Gray Panthers of San Francisco
February, 2006 Newsletter

Report on Gray Panther State-Wide Meeting


Six California Gray Panthers networks consulted together on January 21 at the quarterly meeting of the informally constituted California State Gray Panthers organization. Hosted by the Marin network, those present were Sacramento, Central Contra Costa, Berkeley, San Francisco, South Bay/Long Beach from southern California, and of course Marin.

The One-Care Campaign. A major issue discussed at length was SB 840, the universal health coverage, single payer enabling act that has passed the California Senate and is now working its way through the Assembly. A companion bill to finance such care in California will be introduced in February and will be an even harder fight. It was M/S/C that the California Gray Panthers endorse in principle this bill, subject to no surprises.

Wellness Foundation Grant. We have $32,000 a year for the next two years to educate, monitor, and advocate about the Medicare Modernization Act and Part D. Acting on our previous authorization, the Sacramento network hired Margie Metzler (916-921-5008; to organize and coordinate activities. She has already set up a web site (, prepared a detailed statement on what’s wrong with Part D, printed a donut-hole postcard for distribution, and organized GP information meetings in Grass Valley and Modesto in February. Pharmacist and GP member Fred Mayer dramatically described the multiple problems at independent pharmacies trying to fill prescriptions since Jan. 1.Plans are afoot to demonstrate at the American Pharmaceutical Assn. meeting March 16-21 at Moscone Center.

Other issues discussed included 1) Vote counting and Assemblywoman Hancock’s clean money bill AB 583. 2) Immigration. Barbara from our Civil Liberties committee vividly summarized the extreme anti-people, anti-immigration bill HR 4437 introduced by Congressman Sensenbrenner (R., Wis.) and passed by the House. The group agreed to urge Boxer and Feinstein to oppose it in the Senate. SF’s amendments and deletions to the national GP immigration position paper were passed out to all the networks for consideration and comment to the national action committee.

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