RAOUL WALLENBERG JEWISH DEMOCRATIC CLUB QUESTIONNAIRE FOR CANDIDATES: JUNE 2014 ELECTION

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1 RAOUL WALLENBERG JEWISH DEMOCRATIC CLUB QUESTIONNAIRE FOR CANDIDATES: JUNE 2014 ELECTION The Raoul Wallenberg Jewish Democratic Club, a chartered club of the Democratic Party, will endorse candidates in the upcoming June 2014 election. Our members will meet on Monday, March 24 th to consider endorsements. All endorsements will be distributed to our list, on our website, and through paid advertising or direct mail depending on our financial ability. Please return this questionnaire to the Club at no later than Wednesday, March 19 th. Please feel free to attach up to 3 pages. Should you have any questions, feel free to contact Jill at or All responses will be posted to the club s website and to our membership. Thank you for participating in the RWJDC endorsement process. We look forward to hearing from you Name: Carol Kingsley_ Candidate for: San Francisco Superior Court Judge seat 20 Website: and Facebook: No presence on Facebook Address: Phone Number: Why are you running for this position and what do you hope to accomplish if elected? This is a Tikkun opportunity for me, to apply my considerable professional and personal experiences and skills as a neutral to help people who come to our San Francisco courts with problems to heal, repair and in some cases, even be transformed. From 30 years experience as a lawyer, including over 10 years as a professional neutral mediator, arbitrator and hearing officer, I have acquired a vast amount of experience and skills like those required of a judge. I have also worked extensively in the community and served on San Francisco s Ethics Commission and Police Commission. My husband, Jack Berman, was killed in the 101 California St. shooting in 1993, and since then, I have vigorously worked to reduce gun violence. I would like to use these experiences and skills to be of public service to our San Francisco community. San Franciscans deserve a hard- working, fair and, in light of serious financial challenges, an especially efficient judiciary. I am hard- working, passionately believe that all people coming before the court should be treated with respect and fairness regardless of religion, race, ethnicity, gender, age, sexual orientation or socioeconomic position. I would be a particularly helpful and efficient addition to the San Francisco bench because I have

2 already been using and honing the skills of a judge for over 10 years service as a professional neutral and almost 4 years serving as a quasi- judicial hearing officer on police discipline cases. As I stated above, all people who have business in our San Francisco courts need to feel confident that the court is listening to what they have to say and to trust that they are being treated equally and fairly regardless or their religion, gender, race, religion, age, ethnicity, sexual orientation or socioeconomic position. This is particularly important with regards to criminal sentencing because data indicates disparate treatment of men of color. This will be my highest priority on the bench. I would work with colleagues to examine the practices and procedures of the court, including training of staff, with a focus towards improving delivery of service with improved efficiency, courtesy and cross cultural understanding. I will work to obtain more funding for the court. Our judicial system is by far the most poorly funded of the three branches of government. There are many Dark courtrooms in San Francisco Superior Court. All judicial seats need to be filled and the number of support staff increased. Technology should be examined for ways to make delivery of operations more efficient. I will join my colleagues on existing efforts for increased funding as well as encourage new approaches to delivery of services utilizing the best technology possible. I will promote maximum use of alternative dispute resolution procedures. I believe the court system could make better use of the vast resources in the community of mediation and other neutral services in civil cases. 2. Why do you think the RWJDC should support your candidacy? Of the three candidates I am the most qualified. My legal qualifications for this position include: 30 years of practicing law in California; Including 10 years working as a professional mediator helping hundreds of parties successfully resolve cases in litigation; Experience as a general business, corporate, and tax attorney. I am the only candidate for this judicial seat with substantial experience as a neutral arbitrator, mediator and hearing officer in quasi- judicial proceedings, not just as an advocate for one side or the other. My public service includes: San Francisco Police Commission, On the Police Commission, I have helped set policy for the Police Department, conducted disciplinary hearings and helped decide guilt and penalties on charges of police misconduct. San Francisco Ethics Commission, President, On the Ethics Commission, I helped place San Francisco s pioneer public campaign financing law on the ballot for voter approval after it was rejected by the Board of Supervisors. My experience of criminal justice unfortunately is not limited to a professional perspective. In 1993, my husband Jack Berman, along with eight others, was killed in the 101 California Street

