Supervisor Shamann Walton has introduced a charter amendment that would allow noncitizens to serve on city advisory boards. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)

Voters have a chance to let non-citizens serve on SF advisory boards

The Board of Supervisors voted unanimously Tuesday to place on the November ballot a charter amendment introduced by Supervisor Shamann Walton to allow non-citizens to serve on government advisory bodies.

The measure would eliminate the current requirement that those who serve on the bodies are registered to vote, which means they have to be at least 18 years old and a U.S. citizen.

“This is of course a pivotal time for us in history to remove the barrier of allowing undocumented immigrants a voice at the table,” Walton said. “They have been fighting and organizing in our communities for years. They are part of our economy. Their families and children attend our schools.”

He said the measure will “eliminate barriers to allowing our undocumented immigrants to serve on our commissions, our special committees and boards here in San Francisco.”

Board President Norman Yee said that the measure to remove the “discriminatory restriction” was “long overdue and really a stain on our city’s charter.”

“I am hopeful that San Franciscans will vote and undo this wrong,” Yee said. “All San Francisco residents should have that ability to serve our public and to provide meaningful input.”

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