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tv   Ethics Commission  SFGTV  February 26, 2020 3:00am-5:01am PST

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>> do roll call. [ roll call ] >> agenda number two, public comment on matters appearing or not appearing on the agenda. >> thank you, ethics commissioners and staff of our
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city. i am a public services worker. i am a delegate for government employees. i am also the director of public relations for the california grand jury association, the san francisco chapter. i have been coming to the ethic commission for the government employees in -- 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019. the last time i was here was january of 2020. i came to report issues of possibly government corruption and election fraud. as you remember, i was one of the eight candidates for san francisco mayor in the june 2018 election. i was not allowed to join the forums, debates in public places like city hall, public library, public parks. i was one of the six candidates for san francisco mayor for the
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november 2009 election. i was bullied about the democratic leaders and officials that many of them condemn my billboards and illegal removed and many posters were illegal removed and calling me racist. because i talk about clean up city hall, fighting against san francisco city hall corruption. i am a conservative republican. i care about my city, and i am coming to you and ask you for your intervention to stop possible corruption within the electoral officials. i've talked to you about election fraud for san francisco election record. 2018, 2019 we have so many people, more than 119 years old, more than 659 of them still in
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the voters roll and many of them voted, even 151 years old, 150 years old, 136 years old. i am here today to ask you if the city has more than $12 billion, we should not have anyone sleeping on the street, dying on the street overdose on the street. our government itself has many problems because we only have one party, democratic party, and we have so many homeless people that have suffering and dying because of the corruption we are facing. ethics commission is a department that was set up to stop corruption, and i hope you stand up and do your job and able to do something about reporting to you. i'm here to request you to restore law and order and protect the people in san francisco. for public information, here you go.
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thank you. >> commissioners, san francisco open government. just so we have the report straight, dane dainachiu protects an office. commissioner yvonne lee protects the office of the mayor. commissioner fern smith protects the office of the district attorney and commissioner gray protects the board of supervisors because that's what this commission is all about is protecting the elected and appointed officials of this city. at the last committing we experienced the reality this commission has never and will never act to enact the sunshine ordinance. that's hypocrisy because for ten years, you sent people to
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barring on with the sunshine task force about coming up with a procedure to enforce that ordinance. and it was all done in purely bad faith. you had no intention and have no intention of ever enforcing that ordinance. the protection of the rights of the citizens of san francisco to attend public meetings and participate in those proceedings is the furthest thing from your minds. all you have to do is look around this room and see what you're starting earlier in the day does, nobody shows up. in fact, someone at the last meeting pushed the panic button and three armed deputies showed up at my back. aren't you proud of yourself? you need three departments to protect yourself from the things i have to say. thus begins the usual pattern of hostile behaviors exhibited when they don't like what a member of the public has to say.
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i have been fighting to ensure what i had to say at public meetings actually made it into the official record, which are the minutes, and last week, you made it certain that they wouldn't make it into the board of supervisors minutes. i'll tell you win thing about that hearing. it was so dishonest because all that has ever had to happen to prevent the 150 word summaries from appearing in the body of the minutes is for the legal attorney to issue a legal opinion rather than the bs he puts in the good government guide which is not the law, and it would have resolved the issue permanently. but i thank you for proving that as far as the sunshine ordinance goes, you are a dishonest body. >> thank you. any other public comment? okay. agenda item three, draft minutes
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for the ethics commission january 17, 2020, regular meeting. >> thank you. we were unable to complete the minutes for this meeting and have them posted in time. we will have them at the next meeting, but we don't have them today. i apologize for that inconvenience. >> the january meeting minutes will be taken up then next month. agenda item number four, discussion and possible action on ethics commission annual budget submission to the mayor's office for fiscal year 20 21. >> in the packets that we distributed because an agenda item four, an overview of our anticipated budget submission. as you know, those are due today to the mayor's office, and we have just submitted it prior to coming to this meeting to the controller's office as well and to all the parties that need to have those. we do have for and you on the
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public's table the commission's transmittal to the mayor that we just submitted today. so i'm using that as the reference point. there is much overlap between the two documents from the commission's meeting agenda last week, but this is the more complete picture of what the commission's proposal is. i just wanted to walk through process first and then get to the substance of our proposal and then answer any questions that you might have or members of the public might have. i will say that we are, as we speak, working to post our transmittal on our own website, on our budget page. it has been posted. if you click on the commission's tab, you can get to the budget page from there. at the top of the list at the bottom of the page will be the transmittal for '21 budget proposal we're submitting today -- that we have submitted. as you may recall from the memo that we provided to you in your
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agenda packets, the commission is -- has taken a look at what we think is essential to request for our core operational services and core program mandates. against the backdrop of, again, a mayor's -- budget instructions to all departments this year, that given the potential climate that we see ahead, the mayor's office has asked departments to submit budget requests that conform with a three and a half purchases cut from current fiscal year levels for '21 to a 7% cut total for '22. of my comments are focused on '21 because in practice, for our department, it is a year to year process of requesting and securing funds. so the focus for our discussion is request for '21. in order for a department to submit its request to the
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mayor's office for annual budget request today, the system we enter our proposal into requires a number of documents, but it also requires that the budget we submit reflect the absorption of those cuts. so the documents that we submitted today had to go through an exercise and look at where the commission, if we were imposed, where would they have to be absorbed by the commission given our current funding levels. i'll talk about that briefly as we go through the memo. separate from that, departments are also able to submit transmittals, other information that discusses the impact of those cuts, but that also discusses what the departments believe they need to do, the missions and the mandates they have invented with authority and responsibility to do. we've done that. as we have in recent years, we have submitted a transmittal to
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the mayor's office that explains with as much detail as we can provide at the deadline of submitting our budgets what our request is and why we believe it's significant and the impact of not being able to secure the benefits we need to do the job that we have. so with that backdrop, let me just take a bit -- a moment to explain some of the items that we have and the basis for the items that we are requesting in our budget. i'll be working through our february 21st submission. there are copies on the table for the public and online for those viewing this meeting live. since the original discussion before this commission last month, there have been a number of recent troubling developments with the arrest of a former public works director. this follows on the heels within 18 months of resignations of the
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city's public health director under allegations and concerns of conflicts of interest. again, these are allegations. we are assuming that everybody is innocent of those allegations or the charges until and unless they're proven otherwise in a court. but what the 75-page detailed charting document did show were troubling allegations of concerning approaches and actions that city officials may have taken or alleged to have taken. i think it's true that for most departments, everybody is taking a good second look at how do these kind of things happen? what do we need to do it re-enforce the cities practices and policies and procedures and culture to make sure these kinds of headlines stop and that we don't continue to face public crisis and confidence because of a concern that we do not have a strong culture of ethics in the city and county of san
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francisco. we know that there are ongoing investigations. again, the city attorney's office, the controller's office doing an audit and that's important. one thing we look at in our budget request is recognizing that there is an ongoing cost, a continue cost in the pocket books. the longer we wait to reach out and provide the support that we believe city departments and city officials need and can benefit from to help them support navigating through the decisions and the kinds of issues that they face. so our budget request takes a very aggressive and clearheaded look at how we pro pros to do that. it comes with a price tag. we think it is a sound investment, considering the costs that come from having to pick up the pieces of a broken confidence city government. so we do have a specific proposal for what we're proposing as an ethics work
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initiative, a three year limited term process to advance working very closely with city departments, develop tools relevant, useful resources to put together a team that can go out and support city officials, city leaders at all levels. some of the things we're looking at that we proposed would be, for example, to provide, make sure there is an ethics component in every new employee orientation so the minute they walk in the door, they know there's expectations for how we do our business together. including that in the regular ongoing employee or generaltation is a starting point and a first step. another step is to support the city supervisors. many supervisors, as they move up the ranks, have the opportunity to take what's known as a 24 plus supervisory training session. it's over a series of weeks and it helps people focus on what's expected of you as a city
