February 1998

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March is Women's History Month

Wed., Feb. 4, 1:30­3:00 p.m.

Board meeting at the office. All welcome and invited!

Thurs., Feb. 12, 10:00 a.m.­12:00 noon

SAN. Unitarian Church, Geary and Franklin.

Tues., Feb. 17, 12:30­3:00 p.m.

General Meeting: Social Security Focus Group,

presentation by Marian Branch of OWL with a

discussion led by Mitzi Raas.

Fri., Feb. 20, 10:30 a.m.

AARP, Chapter No. 99 meeting in Odd Fellows Bldg,

7th and Market. Info, (515) 861-1737 or (415) 386-4190.

Tues., Feb. 24 Public meeting with spokesperson from Public

Citizen in Washington D.C. speaking against the

Multilateral Agreement on Investment (MAI). Call office.

Thurs., Feb 26, 6:30 p.m.

N2N. Panel will examine the deterioration of AIDS/HIV

programs. Women's Building, 18th St. near Valencia.

Sat., Feb. 28, 10:45 a.m.

OWL General Meeting: Isadora Alman on "Friendship Among

Midlife and Older Women." 870 Market St. Info, (415) 989-4422.

Board of Directors­1998

Officers for 1998 are co-convenors Arosa Simpson and Karen Talbot; secretary Deetje Boler; treasurer Mary Frances Smith. Membership director is Augusta Szego.

Please note: At the request of new Board member Franklin the Board meeting was changed from the second Wednesday of the month to the first Wednesday of the month. Meetings are at the office from 1:30 to 3:00.

All Gray Panthers members and friends are welcome to attend and participate in Board discussions, but only elected Board members may initiate motions and vote thereon. The Board of Directors determines policy, activities and programs for all membership meetings for the San Francisco network of the Gray Panthers.

Alvin Calloway of the Coalition on Homelessness described his group as a "union, a family" with divisions devoted to legal/civil rights, family rights and dignity, general assistance rights, housing, shelter information and advocacy, a grievance committee, substance abuse and mental health and the Street Sheet program. He was especially proud of the Community Housing Partnership, funded by HUD, which takes over SRO hotels and refurbishes and makes them available to those in need.

Kay Griffin, an independent activist, claimed that homelessness is "being manufactured at an alarming rate" by shelters that are TB cookers and pesticides that engender symptoms that "look like flu."

Roma Guy, Director of the Bay Area Homelessness Program of the Health Education Department, stated the difficulties as a problem engendered by the economic climate that demands every adult produce, "no family wage"

Spotlight on Homelessness

Our January meeting featured three movers and shakers in the battle with homelessness. They each eloquently described their programs.

Save Organic Standards

The U. S. Deparment of Agriculture is attempting to redefine organic foods to include foods that are genetically engineered, irradiated, factory-farmed and grown on top of toxic sewage sludge.

This represents nothing less than an "unfriendly takeover" of the organic foods industry by agribusiness, chemical-biotech corporations and giant supermarket chains. On December 25, the USDA announced their proposed national organic standards.

Currently, when we shop for foods labeled "organic," we can be reasonably certain of what we're getting. Here's what you can do today to save organic standards.

Send a letter, fax, or e-mail to the USDA:

USDA­National Organic Standards

Docket #TMD-94-00-2 :

Address: USDA, AMS, Room 4007-S

AgStop 0275, P.O. Box 96456

Washington, D. C. 20090-6456

plus the fact that the aged in this city outnumber those of any other city in the country. She said that even Laguna Honda is in jeopardy.

Guy's web site can be accessed at <thecity.sfsu.edu/-<http://stewartd/>

Consensus of attendees at this meeting was that if these organizations don't work in coalition and gain some influence at City Hall, little progress can be made.

Social Security Scare = Stock Scam

The Social Security Focus Group was formed by OWL (Older Women's League) to defend social security against allegations of insolvency and proposals of privatization. The Focus Group includes representatives from OWL, Gray Panthers, CNA, Unitarian/Universalists, ESC, AFSCME, Goldman Institute on Aging, National Council of Negro Women, CWA and others.

The first part of that agenda is now done and ready to goa researched paper on the projected future of social security.

This presentation, a practice run, will be at the membership meeting of the GPs on Feb. 17th. Speakers will be Marian Branch of OWL and Mitzi Raas of the GPs. We need your help! First, for approval, criticism and evaluation of the material and effectiveness of the presentation. Secondly, to help us find groups to speak to. This program is pointed to working people, from teens to those in their fifties and looking at retirement.

Please come prepared to criticize constructively the presentation and to suggest groups we should reach out to.

Not by Bread Alone

In keeping with the Gray Panthers' New Year Resolution to find some solutions to the problems faced by the homeless, I visited Martin de Porres and the Haight Ashbury Food Program. Both programs provide much more than just food. They recognize individual needs, provide empathetic help, whether it's referrals to counseling or immediate material aid.

And at a recent meeting of the Environmental Commission of S.F. the power needs of the City were discussed: the pollution caused by power plants, their locations and the effects they have on nearby residents. These needs must be treated with the same degree of empathy shown at the above food programs. We GPs need to work together with other progressive organizations in order to bring these and many other problems of our City under control.

Join us in our efforts to bring our own special flair to these efforts. Aroza

Override Vetoed Bill of Rights

Last year Governor Wilson vetoed the managed care reform bills that had passed the legislature with strong, bipartisan support. Now Senior Action Network, Gray Panthers and many other community-activist organizations are urging the legislature to override that veto and make managed care reform the law in California.

The five bills vetoed include AB 536: HMO Public Disclosure; AB 794: HMO Disclosure and Medical Director Liability; SB 296: Prostate Cancer Screening; SB 1220: Management and Treatment of Diabetes; and AB 760: Breast Cancer Treatment (Autologous Bone Marrow Transplants).Call, fax, write and e-mail your legislators to override!

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.

Editorial Board:Agnes Batteiger, Rebecca Hirshleifer, Mitzi Raas; Publisher, Astrid M. Spector; Art Director, Fannie Biderman; Proof, Lurilla Harris; Circulation: Harold Greenblatt and Mary Francis Smith. Printed by Graffik Natwicks; Webpage design: Barry Simpkins

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