07.20 Approved Minutes






WEDNESDAY, JULY 20, 2011, 5:00 P.M.

Department of the Environment Eco Center

11 Grove Street, San Francisco, CA  94102



COMMITTEE MEMBERS: Commissioners Alan Mok (Chair), Angelo King, Heather Stephenson


1.      Call to Order and Roll Call.  The Commission on the Environment Operations Committee meeting convened at 5:10 p.m.  Present:  Commissioners Mok, King (5:22 p.m.) and Stephenson.


2.      Approval of Minutes of the April 7, 2011 Operations Committee Rescheduled Meeting. (Explanatory Documents: April 7, 2011 Operations Committee Draft and Approved Minutes) (Discussion and Action)  Commissioner Mok motioned, second by Commissioner Stephenson to approve the April 7, 2011 Meeting Minutes without objection (AYES:  Commissioners Mok and Stephenson; Absent:  Commissioner King).


3.      Public Comments:  Members of the public may address the Committee on matters that are within the Committee’s jurisdiction and are not on today’s agenda.  There was no public comment at this time.


Item 5 was heard before Item 4.


4.      Assessment of how Department of the Environment Programs Help Create Green Jobs and Stimulate Economic Opportunity.  Sponsor:  Commissioner Angelo King; Speaker:  Melanie Nutter, Director, Anne Eng, Environmental Justice Program Manager, and Sraddha Mehta, Senior Environmental Justice Coordinator  (Explanatory Documents: Matrix and Narrative of Department local initiatives and policies that encourage green job opportunities and economic development) (Informational Report and Discussion)


Commissioner King stated that green jobs are mentioned in redevelopment plans, land uses are being created with the idea of creating green jobs, and training programs have been established for green jobs.  He discussed the importance of (1) defining green jobs and identifying the number that exist in San Francisco to better correlate job training programs with actual jobs, and (2) creating a metric of how Department of the Environment programs create green jobs.   This information would create a basis for an argument that can be provided to state and federal officials that are in charge of these funding streams as well as the general population who may not all be environmentalists showing that these programs are not only good for the planet, but are also fiscally sound.  He suggested that the Department’s Annual Report include this measurement for each program area.


Director Nutter provided a context of San Francisco and California’s green economy rankings, current green job activities, and industries as cited in the Brookings Institute, California Employment Development Department, and Next 10 publications.   A discussion was held about the challenges that work-force developers at the local, state and federal level are having creating a metric and definition for green jobs and work being accomplished toward this effort.  She reported that the Department in conjunction with the Mayor’s Office of Economic and Workforce Development (OEWD), who is charged with identifying the number of green jobs in San Francisco, are partnering on green jobs activities and recently hosted a Green Economic Forum to discuss the status of the green economy.  As a follow-up, the Department is reviewing local initiatives and policies to encourage green job opportunities and economic development.    


Ms. Eng reported on and provided a matrix and narrative of Department local initiatives and policies that encourage green job opportunities and economic development from an initial survey of Department programs.  A discussion was held on the challenges that are faced in identifying, defining, and establishing accounting metrics for green jobs and the differences between white-collar green jobs and green-collar jobs as cited in the Brookings Institute publication.  Commissioner King pointed out how Department programs such as the Energy Watch program may convince people of the worthiness of environmentalism by producing local jobs, saving people money on their energy bill, stimulating the economy, and reducing energy consumption. 


Ms. Mehta reported on the Department’s Integrated Pest Management (IPM) pilot program in partnership with the Housing Authority and Pestech that has the potential for creating green jobs and helping to reduce toxics exposure in the Sunnydale/Bayview public housing units.  Commissioner King pointed out that this type of activity is a way to create a constituency of people that will believe in this effort and help bridge the gap between affluence and the ability to participate in environmentalism.


Commissioner Stephenson suggested identifying ways to assess intangible indirect ways of creating green jobs by creating metrics for activities such as Department meetings, trainings, and green-job conferences.  Commissioner Mok asked to provide information on funding and placement in the community for the JobsNow program.