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supervisor. currently, as we understand it, there's not a specific component in that related to standards of ethical conduct and how to navigate through decisions. we think that would be a benefit. we know that the city has a training with new municipal executives. we sent some of our staff to that over the years. that's another opportunity as people have more significant leadership roles throughout the city, building a component there. leveraging existing opportunities in the city to implement a stronger and better, more effective focus across the board and more seamless focus. working with departments to work with tools they find most useful as they assess and we work with them to assess where the hotspots are, whether it's related to statements of incompatible activities and help them understand where they might be in conflict and therefore
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restricted or addressed somehow, but there are a number of existing touch points where we believe if we and the city were able to marshal the resources over a limited three year term period, put together a project that helps partner with departments with existing opportunities to reach out to their workforce, leadership, people in the community that they work with, this would go a long way to re-enforcing a culture where ethics is front and center and people feel equipped to have the tools to make practical choices, to make the right decision. this is something that is prominent since the last discussion that we've had before the commission. it's included in our overall budget request. that proposes a team of four individuals that would come into the work effective july 1st,
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start laying the groundwork and the infrastructure at this point. we don't think we can wait through the city's hiring process to wait a year or two to start this. we think it's something that could be accomplished now. so we want to engage in further conversations of how that can be accomplished through limited term positions that are exempt position that's we can start -- start the fiscal year hitting the ground running. and the -- it would be a three year limited permanent project because at the end of three years we have a chance to assess performance metrics, whether and how this is making a difference and retooling it at that time to launch it for the long-term. but to really assess what it is that we have accomplished, what has improved, and then retool and establish a program at that time. it's designed to be a three year project. >> pardon me. >> yes. >> so that was one of my questions. additional resources but for
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three years would function more as a pilot. at the end of three years, you'll have criteria against which you can measure the success of the programs and tools that were launched and then you would then come back -- go back to city hall for an additional funding for more permanent staffing solution as well as ongoing support for tools and policies and procedure work. >> yes, recognizing that i think one of our core mandates under the charter is to establish an educational program to have seminars and assist city officials throughout city government in supporting a culture of ethics and understanding the rules of the road. we know the city attorney's office plays a tremendous role in doing that as well. our focus is to try to make it tangible and practical application of those rules on a daaday-to-day basis and so we tk there's a need to do that that
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has been unmet. historically the ethics commission hasn't had an outreach team to my knowledge. i do understand there had been at a time, i think in the mid 2000s where there might have been a department that experienced issues or conflicts in their operations, and following that, there was one person hired at the ethics commission to do that. so we'll look into mechanics of that. but my point is that it's just -- i think headlines like the one we've seen are troubling, but it's also that opportunity to say we have to do something different. we can't wait. there are opportunities and there are needs and i believe there are resources, but we have to demonstrates they are effective and targeted and going to make a difference and they meet needs out there. that's what this project and designed to do. we will be talking with the
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human resources department on monday starting to explore some of this further. but that's something that, again, i wanted to highlight front and center because it's different and adds a certain amount to our budget. our current fiscal year budget is $4.5 million. with the on going needs we've identified in our february 14th memo, in addition to these, the commission's fiscal year budget for '21 would be approximately $6.2 million. it would be a significant bump in the first three years. we would evaluate what it would look like going forward and whether it needs to go further at that point. the other thing i would highlight as a new item that we believe weren't serious consideration that needs budget discussion is that we believe that two ensure the commission has a strong operational foundation, we believe it's time to initiate serious discussions
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about whether and how we might structure a different funding model or additional funding model for the commission. as you know, our funds come from the general fund. we also know that there are some departments that charge departments for their services, the human resources or technology or real estate. i don't think that's quite what we're looking at when we think about creating a citywide integrity fund, but exploring how we might tap existing resources that, perhaps, speak to investigative work or communications or outreach to really take a hard look at where those functions support employees and city officials in doing good work and understanding the rules that guide our expectations as public servants and where can we provide a more stable and longer term funding source for the ethics commission if year to year. everything from our technology
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resources that can't be implemented on a dime and take long years of planning, like capital projects to be effective, we need to rethink what the funding model might be for the ethics commission to supplement the work. as you know from your experience and you no he from reading the charter, our mandate is a broad one. we have not been ever sufficiently resourced to achieve that mandate, and there are costs to continuing to delay our ability to do our job. >> yeah. i would agree with that, and i also think that certainly since i've been on the commission every year city has asked us to reduce our budget, whether by 1%, 3%, 7% over time, and then if we never are able to staff to minimum capacity that we are able to get approved through the city hall process, it will be a constant game of two steps forward, three steps back. so i would absolutely be in support of exploring a new
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funding model. is it the idea that a portion of the city's budget -- the commission's budget would come from the citywide integrity fund that would be permanent so that only -- so that 100% or 80% of it would go to support these ongoing critical initiatives that will help develop a culture of practices and procedures of integrity, transparency and ethics in the city and that other parts may be a little more variable? >> i think that's one of the questions we have to explore with the mayor's office and the controller's office and the board of supervisors is really looking at -- i know that the city has been creative and effective in establishing ways to support a number of programs that are desperately needed in the city. we know there are a lot of needs out there that the city has to fulfill. we don't take this conversation lightly and we don't pretend to know what all the approaches
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could be. we don't have budget expertise with years of experience to help guide us at this time. that's why we want to reach out. we know there are those models out there and i think that with a commitment to making sure that we can prevent corruption in all its forms before it takes roots, that's what we're hoping to accomplish. we know there is wide support and commitment in the city to doing that, so that shared commitment we're looking for it to become a shared -- sharing the cost and burden. >> i think we should move full speed ahead. if you're able to report back, that would be great. >> i think the rest of the budget is -- i can take the time to walk through it, if you would like. the positions that we have asked
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for are identified specifically in terms of a new position that would be dedicated to human resources and budget and finance. those operational issues that the commission has not had and we know that the work as a city agency requires us to do that work. it's important work to be done and it's important work to be done well. you'll see -- you know that from our hiring has not kept pace with the needs that we have because the process is both long and we don't have the expertise and the resources and the time available in-house to make that happen more quickly. so that's something that we know we have to be focused on as well, getting those positions filled, having the resources and expertise to work through that process and get our positions filled. we also have identified other critical needs in terms of our information systems work, absent funding for these positions,
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many of the projects will stop or be significantly stalled. the bottom line, i think, as we have looked through our budget requests with a hard eye, focused on impact, we know that that fundamentally, it creates problems for us operation lee, but the real impact is to the public and people trying to understand the rules and comply with them. so during our discussions going forward with the mayor's office and the board of supervisors we really want to help clarify and share that understanding about how -- what we hear and what we know about how our programs will be impacting stakeholders with complex laws and also impacts this will have to the public and their ability to have information about how government is working so they can exercise their ability to hold us all accountable. let me pause there and see if anything else that we -- yes.
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let me draw your attention, if i could, to the last section of the transmittal letter dated the 21st. this is the section where, in our communication with the mayor's office, we identify what the targeted cuts that would require if they were imposed on us. for example, this fiscal year, for fy '21 starting july, the expected cuts for the ethics commission totalles $161,000. that's the 3.5%. as i mentioned, in order to submit a budget, we had to identify how we would absorb that if we had to. as a small department, we're 87% salaries and fringe because the bulk of our work is done by people, not machinery. but we have a very, very low
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overhead. we're 87% staffing. so when we look at where we would have to cut in order to achieve the targets that have been established for us, that would require us to absorb those cuts in our personnel and salaries -- personnel services account. what that would mean, because the directions, again, from the mayor's budget office are to focus on delivering these cuts in a way that prioritizes core functions and minimizes service impacts, but it avoids layoff, it directs our attention to those places where we would have to avoid layoffs. so the targeted impacts for us would translate to the elimination of the principal program manager for audits, which is a position that we had. we were able to fill but we've seen some attrition and has remained vacant since mid 2019.
