Recent Activities






of San Francisco
San Francisco Gray Panther Activities:
May-August, 2005

Gray Panthers Networks in California met on Saturday, September 10, in San Francisco.
This is the report SF Gray Panthers gave on our recent activities.

This quarter has been relatively quiet compared with earlier this year.

We inspired and were prominent in two demonstrations with CARA against Social Security Privatization at Rep Richard Pombo's office in Stockton.

In Civil Liberties, our network was part of a demonstration against restriction of driver's licenses for undocumented immigrants and targeting of immigrants and the Real ID Act, which threatens citizens and immigrants alike. We have also continued to agitate in behalf of attorney Lynne Stewart, whose sentencing has been postponed and for whom letters are needed. The Civil Liberties Committee has also continued our monthly programs in public libraries and other meeting places.

Our War and Peace Committee has been investigating and writing papers on the world economic situation, competition between the US, the European Union, and China, particularly over oil, and the economic factors driving the world toward war. We also delivered letters to Rep Pelosi requesting she deliver on her promise to have a town hall meeting in San Francisco on bringing the troops home from Iraq. Two of our members are attending the September 24 anti-war demonstrations in Washington DC, and will report to us on this. We will also be active in supporting an upcoming College, not Combat ballot initiative in November which would counter military recruitment in schools.

On health care matters, we have been involved in fighting the City's drive to change Laguna Honda Hospital from a nursing home for frail elderly to long term care for the mentally ill, as well as significantly downsizing it. The City has another facility for the mentally ill that it also downsized, leading to the current problem. We were also active in a demonstration at City Hall to close the Hunters Point PG&E plant, which has had terrible health effects on Bay View Hunters Point for decades. We have also written and collected information on threats to Medicare and Medicaid.

We have joined the San Francisco People's Organization, a coalition of major city organizations dealing with local matters, and will be a leading sponsor and organizer for a September 16 demonstration against a Chamber of Commerce Conference promoting a plan to provide health coverage to uninsured middle to upper income employees such as research scientists, consultants etc.

In August we had a potluck-celebration of the 100th anniversary of Maggie Kuhn's birthday featuring a presentation by Carroll Estes, Maggie's long-time friend.

One of our members led a Gray Panthers letter-writing campaign that was mainly responsible for the Board of Supervisors rejecting a bill that would have allowed individuals or corporations to make gifts to the City with no regulation or even oversight.

A group of us have been meeting to comb through Gray Panthers archival material, publications, leaflets, photos, news clippings, etc. to make a Gray Panthers history section of our website, which other networks could link to.

Some of have been involved in discussions over the UN's role in several recent attacks on the slum areas of Haiti in which scores of people have been killed. This has resulted in a nationwide e-mail discussion among Gray Panther networks and should result in a statement from our national office.