mother uh two uh who had significant extra

    expenses because of child care expenses in the commission you know noted that in

    our final report that it was unfair to mothers with young children because they

    had additional expenses that we couldn't figure out how to reimburse them for and in San Francisco

    we in most of the service type things that citizens do we don't give seconds

    and most of them and that's really you know by saying we're saving the city money really a

    slick way of keeping certain people out of the decision-making process right

    yeah during the task force we were lucky if the clerk would order us lunch right

    over finally would it be retroactive

    not sure we can are we gonna help you there we're trying to figure out how to make it better for this then yes can't

    believe you for trying um other questions that came up as you

    reviewed this uh

    I'm just looking through my notes Here on everything it covers I I feel like the legislation is fairly comprehensive

    uh in terms of the universal recommendations that we receive from all

    of the good government groups that we met with over the course of the past year

    um it seems like everyone supports the alternates including Mr Yi we certainly

    wish we had alternates uh since like I said we had to replace someone almost immediately and go back to the drawing

    board again we have in fact we had um our oldest member was in his 80s and we

    were like stay healthy Vince with the 10 years you know do not make us have to replace you and so if we had alternates that would

    not have been a problem any any other items that

    you want to reflect on no not with our guests not with our

    guests okay well um I think we can let them go then we've already lost Mr Yi uh Who had who only

    gave us an hour um any final comments that any of the panelists would like to make

    um feel free to make any final closing remarks if you have any sure uh I'll

    I'll speak um I just want to just first thank

    um all of you Commissioners for for embarking on this this work it's it's just so incredibly important to to

    Really remove the political aspect out of redistricting as much as you can

    um I will say that serving on the redistricting task force was truly the most grueling experience

    of my life uh and I I say that not in in the sense

    that it we long meetings and and listening through

    um you know hours and hours of testimony it was really the injection of the

    political aspect it felt um like anything I said or did wouldn't

    have changed the course of the task force um it's

    um you know I'll even share that because of how divisive this task force was

    in direct response to that I started taking medication for anxiety and

    depression um I'm currently on two different kinds of antidepressants

    so um it it's it's had a profound personal effect on me

    um you know and um and that was really on on full display I I will fully acknowledge I am

    likely the most infamous member of the redistricting task force um and and I carry that

    so um you know and I'm I'm here today because I

    don't want a future task force to inflict that same level of trauma that

    was afflicted upon me and that's why I hear and I I truly want

    to change this process thank you so much Mr Lee for sharing that I'm very sorry that you had to go

    through that and I hope that whatever we do we can protect future redistricting task force members thank you

    um anyone else would like to make a final remarks without due respect I find some of those comments insulting but uh

    um uh to suggest that uh with no evidence that there was

    an agenda is really a disservice

    to everyone on that commission they gave of themselves and endured a great deal

    of pain and more pain than should have been generated

    to people who were given of themselves to serve the city

    I don't know any of our task force members who got rich because of any

    decision that they made I don't and and for people to suggest

    that there was an agenda because you couldn't sway me

    to vote another way does not mean that I'm a crook

    and that's what I hear being this that suggested I believe that the people who did not

    vote with me honestly looked at the same criteria

    that I looked at and came to a different conclusion based upon what they

    perceived as a different need and their perception was honest for them I don't

    count any of them as being in collusion are being disingenuous or crooked We

    Just Disagree and if you don't disagree you will never accomplish anything worthwhile uh they

    used to say down south the old folk used to say if everybody in the room agrees

    on the first vote somebody ain't thinking and that's what I believe this these

    processes are about that we we work hard

    and we come to a conclusion that I knew when I agreed to do it

    reluctantly that I was probably going to make more of my friends angry

    then I was going to make happy because that's the nature of this kind of work and I thank God for the people who are

    willing to do it all of them whether they agreed with me or not they got a right to disagree with me

