End of Year News
T hank you for helping make 2015 a memorable year.
2015 was full of accomplishments for the San Francisco Human Rights Commission, from welcoming new Commissioner Abby Porth, to successfully completing a series of implicit bias trainings for San Francisco City and County employees, to working with other human rights agencies across the country on anti-discrimination initiatives. We look forward to continuing to uplift and advocate for the diverse communities of San Francisco in 2016.  We hope you had a wonderful holiday season, and wish you all the best in the New Year!  
Translatina Violence Prevention

The Human Rights Commission continued working with El/La Para Translatinas to address ongoing discrimination and hate violence against the City's translatina community.  Translatinas, particularly those who are monolingual, face a wide range of barriers in achieving safety in San Francisco.  The HRC's partnership with El/La Para Translatinas provides critical violence prevention and intervention services to translatinas, including case management, education/advocacy, and community building activities. 

Community Youth Relations Forums

Over the past several months, the San Francisco Human Rights Commission has been working with a number of stakeholders--the San Francisco Police Department (SFPD), Mo' Magic and the San Francisco Police Commission--to build positive and healthy relationships between youth and SFPD. The Community Youth Relations Forums, which were created by youth who participated in the Community Safety Initiative Program during the summer of 2015, have been developed as youth-led discussions between police officers and youth. The goal of the forums is to host open conversations between police and youth in a safe space that allows for meaningful dialogue to take place. The forums will be on-going to see youths' vision through.  It is inspiring to see a breadth of individuals come together and truly build community.

Anti-Transgender Violence

Theresa Sparks, Executive Director of the San Francisco Human Rights Commission, assisted the Human Rights Campaign in developing a  case study published in their report  Addressing Anti-Transgender Violence: Explori ng Realities, Challenges and Solutions for PolicyMakers and Community Advocates. The study highlights the ways in which the Commission has spearheaded "groundbreaking efforts aimed at preventing anti-transgender violence and reducing the vast disparities faced by members of the transgender community."

Discrimination Division

The Human Rights Commission's Discrimination Division investigates and mediates complaints of discrimination in housing, public accommodations, and employment. Our staff works to resolve disputes and issues involving discrimination which sometimes arise from a lack of awareness about relevant laws. This past year, HRC addressed many questions about the rights of people with disabilities to have service and support animals. Staff also worked to investigate and resolve complaints of noncompliance with the Fair Chance Ordinance, which regulates the use of criminal background checks in housing and employment. In addition, the Discrimination Division worked with the Equal Pay Advisory Board on the City's new Equal Pay Ordinance. This Ordinance seeks to advance pay equality and eliminate wage discrimination by requiring contractors to file pay equity reports on employee compensation, race, and sex.  Read the report on the Equal Pay Ordinance here.
Webinar: Ban the Box and More

The Seattle Office of Civil Rights, the San Francisco Human Rights Commission and the District of Columbia's Office of Human Rights hosted a webinar to explore enforcement strategies around the Fair Chance Law and "ban the box."  Panelists, including HRC's Director of Policy and Social Justice, Zoë Polk,  shared best practices for robustly enforcing these laws, despite challenges including limited budgets and "tough on crime" political agendas. From the government agency perspective, attendees learned about strategies for stakeholder management, proactive compliance, effective community-based outreach and data collection.  The webinar was hosted by the National Employment Law Project and the National League of Cities. For publications on this topic featuring these strategies, see  Best Practices in Fair-Chance Enforcement  and  Fair-Chance Implementation Case Studies for Government Agencies .
Transgender Healthcare Access Panel Discussion and Public Forum 

T he San Francisco Human Rights Commission's LGBT Advisory Committee (LGBTAC), in partnership with the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) and the SF LGBT Center, hosted a public forum on health care accessibility for transgender patients, especially those relying on Medicare and Medi-Cal when seeking transition related surgeries. The forum featured an expert panel of advocates, policy-makers, and health care providers working on the front lines of improving access to health care for the transgender community particularly for those individuals seeking access to qualified physicians and programs and services that accept  Medi-Care and Medi-Cal insurance coverage toward confirmation surgery and other transition related treatment.
The Equity Advisory Committee Welcomes Jeff Adachi

In September, the Re-Envisioning Public Safety Subgroup of the Equity Advisory Committee (EAC) recruited Public Defender Jeff Adachi to serve as a guest speaker. The EAC had the privilege of hosting Mr. Adachi to discuss how to move towards a healthy criminal justice system. One way to address the inequities that exist in the "criminal injustice system," Mr. Adachi highlighted, is to have implicit bias training's such as the HRC's for employees of the City and County of San Francisco. Additionally, he commended the HRC for its work on ensuring key stakeholders in the City have the opportunity to participate in these trainings.
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