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05.09 Approved Minutes

 

CITY AND COUNTY OF SAN FRANCISCO

COMMISSION ON THE ENVIRONMENT

POLICY COMMITTEE

 

REGULAR MEETING

APPROVED MINUTES

 

MONDAY, MAY 9, 2011, 5:00 P.M.

CITY HALL, ROOM 421

 

ONE DR. CARLTON B. GOODLETT JR. PLACE

SAN FRANCISCO, CA 94102

 

COMMITTEE MEMBERS:  Commissioners Johanna Wald (Chair), Ruth Gravanis (Vice-Chair), Rahul Prakash

 

ORDER OF BUSINESS

 

1.      Call to Order and Roll Call.  The Commission on the Environment Policy Committee meeting convened at 5:00 p.m.  Present:  Commissioners Wald, Gravanis and Prakash.

 

2.   Approval of Minutes of the April 18, 2011 Policy Committee Rescheduled Meeting. (Explanatory Document: April 18, 2011 Draft Minutes) (Discussion and Action) Upon Motion by Commissioner Gravanis, second by Commissioner Prakash, the April 18, 2011 Meeting Minutes were approved without objection (AYES:  Commissioners Wald, Gravanis and Prakash).

 

Public Comment:  Mr. David Pilpel commended the Commission Secretary on the meeting minutes.

 

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 6 was heard before Items 4-5.  Item 5 was heard before Item 4.

 

 

4.   Update on Pharmaceutical Waste Initiatives.  Sponsor:  Director Melanie Nutter; Staff Speaker: Caitlin Sanders, Toxics Reduction Program Associate (Informational Report and Discussion)

 

Ms. Sanders reported on her work setting up programs for residents to make it easier to dispose of household hazardous waste.  She stated that disposal of pharmaceuticals has been worked on for a long time, and a lot has happened since Ms. Zarrehparvar issued a report to the Committee back in 2009 discussing (1) the United States Geological Survey study on pharmaceutical contamination of water bodies; and (2) barriers to running collection programs due to funding, and a federal law that prohibits anyone other than law enforcement to collect controlled substances. 

 

Ms. Sanders provided a history of San Francisco’s previous attempts at setting up collection programs.  The Household Hazardous Waste facility had collected pharmaceuticals for approximately fifteen years, but due to concerns about not being able to filter out controls, they stopped the program.  There have been one-day citywide collection events at law enforcement agencies in partnership with the Drug Enforcement Agency and the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission.  Back in 2006 there was a temporary three-day pharmacy collection event at Walgreens.  There was a brief period where Pharmaca, a pharmacy in Cole Valley, partnered with the Department of the Environment, but also dropped out of the program because of concerns with not being able to filter out controls. 

 

In 2010, Supervisor Mirkarimi consulted with the Department of the Environment for new ideas for legislation. In order to resolve the funding barrier as well as the Drug Enforcement Agency’s law, one idea and solution presented was Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) for pharmaceuticals.  Supervisor Mirkarimi worked with the California Product Stewardship Council to draft an Ordinance that was introduced in 2010, but did not come back until six months later in October when it was approved by the Public Safety Committee with a 2-1 vote.  At the full Board meeting, the pharmaceutical manufacturers expressed their concern with the legislation, lobbied, and denied responsibility for this waste stream.  It became apparent that the argument was a weak one.  The next avenue was for the pharmaceutical industry to request a more reasonable stakeholder process where collaborative approaches were considered rather than an ordinance to develop and implement their own collection program only in the city San Francisco.

 

The ordinance was postponed for about four weeks, and a series of meetings were held with representatives from the pharmaceutical industry, McKesson, Genentech, biotech companies, Safeway and Walgreens.  It became apparent that whether or not the Ordinance moved forward, something needed to be done. The pharmaceutical industry offered funding for a pilot collection program and to work on this collaborative approach.  Pharma, the trade association for pharmaceutical manufacturers offered $100,000 and Genentech offered $10,000.  Since then, work has been in progress to flesh out the details of the program.