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that's a program that would have an impact particularly on obviously our campaign committee audits, our lobbying audit program and public financing certification reviews. the audit program, as you know, is required to do mandatory audits of all candidates and committees that receive public financing in their campaigns. we have required deadlines or initiation dates of when those need to happen. we have a mandatory statutory requirement to do a lobbying audit program, randomly select an audit once a year. we are non compliant and we have been for a number of years. this is something that having this position was designed to help us with, to both make sure that we have established a lobbying audit program that's effective, up and running and makes sense, and that we have also had the strategic day to day management and oversight of our audit program to really strengthen how we do audits, to improve the timeliness of our
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audits, to decrease the complexity where we can, and to produce timely and effective reports that account for how committees did in complying with the law following an election. some of that work was started, but we've been unable to proceed with it because the position's not been filled. the inability to fill this position and the elimination will mean that the audit program will have to be in a static mode. welcome promise and not be able to move forward with the identified changes we have on the horizon, and bottom line, again, inconvenient to us but more importantly candidates being drawn into city campaigns who choose to participate in the city's public financing program, audits can be delayed. the oversight of the money provided to the campaigns and the compliance checks on that would be delayed. that compromises the integrity
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of that program and the work in that area. it has a meaningful problem for committees where they would have to stay open later than they would otherwise while we finish audits and that -- if they've closed, they would have to reopen it. it creates cost for folks who want to engage in political campaigns in the city. we find that very problematic. the public financing review process for candidate eligibility and dispersement of funds is out of program. that's another ball juggled by that team. we have a program of public financing that has now just been revamped to expand hopefully its attraction to i larger group of candidates. we are going to see more candidates first time candidates coming into the program. that is happening at the same time we don't have the position
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or wouldn't have this position to exercise again, administrative over sight, day to day leadership on that program to make sure we're operationallizing those changes effectively, consistently for thacks in that process. we see risks that are problematic. the second position that's noted that we would -- we've identified as on the impacted by this would be the policy analyst position, and this is a position we had filled earlier this year and had attrition. it's remained vacant because we've been unable to fill it due to band with and resource availability. this position is one that clearly provides critical support to this commission, to
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the public in evaluating, analyzing not just new laws and emerging issues but that is responsible for helping to assess effectiveness of existing laws. so when we know there are gaps in the laws or holes or places where we are unable to enforce the law because the dots don't connect, those are the kinds of things that a policy analyst helps us understand and helps make recommendations on how to close those gaps and how to strengthen the laws so they are sensible, workable, and enforceable. this position is also one that would -- does provide advice on the most complex of issues that come before us and so not having that position filled with all of the work that it would do in terms of analyzing policy, helping to for the implementation of policy by contributing subject matter expertise to the work that we all do, to get programs up and running once they've been passed into law, that is an area that would essentially compromise the
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commission's ability to do its job as a policy-making body with independent voice effectively and we're concerned about that. we would have to relook at what of those priorities have continue to be pursued that would result in having to take new projects on to our existing 18-23, senior policy council's place and remove others. you can see the ripple effect it has when the two positions we've created in a policy unit in just the past several years will now be permanently undercut by 50%. so that's something that will slow considerably this commission's ability to pursue effective changes in the laws we have so they're stronger, more workable, and effective. i think i'll pause there. this is a lot of information. our memo that we have submitted to the mayor's office runs 17 pages. there is a lot of detail there, and i appreciate that it can be
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difficult to wade through. but we wanted to make sure that we could be as clear as possible in our submission about the need that exists in our judgment and the impacts that not funding the commission's essential capacity needs and things like a new ethics at work initiative, what the continuing costs will be in terms of an impact not 0 the city. we know the commission's reach is broader than the 23 full-time equivalencies we have. we reach an entire city of 31,000 employees and beyond with people engaged in campaigns and lobbying activities. we have a full plate ahead of us and we have a significant but serious proposal for the work that we think we need to do and the work that we think should be funded at the commission. i welcome any questions. we welcome the commission's continuing engagement and support of this process. it will be critical to continue conversations going forward. as i was reminded yesterday,
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today's deadline is actually just the beginning of the budget process. the real work starts today. we look forward to your ep had. i want to acknowledging our programs officer who wears the hat as our chief budget officer and she wears it extremely well. so thank you and acknowledge her for that. it's not easy. let me stop there and see if there are any questions or other information that broke vied to you at -- we can provide to you at this point. >> any questions? i have a few. >> so just on a process standpoint now that the budget submission is in, what happens next? i know the budget will be approved for july 1st fiscal year, but given the current headlines as well as the ongoing city attorney and district attorney investigations, i feel like the need for additional resources and programs coming from the ethics commission to help create that culture of integrity and transparency is
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really critical and that asking for a 3.5%, $382,000 impact cut for this upcoming year and then aggregating to 550 in fy '22 is moving in the absolutely wrong direction. it's not going to help san francisco restore faith in the people of the city, that integrity matters and that we collectively are trying to do a better job and have a culture os so people will blow the whistle when they see something around ethics. if you could report back next month on what the reaction is from city hall, from the budget
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discussions that you have because while this is a significant increase from what our budget is currently, i think that my one question is, is this enough given the nature of the allegations that have been reported in the press? i appreciate your point, director, that everyone is innocent until proven guilty, but the allegations are serious and troubling in their nature. the work that is needed to be done is historically the commission has not had a large outreach staff. but we need a large outreach staff. it's not just the elected officials and the appointed supervisors in the department heads who need to know, but everyone underneath them need to know if you see something, what do i do? how do i know this is right or wrong? who do i go to to report it? and do they feel safe enough to
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report it? i think all that work can be driven and supported by the ethics commission. so with -- i think you've done a great work in detailing out all of this. i guess my only question is, will this be enough? do we need more given the gravity of the problems that have been uncovered today? >> that's a difficult question to answer. again, i think the answer we know we need more. we know that the city also has a number of challenges that we have to practically address. this reflects our cautious but realistic take on what we could start with and what we could make a difference with if we had resources in place. so things like taking a look at it in the third year to see if
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ethics work program should be continued or modified, that's something we should be willing to do when we've identified the plan to do that in our initiative that we're proposing. but it is also clear that we know that with certainty what the city is investing in the ethics commission's work today is not enough and that there will be continuing significant real costs to the city continuing on if we are not more able to do the work that the voters set us up to do. that takes resources as well and, again, i said before, we very well know this is a shared commitment by many offices. but there is more work to be done that we've been able to do. that will continue to play out in terms of not just bad headlines i think over the years but true cost to the taxpayers who then have other programs diverted and have to follow after the scandals have hit and
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the public confidence has been harmed. it takes a lot to repair that. so this investment in more proactive work to prevent corruption in all its forms before it can take root is really something that is the commission's core mission, and i think it's time that the commission be able to do that work with effectiveness and with real meaning. >> i appreciate your sentiments about a shared commitment across the city around this effort to create a different kind of culture within city government, and i think that the true test of that commitment is what kind of time and resources that the city collectively will put to solve the problem, and so i would very much like to wait the outcome of the discussions with the budget, but i think certainly my message to the city hall is that if city hall is
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serious about changing the culture, then i think it's really important to put the resources, absolutely critical, to put the resources into changing that culture because it doesn't just happen. hope is not a strategy at all, ever. >> commissioner lee. >> thank you. i echo the chair's comments. i just want to add that this commission has always been the organization. we take on a lot of responsibilities. it seems like every time when new initiatives are in place, then the staff has to take on new responsibilities without the corresponding resource to support that. so even when you prepare this budget before all these things happened, it was already a very,
