Civic Design

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

UPA member Chisnell receives commendation from San Francisco Board of Supervisors for work in plain language and voting

In a brief ceremony held yesterday in the gorgeous board chambers at San Francisco’s City Hall, UPA member Dana Chisnell was recognized by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors along with four others for work on the City’s Ballot Simplification Committee. Board president Aaron Peskin introduced the committee members during the Board’s regular meeting on Tuesday, saying “Now I’d like to recognize a group that is little known and rarely recognized by the public. The Ballot Simplification Committee writes the summary digests of measures for the Voter Information Pamphlets sent out to voters before each election. For the November election, there are 22 measures on the ballot, the most in San Francisco history. It seemed time to recognize the many hours these people put in to make voting more accessible to San Francisco citizens.”


As Peskin distributed gold-sealed certificates to the committee members, committee chair Betty Packard thanked the Board for the honor and for working with the committee to explain often-complex ballot propositions in simple but accurate language.


The committee was formed by a charter amendment in 1997. The five volunteer members, all communications professionals, work together during public hearings to develop objective, unbiased, plain language summaries 300 to 500 words in length for each measure to appear on the city-county ballot each election. There will have been 5 elections between November 2007 and November 2008 in San Francisco, with a total of 55 measures on the ballot. There will be 22 local measures on the November 2008 ballot.


From left: Chair Betty Packard, Anne Jorgensen, June Fraps, Dana Chisnell, and Board of Supervisors President Aaron Peskin



Photo (c) Bill Klenmens & Susan Becker



UPA member Dana Chisnell was nominated for the Ballot Simplification Committee by the Northern California Media Workers’ Guild and appointed by Mayor Gavin Newsom in 2005.


Her commendation from the board reads:


“For playing a vital role in informing San Francisco’s voters about local ballot measures, and for your outstanding endurance and patience in working to make complex legislation understandable to the general public, the Board of Supervisors extends its highest commendation.”


Links:


Ballot Simplification Committee
http://www.sfgov.org/site/elections_index.asp?id=21619


San Francisco City and County Voter Information Pamphlets
http://sfpl.lib.ca.us/librarylocations/main/gic/voterpamp/votepamp.htm


San Francisco Board of Supervisors
http://www.sfgov.org/site/bdsupvrs_index.asp

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