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tv   [untitled]    October 30, 2013 5:00pm-5:31pm PDT

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name is michael sweet. chair of the san francisco human rights commission. it's my honor and privilege to welcome you all to
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tonight's special meeting of the san francisco human rights commission which we have called to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the march on washington and martin luther king jr.'s i have a dream speech. now it's especially nice to give our hero awards and not only do we have a number of wonderful recipients here but some great qualified nominees and a number of our honor reese from prior years. after the meeting we will have an at some point to have a special reception downstairs where we'll also -- down the hall. 201, where we'll take some time to celebrate this wonderful occasion. i would
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like to call the meeting to order and ask the commission secretary to please read the roll. >> michael sweet, davis, kel her, not present at the moment, i -- lee, todd davis not present. you have a quorum. >> thank you, madam secretary. the first item on the agenda is public comment that will enable to you speak on miss the issues. if you wish to address this commission, i would encourage you to fill out a speaker card. there will be time later in the meeting to speak on the awards that are being given and the honor
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reese. this is to only speak on any item, not on the agenda items. is there anyone who wishes to speak at this time? ma'am, please? >> dr. himchi, supporter. i want to thank you on the event that you are having here today. i just want to take a second to remind you that we are in this city blessed with a business and a venue that has become a national landmark that in our city, i believe, is an enduring
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landmark that connects us with the civil rights era. i'm referencing the bookstore and you are aware of the plight the bookstore is faced with. i would like you to identify whatever resources exist within the commission and the city and county of san francisco to protect and preserve and bestow love and retention of this very very valuable landmark and support the effort to designate it as an historic landmark and to recognize it as the national treasure that it is. please join and assist the efforts to save marcus bookstore. thank you very much. [ applause ] >> thank you. are there other members of the public who wish to speak in this public comment
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period? very well, public comment is closed. we'll call the next item. >> remarks by chairman and introduction of meeting cochairs including linda stevens and cheryl davis. >> the human rights commission is made up by different folks in the community and when we meet every 2 weeks we bring with us our different backgrounds and different history and the different life experiences to share with each other and help work with each other with our staff and with the community to continue to move san francisco forward. we are here tonight because two of the commissioners have taken the initiative to help identify the commemoration to make this evening happen and to
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effectuate a unification award ceremony. in a moment i will ask christian and davis to take over the meeting. i couldn't pass up the opportunity to share my feelings and thoughts here now as we begin this ceremony and as we talk about this anniversary of the march on washington and on several occasions today i heard parts of the speech. at one point, i was in a venue where the entire speech was played. it's really amazing that some of these words that were spoken 50 years ago resonate today. also it was amazing and i think many who were there would agree the very few would have thought that on the 50th anniversary of that march, that the president of our state, an african american
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would be in that spot commemorating this event. we are going to continue to do that work. the san francisco human rights commission is also almost 50 years old. the discussions that were part of the march on washington are what led to the same discussions to the founding of the human rights commission 50 years ago. we are entering the 50th celebration of this commission. during that year i look forward to rededicating this commission and working to ensure that we are franchised around this city and to continue with the great work with the commission does. i want to thank everyone for coming tonight. it's a really special occasion. it's a
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wonderful opportunity to do this here and see a wonderful crowd here and share this moment. i want to thank commissioner christian davis and it also falls on me the opportunity to let you all know and there is a copy there, that we have received recognition from state senator mark leno congratulating us on the work that we do. i will make sure this hangs in our office where so many other certification where the human rights commission plaques rest. i would like to in invite belinda christian and davis to take us through the award part of this meeting and thanks for coming. >> good evening. thank you so
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much for coming, for taking the time to come and fill the chamber tonight to help us celebrate the memory and the anniversary of the march on washington. we don't have a lot of time tonight, so i don't think commissioner davis or i are going to spend a lot of time speaking, but there were a couple of things that i just wanted to note. the march on washington took place on the centennial of the emancipation proclamation which was enacted in january of 1863. the march on washington also took place
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on the anniversary of em it hills murder. he had been murdered 8 years before the march. this is 58th year since that horrendous event. as the staff member, the hrc staff member who is primarily responsible for this meeting tonight, noted, these were noted to me in conversation, these are some of the many things that were on the minds of the organizers of the march and also the hundreds of thousands of people that traveled from throughout the country and throughout the world to be in washington on that day. the march itself was a catalyst for the enactment of the voting rights act and the civil rights act and we have those anniversaries coming up
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and to devote ourselves with respect to those things as well. today, we have our special meeting is in two parts. the first is to commemorate the march on washington, the anniversary of the march and the second is to bring home our attention to honor some of the many people that we are fortunate to have in san francisco who do work, day in and out morning and night who led the march to advance civil rights and to advance the welfare of the community. they do this work outside of the spotlight. like so many of the organizers of the march and so many people that were there 50 years ago. so, we are recognizing these people in our community through the hero awards. who are