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very lean budget, already a challenge to meet all the existing and new responsibilities. i like to think that, you know, a large majority of our city family, honest people. they respect the process, and they follow the rules of law. but all it takes is just a few bad apples to erode the public's confidence in the integrity of city government. this is the time for all of us to really look deep and see what are the areas that we really need to strengthen the oversight
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and i agree with the chair that, you know, many of these new initiatives that you put together are still not enough to really address the critical areas, which is not only to get people to file the necessary forms but to remind them why these forms are important. who is going to be reviewing them? they don't know. then a lot of times, when we don't have -- when we have the carriage and not enough of the sticks, it creates a few bad apples that can really, again, add doubts to the residents of the city that trust in their government. so i hope that the meetings that you would be holding, people would recognize that this budget
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is not a high in the sky budget. it's realistic, especially in view of what's happening and what is going to happen in the near future. we need to have the resources necessary. i particularly like to explore, we need to look at additional resources, even if we don't need to look at the mandatory budget cut, even if we get everything that is necessary, there is still areas that we can really add on resources. one particular area that i really want to explore is the particular educational outreach to city contractors and
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grantees. there's many of the contractors already have to pay fees when they file for permits and what have you. i like to know whether, you know, it's within the legal process that we should look at whether we can get a piece of those fees because i know that certain fees are already being channeled to different departments for th the work reld to the contracting work and what have you because, you know, if we need to look at additional revenues already put into the city's coffers, maybe we should look into that. if we're taking a critical role
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in educating and outreaching this population, who needs to know about the city's ethics laws and requirements, we should be paid from that pot of money to supplement what we already have. we just already very, very lean. so i hope that the leaders that you will be meeting within the next few weeks understand that you're not going in to ask for more money. you're asking for the necessary tools to continue what we do as a chair said. we're all on the same page, making sure that we have a clean government with integrity that the public can trust. let's support it and make sure that the ethics commission staff can have the toolses to do
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the -- tools to do the work. >> i would echo commissioner lee's comments and just to create perspective, the overall city budget is $12 billion. we're here asking for $6.2 million which is less than 1% of that. i think that -- i hope that we will get this and more and we'll have a productive and fruitful dialogue about alternative funding sources that could ensure that there will be resources there for the ethics work to continue regardless of who sits in city hall going forward into the future. so we look forward to updates in the coming months and also let us know how we can help with our support in that effort. >> thank you. i appreciate those comments. that's helpful. we will convey that and engage
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you at every opportunity. thank you. >> call for public comments on attend a item number four. >> commissioners, this agenda item notes the public announcement of the fbi's arrest and charging of san francisco public works director on federal corruption charges, end quote. assume that what he did which was federally illegal was also a violation of state law and probably city and county ordinances. conspicuously absent is the mention of london breed's potential violations in filing her annual statementses of economic interest. one involved her acceptance of a loan from him, her suborder, which is a no-no. you're taking a loan from somebody who works for you,
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that's the real shaky one. she also had apparently a float in the pride parade that somebody give $12,000 and it was not put on her sei. but innocent until proven guilty is the way you deal with it. right? let's see. i'm sure that -- i'm certain the mayor's minions have been scurrying around to clean up other mistakes and i use quotes on that before they come to the public's attention. and i will guarantee there are more. i think former commissioner quinton cobb said it best, if i can get this on the screen. i don't think -- this is a quote. i don't think anyone is afraid of the ethics commission who is in competitive political life in san francisco. the lobbyists have acclimated
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themselves over a period of 25 years and so have the candidates, end quote. that's from someone who quit this commission because he was disgusted with it. the only one that was more dramatic was when your president quit in the middle of a meeting he was so disgusted. so what exactly do the citizens of san francisco get from the ethics minions at an average salary benefit package of $164,000 a year? i hear you saying the words oh, we don't have enough resources. if i remember correctly when the executive director took over, this body got a 30% increase over what it had under the previous ethics director. and very frankly, i don't see any difference today than it was years ago or decade ago. you're just as ineffective now
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as you were then. if laughable, i think, that you consider the city and county of san francisco's taxpayers should give you more money to flush down the drain. >> thank you. other public comment? agenda item five, discussion of monthly stuff, policy reports, including presentation on new laws and resources in place through 2020 elections following the public financing review project. >> thank you, chair and commissioners for the report and pat ford, i want to devote most of my time today for this agenda item to give you a presentation that i hope will serve as a sort of capstone on the public financing project. so before i get to that, i think
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i'll just ask if you have any questions about the policy report that's attached to your -- with the agenda item five. i think for the public financing item, the presentation will give you info about that. i mentioned prop f litigation. there's a stand alone agenda item for that as well. so i won't go into detail on those here up front. but please let me know if you do have any questions about this, i would be glad to answer them. >> any questions? no. good. >> okay. great. so at this time i'll invite rob hodge who is our lead auditor to join me, and we will give you a brief presentation about the public financing review project and i'll start out by briefly recapping the project for you. i'll go through it quickly because this will be the part that you're most familiar with. i'll just briefly summarize the ordinances and regulations that you approved as part of this
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project and talk about the process that led to that and at that point, i'll transition over to rob and rob will take over and give you an idea of the kind of the behind the scenes work that went on to operationa opere the new laws but undertake a lot of administrative improvements to the program that we hope will make it much more effective moving forward. so without further ado, i will switch over to the projector where we've slides for you and we'll get started. >> thank you. >> the main goals we were trying to address in this review project were first and foremost to reduce the participant compliance burden. we believe during the 2018 election cycle based on what we were hearing from candidates and treasures, the candidates were
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having difficulties understanding the requirements of the program and kingdom applying with them -- complying with them. we tried to make it as efficient as possible for qualified candidates to comply with the program rules so they were not spending public financing funds merely on compliance, that they were minimizing the compliance cost and using those funds for what they were intended for which is to run a campaign, communicate with voters. but secondly, we heard from stakeholders that they really wanted us to also assess whether the program is meeting the policy objectives and strengthen the program so they better meet the objectives. how we undertook this is first to identify the issues and approaches. as i mentioned, many of the issues were brought to light during the 2018 election which is based on what we heard from
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candidates. as you recall, there were a number of appeals that candidates brought to the commission and voiced concerns about various features of the program. so that was one of our starting points is what we were hearing from candidates. we went beyond that and we proactively sought to engage with those candidates and many other candidates and treasurers and have phone conversations or e-mail exchanges where possible to just get a sense from them of what their experience was like and how they thought the program maybe could be better from the candidate perspective. we also worked with stakeholders. these would be anybody from vocal advocates to regional organizations to national nonprofits working on election related issues. we thought having as diverse a group of of voices on this project would be helpful, and i believe that it was. many of the approaches we recommended to you came from the
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stakeholders themselves. we also did extensive data analysis, and we were aided largely by the edit time, tyler field, on that component. you'll remember all of the charts and data that we brought to you to quantify what we were seeing in the program, whether spending limits were being adjusted properly, whether the amount of funding candidates were getting was effective, et cetera. another important component of the project was to talk to other jurisdictions that have public financing to understand what their experience has been and to see what we might learn from them. the project was divided into two phases. so i'll talk about two phases separately. the two phases roughly aligned with the two goals i mentioned up front. goal one being to address compliance burdens on the participants and i should say applicants generally, and then
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phase two, trying to look at the more substantive aspects and how we might strengthen to improve outcomes. phase one resulted in an ordinance and a set of regulations. the ordinance did the following four things that you see on the slide, changing the deadline for the statement of participation,s eliminating the trust account limit, and the contingency account requirement and then the last two bullet points relate to how the adjustment mechanism was changed. the regulations that came through phase one were all trying to clarify processes and requirements for candidates. so the regulations now provide much more detail about how to prove the residency of contributor, which is part of having a contribution approved for public financing, to clarify that we will not review qualifying requests until the
