Important note: the following recommendation was approved by the Board of Supervisors on Nov. 15, 2016:

DISTRICT 5 (Supervisor Adrienne J. Tissier)

FYs 2016-17 and 2017-18 Measure A Request Citizens for Safety – “Operation LIPSTICK” $60,000 One-Time Grant

This is a request to authorize a one-time $60,000 grant to Citizens for Safety’s “Operation LIPSTICK” for FYs 2016-17 and 2017-18. Operation LIPSTICK (“Ladies Involved in Putting a Stop to Inner-City Killing”) provides workshops, training, and education for the purpose of reducing the willingness of women and girls to straw purchase, hide, or carry guns for people who can’t pass criminal background checks. The proposed grant agreement will be negotiated, administered, and managed by the Sheriff’s Office.


Citizens for Safety’s Operation LIPSTICK is a coalition of faith and civic leaders, elected officials, social service and law enforcement professionals working to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and youth without abridging the freedoms of law-abiding Americans.

LIPSTICK educates women to prevent them from being used to buy, hide or hold guns for those who are legally prohibited from possessing guns. Since the debut of Operation LIPSTICK in Boston in 2012, more than 5,000 women have signed pledges indicating that they will refuse to be used to “straw purchase” guns illegally and one district attorney credited Operation LIPSTICK with a 33% decrease in his county in gun-related charges brought against women in 2015.

In San Mateo County, Citizens for Safety is supporting the PICO (People Improving Communities through Organizing) network to implement Operation LIPSTICK to reduce gun violence and related mass incarceration. A 2014 Service League/Hope House survey of women in a local reentry program indicated that 75% of the women surveyed knew of someone who traded drugs or money for guns, 67% knew someone who was paid to hide, hold, or buy an illegal gun, and 75% said that they had been in a relationship with a man who was a convicted felon and had a gun with 42% indicating that they had been asked by him to hide the gun.

Operation LIPSTICK will partner with PICO to provide educational workshops, a database of supporters and other deliverables in San Mateo County to accomplish the following goals:

  • Increase awareness of the risks and consequences of straw purchasing and other illegal activities involving guns.
  • Educate, train and support women leaders
  • Convert former straw buyers into spokespeople, leaders and mentors
  • Develop clinical protocols for social service providers
  • Measure outcomes and program effectiveness on behalf of the partnership

Operation LIPSTICK’s services include the following:

  • Train local female workshop facilitators, program leaders, spokeswomen and stakeholders
  • Provide training on the “Iron Pipeline” demonstration
  • Oversee media outreach and story placement
  • Develop and implement evaluation tools; analyze data and feedback
  • Develop and evaluate social service intervention and prevention guidelines
  • Provide written text for emails, e-newsletters and social media content; revise based on feedback
  • Provide LIPSTICK pins, t-shirts, banners, postcards, posters and other collateral materials
  • Recruit additional funders and supporters

Additional support may be provided based on feedback from the partners, community leaders and San Mateo County residents.

If the County authorizes the proposed grant to Citizens for Safety prior to December 1, 2016, then the local San Mateo County community partners in Citizens for Safety’s Operation LIPSTICK program (including, but not limited to Peninsula Interfaith Action (PIA/PICO)), will be eligible for up to $30,000 in grants per year from the Dosberg Foundation for up to three years.

Performance Measures

The following performance measures will be used to track progress on the impact of these grant funds:

  • Organize and hold no fewer than 20 workshops, presentations, and educational forums per year in San Mateo County to educate and raise awareness of the risks and consequences of straw purchasing and other illegal activities involving guns
  • Organize and hold no fewer than 10 leadership trainings per year
  • Attendance shall exceed 30 participants for each workshop and 10 participants for each leadership training
  • 80% of workshop attendees who report an increase in awareness of the risks and consequences of straw purchases and other illegal activities involving guns
  • Pledges received after workshop attendance from more than 500 women vowing not to buy, hide, or hold guns for someone else

Total Measure A Request: $60,000

The release of funds will be contingent on the execution of a Grant Agreement providing for the County’s confirmation the funds have been expended during FY 2016-18 for the purposes stated herein.

Important note: this is a copy of the official report -- item 7 on the Board's agenda.

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