Capitol Hill: What You Missed (Volume 19, Issue 6)


Kaitlin Hsu

Jessica Dickinson Good- man ‘07 speaks at the February meeting. Goodman was sworn in as a member of the Human Services Commission, a voluntary advisory body for San Jose, in January. Her goals are to improve transit for women and children, increase disability access in San Jose and invite an ICE spokesperson to speak to the commission.

by Kaitlin Hsu and Sahana Srinivasan

Jessica Dickinson Goodman ’07, in her new capacity as a San Jose Human Services Commissioner, is tackling the impact that Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has on San Jose families.

Dickinson Goodman was sworn into the Human Services Commission (HSC), a voluntary advisory body for San Jose, in January with the goal of serving the Bay Area community and improving transit and disability access.

The HSC studies the status of human rights in San Jose, ensures their continual fulfillment and can make policy recommendations regarding human rights to the San Jose City Council.

Dickinson Goodman’s brother is on the autism spectrum and has learning disabilities, and he has inspired her to volunteer her time helping others.

“[I was inspired by] my brother being born [and] a lot of little moments of watching the world just not work for him and then noticing how the world just doesn’t work for women in a lot of ways, and it doesn’t work for people of color in the United States in a lot of cases, and it doesn’t work for migrant communities in lots of places,” Dickinson Goodman said. “It doesn’t work for minority communities even within countries that are theoretically equitable in other ways. I mean, we have work to do. It’s not a perfect world that any of us is born into, but we all have the opportunity to make it more fair and to make it more perfect.”

Following Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf’s warning of a large-scale ICE operation, over 230 arrests were made in an immigration enforcement sweep in the San Francisco Bay Area.

At the HSC’s February meeting, Dickinson Goodman led a discussion over whether the Commission should send an invitation to Gilroy ICE spokesperson James Schwab to attend and speak at an HSC meeting about ICE’s changes in protocol and enforcement in the Bay Area.

“They’ve [ICE] been making a lot of statements about going after sanctuary cities, specifically, and threatening San Jose in a pretty boldfaced way,” Dickinson Goodman said. “I’m up for having more discussion about it. My understanding is that city council and SJPD have been trying to interact with ICE, but they have not been particularly responsive, and to me that provides an additional benefit, if we’re able to when we’re developing our list of questions, to ask the questions that need answering.”

The HSC voted to draft the invitation letter, which Dickinson Goodman did, and will vote at their monthly meeting today on whether they should follow up with the letter and hand-deliver it to Schwab.

Apart from its ICE initiatives, the HSC aims to spread awareness about people with disabilities, explore how to impactfully mitigate stress in children, write bylaws and establish the best practices for the commission overall.

To get involved in public governance, San Jose commissions have seats open in various councils, ranging from housing and community development to arts and historic landmarks. Nine Youth Commission positions in Districts 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 and CW are also available.

In addition to a discussion over the ICE representative invitation at their March meeting tonight, HSC will discuss police protocol on how to handle property from people who are homeless, review a Women’s Bill of Rights policy and vote to approve funding implementation.

This piece was originally published in the pages of the Winged Post on March 29, 2018.