10/05/2017 | News release | Distributed by Public on 10/05/2017 12:44
Tuesday, August 15, 2017 Mitchell Park Community Center Palo Alto Civic Center
250 Hamilton Avenue
5:00 PM SPECIAL MEETING
Chair Stinger: Welcome everybody, it's our annual retreat and I'd like to start with a roll call.
Chair Stinger: Thank you all. Are there any agenda changes, requests or deletions?
Chair Stinger: Then we'll move to oral communications. I have four cards and are there any others that need to speak that I don't have a card for? I'll ask you to hold comments to four minutes please and I'll start with David.
Ms. Minka van der Zwaag, Human Services Manager: David, did you maybe want to stand right there if that works for you?
Mr. David Carnahan, City Clerk's Office: Thank you, Chair Stinger, Commissioners and Council Member Kou, Staff and of course the public. David Carnahan with the City's Clerk's Office and as the Commissioners guessed correctly I am here to talk about Board and Commission recruitment. The City is currently recruiting for two terms on the Architectural Review Board, four terms on the Historic Resources Board and two on the Planning and Transportation Commission. As you know these are great opportunities and will both influence your community and also to give back to help the community - make Palo Alto the great place that it is today.
The applications are due September 19th at 4:30 PM and applications are available on the City's Clerk's website at cityofpaloalto.org\clerk. I have flyers to pass out to the Commission and I'll
leave some - I would leave them at the back of the room but I guess sort of at the front of the room if any members of the public are interested. Members of the public can take this as homework too but for the Commissioners, your home work is to reach out to at least two community members to encourage them to apply. Someone you think would be a fit for the Architectural Review Board, Historic Resources Board or the Planning and Transportation Commission. Thank you.
Chair Stinger: Thank you and I do mean thank you. Divina Brown.
Ms. Divina Brown: I'm Divina Brown, and I am the Vice President of La Comida de California which is our senior nutrition center. We have been co-located with Avenidas since 1978 when Rotary built our dining room. They gave it to the City and then the County furnished the kitchen and gave it to the City so we have been serving meals since 1978 in that location. Avenidas has been given permission to renovate and we are not totally out yet but they are out. We're staying until the end of the month and then we have a temporary location for a year at Stevenson House. It's not good, it's wonderful but not. It's very small and because we are just serving lunches, we don't have a place where people can eat their lunch and linger. One of the most important things of the program is the ability to be with other people; peers and strangers. We have a diverse group and one of the most important things is the socialization; i.e. if you're not isolated, you're healthier even with the food. So, we have talked about looking for a second location downtown. A couple of churches have offered us space that we are looking at. The problem is money and almost every of the 32 senior nutrition centers in the County, 29 are located in City owned property. We had that luxury for all these years being at the Avenidas building. We signed an agreement to leave in December, we started looking for a place to be and we didn't find one. We asked them if we could come back and they have decided that they will hold us to our agreement not to come back. Even though it's a City owned facility that they get it for the one dollar a year. I want you to know that you can probably get $20,000 a month for that building at least because we're looking at teeny tiny places that want between $5,000-$10,000. We are incurring enormous expenses and we will continue; especially if we try to find a site downtown to serve lunches since Stevenson house is so small. We'll have to hire more Staff and who knows whether we can have volunteers in both places. We may have to hire servers, we don't know, it's all up in the air but I do want you to know that we're going to come back to you for a lot more money. Best case scenario is if there is some way you can figure out a way for us to be in a City owned facility, right now we are paying about $1,200 a month for maintenance costs to the Avenidas organization. It would be great if we had some way of getting back in that facility and having a separate lease with the City and not being a sublessee to Avenidas but having the space belong to La Comida. The graph of people who use the senior nutrition is going up like this; I was shocked. I did not know that and for about the last four or five years the requests all over the County. I knew ours was going up but not all over the County. Please, don't ignore our seniors. Whatever you can do to help, we need it. Thank you.
Chair Stinger: Thank you. Terry McCaffrey, please.
Mr. Terry McCaffrey: Thank you for hearing me for my 5-minutes, my name is Terry McCaffrey and I'm the area coordinator for Amnesty International in the local area here. What I wanted to address you with is a proposal for a resolution in support of Project Resettlement and as you may
very well be aware of, the world is facing a very large crisis with regards to refugees. I want to mention to you that this is a very important issue for Amnesty International and specifically, a refugee is somebody who is outside of the County of origin and has a well-founded fear of being persecuted should he or she return to their Country. Fifty-one percent of refugees are children, almost 5 million people are refugees and a lot of them are Syrians who have fled the conflict beginning in Syria 2011. There are 21 million refugees registered with the United Nations site. The Commission on refugees and that organization have determined that there are 1.1 million refugees that are in need of immediate resettlement. The urgent need is based on their vulnerability and risk of future exposure to violence and exploitation. The US pledged 10,000 places to most vulnerable refugees and I think under the Trump Administration that's going to be significantly less. So, we commend the United States for its resettlement in the past and over 14,000 refugees have been resettled in the United States since 2011. There is an extreme vetting process for getting refugees into the United States and so you don't have to worry too much about a risk of the refugees. So, what I am asking for is that the City of Palo Alto is to consider a resolution which would just simply say we're in support of refugee resettlement. There are many more things that you can do but I do want to mention to you that when refugees get here, one organization that is very helpful to them is Catholic Charities. Now what they do is they receive the families, they help them with language, they help them with a place to live and they help them with jobs. So, this is a thing you as a community can be very helpful in helping those people get resettled so that is what my request is. By the way, I have extra copies of the resolution if people are interested in it, ok? Thank you.
Ms. van de Zwaag: Thank you. Commissioner Gordon-Gray: Thank you.
Chair Stinger: Thank you. I guess this is - I'll take the resolutions here. Do you want to give them to Mary?
Mr. McCaffrey: Do you want extra copies?
Chair Stinger: I have one last speaker card and that's Jan Holiday, please.
Jan Holiday: Good evening, thank you very much for giving us this opportunity to speak to you. I am on the Board for La Cominda, and I have been for the last 5-years. I've been working on the project to find a new home, given that the remodel of Avenidas has created some difficulties in terms of our ability to serve our clientele. As you may know, we are funded by the County under their program and we are accountable to them for a lot of our menu planning and registering people and so forth. We also are subsidized to some extent by the City of Palo Alto and what you may not know and which becomes an issue for us in a lot of ways is that there is no function in City Hall. When you dial up City Hall and say could I have the Senior Services Department, there's isn't. We do not have a Department within the City Manager's Office as a delegate of the City Council. We are over looked in terms of adolescent services and outreach to the commercial part of our makeup and fabric of the City. So, another suggestion that I might through out to the Human Resources Commission is to look into the possibility of creating a function similar to an Ombudsmen. The Ombudsmen function is an intermediate between the function of City Hall and
the hierarchy of the City Council, City Manager, and all the paid Staff and the population to be served. As a kind of forgotten part but a very large percentage of Palo Alto, this would be something that you might want to put in your memory bank for a future action. The immediate issue that we're facing was very elucidated well by my colleague on the Board Divina. We have both worked tiredly to support the people we serve and I'm there five days a week because of my own personal situation. We gave my daughter my kitchen when she and her family moved into my home. So, I have been kitchenless for the last 17-years, and I find it's just amazing to have a meal put down in front of me that is nutritious, well balanced, and hot and I get to talk to nice people beside and I'm not alone. Forty percent of our population at La Comida is over 75-years old and I don't see any of you even close to that but when you get there - Ellen sitting in the back is one of my buddies from baseball and she doesn't like to cook for herself hardly at all. So, you grab what you can and eat what you have too or it microwave something in the nuclear world and therefore, not very nutritious and certainly it's not fun to sit in front of the tv while you eat. So, what we offer is a real vital and vital service for the seniors of Palo Alto and without that place, they would be really isolated. There are two women that I can think of right off the bat who live in a room with their microwave and a cooler. I think it might be electric but I'm not sure and they just get by on cereal over the weekend when they can't come to the meal plan 5- days a week. It really is important and it really is something that a lot of people rely on. The location is vital for being with other senior services; social services, classes, and location of the downtown area. On the bus line is important as well, so we're in a period of transition and time is short because once the remodel starts at Avenidas, once the wrecking ball starts moving out parts of the building to create what's needed for the remodel, the kitchen goes. Without a commercial kitchen, we are out of business and that's scheduled to begin on September 1st so I beg your commitment to what we are trying to do. We have a passion for the people we serve and they rely on us to do the best we can for them so please join us in doing that. Thank you.
Chair Stinger: Thank you. If there are no other speaker cards, we'll move onto our regular agenda.
Chair Stinger: I want to thank you all for being here. Thank you, Council Member person Kou, I appreciate you coming. Thank you, Staff, for setting this up. We do this retreat once a year and we take the time to do some team building, a look back, and more importantly a look forward.
I'm looking forward to some honest and good discussion. I think we're on time so let's begin with an ice breaker?
Ms. van de Zwaag: Yes, we can do that.
Ms. Mary Constantino: You'll find in front of you a piece of paper divided up into four sections. I thought since we have two new people on the Commission, it would be nice for you to get to know us and us to get to know you and to share a little bit. So, if you want to just draw -- it doesn't matter how your artwork is…
Vice Chair Chen: Drawing?
Ms. Constantino: … and we're going to share. We're going to be doing this until 5:45 to try to
stay on task but
Council Member Kou: It's testing the drawing skills Ms. Constantino: I do stick figures.
Commissioner O'Nan: Could I ask - perhaps for our new Commissioners, could you introduce your colleague?
Ms. van de Zwaag: Oh, yes Ryeri was here at the last meeting but this is Ryeri Lim. Ms. Ryeri Lim: Hello.
Ms. van de Zwaag: She is our Human Services intern for the summer. She has been working on a variety of projects and one of which is the Council referral on a Safe, supportive and inclusive community so she will be giving a presentation under number three on the agenda. So, she's with us for a couple more weeks but has been working hard the whole summer.
Ms. Constantino: Does anyone need a pen or a pencil?
Commissioner Lee: I think it would be easier to gather a PowerPoint presentation on this drawing.
Commissioner Brahmbhatt: All the four are to be drawn, right? Ok.
Ms. Constantino: I'm just doing stick figures; it doesn't have to be fancy. Commissioner Brahmbhatt: Drawing the animal is the hardest, like how... Ms. van de Zwaag: Mine looks like that so I don't think…
Chair Stinger: I am amending some of my answers to what I can draw.
Ms. van de Zwaag: Oh, you are? I don't care. Maybe two more minutes or three maybe. Commissioner Lee: That's a pretty good cat.
Commissioner Brahmbhatt: It is a tiger. Commissioner Lee: Oh, ok.
Ms. Constantino: Are we about ready? Vice Chair Chen: Ready.
Ms. Constantino: I put a sun and the moon just because I like being outside. I like gardening, I
garden with vegetables and I have fruit trees and citrus and I have my flowers and I ride my bike a lot and I walk my dog even though it looks like a cat. I just like being outside. so whatever I'm doing. I've never been to Europe and I keep saying every year I'm going but that's an airplane. So, even though it's not my favorite place because I haven't been there but I think that will be my favorite place because everywhere we go on vacation it's not my favorite place. Then my favorite animal is a Meer Cat because I think they are first of all really cute but they are very community oriented because they live in one place and they look out for one another. They are like a big family and then I just put my most important thing in my life is my family so I drew out a bunch of stick people.
Ms. van de Zwaag: I think we'll just go in a circle now so for favorite hobbies, I think my three favorite things are reading, walking and going on a bike ride. Favorite places on earth for a vacation that is supposed to be a windmill and so as many of you know my family from the Netherlands so I've spent a lot of time there. Other than the United States, it's probably the place where I feel most at home. The second is my daughter and I and my mom, my brother and a cousin just got back from a vacation in Italy. I was in the Italian Alps for the first time ever, which was incredibly amazingly beautiful. I put a cat and I don't really like cats as pets. That's a horrible thing to say and now half of you will not like me but I like about cats is they could be really affectionate but then they also can be very independent. I think that is a little bit my personality of being - can be close to people but also someone who just needs my own space.
Important things in life, my daughter, health and then I just put self-expression and safety, freedom of expression, just the ability to say what I feel, work on issues that I think are important and so forth, so that's it.
Ms. Lim: Hi, I'm Ryeri again and I'm the intern with the Office of Human Services. For hobbies, I really like watching television in general but I'm really affectionate towards comedy so I drew somebody doing stand-up. I don't watch that much stand-up but I do just love all the sides of comedy. Then for vacation, it was hard to choose but I just drew my grandmother's roof in South Korea. They own the whole building and it's four-floors or something like that but they also have a roof top garden and it was very scary to me as a child but it is one of those things that you really remember and want to go back to. Then for an animal, I chose a parakeet of some kind. It doesn't have to be too flashy but I do feel I would be a bird of some kind. Then for this abstract question, I drew an appropriately abstract drawing but to me, it's about pursuing truth and just finding out different truths that matter to you and the reasons why you do what you do and you believe what you believe and pursue what you pursue.
Commissioner Gordon-Gray: I'm Shelly, I think we've all met. So, let's see, for favorite hobbies I love bird watching. It's something that I really enjoy and I love to go to the Arastradero Preserve.
Ms. van de Zwaag: It's beautiful.
Commissioner Gordon-Gray: …and the Baylands and another place that I haven't been and I'm actually going to Tennessee's next week to volunteer at an Audubon Center because I like birds so much. I like to draw; I do this draw art form that's called Zentangle. I make birds and I can show you pictures but I call them zee birds and I sent them out as cards. I send them to people as
a surprise and it makes them happy. I enjoy improv, and I also enjoy solo performance so I love going to see actors do their own performance and tell their own stories. I went Sunday night to see Mike Birbiglia who was very funny and he's at the Berkeley Rep and really delightful. For the animal, I drew a golden retriever because they are really nice and I could stand to be a little bit of a golden retriever. I'm kind of a crabby person so I think if I were a golden retriever I would be a little nicer. Let's see, in terms of favorite places on earth, I have this vision - I went - years ago I went with my sister too we hiked Amalfi coast in Italy and along the way, we stopped at this Trattoria overlooking the ocean or the sea and it was just glorious. They grew their own produce, vegetables and everything we ate was my sister always said that she had never eaten a tomato like that in her life and it was a place that heightens the senses. Then what's most important to me in life is good communication, resolving conflicts, eating delicious healthy food, fairness, and authenticity.
Chair Stinger: Hard act to follow, certainly on the drawing part. For favorite hobbies, I put walking. I like - so that's supposed to be a trail with two shoes and I also love to travel so I put a little passport in the corner. My favorite place on earth would be the earth, I would be impossible for me to choose a favorite place but I resonate with roof tops. I spent some time in Morocco and everybody has a roof top and it's hot and it's sticky and we would all spend our time and listen to music up on the roof top. Except during Ramadan when they would be raising a lamb for that. If you were an animal, what would it be? Well, I drew an elephant because I am just fascinated by how family oriented they are and how protective of their animals and how they bring in stray animals as part of their colony and bring them in as part of their family. I just thought - I'm fascinated that we don't give them enough credit for being communicators and having their sense of community. Then the things that are most important to me in life? I put family because my family is the most important thing to me. In terms of growth opportunities, that's a little theater on the side because I like theater and do enjoy it a lot. Particularly in times like this, I think theater is really important. We are dealing with a lot of grays and people want to get to an answer really quickly. They want it to be a yes or no; gray or green and it's not. We need to have some place where we can explore the gray areas a little bit and theaters a great place to do.