    and that doesn't make him a bad person yeah and so we we we we've got to change

    some thinking in this town if we're going to get back to the creative City

    that we used to be creative ideas don't come out of this town

    anymore because we're all too locked into what we claim then we are locked into what's best for

    the citizens of San Francisco all right thank you Reverend Townsend and we

    absolutely thank everyone for their service and you know just asking for any

    final remarks Mr McDonald do you have any just briefly thank you

    um I appreciate all of the efforts in terms of enhancing and improving the system and

    processes in particular around impartiality and I guess I would just want to equally underscore

    um the importance at least in my view of the enhancements including raising the

    bar on intentional inclusion that is important as impartiality is

    um inclusion of the diverse again City that we are is in my view equally as

    important so thank you all right I think um all of you gentlemen you are free to

    stay while we discuss uh and for you to make additional public comment later if you would like but we thank you all for

    sharing your insights only you guys have had that direct experience in San

    Francisco and we absolutely appreciate uh you're sharing them with us as we

    consider this important set of potential recommendations and thank you for having

    us thank you thank you so much thank you

    all right Commissioners a lot to chew on

    and uh thinking about what to take back to the

    full commission um

    we have a a couple of uh options

    one is to

    one is to uh recommend that uh

    that we generally like the uh the provisions uh in either or both of these

    pieces of legislation that uh that we would support it as a foundation for

    either San Francisco's own Charter Amendment or

    uh as something that would be a good result if

    if the existing language for the redistring task force were removed from the charter which would allow 1248 to

    take effect essentially there's the possibility that it doesn't pass it's

    past the assembly uh both both bills have passed the assembly it may or may

    not pass the Senate it's going through its process right now and then it may or may not be signed into law

    uh so they're there's a question whether we would want to just do that given that possibility

    or whether we we would be better off doing our own version of 1248

    essentially um that bakes in what we feel is important in

    the charter and then we don't have to worry about what happens to those bills we heard at the last meeting for those

    of you who may not have had a chance to listen in the good government group

    Representatives feel that it covers we heard a percentage as high as 95 percent of of

    the key elements that they recommend for San Francisco to kind of um

    create the structure that that results in Fair maps and fair representation with

    hopefully more consensus so

    how are we feeling here

    I will share that I did ask the City attorney what happens if 1248 doesn't

    pass and we heard last time I believe it was a

    representative from the League of Women Voters had suggested that if we struck all the language about the redistricting

    task force in our Charter and 1248 doesn't pass it would still be

    a better outcome because uh San Francisco would then fall under

    the fair Maps act regardless putting in the rank criteria and many of

    the other structural improvements however the what I heard back from the

    city attorney is if we don't have an independent redistricting Commission in place and 1248 doesn't pass creating

    that default commission then it would fall to the Board of Supervisors

    they however would have to follow ranked criteria and the transparency requirements and the public hearings and

    the Outreach plan but they would be the redistricting body for the city then so that is a possibility if we were to

    recommend that the simply that the language should be cleaned up and the

    references to the redistricting task force removed so

    any thoughts on that

    um um I have been I mean I'm sure all of us

    have been thinking about this a lot um because I'm pretty new to the commission I've been I'm trying to do a

    lot of catching up I've read a lot of meeting minutes from the last year

    um yeah last year plus um and I've been reading and having a lot

    of conversations to try to understand this really well and as I think my fellow Commissioners know I think that

    this is important for us to do to to align with best practices make sure we're putting ourselves as you know our

    job as a commission is to ensure that there are free fair and functional elections in San Francisco

    um and that is you know it makes sense for us to take the time to educate both ourselves and the public on this issue I

    don't know that there's another body that would be taking the time to talk about it um uh so so there is that

    um and I also um so it's I have found myself in kind of a

    um an interesting spot as I'm reflecting on all this is is believing that and I am understanding that there are there

    are some in our community who are seeing the process that we're going through right now and how we've been having these and trying to bring something

    forward to the Board of Supervisors it's it being somewhat one-sided or political um and so trying to square that word

