SAN FRANCISCO—The San Francisco Police Commission unanimously voted 5-0 to confirm its new president and vice president on Wednesday, January 6. Commissioner Malia Cohen was voted as president and commissioner Cindy Elias has been voted as vice president.
Two days after their confirmations, Hillary Ronen, member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors tweeted on Friday, January 8:
“This is fantastic news for advocates of deep and meaningful police reform! Congratulations Police Commission President @MaliaCohen and Vice-President Cindy Elias.”
The vote comes after former SF Police Commission Vice President Damali Taylor submitted her letter of resignation to Mayor London Breed on Monday, December 21 “due to work commitments and other public service projects,” the letter states.
Taylor’s resignation was effective on December 31, 2020.
Cindy Elias, voted in as vice president, has been a member of the SF Police Commission since 2018. According to the SF Examiner, Supervisor Hillary Ronen praised her as a “consistent and independent voice” back in March 2019 when the board voted to confirm her on the SF Police Commission.
Prior to her joining the commission, she was a deputy public defender for the city.
Regarding Cohen, Mayor Breed said in a news release that she is “proud” to have nominated her and believes she will “be a critical voice on this Commission to guide this transformation and make our system equitable and just.”
Breed’s comments come after the Board of Supervisors rejected one of her picks for the police commission back in June 2020. The mayor nominated Nancy Tung, but was rejected in a 10-1 vote, with Supervisor Catherine Stefani the lone vote.
Cohen, former member of the SF Board of Supervisors has been a member of the police commission since August 2020. She released a statement in a press release thanking Mayor Breed and the SF Board for support.
As president, she said she will “ensure continual and transparent reviews of the policies and practices of the SFPD [San Francisco Police Department]” and “that the voices from all of our communities — particularly persons of color — are heard,” states the news release.
According to her LinkedIn profile, Cohen received her Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Fisk University (located in Nashville, Tennessee) in 2000.
In 2008, she received her Master’s degree in Public Policy and Management from Carnegie Mellon University (located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania).
The SF Police Commission has seven members. Aside from Elias and Cohen, the other members are Petra DeJesus, John Hamasaki, and DionJay Brookter. There are two vacancies.
Elias’ term as commissioner expires on April 2023 and Cohen’s term expires April 2024.