tv [untitled] January 24, 2012 4:18am-4:48am PST
that is not malfeasance. [applause] >> i want to thank the public defender's office for putting this panel together. i understand there was a good panel this morning. these are issues that are conflicts, and they require continuing dialogue. the law is not perfect. the law is always evolving. it was an honor also to be with the other panelists here. i think that the issue of the death penalty is one that obviously is right -- ripe for us to bring this back to the voters. i think there is a great deal of evidence today that speaks to the problems of wrongful convictions. i think we all understand what the factors are. we know there is a problem with wrongful convictions -- convictions. there is certainly a problem with prisoner treatment, and there is a problem with closure to the victims as well as the
financial costs. it is up to all of us collectively to talk about how we deal with this and create a more profitable policy around dealing with very serious crimes, and i welcome the opportunity for having been here today. thank you very much. [applause] >> jeff adacci has a few closing remarks. >> i am a public defender. >> good afternoon. i am with the d a's office. >> in closing today's program, we want to first of all thank all of you for being here and being part of this discussion. no doubt, we achieved a great deal. this was not just another talking head conference where people were just here to give a
speech. you really heard engaged discussion from this morning all the way up until now. we thank our panelists because they came here with an open heart and an open mind. we are going to talk in a minute about how we are going to move things forward. i want to thank the staff of the public defender's office and the many volunteers who made this possible. we thank the library staff as well as sfgovtv for their good work here. john came here because we invited him and because he knew that he is making a difference and will continue to make a difference. after serving 14 years on death
row and spending 18 years of his life fighting the case, he continued to fight for justice, and he brought his case to the united states supreme court. he received a $40 million jury verdict, and in april, the united states supreme court overturned that, even though in this case, there were three prosecutors who have -- who were found to have intentionally withheld evidence that would have exonerated him. plus, and this is a great lesson for all of us, it was a prosecutor who was the hero. he stood up and came forward and told everybody what the other two prosecutors did. when he did that, his efforts were rebuked by the district attorney. as a result, he left his job. it tells you that there are heroes everywhere.
people are standing up for justice everywhere. we have to reach everyone everywhere every place in order to solve this problem. we do have a plaque to presented -- present to j.t > as a result of everything he has been through, but more importantly, to help him in the future -- present to j.t. as a result of everything he has been through, but more importantly, for everything he will do in the future. you can support the work he does with a reentry program for persons coming back from prison. so if we could present this to you. [applause]
moving forward, our work cannot stop here. i would like to have christine talk about what we are going to be doing moving forward. we have had meetings with district attorney george gascono about doing things differently. within the police chief, a new district attorney, we have that opportunity -- with a new police chief, a new district attorney, we have that opportunity. i would also like to acknowledge supervisor ross mirkarimi to come up here just for a moment and say hello, and let me have christine close the program. >> good afternoon, everybody. it was a pleasure to listen to the last panel this afternoon. i am the chief of staff for mr.
gascon, and i joined him when he moved over to the d.a.'s office. joining the office on his request, because i think we really have a unique perspective, having worked on the defense side and on policy issues, and i can attest that he is undertaking a wholehearted effort to really bring some reform to the criminal justice system on many fronts, this being one of them that we are evaluating. i hope that you as city and county residents will see in our work that we really take some efforts that will reform. anybody that has participated in the criminal justice system for any length of time knows that it does not work from whatever and will you are looking at it, so the question is how do we make it better? we hope to engage all of you in that. we are starting neighborhood courts, and a lot of efforts that we hope to engage the city and county in supporting us and looking at ways to move away from the over incarceration of
people and look at ways to reform their behavior. the efforts we have undertaken when george was appointed to the position -- jeff asked him to come to the public defender's office to have a question and answer session, which he did, and i attended with him. we are told that was the first time that had ever happened, and we reciprocated by asking jeff to meet with the district attorneys in our office. we have begun a dialogue that both sides think is very healthy. we have identified a number of issues that we think require further exploration, so we are creating working group's staff by the people from the d.a.'s office and the public defender's office to look at improving things like discovery, which is an important issue, making sure that we have reciprocal discovery and that it is transparent and complete. looking at workers from collaborative courts, looking at solutions besides incarceration, dealing with mental health and behavioral health issues, rather
than using the jails as a solution to that, and we are also working around juvenile issues to make sure we are doing all we can for those under the age of 18 in our community. those are the efforts we are undertaking. jeff and matt have been a fantastic partners in this. as far as we know, it is a new day in these efforts and really trying to work collaboratively and we hope to have all your support in doing that. [applause] >> of course, that is not to say that we are not going to fight it out in court because, of course, that is what we do. i would like to briefly introduce ross mirkarimi, who is a supervisor here in the city, and he has been a champion of many criminal justice issues, including prisoner reentry. i also want to thank and acknowledge debra atherton.
