March 1998 Newsletter

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March is Women's History Month

Wed., March 4, 1:30­3:00 p.m.

Board meeting at the office. All welcome and invited!

Sun., March 8

International Women's Day.

Mon., March 9, 8 p.m.

International Forum on Globalization presents public discussion, and book

launch: The Multilateral Agreement on Investment (MAI) and the

Threat to American Freedom by Maude Barlow and Tony Clarke. Wheeler

Auditorium, U.C. Berkeley. Info and tickets, 415/771-3037.

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

SAN. Unitarian Church, Geary and Franklin.

Sat., March 14, 1:00­4:00 p.m.

General MeetingAll Progressive Organizations Invited! Information on the

USDA organic standards vs. small organic farmers; then discussion of the agendas

of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other progressive agendas.

Western Park Apartments, 1280 Laguna between Eddy and Ellis.

Thurs., March 19, 7:30 p.m.

San Francisco Green Community presents: The National Organic Standards:

The Battle We Can't Afford to Lose. New College Cultural Center, 766

Valencia St. Info 415/339-8140.

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

N2N. Women's Building, 18th St. near Valencia.

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

OWL General Meeting. 870 Market St. Info, 415/989-4422

Toll-free Congressional phone: 1-888-723-5246. Voice your opinion!

Prepare Now

Move to Silence Labor

A huge demonstration is planned for Saturday May 2, when People for Bread Work and Justice will be sponsoring a festival to support the movement for economic, social and environmental justice. Info at 510/465-9914. Endorsers of this fete include more than 100 progressive organizations including the national Gray Panthers.

A series of marches will join for a rally at noon at the Oakland Federal Building where ad hoc Congressional hearings will be held on local violations. Testimonials are invited for presentation at the hearings and if you or anyone you know should testify, call Anuradha Mittal at 510/654-4400 ext. 8.

Live entertainment, arts and crafts and food. Bring the family and make a day of it!

An initiative to cripple labor's political voice has qualified for the June 1998 ballot.

The "political contributions" initiative, better known among labor organizations as the Anti­Worker or Gag the Worker Initiative, would prohibit unions from spending dues money on political action without annual written permission from each member.

"This is one of the most critical battles to face out labor movement in a generation," said Art Pulaski, Executive Secretary­Treasurer of the California Labor Federation. "It would take us out of the governor's race and other critical races in November 1998."

from Labor, serving San Mateo County

Social Security Is Safe!

Our February meeting featured a presentation on Social Security by the Social Security Focus Coalition, a group of which we are a member and which includes representatives from OWL, CNA, Unitarian Social Action Committee, CWA, National Council of Negro Women, AFSCME, AARP and others. This coalition has been working for the past year, preparing a rebuttal to the campaign to privatize Social Security.

Speakers were Marian Branch of OWL and Mitzi Raas of the Gray Panthers. They previewed for us the 20-minute discussion of Social Security which they hope to present to many groups of younger workers. In essence, Social Security isn't going broke; it's the best social insurance program in the country; it will be there when younger workers reach retirement age; proposed privatization will not benefit the insurees but Wall Street and the stock brokers.

Branch and Raas wanted us to critique the presentation. And that's what they gota lively discussion of its strengths and weaknesses.

They also wanted us to help in getting groups to speak to. So far they are scheduled to appear before OWL and the Unitarian group. Please help us find appropriate groups who would welcome a discussion on this topic.

The revised (after suggestions) presentation is available at the office and will be sent to National requesting they join our efforts.

Hop on Board Our

March Meeting

Age and Youth in Action is not only our motto but our goalfeedback from all ages is welcomed, especially at Saturday meetings where people of all ages are invited and asked to participate.

On March 14, we will have such a meeting combining entertainment with the serious business of social issues that affect the lives of everyone.

At 1:00 p.m. information will be handed out about the controversial proposals from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) for national labeling of organic food and its effect on the small farmer, followed by socializing and postcard writing.

At 2:00 p.m., after some entertainment, there will be discussions exploring how the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the recently published Progressive Agenda and the seven-point National Gray Panthers' Agenda can help in our strategic planning to level the imbalance between corporate and public profit.

C'mon along to this "community" get-together.

Date: Saturday, March 14.

Time: 1:00-4:00 p.m.

Place: Western Park Apartments, 1280 Laguna Street in the Dining Room.

Public transportation is very convenient, take the #38 Geary or the #31 Balboa to Laguna and Ellis and you're there.

Dioxin Levels in Your Body?

On February 18 the Water Quality Board made a commitment to give top priority to eliminating the sources of high dioxin levels in our bodies. To learn more about this topic call Karen Susag at 415/243-8373, ext. 305.

It's the Same Old Story

Global Warming

Joe Mirabile of Ecobridge has organized small groups interested in exploring ways to control global warming. Transportation is available. The next meeting will be March 10, from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. in Berkeley. Call him at 415/566-2252.

"Of all my endeavors in public office, none was more sustained or intense than my effort to convince the American people that its defense has restedtoo long on armies, weapons, and military intimidation. Yet still America seeks strength at the risk of security, might to the detriment of influence, and fearsomeness at the cost of respect. Even more alarming is that our resolve to do otherwise seems to be deteriorating."

Sen. Mark O. Hatfield in

The San Francisco Examiner Magazine, 1/12/97

Internet Learning Center

Wade Hudson, author of Economic Security for All: How to End Poverty in the U.S., has established an Internet Learning Center at 1095 Market St., Suite 812, 415/553-8735. Wade has offered to

Full Employment

The Campaign to Abolish Poverty has high goals and is willing to work toward them. At a recent well-attended meeting, they outlined a broad legislative plan for providing the means to full, living-wage jobs for all. Become involved! Call 415/928-1205 for info and to signal your willingness to join in.

Off the Grid?

The Alliance for Public Power is working on ways to gain control of the Hetch Hetchy Dam power-generating facilities. Call 650/992-3963 to hear more about the organization's suggestions.

Plus, the utilities watchdog organization, TURN, has just distributed their proposed ballot initiative that would cut off the rate-gouging going on under the guise of making up for previous losses (engendered by running their Diablo Canyon nuclear plant).


Former GPs Convener, Sherry Gendelman is the new Chair of the KPFA Advisory Board.

We need more Gray Panthers to participate in all these local events and causes. Join us and support your preference.

Aroza Simpson, Co­Convener

Headwaters Deal Shaky

"The Clinton administration's deal to purchase the core areas of the Headwaters Forest is in serious doubt. Environmental organizations and leaders in the California legislature have put out warnings that the deal is dead unless Pacific Lumber adequately protects wildlife in its entire 200,000 acres."

Federally appropriated funds ($250 million) are frozen until the state approves its share$130 million. But the state legislature's Joint Committee on Headwaters Forest says that it will be "impossible" to secure funding unless the ancient redwoods and coho salmon are protected.

Speak up for Headwaters. Especially urge state legislators to back this cause.

Sen. John Burton Sen. Quentin Kopp

415/447-1240 415/952-5666

916/445-1412 916/445-0503

Excerpted from Sierra Club Yodeler, Feb. 1998

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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