Gray Panthers of San Francisco
May 2007 Newsletter

State-Wide Gray Panthers Meeting











Not only was the agenda for the quarterly meeting jam-packed, so was our SF office with over 35 Gray Panthers from networks around the state. During the day we heard reports on each network’s activities, a special report on Lt. Watada, a video by Berkeley GP Margot Smith on her recent trip to Iran with the Fellowship of Reconciliation, our SF DVD show on Medicare and Universal Health Care and a legislative report from Sacramento. Our afternoon session was an interactive discussion led by Elena Portacolone on the uniqueness of Gray Panthers, ways to attract new members, especially youth, and how to keep new members engaged. We even ended on time! Margot will present her video on Iran again with more time for discussion at the SF Gray Panthers May meeting.

The Wellness Foundation has proposed extending our current grant for three more years: $32,000 year one, $28,000 year two, and $25,000 year three. Funds would be used to build a grass roots activists’ base for educating the coming upcoming “baby boomer” retirees on healthcare and Social Security issues, especially the threats to these programs. Some of the money might be used to reproduce the SF Medicare Modernization Act presentation for other networks to use.

Jim Dawson reported on the progress of the National Gray Panthers web site, to be modeled on to allow letter writing and internet organizing. The site is to be completed within two months. The national office is also hiring an organizer to work where we do not have active Gray Panthers networks.

Joan Lee, Sacramento network, reported that the GPs, along with OWL and CARA, co-sponsored SB 472 to standardize prescription bottle labels. The bill and a complete list of over 60 pieces of legislation affecting seniors will be available in the office and at monthly meetings.

We also had a brief discussion on immigration and proposals for a statement about our stand on immigration policies.

Networks present and/or reported on included: South Alameda, Berkeley, South Bay (LA), Long Beach, Central Contra Costa, Marin, Sacramento, Santa Barbara and San Francisco.


(back to May 2007 Newsletter front page)