January 2001

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Mon., Jan. 8 11:00 a.m.­1:30 p.m.

Board Meeting at the office. Please note the one-time time change. This is to

accommodate those members who wish to make the GPs presence known at

the installation of the new Board of Supervisors. Election of our Board

officers. All GP members welcome!

Thurs., Jan. 11 10:00 a.m.­12:00 noon

SAN General Meeting. Inviting new Supervisors; Board Elections. St. Mary's Cathedral basement, 1111 Gough St.

Fri., Jan. 12 1:00­3:00 p.m.

SAN. Study of prescription drug issues. Z-Space Office/Theater,

1370 Mission, 3rd floor.

Sun., Jan. 14 3:00 p.m.

At Magic Theater: "Word for Word­Oil Upton Sinclair." Free. Reservations by Jan. 9, call the GPs office.

Tues., Jan. 16 12:30­3:00 p.m.

General meeting, Achieving Single­Payer, Universal Health Care in

California. Presented by Don Bechler, Chairperson of Health Care

for All. Unitarian Church, Geary and Franklin.

Wed., Jan. 17 10:00 a.m.­12:00 noon

SAN. Pedestrian safety. 1370 Mission, 3rd floor, SAN office

Wed., Jan 17 1:30­3:30 p.m.

SHAC, Senior Housing Action Collaborative. Monthly meeting. 1370

Mission, 3rd floor, SAN office.

Sat., Jan. 27 10:15 a.m.­12:15 p.m.

OWL. "Investing in an Uncertain Market," lecture by Joyce Fischer, Financial Advisor, Morgan Stanley Dean Witter. Info 415/989-4422.

Sat., Jan. 27 3:00 p.m.

Health Care for All meeting for more about strategies. 626 Pacheco.

Info 415/695-7891.

New Diesel Rules

Drastic reductions in truck and bus emissions have been approved by President Clinton, to take effect over the next 10 years. Sulfur to be reduced by 80 percent; nitrogen oxide (main incredient in smog) by 95 percent; particulates (soot) by 90 percent. Happy New Year in 2010!

Critical Analysis of Health Care Plans

How will we achieve single-payer? What's the difference between single-payer and universal health care?What are others doing to secure health care for all their citizens?

Don Bechler, Chairperson of Health Care for All, examines all of these important questions and invites us to explore with him the means to achieve them. He will describe the strategies so far in the hopper and welcome your suggestions and reports on other systems you have experienced or have knowledge of.

Health care is a prime cause not only for California GPs, but also for the National Gray Panthers and for every other community-oriented group in our state and country. Bring your ideas and your questions to this January 16 meeting with the goal of bring out a cogent plan of action!

Basics Primary at Regional

The quarterly Gray Panthers northern California regional meeting assembled in San Leandro the first week in December, hosted by the Southern Alameda network. Networks represented in addition to the hosts were Sacramento, Marin, Central Contra Costa, Berkeley and San Francisco.

Strengthening ties and coordinating actions among the networks were the main emphases of the meeting. Our importance as a regional coordinator is highlighted by the growing organization and financial problems of the national office. We are lucky to have an active network in Sacramento and an effective (unpaid) lobbyist there, Joan Lee, known and respected. One of the things the meeting did was to determine the issues, the circumstances, and the authority that Joan would have to speak for the northern California networks.

We have tried again to establish some statewide activities with networks in southern California, so far with little success. Only one network has responded to our letters and e-mail. This outreach was undertaken on behalf of our region by Aroza, who will continue her efforts.

Area-wide issues proposed for joint action in the next period include universal health care and single-payer plans, electric re-regulation, rent control and housing issues, campaign financing, electoral reform and protecting Social Security.

The next regional meeting will be the end of February.

Finally, a Standard for Organics!

It took ten years and many accusations, recriminations, tentative balloons and conflicting directives, but there's finally a standard that many, if not most, "organics mavens" can agree to.

Here are the basics as specified by the Department of Agriculture for its "Seal of Approval":


· Bans the use of genetic engineering, irradiation and sewage sludge in production of food bearing an organic seal.

· Bans chemicals to control weeds, pests and disease, and requires no prohibited substances applied to land for three years.

· Includes a list of synthetic substances that may be considered as organic.


· Prohibits the use of antibiotics in organic meat, although does allow a potential exemption for animal vaccines.

· Requires animals to be allowed to graze outdoors and not confined.


· Determines that processed products that contain at least 70 percent organic ingredients may use the phrase "made with organic ingredients."

· Requires listing of all nonagricultural ingredients.

Farmers and processors will have 18 months to comply with the new standards. Foods that meet the new federal standards will bear the seal, "USDA Organic."

California has had relatively rigorous organic labeling standards on the books since 1990, and state officials said the new federal standards dovetail well with the state rules.

"I think they've done an excellent job in encompassing organic philosophy and practices," said Ray Green, the manager of organic program for the California Department of Food and Agriculture. "It is not a perfect rule, but it is a very good rule."

Caring Leap in San Jose

The City of San Jose has agreed to contribute $3.16 nillion over the next three years to the $14 million-a-year, county-run program that promises to provide health coverage to every uninsured child in Santa Clara County. The Children's Health Initiative is the first government-sponsored program in the nation to offer universal health care to an entire community's children.

122 Nations Agree on Toxics Ban

A treaty banning the following highly toxic chemicals has been agreed upon by 122 nations at the U.N.

· Aldrin · DDT · Mirex

· Chlordane · Endrin · Toxaphene

· Dieldrin · Heptachlor · Hexachlorobenzene

Plus: Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs), Dioxins, and Furans.

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: 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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