Director Nutter and Ms. Eng discussed the Department’s partnership with OEWD on Pitch SF to hire companies that help meet sustainability goals and the Clean Tech Working Group to discuss clean tech strategies for the City.


Public Comment:  Mr. Pilpel provided framework and metrics recommendations for the Department’s local policies and initiatives matrix.  


5.      Status of the Department of the Environment’s Office Move.  (Continued Discussion from the April 7, 2011 Meeting) Sponsor:  Commissioner Angelo King; Speaker:  David Assmann, Deputy Director (Explanatory Document:  Office Move Locations) (Informational Report and Discussion)


Deputy Director Assmann reported on the four locations being considered for the Department of the Environment’s planned move in 2012, two of which are in the Civic Center area and the other two in the Montgomery Street location.  An internal analysis was presented based on current estimates of the four sites in terms of square footage, rental costs, available retail space, staff and Green Building team criteria, and comparisons with the Department’s current space at 11 Grove Street and the War Memorial.  Negotiations are in progress with the Department of Real Estate for selection of one of these locations that will be presented to the Board of Supervisors for approval in September 2011.  The current lease at 11 Grove expires on May 31, 2012. 


Commissioners, Director Nutter and Deputy Director Assmann discussed staff criteria and top priorities, long-term rental-contract rates, and the importance of an open display space for the public. It was reported that the 1275 Market Street location appears to be the top choice based on staff needs but the others spaces look promising as well. A discussion was held on the potential of City ownership of this location and advantages and disadvantages if this were to happen.   


Ms. Anne Eng, Environmental Justice Program Manager, discussed adding additional funding requests into grant applications in order to cover overhead costs.  She discussed the disadvantage of having only one IT staff person available to work on the new and present site.  Ms. Mehta confirmed that the entry way for the retail space in each location would be separated from other offices located in the building.


Public Comment:  Mr. Pilpel inquired how the four retail spaces would relate to the street and discussed the proximity of the Montgomery Street locations to Recology corporate offices and the Civic Center locations to Golden Gate Disposal and City Hall.  Deputy Director Assmann and Director Nutter provided a description of the retail space in the four locations and the potential to reconfigure requirements based on cost.


This agenda item was continued to the October 19, 2011 meeting for additional updates.


6.      New Business/Future Agenda Items. (Discussion) 


Deputy Director Assmann suggested that the October 19, 2011 Operations Committee meeting include an update on the Department’s move, preliminary discussions on the 2012-13 Department budget, and the Department’s website redesign.  Commissioner Mok requested an update on the School Education program.  Director Nutter suggested a discussion on Department outreach priorities.  Commissioner King suggested a discussion on developing formal partnerships with the Redevelopment Agency and Citizens Advisory Committees in order to incorporate Department programs into their projects. 


Public Comment:  Mr. Pilpel suggested that a future agenda item include a presentation on Department grant program operations and possibilities for change.


7.      Public Comments:  Members of the public may address the Committee on matters that are within the Committee’s jurisdiction and are not on today’s agenda.  There was no public comment at this time.


8.      Adjournment.  The Operations Committee adjourned at 6:30 p.m.


The next Operations Committee meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, October 19, 2011 at 5:00 p.m., at the Department of the Environment’s Eco Center, 11 Grove Street, San Francisco, California.


** Copies of explanatory documents are available at (1) the Commission’s office, 11 Grove Street, San Francisco, California between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., (2) on the Operations Committee meeting website https://sites.google.com/a/sfenvironment.org/commission/operations-committee as attachments with each agenda or meeting minutes , (3) upon request to the Commission Secretary, at telephone number 415-355-3709, or via e-mail at [email protected].


Respectfully submitted by,

Monica Fish, Commission Secretary

TEL:  (415) 355-3709; FAX: (415) 554-6393


*Approved: October 19, 2011



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