    there's some good ideas and there's a perception um you know on the work that we're doing and so how do we navigate that

    um because I think that matters I think the trust in our commission really matters and the trust in the process and the trust the that people have that will

    be inclusive and hear lots of varying viewpoints come before us and and invite those

    um and we can't know the work intimately the way many of our task force members have is they've been involved in it and

    some of this work can feel theoretical so so anyway so that's just background on the kinds of thinking that I've been

    doing over the past um few weeks since we last met and I know some folks are thinking that

    we are rushing this a little bit and I've had also conversations with the mayor's office and others as I've been sort of charged to and I'm wondering

    um you know I hear these options that you're proposing commissioner die and wondering should we in order to invite

    more voices take a little bit of time wait and see what happens with AV 1248 before we make a recommendation because

    we've already seen amendments made which I actually think are probably good amendments that have been made in the assembly and because it hasn't even

    gotten to the Senate do we want to see what they're going to do because if we try to adhere with what ab1248 says or

    ab6764 they might change and so would it be better for us to pause for a minute I

    know that this um this process for lots of people clearly we are hearing in public comment is still really

    triggering and really feels really fresh and raw so I wonder if it would be good for us to wait and see what happens at

    the state level with this legislation see what actually happens and then once

    we see that we we know how what the implications will be it'll feel much more real to us here in San Francisco

    because it's going to affect us and while it might be most the way there I have some concerns with some pieces of

    1200 create um that I don't think are great for us but

    it almost feels silly to State those now because I don't have any control how that bill is going to come out so maybe

    wait and see what happens to see if we want to then make a recommendation to the Board of Supervisors who is

    everybody hears and I just want to State it again we are not legislative Authority we cannot write this we should

    not write this and and so that is that's not what should happen but I'm wondering if we should wait and see what happens

    with 1248 and then react accordingly and and you know continue to bring in as many

    different perspectives and voices as we can to shape our recommendations which we then as we've talked about many times

    we just hand over to the board um and let them take it with more resources than we have to do a really

    even more inclusive process so that's that's where I'm sitting right now

    commissioner levelsi um yes this is commissioner policy I

    am processing a lot of what I heard today and [Music]

    it's apparent that

    those citizens of San Francisco who served on these commissions had an

    experience um as you said commissioner Parker net that evoked some trauma and so I really feel

    that we need to take this

    um and listen to as many I keep I wrote down I keep thinking about what Mr

    McDonald said intentional inclusion um what you talked about about child

    care um the fact that there is legislation that is not yet

    passed and so we don't know what's going to happen so I would agree with you commissioner Parker that we need to take

    our time and we may need to step back a bit um on this process and so thank you for

    raising it um but I I do feel that there is a lot after listening to our three speakers to

    to process about moving forward and moving forward in a way that will be

    effective and one of my chief concerns is that the community at large or as

    much as possible has confidence in the vetting process of the applications and

    those who apply and so I'm still yeah that I think yeah that that's where

    I'm still the mo I'm doing the most processing in my head because I think they were very clear

    um about that um so I I do think that

    when and if we have have legislation that could be a best practice a guide

    for us I think we'd be in a better situation

    so um I completely agree I think the vetting

    the vetting you know agency is the biggest question in my mind I'm I'm not

    sure the ethics commission is the right wedding Authority

    um I don't think we need to decide that I mean I think that

    the goal of 1248 is to make sure it's a non-political appointment process

    and if that's something that we can all agree on you know then the question of

    what should it be replaced with is something that the Board of Supervisors is in a much better

    situation to take input on since we don't have the resource to really

    to run the kind of inclusive

    community input process I mean we've had this discussion repeatedly at the elections

    commission as much as we would like to do that it is not something we are resourced to do

    and so when I spoke with um president puskin about what we needed

    to give them he said high level Concepts they're going to do the drafting of the

    legislation so we do not need to specify it should be this organization or whatever