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candidate has filed a statement of participation. that's a necessary step in the process that we thought needed to occur in that order. we clarified the rules for refiling and resubmission of qualifying requests. those are two separated process that's were being conflated. so we sought to have clear separate processes there. we also clipped the appeals process creating a standard for appeal and how that process works. then in phase two, as you'll remember, this is much more recently, the ordinance made several changes, but the main four changes were these, increasing the matching ratio from 2:1 to 6:1. no longer matching the full $500 of a contribution but only matching up $150, making more funds available to candidates, each candidate, and having higher initial iec levels. so i know that was fast, but these are things i think you've
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seen many, many times. i don't want to belabor them. so we'll move now to talking about how those laws were implemented. so audit division led a process to update their pros. i'll turn it over to rob. he might elaborate on that more. but also, as you know, net file is an integral part to the public financing program. this is the program that candidates use to file all public financing forms with our office. so any time the laws change, we have to make changes to that program, too. the team led that process. likewise, the forms that underlie the public financing program also have to be updated. all of the content on our website, compliance materials like the supplemental guides and all of our vice has to be updated. these are updates just to bring these items into compliance with
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the new laws. this is separate from the rest of the presentation which is actually improving those processes and documents to try and make them more effective. this slide is what was involved as those new laws went into effect. what did we immediately have to do just to be in compliance with the new laws? i'll turn it over to rob now to talk about what we did beyond just these items. >> hello, commissioners. my name is rod hodge. i'm the lead auditor at the ethics commission. i worked closely with pat as well as several other divisions to take these changes that came about, phase one and phase two process and actually kind of make them reality for the candidates, treasurers, and other stakeholders. continuing on with our presentation, one of the main things that we found coming out of the 2018 election cycle as we entered into the phase one
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discussion and changes was that there were a lot of ways we could improve and update our existing educational material, not just to incorporate the new changes but also to just make information more accessible to the public, not just candidates and treasurers, but anyone that may have an interest in what it is we do with the public financing program. our first stop place for information is our website. we do have a dedicated page to public financing to provide a lot of general facts and overviews of the program and how it works. the audit team does perform a regular review several times a month. many we kind of go through all pages of our website. anything that the audit team might touch on, whether it's through add its, public financing, we are reviewing those pages. we're always trying to find ways,ing something unclear? can we improve the quality or the content or clarity of the information we present on our website? to incorporate changes that came about from the phase one
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updates, those are made back in june of 2019. we want to make sure those were out there because we did have that special election for board of supervisors november of last year. the phase two changes were made and incorporated to our website in january of this year. just to show, this is just an example from our website, this is the immediate landing page of candidates. if they go to compliance, then on the right-hand side, the drop down menus, candidate and public financing. this page immediately pops up provides them information on the amount of funding they may be eligible to receive. we also have right near the top, unfortunately it's covered up by the closed captioning there, but there is a link to the supplemental guides that we create for supervisor and mayor. i'll touch on those in a few minutes. we also took this section, applied for public financing, originally this was only about
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two small paragraphs. we really want to expand on this. again, as the first landing page where candidates might come, we want to make sure they were gettings enough information to really understand what the program is about and what is involved in participating. our second effort that we undertook was working with policy directly to update our supplemental guides for public financing. we do have two versions of the guide, one for board of supervisor and one for mayor. these are really the primary source of information for anyone that wants to participate in the program. we go into depth and extreme detail on the specific requirements outlined by the laws, what candidates need to do before they can submit the application or the qualifying request, and if they are not approved, what do they do next? if they are approved, what are the next steps? this document initially, i believe, was about 19 to 20 pages. based on feedback we got in 2018, phase one, phase two changes, we've expanded that and
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it's almost 30 pages now because we wanted to make sure every question that we were getting from candidates, we wanted to present p that information up -- present that information up front so they could read it and have examples and gain an understanding of it. then, again, with the website, this is a document we are constantly reviewing. every election cycle, we go through. we see what can we improve or update? how can we make it better for the public and then the phase two changes that will be applicable for this year's november 2020 election, we had those published in january of this year as well, well ahead of when candidates could apply. that information is out there right now for them to be able to review. i wanted to provide you with sample pages just to show you the breadth of updates that we made. all the text that you see in orange is text that was either added or revised to either incorporate changes that came from phase one and phase two or
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to try to address issues and concerns that we received from candidates, treasurers and the general public. our goal was to put as much information up front as we could for the public and try to address the common questions we were getting before the candidates tried to attempt to participate. again, this document that is kind of our primary source. anyone with questions, that's one of the first places we'll turn them to and say, we'll answer your questions, but we want to make sure you have this document saved on your computer or you have a document of this form. it's available on our website but also in our office as well. finally, in response to comments and questions from the public, we felted it was very worthwhile to develop a form of educational material which was an actual visual presentation. we have a lot of things in writing but we want to be able
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to have a visual presentation that someone can sit through, kind of get that information in a different approach. it was only intended to augment our existing information, and it's really -- this is a high level overview of what you could expect. we wanted to give people a taste of, hey, there are a lot of requirements. there's a lot of expectations. so you'll need to follow through and review these resources to understand those before you elect to participate. it's only an introduction and in no way do we want to make it another burden or another requirement or prerequisite. it is something that's offered to present the information in a different way than what we already had. we do want to offer this in conjunction with the required candidate treasurer training that all committees, treasurers and candidates for office have to participate in. so we'll just offer this after that course or that training is
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presented. just to give you a few samples, again, looking at things from a very high level view, we didn't want to get bogged down in too many details because we want this to be a very easily digestible presentation for the public. but we wanted to make sure they understood there are a lot of requirements. there are a lot of things that they need to do to qualify to receive public financing. so we're really hopeful a presentation like this will allow people to understand better what they need to do before they even get their campaign going, before they start filing their first forms or setting up a file account to do any of the filings they need to do, we want to make sure they have an understanding of start to finish what is our expectations so that candidates can qualify. >> excuse me, rob. >> yes. >> so this visual presentation, is this an in-person
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presentation or on the website. >> thank you. we will offer it in person. we're going to host it on our website. so if the supplemental guide is a little too dense and too much to read through, this is sort of a very abridged version of the supplemental guide. >> what i find helpful about this is that if you go back a slide, there's a flowchart, a couple slides. this is a great -- to give an overview of what the different steps are because otherwise, there's a lot of text to read which is very dense. >> yes. >> and you might not be able to picture in your head, i have to do a and then b and then c and then what happens and if they have additional questions, they have the dense text to be able to go read line by line what is required. so i think this is -- the more we can do of this, i think the better to make it more accessible to first time candidates, for example, who might be seeking public financing. >> yeah. that was really a driving factor behind sitting in with guy and
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rachel from our office when they were spending the candidate treasurer trainings in the last election cycles. i sat in to field questions and we found a lot of folks just kind of needed that very introductory level but they weren't ready to bite off the whole i need to read a 30-page manual on what i need to do. so we wanted this to be a compromise and allow people to get their feet wet with what's involved. >> i think this is terrific, and the more of this we can do i think we can make it accessible to more people. onwards and upwards. >> any other questions i can answer about the materials we've developed or anything that was in the presentation? >> have you gotten any feedback. >> we actually just finalized this presentation. so the supplemental guides have been out and available.