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continuing the work of the people in the civil rights movement 50 years ago and decades and centuries before that in this country. the equity advisory committee of the human rights commission that had task, the enviable task in a way to choose between so many very qualified and very very active people in the community who were nominated for these awards tonight. the equity advisory committee is one of two advisory committees. they were tasked with this endeavor. i wanted to recognize the members of the advisory committee who are with us here tonight. if you can stand when you hear your name if you are here, we would appreciate it. first aaron lay is here are
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angela jenkins is here, robert mansfield is here, rick huffman is here, and miguel pen is here. if you can all stand as well as patricia mitchell she is also here tonight. [ applause ] >> our members of our advisory committees, they are not appointed. they volunteer. they leave work and school and the rest of their lives to come in the evenings and work with our staff and our commission to advance the welfare of the community. so i want to express my heartfelt thanks to you for all the work that you do outside of the spotlight. commissioner davis? >> i want to be able to move the program along but i do want to mention that having been born in texas and both of my
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parents lived in the segregated south and i remember spending my summers there and really understanding the impact of the civil rights movement from things as basic as which side of the street to walk on even though jim crow had been abolished. it was still alive and well and to understand the need for even though laws have changed but mind sets hasn't. the fact that there has been no movement, no really galvanizing of people in the same way. to be able to marvel and aspire to be able to it at one time in time to be able to have a movement in the same vein. today is about acknowledging the work that is going forward to kind of keep the movement going but to also recognize and appreciate those folks who outside of the spotlight as commissioner christian said are still doing the work because it needs to be done and so this is
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about remembering and commemorating and also celebrating and recognizing those folks who keep the movement going. >> thank you, we'll go into the the agenda. madam secretary, please call the next item on the agenda. no. 4. >> item 4 mayor proclamation on the anniversary of the march on washington, honor's deputy chief of staff and public safety. [ applause ] >> hello. thank you, all of you
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for being here. good evening. you guys can do better than that. this is a big deal. i'm happy that this is what the audience looks like tonight. good evening. there we go. here we go. so i'm here obviously on behalf of our mayor, mr. ed lee. i'm here tonight to celebrate with an actual proclamation. if we can just take a moment. can the individuals that are being honored tonight, can you just stand for a moment? [ applause ] >> [ cheers and applause ] >> i like how they stood to face the tv cameras and not anybody else. i appreciate
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that. because i want to recognize you. part of why we are here tonight is in recognition of all of you as leaders. and really when we are talking about the civil rights movement, it almost doesn't matter if that movement stops. and having you here representing what civil rights looks like today and the work that all of you have done is really important. so i just wanted to acknowledge that and i know it's why everyone else is why celebrating the work that you have done and the commitments that you have made to civil rights in the past today. that's a big deal. i want to acknowledge it and recognize that. this afternoon when i was speaking to the mayor about this event and he had a conflict which is why he couldn't be here this evening and he asked me to speak. i had something to say too, so, but one of the things that i was contemplating and thinking
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about and speaking to with him particularly since his own background comes from doing civil rights litigation and working and being committed to civil rights in his own path to leadership which i thought was important. but it's equally important that we share those commitments right within our own community of san francisco and so having all of you here today and tonight and be honored is a big deal and it extends beyond your own family that extends to the entire communicated -- community of san francisco. on behalf of the mayor's office i thank you for that commitment and welcome the opportunity for the rest of this audience and the rest of this city to learn and grow from your example of leadership as it relates to civil rights. i have to say that one of the things that stands out and i want to make sure that i acknowledge this and talk about this tonight is that we are
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having this celebration tonight and we are addressing the leadership related to civil rights here in city hall. the reason that i think it's important that we point that out is that we have leaders and we have community here tonight in the city's public building and it's refreshing to me an is a fourth generation in san francisco, i group up in the city, in the bay view, to have the audience look as diverse as it does tonight here in this room. i think that's very powerful an i want to acknowledge the fact that we are here celebrating hard work, celebrating civil rights and celebrating a commitment to public service and this is what the audience looks like that is making that challenge or celebrating that challenge that
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is accomplished. it's not lost in me, i want to articulate it and celebrate all of you for coming out to be a part of this evening's celebration. i think it sends a strong message. i'm more pleased that this presentation is being televised and we'll be able to tap into it and to forward it to our families and friends and children and they too can learn and see what the city celebrates and just as importantly who the city celebrates. so that's not lost on me. i thank all of you for being here in this building tonight and being a part of this ceremony. i do have a proclamation and you know i'm not shy and quiet, but it's a little long. so i'm not going to read the whole thing to all of you. it's going to be displayed and we'll be able to put it up and talk about it and acknowledge it and see it. i