    uh so he said Concepts

    so for me the concept would be a non-political appointing process with a

    trusted vetting agency that they should check with the voters of San Francisco to see

    that's the reason we did our little mini survey with the three folks that we had uh and they couldn't decide right so I I

    don't think that's something we need to decide I think what we heard very clearly from our panelists tonight

    is yeah help us get the politics out um the fact that we had a redistricting

    Task Force member who is so traumatized that he's on two antidepressants it's really disturbing to me

    uh and the kind of pressure that people felt from their appointing authorities if even one Task Force member felt that

    way I think that's terrible I I do really contrast that with how it was on

    the redistricting of this California CRC for me I mean it was very freeing

    because basically nobody would talk to us so we did we really didn't have that

    pressure we had public pressure we were in a crucible we were always being you know live streamed and

    uh in the media and all that but we did not have pressure from from uh elected

    officials and that was very helpful as we were drawing their districts

    so my concern is I don't want us to you know get stuck on details that

    we are not supposed to come up with anyway because we are not drafting legislation and I'm wondering if

    we can agree on the broad Strokes of 1248 and whether it

    means you know it's something the elections commission still has to consider whether

    we would like to ask the board to support it or not we could choose not to

    um the question is are the proposals that are made in 1248 a good basis for the

    Board of Supervisors to draft specific legislation I really think that's what they're looking for

    is do these different elements make sense and is it something that

    there's broad support for because it it makes the process better it helps to

    insulate the members of the task force from political interference it helps to make sure the people who serve on the

    task force you know that no one can tell right they

    can't tell them apart because they are united in trying to draw Fair maps for all San franciscans that they're not

    trying to represent their District they're trying to represent San Francisco uh that was something that was very much

    the ethos on the CRC in fact I very distinctly remember being interviewed by

    I think it was a Bay Area reporter and they kind of came up to me and they said hey you know San Francisco used to have

    two state senators and the way you're drawing the maps San Francisco is only going to have one

    and I said how big is the state Senate District and how many people does San Francisco

    have what do you think is the right number for San Francisco and that was

    very much how everyone on the CRC felt is we are not representing our hometowns we are representing California and we

    want to make sure everyone gets Fair representation and how do we get people like that on the redistricting task

    force that they don't come in with agendas we had some mixed responses on that but

    again you favor there were even a few task force members that came in with an agenda to try to skew things to obtain a

    certain outcome that is completely at odds with the idea of independent redistricting

    if they're coming in to draw safe districts that is literally the definition of gerrymandering


    um I you know I think I think ab1248 definitely includes the

    areas that have to be considered you know I mean it's certainly comprehensive and the components of redistricting

    whether it has nailed down the things that I think maybe I know a lot of them are based on California District joint

    commission and um you know and a lot of best practices and there are you know I know we don't

    want to change we wouldn't want to change too much to make San Francisco so special we get into some trouble with those kinds of things but I I think

    really what I have been thinking about a lot is this idea that maybe we should

    not that we shouldn't end up getting to it let's give broad Strokes to the Board of Supervisors I'm I don't think that we

    necess shouldn't necessarily get there but I think that by using that as the model we still just

    should wait until we know what the state's going to do because it could change you know and so if we say just

    align with this and it changes and again this this theme of I think we want it we

    want to do what we can to build inclusion and Trust in our body and by pausing for a minute and waiting to see

    what happens and inviting others to join us as long as we get to those kind of broad strokes and then hand it over

    um then that might be able to help us get there and I think the trust in our body

    is really important and so I think that that is something that can help us get us there and so that's that's part of why not because I don't think that there

    are some really good things in ab1248 I do I just it's not final and

    um and I want to increase trust in our body uh this is commissioner Wilson and it

    just makes good sense to wait and see what the state

    legislature is going to do um we could give broad strokes and or broad

    Concepts excuse me to the Board of Supervisors and they are going to do what they're going to do