Vice Chair Chen: My turn, I sing a lot, I sing in a choir so that's why there are notes coming out and so notes coming out but I don't sing very well. I sing in a choir because I cannot do solo. I tried to but not up there yet but I'm still working on that. The other thing I like is exercise, I do exercise every day; weight lifting, Pilates, and I go to the gym four times a week. Then I have two Pilates classes which I teach so that's interesting. So, I love the sisters who came to classes to exercise with me. I had a very good fellowship with them and that's actually my therapy. Then the favorite place for my vacation is my last vacation in Africa; Zimbabwe, Zambia, Botswana. Then I saw a lot of animals, it was fantastic but I always love to venture to a very special adventure - adventurous, travel and I love that. I like to connect with local culture and life to learn how they live and how they think about things and what their customs are. I like elephants because I was impressed with the family life they have and in Zimbabwe, we saw this elephant parade. There were 30 or 40 animals from grandparents to parents and their baby's parade in front of us and then they are resilient because in the dry season there isn't that much water. They are always able to survive with a little bit of water so I think they are really fantastic. Then what are the most important things in my life? Church and family and that come together because of all my children - I have two boys, they are church goers and one is a lay pastor. So, we think the
church plays an important role in our life so church and the church fellowship with sisters and brothers, that's the main thing in my life.
Commissioner O'Nan: Alright, so my favorite hobbies are reading, that's supposed to be a book and right now I was a hiker but now I'm a cyclist due to some limited mobility issues but I do love riding my bike. So, I'm bummed that everyone else bike was better rendered than mine but still I love to ride. My favorite place on earth for vacation, I just came back from yesterday, this is supposed to be Ashland, Oregon. There are the Siskiyou mountains, that's Ashland Creek and this is the outdoors of the theater where I spent many happy hours watching Shakespeare; so, bummed to be back. If I were an animal I'd like to agree with Minka, I would be a cat but sort of for different reasons. So, Minka was a nice person who thought of cats as affectionate and everything but I'm a strange nocturnal creature and I'm sure that I would be a cat because I'm always up late doing things. Also, I'm a very neat and clean person and cats are extremely fastidious so I think cats perfectly embody that for me. Most important things in life, there are several and I just couldn't render them very well but I finally boiled it down to that I think connectedness is what I would call it. So, whether it's an adult with a child or just people in the community, your neighbors, your friends, and just feeling connected to the people around you. I think that is really, really key to have a healthy and happy life.
Council Member Kou: Well, my favorite hobbies are gardening so a planter box and planters as well. I love playing ping pong, my husband and I are always trying to beat each other and then I love reading. I love reading the older books like Great Expectations and the Shakespearian kind. So, sometimes I venture out to thrillers and stuff like that when I want a no brain read. Then I love fishing but I like the kind - I don't know what it's called but I like the kind that you actually wander into the water and you're standing in their half…
Ms. Constantino: Fly fishing?
Council Member Kou: Fly fishing, yes, I like that and I like watching TV also but more of the CSI stuff and all that kind of stuff. My favorite places for vacation, I mean there are so many places but I love historical because discovering -- what Theresa was saying, discovering the history, culture. I think a number of you said that but always end back on an island so I have to think it must be an island that - that island kind of style. Then my other place that is my favorite place to vacation is actually at home. I'm actually a home body and I like staying at home. If I was an animal I would be a horse. My Chinese horoscope sign is actually a horse and I kind of identify with it. It can be - it's very social but then there's this time that it retreats to be along and I find myself doing that a lot. It's also very - I guess it's loyal and I think that there's -- to a certain degree that there's a loyalty to a fault actually, so I've seen that in myself. Then I drew a peace sign of what is important to me in life and there are three quadrants to that and for me, it's God, hope and love.
Ms. van de Zwaag: Thank you.
Commissioner Lee: So, for my hobbies, I drew a TV. I put antennas on it because I don't know how to draw a TV without antennas.
Commissioner O'Nan: They are coming back, Steven.
Commissioner Lee: Are they?
Commissioner O'Nan: Oh yes, antennas are back.
Commissioner Lee: I like watching Netflix on it so I do that a lot; like when I am not working I am basically just sleeping and Netflix. Occasionally during the weekend, I might go out and play one or two games of tennis. My most recent hobby is sailing but that's getting kind of expensive so that's a once in a while kind of treat unless any of you guys have boats. So, that's why I put that there so let me know if you have boats. I really enjoy eating Korean Barbeque. They opened a place down in Milpitas like a year and a half ago that is really popular so I go there quite a bit; Maybe too much for my cholesterol. Then I like to hike so this is supposed to be a mountain with a trail on it. My favorite place to go on vacation is Australia and New Zealand. The cities there are just really ideal because they are kind of like the idyllic American City but cleaner and without any of the problems of American cities. That's why they film a lot of tv shows and movie there because it looks like America or what people think America should look like but it also has a really nice country side too. For the animal that I'm choosing, I choose a dog, it is saying ruff ruff there probably a golden retriever because they are go getters who are always eager to please and get things done and they are always happy. I'm not pretty happy and optimistic person by default or try to find the good in everyday situations so, I think a dog would fit pretty well. Most important things in life, probably friendship and family and then I drew a heart as a catchall for good health, compassion and passion. It's important to be compassionate but also have a passion for things and empathy for others. That was my easy way of capturing five different things.
Commissioner Brahmbhatt: That was really good. Ok, I think my thing is crowded, and I tried to get a lot of things in there. I like baseball, badminton, and hiking, swimming and bicycling, so all different activities. My favorite places on earth are Tibet, and then I have an island with water on there with a beach. Any beach or island and I also like camping. This is a tent with fire and any National Parks so I have mountains and nature. My Chinese character is a tiger and I don't know if I have the quality of the tiger but I aspire to - I'm amazed and admire the tiger animal a lot and would like to be one but not sure. So, for the most important things for me, I think it's amazing so many of us had family and the first thing for me also is so the most important thing for me is family. Second is as Steven said, love and compassion and to have empathy for others. The third is I'm Hindu by religion but I didn't - so I wanted to draw hands but then I drew the cross for faith in God. So, I think having faith in God and having faith in good as a general and that you do the right thing and morality is important for me.
Ms. van de Zwaag: That was great.
Commissioner Gordon-Gray: I forgot to mention that I'm obsessed with Mahjong.
Chair Stinger: I think we are pretty close to on time. If you think dinner can wait, I'd really like for us to do accomplishments.
Chair Stinger: Next on the agenda I'll turn it over to Vice Chair Chen to talk about our year just passed.
Vice Chair Chen: Alright, everyone has got something in their file called summary sheet. Human Relations summary sheet, last year's 2016 to 2017. I tried to summarize what was included in that email so I pulled them down and tried to summarize it. There are four major categories and the first category is core responsibilities. So, I want to go over briefly and just review a little bit about what's in each category. Then we could build on understanding of what we have done before and then from there we could think about what we are going to plan for the feature. The first one is for us to review and make funding recommendations for two major fundings; one is called Human Service Resource Allocation Process, we call it HSRAP. Then we did it last year to allocate funding and the funding is coming from the City of Palo Alto to 14 non-profit agencies to fund critical needs in them. Then also we work on getting them additional allocation upon approval from Council. Among that category we had set up the priority of needs; that's one category of when we review the proposals that's one category that we have to look for and then we recommend the 2018-2019. That's the future recommendation and then the same thing within the category, we presented an increased budget and that was approved at the Finance Committee meeting. Then in addition we have a new category called emerging needs fund for 2018-2019 and Council approved of that as well and we are working on that. The final one we had an AD HOC Committee for the funds left over from allocation; HSRAP fund, because HSRAP there are actually 15 agencies but there was one agency, ACS, that at the last minute they decided not to take it so we had funds left over and then we sent out an RFP so we get more requests for the proposal so we can think about how we use the funds properly in the feature. This is the first core responsibility, the second one we work on the CDBG. CDBG is actually a federal program and it's called Community Development Block Grant and every year we have to review and consolidate the annual performances of that grant given to support our community and they evaluate the report. The second one is then we have to make a review and recommendations for the second-year funding. The first year we review the first year ending and the second year we review for the second proposal or to fund a proposal. Alright, then the third core responsibility is to review and approve the applications of Project Sentinels; the new mediators. Then the Project Sentinel has mediators and it includes the mediators for the Palo Alto Mediation project. Once in a while they have new mediators on board and they want us to approve them, and we do that job for them; review and approve their service. Alright, so that's the first core responsibility so the second thing that we have done is the community forums and we all know that we have done this Being Different Together where we had four discussions on teaching us how to be aware of implicit biases. This is organized by our Chair Stinger who collaborated with other panel members including Dr. Joseph Brown from Stanford. So, we have four sessions one for each month for February, March, April and May and then now, another thing that Chair Stinger and Commissioner O'Nan are working on this new one, it's called Elder Abuse Forum. It's still in the planning status so we're going to find out pretty soon and this is for joining the YMCA health fair in September. We are going to give a forum here at the health fair. Alright and the third category that we've done is this community and civic engagement and Chair Stinger has served on the Healthy City, Healthy Community subcommittee to to complete the application for the City of Palo Alto to become an age friendly City. Also, we have a few liaisons to various organizations such police liaison, then Project Safety Net and then also Mediation Program. As
well as Avenidas so we have sent Commissioners to be a liaison of different organizations in the City. Then we have an ongoing project which rarely we're not involved but it's investigate the recommendations to response to the City's resolution for the commitment to working toward diverse, supportive, inclusive and protect community and that's an ongoing project. There are some key decisions and presentation and speakers, and then we have written a letter to City Council to support a resolution of building a City towards diverse, supportive, inclusive and protected community. One thing that I think we did very well is to update the HRC Commission statement that we worked on last year and got it done and can I just read it to you guys? Alright so it says, the Human Relations Commission is in charge with the discretion to act with respect to any human relations matter when the Commission finds that any person or group does not benefit fully from public or private opportunities or resources in the community, or is unfairly or differently treated due to factors of concern to the Commission. We tried to work for equality for all the diverse population in our City. Now, from the list that you have we've done a lot and it has been a very busy and productive year for us. Let's just think about it at this time when we have our retreat, to think how can we move forward and ask other questions. So, what went well? What lessons did we learn? I can tell you the HSRAP review process it was very much time consuming because I didn't learn the skill to do it effectively. Then the second time when it comes around, it will be easier for me to do it because I know what to look for and how to put our time in efficiently on that. The thing is the commitment, do I have time to do that many things or should I do it first? Try to prioritize what to do first and second etc. and then the third thing is what the outcome of the activities we did is? Are they what we expected or was it better than we expected or can we improve and all of the questions? So, let's think about it and then we can always learn from the past to plan a better future. Let's put this thing together and then make notes in the areas that which we can do more work in the future so by building the work that we've done from last year. I need to get everyone to be commenting on what we are thinking about and this time is a good time that we can discuss together and comment together and see how we can move ahead. Please, suggest anything and I think Staff and Mary can take down information and put it on the board.
Ms. van de Zwaag: It is just what went well or lessons learned from the prior year and then we'll just have those ideas. So, we were not suggesting projects for next year but just if there are any lessons learned from last year, we'll just keep those to the side. So are we're talking about priorities for the coming year, we'll say oh, so and so that was a pit fall last year. Let's just be
Vice Chair Chen: Modify it.
Ms. van de Zwaag: …cognizant of that. If you don't mind Ms. Constantino: No problem.
Commissioner Gordon-Gray: Well, I'll say something about participating in the HSRAP review. Let's see, how do I say it? It was my first time doing it and I felt a bit of a disadvantage because I was new to the process, where as other members of the subcommittee were much more familiar, had a lot of history and relationship with the grant applicants. So, I don't really know what I want to say about that. There were different degrees so value added because of where I was in that process and it was very time consuming, it would be good if there was some guidance
around how to do this efficiently. I know there were instructions but some tips maybe or something that would give us or make this process more efficient in terms of preparing, in terms of adding the value I would want to add in the process.
Chair Stinger: I was not on the HSRAP review team. Would it help if there was a scoring sheet or template or a comment sheet so you all use the same…
Commissioner Gordon-Gray: There was a scoring sheet. Ms. van de Zwaag: There's a review manual as well.
Commissioner Gordon-Gray: There is the manual. I don't know, maybe there isn't but that was my experience.
Vice Chair Chen: I was on the Committee and my main concern is that we don't know the details of the organization in terms of their budgeting; how they use their funding? Usually, their budget page is different from two organizations so it doesn't have a common theme for you to think about things because this one proposes and the other one proposed that, which one do I follow? We have to have a uniform budget sheet so we can understand.
Ms. van de Zwaag: But there is one in the application.
Vice Chair Chen: There is one but some of them didn't do a good job so we have to catch… Ms. van de Zwaag: Right, so that's why we sent it back and had them redo it.
Vice Chair Chen: Yes, right but even though they are still not very clear. Commissioner Gordon-Gray: Maybe it's just us.
Commissioner O'Nan: No, no, I agree with my colleagues. I was the third member of that subcommittee and it is time-consuming and I think ultimately, we don't have that much discretion in making decisions because funding is limited and unless an agency is really falling down on the job, we'll tend to renew their contract because we've already vetted them and we know they are doing good work. So, it's a lot of time and effort.
Commissioner O'Nan: You know a small amount of decision making. However, this year was particularly - what's the word, dramatic or…
Ms. van de Zwaag: Traumatic or dramatic? Commissioner O'Nan: Dramatic because of ACC… Vice Chair Chen: ACS.
Commissioner O'Nan: ACS, thank you, last minute withdrawal and now our proposal to have to
re-do the process for a second round, which is unprecedented, I think. Commissioner Gordon-Gray: Which I thought was unnecessary, actually. Commissioner O'Nan: What, the second round?
Commissioner Gordon-Gray: Just to have - yes, have them do an RPF instead of just distributing the money.
Vice Chair Chen: That's what we plan to do.
Commissioner Gordon-Gray: No, but they have to go through another RFP process. Vice Chair Chen: RFP, that's right.
Commissioner Gordon-Gray: I am disagreeing with that. Vice Chair Chen: Oh, ok.
Commissioner O'Nan: I think, although in terms of the allocation process, our input and such was limited and I understand why some of my colleagues may feel that there wasn't a lot of value added but I think it actually has an indirect benefit in that I think for Staff particularly, to maintain and oversee these contracts. I mean we brought up a lot of issues that need to be taken into consideration carefully over the course of the contract. I think there was awareness was raised like let's keep an eye on that and let's make sure we follow up on this and this was a little dodgy so let's just make sure all that gets straightened out. I think it really has a great benefit to the program overall, even if the allocation part was a bit flat for the people who had to review all those proposals. I did feel in the end that we added value both directly and indirectly and it's a really worthwhile project. Although I can certainly understand my colleague's frustrations on some of these things but I do think it's - like you drop the stone and you have to wait for the ripples to hit the other side. It takes a while but I think our efforts will pay off.
Ms. van de Zwaag: I think the concern is there's such a diversity of priority of needs that you're not comparing one homeless agency to another homeless agent. You're comparing and making decisions about agencies that serve 12 populations. I'm just doing a time check, we're 10- minutes over so we can ask the Chair to make a decision of how to…
Chair Stinger: Let's take a couple minutes here and then wrap it up.
Commissioner O'Nan: I also wanted to add that with CDBG, we also had a very strange year where we had someone, actually La Comida had to withdraw from the process leaving money on the table, which we've had to be more flexible and we've had to pivot and we've had to figure out quickly what we're going to do and we haven't confronted all of this before. It's been a little bit more businesses as usual in the past so I think these are some learnings.
