San Francisco Gray Panthers Quarterly Report, Jan. 17, 2009
· Our membership growing slowly, but new members are active; three attended National Convention and argued for our six resolutions on human rights, single payer, the Medicare Modernization Act, the Patriot Act, immigration, media reform, and Mumia .
· We are having more consistent contact with new contacts via e-mail and phone conversations.
· The phone tree is more organized, still successful in bringing people out, is being used more often.
· Our Friday late afternoon Movie Night at office died from lack of attendance, may re-establish in more homey location.
Civil Liberties/Human Rights: Committee polling to see members’ interests.
· We hosted another benefit brunch with embattled civil rights attorney Lynne Stewart and her husband.
· We participated in Dec. 10 demonstration for Mumia. Can we get National GP support for Mumia?
· We’re part of a youth-oriented coalition to defend kids who are being racially profiled and criminalized by Gang Injunctions, and had a successful membership meeting where a medium profile Public Defender spoke.
· We’re part of an immigrant rights coalition demanding Stop ICE raids, Stop deporting under-age youth, Stop dismantling Sanctuary City laws, Stop cuts in social services for immigrants, and fire racist City officials who promote these abuses.
· We’ve started a campaign demanding EQUAL healthcare for all, drawing attention to Obama health advisor Ezekiel Emanuel’s “Universal Health Care” proposal using vouchers and private insurance companies to provide “basic” care and encouraging people with more money to buy more comprehensive care. (See “Equal Healthcare for All!” leaflet.) We have worked with Single Payer Now, Senior Action Network, and CARA to try to make equality a more prominent argument.
· We were one of about six major contributors to organizing the wildly successful June 19th demonstrations against the national convention of health insurance companies in San Francisco.
· We’ve joined the national Alliance to Restore Medicare, which seeks to reverse ALL the provisions of the 2003 Medicare Modernization Act that are so dangerous to Medicare patients and Medicare itself. The Alliance’s analysis of the MMA’s dangers closely match ours in our Medicare video. CARA also joined the Alliance.
· We’ve been more active in CARA and Senior Action Network activities on SB 840 and HR 676.
· We’re still involved in the campaign to save St. Luke’s Hospital, the only hospital besides the county hospital on the low-income, largely minority and non English-speaking, South East portion part of town.
· We’re in fight to prevent city nursing home, Laguna Honda Hospital, from closing its Adult Health Center.
· We’re reactivating Middle East Study Group, and we participated in large demonstration against Gaza invasion, attracting attention with giant banner “No Justice? No Peace! From Fruitvale BART to Middle East.”
· A few members were part of recent anti-Gaza invasion demonstration at Israeli Consulate recently.
Fighting Cuts in Services:
· SF GP is in a CARA-centered coalition to fight cuts in state services, 2 members attended 1st meeting.
· SF GP is on the Steering Committee of Coalition to Save Public Health and Human Services.
· SF GP participated in demonstrations against State elimination of Renter’s credit, cutting funds for HIV/AIDS education, the Department of Aging, and Ombudsman program to investigate nursing home abuse, among others. We attracted attention, and favorable comment, with our banner “Make the Bosses Take the Losses!”