BETWEEN CRIMINALIZATION AND CARE: Policing and Social Service Outreach in San Francisco’s Homeless Encampments

Dr. Brown and Dr. Yarbrough of SF State’s School of Public Affairs and Civic Engagement were panelist on a Storefront Lab discussion on October 11, 2016 titled “Towards a Compassionate City: A Conversation About Homeless Encampments”.  This panel examined how policing and social service outreach plays out on the streets of San Francisco on a day-to-day basis and what impact this has both on those experiencing homelessness and on the rest of the city. It provided a historical and national context for the roles and impacts of “quality of life” laws aimed at homelessness, similar to those initiatives on the November ballot and currently operating in San Francisco.  The panelists also discuss local propositions Prop Q – Prohibiting Tents on Public Sidewalks and Prop R Neighborhood Crime Unit. The panel is available to stream at



Dr. Gen Co-Authors Article

Associate Professor Sheldon Gen (Public Administration, PACE) published an article titled “Strategies of Policy Advocacy Organizations and Their Theoretical Affinities: Evidence from Q-Methodology” (with Amy Conley Wright) in Policy Studies Journal. The article connects literature on nonprofits and policy change with policy studies literature on influence in the policy process to examine policy advocacy strategies of nonprofit organizations.

Dr. Stowers Authors Article with MPA Students

Professor Genie Stowers (Public Administration, PACE), with three MPA students, published “Understanding the content and features of open data portals in American cities” in Government Information Quarterly. This paper presents the result of research on features and content of open data portals in American cities. The authors developed five scales to categorize and describe these portals. Regression models explaining variation between cities on these scales indicate city population as an important influence, along with participation in a regional consortium. Overall, results indicate portals are in a very early stage of development and need a great deal of work to improve user help and analysis features as well as inclusion of features to help citizens understand the data.

PACE Practitioner-in-Residence awarded Juvenile Advocate of the Year

On Smacallaireptember 17th, CJCJ’s Executive Director and PACE Practitioner-in-Residence,  Daniel Macallair, was recognized by the Pacific Juvenile Defender Center (PJDC) for his decades of work in the field of juvenile justice. At PJDC’s 13th Annual Roundtable Conference, Macallair was honored with the Juvenile Advocate of the Year Award for 2016, and also provided the keynote address on the “History of the California Youth Authority and Lessons Not Learned.”

In his speech, Macallair detailed some of the findings of his new book After the Doors Were Locked: A History of Youth Corrections in California and the Origins of 21st Century Reform. He gave a brief history of California’s state youth corrections system, now the Division of Juvenile Justice (DJJ), and the abuses and violence that have characterized these facilities from 1890 to present day. He also provided context for the cycles of reform that have taken place over the past century, but which subsequently failed to create safe institutions for California’s youth.

Daniel Macallair and CJCJ have focused on California’s youth corrections institutions since our organization’s inception. Recently, CJCJ released a report providing updated information on the state of DJJ titled Failure After Farrell: Violence and Inadequate Mental Health Care in California’s Division of Juvenile Justice (DJJ). The report finds that, despite the numerous reforms detailed in After the Doors Were Locked, California’s state youth corrections system remains plagued by increasing violence, pervasive gang culture, and deficient mental health treatment.

The School of Public Affairs and Civic Engagement has Three New Tenure Track Faculty for Fall 2016

The School of Public Affairs and Civic Engagement is thrilled to announce the successful search and hiring of three new tenure track faculty members.  Please welcome these Professors to the PACE and SFSU family.

o26a9696César Rodríguez is an Assistant Professor in Criminal Justice Studiesin the School of Public Affairs and Civic Engagement.  Formally, he was an Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology at California State University, San Marcos. Originally from Daly City and South San Francisco, Cesar Rodriguez’ education began with his family, where he learned to pursue his education as a form of self-defense from his mother, as well as to practice reflexive criticism from his father. He has studied globalization through political economy, mass incarceration through history and geography, and culture through the disciplines of Chicana/o Studies and Black Studies. Generally, his work focuses on race, class & hegemony. In particular, he examines two prominent racial regimes in the US – the prison, and the border – as well as whiteness as a form of authoritarian populism.

o26a9772Autumn Thoyre is an Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies in the School of Public Affairs and Civic Engagement.  Formerly she was a Visiting Assistant Professor of Geography at Colgate University. Her research into the politics of sustainable energy transitions focuses on energy efficiency and conservation, the “low-hanging fruit” of climate change mitigation. Using mixed methods and an expansive, critical perspective on energy efficiency and conservation, she aims to inform both academic debates about the natures and political economies of saving energy as well as policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and inequalities. As a Royster Fellow at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, her research into the politics of energy-efficient compact fluorescent light bulbs led to her completion of a Ph.D. in Geography. During her master’s degree in Environmental Studies and Sustainability Science at Lund University in Sweden, she worked with colleagues from over forty countries to analyze environmental politics through interdisciplinary lenses. Emphasizing sustainability and social justice, she has taught courses in environmental policy, environmental conservation, energy politics, water politics, reproductive politics, human geography, and research methods.