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we have received phone calls from candidates and their treasurers just about general steps and things they will need to do to qualify or to participate and qualify for public financing. however, this presentation, we pretty much finalized within the last week or so. we have not had a chance to post it or give a live presentation yet. we do have plans to do so in the future. >> yeah. i'll be interested to hear what the feedback is. >> yes. we're interested to hear, too, because we want to make this as accessible to the public. we don't want it to be a daunting or scary thing that people don't want to do because they don't understand it. we want everyone to feel encouraged to try and get some assistance to run their campaigns. >> commissioners? >> i don't have questions, but i would like to echo the commendation about the flowchart. it's helpful. i think for the public who wants
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to understand how to run for anything but wants to know how the process works, it's a great tool. >> i fully agree with that. we hope that will kind of serve dual purpose to educate candidates, treasurers, and the public at large as to the programs we're running. >> and will you have -- i'm sorry. i don't recall offhand, but do you have a page that explains how the matching works because it was -- it used to be 2:1 and now it's 6:1 and now it's 150. >> yes. >> that can be a little hard to follow the first time around. >> make sure to break those out into separate slides. there's a slide that says the minimum amount you have to raise and what that gets you for an initial payment, what additional matching funds mean. so we really tried to put only one or two talking points on each slide. we definitely highlighted how the matching funds will work both for supervisor and for mayor candidates. >> this is a good time before the november election because
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the deadline, i think, to participate would be sometime in june, early june? >> june. >> yeah. so well-done. thank you. >> you're welcome. thank you. >> there are no more questions. i think we'll wrap it up. i'll mention that the 2020 election will be the first major election cycle where both phases of the project, both sets of ordinances will be in place and all of these new materials will be in place. so i think we're looking forward to it as the first test case to see, you know, what changes we might see. i think sometime in early to mid calendar year 2021, we would like to go back and take a look at what we saw. hopefully have contact with candidates and treasurers and maybe do kind of a very abbreviated look back, not a full review again, but just some kind of look back to see what
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the response was and maybe we'll find that there are some additional tweaks around the margins on the materials that we can make, but we really see this as kind of a culmination of the project. this is an 18-month process that started back in july of 2018, and that now all of the deliverables are pretty much in place and now we're wait and see mode looking forward to seeing what happens. >> and can you remind us, pat, what races are upcoming in the november 2020 election? >> so the races that are eligible for public financing are all the odd numbered board of supervisors seats. there are six of those. i believe there are two open seats now, which historically can generate more public financing, not always the case. sometimes there's none. sometimes the races with
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incumbent have more. hard to say. it's possible we could see activity with public financing this year. >> i think the new materials are going to be very helpful. we'll look forward to getting feedback from the people who are actually getting information from them. so look forward to that in 2021. >> yep. i look forward to it as well. thank you very much. >> thank you. public comment on agenda item number five? >> commissioners, director san francisco open government. this agenda item includes another case of rearranging deck chairs on the titanic. your answer to every single thing that happens in this city is rewrite the rules. and you haven't quite caught on to the fact that the people who don't follow the rules you had in the past aren't going to follow the new rules either. i was a lecturer for the university of hawaii and business manager for 14 years. i found case studies to be very
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instructive. as determined by the fair political practices commission, the fppc, quote, in the matter of luis herrera, while serving as city librarian for the san francisco public library failed to report gifts received from the friends of the san francisco public library on annual statements of economic interest, form 700, for calendar years 2009, 2010, and 2011. mr. herrera's original filing included this statement which is at the bottom, quote, i certify under penalty of perjury under the laws of the state of california that the foregoing is true and correct, end quote. you can all look down at your folders instead of looking at me. i don't blame you. and he signed it year after year after year saying he didn't get anything. i brought it twice to the ethics
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commission and both times they simply ignored it, which is why we went to the fppc. like the federal indictment, nothing this body ever does improves the ethics. it takes somebody outside the city family to do anything. before proceeding to sacramento, we brought this matter to the ethics commission which did exactly nothing. as the best cater of future performance is past performance, realistically, what can the public expect from this ethics commission? i've said it for more than a decade now to the previous commissioners and you, i'll say it again, show me anything this ethics commission that has done that has improved the ethics of this city. again, they sit and look down into their labs. i don't blame you. you talk a good game. there used to be a lot of people who would come here on a regular
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basis and they no longer do because they realize that it really isn't worth the trouble. but don't worry. you have me. i'll be back every month to point out the fact that, again, you're rearranging deck chairs on the titanic. the best definition of insanity is albert einstein said is the expectation that you do something for the hundredth time that it will somehow turn out differently than the 99 times before. >> thank you. any other public comment on agenda item five? item six, discussion of monthly stock enforcement and support. >> thank you, chair and commissioners. this month's report highlights in brief what the -- that the
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commission is, of course, following with interest the revelations about public -- potential public corruption in the city and county of san francisco. these reports -- as the executive director highlighted in her budget report, many of those revelations have concerned former public works director. her report as mine did not include anything about more recent revelations with respect to the office of the mayor. these materials were finalized ahead of those revelations, but i can assure you that the enforcement division continues to meet every week with its counterparts, its investigative counterparts in the offices of the controller, the city attorney, and the district attorney. as you know, the city attorney's office has established a public
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integrity hotline that people can contact if they have concerns or information related to public corruption. we would, of course, invite people to do the same, reminding people that we have complaint process with the ethics commission as well. people can call us at the number that we've included in the report. we frequently get complaints over e-mail. we have included the link to our website where the complaint process is described, and i would observe further that i have been working with tyler field who has come previously before the commission. he is one of the members of the commission's edit team, the electronic disclosure and data analysis team. the correct -- director of that time has loaned tyler to me and the two of us are working together to develop an online complaint submission process to make it easier for the public,
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we have reviewed the online complaint submission processes available among many of our peer jurisdictions and we're trying to take the better of the features of those various submission processes and incorporate them into a submission process that would serve the people of the city and county of san francisco. so we hope to have that underway very soon. i would add finally as the report notes that our division is certainly working with the commission's policy division and counterparts elsewhere to try to identify any vulnerabilities in existing law with respect to government ethics, and we would hope that one outcome of the variety of revelations might be an opportunity for
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cross-departmental collaboration to shore up any of those vulnerabilities. a handful that come to mind arise in the arena of gifts, payments, and statements of incompatible activities, but we would intend to bring before the commission at some future meeting more explicit description of what our concerns might entail there. i would note that the list of accounts that have been referred to the bureau of revenue has grown. i did receive a communication today from a member of the public who had a sensible request, which was that in subsequent meetings, we report not only the status of these accounts but the origin of the penalties that the commission assessed against each of these debtors who are before the
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bureau of delinquent revenue. i did go back and look through the origin of these particular penalties. i believe there are 14 individuals on this list. the vast majority of those, nine, i think, concern late fees assessed from the campaign finance context. across a variety of committee types, general purpose, candidate committees, ballot measure committees and major donors. the five remaining ones arose in the context of administrative enforcement. i would note one of chris jackson's accounts arose from an enforcement proceeding; the committee to he electric jacqueline norman for supervisor arose from an administrative proceeding, a hearing on the merits in which the commission
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found six counts of failure to file semiannual campaign statements. the account regarding isabel [indiscernible] was not a campaign finance late fee but a lobbyist late fee. you will remember that the account regarding lynette sweet arose after a hearing on merits in the administrative enforcement context, and that account regards a candidate for the board of supervisors who received public financing but whose record keeping was insufficient for the commission to have established her compliance with campaign finance laws. a fifth, which is not from within the late fee context is the one regarding richard matthews, and you may recall a stipulation that you ratified some months ago in which he agreed to three counts in violation of a prohibition against attempting to influence a governmental decision
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involving his own a appointment for employment. so we have had a certain amount of conversation around the bureau's efforts to collect these penalties, and we have had substantially less conversation about where the penalties arose to begin with. so i would just note that the request from the member of the public is well placed. i will probably just field questions if you have any, but i would note, again, that as former commissioner cobb's request, we continue to report on a specific subset of statistics in the monthly enforcement report, and that appears at the top of this month in page 2 where we report average numbers regarding the two processes that govern the commission's investigative process, first being preliminary
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review and the second, of course, being open investigation. so we report every month the number of cases in each of those categories and the average amount of time that it takes us to resolve each step of that process, report the for this month, the prior month, and this month a year ago and i would just note again that about two-thirds of the matters before the commission now are in open investigation instead of awaiting triage. the amount of time that it takes us to resolve investigations is holding around a year and a half the amount of time that it takes us to triage complaints that come through the door is on a downward trend. it's less than 6 months. of you'll recall last month i stated some goals that the division retains, but i think i will just invite any questions if you have them. >> i just had one question. that was regarding the online