 

The Department wanted to involve Walgreens since it has partnership programs with them to collect batteries and cell phones, but they chose not to participate in the program.  In the past few weeks, 17 of 26 local independent pharmaceutical companies have signed on to run a collection program that will kick off in August. In addition, five police stations have decided to participate in order to collect controlled substances.  Pharmacies were selected as the most logical place to collect pharmaceuticals because lots of calls from the public to the Department on this topic were referred by pharmacies since people went there first to try to dispose of their drugs.  Ms. Sanders reported that out of the eleven supervisory districts, nine of them have independent pharmacies in them and out of those nine districts there is one pharmacy for each participating.  Ms. Sanders reported that Pharmaca opted not to participate at this time because they are following the example of Walgreens and other competitors.   

 

Ms. Sanders reported that since the Pharmaca collection stopped in the last couple of years, the Department of the Environment has been running a pilot program offering pharmaceutical collection envelopes to the public, but not a lot of outreach has been done around this program because the envelopes cost the Department $3.75 a piece.  At the same time, some type of solution was needed because of the number of calls received, so these envelopes were offered to the public for free, but now they are sold at Walgreens, Kaiser and Safeway.  That may be the number one motivation why Walgreens does not want to participate because they have a financial incentive as an alternative.

 

Ms. Sanders reported that another ordinance introduced by Supervisor Mirkarimi that has to do with the pharmaceutical program is being discussed at the Small Business Commission this evening.  Once the Extended Producer Responsibility Ordinance was tabled, an alternative Ordinance was introduced that requires all stores in San Francisco that sell pharmaceuticals to advertise where people can safely dispose of pharmaceutical waste.  The Department of the Environment is in charge of developing regulations determining what the materials will look like and for enforcement if the Ordinance is approved.

 

Commissioner Wald inquired whether doctors that are prescribers of pharmaceuticals could be involved in the collection program.  Ms. Sanders reported that doctors’ offices and clinics have their own reverse distribution systems where they can reverse distribute the drugs back to the pharmaceutical manufacturers; however, there are contamination concerns about taking back expired or unwanted medications. Doctors and clinics are not typically distributing pharmaceuticals, so a pharmacy would be the more logical place where a resident would go back to.  Commissioner Wald stated that lots of people get their medicines through mail order companies not located in San Francisco, so doctors could be encouraged to tell people when they write a prescription where to dispose of pharmaceutical waste through a handout of some sort or a sticker.  She suggested that stickers be considered so people do not keep calling the department for disposal instructions.  Ms. Sanders stated that there is $50,000 that has been budgeted to outreach that has allowed for outreach at some clinics and that she would bring this idea to Outreach staff. 

 

Ms. Sanders reported that in November 2010, a new federal law was passed that gives the Attorney General the power to rewrite regulations to allow places other than law enforcement agencies to collect controlled substances.  It is to be determined what those regulations will be, but it will most likely allow places such as clinics, hospice facilities and senior homes to collect as well.  Commissioner Prakash stated that it makes sense to work with the larger medical groups in San Francisco rather than clinics that have only a few doctors.  Commissioner Wald stated that these medical groups hold meetings every month and suggested that staff attend a meeting. 

 

5.   San Francisco Home Improvement and Performance (SFHIP) and Green Home Assessment Program Updates.  Staff Speakers: Cal Broomhead, Energy Manager and Matt Greco, San Francisco Boiler Systems Incentives Program Manager (Explanatory Documents:  San Francisco Boiler Systems Incentive Program and Green Homes Assessment Survey) (Informational Report and Discussion)

 

San Francisco Boiler Incentives Program. Mr. Matt Greco reported that this program targets inefficient boilers and associated heating equipment in multi-family and Single Room Occupancy (SRO) properties in San Francisco.  It is a successful program launched in July of last year that is funded by the federal stimulus bill. To date, 122 project applications have been received, 95 of which are complete, and nearly $2 million worth of work has been leveraged.  This program creates jobs in San Francisco.  Its main purpose is to replace old boilers in multi-family properties that were built in the 1920’s and 1930’s, many of which are original boilers, with new energy-efficient low pressure steam boilers and hydronic heating and domestic water boilers.