thank you. supervisor mirkarimi: it is nice to see everybody. jeff is generous. i was not expecting to be up here. i know you have had a productive day. i think that the public defender's summit is something not to be missed and a template for the rest of california and probably the nation to follow. i am proud of our public defender. i am proud of our criminal justice partners because over the last four years, we have seen a great amount of innovation. jeff and i started the city's first reentry council, and it might be bewildering to you, but before we started it, believe it or not, those stakeholders in the criminal-justice system really very irregularly rarely would come together and talk about ways that we might
mitigate, reduce our recidivism rate. great progress has been made, but san francisco still needs to step up its game. i was delighted to hear the conversation that took place here, but no the statistic that for every four people that sanford's is the police department arrests and the da prosecutes, nearly three are repeat offenders -- for every four people that san francisco police department arrests and the da prosecutes -- the d.a. prosecutes. there is evidence to show that doing everything we can to try to divert some of his life from repeating their offense, but we will have to really vigorously enhance our approach. one way to do that obviously is the collaboration being fostered and demonstrated here today, but it is more than just today. it will have to be every single day, or else california will continue to be building more
leadership who is out here today. every chinese new year, all the departments all get together, and we all work very hard in making sure that the chinatown area is clean, free from graffiti. that the merchants are allocated -- educated about our ordinances. this year, we're going to do something special and a little bit different. we have been working with the merchants association, the chinese chamber of commerce and many associations here to come up with a great idea to make walking much easier but also to make buying merchandise and enjoying chinatown much easier. hopefully also allowing the bus to run smoothly while these activities are going on. without further delay, i would like to introduce our mayor, who is no stranger to chinatown and who is really spearheading this idea. thank you.
[applause] mayor lee: let's see if everybody can occupy the parking space. exactly what we want to do is make sure people use the sidewalks as much as possible. first of all, how the new year, everyone. i know that as we celebrate the traditional new year, as soon as i finish with one new year, i get ready for the next year, because chinese new year is also a huge celebration not over chat -- not only over chinatown, but all over the city. the city really makes a lot of money with a lot of tourists that come in. the department of public works has already started -- you are already cleaning up the big gate down there and the graffiti.
one of the things that is part of the tradition -- and it is already happening in my own house -- as i have to clean up my hard, clean my kitchen, my bedroom, my living room before chinese new year comes. that is the same thing with literally every chinese family, every chinese-owned business, but also beyond that, i think this culture is spreading that a lot of non-asian families are doing the same thing. whether it is our friends at north beach or people here in chinatown. in talking with the merchants all over china town, chinese chamber, the stockton street merchants, the chinatown merchants association -- we wanted to capture a little bit more improvement this year on pedestrian safety. there was an idea that was created and talked about for several weeks where it began by a few years ago when i was
public works director, that we expanded some of the sidewalks for the benefit of pedestrian safety. we worked very closely with the traffic division of mta. we worked with our health department. we worked with chinatown neighborhood groups and the businesses to expand those sidewalks, and it has actually become quite a positive thing. then, we had sunday streets this past year in the summer where we literally took over grant ave. that became a very positive thing. in fact, we started the first ping-pong tournament in chinatown as a result. more and more, there has been an interest that more of the sidewalks and potentially maybe even a strip of the parking area be taken over with more pedestrian and shared with merchants in the area, so we began this collaboration through the mayor's office with the
collaboration of all of the chinatown merchants groups, the chamber of commerce, the merchants association. the stockton street merchants in particular, who are standing behind me. as well as the family association. then, certainly with supervisor david chiu and his staff, in thinking what we could do to enhance the time when it is most busy. we determined with the participation of our police department, our health department, our traffic division, and all the other agencies associated with our city administrator's office. the acting administrator is here to for dissipate as well. the 10 days before chinese new year is really the most impactual. we have a lot of families here not only eating, but buying the kinds of things that they need to do to get ready.
in collaboration with all the agencies, and in particular our public safety agencies, we felt we wanted to try something out. what we have determined is that from sacramento street through to broadway, and i believe there's a couple of blocks on broadway as well -- on a grant as well that we also determined were very impacted. that we would take an opportunity to announce and develop a pilot program where the parking spaces would then be occupied by a shared use of both pedestrians and merchants, and to see if we could do that in a safe way that we would allow ourselves to enhance it. quite candidly in my observation that i know is shared by some or others -- if we did not occupy it with that, it would be occupied by cars and a lot of delivery trucks all day long and maybe all night long. instead, to maybe enhance this.
we decided that we would enhance the ability to have pedestrians years that more and to have the merchants use that more, bring out more of the merchandise that will be sold their and still have the sidewalks to welcome in families. to have a safe pathway for all of them and keep everybody within the safety zone. we are going to do that as a pilot program this year. again, i really want to thank everybody working together because it is all the neighborhood agencies working under the leadership of public works, working with our police department and their foot patrols are out here, and they see what happens every day. we do not want anybody to get into the streets at all. right, commander and captain? it is their safety that is really the preeminent thing that
we want to do. while we try to enhance the family experience in chinatown and welcome in a little bit more business and have that positive experience. it works or it we need to tweak it, we will do more of the. we will work with everybody to enhance it. i think this is worth trying. i think it is time we do this, and it will begin this saturday. i think it is a welcoming thing for everybody that will increase the participation and i think increase the businesses. while the tourist business has increased this last year in the city, certain pockets of our city have not experienced as much as other pockets of the city. so this is yet another way we can do it. i know north beach has some special needs. we can pay attention to that in the very near future.
there are other pockets, but this is part of what i wanted e merchant quarters, hear what they had to say, respond in a positive way and experience and experiment with ideas that innovate with our emergence to try to enhance their ability to make a little bit more, and also help with the cultural scene. this year is the year of the dragon. eat you know anything about the dragon, you know that the dragon is kind of like the big leader of all of the zodiac animals. they are fearless. they have the big dragon breath. you know, the fire breath. they are not fearful of hast things. they want to just flows through some new ideas, and i think that is what we wanted to boldly this year, kind of use the spirit of the dragon to say, cassette and let's do some new ideas. let's be bold about it." let's do something that enhances the cultural theme of chinatown as well. we decided to do this.