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will just summarize it to let you no e that part of what it celebrates and part of what it addresses is the celebration of the values supported by martin luther king jr. and the civil rights movement. am i talking too long? okay. i thought this was like my wrap up. [ laughter ] okay. i thought this was my sign. the other thing that i want to acknowledge that the proclamation recognizes is honoring the partnership with the university of san francisco. because i think that that's important as well to acknowledge them and their partnership. but what it does at the end it celebrates the march on washington and for jobs and for freedom day. i just want to say, i know you moved up here. let me finish this spot. for the jobs and the freedom, i think it is fabulous
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and it is strength base and it is wonderful that we can celebrate how far we've come, but i think it's equally important that we recognize how much farther we still have to go and how much more work we still have to do and again, i'm encouraged by the fact that this room is filled with all of you that are advocates and that are standing with me that are going to continue the fight and not sit down an not address specifically what we need to do specifically with jobs and freedom and i want to talk a little bit even with the jobs. we all know that statistically when we talk about jobs and opportunities for employment, that is the best way we can move this community forward and unfortunately not all communities move at the same level at the same rate. african american men in unemployment
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the rate is double. i know people have a myopic approach when we talk about this. why african americans have doubled that rate, they are also tied to the same rate of latino men and something that doesn't get discussed at the same level is amongst the asian community and filipino community as well. so we have a long ways to go in terms of addressing the jobs and opportunities for jobs and these are challenges that extend beyond race that extend to specific communities and only going to be resolved as long as we are all working together. it's never an issue that is just an asian issue or hispanic issue or a whitish -- white -- issue or black issue. this is why we talk about the challenges, not to depress
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everybody, but to coalesce everybody to find solutions. i would like to leave here an know that people have come and seen this leadership and are inspired and want to work better and harder and continue the fight to make this change for their families and communities and neighborhood. i'm encouraged by the fact that the mayor has allowed to come and present this proclamation. it's very important to the city, it's very important to the mayor, it's very important to me as well. i have a great sense of pride and honor for being asked to speak today to address this celebration. thank you all so much, particularly those of you who are being honored for your hard work. please know that when you leave here tonight, that we take you away and we take away the work that you have done. we carry it in our hearts and we hope to share the message with the people that are around us. so
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thank you so much and on behalf of the mayor and for your work, i present this proclamation to you. thank you very much. [ applause ] >> i know i talked a little long but i got inspired and happy. >> thank you, mr. henderson. >> please call the next item? >> item 5. carrying on the legacy of the march on washington 50 years later. we have several featured speakers this evening. i will read them off. mr. meal amelia cruz of the san francisco public
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utilities commission. >> thank you, commissioners, my name is emilio cruz for the public utilities commission. the puc thanks you for this tonight. project pool is established by two men robert kelly and robert mason. the idea of the program is to reach to some of the our less advantaged high schools and employment to high school students. the point was to give them employment to help themselves and families and exposures to careers throughout the city. 32 you that program it grew through the years and this year the public utilities commission under the general manager has hired 140 students from local high schools to participate in project pool and through its investment and our
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partners we hired a total of 640 youth this summer to give them exposure to units. [ to opportunities. [ applause ] the last thing i will say that there is so many other reasons to support diversity. as we bring these students into puc and as they commas high school students and college interns, they see the diversity within our organization. they see an african american general managers, they see latinos, pacific islander and they say to themselves, they look like me and if they can get there, i can get there. i congratulate you today for honoring your people and i -- congratulate everybody who is a role model
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who becomes a visible face so they can see that they can get there too. thank you. [ applause ] >> we asked someone from the youth commission to come and present. i'm not sure if someone is here on behalf of the youth commission. but they did give me a list and i just wanted to share because as we talk about continuing the legacy and moving forward. the reason we invited these speakers is because we believe they represent the jobs and freedom portion with employment and empowerment and education. empowering our youth through the youth commission is vital to being able to develop and move forward. while we are doing that, while i'm looking,
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we'll give this commission a little bit more time. i did want to invite up cecillia chin who has been working on civil rights and equity and it's important to empower and being able to move employment through those disparities and we have invited them to attend. >> thank you, my name is cecillia chin. i'm with the lawyers committee for civil rights. first i want to thank the commission for inviting me and being part of this discussion and congratulating all the honor reese. today the lawyers committee joins advocates and others throughout the nation as we celebrate the nation for jobs and freedom. as we mark the significant milestone we pause for a moment to reflect and remember the will -- legacy of martin
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luther king jr. to make this a tangible reality. it heart ens us to no e that this past century has made many gains. united states is a very different nation from what it was in 1963. many of the egregious disparities no longer exist. it's very common to see african american people and many colors. in less than a span of a lifetime, our president is a man of african decent. it's clear that the struggles for civil rights in the 20th century transformed the legal status for african americans and others who justice was denied. however it is the enforcement and spirit and intent of these laws that challenge this century. we have much work left to do. 50 years ago,