Public Comment:  Ms. Lurilla Harris inquired whether solar in included in this program. Mr. Broomhead explained that solar is not part of the program. 

 

Commissioner Wald inquired whether there is a formula for estimating the savings from converting the old boilers to new ones.  Mr. Greco reported that the California Energy Commission hired a consultant who developed a Residential Appliance Saturation Survey (RASS) that contains statewide and utility specific results.  It includes data on all residential appliances, equipment and general usage habits for space heating, domestic hot water use, lights, refrigeration, etc. This program utilizes various equations using this data in the baseline of existing equipment efficiency, which sometimes is assumed, and the new measure for new equipment efficiency, and based on that data, therm usage can be projected.

 

Mr. Greco reported that one customer during the peak heating season is saving $500 a month on his energy bill on a 34-unit building. The cost to replace this boiler, which was capsulated with asbestos, was $28,000.  A local boiler contractor did the work, and the Department of the Environment program incentivized about $7000 of that project.  In addition, he is receiving the $500 a month savings during the peak heating season.  Commissioner Wald suggested that this information be captured and communicated so people will know that this Department is making this difference.  Mr. Greco reported that outreach is being conducted to the Central City SRO Collaborative, San Francisco Apartment Association, and the Professional Property Owners Association in San Francisco to target people who own multi-family properties.  Mr. Broomhead stated that he is waiting for a big press event with federal level senators or Representative Pelosi to highlight these successful federal-stimulus funded activities that are creating employment opportunities. Director Nutter reported that she would include the San Francisco Boiler Incentives program in presentations she gives on Department programs.

 

Green Homes Assessment Program. Mr. Broomhead reported that the goal of the Green Homes Assessment program is to reach 5000 dwelling units in San Francisco, most of which are tenant-occupied. He explained that work in a residential building tends to be half labor and half materials, as opposed to commercial projects where 25% is labor, and the rest is materials.  If the intent is to create jobs, and you have $2 million to work with, you want to direct the money into residential work.  While the boiler program is a terrific program, a lot of money is going into the cost of the equipment, e.g., piping, insulation, etc. There is a big labor component, but the materials component is quite large.  There is more labor-intensive work and much less spent on materials when doing work in people’s homes and in apartment buildings, so more money is invested in labor and work here in the city.  Jobs are not being created at the manufacturing level.  San Francisco does provide reports to the Department of Energy so they can report back on jobs created nationally.

 

Mr. Broomhead reported that in order to focus on jobs created in the city, the Department of the Environment is promoting the Green Homes Assessment and the San Francisco Home Improvement Performance programs. The Green Homes Assessment program consists of hiring people in the neighborhood to provide people with information on measures they can take to make their homes greener. There is no or a small amount of capital involved and a large amount that goes into the actual labor that is designed to create labor in the residential market.  The idea of the program is to leverage existing networks in the community and strengthen them around the energy issue, develop and train a few community-based organizations, and develop those community relations so when funding runs out, there is a network already there.  People in the neighborhood will know that this organization brought information to them before and can do so again. At the end of the program, organizations are able to find more funding in the form of grants. 

 

Mr. Broomhead reported that the goal of the program is to reach 5000 homes by the end of June 2012.   Five non-profit organizations have hired as many as ten people to do these assessments, and an additional training is scheduled to bring in three more organizations and train another 15-20 assessors. There is an ongoing open program for new organizations that want to get involved.  To date, 700 homes have been assessed, and it is expected that the program will be complete before June 2012.

 

Mr. Broomhead reported on the San Francisco Green Home Assessment Survey and the Site Access Agreement to release the organization from liability. The survey covers six primary areas to inform and collect information about the building (1) emergency preparedness for earthquake; (2) safety issues; (3) energy efficiency; (4) water efficiency; (5) opportunities for gardening--raising your own food, and (6) toxics.  After the assessment is complete, the assessor will have a conversation with the tenant so it becomes an educational tool, and the tenant fills out a commitment checklist of what they think they can do.  The Department receives a copy and one is left for the tenant.  The tenant also receives tools such as a gadget to check the hot water level, toilet leak detection kits, switch plate and outlet plate gaskets, maps of potable water in case of emergency, fire station locations, emergency centers, and emergency preparedness information from the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission and Red Cross. 

