CALENDAR OF EVENTS
It's Gift-Giving Time
A number of you may recognize the newsletter cover this month as that of "our cookbook." These still make great, holiday, birthday, anniversary or what- have-you gifts. Bargain prices!
Health Care For All California: HCFAC
In spite of the rainy weather a good-sized group of Gray Panthers turned out Tuesday, November 19 to hear Judy Pope, advocate of Single Payer Health Care modeled on the Canadian health system, tell us about a state-wide organization, Health Care For All California, that is working to promote the single-payer concept for health care.
Judy told the audience that this dedicated group believes that a social revolution will take place when the public becomes aware of the benefits to be derived from a single-payer system, i.e., lower costs and better health care. She assured us that many people feel strongly about SPHC and will not give up the fight easily.
In November of last year the group met in Santa Barbara to set up a task force and work on an agenda to promote the SPHC issue during the coming years. HCFAC in the meantime puts out All For One, a newsletter, to keep the public informed.
The SPHC health system is not government sponsored socialized medicine as many people erroneously believe. It is a publicly funded insurance trust fund which includes long-term care. The cost of the program will be negotiated with hospitals and pharmaceutical companies. The Canadian health system and Medicare have demonstrated that maintaining the cost of a health system can be kept at a reasonable level of under 5% in contrast to the HMOs which spend 20-30% of their revenues to finance their organizations and reduce services to the user into the bargain.
The HMOs spent $10 million in advertising to de- feat props 214 and 216 which attempted to correct some of the inequities of HMO insurance plans. Because of the failure of previous health initiatives, HCFAC has planned a six-year campaign that hope- fully will lead to a winning initiative. The plan, which calls for person-to-person contact in the precincts, will require volunteers. If you are interested in becoming a volunteer or want to find out more about Health Care For All California call Judy Pope at 510-652-6130.
Gray Panthers and friends are invited to our annual potluck party. At this time of the year we put aside our serious activities to enjoy the witty conversation of good company, good food and a glass or two to cheer us up. The only business that will be conducted is the election of board members. We also hope to provide some lively entertainment.
The price of admission is a dish to share and a suitable gift for a homeless person. Western Park Apartments Solarium Laguna and Ellis, 12:30-4:00 p.m. Saturday, December 14.
A Look Back at the November Elections
Perhaps you, like me, ended up not sure how we did in the elections. Unfortunately, not very well on state propositions. We took a position on (and in many cases circulated petitions for) ten propositions: only three went our way; 208-voluntary campaign contribution limits; 210-raising the minimum wage; and 215-medical marijuana. The others that we supported-securities fraud, stronger campaign limits, both health care propositions, restoring income tax on the rich-alas, all lost. And the two we bitterly opposed-209, civil wrongs, and 218, grandchild of 213-won.
Statewide, yes. But not in San Francisco which mostly went our way. Should we secede from the rest of the state and set up the sovereign entity of San Francisco from Santa Cruz with His Williness as Emperor? Mitzi And One Last Election Note
"Our leaders are the best of men And so we elect them again and again That's what I learned in school today." from a Chad Mitchell Trio song Bad News: Reelected Strom Thurman and Jesse Helms
But there is also good news: defeated were Baker in Contra Costa, "B-1" Bob Dornan in Orange County (wow), Jenkins in Louisiana to name a few. Re-elected: Paul Wellstone of Minnesota, Max Baucus of Montana, Bernie Sanders of Vermont. And a first: the new governor of the state of Washington, Gary Locke, is the first Chinese-American governor ever on the U.S. mainland. And a Look Forward to Our Elections
Elections for the Board of Directors of the San Francisco Gray Panthers Network will be held at the December holiday party. Nominations are open until then. Nominated so far are Aroza, Deetje, Clarissa, Mary Frances and Eleanor. These names should all sound familiar to you, since all have served before. We would also welcome some new blood. Any member of the SF GPs is eligible.
Owner Move-in Evictions Law
Here is something we should all do-attend the Board of Supervisors meeting on December 9. Why? Proposed legislation to make it harder for landlords to evict tenants in order to move themselves or a relative into a unit is to be discussed and acted upon by the Board on the ninth. The legislation would:
We support all of the above with one caveat. Why should the restrictions on evictions of ten-year resi- dents apply only to people over 62? Why not every- body? That's especially why we should all be there to support this local legislation and rise as GPs to ask for extension of the first point to everybody. So mark December 9 on you calendar and be sure to be there!
Our heartiest thank-you to David Steinberg for his "Seniorities" column in the S.F. Examiner on November 9 describing the Gray Panthers' fight to save the library's book collection.
Steinberg extensively quotes Deetje Boler, board member of the S.F. Gray Panthers, on the need to pre- serve the library's books.
In the New Main the stacks are closed. You can't browse. More than 57,000 books have been discarded or given away. Some of the dis- carded books were the last copies available.
The San Francisco chapter [of the Gray Panthers] is circulating a petition to save the book collection built up over the past four gen- erations . . . for our shared use and enjoyment. Four generations of librarians have worked since the 1906 earthquake and fire to build our library collection. To gut that collection deprives us, our forebears and progeny of their rightful inheritance.
The public passed the bond measure for the new library with the understanding that it would accommodate the old collections as well as allow room for expansion. . . . We must act now to preserve the collection before it is further decimated.
We are not against computers as tools to access the library's contents. We do believe libraries, by defini- tion, are for books, and that should be their main emphasis.
Meanwhile, if you want to help, fill out and hand
in the petition that was in last month's newsletter (we
will ask for a meeting with Mayor Brown to present
them). Attend the library commission meetings. Come
to the GPs office to help catalog the 800-1000 books
we have there from the library's giveaways.
The Newsletter of the San Francisco Gray Panthers is published each month, and distributed free of charge to members and friends of this nonprofit organization.