we believe we have the support of all of the residents. there preeminent thing was that pedestrian safety be the number one thing, so we have done that. we have reflected in it. i want to thank this very balanced approach that vw has had with everybody's cooperation. all of the inspectors would be here. we will have some additional monitors to make sure that the safety is preeminent, but at the same time, to gauge the participation of everybody. i do believe what everybody's help, this will be a positive thing. particularly, i want to thank the merchants. they were bold enough to say, "let's try something a little different. supervisor is responsible for what happens in this district, so we engaged him early. i want to thank him for helping to support this but also helping to lead it as well. we will be working closely with him as he gives feedback on the
experience. supervisor chiu: thank you, mr. mayor. happy new year. have a chinese new year two weeks ahead of time. one of the most amazing aspect of, i think, one of the most special holidays that we celebrate in san francisco is the chinese new year rally brings books together. i want to thank everyone who is part of making this great announcement possible. our city agencies who are here, the mta, our san francisco police department, dpw, our city administrator. also, i have to thank our mayor. he first spoke to me about this in, i think, our first meeting right after the election. we both wanted to move forward on ideas that would help revitalize not just our merchant corridors and job creation, but make sure that chinatown remains the very special capital of the chinese-american community that it is. i think the announcement is also very special because we're talking about how we use our
streets in a way that bill communities. san francisco in recent years has been on the forefront of taking back our streets for our families, our children, our seniors. just like sunday streets, i think what we are experimenting with with this pilot project will be in that direction. we are also talking about making the chinese new year experienced more authentic. more what we expect chinese new year's to be celebrated throughout the world. i want to thank everyone here from the chinese merchant associations, attorneys chambers, our family associations, our non-profit associations. this is what san francisco should be about, coming together to celebrate san francisco. again, congratulations. happy new year. [applause] >> as you heard the mayor and supervisor chiu say, it is always coming together. one of the key partners in
making sure the project is successful is sfmta. i will have them come and give you a few tips on what to look for. [laughter] >> on behalf of all my colleagues at the sfmta we are pleased to be partnering with all the other city agencies as well as the community to bring forth this pilot. in addition to enhancing the pedestrian experience, we have done quite a bit on stockton street, including the pedestrian scramble signals recently. in addition to enhancing the experience through this pilot, one of our primary goals is to make sure that the traffic and transit continue to operate satisfactorily throughout this corridor. for that to happen, we will need everyone's cooperation. i think the best tool is
compliance and cooperation. i am sure that will be the case. i am really looking forward to this pilot being impactful, the official, and ultimately successful. thank you. [applause] >> another partner to make sure that while you are shopping at tsa is -- that while you're shopping you are safe is the finest police department. >> i had not prepared to come up, but i can tell you we're just delighted at the notion of wider sidewalks. it is good for fitness and good for safety. the captain and i walked up here, and i moved one double parked car along the way and let the bus through the intersection, at a said we should take the bus up, and we realized it was faster to walk. one thing we did also was we cut into the street a lot because of all the credit sidewalks. wider sidewalks are good, and we are most happy working with the
issue of deliveries early and late, so not during the day. this is going to be good for traffic, good for business, and good for pedestrians. the richmond station where i was several years ago -- i thought something like this, and i was told everywhere was too complicated, forget about it. so i commend you guys. i am sort speechless, and that does not happen to me often. [applause] >> as the mayor said, this idea was being worked on over the last few weeks, and it took quite a number of meetings. it took quite a bit of organizing. some agreements were being made. exactly how this was going to work. one of the neighborhood groups we worked with, so we will have them say a few words. >> i am the presiding president
of chinese consolidated delivery association, ladies and gentlemen, on behalf of chinatown labour association and merchants on stockton street, we want to thank you. mayor lee, president of the board of supervisors, david chiu, dtw director, director, and commissioner, for all the support for making the chinese traditional sidewalk merchandise displayed a pilot program, a reality nine days before the chinese new year. starting from january 14 to january 22, from 10 a.m. to 6:00
p.m.. we all know that the sidewalk is only 9.5 feet wide. it would be too congested for pedestrians to walk through the area, therefore, we elected mayor lee to use the parking space to display the merchandise in the parking area so that pedestrians would be able to walk through the sidewalk area. we are happy to report to you all that mayor lee accepted the stockton street merchants request. i have been saying for mandates to all my friends for many times that the people of san francisco are so lucky to be let ed lee as our mayor because he is not a politician but a public servant. he has served the