Letter to Board of Supervisors regarding lack of diversity on Charter Review Committee


By on Tue, May 4, 2010

Dear President Gordon and Members of the Board,

On April 21, 2010 the Charter Review Committee (CRC) voted to recommend an amendment be placed on the November 2010 ballot. The amendment would allow voters an opportunity to change the current countywide at-large election system to a district election system for County Supervisor.

Fourteen CRC members voted in favor of recommending the Board of Supervisors place the amendment on the ballot.  Two CRC members voted not to recommend the amendment be placed on the ballot; Kathy Everitt, nominated to the CRC by League of Women Voters and Shelley Kessler, nominated by San Mateo County Central Labor Council. 

Henry Organ, nominated by Supervisor Gibson is the only person of color on the CRC.  Mr. Organ made the following statement at the April 21 meeting: “I’m curious why the Civil Grand Jury’s concerns about racial diversity are not reflected in the composition of this committee. When the Board of Supervisors was bringing together community leaders to form this committee they had the opportunity to include people of color.  I don’t see people of color here at the table and I think they would affect the discourse and the vote coming from this committee.  I have to look back at the Board of Supervisors and ask, what were they thinking?”

Committee members are responsible for making recommendations to the Board that impact a racially diverse County. The committee would better represent County residents if Asian and Hispanic/Latino community leaders were included as members of the CRC.  I urge the Board of Supervisors to include more people of color on the CRC.

Videos of the CRC meetings are available on the County website: http://www.co.sanmateo.ca.us/portal/site/bos/menuitem.ed7ea6e3285fc7cf74452b31d17332a0/?vgnextoid=53c62aeec0856210VgnVCM1000001937230aRCRD&cpsextcurrchannel=1

Sabrina Brennan