 

Mr. Broomhead reported that the Department pays organizations $70 for each unit assessed. Organizations have different payment scales and are paying individual assessors by the hour or visit.   Payments are provided for performance, not for outreach.  A quality-assurance telephone call is made to the tenant to gather information about the visit, e.g., to see if someone arrived and length of time spent on the assessment. 

 

Director Nutter inquired about the environmental metrics for the program.  Mr. Broomhead stated that gathering metrics would require evaluation and verification of the program.  One of the reasons for the commitment checklist is to evaluate what resonates with tenants.  Now that approximately 10% of the program has been completed, there will be an evaluation on the 700 assessments that have been completed.  Commissioner Wald inquired whether there would be verification to see if people have done what they said they were going to do.  Mr. Broomhead stated this type of reporting would be unreliable, and that it would be better to measure activities that can objectively be measured, e.g. energy or water usage through a review of bills.  If a reduction has been accomplished, it can be a service that non-profits can sell to people. 

 

Commissioner Wald commended the Green Home Assessment Survey questions, but suggested tailoring the list of commitments to ones that can be measured.  She stated that the safety and earthquake preparedness activities should remain because people should have an emergency kit.  Mr. Broomhead stated that the state has a database for energy-efficiency retrofits, but it is not that effective because it is based on averages, and the base case does not always fit San Francisco.   

 

San Francisco Home Improvement Performance Program (SFHIP).  Mr. Broomhead reported that this program is working to stimulate contractors to make retrofits in single-family homes.  He discussed funding challenges faced by this program because of financing programs that were planned but did not happen, e.g., PACE and the Home Star program.  He explained that the utility program was going to provide marketing for the SFHIP program because the Department did not have funding allocated to do so, but it was delayed by a year.  The utility program finally implemented a pilot program but announced they would not do much marketing for the program, so it meant that the stimulus-funded program did not have a marketing component. There were two other components that were also stimulus funded that did include marketing, but there were a lot of rules that made them difficult. 

 

Mr. Broomhead reported that to date, there is one fully completed successful SFHIP project and a dozen being considered.  He stated that contractors pressurize the house with a fan to determine if there is any leakage and whether dangerous conditions exist in the home.  There is a lot that can be discovered about a home to make it a more efficient system, and more information will be available after more projects have been completed.  The goal is to have worked on 400 projects by the end of June 2012.   Commissioner Wald suggested that a Letter to the Editor be written on the first SFHIP successful program.  Mr. Broomhead stated that he would try to organize a press event around homeowner projects.

 

Public Comment:  Ms. Harris inquired whether the program would apply only to single-family homes.  Mr. Broomhead stated that there are many condominiums and two- to four-unit buildings in San Francisco that may want to participate, but all protocols for this testing involve the entire building.  You can’t do just one unit and not the other unit because there is air infiltration going on between and among units.  All units would have to participate.  It is possible that a four unit building can receive up to $28,000 in incentives. The first $2000 would be from the Department of the Environment for the first 15% of savings, and then PG&E would provide $1500 for the first 15% of savings and $1000 for each 5% of savings increment up to 40%.  Most houses will come in at 40% savings or better and would qualify for $4000 from PG&E and because they reached the 15% savings, would receive an additional $2000 from the Department of the Environment’s program.  If the homeowner qualifies at less than 120% of area median income, they would receive an extra $1000 from the Department’s program.
 

Mr. Broomhead reported on SFHIP marketing efforts.  He handed out the Energy Upgrade California brochure that is being distributed at different locations and events throughout the city.  It is expected that within a few years, there will be a state law about labeling single-family homes at time of sale that would receive a better rating if upgrades have been made.  Mr. Broomhead stated that this program provides an opportunity to receive stimulus money and get improvements done in the next year.  Commissioner Wald inquired about the Residential Energy Conservation Ordinance (RECO) at the time of sale.  Mr. Broomhead reported that the RECO Ordinance is ineffectual at this point, and that one of the stimulus funding goals is to make policy recommendations and amendments to RECO will be considered. A report would be provided on RECO at a future Policy Committee meeting. 

