The Society of Professional Journalists, Northern California chapter seeks candidates for two seats on San Francisco’s open-government watchdog commission, the Sunshine Ordinance Task Force: an attorney with experience in open-meetings and public-records matters (SOTF Seat #1), and a journalist (Seat #2), according to freelance journalist and Task Force veteran Rick Knee.  He explains:

SPJ NorCal has nominating authority for those task force seats. The city Board of Supervisors has final appointive power for all task force seats. The board’s Rules Committee vets all applicants, usually sometime between April and June. The complete set of eligibility criteria for serving on the task force is set forth in Sunshine Ordinance Article 4, Section 67.30(a).

The task force comprises 11 voting seats, and is tasked with fielding sunshine-related complaints and reporting periodically to the Board of Supervisors on how well the ordinance works and what obstacles the task force encounters in doing its job.

Members can expect to spend 15-20 hours a month on task force-related work including monthly meetings of the task force and its committees, and meeting preparation time. Meetings usually begin at 4 p.m.; their durations depend on agenda lengths and the degree of complexity of agenda items. Task force terms are for two years and their is no number-of-terms limit. Task force members receive no pay or expense reimbursement but are eligible for the excellent health plans offered to city employees.

Anyone interested is encouraged to e-mail Matt Drange and Aaron Field, co-chairs of SPJ NorCal’s Freedom of Information Committee, at And as someone who served on the task force for 12 years, I am happy to answer any questions; you are welcome to e-mail me directly.