    um SO waiting until we know whether this legislation

    has passed and become state law gives us a solid foundation to move

    um on and I don't think it will hinder the process or hurt the process I think

    it will um it will remove doubt in my mind that

    we're acting on some kind of agenda and I and I think that that's what some

    people may feel and so um doing this work that we've done so

    far has been excellent extremely informative and

    is not wasted but it can it allows us to build on

    something um with a solid validation because right now we don't have a solid foundation

    okay so

    um I'm hearing that we'd like to I guess report on what we heard

    uh and pause for a bit um

    so is the thinking that that we would not continue to work on this or is there

    are there some things that this this committee should explore because I think um the reason this committee was formed

    was to take this off the agenda for for the for the full body because thoughtful discussions like this take

    time and elections commission meetings only happen once a month and so

    um do you think it would be useful to to delve into some of this further

    rather than just waiting to see what happens because it's you know the legislation is going to move at the pace

    that it moves and can I I think that

    us delving deeper um getting more information um educating ourselves even more is a

    good idea I don't think the work has to stop while we wait um

    you know this this committee is temporary and in its nature for obvious

    reasons but the pace that it will take for this legislation to get through the

    process pass hopefully be signed if if it passes is a

    time that we could take to kind of step back in and also get more information from the public also educate ourselves

    also educate ourselves as far as what different bodies in San

    Francisco think about it so I I don't think it means that we need to stop

    it just means we need to do more work

    okay I think that's fine too you know I mean if we were not to meet you know often

    before we know what happens with the legislation I think that would be okay I'm trying to think about what

    what kinds of issues I'd like to see us Explore More and that's something I'll need to think about more and actually I

    would invite the public when you get public comment now if you have suggestions of things you think we should cover in future committee

    meetings if we decide we're not going to actually make any recommendations or take action until after ab1248 has a result of some kind

    um I would really be interested in hearing that um and I would certainly like to think about it and I'm willing I'm absolutely

    willing to continue meeting and learning and and some of that honestly is as you all know we we are all volunteers also

    and have very busy lives and so trying to squeeze in and all the edges to do all the reading and learning that I've

    been doing um and so even just time for me to continue doing that being a newer

    commission member I'd appreciate um there's lots of videos I'd like to go and re watch instead of only reading all

    the minutes from the meetings I've been reading um and so that's another thing I would invite the public to share if there's things that you think that we should

    review as we continue trying to be responsible in our coverage of this issue I would invite that and welcome it

    so okay okay well with that um

    uh why don't we open it to public comment so um I I

    uh again I want to yes I just want to remind everyone that the commission has

    a limited this committee has a limited scope of kind of finalizing recommendations to the full commission

    uh that you know would then be referred to the Board of Supervisors to consider

    uh and that the board is is much better resource to run a really comprehensive

    public input process if and when specific legislation is drafted so there

    will be ample opportunity to share specific thoughts on anything that they actually propose I do want to

    acknowledge the many written comments that we got before this meeting and they will become part of tonight's meeting

    record and shared with board uh having said that I hope there are some

    reactions to what we just heard from this incredible panel of people who've

    been through the process and well it's kind of tough when you pre-write your thing and then you have all this information come up because my head

    about to explode yeah yeah with all the new information that I wish I was commenting on

    um feel free to I mean okay take a minute and then I'll I'm sure I'll have

    extra time so all right all right thank you so I'm here giving public comment as a

    former elected delegate to the California Democratic party and a current concern San Franciscan I'm

    terrified that appointed officials are blatantly blurring the lines between what they are and are not legally authorized to do residents having to

    take time to police our appointed officials to defend our laws and our Democratic processes is more than robust

    civil engagement it's a disgrace sadly these subtle power grabs are happening everywhere in the city but the

    self-appointed fierce committee's attempt to force an unauthorized incomplete and premature Charter Amendment onto the 2024 ballot when

    there is nothing anywhere giving them the authority to do so is by far the most egregious as you know redistricting

