Board of Directors Meeting

1765 Sutter Street

February 4, 2002


Attendees:                Sheila Chung, Chris Durazo (staff), Seiko Fujimoto, Colin Gomez, David Ishida, Caryl Ito, Tak Matsuba, Jeff Mori, Mark Moriguchi, Benh Nakajo, Judi Nihei (staff), Jon Osaki, Bob Otsuka, Rosalyn Tonai and Mariko Watanabe


Excused Absences: Tak Matsuba, Pat Shiono and Mariko Watanabe


Unexcused Absences: Doug Dawkins


Guests:                       Adam Benditsky (Mayors Office of Neighborhood Services), Takeno Chiyo, Geri Handa, Karen Kai, Kathy Reyes, Helen Sause [San Francisco Redevelopment Agency (SFRA)], and Olivia Swilley (Mayors Office of Neighborhood Services)


Jeff Mori called the meeting to order at 6:15 p.m.


1.   Staff Report

      Chris reported on community participation for the Olympic Torch passing through Japantown on January 18th.  Regarding non-profit status: JTF has its federal I.D. number; will contract potential pro bono attorneys to assist in filing for status.  JTF will need to formalize its relationship with the Japanese Community Youth Council (JCYC); it is not covered by JCYC D&O insurance; it will be a subcontract with a separate audit line rather than a program.   Regarding employee status: Judi will work 10 hours per week through the executive director search; Chris is developing internship descriptions and has some resumes already submitted.  Jon announced that the California Japanese American Leadership Council (CJALC) would be offering summer youth internships, suggesting JTF might be a placement.   Motion by David Ishida that JTF should proceed with the internship process by review of the Executive Committee with input from the Finance Committee; seconded by Bob Otsuka; passed unanimously.


2.   Approval of Minutes

      Chris noted that she had inadvertently left the approval of minutes from the last meeting off the agenda.  A motion was made by David Ishida and seconded by Caryl Ito to approve the minutes for January 11th; the motion passed unanimously.


3.   Committee Reports

      Jeff noted that the Executive Committee was not listed; however, the committee did have a report to make.  In future, the Executive Committee will be listed under Committee Reports.  Chris suggested that she create a consent calendar for the meetings as well.

      A.  The Executive Committee proposed an ad hoc Program Committee to address timely issues requiring immediate response.  A suggestion was made to merge it with the Community Benefits Ad Hoc Committee, and to be sure and announce that participation is open to the community.  The Program Committee would implement/focus on some of the strategies; involve Advisory Committee members.  A board member must chair the Committee; Tak was suggested; Jon volunteered to participate.  David suggested it would be an organizing mechanism.  Sheila proposed the Committee develop an outline and timeline.  A motion was made by Roslyn Tonai to form a Program Committee; seconded by Jon Osaki; the motion passed unanimously.

      B.   The Advisory Committee will receive all information from the board, so that it can become active.  The committees need Advisory Board participation.  There were no questions from Advisory Board members present.

      C.  There was no official report from the Fundraising Committee.  Jeff noted that The San Francisco Foundation has committed $20,000 toward the Community Organizer position, and that the SF Redevelopment Agency is encouraging JTF to seek additional funding.  The presentation at the 2002 American Planning Association conference of the Japantown planning process was mentioned.  The consensus was that Judi should be approved to attend and present from the Task Force.  The board also recommended a P.R. piece be developed; this information should be shared with SFRA.

      D.  The Finance Committee received a recommendation from the Executive Committee to approve the revised budget.  A motion was made by David Ishida and seconded by Caryl Ito.  Discussion: the board requests that the Treasurer provide more detail in the budget in future.  The motion was unanimously approved.

      E.   The Search Committee has set a February 15th deadline for applications for the Executive Director position.  The posting has been placed in newspapers, listservs and distributed directly.  On the issue of extending the deadline, a motion was made by Caryl Ito and seconded by Sheila Chung to leave that decision to the discretion of the Search Committee based on the response by February 15th.  The motion passed unanimously.