Ms. van de Zwaag: I thought the HSRAP process was extremely successful in that we had three
very different people review it. So, we had Theresa who was like budget, budget, and budget. Jill has knowledge of the agencies so she could give the understanding over the years and Shelly was reading it for the first time so just brought up well, what about this? What about this, what about that? So, I thought the interface between the three gave probably one of the most thorough reviews that HSRAP has had in years and I thought it was very positive. Mary and I have discussed that afterward several times.
Chair Stinger: I think the lesson that I'm hearing is that this was a year at the beginning of the cycle and so we have some time now to really get to know these agencies when they are not in a budget process. We need to take advantage of that and in the past, I think we've done a good job of meeting the agency and the work they do and that's important. We should still continue to do that but maybe we need to sit at some of their Board meetings as well so that we have…
Commissioner Gordon-Gray: Can we do that? Are we allowed to do that?
Ms. van de Zwaag: I think the individual organizations but more Board meetings except for Staff and executive sessions should be open to the public for a non-profit.
Commissioner Gordon-Gray: Can I just clarify something that I said? This is very short but I felt that the extra money should have been spread among the agencies and not have to have them go through another RFP process; for the record.
Chair Stinger: That's good. There were just a couple points that I wanted to make in terms of lessons learned. One of them was from the implicit bias forum, I totally enjoyed my work on that and I totally enjoyed the learning process but the people who carried the ball where Mary and Minka - were Staff. So, as we think about our achievements or our goals for the coming year, we may each have an individual prior or passion or portfolio that we want to take forward but we're all funneling through the same Staff, so we need to, as a group, think that through. I had two other lessons as I looked over this list, one is thinking to Mehdi who's carried the ball on the homeless vets. He's been working on that for a couple years and maybe there's no particular program he did this year but he still kept contact with the vets and the landlords to make sure that he was aware of how that program was progressing and how many vets were placed into rental units under the programs he had helped stoke, so the lesson for me was two-years of follow through when we set our priorities. We're a new Commission - there are new members on the Commission now who have new interests and we probably want to have - but at the same time, we want to have a balance between the new and the follow through so that we get to some of the outcomes that we want to see. If I can take one more lesson working on the elder abuse program with the 'Y', I think we were able to leverage a partnership really well to the extent that we can partner and it expands our resources. So, I said that I wanted to take a few minutes and that was so I could get my couple points in. Any other comments before we go to dinner? Thank you, Theresa, that started a good conversation, I appreciate you doing that or Commissioner Chen.
Commissioner Gordon-Gray: We're all on first name basis anyway.
Chair Stinger: On a retreat, can we do that? Can we just turn the mic off and have our dinner break?
[Commission took a break for dinner]
Chair Stinger: We've had a great summer and this is the report that Ryeri worked with our subcommittee.
Ms. Lim: I'm Ryeri Lim and I'm the intern for the Office of Human Services and this is the presentation I put together with the subcommittee for the Council Resolution in December that was loosely titled, Working toward a diverse, supportive, inclusive and protective community. The subcommittee was comprised of Chair Valerie Stinger, Commissioner Shelly Gordon-Gray, Commissioner Mehdi Alhassani, myself at the Office of Human Services, Program Assistant Mary Constantino and Manager Minka van de Zwaag. The resolution in full is available at that link below, it's on the City's website and if you do a search, it should come up. Essentially it reaffirms -- in the political landscape post-election, it reaffirms the City's spirit of diversity and inclusion, the rights of vulnerable populations which is delineated in the resolution along common lines of discrimination. It reaffirms the rejection of any forms of hate or bias and the City's commitment to lead by example. When I arrived in June, Chair Stinger had put together a work plan that was loosely consisted of these phases; firstly, fact finding, secondly community listening campaign which was a series of interviews that we did with community leaders and leaders at different non-profit organizations in Palo Alto. Understanding efforts elsewhere is our research into what other Cities and Counties have done to - in light of the election specifically but also just in general to combat fear and bias. Analysis is where we consider ourselves to be right now and we'll make formal recommendations for policies and programs to the City Council later this year. When I began the fact-finding process I really sought out a demographic idea of who is here in Palo Alto and as I go over some of this data, I ask that you consider it in light of our City's changing population. For example, in 2015, this is from the US Census Bureau, 2015 estimates 30% of Palo Alto's residential, so overnight population, was Asian and 15-years before that, in 2000, it was only 17.2% that were Asian both east and south Asian. Similarly, with our Hispanic and Latino community being at 7.3% of the residential population, it was 4.6%. So, it's important to understand that what we want to achieve at the end of this entire research report is that we're not only serving today's residents but future Palo Alton's as well. There's no reason for these rates to change or slow so I really think that - I was struck by how proactive we need to be. I would also like to emphasize how many of our residents are foreign born, that's 32.8% and even with the County, the work force in Santa Clara County is 40% are foreign born. While we feel maybe that there aren't immediate needs in Palo Alto for maybe undocumented immigrant resources, we still do have a distinct immigrant population that may have distinct needs apart from just being a part of our community makeup. As I put together this demographic portrait, limitations came up pretty early so for example, we were looking at the National Citizen Survey Data. That's the one that asks questions about your sense of community and it really broke it down by ethnicity, age, and how long they've lived in Palo Alto. For their intents and purposes, a sample size of two Native Americans was accurate and it served them but I realized that surveys that try to capture all of Palo Alto really do not work in terms of understanding needs of our smallest and possibly most unheard communities. We also don't have City level data on our LGBT population or our religious communities, even of many places of worship there are within
City limits. We ended up adjusting our focus a little which is completely fine but we adjusted our focus from reports of legally per usable hate crimes because the Palo Alto Police Department does also document hate crime incidents. That would maybe be derogatory slurs yelled at you on the street or harassment of some kind and some of you may remember in 2015, Lieutenant James Reifschneider from the Palo Alto Police Department came to clarify the difference between those two. Yes, he will be getting back to us with an update on whether the rates of hate crimes and hate crime incidence where impacted post-election or in general to Minka later in the week.
Going forward in the presentation, I'd really like to stress that the lack of threat does not equal lack of fear. There's nothing subtle and nothing non-threating about being yelled at on the street or having items of your clothing pulled or being told to go back to where you came from. The last phase of our fact finding had to do with looking at what other Cities and Counties are doing to combat this type of bias, as well as the fear that's results from it. This is just a catch all list of resources I've been using in ongoing research. The richness of our data really lies in the listening campaign. These are some of the individuals representing most of the organizations that we talked with but there were some conclusions or overlapping feedback that we got and that's what's listed on this slide. Of what's reported, experiences of discrimination in Palo Alto seem more personal than patterned so they seem like isolated incidents but to me that made me think how much more isolating that would be. Many residents may not have had a need before to have a go to reporting or coping system or resources and things like that. For example, with our LGBT population, especially our LGBT youth, I believe this isolation can lead to repercussions in aspect of their daily life. As a whole also, different communities are changing and there is definitely some tension in some areas of the community. For example, with our immigrant population as I spoke about, I think it's important to make a distinction that immigrants in Palo Alto likely have different needs from immigrants in the United States in general. For example, immigrants in Palo Alto tend to be wealthy, highly educated, they are here usually for a reason and that reason often is for the education of their children. However, these advantages don't mean that they don't have needs that we can meet. A lot of that is the language barrier but I think more accurately it's a culture barrier and considering the resources that we have and the goals we have and the inclusion that we want to pride ourselves on. I believe that instead asking those individuals or families to reach across the divide, to really become a part of Palo Alto that responsibility could lie with us. That is really just to build on what we heard in a few interviews and that in order to really be able to say that Palo Alto is a progressive, inclusive, open-minded, pluralistic place, we have to invest in that. We heard from a few interviewees that we have the resources of a larger City than we are and we should put more effort into meeting the kinds of needs that a larger City would strive to meet. The City of Palo Alto doesn't have to stand alone. We have a lot of neighboring Cities that pride themselves in the same sort of values and have the same goals and that's really what we want to focus on going forward and that is finding partnerships and opportunities to work with larger regional efforts. More tangible some suggestions that came out of the listening campaign had to do with more formal assessments.
The research that I did this summer is much less than - what I found is that other Cities would hire third-parties like with the National Citizens Survey; they would hire services that would come in and really have strategies to reach everyone as possible. There was also some talk about a hotline that was not associated with the police and did not necessarily ask for your identity.
This is something that the County is exploring and they are looking into basically, somewhere where you can report those hate crime incidents and they would have a response team and a follow up and everything. We got a lot of different policy ideas, training series ideas, public
forum topics but something that did stick out to the subcommittee was that there are activities already visible in Palo Alto. For example, various statements made by the Mayor and just the resolution that this project is about entirely we've made some real efforts to reach out to our immigrant population. For example, the New Americans Program at Mitchell Park Library is thriving; their ESL program is thriving. They've also offered assistance for noncitizens with paperwork and things like that. We're increasing the number of gender natural facilities in various capacities and I heard from a surprising number of interviewees that About Being Different Together and how great that was for them. I didn't even bring it up and they specifically told me that we want more things like that so that was really encouraging. Moving forward, our statement of direction is just things that we don't want to forget. The focus on vulnerable populations as specifically detailed in the resolution and we want to initiate difference making activities, the criteria for which I'll get to in a second. We want to stay committed to the City's values and really deliver on our word. As well as build on efforts and phase inter- community approach, which has to do with the work that we've already started? In doing this we got a lot of ideas; too many but also, we felt too little. It was just overall motivating because we felt like even if there wasn't room in this coming recommendation for those ideas, we could think of several other departments or City Staff who could really take those over. We just excited to see where all these ideas find fruit. The criteria that we will use to narrow down all of the ideas that we received is that it should be a statement of values, serve vulnerable populations, provide an opportunity to make a difference, it should be informed that best practices of successful programs elsewhere, leverage collaboration with local and County partners, achievable that's scalable, lies within the City's fair of implements and overall reasonably serves populations featured in the Council Resolution. Just to reiterate, our next steps would be to conduct a deeper investigation assessed by these criteria and develop that formal list, which will come to the HRC first. That will be developed in stages but it will come here first and then to the City Council and for discussion questions I'll turn it over to Chair Stinger.
Chair Stinger: We see this first phase as a situation analysis and we want to lay ground - to be able to assess the program, policies, campaigns that we've seen and like Ryeri said, we've got pages of programs. We really want to get this situation analysis down tight so we have a good foundation going forward and that's the discussion that we would like to have tonight. Is there a population that we should be looking at that we have missed? We've all read and continue to read different journals so are there organizations which we think we should be talking too as potential partners? Have you seen modeled policies and programs elsewhere that we need to investigate? Are there other resources we should be looking at?
Commissioner Brahmbhatt: I think this goes to demonstrate was that newspaper article about one of the Palo Alto high school's students was yelled at "go back to your country." We were going to have him over for the September meeting to ask him questions but the panic was because since he wanted the HRC to give him questions before then so that he's not intimidated by that.
Commissioner Gordon-Gray: This was somebody who was subjected to bullying? Commissioner Brahmbhatt: Yes and he wrote an article and I think we had circulated it. Ms. van de Zwaag: It was circulated to the HRC.
Commissioner Brahmbhatt: Yes, I think it happened three or four times. There one student in his chemist lab and another student said something to him and then it happened at a coffee shop and then when he was going back home. The third time I think the third incident was on the street while he was biking home.
Ms. van de Zwaag: So, do people want us to go back to the pages for the listening campaign? Those went by pretty quickly maybe leave each one up for a minute and then go to the next page so they have a better sense of who you and the Committee Members have talked too.
Commissioner Lee: So, related to your comment I think I would love to see us addressing issues that affect children. There was cyber bullying and there are things like that, partnering with teachers and also school districts. That's really where you can fight discrimination and these issues from the very beginning. That's the front line there and I'd love to see us assist folks there.
Commissioner Gordon-Gray: Do we have any of their comments that we could share from this list at all just to give people a sense of what…
Ms. van de Zwaag: We talked about that but because they talked to us but they didn't specifically say individual comments could be shared. It was more for us to get a sense of the conversation and we just didn't want to share any individual comments without letting them know that they were going to be shared with the public.
Commissioner Gordon-Gray: Mine had no problem being… Ms. van de Zwaag: Ok, well…
Ms. Lim: If there are questions about certain avenues or certain issues, for example, ethnicity, then I could share some of those specific comments they said.
Commissioner Gordon-Gray: Yes, maybe you don't have to tribute to the person but just some of the comments anomalously. So, do we have that? Is that something we can…
Ms. Lim: Oh, the interviews…
Commissioner Gordon-Gray: I don't know, would that be a value to people to hear what some of the comments were from the people that we interviewed? I didn't bring my notes.
Commissioner Brahmbhatt: I was just wondering like the suicides we had - the suicide program does and have we researched whether any of the students were LGBD?
Ms. van de Zwaag: Yes there have been individual assessments by phycologists for each of the students that died.
Commissioner Brahmbhatt: Ok.
Ms. van de Zwaag: I think their agreement was just to release the information found to the
parents but they do know some information that was released. We can have the Project Safety Net people help inform that work but what came back from my best recollection is most of the youth had either diagnosed or un diagnosed mental health condition.
Ms. Lim: I did speak to somebody at Cassy who will be taking over for ACS in the high schools but she said that those kinds of experiences all contribute to the development of maybe an anxiety disorder and things like that. She also spoke because Cassy in East Palo Alto elementary schools, about how those elementary students were very anxious post-election because they thought they would get home and their parents wouldn't be there anymore. They have to consider it to be a source of anxiety and really evaluate it as a mental health or self-care problem, as opposed to, I guess like a social issue.
Chair Stinger: A lot of the interviews that I did were with the County offices and it was a real learning for me how progressive our County is and how many resources they have. So, Brohne Lawhorne who's in the County Office of Human Relations sort of responsible for implementing things on the ground but then there's an Office of Human Services, I hope I have this right, and they have four different areas that they are looking at; immigration and we heard the immigration officer speak to us in July, women's affairs, cultural componence, LGBTQ. Some of them are established offices, some of them have been formed in the last 2-years and the type of assessment and research they are doing and their interest in partnering, it was really motivational to me. The County Office LGBTQ Affairs and they've started to do some surveying and would echo your interest in the youth but also the seniors and that was fascinating to me. I think I can say this because it comes from surveys input, maybe not data. Senior women looking for housing are often subject to unfair bias and they don't have the communication skills to deal with it. So, it's an area focus that the County wants to look at and it's an area that I would like to assess as we go into the next phase. We may then choose to focus on youth but I'm not prepared to leave that segment out. Another program that she talked about was LGBTQ youth feel like they're left out of the dialog. Even when people are using the inclusive language they don't have the tools to communicate that effectively. So, there are training programs for parents, community members, educators, camp counselors that indirectly help that youth group and that's an example of something that I'd like to pursue; when I say pursue I mean take it to an assessment. We have so many ideas and such richness of ideas that we could keep a whole City Department be a part of our work is to decide what really makes sense, where we can make a difference, and what we have to narrow down and bring to you.