    is an issue that is fundamental to our democracy the last redistricting effort was a success because the task force

    members remain true to the law the process and to their task they did not yield to The Fanatic ideologues who

    viewed compromise as a dirty word and I really want to repeat this the process itself was not the problem and

    many of the task force members unwavering commitment to the process was what actually kept the partial partisan

    and unethical influences a special interest at Bay the process was the Savior not the problem some members of

    the commission and some members of the task force however were the problem the result of the task force steadfast

    effort is a legal map not everyone was happy but not everyone is going to be happy in politics there is a legal

    process to redistricting there is limited Authority and scope in practice for the elections commission and both

    are being brazenly ignored by this Fierce Commission eroding and dismantling are democratic

    Norms just because you don't like the outcome of a fair and impartial process is straight out of kindergarten and the

    Trump Playbook and yet here it is being brought into our heart of our San Francisco elections commission appointed

    officials abandoning the rule of law should terrify us all but participating in such Behavior should distinctly

    humiliate this Commission um one of the things that you're talking about is bringing this to the Board of

    Supervisors you're you're simultaneously talking about removing the politics from

    it and bringing it to the Board of Supervisors the Board of Supervisors is the most political entity you could

    imagine bringing this to when you talk about the pressure that these people felt there was a commissioner standing

    right here who was insulting to my dear friend and Task Force member Lily ho and

    on behalf of her and women everywhere his apology is still not accepted it the

    the behavior you're talking about in terms of uh influence and bullying Dean

    Preston rallying his crew to threaten legal action to the Commissioners in the

    task force when they didn't like what they heard this is becoming a trend in San Francisco politics but it cannot become

    a trend in your work redistricting is just too important and

    you cannot let people think out of it thank you

    I'll go next I guess I'm Alan berardell um I uh had some comments prepared

    tonight but I think uh I'll just be brief and say that I'm encouraged to hear some comments tonight about taking

    a pause and uh waiting to see what happens with the state bill uh Stephanie really made a lot of the

    points that I was uh prepared to make uh their uh important to hear because this

    body um there's some there's some real questions

    about what's Happening Here uh it looks uh like you're legislating

    instead of policy making for the Department of Elections and policy

    making for the Department of Elections is really what we're here for in preparing for next year

    and many of us are wondering what's falling through the cracks while you're just making this Relentless push

    for this reform around redistricting so uh

    and thank you for this panel tonight uh I want to give a special uh

    uh prop to uh Reverend Townsend I think what Reverend Townsend said tonight just

    most everything he said was so right on we have to uh really take in wisdom from people

    like Reverend Thompson so thank you thank you Mr burdell next

    and if you want to write your name and help us with the spelling for the minutes that would be most appreciated

    sure I'll spell it for you when I give my comment okay what is this process commissioner die

    what is it if not political fodder an agenda a spectacle catering to a

    contingent of activists given a map that followed the criteria outlined

    the prematurity of raising this absence necessary State legislation on the books

    and the facts fact that no individuals or body will ever be

    impartial I appreciate your acknowledging that you're not resourced to run this process

    nor are you qualified to draft legislation nor is the ethics commission impartial

    nor is the Board of Supervisors commissioner Parker is correct that

    trust is in this body is very important and what this process does is betray

    Trust that's all it does is betray Trust

    please do pause no full stop

    um and then for you for the spelling my name is Pauline Affair my last name is spelled f as in Frank a y e r