 

Mr. Broomhead stated that one of the program goals is to influence the San Francisco Board of Realtors, Planning Commission, Building Inspection, Environment Commissioners and Board of Supervisors members and families who own homes in San Francisco to make use of this program so a year from now when policy is being discussed, everyone knows what is being discussed. This program is being promoted to contractors, and there are current and new financing tools becoming available.  It is also hoped that PACE financing will be reactivated, that the lawsuit will be resolved, and that there will be changes with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. 

 

Mr. Broomhead stated that he would provide the Committee with program metrics once they become available.  Ms. Nutter suggested that a Homes Challenge be created as part of the marketing program. It is a model that many cities are utilizing that creates the urgency and time certain by which people need to make a decision to get their home retrofit done. Mr. Broomhead stated that there are marketing plans in progress, e.g., the Department is marketing an additional $1000 for the program for applications received by the end of August and is working with Cole Hardware on a sweepstakes approach and advertising in Cole Hardware’s newsletter.

 

Mr. Broomhead reported that San Francisco is the only local government that received funding to work with a small store retail channel to provide home energy audits and upgrades. He stated that he is awaiting the results from ACE and Lowes who have also completed a retail chain experiment with Alameda County and Recurve.  He explained the difficulty with the ACE vision is that they expect contractors that participate in the program to buy all the equipment from them, but they don’t provide all the materials needed for these projects.  Director Nutter stated that in order to avoid roadblocks, it is important to set up a challenge that does not depend on partners. 

 

??unclear Public Comment:  Ms. Harris suggested that arrangements be made for independent hardware stores in the City to combine their purchases so they can purchase equipment at wholesale prices. She stated that Cole Hardware would be willing to advertise the program and provide publicity in their newsletter. Mr. Broomhead reported that he would be discussing the program with all hardware stores in the City in the future.

 

6.      Community InSight Project Update. Sponsor: Director Melanie Nutter;  Staff Speakers: Director Melanie Nutter and Thea Hillman, Public Outreach Communications Manager (Explanatory Document:  Community InSight Project Presentation) (Informational Presentation and Discussion)

 

Director Nutter reported that the Community InSight project is an effort launched recently to engage the public in a two-way dialogue on sustainability and how San Francisco can be the greenest city.  It is a project that is run by the Public Outreach program, but also has policy implications because the community is providing input on topics they would like to see the Commission address.  Ms. Hillman, Public Outreach Communications Manager, was asked to present on the project.

  

Ms. Hillman reported that the Community InSight project uses a combination of outreach strategies to raise awareness and encourage participation with a focus on grassroots organizing methods, community-based social marketing, and community-building strategies, supported as needed with traditional marketing strategies. In particular, there is a focus on activating existing networks within the city’s communities and strengthening relationships with these networks and communities, with the ultimate goal of being part of and catalyzing two-way dialogue between the Department of the Environment and amongst members of the public.

 

Ms. Hillman reported that Department staff, EnvironmentNow workers, and volunteers conduct in-person interviews to reach San Franciscans at community events that the Department is hosting or tabling.  Members of the public are asked for their input to questions such as:

 

·        How can we help make your home and neighborhood healthier?

·        What is your vision of a sustainable San Francisco?

·        On a lighter note, what is the worst thing you’ve done for the environment lately? Or, what is one thing that you would do for the environment if it was easier?

 

Commissioners provided their input to question 3, e.g., flying in airplanes, car not fuel-efficient, throwing away plastic containers with moldy food in the trash instead of separating the food into the compostable bin and the plastic container into the recycling bin. 

 

Commissioner Gravanis stated that the first question brings to mind public health, disease-free, and cleaner air, but not environmentally-sound practices.  She asked how the Department can act on information received for this question if it is directed more toward public health.  Ms. Hillman explained that the intent is to reach people who may be thinking about the environment in terms of health and then directing them to programs that the Department of the Environment is working on. Commissioner Wald stated that people who do not self-identify as environmentalists are oftentimes concerned with health and want to live in a healthier world.  She stated that Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), an environmental organization, talks to people about health first because virtually everything that NRDC does has some sort of health component.  