Ms. van de Zwaag: Also, I think part of the assessment is there's are some ideas that came forward for programs or policies is to see if the City of Palo Alto is doing that already? Is there an area in the City that has already taken on that responsibility? Is this something that's just an easy suggestion for a City Department to take on? I think we want to be really careful in that we don't have the recommendations here will either be things that perhaps the HRC has an interest in pursuing. You know you're a policy advisory body to the Council so are there policies that you would like to advance to the Council? Are there programs you are interested in doing but the HRC is an advising body so you can't really say City, you should do that program and that program and that program. I mean if there are interesting things that have come up there are some things that have come up that I just say wow, that's an easy due for my colleagues for us to do or wow, I wonder if the City is already doing that. So, as we're thinking of these, we're just
really just keeping in mind what the HRC's role in all of it is. The HRC doesn't have the ability to say Planning Department, you should do this or you should do that or you should do that. If I'm really committed to something, I might open a dialog with a colleague and say hey we heard about this kind of program and they could say, yes, we thought about it too. We might be able to do that in a couple years so we investigated that. It's kind of the trick analysis that's happened by the Committee is the subcommittee is really looking at what to go forward with and to really hear from you all did we miss it because there's a lot of exciting things but maybe the County is already doing it and the HRC's role would be just someone who's really interested in that topic. You'll say, hey I'll continue to keep abreast of what the County is doing on that topic or we feel really strongly about this policy, let's forward that to the Council in the guise of this resolution for their consideration. So, there's a lot of filtering that's going to be going on but we really wanted to hear is there someone that you say wow, they're really at the pulse of this issue that's within the scope of the resolution. You should really talk to them or I've been reading articles from this one organization and they are really on the cutting edge of XYZ so why don't you go take a look at it; that's really what we're trying to do today.
Commissioner O'Nan: Well, I think that a constituency that I don't see represented is the disabled. I bring this up because I, myself, have become somewhat disabled and I was severely disabled for a while when I was recovering from hip replacement surgery. Although I regained some mobility, I don't have full mobility and Palo Alto is not a very accessible community when you cannot walk well. There are not nearly enough handicap spaces, there aren't nearly enough ramps, it's very difficult to even park at City Hall. So, a disabled person who wants to come and be heard would have a very difficult time finding a handicap space and being able to address our Council, even assuming they have the ability to get to a meeting. Another issue that's really concerned me is Lucie Stern Community Center, which is the physical representation and symbolic representation of our community where everyone should be able to access that facility. It is extremely inaccessible; the cobblestones are basically a death trap for anybody.
Ms. van de Zwaag: Don't get me started on that, I could spend an hour on that.
Commissioner O'Nan: Yes and I really saw my community through new eyes when I was using a walker and a cane. For me it was like a brief glimpse into the future and then hopefully I'll get my health restored, at least to some extent, but I have talked since too many seniors and other disabled people who say I never go to Lucie Stern. I'd love to go to the opera, I would love to see a play, I would love to sign up for a class but I cannot find parking, I cannot navigate across those cobblestone paths and I just don't go. I'm very concerned about the City, I never go to City Hall, the meetings go on too late at night, there's no parking, it is inaccessible. So, we are becoming a City where really only healthy, full mobile people can get around and can have their voice heard. I think that's extremely exclusive and I'm not sure that this is really on the radar because these folks literally can't get there to be heard. So, I would like to see us if there is a way to start nudging our City leaders to take a look at this. This is going to span across things like planning and infrastructure development and require investments. With our growing senior population, I think these are things that we should start getting on the radar now because 20- years from now we'll have even more older people and people living into their 100's who are going to need easy access and parking. Everyone should really be able to go to a performance at Lucie Stern or come to City Hall and have their voice heard.
Commissioner Gordon-Gray: Yes, I think because the way the resolution is worded; race, religion, ethnic background so it's good to point that out that's how we framed all the interviews and the things that we did.
Chair Stinger: We don't have to put everything under the umbrella of this resolution. We can have other priorities.
Ms. van de Zwaag: Or just to keep that up to continue to inform the work of the HRC because on disability issues it is one of the things that's written into and I don't want to say the Charter but in the Charter for the HRC. Disability issues are definitely one of those so if it doesn't specifically fit within the scope of this resolution, I think it's an important issue to keep.
Commissioner Lee: I would just say that I think there's tremendous opportunity for instituting from the policies where the planning decision is made, the policies were set. How things are refurbished. That's something that should be taken into consideration. I mean some communities have adopted a universal living standard where you can basically age into your house.
Ms. van de Zwaag: Age in place.
Commissioner Lee: Age in place, yes, so I think there's tremendous opportunity like that and forms a policy.
Ms. van de Zwaag: Council Member…
Council Member Kou: Well, I was looking your mission and your mission statement for the HRC speaks everything even beyond the resolution.
Ms. van de Zwaag: Right, that's why I said you know it may not fit within the resolution but that is…
Council Member Kou: It's a great mission…
Ms. van de Zwaag: It's defiantly within the scope of the HRC.
Chair Stinger: I'm debating with myself because of the agenda time. If there's one thing that's on my mind that's not part of the presentation are the events of this weekend take my breath away. Let me think, we have a timeline, it's very thought through and very careful and it will take us to the Council before the year's end with the recommendations but the events of this weekend make me think that I wonder if that's part of this resolution or separately. If there is any other interest in going to Council saying that we'd like a policy to maintain a safe environment, encourage free speech but have zero tolerance for hate speech or is that redundant? Is that already part of City policy?
Ms. van de Zwaag: I don't have the resolution right in front of me and that would be something I'd have to look into what kind of codes may or may not cover that or they just differ up to
Commissioner O'Nan: I don't think you can overwrite the constitutions bill of rights on free speech and so you have to be careful about that.
Commissioner Gordon-Gray: I know, I was going to say…
Ms. van de Zwaag: There's I think a legal definition of hate - well, not there's… Commissioner Gordon-Gray: Insight too.
Ms. van de Zwaag: … free speech that has the - you can't insight like something like… Ms. Lim: Violence.
Ms. van de Zwaag: … That's something - I mean we can just make note of and just find out about.
Ms. Lim: We could strengthen our commendation of speech that would incite violence or make somebody have cause to throw a punch and that's, I think where that power lies.
Chair Stinger: I'd really like to add that to our plan.
Commissioner Lee: Going back to that slide that you had on the demographics, I think it's important that we target a reference to current and changing population but it's also important for us to be aware of the populations which may not be represented therefore which aren't represented by the numbers that we would like them to see. As you mentioned with the foreign- born population, I think, generally speaking, the entire population (inaudible) is relatively educated and privileged. While we might have a diversity of one kind, we might be lacking in a social economic diversity.
Commissioner Gordon-Gray: We already talked about that.
Commissioner Lee: So, I think it's moving to not only looking at these but we doing our responsibilities as compared to the Bay Area population to the National population?
Ms. Lim: The way we framed that discussion was through housing affordability and almost everyone that we talked to about housing, which first of all is such a big issue that we wondered if it should be under this resolution umbrella. They said it's a less of a concern because there's just nobody here who would not be able to afford the housing.
Commissioner Gordon-Gray: They settle landlord and tenant disputes and they said mostly - you know people who can't afford to live here don't live here so it's like you're not really representing a cross section of sub zero economic status.
Commissioner Brahmbhatt: Well, I mean there are some apartments on Alma, right?
Commissioner Gordon-Gray: Yes, there's affordable housing on Alma and then Buena Vista. Commissioner O'Nan: They are separate places but there's not enough.
Ms. Lim: So, thinking…
Chair Stinger: The important part we heard quotes of really progressive or I guess you've quoted the one that was clear on a progressive City; we need to invest more.
Commissioner Lee: Yes because there's some hypocrisy it, you know we can be great and we're liberally open minded but again, we're relatively privileged and we don't back up our rhetoric without actions.
Chair Stinger: That was one of the quotes that stung me. We want to be progressive but we don't want to give up our privileges.
Chair Stinger: Give up our privileges.
Council Member Kou: So, Council Member DuBois, along with me and Council Member Holman has introduced a colleague's memo in terms of renter's protection. We're still developing it but that should be coming for discussion pretty soon.
Commissioner Gordon-Gray: Is that rent control or is it something else?
Council Member Kou: You know we called it renter's protection but it's pertaining to rent control. It mostly has to do with how much percent you can raise and the eviction rate - how the evictions are done so that you can't just evict but we're talking to several attorneys just to gather some points and…
Commissioner Gordon-Gray: Mountain View has something. Council Member Kou: Yes.
Ms. van de Zwaag: Yes, Mountain View has rent control.
Council Member Kou: Right but we want to make sure that it's something that is going to pass because there's going to be a lot of opposition to it.
Ms. van de Zwaag: I know I get a lot of calls asking for more renters' protection so I think there would be interest in the community just to give comment and suggestions for that. If you see a role for the HRC in that, I'm sure that they would like to assist you as the Council sees fit.
Council Member Kou: That's why I mentioned it because I'm working to take matters into consideration if you think of something and talk to some people.
Ms. van de Zwaag: Thank you.
Chair Stinger: Well, I want to thank you for your comment and I really want to thank Ryeri for her work this summer. It's been delightful to work with you and know that we will be coming back to the Commission in the fall in preparation for Resolution recommendation to Council.
Commissioner Gordon-Gray: So, the recommendations aren't happening until the end of the year? I thought we were doing this in September?
Chair Stinger: We were trying to.
Ms. van de Zwaag: We're coming back to the HRC.
Commissioner Gordon-Gray: Right but we have the study session with the Council.
Ms. van de Zwaag: We have the study session from Council in which leadership is meeting with the Mayor and the Vice Mayor this week and give an overview of the study session. We're thinking that it may be appropriate to do just a very abridged version of what we just did right now to get the Council's input and to get some of the same things that you all have said. Well, did you look into that? I think you should talk to so and so, then taking it back because when the HRC goes back to the Council, they want to have tried to hedge some of those questions that the Council may already have so we only have to go back once. Well, I'll let you know, there are issues that if you go back the Council will say well, did you look at this, this and this and this.
So, we're going to listen to the Mayor, the Vice Mayor, to the Council, the subcommittee, and how subcommittee will continue to reflect and analyze the information that had passed and make any further investigations based on the feedback of the Council. Then going to the HRC with its recommendations and then hopefully after that then going to Council with their recommendations. So, it's this puzzle project just to be able to hear back from the important constituencies of which you are the first step in that to get your reflections to continue to inform this project.
Commissioner Gordon-Gray: So, what's the end game in terms where we actually… Ms. van de Zwaag: I'm hoping November or December that is the hope.
Chair Stinger: We'll just keep plugging at it. Ms. van de Zwaag: Yes.
Chair Stinger: While we're doing that, we also want to look at our other priorities and projects through the year and I'm going to ask that we use the next section of the agenda, the throw wide net to be creative. To stretch ourselves and really think of what we want to do and what we can do. At the same time, I'm going to be talking out of both sides of my mouth but I'm saying be creative and cast a broad net; apply some filters. At least two Commissioners have to want to work on a project so that it's not one person's portfolio. It has to fit with our mission and we need to acknowledge our own limitations and the Commissions limitations in terms of how much we take on. I'd like to be able to commit to something and be successful in implementing it
through the year. I'm going to suggest that we take one round and just go around and list our priorities and then open it up for discussion and questions and agreements. Can I start with you Shelly this time?
Commissioner Gordon-Gray: No. Sorry, I'm … Chair Stinger: Well, I'll take two…
Chair Stinger: Could you start for us Deepali?
Commissioner Brahmbhatt: Yes, sure, I'm interested in more of the online cyber effect on children.
Chair Stinger: I thought I mentioned that.
Commissioner Brahmbhatt: Then envision for school children. Ms. van de Zwaag: Can you be more specific?
Commissioner Brahmbhatt: In the context of the work the previous presentation was about. Things that we could do to increase awareness and inclusiveness in school environments for children.
Ms. van de Zwaag: Ok. Commissioner Brahmbhatt: Yes.
Commissioner Lee: I made a list and the first category sort of deals with issues prevalent in Silicon Valley. I think last week I pointed out in good detail for the need for increased diversity and inclusion for Silicon Valley. So how do we encourage the finance sector to be inclusive and diverse? Issues of sexual harassment are a really big topic and since we're in the heart of Silicon Valley we should be able to be on the forefront those issues. Related to that is finding ways that we can address the diversity pipeline by starting early and urging school districts to encourage STEM and education among women and minority groups you don't typically specialize in those areas; that's one way. Another kind of meesh issue is we have a large legal community in Palo Alto. I mean other than San Francisco we probably have the most law firms in the Bay Area so finding ways to help them be diverse as well and encouraging them to - using them as resources for efforts that we're doing. You know anything legal that we might need help with so leveraging that resource would be tremendous. Sort of around the school issue, I agree with your concern about cyber bullying and issues in the school. Recently we've seen a lot of parties and events at the college level which really reflects poorly on the types of things that we are teaching - we're not teaching our children. So, trying to be more involved in teaching the history of racism in (inaudible) in just the history of this country, I think would be a tremendous help. Not only to mitigate those specific incidences but to educate a more informed and open-minded population. I'm all about trying to solve issues early on in the pipeline so things like affirmative action are a big issue. We are a college town in essence so what does that mean in terms of our racial and
social economic privilege as it intersects with college admission or low paying jobs. I think my final point would be finding ways to leverage our existing resources and combining them with those of others. You know I served on the County's Housing Community Development Committee and they have their own CDBG program for what the unincorporated parts of the County but they also team up with some of the smaller Cities in the County to pool their resources. So, to the extent that we can leverage our CDBG funds and use them in a more regional basis, I think that would be a more effective use of those resources and hope to really address those issues. It's not just thinking locally about what benefits Palo Alto but what can we do collectively with other groups. I think that's it for now but I'm sure I'll have others.
Commissioner Gordon-Gray: That's prolific.
Commissioner O'Nan: I have several ideas about where we are I think at this point in the community's evolution so an issue that I'm concerned about, and I know many of you are as well, is the fate of La Comida, which was been a real bedrock for food for seniors for decades in the community. Several times now representatives from La Comida have approached the HRC asking for help stating that we are in trouble and we need help and they are going around to our City leaders as well and letting them know. My understanding is that there still isn't a clear directive on what's going to happen and I think many groups are sort of hands off so that La Comida and Avenidas can kind of figure this out by themselves. I think we may be adding an inflection point where there needs to be some kind of assistances offered and it may be that the HRC would be a good conduit to reach out and see if we can't mediate a solution or help work with our City leaders to broker some kind of solution on their behalf because I don't think watching them flounder and go under is going to be good for our community.
Ms. van de Zwaag: We have been doing that.
Commissioner O'Nan: But I think we may need to have a formal… Ms. van de Zwaag: That have been doing that.
Commissioner O'Nan: We do? Do we have a formal - not in the HRC.
Ms. van de Zwaag: Not in the HRC, no but the City has been working with both groups to try to mediate a solution.
Commissioner O'Nan: Well, it…
Commissioner Gordon-Gray: Well, then why were they here?
Ms. van de Zwaag: We can go a little bit more into that at another time but…
Commissioner O'Nan: But we might be able to bring a fresh perspective or we may be able to help in some way but they do come to us for help and I think they are hoping to get a community together to really work on this problem because senior nutrition is so important in our community. If we can't broker some sort of agreement, maybe we need to help facilitate the
establishment of additional senior nutrition programs here in our community; that may be one thing that we could talk about.
Chair Stinger: I'd like it up there and then we can discuss how we do that.
