September 3, 2012
Labor and Progressive Women of San Francisco in Support of Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi
Whereas, as San Francisco labor and progressive women, we appreciate the support that Ross Mirkarimi has always given women’s organizations, labor unions and grass roots community organizations, and are heartened by the recent motions and resolutions by the San Francisco Labor Council, the National Lawyers Guild and a number of San Francisco Democratic clubs supporting Ross Mirkarimi remaining in his elected position of Sheriff of San Francisco; and
Whereas, a moment of crisis in this family, that has been acknowledged by Sheriff Mirkarimi, and addressed by the court through a misdemeanor conviction, has been politically exploited in a way that is completely disproportionate to the incident that occurred; and
Whereas, many city employees have been convicted of misdemeanors and have not been removed from their jobs, and we are concerned by this double standard; and
Whereas, we are troubled by the way Eliana Lopez has been marginalized and infantilized by the courts and by domestic violence organizations, who in their zeal to 'protect' her and her son, do not seem concerned that the very public manner in which they went about this was very traumatic to this family, causing great emotional trauma to them all, and also ignored that she insists she has never been afraid of her husband and is committed to reuniting her family after enduring eight months of an unjustifiable court mandated separation; and
Whereas, we are concerned that three of the five members of the Ethics commission were appointed by Mayor Lee, City Attorney Herrera and San Francisco District Attorney Gascon, all of whom have done everything in their power to remove our elected sheriff from office, and
Whereas, we are also concerned that all of the members of the Commission of the Status of Women (CoSW) were all appointed by Mayor Lee and receive their funding though his office; and
Whereas, we are heartened by the fact that there were dissenting votes on each of these commissions in relation to upholding the mayor’s charge of official misconduct: Commissioner Benedict Hur on the Ethics Commission did not consider that the charges in question reached the level of official misconduct within the narrow window as the voters would construe it, and Commissioners Alicia Gamez and Stephanie Simmons on the CoSW dissented from the commission by noting that a false imprisonment misdemeanor does not rise to the definition of domestic violence or official misconduct, and does not warrant removal from office, and
Whereas, former Sheriff Michael Hennessey has stated that Mirkarimi should be allowed to continue as sheriff, and would serve as a strong role model for restorative justice and we believe former Sheriff Hennessey, of all people, is in a position to understand how the department is run and whether this incident undermines the Sheriff's ability to perform his job.
Therefore, we strongly urge the San Francisco Board of Supervisors to determine there was no official misconduct, and to vote NO on removing Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi from the office he was elected to by the people of San Francisco and allow him to recommence his duties at the earliest available opportunity.
Respectfully submitted by Tami Bryant, Conny Ford, Lori Liederman, Francesca Rosa, Sheila Tully