 

Ms. Hillman stated that the intent of the first question is to make connections with people who are doing environmental work and care about environmental issues, but may not talk about the environment, or they talk about the environment in terms of health.  The second question brings forward the environmental term “sustainable.”  Commissioner Gravanis suggested broadening the first question for people that may be thinking about a related issue that would not fit in the category of health or environment, e.g., implementation of on-call garbage pick-up.  Director Nutter reported that consideration has been given to changing the language to state “cleaner, greener or healthier” and then to evaluate responses to see what is working for which audience.  Ms. Hillman reported that questions work differently with each medium.  For example, the responses received online have been related to the environment; whereas, responses in person may be related more to another topic.  It is important to think of what is being said to people where. 

 

Ms. Hillman discussed tools and distribution methods to reach San Franciscans (Presentation Slide 3).  She reported that the project launched on April 20, Earth Day, and discussed highlights and participation at the event (Presentation Slide 4).  She presented on www.Ideas4SF.org, an online forum for ideas and discussed current ideas received (Presentation Slides 4-5).  Staff will be responding to email ideas received by providing customized responses with links to Department of the Environment volunteer opportunities, newsletters, Facebook page, Twitter, and relevant forums.  

 

Commissioner Gravanis suggested that staff responses include information about how to be added to the Commission meeting agenda mailing list or how to access agendas.  Commissioner Wald asked that a future discussion be held on how to combine the efforts of the Community InSight project with the Commission Outreach Environmental Organization Mailing list.  Commissioner Gravanis suggested that a discussion be held on utilizing this list to initiate relationships with partners and organizations. 

 

Ms. Hillman reported on metrics for measuring the success of the project (Presentation Slide 6). She discussed the importance of reaching out to other City departments, diverse communities in San Francisco, and Commission and other networks that can be connected to the Department (Presentation Slide 7).

 

Public Comment: Ms. Harris asked about communication methods for people who do not have email.  Ms. Hillman stated that there will be reply postcards and in-person interviews at community events and Department open-houses.  Two additional community-wide events are planned before a report back on next steps will be issued in the fall.

 

Commissioner Prakash inquired what the response rate to direct mail has been historically.  Ms. Hillman reported that the drop-off card is not currently going to be delivered by direct mail.  She stated that the Department has historically seen a good response rate to direct mail about Department programs, e.g. 8 to 14% on the battery bucket campaign. The response rate depends on mailing to the right people about the right issue. 

 

Director Nutter reported that Mayor Lee and Supervisor Avalos talked to volunteers at the Department’s Sunday Streets table and provided positive feedback into the InSight campaign.  Commissioner Wald suggested videoing these types of discussions. Commissioner Wald inquired whether the Department has a list of events besides Sunday Streets.  Ms. Hillman stated that Mr. Clark Hatchet, Department Volunteer Coordinator, maintains a list of events.  She reported that the Department has integrated the InSight project into thirty-four events that it participated in April and will continue to do so for most activities. 

 

Commissioner Wald inquired how people can be influenced to participate in Commission and Committee meetings through the InSight project.  Should the Commission select agenda topics based on one of the more popular ideas and then tell people who are interested in the idea that a meeting will be held to discuss that topic?   Ms. Hillman stated that expertise is being sought from a lot of different people in addition to the Outreach team in order to respond to some of the more relevant and popular ideas. She suggested that Committee members review ideas that may have policy history or ramifications and request that staff respond on behalf of the Committee or hold a meeting on that topic.  Interested parties could be kept informed of when meetings will be held on the topic of interest and could contact the Commission to request information.     