Commissioner O'Nan: Ok. Another issue that I 'm interested in is something that our absent colleague Commissioner Alhassani had raised last summer but this year was the first time in two decades that the White House did not host an iftar dinner during Ramadan, which was a big slap in the face to the Muslim/American community. Commissioner Alhassani had proposed hosting on here in Palo Alto to reach out and have people, Muslims, and non-Muslims to come together and celebrate the diversity of our community and really get to know each other over a shared meal. I really love that idea but for a variety of reasons we just couldn't pull it together during the Ramadan season so I wonder if we might work on maybe a kind of community dinner this fall. Perhaps in conjunction with the High Holy Days what will be occurring in the Jewish community and before we get into the Thanksgiving type celebrations for mainstream community and really invite everyone to participate. I've been in touch with a middle Eastern theater group that does a performance piece that involves the sharing of food so we might be able to pull a really lovely community event together that would-be kind of an antithesis to what Nationally has been going along with a lot of divisiveness and to declare ourselves to be a very loving and compassionate and inclusive community and contrast. So that is something that I would like to work on and Mehdi may still be interested in that if he's not too busy being a new dad. I'm also interested in advocating for infrastructure improvements as I mentioned before and that could take the form of working maybe for the first in a standing joint Committee with Planning and Transportation. We've meet with our colleagues in some of the other Commissions but we've never had an ongoing project with them but this could be a first so that is something that we could talk about with them. I'm also interested in possibly advocating for the establishment of either a Senior Service Department which was also mentioned to us tonight. I was going to say a Senior Service Commission but that was such a debacle in Los Altos that I'm a little scared to propose it for our community but I think seniors are not well represented at the highest levels of government and it really can be very difficult and challenging to navigate. I think the City has perhaps allocated too much responsibility onto Avenidas's shoulders and now that Avenidas is going through its move and its reconstruction, some of these cracks are showing like in every sense of the word. It may be the time that Palo Alto has a standing department Ombudsmen hotline or something where people can advocate their senior services more easily and perhaps the HRC can help get that conversation started with the appropriate City Staff and leaders. Finally, I'm interested in gender equality both nationally and locally. That's been an issue that's come up a lot in the last year. I've been very disturbed and troubled by the accounts of sexual assault and harassment on our school campuses. I've been concerned about the reports of harassment and assault on our local businesses and the lack of gender equality locally.
Companies that are operating here in Palo Alto are getting dinged for that and I think this may be with women's rights and reproductive rights are under fire from national politicians, it might be a time for the City to really reaffirm its commitment to making women equal partners and participants and preserving their rights here in Palo Alto at least, if not everywhere in the Country so that's mine.
Vice Chair Chen: I'm concerned particularly on immigrant equality and the reason for that is we
have 30% of Palo Alto residents are immigrants and thirty-two were born outside of the country and we really need a voice. I think of the concerns that I have is that between different countries and different groups there's no cross-pollination. There's no cross communication and that's why last year I proposed that we should have a City wide welcoming event to welcome all new comers to the City and that never became possible. So, I think that I would like to work on that kind of idea and then in one of the ways that I think we could pursue is to collaborate with existing organizations such as Debra Cen is my neighbor and she has organizations for Palo Alto Parents Club and Chinese Parents Club. She is very insistent and she is very passionate about the club and they asked her why she did work collaborate with the HRC and she said, we never heard from you guys. We need to maybe reach out to organizations and then the other thing is Shelly and I, we participate in this…
Commissioner Gordon-Gray: APAPA.
Vice Chair Chen: APAP - APAPA, Asian Pacific - what's that? Commissioner Gordon-Gray: Asian Pacific Island of American Civil… Vice Chair Chen: No, Public Affair.
Commissioner Gordon-Gray: Public Affair, that's right.
Vice Chair Chen: Asian Pacific Public Affair Association, they held a training session - like a group training for high school students.
Commissioner Gordon-Gray: It's to teach Asian students how to get involved in (crosstalk) American public affair. So, actualizing having…
Vice Chair Chen: That was the second event that I went at Stanford about two-weeks ago and they have one immigrant from Taiwan and he came from nothing and he became the owner of a McDonalds. He was at the end of the year laid off at the age of 50 and he couldn't find a job so he started at McDonald's in East Oakland under the worst conditions. He was able to survive and it's a good story to tell the youngsters how life was and it's getting better. I even got the name from the organization and I think it's responsible for the Bay Area event and that we could contact him so maybe some sort of cross pollination to talk about what we can do to promote this between different ethnic groups. That's my two senses, that's it.
Chair Stinger: That's great. Well, first I am going to be Mehdi.
Chair Stinger: Mehdi thoughtfully wrote a note as he was on his way to the hospital. I would like to continue work around veteran's homelessness or working to support veterans in another capacity. So, I think the need speaks for itself and as I said when we were talking about lessoned learned, he's continuing a program that he and another Commissioner initiated 2-years ago and I like the follow through. Then he gives some suggestions for subcommittees and liaisons that he'd like. So now I would like to be Valerie, who I'm more comfortable in my own shoes; I have a shopping list also. My first suggestion is something more in the lines of Commission
development. If we were an organization, we would be a professional development and I'd like to look at resources and partners, information sources, training sources that are available in the community. The one that I am thinking about is asking more of the County officers to come speak to us and tell us what's happening in the County so we can leverage some of their programs and incorporate some of our goals and objectives into their work; bring the County to the north. Part of that would be understanding the National City's Survey more deeply, the Executive Director of the Family Y has some programs she'd like to share with us; they are how to listen and training. So, I think we could develop a Commission development program that would be a part of your normal meetings. I would like to propose doing an LBGTQ assessment, the County is doing that. Mountain View is going to be a part of it and I'd like to see if we could be a part of that also. So, again it would be leveraging other government bodies to take advantage of more hands-on deck. Of course, the resolution follows through will be a project that's ongoing from last year. We had someone speak to us about On The Table, a discussion group that will be happening in November and I'd like to propose that the HRC host a table with maybe some of our HSRAP grantees and a could City Officials to have a discussion during the November date - on the November date. The last thing that I'd like to propose is a campaign to recognize contributions to a supportive community. I think we do a good job of bringing awareness to vulnerable populations and issues of concern but sometimes we forget to acknowledge the good things that are being done. I think we could easily have a mechanism in place to…
Ms. Constantino: Could you - campaign to recognize?
Chair Stinger: Contributions - positive contributions. I guess there aren't negative contributions. Ms. van de Zwaag: Well, there are but we don't want to recognize them.
Chair Stinger: Contributions to a supportive community.
Commissioner Gordon-Gray: You're saying recognizing people who've made positive contributions?
Chair Stinger: Either people or organizations and one example is Paul Hebert wrote to us from the Palo Alto Mediation Program and he requested that we acknowledge Homewood Suites.
They've hosted their meetings for - 20 meeting or something like that over 2-years… Commissioner Gordon-Gray: Oh, I see.
Ms. van de Zwaag: For free. Commissioner Gordon-Gray: For free.
Chair Stinger: Free and provided drinks, helped them with the logistics, the infrastructure and so if we just had a certificate and a hand shake.
Commissioner Gordon-Gray: It could be a Chamber of Commerce collaboration or something.
Ms. van de Zwaag: Yes, as the Human Relations Commission, I think people who are meeting the ideals of the community that support an inclusive community that we would like Palo Alto to be or even broader than that building up Palo Alto through their actions, helping their neighbor etc.
Commissioner Lee: It's maybe to highlight best practices now so that other people can adopt them. I mean I've been in two other Cities that have had some sort of Human Relations Award or recognitions.
Chair Stinger: That's what I would like to do is just some way to say that was really great, thanks. There are just some hotels that are really nice about hosting Legal Women Voters meetings and some churches are really nice about hosting. They've done it and they will continue to do it but it would be really nice to just acknowledge it. So those are my suggestions for the year.
Commissioner Gordon-Gray: I have a few so one of them I want to put back on the table is mental health stigma. As somebody who suffers from depression and anxiety, I think that these are people that have no voice because it's not really tolerated. There's a pressure to be happy in our society and so I think there's got to be a forum for people to actually talk about their experience. I think that's the source of suicide because there's not a lot of tolerance for people's emotions. I interviewed one of the people that were interviewed was Malka Kopel she started an organization called Civility. The idea behind Civility is to create a framework for interacting with people for whom you have an opposing view and it's very effective and she's now being called upon by different Cities to have her program introduced among City Staff. She's very well connected and has a lot of interesting ideas and one of the things that she talked about was - I forget exactly what it's called but it's something like Lend a Person to Another Person. In other words, I want to talk to somebody's who's Chinese because I never interact with people who are Chinese. Part of what Civility is about is there's never an occasion where you're going to have a conversation unless it's very random. There are actually library programs where you can rent a book, rent a Muslim person so we can have a dialog. I know it sounds weird but I think it's actually very interesting. Some kind of formal program where we would actually have a face to face with people that we don't normally interact with and I did a class at Stanford, continuous studies on having civil conversations. There's a whole framework for that, like how to interact with people where you have a difference of opinion in a civil way because the previse of this is that we live in a rather uncivil society right now that we live in an age of character has been replaced by the age of personality so who's ever the biggest, the most boisterous, the most flagrant, the most - like our President. It's like that has sort of shaped how we're interacting so there's a whole framework around having civil discourse and I think that would be an interesting kind of program. I guess my theme is around this idea of civil discourse among desperate people and then we didn't actually talk about this when Ryeri was giving her report but Valerie and I met with one of the members of the CEDAW. I don't know if it was the Commission so this was the Convention of Elimination Against Discrimination Toward Women. Did I say that right, CEDAW? Elimination of Discrimination Against Women, that's what it is so I would like to do something with that. They have asked us to take that on that Palo Alto be designated as a City that supports CEDAW. One of the people that was on the list I interviewed was Dr. Alkaline, [Alkaline]?
Ms. van de Zwaag: Bill Armaline.
Commissioner Gordon-Gray: I always say Alkaline but about human rights. So, the UN has the - their Human Rights Conventions and I think there are over 100 Countries that support it and the US is not one of them. So, the US has not ratified this convention….
Ms. Lim: One of four to six countries that have not ratified… Commissioner Gordon-Gray: That haven't ratified it and I think like… Chair Stinger: Nigeria.
Commissioner Gordon-Gray: Well, the four that are on the list are countries that we would say don't have a democracy and we need to go in there and fix their democracy or institute one.
CEDAW is one of the UN Conventions so I think that might be a place to start so that's something that I would like to spear head.
Commissioner Lee: I actually went to that presentation this weekend… Commissioner Gordon-Gray: Oh, right, I didn't get to go.
Commissioner Lee: but that was something that I forgot to mention as well so Commissioner Gordon-Gray: So, I'd like to - that's it for me.
Chair Stinger: Ok, let me see here. Well, I think I got what I asked for and now I don't know what to do with it. I wanted a rich list of items for us to be able to discuss but I need some help on the process. I guess my thinking was that first we would just have an open discussion and then maybe use dots to pick our three or four favorites and focus on those but it's such a broad list, I'm afraid that might not be effective.
Commissioner Gordon-Gray: Maybe we should make categories. Chair Stinger: That's a good idea, let's make categories.
Commissioner Gordon-Gray: Like to think about the resolution, what are the categories that we want and then what are the programs? Elderly sounds like one, mental health…
Ms. van de Zwaag: Then I think it would be helpful to run through the criteria I had a side conversation with Mary so I, unfortunately, didn't hear all the ones that Valerie said to see if there are any others that I would add to it.
Chair Stinger: So, the criteria that I had mentioned when I said I'd like to be creative but I'd also like to be cognizant that it fits with our Charter. That's probably the most in terms of responsibility.
Ms. van de Zwaag: Scope of responsibility I think; as a City Organization.
Chair Stinger: Yes, we can influence the City activities. At least two Commissioners have to champion an idea and we have to be cognizant of our resources and our Staff's resources. Any that you would like to add?
Ms. van de Zwaag: I think just being really cognizant of this is a City issue, is this a responsibility that lies within the osposis of another organization, what role does the City or I mean is the decision making for that to have an impact on that area, does it lie with another area. I think also just as an aside, it's not something Valerie has mentioned but I think years in the past that the HRC has really championed issues that haven't had really a local focus or a local nexus. I think the work of the HRC in the last three to four years and how it's been elevated to the level of, I think really high esteem on the Council is that the HRC is really buckled down on issues that are local that have a very local focus and it's like that may be a National issue but this is you know mental health is an issue facing everyone but what are the certain factors in Palo Alto addressing that? Like your domestic violence, that's a worldwide issue but you focused very much on what is that lens look like in Palo Alto? Is that a hidden population? Just to continue on the good work of really looking at these items to say what local focus does it have to continue that - the fine work of the HRC in the past. So, at the end of the year, you can say, yes, that made a difference in this community for these reasons. These are the lives that we touched. Do we just want to see areas because I see homeless, I see LGBT…
Chair Stinger: Gender.
Commissioner Brahmbhatt: I think Shelly and Theresa's ideas have common themes. She wanted different people from different groups to meet, whereas Theresa was saying immigrant equality like meeting different clubs and things.
Ms. van de Zwaag: Immigrants.
Commissioner Gordon-Gray: That's a good idea.
Commissioner Brahmbhatt: Yes two people are already championing.
Ms. van de Zwaag: Right. I think yours is much on communication across differences. Commissioner Gordon-Gray: Yes, I would…
Ms. van de Zwaag: Is that or am I characterizing that wrong?
Commissioner Gordon-Gray: No, I think that's true. I think across differences, all differences. Ms. van de Zwaag: Right. It's a continuation…
Commissioner Gordon-Gray: Political...
Ms. van de Zwaag: … of the work Being Different Together. Commissioner Gordon-Gray: …gender, immigrants, nationality.
Chair Stinger: That's where I was going with that, was that it was a continuation of Being Different Together. I like -- so I like that and we just don't drop it, we continue…
Commissioner Gordon-Gray: I actually I… Chair Stinger: … to work on it.
Commissioner Gordon-Gray: I agree.
Chair Stinger: There was a format that I didn't mention in my list, living room conversations that a group started. It was somebody from Move On and somebody from a Tea Party Collation of Continuity…
Commissioner Gordon-Gray: Yes, that's right.
Chair Stinger: …and they have a format for bringing groups together and having a discussion on global topics.
Ms. van de Zwaag: Maybe just communication across difference for a lack of a better title.
Commissioner Gordon-Gray: I think as part of that I'd love to figure out a way to bring despaired people together because one of the draw not draw backs but one of the issues with Being Different Together was that we weren't that different.
Chair Stinger: Yes, that was a huge…
Commissioner Gordon-Gray: How do we bring homeless people to the table and mentally ill people?
Ms. Lim: One thing that I heard when I spoke to Debra at the Transparent Club, she said that immigrant parents were usually driven away when things were explicitly political because in America and especially in Palo Alto where we strive to be so politically literate but in other places that's not like a dinner table conversation. So, I think that's something to consider as well.
Commissioner Gordon-Gray: Like what's the topic?
Ms. Lim: Right, like should we make it about Palo Alto instead or something like that.
Vice Chair Chen: Well, I spoke to recently and actually I'm sponsoring what - they are making a film about Palo Alto and I asked her specifically, what kind of film is video? Then she said she would interview City Council Members and then local people and then about the history and about everything about Palo Alto to introduce to new comers. It's in English so it's Chinese
subtitled but I asked her where are you going to distribute it? Anybody, it's not just localized Chinese, any person who wants to read about it and she wants to collaborate with the City of Palo Alto to see if the City of Palo Alto will help her in terms of distribution of that video.
Ms. Lim: Along with her book, right?
Vice Chair Chen: Her book is all Chinese, for me it's hard to read too because it's simplified Chinese. I read traditional Chinese but the film is in English so I think that's good for any new comers.
Ms. van de Zwaag: …that's a program but I think that if we can go just a minute or two to broad categories, maybe we can say some and if there feels like a general agreement that's a category and then not saying that we would do that category but I see veterans, I see homelessness up there. I see…
Commissioner Gordon-Gray: You're talking about socio-categories. Ms. van de Zwaag: Yes. Women, gender…
Commissioner Lee: Diversity - gender, diversity, inclusiveness type?
Ms. van de Zwaag: Yes. So, gender, I would say that would include a lot of things. That's the CEDAW but that's - you can…
Commissioner Gordon-Gray: LGBT?