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complaint submission tool. when you say it's about to get kicked off, is that the development process, or turning it on and making it available to the public? >> we have to turn it on in the near future, but it's still in a developmental phase where we're creating some mock-ups. we'll do some testing. we may -- when we turn it on, we may consider it a pilot because we would welcome feedback from users on whether the interface is serving their needs. so it's midway into the development. >> great. well, keep us posted on the progress. commissioner lee? >> i have a question. regarding the online complaint, i assume they are done anonymously. >> online complaint process will include all the options currently available to complainants which is a strange matrix of possibilities. an individual can submit a
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complaint anonymously. we would consider that informal. but they can also submit the complaint with their contact information but without attesting to its truth. we would consider that, again, an informal complaint even though we might have their contact information. it would, like the current complaint process, it would enable people to submit a sworn complaint in which they provide contact information and attest to the information they submit. >> and also, since the whistleblower is going to be key to a lot of these complaints, if you haven't done so already, i would suggest putting, along with the front of the page, protections on the whistleblower because it's taking a really, really bad hit the last few months. so i think that it would be good
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to provide confidence to those folks that what they're doing is protected under the law so that they should feel confident in filling out those forms. >> thank you. >> public comment on agenda item number six? >> commissioners, ray harts, director of san francisco open government. i would like to start out my public comment on this item with a joke. quote, the enforcement division is consulting internally with policy staff and others regarding any possible legislative or process changes that may be warranted to abate vulnerabilities in a city's existing ethics laws, end quote. it's a joke. right? what have you ever enforced? you go after the low hanging
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fruit. people who try to run a campaign, get in over their heads, and can't afford a big fancy lawyer. while the big people get away with bloody murder. as an annual salary benefits package of $164,000 a person, i would expect something a little bit disingenuous in what we've been presented with today. author wrote in her book the ethics of willful ignorance. in brief, the criminal law doctrine dictates someone who deliberately ignores obvious facts is as couplable as a
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person who knows those facts but continues despite them. as i did in the previous item, i showed you the case against former city librarian luis herrera, which i brought personally to this ethics commission on two separate occasions, and you did nothing. we went to the fppc in sacramento. they found him guilty and fined him and forced him to restate those seis. you can have anybody fill out paperwork, but if you do nothing with the paperwork, especially when it's violated the law, do you really think these papier-mache changes are going to do anything? so where exactly does this put the ethics commission and its staff in relation to those public officials who file false seis? haven't done anything as far as i have ever seen. and i don't see any indication
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that it will be any different going forward. the greatest vulnerabilities in the city's ethics laws are the members of this commission, present and former. civil grand jury said it really good in regard to the sunshine ordinance, they say you don't enforce it, so they don't follow it. same with the ethics laws. >> thank you. any other public comment on agenda item number six? agenda item number 7, discussion of executive director's report. update of various programatic and operational highlights of the ethics commission staff activities since the previous meeting. >> the report that i provided to you this month provides updates on a variety of programatic fronts. first and foremost, the key milestone our team was able to achieve which is to have all of
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the updated electronically filed statement of economic interest data from over 500 filers now online from 2015 to 2019 in an open data formatted. and what that means is in addition to the search function we've been able to provide for an individual or interest, this now enables the public to go in and pull down the entire or look at the entire data set across filers and interests so it enables full transparency in ways that people want to look in the information and want to understand the information. so this is the kind of thing we hope to continue to see going forward, but we were pleased that was able to be concluded last month. >> director, let me interject for a moment. part of the budget submission for fy '21 would go towards continuing this kind of work? >> that's correct. >> so, again, i just want to make the this the permanent and stationary this is critical we
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receive the resources to take what were previously single pdfs stored electronically but effectively out of reach and unsearchable to anyone because you would have to look up one by one. >> that's right. >> by person or by entity and it's literally an i am upon task if you want to do that across 2015 through the present. so hats off to the edit team for getting this done. i know this was contemplated and it's great to see that it's alive and available. >> this is one example i think when you and the public have a chance to go look at the data, see what's there, this is exactly the kind of thing that we had planned to do across program areas because it is the place where people can go and look for the things that are of interest to them. so that's something that we will hope to see continuing across program areas of the commission. we've been also initiating our annual filing outreach with our folks on engagement and
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compliance staff. they have four sessions set up for next month. we know andrew chen has been doing outreach this filing season. we have sessions planned for filing officers, those officials and departments that administer these programs so their current paper filers can get them in on time. but we also do direct sessions for filers themselves so if there are questions they have about the process or why the rules are what they are and what the disclosure requirements might be, they're intended to help provide that information to them. we also updated our landing page on the website that you may have seen that directly links officials who need to file to the resources they need to do that filing. we also -- i think i may have mentioned we had applied for san francisco fellows program resources. we have our san francisco fellows now under way working with us for 40 hours on a project to develop some
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materials and content and they've been terrific bundle of energy and creativity and insight in our office. we've enjoyed working with them. i want to highlight they are under way and we look forward to bring willing them to a -- bringing them this spring so they have a chance to meet with you directly. a couple other quick highlights, the board of supervisors audit performance outsidity of the ethics commission that has been initiated by the budget and legislative analyst is now under way. we've been meeting with and providing information to bla auditors and so that is on going. at this point, anticipated to be completed sometime this spring, but we'll keep you posted on that. that work is a priority for us to support whatever information they may need from us. one last note here is that we did have, due to a scheduling conflict with the commission,
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december 2020 meeting date has been changed just for the note for the public. i think we have updated this on our website. if we have not already, we will do that before the end of month, close of business, but it is instead of monday december -- it's been revised to monday, december 14th, at 9:30 a.m. instead of friday, december 11th. so, again, that information is here just for planning purposes. i think the only other thing i would add this month is that i want to acknowledge last month as the commission elected new officers going forward effective march 1st for our bylaws, that would officially make this the last meeting of chair chiu in the capacity of chair. on behalf of all the staff, i want to acknowledge your leadership over the last couple of years in this role as chair for the commission and knowing what a challenging role it can be, we tap the chair on the
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shoulder quite often as we have done and i very much appreciate your steadiness and that you've been there to engage and be supportive with critical questions, insightful thinking and assistance and direction at every step. so on behalf of the staff, i want to acknowledge for the record, your leadership and thank you for that and for the continuity of operations that you have provided. apparently so seamlessly, but thank you. >> thank you. it's been a real pleasure and a privilege to serve on this commission and also to have the opportunity to work with you, director, and your really talented staff on these important questions that are tough and impactful and challenging. so thank you for your really kind words. i appreciate them. i don't want to leave out department city attorney chen as well and his support and advice. it's made my job really so much
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easier and really fun. so thank you for that. call for public comment then on this agenda item, number 7. >> commissioners, ray harts director san francisco open government. while the executive director makes much of electronic filing and access to foreign 700 filing through a searchable data business, i truly believe it is much ado about nothing. in the case of former city librarian luis herrera, it was there, but i had to spend years digging for it. they chose to remain blind. he was the driving force that enabled the friends of the san francisco public library to run their scam on the public.
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while raising literally millions of dollars every year to support the library, less than 10% of what passes through their hands actually goes for that purpose. this chart shows in the years indicated that board of supervisors passed an expend agreement for the library in the amount of $750,000, although half of that, approximately, was restricted funding from other sources and what actually came from the friends was about $400,000 a year. if you look at the last column, that didn't even make 10% of what they had in income in a given year. after initially lying on his se is, mr. herrera subsequently said he received $5,000 a year from this group, the friends. the financial arrangement between the san francisco public library and the friends is
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legally questionable, at best. when it was taken before the board of supervisors, they refused to approve it because the library was not getting enough. they took it before the library commission, and they have taken a hands-off. we have nothing to do with it. they haven't approved it either. what you basically have is a private arrangement between the city librarian and this group to raise money on behalf of the public library, and that agreement has not been certified or looked at by the city attorney's office. it's a fraud. telling people that you're going to give money and we're going to use it to support the library and then it ends up going elsewhere is a fraud, pure and simple. not approved by the board of supervisors, library commission, or the city attorney, why is it allowed to continue? because people like you turn a
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blind eye. why do we have the department head of public works federally indicted? because people like you turn a blind eye. why do we have things like mr. herrera filing false statements of economic interest? because people like you turn a blind eye. and now all of a sudden you've had this epiphany and things are going to change. i'm not going to hold my breath. >> any other public comment on agenda item number 7. number 8, discussion and possible action on items for future meetings. commissioners. public comment on number 8? >> commissioners, ray harts, director of san francisco open government. the members of this ethics commission along with your staff need to have an open public discussion of the purposes for your existence. i've given you a number of cases
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throughout this afternoon to show that you basically don't enforce the law. you never have. you go after a few potential candidates for little misdemeanor-type violations, and that's the extent of you and the city government knows it. the city employees, the department heads know it. the civil grand jury knows it. i believe former commissioner cobb was accurate in his assessment of the ethics commission to this point. statements of economic interest and other such device are like locks. they're for honest people. i believe the question before you was a simple one. will the members of this body waste the resources entrusted to you, or are you use those resources to move city government toward more ethical behavior?
