The Racial and Social Justice Commission in South San Francisco last month approved an action plan to ensure ongoing oversight and accountability for racial and social justice, focus on eradicating racist practices in the criminal justice system, and targeting resources to reduce inequalities .
“The commission was created to bring community members together to set our priorities because we understand that there is a lot of racism, inequality and bias that has created injustice and pain,” said Councilor Buenaflor Nicolas, chairman of the commission. “We have created this Racial and Social Equality Commission to ensure that we continue our efforts and take concrete steps to achieve the desired outcome and to ensure that with this supplement we are committed to reform and justice in all aspects of life here . “In the south of the city.”
It consists of 14 members from the community leadership, city administration, education, social welfare, youth and public security.
One of the action steps that have already been implemented from the plan is that a behavioral medicine person accompanies the police in answering calls about mental health problems as part of the district’s pilot program.
It will offer an economic mobility program with support from the county for disenfranchised parishioners, working with JobTrain and the Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center to provide vocational training and help for small businesses.
“We’re renting a space in the middle of the city to make sure it’s accessible, especially to the people who come from the underserved or vulnerable areas of our city, so that this can be the resource for them,” said Nicolas.
And there will be a pilot guaranteed income program, approved by the city council last month, that will provide $ 500 per month to more than 135 eligible families for 12 months.
An office of the Equity and Inclusion Officer has also been established, a special staff position in the City Manager’s Office that will institutionalize accountability, equity and oversee gender outcomes across South San Francisco.
“He or she will do a gap assessment and make sure all departments have the right training and procedures and actions to ensure that everything we do is trying to eradicate inequality in the city,” she said.
It is planned to transform the Youth Advisory Board into a Youth Commission in order to give young people between the ages of 13 and 21 the same rights and duties as the Commission on Race and Social Equality. Contributions from the Youth Commission will be asked for programs that are about to be launched, especially when it concerns the city’s youth, said Nicolas.
The action plan will continue to be reviewed and improved if necessary, she said.
Leading this commission and combating racial inequality is personal to Nicolas. She immigrated to the United States in 1988 with two young children. And she ran for office in 2018 to make a difference.
“As the first Filipina on the city council, it’s a very big responsibility that I have to show. I love this city. I love the country. I’m American, my children, my grandchildren are American now, ”she said. “For me it is very personal that we are on the right path for the future of this country.”
A final report and action plan will be presented to the city council for review and approval at the August 25, 2021 session.
The commission was established by the city council in 2020 to tackle racial injustice in public safety, barriers to economic and educational opportunities, and access to quality health care. It was inspired to be founded after the murder of George Floyd. Its four overarching goals and accompanying strategies are to create oversight and accountability on inequality issues, identify and eliminate racist practices and strategies in the criminal justice system, fill resource gaps for colored and other disenfranchised communities, and address equitable land use planning to reduce development Displacement of colored people and citizens from low-income communities.
Members of the commission are Edith Arias; Jeff Azzopardi, South San Francisco Police Chief; Gladys Balmas, San Mateo County Elderly and Adult Services Norm Faria, City Manager Mike Futrell; Cheska Ibasan, the youth council; Vanessa McGovern; Hermes Monzon; Pat Murray, member of the Board of Trustees, South San Francisco Unified School District; Vice Mayor Mark Nagales, Councilor Buenaflor Nicolas as Commission Chairman; Kayla Powers; Liliana Rivera from Change SSF; Bobby Vaughn; and Andrea Fernandez as a replacement. The two Management Fellows Tamiko Huey and Amy Ferguson will support the implementation of the action plan.