Ms. van de Zwaag: Yes, you can riff off of that in several ways. Commissioner Gordon-Gray: Elderly or seniors.
Vice Chair Chen: Age. Ms. Constantino: Senior.
Commissioner Gordon-Gray: Well, I mean Jill's La Comida and Senior Service Department and that all sounds like…
Commissioner Brahmbhatt: So, I think we should add a category for our seniors.
Ms. van de Zwaag: I think what we don't get from these categories are possibly the richness and the follow through from the Council resolution of some of those possible projects. Maybe some of this under immigrants and gender - I'm trying to think…
Commissioner Gordon-Gray: Well, LGBTQ…
Ms. van de Zwaag: LGBTQ was I know a big interest of the subcommittee.
Commissioner Gordon-Gray: What about like economic status. I know we talked about socio- status but we haven't really talked about…
Ms. van de Zwaag: Right but if we don't have it there, I'm just concerned than that we're just having every category that's out there. What's that Mary?
Chair Stinger: Did you say homeless? Commissioner Gordon-Gray: Homeless?
Chair Stinger: I don't see it up there and I thought you'd said that
Ms. van de Zwaag: I see that teach the history of racism, I know that came up in the Council Resolution looking at some partnerships between City libraries and school libraries but I'm just trying to see if there's a category of I don't know if we just want to use the category building a supportive and inclusive community. I don't know what people think or they want to go down into that category because I'm not sure everything would fit in a neat category like that for follow up items for that resolution.
Commissioner O'Nan: Could we add accessibility?
Ms. van de Zwaag: Yes, I was going to say I don't see the disabled up there.
Chair Stinger: So, let's just take a second or other. Do we want to associate programs with the themes and then vote on them?
Ms. van de Zwaag: Yes, my concern was that I think all those categories are within the realm of the HRC I think but when we scale down to programs and I'm not sure if everything aligns or - I agree, I think for people to be able to vote, they need to know specifically what they are looking at and if that meets the other qualifications.
Chair Stinger: I guess there's one category that I'd lobby for because it was my suggestion. I don't know if it would be structural but just to focus on the Commission. So, my mine was a self-learning campaign and an awards program.
Ms. Constantino: Would that be an individual category or are you putting it under something? Chair Stinger: I guess I was thinking of a…
Commissioner Gordon-Gray: That's separate.
Chair Stinger: … a separate category; HRC development. So why don't we look at our list like online cyber bullying, that would-be part of a project under youth.
Ms. Constantino: So, I'm writing it down here?
Ms. van de Zwaag: Yes.
Chair Stinger: Inclusion for children and increase awareness, give us an example. What would
you think would be a program to accomplish that?
Commissioner Brahmbhatt: It would be just doing your Being Different Together for children in a school setting like having sessions or having expert speakers come in and talk about some of the social effects of including people and aren't including people and how the whole dynamics work. Just making people who are empathetic to people who are different than them. There shouldn't be a bias just based on skin color or Country of heritage.
Chair Stinger: Do you think it would work if we could work it through the library or through a play day? I'm intimidated by taking something to the School Board because it's out of our jurisdiction.
Commissioner Brahmbhatt: Yes, it would be like the programs where we host different festivals in the parks and things like that but basically it need not be through the school but the target audience would be the children because I think they inherit a lot of the biases from the parents. They see some of the behavior and it's just like giving them examples and it's natural to feel an affinity to somebody who looks similar to us versus somebody who may have a dark skin or something like that.
Commissioner Lee: I wonder because there are so many different things that we want to do with youth in different ways, have we ever had a conversation with the school district about what they are doing? Have we had that initial discussion with them because I feel like a lot of human relation issues do start when they are young? I mean there are the discrimination issues that they face about what we need to be teaching our kids, there's what types of skills we need to be training them so that we can have a diverse world first later on in the pipeline. There are so many different ways that we could be interactive with youth in some fashion and I feel like it might be productive to actually engage someone at the school district to have a conversation about what they are doing. Maybe what the gaps are or how we can support them or how we can support each other and kind of lump all of those topics under that; at least initially until we get a sense of what they are doing.
Ms. Lim: It might be an opportune time too just based on what I know of the things that they are starting. So, there's something called Titan 101 that's for freshman and it has been for years but now they are doing something like that for every single grade and it's going to be a lot more than school orientation. It's really in responselobby to a holistic self-care thing that interacts with how people treat each other along different lines of discrimination. I have a friend at the Palo Alto Weekly who's writing a story on that so that could be really interesting to talk to her as well because she's already doing those interviews. Just in terms of courses, my little sister is taking Gunn's first - it's like a comparative policy or comparative government class - foreign policy class, something like that. So, there's a lot of growing interest in different areas of the school - of how the school is run so I would encourage you.
Ms. van de Zwaag: I have a big concern that what goes on at the schools is beyond the scope of the authority of the HRC. If this is an interest of the HRC's, having someone from student services from the school district coming and really sharing what the schools are doing, I think that would be good. I think if there are things that are missing that might be within the scope of
something the HRC would like to do such as a community welcoming event or community diversity event that the HRC at one point wants to plan with a special focus on kids, I think that's great but the HRC really doesn't have the scope to be able to lean into the school district. Now, if we say that we have a real interest in this and asking Staff well, what happens in City programs just as a matter of interest in that but I've not heard of a City Commission really leaning into the work of the school district. I think there's probably a pretty rich amount of what they are already doing but I'm not going to be naïve and if you're a parent in the district, that you probably say I wish they did this, I wish they did that. I'm sure they're not doing all that they could do but as far as just reporting, the HRC really does not have the authority to say well you should be doing this, this and this or I suggest you consider this policy.
Commissioner Lee: Well, I think… Commissioner Brahmbhatt: Well, I think…
Commissioner Lee: I think it would be more of a collaborative effort. I mean whether it's having a liaison with them or maybe a two by twos, I mean yes, the school district in the City have different jurisdiction but we are all one community and so we need to work together on that so to what extent that looks like, we'll figure it out.
Chair Stinger: Well, the word that you used that resonated with me was a compliment so if we had a liaison or somebody come to the Commission that says these are the new programs we are doing, this is where you could fit in because that is your suggestion teaching the history of racism, there's a lot of ways outside of the classroom where we could start programs. There's an Art Department, a library, recreation programs, there's a lot of avenues that we could look to if that was something…
Ms. van de Zwaag: Where I get concerned is the HRC leaning in and telling the school district what they should do. That's really beyond our scope and the Council Member would know that. There's a separate City Committee, City School Liaison Committee that works on some of these liaisons and those are always interesting meetings as well. So, I think being more informed and help to know what they don't do that maybe we could amplify. I think there are ways of going about it that meet your needs but I don't think we're going to all get out our sleeping bags.
Ms. van de Zwaag: I don't want to block it, I just want to hear your needs and I want to be able to say what's with reasonable within the HRC because the children in our community and raising children that are respectful of difference and have inclusion as a value, I know that's an interest of all of ours. Council Member?
Council Member Kou: Although, you know Deepali's cyber bullying is pretty interesting which goes all around and I was wondering is Project Safety Net in any way involved in that arena?
The HRC might be able to collaborate with Project Safety Net about cyber bullying or some of the youth needs.
Ms. van de Zwaag: Yes, I can see what they're doing in that respects. I think that might be a way to lean into it but I'd have to look into that specifically.
Council Member Kou: Rather than through the school district. Ms. van de Zwaag: No, I hear you, yes.
Commissioner O'Nan: I think this would be a good topic so maybe we could do something as an adjunct to what the school district is already trying to do with their curriculum. Maybe we could sponsor an event and invite kids and their parents and do some sort of interactive exercise like there are famous ones where there are two scenarios and one involves a black person, one involves a white person and they are neutral but many people assume the black person was about to do something illegal. It goes back to Chair Stinger's…
Chair Stinger: It's the Harvard Assess - Harvard Inclusive Bias…
Commissioner O'Nan: Yes, I'm sure there are modern updated things that are more interactive and fun for the kids to learn about their preconceived notions, how you need to treat people fairly. We could maybe sponsor a film or a film series being open minded and tolerant of each other and a history of racism or discrimination around the world. We could partner with the school.
Ms. van de Zwaag: Meets both needs to collaborating and seeing where the City could be an adjunct to what's already happening.
Commissioner O'Nan: Yes and as the HRC we could lead a discussion around that and then invite educators to come and collaborate with us. Maybe as a school field trip or an extracurricular thing for extra points for the kids. Something that might be interesting for them to do and sort of partnership with the schools to do that but kind of to supplement what they are doing so they don't feel like we're stepping on their toes at all. Then we feel like we're opening up some doors and opening up some minds.
Chair Stinger: Listening to the conversation from the last few minutes, it seems like communicate or I might suggest the communication across difference would be a theme for the year.
Ms. van de Zwaag: That has youth components and has adults.
Chair Stinger: I think…I came in wanting something ready prepared to lobby for something different but I think that will give us some specificity. We could pick out a few good programs and be open to other ideas as they come along.
Commissioner Gordon-Gray: What is realistic in terms of the number of programs? Maybe that would help.
Ms. van de Zwaag: Well, that's… Commissioner Gordon-Gray: Is it like…
Ms. van de Zwaag: … it's realistic to the number of you around the table that could put the effort into it because Staff is really here to support and to help you amplify your efforts but it really depends on Commissioners around the table saying well when it comes to that. I can schedule all the speakers you want to hear but if after the speakers you decide hey, let's do a kid's fun day.
We can do what we can but it's really the Commissioners so I think in the past looking at -it's almost been a major project a quarter that has been something that's been successful in the past.
Chair Stinger: It depends, like if we took that teaching history of racism to the library and they did a program, our job would be really selling the program and the library would run with it or the Art Department or whatever. So that would be…
Commissioner Gordon-Gray: Collaborating.
Chair Stinger: …collaborating and relatively easy to pull off. Some of the other ones would be more…
Commissioner Gordon-Gray: Labor intensive. Chair Stinger: … labor intensive.
Commissioner Lee: Something like CEDAW wouldn't necessarily be an event; it would be more of an ordinance or policy process so I mean that's something that can be going on sort of in the background over the year. I mean I don't anticipate it would require too much staff time, I mean there's a lot of resources that we can leverage in the community to have those conversations and draft that potential language.
Chair Stinger: I see a lot of that effort as communication with Council and see how to make it happen. I think it would be an assessment of staff resources or I think what we heard on Saturday was that there needs to be an assessment of budget and a plan for monitoring. So, we'd need to start to assess how much effort would go into complying that.
Ms. van de Zwaag: I thought that someone else at the City that actually had passed a resolution but they hadn't; it was one step further.
Commissioner Lee: They passed an ordinance. Ms. van de Zwaag: Thank you.
Chair Stinger: They hadn't gone through an ordinance.
Ms. van de Zwaag: Hadn't gone through the ordinance process but it had gone through the resolution, thank you.
Commissioner Lee: That had happened when? 2002? Commissioner Gordon-Gray: Oh really?
Commissioner Lee: So, it's been 15-years. Chair Stinger: So that really was a nice gesture.
Commissioner Lee: San Francisco passed an ordinance back in the 90's. Palo Alto is a little bit behind.
Commissioner O'Nan: Well, that's San Francisco. Chair Stinger: Vic Ojakian was Mayor then.
Ms. van de Zwaag: Ok.
Chair Stinger: I'm going to suggest that maybe we take just a minute for a break and while we're up walking around pick one or two projects that you would be willing to work on.
Ms. van de Zwaag: I think it would have to be at least two because if we're looking at least two Commissioners to do it together then we're looking at going forward with efforts that at least two or more Commissioners had an interest in.
Chair Stinger: Yes, I was going to use that as the sorting mechanism. Ms. van de Zwaag: Ok, sorry. I'll go to the back now.
Commissioner Gordon-Gray: Alright, 5-minute break?
Chair Stinger: Five-minute break, yes and take some colored dots and pick either one or two that you would work on or if there's one that you just really want to have happened. (inaudible).
Commissioner Gordon-Gray: Colored dots so we have something…
Chair Stinger: I mean you really need to think about how much time you have to do this. It's just phenomenal when you get into something how much time it takes.
Commissioner Gordon-Gray: So, what are we using to indicate what we are interested in? Oh, oh I didn't see those.
[Commission took a 5-minute break]
Chair Stinger: So, it looks like CEDAW is the priority for the year. Can we come (inaudible)(crosstalk) So, of Shelly…
Commissioner Gordon-Gray: Ok, wait, let's reconvene. Chair Stinger: Steve and is this Jill? Where you blue, Jill?
Commissioner O'Nan: I was blue some of the time and yellow some of the time but I put J… Ms. van de Zwaag: See that's why I said…
Commissioner O'Nan: But I put J on - I put J.
Chair Stinger: Ok. Of the three of you, would one of you like to take the lead on that? Commissioner Lee: I mean I would be happy to if it's not awkward for me to take a lead on that. Ms. van de Zwaag: No, you should.
Commissioner Gordon-Gray: Actually yes, let's have a man take a lead.
Commissioner Lee: I was telling the presenter on Saturday night that we can get this as a graduation for when she finishes law school; she's starting law school in a couple weeks.
Commissioner Gordon-Gray: Who was that?
Commissioner Lee: The presenter at the event. What was her name? I forget her name but she's starting law school at Berkeley.
Commissioner Gordon-Gray: What event? I'm sorry, what event are we talking about? Commissioner Lee: CEDAW.
Commissioner Gordon-Gray: Oh, that's right, that's right. Commissioner Lee: The presenter said that she is starting law school Commissioner Gordon-Gray: Sarah,
Commissioner Lee: …her law school of 3-years is overlapping my (inaudible) of the Commission so by (crosstalk) the time you graduate…
Chair Stinger: Steve and Shelly and Jill, if you'll be the subcommittee working on that. Then under the framework of communication, how did we say it? I like the words that we used communication across differences. Jill and I will work On The Table, one event.
Ms. van de Zwaag: I know City leadership is meeting with the On the Table folks in the next week or so just to get a briefing like the HRC got briefed. Just as an information piece.
Commissioner Lee: Since that's coming up relatively quickly, is that going to be on the agenda for the next meeting?
Ms. van de Zwaag: We can definitely write it down but I know I'm in that meeting. I think it's
next week that that meeting is happening.
Chair Stinger: So, my proposal specifically was for us to host one table with some HSRAP beneficiaries and City Staff so that's how we would get some diversity at the table.
Commissioner Lee: Could we add the Planning Commission to that too or Members of the Planning Commission?
Chair Stinger: I mean Staff with a small s. Yes, you're right.
Ms. van de Zwaag: The Planning Director is one of the three people - City Staff members meeting next week or week after.
Commissioner Lee: But if the Planning Commission wanted to host a table too, I don't know I'm like the more the merrier, right?
Ms. van de Zwaag: No, I'll add that to my little notes for when we meet; PTC host. Chair Stinger: Then this is Jill and Theresa, host a community dinner?
Commissioner O'Nan: Mehdi may join. Commissioner Gordon-Gray: Yes, Mehdi. Commissioner O'Nan: …once he's… Commissioner Gordon-Gray: Freed up.
Commissioner O'Nan: …whatever, used to having a newborn in the house again. It really was Mehdi's idea originally and I definitely want to rope him in or loop him in but if he's busy with his new baby then maybe we can do the leg work and he can join us later.
Ms. van de Zwaag: A colleague of mine just met with Samina Sundus and she still has her great interest because she's been doing a lot of community work but not ifdar but in December she's been hosting community meals. She always had this idea of having a community picnic idea of bringing people together from the different face and different cultures to have a community picnic. So, maybe like the concept could be the HRC's thing to explore further and maybe what it looks like maybe but some community gathering across the face and maybe across cultures. I don't want to speak for you but…
Commissioner O'Nan: No, no, I agree.
Chair Stinger: For now, will you take the lead on it?
Commissioner O'Nan: Yes, and I'll reach out to Mehdi and see if he's still interested and if he wants to help out even remotely in the meantime and I'll work Theresa.
Commissioner Gordon-Gray: If you call Samina she would organize the whole thing.
Commissioner O'Nan: Well, I just got an email from the theater group and they are so interested in performing their piece and be a part of coming out to Palo Alto because they are based in San Francisco; they are called Bolt and Thread.
Chair Stinger: Let me just ask to bring that back to this, just for time sake. Teaching history of racism, I'm glad this stayed on; it's Deepali and Steve or Shelly.
Commissioner Lee: I would have voted for it too but it already had two votes on it. Chair Stinger: Deepali, would you take the lead on that?
Commissioner Brahmbhatt: Yes, sure.
Commissioner Gordon-Gray: Do we have each other's contact information since we never see each other? Copied on…
Ms. van de Zwaag: You just have to be careful about starting to email back and forth because of the Brown Act issues but you just….
Commissioner Gordon-Gray: Even one on one?
Ms. van de Zwaag: One on one is fine so that we can… Commissioner Gordon-Gray: I mean can we do up to… Ms. van de Zwaag: … share the roster.
Commissioner Gordon-Gray: What is the limit? Ms. van de Zwaag: Three.
Commissioner Gordon-Gray: Three, right. Commissioner Brahmbhatt: Including you - three?
Ms. van de Zwaag: Yes, you and two more. If you start discussing something or if you two discuss something and then discuss it with Steven who discusses it with Deepali, that's…
Chair Stinger: You need to say when you're having a conversation, I've already talked to so and so, so people are aware of the boundaries.
Commissioner Gordon-Gray: But I'm still asking, do we have a list of everybody's contact information because I don't know how to reach any of us except Theresa.
Vice Chair Chen: I have your email, that's it. Ms. van de Zwaag: So, we will write…
Vice Chair Chen: I'd rather have your number.
Chair Stinger: Let's see, so I think increasing diversity in Silicon Valley, that was you, Steve? Commissioner Gordon-Gray: Steve.
Commissioner Lee: I'm sorry?
Chair Stinger: That was you, increasing diversity. Commissioner Lee: Yes, I will, yes.
Commissioner Gordon-Gray: So, he's taking the lead on two things.
Chair Stinger: Yes because I'm going to ask Deepali to take the lead on - let's see. Commissioner Gordon-Gray: So, you're taking the lead on two things and you're ok with that? Commissioner Lee: I'm an over achiever.
Commissioner Gordon-Gray: Good perfect. Commissioner Lee: No, I mean you can rely on everyone. Chair Stinger: Deepali, would you take the lead on online? Commissioner Brahmbhatt: Yes.
Ms. van de Zwaag: Just so folks know what that means, that's generating some ideas a little bit further about what you may do and then bringing them back to the HRC to test what you're thinking against what the HRC may be thinking about that.
Chair Stinger: That was exactly what my next sentence was, Minka. In our agenda, each of the Chairs should bring their sort of frame work for moving forward and have it open for discussion. Is there…
Commissioner Gordon-Gray: For the next meeting, for September?
Commissioner Gordon-Gray: September anything that you feel really strongly about?
Commissioner O'Nan: I have to admit that I'm a little concerned about the increased diversity in Silicon Valley, which I totally agree needs to happen but in terms of our purview, I mean how
Commissioner Gordon-Gray: Yes, how does that help Palo Alto? Commissioner O'Nan: Yes, how would we lean on people who are…
Commissioner Lee: Well the City can pass certain regulations or programs to incentives employers in the City to increase diversity or we can do a survey of how employees are doing with diversity and offer sticks and carrots to encourage it.
Commissioner O'Nan: Well, in Palo Alto yes but Silicon Valley is much wider. Commissioner Lee: Well, yes and Palo Alto is the heart of Silicon Valley so… Commissioner O'Nan: Of course.
Commissioner Gordon-Gray: Maybe we should just say for Palo Alto. Commissioner Lee: Yes.
Commissioner O'Nan: Ok, that makes me a little more comfortable.
Ms. van de Zwaag: What I don't want to lose is a commitment to the Council resolution for next year.
Chair Stinger: I made that as an assumption that was carrying on - carrying over.
Ms. van de Zwaag: Because I think you did a really nice job of identifying and leaders and then the leaders are going to come back and I think then there's going to be a vetting process that says, yes, I think that's going to work or nah, maybe that won't work. Maybe that's just not ripe right now, let's continue - Valerie, your project looks like its more shovel ready or Shelly your project or Steven your project and it's that conversation with the HRC. I think interest is always high on retreat planning night and then capacity when we get into…
Commissioner O'Nan: Well, one thing that I would say is some of these are going to require a lot of long term planning and then follow through but some of these will be sort of one-time events. Like the On The Table event will happen and then we'll see what kind of follow through is required. The community dinner will happen and then there may be follow through but at some point, those events are basically over. So, some of these other events we can then just support each other I think and carrying them on through the year because they'll need longer time lines.
Chair Stinger: I think gender and communication seem to be the themes for the year. I'll look to our PR people to save that in a better sentence. Ok, where are we on our agenda, thank you all for going through that.
Chair Stinger: I will just describe to you the Council study session quickly to get us back on schedule and if there's some important input then I appreciate your response. Generally, the study session gives us a chance to talk to Council without a vote in pending so we really have more of a chance for dialog and some more in depth. We'll probably do much of what we did - well, not much of what we did tonight but the same framework. Looking back, this is what we did, looking forward these are our focal points for the year ahead and emphasis on the resolution. I'll ask Staff for help in preparing an outline for our September HRC meeting and that point; I'll ask to divide it up so we can each have a chance to present sections of it.
Commissioner Brahmbhatt: Do we have Gunn's permission for the September meeting that the speaker can come?
Ms. van de Zwaag: At this point, that's later on in our agenda but that's a suggestion given the leadership and then the leadership when they are doing agenda planning because I almost have like six items for our agenda. So that may stay on the agenda, that may not because there are certain things that have to go then so that's definitely on the tentative agenda but then leadership meets with Staff to say, ok, what has to go - what can go next month and so forth.
Commissioner Brahmbhatt: I mean when I asked him- it took him two months to respond. Ms. van de Zwaag: Because we were really looking for him to come to…
Commissioner Brahmbhatt: If I where if I say… Ms. van de Zwaag: I know.
Commissioner Brahmbhatt: … we are not ready for September, and then I don't know if he will be ready to come and speak with us.
Ms. van de Zwaag: We'll just have to see if that works. We were really looking for him to come at the July meeting when we were looking for a speaker. I will do our best but I can't promise that it will stay on the agenda. Looking at some of the other things like I know the CAPER report from CDBG has to come back because it has to go through the HRC to go to Council to go down to the feds. So, we will do our utmost but I just can't promise.
Commissioner Brahmbhatt: No, because he has that shy personality and now that his mom has convinced him that he should go forward and speak. I don't want to pull back and say hey, -- I'd rather he come forward and do this so that it's done.
Ms. van de Zwaag: We'll definitely take that into consideration but when you put an agenda together, there are a lot of factors that you need to consider so we will do our best.
Commissioner Brahmbhatt: Ok, thank you.
Ms. van de Zwaag: I understand the situation of the relationship and the young man. I'd rather
him be totally ready to come than his mom trying to convince him to come because it's really exposing himself to a conversation - a larger conversation. Yes, the four of us will definitely take that very seriously.
Chair Stinger: We'll talk more about the Council study session on, I think it's the 14th. Is that our next Thursday - regular Thursday meeting.
Commissioner Gordon-Gray: Do we need to prepare anything for this before the 14th?
Ms. van de Zwaag: I think we're going to wait so we're meeting with the Mayor and the Vice Mayor tomorrow.
Commissioner Gordon-Gray: Oh, ok.
Ms. van de Zwaag: So, we will present what we think we're going to do and then we'll get some feedback and your HRC meeting is like 3-days before that is so…
Commissioner Gordon-Gray: Right, that's not a lot of time.
Ms. van de Zwaag: … the timing is a little hard. If people want to, right now, give the Chair an idea of hey, you know if there's a slide that I might be interested in presenting or I just want to sit there and listen. You can give the Chair an idea if you are willing to give comment, if not I know you all think I talk a lot but at that night, I sit on the side line. I came that first time and I thought I'm going to be a part of this and then I got there that evening and my boss goes sit in the audience with me. So, this is the HRC with the Council so this is all you. I help you prepare it and you need to decide who feels comfortable making this presentation. If you all need to decide if you feel comfortable discussing a page. Again, it's looking back on what we've done and kind of giving a very brief version of what Ryeri just discussed to give Council an idea what's been done and to give feedback to help inform the work before the referral comes back to them.
Commissioner Gordon-Gray: Are we talking about the resolution or are you talking about the year?
Ms. van de Zwaag: I'm talking about the year.
Commissioner Gordon-Gray: So, it's this list of all the things that we've done that we're going to be…
Ms. van de Zwaag: Yes but - yes.
Commissioner Gordon-Gray: But on a bunch of slides with more detail?
Ms. van de Zwaag: Right, I think we want to do less talking and more listening but being able to present it in a way so you feel like the Council has a good full picture of your work and your accomplishments and talking about the referral but having a lot of time for the Council to be able to speak. Council Member Kou wanted to interject.
Council Member Kou: I was just going to say that after the presentation and showing the accomplishments for the year and also what are some of your plans for the upcoming year. Perhaps ask the Council what they would like to see from you and how to go about it and ask questions of you so that you can get more collaboration and see where they want to divert you toward and give you some guidance.
Chair Stinger: Good idea.
Council Member Kou: At that point, like you said, that's the listening part.
Ms. van de Zwaag: Right, exactly and like I said if there's the Mayor and the Vice Mayor have different ideas of format, we'll find that out tomorrow.
Commissioner Gordon-Gray: So, you're going to communicate with us after this meeting?
Ms. van de Zwaag: I think the Chair will communicate with you but if you say I'm willing to talk, let the Chair know and if not, it's the Chair that's going to be doing all the talking.
Chair Stinger: I would really like to have everybody to have a chance to speak. I don't want to turn it into an up and down dog and pony show but I think it's a chance for us to show that we work together.
Council Member Kou: That might happen because, in the other Commission that has come for Council and Commission study session, the Mayor has actually asked everybody to speak.
Commissioner O'Nan: He likes that.
Council Member Kou: Yes and we want to hear from everybody.
Commissioner O'Nan: Well, I wanted to say and this may be obvious but it sounded to me like we were really focusing on what we have done and I think it might be really helpful at the study session to focus on what we're planning. Especially some of these more emanate things…
Ms. van de Zwaag: Right.
Chair Stinger: No, I think that's what I said that we're going to talk about what we've done; looking back and then looking forward these are our priorities. So, it falls out to me is that Steve might speak to his project titles for the year. We don't want to go into a lot of detail, partly because of time and partly because we won't be prepared to commit.
Ms. van de Zwaag: I think we might be better off since the HRC hasn't yet done the second level of vetting or discussing these a little bit further, to talk more about general areas than very specific projects because if you all haven't thought something through. You know Steven does one layer of investigation and say actually, you know this might be a better approach than this.
I'd hate to tell the Council we're going to do X, Y, and Z when the HRC has an interest in and we'll be exploring possible involvements in areas such as gender equality; this and that. I think
that would be more effective.
Chair Stinger: Good suggestion, thank you; so, we will be looking forward.
Commissioner O'Nan: I think there are specific things that are on the books like we are doing the elder abuse awareness event.
Ms. van de Zwaag: Of course.
Commissioner O'Nan: That will be coming up, assuming that we keep our study session date, which I'm not entirely confident we will but if we do…
Ms. van de Zwaag: It's been canceled three times. Commissioner O'Nan: then we can kind of say for sure… Council Member Kou: Oh, really?
Ms. van de Zwaag: Last year… Commissioner O'Nan: Oh, like four times.
Ms. van de Zwaag: ...due to other - no, I think three times, this would be the fourth time.
Commissioner O'Nan:, it was only three. Yes, we can for sure say we're doing that and I think we really are going to be doing open table. I mean can pretty much say November we're doing - so I think we can afford to be a little bit specific about some of the near-term things…
Ms. van de Zwaag: Yes.
Commissioner O'Nan: …and then maybe start getting little more amphoras as we talk about some of the things that we still need to vet and investigate.
Ms. van de Zwaag: I…
Chair Stinger: Good suggestion.
Ms. van de Zwaag: I think that's a good suggestion, I agree.
Chair Stinger: I'm going to move us through to the selection of the Human Service - the HSRAP Ad Hoc Review Committee. We mentioned earlier that money was left on the table because ACS, is that right?
Commissioner Gordon-Gray: ACS.
Chair Stinger: Withdrew their proposal and we had an increase in that money and some additional money so we have funds of $159,000.
Ms. van de Zwaag: $159,000 so the ACS money of $108,000 and $44,00 that the Council very graciously added to the full HSRAP total, so thank you. Mary - no…
Ms. Constantino: I think it's…
Ms. van de Zwaag: $155,559; Mary is my money person, my money partner here. We are looking for three individuals that request for proposal so for the new folks, the grant proposal is actually go out through the City's purchasing system. So, social service agencies turn in applications through that process, a subcommittee of three HRC members review them, make recommendations to the full HRC, which then makes recommendations to the Finance Committee. This will actually be a separate vetting by the Finance Committee and the last several years that is how it's always happen in the past. The last 4-years the HRC's selections have just been included in my department's budget as it goes through the budget process. I, as Staff, since this is something quite unusual, I'm going to just lean in - I usually say whoever wants to serve on the Committee can serve on the Committee. I think just for - to expedite the process and because the longer it takes, the shorter the contract really is with the agency because it looks like it might only be an 18-month instead of a 24-month contract. I'm really looking for someone who was on the Committee last spring just so because it's a lot of the same agencies.
Then maybe someone who has just been involved with HSRAP before and then it's fine then to have just one person who knows nothing about it. I think more than one person who knows nothing about it, it's really hard to get up to speed I think as Shelly attested. I think having older veterans and one new person, I think it was the perfect combination because you were keeping us honest by asking a lot of good question so that's really as Staff, what I'm looking for. Staff doesn't vote on this just to let folks know. So, Staff, Mary and I, provide the materials, we answer questions, we get questions answered by the applicants but we don't vote.
Chair Stinger: When do you think you'll take it to finance?
Ms. van de Zwaag: I'm hoping we can take it to finance - oh boy. I think realistically early November because
Chair Stinger: So, we're looking for a September/October commitment?
Ms. van de Zwaag: September/October commitments, so we have no idea how many applications we're going to get. Last time…
Commissioner Gordon-Gray: Is it going to be the same RFP where they are going to have to fill out…
Ms. van de Zwaag: It's the same RFP so it will be reviewing anywhere from five to probably twelve applications. They're probably about 10-15 pages each if you just disregard some of the attachments that Staff really looks to for compliance with and usually I say two meetings. Last time it turned out to be four, I think that was a little unusual but yes, it's at least reading all the
applications, you get the applications, you have about 2-weesk to read them and then we start scheduling 2-hour meetings to go over them and so hopefully two. I'm really hoping to bring this back to the October HRC meeting. There's no way to get it back so my goal is to bring it back to the full HRC in October and then bring it to finance in either last November, if I can get on the agenda because often they have a meeting early and later in the month but late November, late October early November. Thank you, Mary.
