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Commission on Human Rights Meeting

April 24, 2019 at 5:30 PM

Central Santa Rosa Library

211 E Street

Santa Rosa, CA 95404
38.441216, -122.7106191

Meeting Documentation


First District: Howard Sapper (Officer-At-Large), Dmitra Smith (Vice Chair)
Second District: J. Kevin Jones (Chair), Faith Ross
Third District: Alana Bjorkquist, Akash Kalia
Fourth District: --
Fifth District: Christopher Kerosky, Tamara Murrell

  1. Call to Order – Mission Statement – Introductions – Jones
    Each Commissioner will be invited to introduce themselves and to share an act of kindness that they offered in the past week or will commit to in the coming week.
  2. Approval of the April 24, 2019 Agenda – Jones
    • Due to Brown Act requirements, only changing the order of, or deletion of items may be allowed. New items may not be added.
  3. Approval of the January 22, 2019 Draft Minutes – Jones
    NOTE: The February meeting of the Commission was canceled due to storms and flood warnings; the March meeting was not able to convene due to lack of quorum. Scheduled speakers (the Junior Commission and SoCo Interfaith Council) and members of the public were in attendance and were acknowledged with any requests deferred until the Commission was able to convene in April. Commissioners in attendance: Jones, Smith, Sapper and Murrell.
  4. Openings & Appointments – Jones
    • Openings in 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th (3), and 5th
  5. Public Comment on Non-Agendized Items – Jones – 15 Minutes
    • Members of the public are invited to comment on items not on the agenda. Due to Brown Act restrictions, Commissioners will be able to ask clarifying questions but will not be able to take specific action until a future date, if and when, the topic is added to a regular agenda.
  6. Regular Calendar – Jones – 90 Minutes
    1. Speaker - Carol Gorenberg Family Law - Smith - 30 minutes
      Attorney Carol Gorenberg will provide perspectives on family court in Sonoma County from a human rights perspective.
    2. Speaker - Sanford Horowitz - Sapper - 30 minutes
      Attorney Sandy Horowitz will discuss his elder abuse and his work in defending the human rights of the elderly, and changes in the law he has been advocating.
    3. Update from Unofficial Discussion in March - Jones - 15 minutes
      Junior Commission Presentations (Human Trafficking Backpack Drive; Poverty/Food Security Food and Hygiene Drive…)

      Interfaith Council Request CHR support for Declaration for "Sonoma County-United in Kindness" campaign (see attachments). Anticipated vote for CHR participation.
    4. Budget request - Jones - 15 minutes
      1. Recommendation to allocate $1,000 to the Jr. Commission’s mural project, and underwrite and shortfall in fundraising efforts to ensure the mural’s completion (Smith)
      2. Recommendation to fund the printing of Welcome* posters (Smith)
        *(English and Spanish): We Welcome All Races, All Religions, All Countries of Origin, All Sexual Orientations, All Genders, All Abilities.
      3. Update and possible recommendation for funding to support Indigenous Peoples Day Project (Smith)
      4. Update and possible recommendation for funding on bus backs (Jones)
    5. Administrative Items - Jones - 15 minutes
      • Officer nomination and election process
    6. Ad Hoc, Liaison, Project Updates – All – When Applicable – 15 Minutes
      1. Ad Hoc Committees
        • Immigrants' Rights – Kerosky
        • LGBTQI – Jones
        • Outreach – Kalia, Ross, Sapper
        • People with Disabilities – Sapper
      2. Liaisons and Projects
        • Homelessness liaisons – Bjorkquist, Kalia
        • Independent Office of Law Enforcement & Outreach liaisons – OPEN
        • Junior Commissioner Project – Smith
        • Legislative Affairs liaison – OPEN
        • Sonoma County Racial Justice liaison – Smith
    7. Commissioner Announcements / Communications with Supervisors / Tabling Opportunities – All – 5 Minutes
    8. Additional Agenda Items for Next Commission Meeting – Jones
    9. Adjournment
      Meeting adjourned.

    Agendas and Materials

    Agendas and Materials: Agendas and most supporting materials are available on the Commission’s website.

    Due to legal, copyright, privacy or policy considerations, not all materials are posted online. Materials that are not posted are available for public inspection between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, at 575 Administration Drive, Suite 116B, Santa Rosa, CA.

    Disabled Accommodation

    If you have a disability which requires an accommodation, an alternative format, or requires another person to assist you while attending this meeting please contact:

    Commission Office,  (707) 565-2693 or email:

    Please contact us as soon as possible to ensure arrangements for accommodation. 

    Commitment to Civil Engagement

    All are encouraged to engage in respectful dialog that supports freedom of speech and values diversity of opinion. Commissioners, Staff, and the public are encouraged to:

    • Create an atmosphere of respect and civility where Commissioners, County Staff, and the Public are free to express their ideas within the time and content parameters established by the Brown Act and CHR’s standard Parliamentary procedures (Robert’s Rules of Order);
    • Establish and maintain a cordial and respectful atmosphere during discussions;
    • Foster meaningful dialogue free of attacks of a personal nature and/or attacks based on age, (dis)ability, class, education level, gender, gender identity, occupation, race and/or ethnicity, sexual orientation;
    • Listen with an open mind to all information, including dissenting points of view, regarding issues presented to the Commission;
    • Recognize it is sometimes difficult to speak at meetings, and out of respect for each person's perspective, allow speakers to have their say without comment or body gestures, including booing, whistling or clapping;

    Public Comment at Commission Meetings

    Members of the public are free to address the Commission. Public comments:

    • On items not on the agenda are heard following the consent items at the beginning of the meeting.
    • Should fall under the subject matter jurisdiction of the Commission (as noted in the founding documents).
    • Are limited to 3 minutes per topic; time limitations are at the discretion of the Chair. If several individuals wish to address one topic, the time will be divided between/among speakers

    Commission members may not deliberate or take action on items not on the agenda, and generally may only listen.

    Contact Information

    Commission on Human Rights
    County of Sonoma
    Business Hours
    Monday – Friday
    8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
    Contact us by Phone
    Sonoma County Administration Building
    575 Administration Drive
    Suite 116B
    Santa Rosa, CA 95403
    38.464975, -122.725632
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