Issue:  Vol. 48 / No. 11 / 15 March 2018

Sparks elected Police Commission president

In a 4-3 vote, Theresa Sparks was elected president of the San Francisco Police Commission Wednesday, May 9, making her the first transgender president of the panel. Sparks, 58, takes over the seven-member commission June 6.

In an interview with the Bay Area Reporter Thursday, Sparks said she believes she is the first transgender president of any city commission. More significantly, however, Sparks said that this is the first time that the commission will be led by someone who was not appointed by the mayor. Sparks – along with fellow Commissioners David Campos, who is gay, and Petra deJesus – was appointed by the Board of Supervisors. They voted for Sparks.

Mayoral appointees Louise Renne, the current president; Yvonne Lee; and Joe Marshall voted for Marshall to become president. He is now the vice president of the commission.

It was mayoral appointee Joe Alioto Veronese who cast the deciding vote for Sparks.

According to the San Francisco Sentinel Web site, Veronese read a lengthy statement at the meeting explaining his vote, and concluded, “More importantly, however, Commissioner Sparks is known to me to ask the right questions and challenging stale mentalities, which is the essence of our mandate. She has done so while maintaining the dignity this department is worthy of.”

Sparks has contemplated being commission president for some time; she started to run last year for the post but removed herself from consideration.

Before voters approved Proposition H several years ago, all the Police Commission appointments were made by the mayor.

— Cynthia Laird, May 10, 2007 @ 3:54 pm PST
Filed under: News,Politics

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