3 shooting. I understand firsthand the experience of crime victims and empathize with their sometimes frustrating encounters with our justice system. For more than 20 years, I have worked, together with other survivors of the shooting and Senator Dianne Feinstein, for stricter gun control laws. Since its early inception immediately following the 1993 massacre, I have served on the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, which was instrumental in 30 new state and local laws in California believed to be linked to a drop in the gun death rate in the state by more than 50% in 20 years. From these professional and life experiences, I have the knowledge of criminal and civil law and the skills of a neutral to effectively resolve disputes and make difficult decisions. As a superior court judge, I would bring this knowledge and skill set to our courtrooms. My community activities include: The Mediation Society, Board of Directors Legal Community Against Violence, Executive Committee and Board Member San Francisco Women Lawyers Alliance, President and Board Member American Jewish Congress, Pacific Western Region Vice President and Board Member Jack Berman Advocacy Center, Chair of Board Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights, Development Committee and Legal Services for Entrepreneurs San Francisco Women Tax Lawyers, Vice President and Board Member I would bring my Jewish values of compassion, justice, accountability, fairness and peaceful resolution of conflict, to public service on the bench. I would add the voice of a Jewish woman to the SF Superior Court. 3. As an elected official, what steps might you take if the Board of Supervisors or State Legislature were considering a resolution, ordinance, or other legislative action that sought to take an adverse position toward the State of Israel? As a judicial officer, I will be required to abide by certain judicial ethics rules some of which admonish against taking positions publicly on issues and matters that are or may come before the court. I would need to take into consideration the constraints of the judicial ethics rules when deciding what action to take if the Board of Supervisors or California legislature were considering the resolution, ordinance, or other legislative action that sought to take an adverse decision toward Israel. 4. What do you view as the two most important policy issues facing San Francisco (in the context of the role you are running to fill) and how would you address these issues? The prisons in California are seriously overcrowded, and San Francisco jail resources are challenged as well. Due to budget cutbacks, San Francisco has many closed courtrooms and a

4 shortage of staff. Community courts have been created to handle minor misdemeanors. The District Attorney s office is focused on prosecuting primarily serious violent crimes and is looking to methods of rehabilitation and restoration to handle alleged criminals of lesser nonviolent crimes. As a judge I would want to maintain clear channels of communication with the District Attorney s Office and the Public Defender s Office with regard to such policies and practices. To be clear, though, I would always make decisions from the bench based on the law and not policy nor personal views. Due to budget cutbacks and loss of staff, San Francisco Superior Courts discontinued its Early Settlement Program where litigants would engage in alternative dispute resolution, often resulting in the case settling. As a judge, I would not only seek to have that program restored, but also explore other options for use of alternative dispute resolution processes within the courts. 5. What policy issues do you consider as being of special concern to the Jewish community in the San Francisco Bay Area? Immigration reform and addressing the problems of undocumented people, I believe should be of special concern to the Jewish community in the San Francisco Bay Area and elsewhere where there are large populations of undocumented people. On this point, I planned with other congregants and moderated a program on this issue at Congregation Sherith Israel on Shabbat Yito this year. I believe the well- being of Israel is of special concern to the Jewish community in the San Francisco Bay Area, as it should be. I believe that the San Francisco Bay Jewish Community is concerned about the continued unfair treatment of African Americans in our communities and the country as a whole. As a judge, I would want to make sure that in the San Francisco Superior Court there is no disparate treatment of African- Americans and other people of color, especially when it comes to criminal sentencing. 6. Have you been to Israel? If so, please share a bit about your experience. I have been to Israel twice. The first time was when I was a junior in college. I went with the American Zionist Youth Organization, touring the country and working on Kibbutz Shiller for two months. The tour of the country was quite extensive. Shiller was one of the oldest kibbutzes in Israel and yet was rather small in comparison to those to which my friends were assigned. I mostly worked in the fields sorting tomatoes on a moving harvester, wrapping and tying leaves around emerging bundles of bananas, and picking pairs and other fruits and vegetables. I remember being rewarded for my hard work in the fields with an assignment to scrub out the swimming pool, a coveted job because it allowed being in water affording some relief from the August heat. This was my first trip abroad and I was still Catholic. My best friend at the time, Jewish from a Conservative family, was engaged to a Catholic young man. For her upcoming graduation, her parents offered her a trip to Israel or sewing machine. I researched the trip to Israel and tried to persuade her to go, in part, because I loved her

5 parents who were troubled about the prospect of their daughter s marriage and because the trip sounded so exciting. She opted for the sewing machine to make her wedding dress. I went to Israel without her and learned more than I could ever have imagined about the history, culture, people, and to a lesser extent, religion of the Jewish people. I attribute that experience as laying the foundation for my eventual conversion to Judaism and marrying a nice Jewish lawyer. The second time I went to Israel was in 1991 with my new husband, Jack Berman, as part of an American Federation delegation. It was Jack s first trip to Israel. We were among many Jewish friends. We met with many dignitaries, visited several museums, businesses and more prominent sites. Two of the most memorable and moving parts of this trip were welcoming new immigrants at the airport at 3 o clock in the morning and planting trees with my new husband surrounded by loving friends from the Bay Area. Thank you for reading my responses and considering me for endorsement.

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