    I'm speaking as an individual I appreciate the opportunity to provide

    public comments and I hope I do hope that I do not need to come back on this issue

    thank you thank you Miss Fair

    hi my name is Marguerite Hutchinson I live in District Two I want to congratulate all three of you today by

    for the work that you did to basically come to an it seems to come to the conclusion that you will somewhat pause

    and slow down the work by a super majority I think that is a good outcome where you're not being preemptive and

    not overreaching into the process that has been set Before You by The Board of Supervisors or others who are able to

    legislate I look forward to learning more about this process the panel that you convened today was very very

    interesting and enlightening I'm hoping to follow this process slowly as we see

    the legislation proceed through this the state legislature thank you

    thank you massage yourself

    hello my name is Todd Davis and I'm from District three

    in San Francisco nine citizens were appointed to a redistricting task force they spent

    nearly a year holding Community meetings San Francisco

    their task force they had drew the lines in open not behind closed doors

    and they supported good government already

    what you guys are trying to do by rushing this process is provide a

    medicine to San Francisco that we don't need the fact is what you guys should be

    doing with your time on this task of course is figuring out why the

    redistricting task force was drawn into the political Fray rather than left

    alone to do their jobs thank you thank you Mr Davis

    okay hello my name is Michael Lauer and I

    live in District 8. I'm a local and I grew up in District 7. first I'd like to thank two of you for recommending a

    pause to this ridiculousness I'd like to remind the San Francisco elections commission what San Francisco

    voters charge it with on November 6 2001. on that date San Francisco voters

    amended our city Charter to add a seven-member Election Commission and charge it with a narrow scope of

    authority to do two things one set General policy for the Department of

    Elections and two set general policies for the proper administration of the

    general practices of the elections Department creation of the new elections commission

    was designed to require public deliberation of Department of Elections policy and to increase the opportunity

    for public comment on elections Administration despite this clear and narrow narrowly

    written scope of authority the following appeared in a recent email from

    elections commission member Cynthia dying the fierce committee including my

    colleagues commissioner Renita lavosli and Michelle Parker has been charged

    with refining a final set of reforms for the election commission to refer to the

    Board of Supervisors for consideration of a possible Charter amendment in 2024.

    this election commission should stop focusing on redistricting Charter

    amendments that it seems to believe it is charged with creating and focus a lot

    more on the charter Amendment voters passed back on November 6 2001 at The

    Ballot Box that 2001 Charter Amendment lays out the scope of your duties very clearly please

    stop exceeding them thank you thank you Mr Laura

    you'll have to forgive me since I'm losing my voice I'm already I'll get people proposing silly legislation

    but good evening my name is Jay Connor B Ortega and I see this document where we

    can write our name so I'll take care of that thank you um but I did want to First say that while I had something

    prepared written here I want to thank you all for proposing putting a pause until we see what actually happens with

    the state I know that with these recent days we've seen so many people make an Impulse decision without even taking

    time to think and about their decisions but I do want to say this so you all may

    take this with you this evening in 2022 two supervisable candidates

    upended the political Battlefield by defending defeating two expected winds

    after their Victory and up to this day accusations have been made that these

    winners only won because the way the maps were drawn now we vote we practice democracy by

    voting for our mayor and our Board of Supervisors and yes the redistricting

    was a huge messy situation and that's okay because we the community was able

    to see all the changes all the decisions and most importantly who chose who to be

    on the task force now our democracy in most recent

    districting made by fascists upset they made them upset because their enemies won and the ones

    they prefer did not win so the new plan is to control to give the control over

    to unelected unchallengeable spectators these fascists are trying to undermine

    our democracy by changing a process that allows us to voice our distaste our

    trust and our pleasure at what we see being proposed this is Maga Republican

    Behavior should be left to Republicans around the country not in San Francisco

    I come here encouraging you all to not support any changes but to leave the

    charter alone we hold our elected officials accountable at The Ballot Box and we are

    not going to relinquish it for any size thank you and have a great evening thank you Mr Ortega

    good evening good evening good evening Commissioners my name is Richard Perino I'm 77 years old a lifelong San