dilara-yarbroughDilara Yarbrough
 is an Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice Studies in the School of Public Affairs and Civic Engagement. She has a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of California, San Diego. Dr. Yarbrough was drawn to PACE because of the college’s emphasis on social justice and service learning. Her research focuses on gender, race and criminalized work in the production of marginality. She is particularly interested in how the experiences of sex workers, transgender people, and people experiencing homelessness illuminate the workings of systems that manage poverty. Her current book project draws on interviews and ethnography with people who have been homeless and worked in the sex trade to compare the effects of three different governmental responses to poverty: Criminalization, medicalization and harm reduction. Her other projects include a participatory action research study of the effects of the criminalization of homelessness in San Francisco and a study of transgender organizing against state violence in Istanbul, Turkey.


Funding the Next Generations Statewide Conference


p1030425The Promise of Local Dedicated Funds for California’s Children, Funding the Next Generation’s second statewide conference, was held Monday, May 9 at San Francisco State University.

Funding the Next Generation, a program housed in the College of Health and Social Sciences and in partnership with The School of Public Affairs and Civic Engagement, started the initiative to promote local public funding streams dedicated to services for children, youth and their families. More than two years ago, it started a journey to capture the public’s growing understanding of the needs of children and the success of California’s local children’s funds in San Francisco and Oakland.

The group asked: Can local children’s funds become a way to ensure sustainable funding for services to children, youth and families? Can the creation p1030472of local children’s funds become a statewide movement? Join the conference to learn the findings and insights to date. Featured speakers included:

  • Governor Gavin Newsom, who as mayor of San Francisco oversaw the nation’s largest children’s fund, addressed his understanding of the benefits, challenges and opportunities of a local fund.
  • Celinda Lake is one of the nation’s leading political strategists and pollsters who is known for her cutting-edge research on social policies and has served as a tactician for candidates and issue campaigns at all levels of government. She discussed the ways to frame children’s issues within a political
    context, as well as the benefits of

For more information, visit or contact Margaret Brodkin, the founder and director of Funding the Next Generation, at (415) 794-4963 or email

Public Administration Mid-Semester Re-Orientation Event


During the Spring 2016 Semester, the Public Administration Program hosted a Mid-Semster Re-Orienation Event for its current students.  At this event, recent MPA graduates reflected on “If I knew then, what I know now. . .”  offering tips for navigating graduate school and our program, as well as thinking about life after (or with) the MPA.  The Presenters were:

  • Najeeb Kamil, Staff Development Specialist: Child Welfare Trainer, Alameda County Social Services Agency;
  • Nicole Kelly; CTE Consultant, Peralta Community Colleges;
  • Ellie Tumbuan, Principal, Vaya Consulting,
  • Lindsay Rango White, Member Success Manager, Impact Hub

The Presenters reflected on what they wish they knew in their first semester of the Program.  Below are the highlights:

  • Talk to your classmates, everyone else is working through time management, life management, learning curve and how to write papers again. Even having someone to vent to, check in with, helps so much.
  • Document the PA theories as you learn them right from the very start. Make friends with everyone in 700, start a google spreadsheet, and track the Public Administration theories together. Pool your resources. Start a regular study or working group a couple times a month, drink and eat together, solicit feedback from your classmates. You’re not in this alone.
  • If you wish to build expertise in a certain issue area you have not yet worked in–use the same issue or field to build a body of work throughout your projects and papers for courses along the way, explore various aspects of the issue from different angles. At the end of your 2-3 years in the program, you’ll have legitimately built issue area expertise and can use that to look for new jobs, network, anything.
  • If you are a working student, have conversation with leadership at your company so that they are onboard with education which will enhance your experience (at work and at school).
  • Get to know the professors more, their current research and interests, you never know how you could get involved.

Presenters also provided advice to current SF State MPA students:

  • The program is yours to make the most of. If you want to network, do deeper research or develop a mentorship with someone, GO FOR IT! See the program as more than just night classes and soak everything in that you can during your time with the program! You can mine the value of the program further by getting to know faculty, volunteering, using your course projects to do consulting gigs, taking leadership positions formally or informally. But it is up to you to develop a risk appetite for creating what you want.
  • Make friends with your classmates. You can learn just as much from your peers as you will from faculty. Your classmates are an incredibly diverse, talented, brilliant group of people. USE the differences in their ages, cultures, professional backgrounds and interests to learn more and connect with their organizations. They’re all interested in changing the world in various ways. Build your network actively through them. Be a resource to them and offer your talents to complement theirs. It’s a very small world🙂
  • Consider working part-time if possible to take advantage of every opportunity even if it’s unpaid (fellowships, internships, etc.)

The Public Administration Program will offer a similar event for the Fall 2016 semester on Monday, October 3, 5 – 6 pm in DTC 677.