 

Commissioner Gravanis inquired how the Ideas4SF site would be monitored and staff time that would be required.  Director Nutter reported that there are policies and rules that will be implemented that are similar to the Department’s Facebook page that will keep the site transparent and monitored at the same time.  Commissioner Gravanis inquired how the project would initiate relationships with community partners.  Ms. Hillman reported that staff is working on a community relationship management tool database called SugarCRM that will list all organizations that the Department interacts with, kinds of relationships, and who is interacting with these organizations.  Director Nutter stated that there are two elements to the partnership aspect, one is the internal element, which is the outreach list that will quantify and track interactions with the community, and the other will be to leverage strategic partnerships.  She described a partnership with the California Academy of Sciences on a global warming exhibit that the Community InSight team will be involved in to promote Department programs to achieve local goals.

 

Commissioner Gravanis inquired whether there is a plan to send information about the Community InSight project to community-based groups. She suggested that this project could replace the Commission outreach survey idea.  Director Nutter stated that an e-mail could be sent to the environmental organizations list to inform them that the Community InSight project has launched and request that their networks and communities be engaged and include the message to attend Commission meetings.  Ms. Hillman stated that next steps will be to identify partnerships and finding ways to strengthen relationships.  Commissioner Wald stated that her concern whether people will actually open an e-mail communication and take action once they do.  Commissioner Prakash stated that the e-mail addresses listed in the outreach list are generic and should be expanded to identify who the communications person is.  Commissioner Wald suggested stratifying the list by selecting the organizations that have something to do with the environment, have real people’s names, and ones that may be interested in what the Department and Commission does.  Ms. Hillman stated that some people would be reached through e-mail, while others will be reached through other communication methods.    

 

Ms. Rosenmoss, Department of the Environment Manager of Grants and Fundraising, discussed the importance of making a personal connection to the success of the program.  She stated that the information that will be received will ultimately be coming mostly from Department contacts and people who recognize the Department’s name.

 

Mr. Greco, Department of the Environment Energy team, suggested advertising the project in newspapers such as the San Francisco Examiner or the San Francisco Bay Guardian. Ms. Hillman stated that the intent is to talk to people about the issues they care about, but not spend a lot of money on advertising.  She stated that a partnership with newspapers could be constructive with the idea that they would support the project by helping the public share ideas. Commissioner Prakash suggested finding someone in the newspaper that would be willing to write about the project. 

 

Commissioner Wald suggested requesting that City departments mention the project in their outgoing mail communication.  Ms. Hillman suggested that City departments add a link to the Department’s interview page.  Mr. Greco suggested adding links to the survey on other organization websites, e.g., the DeYoung Museum.  Commissioner Wald suggested that strategic partners be included as well.   Commissioner Prakash suggested influencing more people to join and send messages about the project through Facebook and social networking in order to get more traction. Commissioner Wald suggested asking a company to promote this effort through some incentive that is being offered. Ms. Hillman reported that Twitter has asked that the Department become involved in a recycling campaign specific to their company.

 

Commissioner Gravanis asked how the project is being funded.  Director Nutter reported that it is being funded through part of the outreach team budget, which comes from the Impound Account.  Additional sources of funding are also being sought. 

 

Public Comment:  Mr. Pilpel stated that (1) consideration should be given to not violating the privacy policy when sending communication to e-mail addresses; (2) a discussion should be held on alternate methods of engaging organizations other than e-mail; (3) in terms of this project, share the top five new ideas every month with the Commission Policy Committee to identify whether topics should be heard at Committee meetings or should be referred to other venues; (4) managing expectations is important because the Department does want new ideas that there is no existing avenue for, but the idea that every issue will be followed-up on or acted on is not feasible because there may not be resources available to do so.

 

Public Comment:  Ms. Harris suggested publishing in a monthly newsletter the five top ideas and five worst things that could happen to keep the public up-to-date about what has been received from them and what they can do about it.  Commissioner Wald suggested that these ideas should also be published on the website.  It is important that people be communicated with through the forum that they have provided their ideas through. 

 

Commissioner Prakash stated that your most passionate users are going to stop using the site or providing information unless they see actions or policy being implemented as a result of ideas being provided.  Director Nutter explained that the campaign is in its beginning stages, and next steps will be to discuss what to commit to and what the process will be for showing results.  Commissioner Wald stated that in order to achieve goals, it is important to identify early on in the process where the time is going to come from and staff responsible. 