      F.   The Communications Committee reported on its work on website development.  Doug Dawkins has agreed to help; the committee believes a functional, basic website can and should be implemented as soon as possible.  The committee requests any help or input from those board members knowledgeable about websites.  On the topic of protocol for generating any articles or news releases from JTF, it was proposed that requests should go to the Communications Committee, which would review, okay and assign.  Caryl requested a thank-you letter to Sylvia Rubin of the San Francisco Chronicle and Stephan Jordan of Sakura Sakura for the article on fashion shopping in Japantown.  On the topic of a community bulletin board, sites are being investigated and a suggestion was made that it become a student project.  On the topic of a marketing plan for Japantown, Richard Shintaku has indicated, through Jeff Mori, that he may be able to offer some student time and some time of his own to work with the committee.  Recommendations were that the new Executive Director should be included in the discussion; that the work be coordinated with website production; that it be a topic for a community forum; that JTF work with the Japantown Merchants Association.  The last item for the committee was the announcement that the February 11th meeting would be re-scheduled.

      G.  The Nominations Committee deferred its report to next year; the Ad Hoc Community Benefits Committee was included in the discussion of the Ad Hoc Programming Committee.


4. Other Business

A.     Judi attended a meeting of community organizations and other stakeholders held by the attorneys for the Soko Bukai Broken Trust on January 31st.

B.      Jeff reported on a meeting with SFRA Executive Director Marsha Rosen on January 30th, attended by Jeff, Caryl, Chris, Rich Hashimoto of Japan Center Garage Corporation (JCGC), and Shirley Wysinger, Western Addition Senior Project Manager, SFRA.  Ms. Rosen agreed to publicly, actively support the work of the JTF and its community-based process.  She also agreed to receive any SB307 funds assigned to the SFRA by the Board of Supervisors (San Jose Japantown also wants to work through its Redevelopment Agency).   Responding to Shirley’s request to discuss the issue of the JCGC lease, Ms. Rosen indicated that SFRA would most likely not get involved in a Department of Parking and Traffic matter.  JCGC is currently set to carry bond indebtedness for the Fillmore Jazz development, which as of yet has no developer.

C.    Jeff reported on a meeting Supervisor Gonzalez on January 30th, attended by Jeff, Caryl, Chris, Judi, Rich Hashimoto of JCGC and Rob Eshelman, aide to Supervisor Gonzalez.  JTF representatives took the opportunity to give the Supervisor a factual picture about JTF.  The Supervisor stated directly that he has no interest in creating a parallel planning process for Japantown and is not concerned by the possibility of conflict of interest between JTF and JCGC.  His principal concern based on the criticism leveled in letters written by Gary Kitahata and Paul Osaki of the Japanese Community and Cultural Center of Northern California (JCCCNC) is that JTF’s process be open and representative.  There was some discussion as to how closely JTF could or should be required to follow the City’s Sunshine Ordinance.  The Supervisor requested that Jeff meet with Paul Osaki to try to come to agreement on any existing conflict, and then they should both meet with him to let him know the conclusion.  JTF representatives informed the Supervisor that the boards of both JTF and JCCCNC had already begun to schedule a meeting to include both Executive Committees and principal staffs.  The board supported the meeting and discussed other ideas.

D.     There was a discussion of SB 307 language and the designated participation of the Landmarks Preservation Board.  All three cities involved are trying to address their concerns given their local political structures.  Helen Sause commented that the SFRA already works with the Landmarks Board.  The Executive Director of the Board, Tim Kelley, had asked the National Japanese American Historical Society to help them identify historically significant locations in the neighborhood; Bob commented that JTF should be aware of potential effects on the landowners.  It was agreed that JTF needs to obtain more information on the cultural/historical significance designation and that the SB 307 language should specify the Redevelopment Agency(ies) as a funds administrator.


The meeting was adjourned at 8:45 p.m.