Ms. van de Zwaag: I know. One of you three has to raise your hand.
Commissioner O'Nan: Well, I'd be willing to provide some continuity unless one of my other colleagues wants to jump in because I know you Shelly already expressed how frustrating it was and Theresa has given me some side eye too.
Commissioner Gordon-Gray: We're gun shy. Commissioner O'Nan: Yes, it is a lot of reading but…
Commissioner Gordon-Gray: Maybe there won't be that many applicants.
Ms. van de Zwaag: It's hard to know. We had a pre-proposal meeting and that's not mandatory and there were eight agencies that showed up.
Commissioner Gordon-Gray: Oh, really?
Ms. Constantino: Well some of them where on the phone.
Ms. van de Zwaag: Some were on the phone, yes. So, Commissioner O'Nan?
Commissioner O'Nan: Yes because I feel like I could probably do it maybe a little more efficiently since I've been through the ringer a few times and I remember where we were last spring so I'd be happy to be the continuity person but would love to have newbies jump in.
Chair Stinger: I'm looking for two, do I have two? Commissioner Brahmbhatt: Do we have a choice? Chair Stinger: No, you don't.
Commissioner Gordon-Gray: Mehdi is one.
Ms. van de Zwaag: Well, Mehdi said he has an interest in HSRAP and then like 3-days ago I emailed him back and I said, well you said you were out of commission for the fall understandably. Did you really mean HSRAP this cycle and he didn't get back to me? So, he's…
Commissioner O'Nan: He may be interested in doing it.
Ms. van de Zwaag: He's the unknown but previously he said that he was out of commission for the fall.
Chair Stinger: Would you be a backup if Mehdi couldn't do it?
Vice Chair Chen: Well, I will be away to Boston sometime in October. Commissioner O'Nan: I think we should…
Chair Stinger: I need three.
Commissioner O'Nan: We need to pressure the newbies. Vice Chair Chen: If you can do it in September… Commissioner O'Nan: I think…
Commissioner Lee: You only need one newbie, right?
Ms. van de Zwaag: One newbie so you have to do rock, paper, scissors. Commissioner O'Nan: Did you want three people Minka or do you want…
Ms. van de Zwaag: I need three people. We need that diversity of conversation in review. Commissioner Lee: I'd be okay with joining.
Ms. van de Zwaag: It's usually week day meetings so I know that's… Commissioner Lee: What time?
Chair Stinger: What time can you do? Ms. van de Zwaag: That can be…
Commissioner Gordon-Gray: It's flexible but it has to be during the day. Ms. van de Zwaag: Early morning or late afternoon. Yes, we …
Commissioner Lee: How early in the morning?
Ms. van de Zwaag: That depends on how early you can get Jill up. I cannot be there any earlier than 7:15.
Commissioner Lee: Aw, I see.
Commissioner O'Nan: I think the earliest we ever met was nine.
Ms. van de Zwaag: Yes.
Commissioner Lee: And you need me to be physically there or can I be there virtually? Like you can see my face?
Ms. van de Zwaag: I think we can do it virtually. Commissioner Gordon-Gray: That's not a bad idea. Ms. van de Zwaag: We have Skype capability.
Commissioner Lee: Silicon Valley, we can do it, ok.
Ms. van de Zwaag: Yes, I think we could make that happen. Chair Stinger: That's great, thanks Steve, thank you.
Chair Stinger: Would you be a backup for Mehdi? Commissioner O'Nan: Yes, can you be a backup? Vice Chair Chen: I'll try but as I said… Commissioner Gordon-Gray: I'll be her back up. Vice Chair Chen: I'll be away for at least a week. Ms. van de Zwaag: Mehdi, Theresa, then Shelly?
Chair Stinger: Jill, Mehdi, Theresa, Shelly, Steve, thank you.
Chair Stinger: Just to be efficient I'm going to pass this around while we finish the agenda. This is the assignment of liaisons to the Police Department, Palo Alto Mediation, Project Safety Net, Avenidas and Healthy Cities. Anything you are interested in put your name in and then leadership will…
Commissioner Gordon-Gray: Let me start out and then we'll pass it.
Chair Stinger: What that means is it usually it's attending a monthly meeting of the Police Department and Avenidas.
Commissioner Lee: When they meet on there?
Chair Stinger: It is not, I don't - that's a good question. Commissioner O'Nan: Usually those are evening.
Commissioner Lee: Evening, ok.
Vice Chair Chen: For Avenidas there are no monthly meetings. Ms. van de Zwaag: Except Healthy Cities meeting.
Commissioner O'Nan: Yes, except for Healthy Cities. Commissioner Lee: I don't care about people being healthy. Ms. van de Zwaag: You just want them to be equal.
Commissioner Gordon-Gray: I don't know where Healthy Cities meets but… Commissioner Lee: The heathier other people are, the more I have to be healthy. Ms. van de Zwaag: It's noon to one City Hall.
Commissioner Gordon-Gray: Where in City Hall? In the fish bowl? Ms. van de Zwaag: It's where we meet. Yes, in our little fish pond
Chair Stinger: If anybody wants a Council buddy, fill that in too. The idea of a Council buddy is not to meet regularly but just to build up a report so you have somebody in case it comes time that we might be lobbyers for something, you can…
Commissioner Lee: Do we get to hang out with them at our house? Commissioner Gordon-Gray: What Thursday, first?
Ms. van de Zwaag: Yes, let's check how many people there are.
Chair Stinger: Any Commissioner reports?
Vice Chair Chen: Commissioner Shelly and I, we went to APAPA meeting, did you report that last time?
Commissioner Gordon-Gray: I did. Vice Chair Chen: Ok, good.
Chair Stinger: You hit on CEDAW.
Commissioner Lee: We went to the CEDAW presentation this past Saturday and I thought it was really productive. They had mentioned that the UN Convention to illuminate all forms of
discrimination against women. It was passed in the late 70's and the US is one of five Countries who haven't ratified it. San Francisco passed their ordinance in the late 90's, Palo Alto City Council passed their resolution in 2002 and so their goal right now is to try to get various Cities to either pass a resolution to take the next step in passing an ordinance. Since they are not expecting any action to happen at the national level given the current climate so they are going city by city so hopefully that will be something that I will be spear heading.
Chair Stinger: Thank you, I think that's really important.
Chair Stinger: Council Liaison? How was vacation, anything you want to report or anything you can share or is there anything we need to know about transportation?
Council Member Kou: Transportation, last night we just voted and it's all contingent on finding funding and basically, it's about the shuttles. So, we asked Staff to go ahead and vet out the South Palo Alto route, which would include parts of Charleston/Fabian Way, that part and then it goes all the way down to the Veterans Hospital. There's a lot of Veterans that are very happy about that route because that would give them more opportunities to get on. Then the other one was to also bring back and fix flex routes which is mostly on demand shuttles. Then the last one was marketing and branding to ensure that - they've done a survey and the survey basically said with one of the highest number percentage saying that they really had no idea that we had a shuttle or they didn't know how to find where it was or it didn't go to where they needed it to go. The marketing and branding will help reestablish whether it's with apps or something online but they need to kind of invest in that.
Ms. van de Zwaag: Council Member Kou, can I ask a question? For the South Palo Alto route, was there any action by Council if Route A or Route B was the preferred or did the Council not vote on that specifically?
Council Member Kou: We did not vote on that specifically but Staff did indicate that they would prefer not to compete to go with the recommendation of VTA and not compete with VTA.
Ms. van de Zwaag: Ok.
Council Member Kou: Especially since ours is free and they have a fare. Ms. van de Zwaag: Ok, thank you.
Commissioner O'Nan: Yes, I just wanted to say to that I've noticed for a long time that the shuttle stops are not very well marked and I think many of our seniors are confused about where to wait and which is the bus stop and which is a shuttle stop. I really hope this is part of the marketing and branding that we also look at the physical structure.
Council Member Kou: Right.
Ms. van de Zwaag: I think that was definitely part of the results of the previous survey that the
HRC helped our Shuttle Department with.
Council Member Kou: The report did indicate that one of the things that they are going to do is to make the shuttle stops more visible and weather friendly.
Commissioner O'Nan: Yes because I noticed working at Stanford, how well the Marguerite stops are defined on campus and around campus. Then now, just having been in Oregon for a week, how nicely all the road rally Transportation Departments stops are and it's just like how come my City can't do this because it just seems like other communities are doing it well.
Council Member Kou: I think also the hours; they are going to increase the hours. I mean so it's going to run every 30-minutes and in time hopefully every 15-minutes because that's one of the main complaint and to extend the hours on it too.
Commissioner O'Nan: I think that would be wonderful.
Chair Stinger: Thank you for the liaison sheet and I will communicate responsibilities or the assignments.
Chair Stinger: Staff Liaison report?
Ms. van de Zwaag: We know the study session is on 18th and what I would suggest is after you've gone to the study session, if you could go into the Council Chambers because there will be during special orders of the day, resolutions - proclamations honoring the work of Daryl Savage and Greer Stone for their service to the HRC.
Commissioner Gordon-Gray: That's on the 18th?
Ms. van de Zwaag: That's on the 18th as well, at this point. Chair Stinger: Can we get Dr. Brown in there?
Ms. van de Zwaag: I don't think when we got that approved we went forward with assumption that it wasn't going to be in front of Council.
Chair Stinger: I'm just having trouble trying to find a coffee date? That's ok, I'll work on that.
Chair Stinger: Agenda planning, suggestion for September 14th?
Commissioner Gordon-Gray: Study session. Chair Stinger: Study session.
Commissioner Lee: I wanted to ask since our study session is after September 11th, you know 9/11 - the anniversary of 9/11 is always a good opportunity to talk about Muslim/American community and to try to tamp down on some of the fear mongering that has resulted post 9/11.
I'm wondering if there might be any interest in the Commission either at the study session to work with Council to issue a proclamation or a resolution or whether that would duplicative of the resolution that was passed in December. Alternatively, I would be happy if this Commission thought it was appropriate for me to draft a proclamation and submit it to a Council Member if they wanted to consider it separately from the HRC. I think 9/11 is always a good opportunity to mention that issue.
Ms. van de Zwaag: You can't as an individual if it's not been vetted by the full HRC submit something to a Council Member so that's not the channel in which it can go. I could look to see if this is what the City is doing for 9/11.
Commissioner Lee: I mean could I submit something as a citizen and not as someone who is on the Commission but like here's some suggested language?
Commissioner Gordon-Gray: As a citizen, you can - absolutely, yes.
Ms. van de Zwaag: You can do whatever you want as a citizen as long as you don't say… Commissioner Gordon-Gray: You can't represent the HRC.
Ms. van de Zwaag: …you're a representative of the HRC but I can check what the City is doing. I know that their - there will be I believe an event that Samina of American Muslim Voice…
Female: Raising the flag. Commissioner Lee: Oh, great.
Ms. van de Zwaag: She does a special event on King Plaza so let me look for what she is doing. Commissioner Lee: Maybe the Commissioners attend that or something.
Ms. van de Zwaag: They certainly can attend that, yes, so I'll write myself a note and for Samina too and I'll send that out.
Chair Stinger: Now we can't vote on that because it wasn't on the agenda.
Ms. van de Zwaag: It wasn't on the agenda so you cannot vote on that and your next meeting isn't until the 14th unfortunately. You know what might be interesting into calendaring in the future because I know you've just separately brought ideas to me, maybe there's just certain abates that the HRC wants to be specially cognitive - cog…
Commissioner Gordon-Gray: Cognizant.
Ms. van de Zwaag: Cognizant of, it's getting a little late for me, that you might want to keep. I know like with the work of Project Safety Net, September is suicide awareness month so there are certain dates that they just really keep aware. So, maybe that there's certain things that you
want to keep aware of. I know Council is leery of saying September is this, October is this because there's so many it's that it could be. There's state its, there's local its but the HRC has the ability to say we - it's November and we want to pay special attention to blah blah blah. I think if we have more of a yearly schedule…
Commissioner Lee: I think that would be helpful.
Ms. van de Zwaag: … then that's something that we could talk about in the future. So, if you want to keep that or Mary could keep that in a tickler file, I think that would be helpful so these kinds of things don't get discussed without enough time.
Commissioner Lee: Yes like Fridays is Suffrage Day I believe, right? Anniversary of women's history? Anniversary of the 19th amendment or something like that, yes.
Council Member Kou: November is no shave month. No, really the - it's no shaving so the men often have the beard and their hair removed and it's in honor - it's to bring awareness to cancer because men can get cancer too so it's not just…
Vice Chair Chen: Yes, that's right, interesting. Commissioner Lee: Unfortunately, I can't grow a beard. Chair Stinger: If you'll extend my..
Council Member Kou: You were giving someone your hair through chemo therapy and all that so.
Ms. van de Zwaag: What did I have?
Chair Stinger: If I second dot on campaign to recognize a supportive community, I could put the calendar in there. Have another - just kidding, it's late.
Commissioner Lee: If the Commission can't act on anything, I might just submit a note as a public citizen and not referencing the Commission?
Ms. van de Zwaag: Right and if you ever address the Council you can say I'm a member of but just to be clear, I'm just representing myself.
Commissioner Lee: Yes.
Ms. van de Zwaag: Yes, so we have the CAPER…
Chair Stinger: Then we would ask the nine - when you find out, tell us what the event is on 9/11. Ms. van de Zwaag: I certainly will.
Ms. Constantino: Priorities and Projects.
Ms. van de Zwaag: We have the CAPER, Priorities and Projects, Deepali has the youth, the study session, there may or may not be follow up from the Council resolution. I feel like there was something else that I'm missing.
Chair Stinger: I know one thing that I'd like to suggest is that we've gotten a letter from Paul Hebert asking if we would do recognition of Homewood Suites.
Ms. van de Zwaag: So, we have to decide if the HRC wants to do that before it discusses how it might structure something like this.
Commissioner Gordon-Gray: Ad hoc Subcommittee.
Ms. van de Zwaag: …you could just do a one off or you can say let's talk about it so that the Hilton doesn't say well, we've been sponsoring things for free. So, I'm wondering because that's something on going that they do if the HRC just wants to develop a little policy around it before it gives out the first recognition.
Chair Stinger: I'll take that on. Let's put it on the list and we'll see how it falls out at leadership. Ms. van de Zwaag: And see how it falls out.
Chair Stinger: I will ask for people's thoughts, not war plans but thoughts on how each of the Committee's is directing its energy so an update.
Commissioner O'Nan: I think we need to do an update on the Community Health Fair and the Elder Abuse Awareness event.
Chair Stinger: Oh yes.
Ms. van de Zwaag: I don't think there would be anything HSRAP related.
Commissioner Lee: So, this isn't for the next meeting but and I know it didn't get any votes but when we start the process of thinking about the next round of CDBG funding, can we include a discussion about we might leverage it with other jurisdiction's CDBG funding?
Ms. van de Zwaag: I think if that's an interest that we can maybe just engage in a conversation with the City's CDBG coordinator and see if other Cities did it because they have a tri- jurisdiction agreement on housing issues or how that came about for other Cities and if that works for Palo Alto as well. So, I don't manage CDBG so I'm not sure some of those intricacies. There's also a group and I am not at liberty with the details not but there is a group that was having a community event that they might want to come to the HRC to endorse but I need to get a few more details but they came to me a while back. That community event is late October but they were looking if the HRC wants to endorse it but that may or may not come to pass.
Chair Stinger: I think we've come to the end of the agenda and the end of our energy. Thank you all, I'm looking forward to this year.
Commissioner O'Nan: Thank you, Chair Stinger. Commissioner Gordon-Gray: Thank you, Chair Stinger.
Meeting adjourned at 9:14 p.m.