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some may look at this list and presume my motives to be nefarious. i assure you they are not. i have and will continue to use the sunshine ordinance for its intended purpose, to bring transparency to the operation of city government. the question is, will you? i can always sense the disapproval because what people do on this commission is they look down in their laps and work on something else. they never respond to any of my comments because there is no response. the things i'm saying are facts. this ethics commission hasn't really done anything that i can experience, and i've asked. i've said many times, give the public an example of something you've done that actually made the city more ethical? and what do we get?
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silence. because there isn't anything. no matter the fact that the mayor and the department head are on the headlines this week, next week it will sink below the waves and like most of the scandals here in the city and county of san francisco, it will disappear without notice. it certainly will disappear without you doing anything to change the atmosphere. you are here, as i said at the beginning, to protect the interests of the city hall family against the interests of the citizens of the city and county of san francisco. the simple fact that nobody bothers to come to your meetings anymore is a pretty good indication even those willing to give the benefit of the doubt have given up on you. >> thank you. other public comment? agenda item number 9, discussion
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and action regarding pending litigation yes on prop b versus city and county of san francisco, u.s. district court north district california, filed january 28th, 2020. call for public comment on this item. >> again, ray harts director san francisco open government. i love it when you go into these closed sessions because you go in there and talk about stuff and come out and say we're not going to tell anybody what we talked about. i'll be honest with you. i don't trust you any further than i can see you. when you go and close that door, i believe you probably have discussions about things which legally you're not supposed to be doing because it's out of the sight of the view of public. as i said earlier, you do everything behind closed doors. you formulate all the policies behind closed doors.
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you let in only those who agree with you. people who are willing to work with you to help improve things. but those people have all sort of gone by the way now. you changed your meeting time so that members of the public won't even come anymore. why? because you don't want them here. you certainly don't want people like me pointing out the fact that you don't do anything. and what you dodo is simply shuffle papers. can i have a job with the ethics commission? i can use $164,000 a year to shuffle papers. i think most wobbling to do the job for $164,000 in pay and benefits. but the difference is, i think they would actually do
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something. cobb had it right. this city knows you. they know you like i know, which is you're ineffective and are unlikely to ever be effective: you don't like hearing that, which is why last week you pushed the button and had the sheriffs deputies show up with their guns in their hand. why? because i spoke out of turn. of course when former commissioner cobb interrupted me during my public comment, you praised him and when i took him to the task force and they found him in violation of the ordinance for having done that, you were silent. so i think you go to prove the adage, power corrupts. absolute power corrupts absolutely. you are corrupt.
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>> thank you. any other public comment on number nine? i would like to make a motion that the ethics commission assert attorney-client privilege and meet in closed session under brown and sunshine ordinance 67.10d to discuss pending litigation. all in favor? >> aye. >> motion carried unanimously. we'll take a
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>> ethics commission is back in open session. i would like to make a motion not to disclose the closed session deliberations regarding the pending litigation. >> second. >> all in favor. >> aye. >> motion was carried unanimously. >> number 10, additional public comment. there's no public comment. move to adjourn.
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thank you.
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[♪] >> it's always a slap in the face to our people and we see that happening all over this country, but always reminded us that as indigenous people we didn't actually have a place. what we were thought of continuously was as savages and
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less than, that the white man came to save us. >> when i first saw the early day statue, i think it brought me back to the time of my ancestors. i think that's where genocide started. >> that was a time when people were being hunted down and slaughtered and bounties were placed on their heads. not only were people murdered, our culture was stripped from us. >> prior to my lifetime, our families were still in hiding. i think some of the folks do not understand some of the very first laws that were created and what is now called the state of california was extermination laws that legalized the killing of native people. >> i remember specifically someone had painted in red beneath again side and they put a wine bottle in the hand of the missionaries who was leaning
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down to hand this bottle to the indian man who was seated on the ground. it was a powerful statement about genocide and the distortion of history and what the true history is. >> i think that we have to remove all of these stereotypes and strip the world of this racism in order to build it back up with factually correct history and teach people not only native american people behave like this. we're all people, the same as you. we have a 9:00 to 5:00 job. we go to school. we're also different because our history and our ancestors and culture and arts make us different. >> public art is very powerful, as we can see for 126 years, the common imagery was upholding white supremacy. it's important that public arts also evolved and what was
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accepted and appropriate and apparent 120 years ago is not so any longer. >> i think that it's important that the statue went down the way that it did, with indigenous people coming out from all different walks and different places. that it's important for our younger generation to see that we can change what history has put up that depicts us. [♪] >> that's powerful to know that selectivity we're able to remove that symbol. we are now able to occupy that space in our own voice. >> the native american movements that were conducted in the 1970s are extremely important to me because my grandpa was at the
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forefront of them and he was making the world a better place so that i would grow up in a world where i had one less issue to face and my generation could start from where he worked and continue working from that point. >> the struggle has been going on for many years to remove this statue, but it's only one key in all of san francisco's history and all of this country's history about the misrepresentation of how this land was developed and colonized. >> we have to fight to regain our languages, have access to our lands, to keep our religions from being illegal. that is the legacy, that we are in a continuous struggle. >> i think those are ways of acknowledging our path so we can move forward together. no one is going home. this has always been our home. how do we learn to live in reciprocity with one another?
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that's by acknowledging our histories and moving forward and telling the truth to history. [♪] [♪] [♪] >> i just wanted to say a few words. one is to the parents and to all of the kids. thank you for supporting this program and for trusting us to create a soccer program in the bayview. >> soccer is the world's game, and everybody plays, but in the
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united states, this is a sport that struggles with access for certain communities. >> i coached basketball in a coached football for years, it is the same thing. it is about motivating kids and keeping them together, and giving them new opportunities. >> when the kids came out, they had no idea really what the game was. only one or two of them had played soccer before. we gave the kids very simple lessons every day and made sure that they had fun while they were doing it, and you really could see them evolve into a team over the course of the season. >> i think this is a great opportunity to be part of the community and be part of programs like this. >> i get to run around with my other teammates and pass the ball. >> this is new to me. i've always played basketball or football. i am adjusting to be a soccer mom. >> the bayview is like my favorite team. even though we lose it is still fine. >> right on. >> i have lots of favorite memories, but i think one of them is just watching the kids
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enjoy themselves. >> my favorite memory was just having fun and playing. >> bayview united will be in soccer camp all summer long. they are going to be at civic centre for two different weeklong sessions with america scores, then they will will have their own soccer camp later in the summer right here, and then they will be back on the pitch next fall. >> now we know a little bit more about soccer, we are learning more, and the kids are really enjoying the program. >> we want to be united in the bayview. that is why this was appropriate >> this guy is the limit. the kids are already athletic, you know, they just need to learn the game. we have some potential college-bound kids, definitely. >> today was the last practice of the season, and the sweetest moment was coming out here while , you know, we were setting up the barbecue and folding their uniforms, and looking out onto the field, and seven or eight of the kids were playing. >> this year we have first and second grade. we are going to expand to third,
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forth, and fifth grade next year bring them out and if you have middle school kids, we are starting a team for middle school. >> you know why? >> why? because we are? >> bayview united. >> that's right. >> good evening, everybody. the chair has called the meeting to order. please silence all electronic devices, and please rise for the pledge of allegiance. >> i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under god, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.


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