Consumers Committee Minutes, November 17, 2020



Tuesday, November 17, 2020, 12:30 – 1:45PM

By Zoom Video Conference


Committee Members Present: Atif Abdul-Haqq, Asia Betancourt, Paul Carr, Maria Diaz, Billy Fields, Lawrence Francis, Charmaine Graham, Jesus Maldonado, David Martin (Consumer-at-Large), Michael Rifkin, Leo Ruiz, John Schoepp. Rob Walker

DOHMH: David Klotz, Melanie Lawrence,Jose Colon-Berdecia, Johanna Acosta

Agenda Item #1: Welcome/Introductions/Review of the Meeting Packet

David M., Consumers-at-Large, opened the meeting, followed by introductions and a moment of silence.  The minutes of the October 20th meeting were approved with one minor correction.

Agenda Item #2: Planning Council Bylaws: Consumer Committee Duties

The Committee began review of the section of the Council bylaws that describe the duties of the Consumers Committee.  David K. recommended that the Committee develop broad themes that he can work into draft language for the Committee to work from.  Rob moved that a sub-committee be formed to work on the language.  The motion was seconded.  There was discussion about the efficiency of each approach, the time constraints of having multiple meetings, and the effectiveness of the two recommendations.  A vote was taken on the motion, which was not adopted 6Y-6N. 

In response to a comment from Rob, it was explained that the Rules & Membership Committee (RMC) will review the roles and terms of service of committee chairs.  The Consumers Committee will concentrate currently on the duties of the Committee, after which any recommendation will go to RMC, Executive Committee and eventually the full Council for ratification.  It was noted that the chair and a majority of the RMC members are members of the Consumers Committee.

A summary of the discussion on the Bylaws’ description of the Consumers Committee duties follows:

  • There is a need to increase adherence to the current Bylaws duty to ensure meaningful participation of consumers in the Council’s activities.
  • It is not necessarily the role of the Committee to train and mentor consumers. 
  • The Council staff conducts an orientation for new members, and there used to be Leadership Training Institute courses at Cicatelli.  There needs to be a process to build on and supplement the orientation specifically for consumers, including training and mentorship.
  • The Bylaws should contain overarching language on outreach, recruitment, training and retention of consumers.  Details of how to implement that can then be developed.
  • While there is consumer involvement in all committees, communication between committees needs improvement (especially from other committees to the Consumers Committee).
  • The Bylaws can formalize the Consumers Committee’s role in reviewing and providing input into the work of the other committees.  There needs to be a two-way flow of information, which can be done through members who sit on various committees and staff.

David K. will draft language based on the above discussion and distribute in by email so that members can review and comment before the next meeting.  Given the work that the Committee will be undertaking (i.e., on older PWH), an ad-hoc committee may want to meet to refine the language.

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned.