Update by Richard Knee

san-francisco-city-hall-sunsetThe San Francisco Board of Supervisors Rules Committee voted Thursday to recommend to the full board six appointments to the Sunshine Ordinance Task Force, and to defer action on two applications, thus ending the standoff reported here.

Public participation in this matter won the day on Thursday; committee members finally got the message that there is growing public awareness of the difficulties that long-time vacancies have created for the task force and for people wanting access to public meetings and records, access to which they’re entitled under law. We can hope that the full board will see the light next Tuesday.

The Rules-recommended appointments:
Seat #1 (attorney nominated by Society of Professional Journalists), Mark Rumold, who works with the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
Seat #2 (SPJ-nominated journalist), award-winning freelancer Ali Winston.
Seat #3, journalist and videographer Josh Wolf.
Seat #5 (League of Women voters nominee), incumbent Allyson Washburn.
Seat #7, Lee Anthony Hepner, an attorney experienced in litigation, mediation, arbitration and intellectual-property matters.
Seat #9, incumbent Chris Hyland

The committee deferred action on two appointments:
Seat #4 (journalist nominated by New America Media), Rishi Chopra.
Seat #11, for which incumbent Bruce Oka and former task force member Bruce Wolfe are applying. Both have physical disabilities, so the mandate that the task force at all time have at least one person with a physical disability will be met. And both have served admirably. Until the appointment is made, Oka remains on the task force as a “holdover.”

The board voted last month to appoint incumbents Todd David, Louise Fischer and David Pilpel. So it is reasonable to guess that within the next few weeks, at least 10 of the 11 task force seats will have been filled. The big question mark is Rishi Chopra; seat #4 is for a NAM-nominated journalist from a minority-owned news outlet, and he might not meet either criterion.

I am not applying for reappointment to the task force (seat #2). After 12 years, it’s time to step aside and allow in some fresh energy and ideas, and Ali Winston is an excellent choice to replace me.