Gray Panthers of San Francisco
June 2007 Newsletter

Fight the City Budget Cuts!
Please Call the Office to Help.


The April Street Sheet shows how virtually all programs for low-income, minority, and working-class residents are threatened by City funding cuts on top of State and Federal cuts. Mayor Newsom proposes a 5% cut to all departments. Major areas of concern are the aging/disabled; children, youth, and families; violence prevention; HIV/AIDS services; economic justice/living wages; community services; housing and homelessness; harm reduction; substance abuse; immigrant rights; and housing subsidies for 491 HIV/AIDS patients (out of 2,400 homeless HIV/AIDS patients).

The Health Department has announced massive cuts or closure of programs in mental health and substance abuse, including those serving disabled homeless and homeless women in the Mission. Also cut are drug overdose prevention, needle exchange, Women’s Community Clinic, stimulant treatment, public health nurses for home care, methadone treatment, San Francisco General psychiatric services, prescription co-pay aid, and elimination of the San Francisco General Workers Compensation clinic. San Francisco General nurse understaffing already compromises patient care and nurse safety, and makes more nurses quit.

Each year, People’s Budget helps the fight to save programs by assembling, exposing, and explaining the City’s often-hidden plans to eliminate services. They also show how services could be financed if downtown corporations and the rich were taxed. In past years, Gray Panthers have attended People’s Budget meetings, invited them to our meetings, and devoted Newsletter space to their work. This year they have done their work without our help. Now the fight to save services shifts to street rallies and Supervisors’ budget hearings.

The City’s planned cuts threaten our communities and threaten us directly. From Bayview to Chinatown, the City plans a new campaign to gentrify and marginalize working-class people and families. PLEASE call the Gray Panthers office, 415-552-8800, and leave your number, so we can call you about upcoming rallies and Supervisors’ budget hearings in June and July. We cannot just stand by.

(back to June 2007 Newsletter front page)