    Francisco and I live in District three in 2022 the redistricting task force

    performed their duties and was organized to burst respectful of all our cities

    community and in my opinion was highly successful so if it isn't broke

    let's not fix it thank you thank you Mr Farina

    any other public comments in the room let's check online see

    okay I don't see any hands either

    okay with that I'm going to close public comment

    um any further discussion on this uh

    Okay so um I was going to try to put a summary

    together for our meeting on Wednesday but I wonder if it might be better if we just individually shared our Reflections

    from the last two meetings I think that's a good idea

    um yeah as you both well actually I don't know if I'm commissioner will snooze but I won't be able to attend the commission meeting on Wednesday I have

    to leave town and I will be at an airport um but I I can write something up and

    attach it to the agenda um in order to share some thoughts and not make you all feel obligated to share

    mine okay so it would be great yeah I can do it I wouldn't try to share your thoughts

    foreign okay with that um I'm going to close item three uh moving

    on to item four agenda items for future meetings

    back to what else would you like to explore

    um I think considering that I think we are

    clear about a pause I would like to see what happens at our regular meeting and

    get input from our other Commissioners um on commissioner Parker's Reflections

    that she's going to write our Reflections and get a sense of the the

    entire body and I would also be open to um

    postponing so that commissioner Parker's there but I now realize that we're not having a regular August meeting so

    I will take that back and um we are having a July meeting however

    right that's right this is June sorry um I mean I would I would like to hear

    and have you participate I would hate to have

    you not be there to answer questions that may come from other Commissioners so now that I'm realizing I'm in June

    and on July my apologies um if we could bring it to the July meeting

    I think that would be would be nice because I think it would be really good to have a full commission for this

    discussion but that's my opinion I mean I don't know whether that's um do

    you mean in addition to so having it on both agendas or just moving the whole redistration moving this discussion to

    the July meeting so that you can participate in the discussion I I leave I I have you know I it doesn't

    I know we have our agendas already has been already been published um for Wednesday

    and we're now you know less than 48 hours out from that so

    um so I don't know if that's necessarily possible um but uh as president Stone knows that

    I won't be there and I told her that I might write something if it felt appropriate after our meeting today and

    so um I can minimally do that and if if you all it could be that

    you want to put it again on the July agenda because there may be some maybe people want to have their own Reflections because they want to hear

    how these conversations have gone because we haven't had other Commissioners join us right you know maybe there's an opportunity for you all

    to just invite people to reflect and see what else do you want us to learn and um I'm sure that they have also been

    hearing from folks across the city right you know about concerns or support or whatever it is and so maybe there's an

    opportunity to ask the Commissioners for um for the requests of other things that we

    should learn um and do or other people they think we should invite to make sure that we're including perspectives into our you know

    whatever that is maybe maybe that's an opportunity to ask for that and then it can be be a short agenda item in July

    perhaps okay um so okay well I think we owe the full

    commission an update we've had two meetings and we have none of us have had time to write minutes so let's at least

    skip a verbal update and we'll have a written update from you and get input from the rest of the commission on

    future agenda items that's fine okay so let's uh uh we can consider that offline uh and

    decide on a next meeting and when that might be okay uh with that I'm closing uh oh is

    there any public comment uh there was a request from uh from commissioner Parker if you have

    ideas uh on on things that you would like us to explore I I would direct you

    to our archived website unfortunately we haven't been able to migrate everything over to the new format yet

    uh if you look at the project plan which is in the current agenda packet uh it

    indicates what we covered at each of the previous meetings in the latter half of

    2022 and there are some excellent recordings from experts

    everything from how we moved to District elections in the first place uh to

    Reflections we had a September panel of redistricting task force members uh

    different ones so you can hear their thoughts and we also had a testimony

    from the Michigan independent redistricting commission The Long Beach Independent redistricting commission so

    all of that is archived and we invite all of you to take a look at that and if

    there are additional topics if anyone would like to give public comment on other other items that you

    would like us to explore we welcome you to come to the podium if you want to think about it that's fine

    too you don't see any hands online

    uh double check me

    yeah I do not see any ends online anyone else want to okay closing public comment and with

    that we're closing agenda item four and we are adjourned at 8 39.

    thank you all for taking the time to attend thank you

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