Second San José Human Services Commission

Here’s the full agenda and below are updates on some of the work I’ve been doing on the Human Services Commission. The items I requested to be added to the agenda were:

  1. A presentation from Mr Anthony King of Silicon Valley de-bug on improving how people who are homeless’s property is returned to them after city-run sweeps.
  2. More details on the current state of the law enforcement and service provider’s responses to human trafficking from the DA’s office and the head of the South Bay Coalition to End Trafficking
  3. A vote on inviting a representative from ICE to attend to a future meeting to explain why they’ve so dramatically changed their enforcement of existing federal immigration law, leaving many in our community vulnerable and afraid.

Workplan Topic: Children’s Rights
Workplan summary: Explore ways to meaningfully improve the lives of children through alleviating stresses: Look at ways mental health access and impacts of national immigration policy

Summary of work since last meeting

  • Researched organizations currently addressing the impact of national immigration policy on children and youth in San José.
  • Wrote on Facebook to  San José-area high schools inviting their students to join the Youth Commission and attend Human Services Commission meetings to help shape the city’s response to national immigration policy. I attempted to invite all high schools in the city limits, but most didn’t have Facebook pages with messaging capability; I can try to connect with the others. Here are the schools I reached:
    1. DCP El Primero High School (Confirmed they would pass on invitations to students)
    2. Latino College Preparatory Academy
    3. Leigh High School
    4. Santa Theresa High School
    5. Willow Glen High School
    6. Gunderson High School
    7. Independence High School
    8. Bellermine College Preparatory
    9. Notre Dame High School
    10. Presentation High School
    11. Liberty Baptist School
    12. Harker High School

Proposed action

  • Vote to approve that the Commission send a letter inviting the Gilroy ICE spokesperson James Schwab to attend an up-coming Commission meeting.
  • Benefit: If they send a representative, we might be able to get clarity which can guide City Council in their work protecting all children in San José. If they do not, a member of the commission can deliver the invitation in-person and invite the press to cover it, to raise awareness of and support for the children whose families are being targeted.
  • Cost: No financial cost. None of the dozen-or-so members or representatives of the immigrant community I’ve asked for advice on this plan have thought it would cause harm.

Relevant Agenda Item: VII. E. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) invitation

Workplan Topic: Human Trafficking
Workplan summary: Create an education campaign for Commissioners to share what to look for as signs of human trafficking: Work with District 3 and 7.

Summary of work since last meeting:

  • Reached-out to Maja Marjanovic in Supervisor Chavez’s office
  • Met with Maribel Villarreal of Councilmember Jimenez
  • Met with Lt. Ta of SJPD
  • Met with Sharan Dhanoa of the Coalition
  • Spoke with Stephanie Richardson, Policy Director of CASTA LA
  • Spoke with Johanna Rodriguez of Councilmember Tam Ngyuen’s office
  • Received feedback and advice from friends who work or have worked at the CA DOJ, Oakland city government and Congress, as well as survivors of trafficking, lobbyists, and social workers.

Proposed action

  • For the next year’s workplan, add development of a report on what an excellent response to human trafficking from a city looks like, including what laws need to be on the books and enforced, what funding streams need to be targeted towards service providers, what policies judges, patrol officers, and others in the judicial system need to support them, etc.
  • Discuss partnering with a legal clinic at Lincoln Law School, San José State, Stanford, Santa Clara University to have law students and social work students help research best practices for cities and municipalities. Question: Can the commission host interns? Is there a city council member’s office who could share 1 day a week of work space?
  • For the next 3 months, in preparation for adding that to the work plan, continue to research and document best practices.

Relevant Agenda Item: VI. A. Human Trafficking and Prostitution Follow-Up

Other Topic

Relevant Agenda Item: VII. C. Women’s Bill of Rights Policy.

Summary of work since last meeting:

  • Met with Commissioner Ellenberg to get her feedback
  • Met with Ketzal Gomez, county staff for the county’s Commission on the Status of Women
  • Spoke with Michelle Osorio, county staff tasked with implementing CEDAW for the Department of Women’s Policy
  • Spoke with Dr Emily Murase, Director of San Francisco’s Department on the Status of Women

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