 

Public Comment:  Mr. Pilpel discussed the importance of highlighting the people who have provided the ideas as well as for the Department to provide a response to those ideas.  He stated that it is beneficial that people view the Department and the City as responsive to its ideas. 

 

Director Nutter thanked the Community InSight project leaders and everyone who worked on this project.

 

7.      Commission Outreach List Project Update.  Sponsor:  Commissioners Wald and Gravanis; Monica Fish, Commission Secretary (Explanatory Documents: Memo to Policy Committee and Commission Outreach Draft List) (Informational Report and Discussion)

 

This agenda item was continued to the June 13, 2011 Policy Committee meeting.

 

8.      Director’s Report and Updates.  Speaker: Melanie Nutter, Director (Informational Report and Discussion) 

 

Director Nutter introduced Ms. Lauren Lester, Management Assistant.  She reported on her attendance at two conferences: (1) “Cities Behavior Change and Climate” where she presented on the Department’s Zero Waste program; and (2) “Creating Climate Health” to discuss innovative financing mechanisms for large-scale energy efficiency projects for cities and the possibility of funding large scale projects in San Francisco.

 

Public Comment: Mr. Pilpel reported that the Economic Analysis Report was published on the Yellow Pages legislation which is before the Board of Supervisors on May 10, 2011. 

 

9.      Announcements. (Discussion)  

 

Director Nutter reported that the Green Economy and Green Jobs Forum that is sponsored by the Department of the Environment and the Office of Economic and Workforce Development is scheduled for May 25.  Commissioners would be provided with more information and an invitation to attend.

 

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

 

Commissioner Wald stated that the June 13 meeting would include a discussion on the Community InSight project, the Draft Environmental Organization Outreach list, and an update on America’s Cup.  Director Nutter reported that a cell phone update would be scheduled for a future meeting. Commissioner Gravanis asked that Mr. Westlund, Program Outreach Manager, prioritize work on an Ordinance to ban balloon releases. 

 

Commissioner Gravanis asked that the Committee discuss how to provide guidance and influence over America’s Cup activities to make sure that restrictions are in place and vendors will not sell single-serve water bottles. She suggested that staff work with the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission on supplying water supply infrastructure to main spectator areas and consider issuing a bid for service providers of jug fillers.  Commissioner Wald suggested holding a multi-departmental meeting to discuss these issues.  Commissioner Gravanis suggested that staff hold the initial conversation and then determine if someone should be invited to a Committee meeting.  Director Nutter reported there are a lot of interdepartmental working groups already meeting at the staff level about America’s Cup.  The Department of the Environment and America’s Cup Organizing Committee are hiring a consultant who will be working on the Sustainability Plan over the next six to eight weeks.  She stated that there will not likely be a working draft available at the next Committee meeting for the Commission to review, but suggested that a prioritized list be presented to the consultant midway through their work so that the Commission’s top priorities and points of interest can be incorporated.  She stated that a draft document may be available in approximately two months that will reflect these priorities and points of interest for the Committee to review.  Commissioner Gravanis suggested that the Committee comment on the Zero Waste Plan in the meantime.  Commissioner Wald suggested a discussion at the June 13 Committee meeting on issues that the Committee would like to make sure is incorporated into the Plan.

 

Public Comment:  Mr. Pilpel asked that potential future agenda items be added to future editions of agendas for public information.  Commissioner Wald stated that this suggestion is being considered.

 

11. 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.

 

12. Adjournment.  The Policy Committee meeting adjourned at 7:05 p.m.

 

Respectfully submitted by,

 

Monica Fish, Commission Secretary,

Telephone (415) 355-3709; Fax (415) 554-6393

 

The next Commission on the Environment Policy Committee meeting is scheduled for Monday, June 13, 2011at 5:00 p.m. in Room 421, City Hall.

 

** 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 Policy Committee’s website https://sites.google.com/a/sfenvironment.org/commission/policy-committee with each set of minutes, or (3) upon request to the Commission Secretary at telephone number 415-355-3709, or via e-mail at Monica.Fish@sfgov.org.  

 

Approved:  June 13, 2011

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