SYS Helps Organize Local Forums on Issues Impacting Youth and Families

Updated: Oct 31


This year Sunset Youth Services played a primary role in initiating and planning three unique public forums to better understand the real views and aims of political candidates on issues impacting historically marginalized communities––

particularly as they affect local youth and families and those in the justice system.


These conversations centered the needs of those most likely to be silenced or ignored by those in power––empowering the public to make more informed voting decisions.


Events included:

• SF District Attorney Candidates Forum at SFSU - co-hosted by the JJPA, Project Rebound,

the Institute for Civic and Community Engagement, and the Department of Criminal Justice Studies

• District 4 Board of Supervisors Candidates Forum - co-hosted by the District 4 Youth and Family Network (a consortium that includes SYS, Wah Mei, Asian Women’s Resource Center, and Sunset Neighborhood Beacon Center)

• Board of Education Candidates Forum at A.P. Giannini Middle School


We’ve included a sampling of questions posed at the forums below. Although the DA Forum was the only one recorded; it was interrupted by young adult protestors until Brooke Jenkins left the debate, allowing for only a handful of questions.

DA Forum with Brooke Jenkins, Joe Alioto Veronese, John Hamasaki

  • Of the past District Attorneys, including Kamala Harris, George Gascon, and Chesa Boudin, how is your approach to deterring street crime different, especially given that the root causes have not been adequately and humanely addressed?

  • What specific policies will you enact to ensure diversion programs and community based-programs are leveraged as alternatives to incarceration to meet the needs of young people and transitional aged young adults?

  • Will you reinstate the Women’s Council to ensure a separate space is maintained to focus on the specific barriers that women face [while incarcerated] including for those healing from trauma, trans females, and those who have children?

  • How will you treat and support unaccompanied minors and undocumented transitional aged young adults caught up in the justice system, including young boys and girls caught in drug sales and sex trafficking?


Board of Supervisors Forum with Gordon Mar and Joel Engardio

  • Where do you stand on Criminal Justice Reform?

  • What's your proactive plan to address Anti-Asian violence in the Sunset?

  • Nonprofit staff who provide critical services to youth, families and seniors have been long under-paid. During the pandemic, these staff were recognized as “essential” but continue to be under-paid to the point that they are unable to live in the communities they serve. How will you address this issue?


Board of Education Forum with Alida Fisher, Karen Fleshman, Ann Hsu, Gabriela López, Lainie Motamedi, Lisa Weissman-Ward

  • How old were you when you had your first BIPOC educator and what did it mean to you? And how will you work to support more BIPOC educators in the district?

  • Do you support Prop G? (Amends the city’s charter to allow 16- and 17-year-olds to vote)

  • What are your top priorities for the district?

  • Wednesday early dismissal has caused a lot of stress for families. How would you have done this differently, rather than just spring it top down on parents?

  • Do you support merit based enrollment? (i.e. Lowell)

  • What would you do to support and grow feelings of unity for such a diverse district?

  • What do you believe the efficacy of afterschool programs to be and how would you support them so they can continue to exist for families and children that need them?