November 1999

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Gray Panthers' Plans for 2000

Where have we been? And where are we going? We are
looking forward to a full report from our concerned
delegates now on their way to Washington, D.C. for the Gray Panthers' Biennial National Convention. We have dispatched Aroza, Inger, Karen and Mary Frances to this meeting to bring back the facts and the mood of the Gray Panthers now, and where our efforts in the future will have the most influence and effect.

Be prepared to discuss their report with them and to voice your opinions on how we can implement these important goals.


Tues., Nov. 2 Election Day7:00 a.m.­8:00 p.m. all polling


Thurs., Nov. 4 1:00­3:00 p.m.

Board meeting at the office. All welcome!

Tues., Nov. 16 12:30­3:00 p.m.

Membership meeting. Learn what went on in

Washington, DC, at the Biennial GPs Conven-

tion. Aroza, Inger, Karen and Mary Frances will

give us their impressions of the spirit and the

actions of our organization.

Thurs., Nov. 18 Noon

Tour Mission Bay with the Public Affairs people

of UCSF. Leave and return at the UCSF library.

See site and plans for the new UCSF research

campus. Call to reserve at least a week in ad-

vance. 415/476-4394.

Sat., Nov. 20 10:30 a.m.­12:30 p.m.

Older Women's League (OWL): "You and Your

Adult Children," a discussion led by Mary

Goulding, MSW, and Micheline Maccario, M.D.

Info 415/989-4422.

Sat., Nov. 20 and 10:00 a.m.­5:00 p.m.

Sun., Nov. 21 10:00 a.m.­3:30 p.m.

Friends of the Library sale ($1 and 50¢) at Fort

Mason, Building A. Last chance this year to adopt

that holiday gift for others or yourself.

Mon., Nov. 29­Fri., Dec. 3

World Trade Organization convention in Seattle,

WA. Huge counter-demonstrations planned by

labor unions and human rights activists.

More inside, see page 5.

Tues., Nov. 30 7:30 p.m.

San Francisco Green Party County Council

meeting. Green Party office, 15th and Mission

More info, 415/659-1726.

Nominations Needed for Our Board

Elections will be held in December for our own Board of
Directors, but we need nominations now to at least replace
retiring members. Our by-laws specify that up to 26 members are elected for a two-year term and may serve for two consecutive terms, a total of four years, before going off the Board for at least one year.

Completing four years on the Board and therefore not eligible for election are Fanny, Karen and Rhoda. We thank them for their service. Augusta, Mitzi, Inger and Franklin are completing two years, and ongoing members not up for election this year are Aroza, Astrid, Rebecca, Lilian K. and Miriam B.

The Board of Directors determines policy and plans meetings

and activities for the San Francisco Gray Panthers network. It meets at the office once a month, currently the first Thursday at 1:00 p.m. All members and friends are welcome to attend and speak at Board meetings, but only duly elected members may vote.

Nominations are now open and may be made by any paid-up member at any Board meeting, membership meeting or by calling the office. As always, we need new faces to complement the old. So get active and nominate your friends or yourself. Be a member of your Board of Directors!

Welcome New Member

Pirate Black

October Meeting

The pros and cons of propositions A through K on the
November ballot were ably interpreted by our guest speaker,
Wende Chan, from the League of Women Voters. Wende's presentation was so thorough and engagingly presented that she has been invited to come back for a repeat performance for the year 2000 ballot review.

Here is a recap of our Board's recommendations for some of the issues we will be voting on November 2.

· Prop. A: Laguna Honda bonds. The board voted YES.

· Prop. E: Muni reform. GP board voted NO.

· Prop. F: Restricts ATM fees. The board voted YES.

· Prop. G: Toughens the Sunshine Initiative. The board did not vote on this, but the League of Women Voters supports the measure.

· Prop I: Octavia Boulevard Plan. The board voted YES.

· Prop J: Requires the restoration of the Central Freeway. The board voted NO.

The SF Gray Panthers Board of Directors did not vote on propositions B, C, D, H and K but, for what it's worth, the Green Party of SF recommended a yes vote on these initiatives. Read the ballot carefully and then make up your own mind.

California losses:

AB 1160 requiring certification of nursing home quality. Passed by the legislature, vetoed by the governor.

AB 116 IHSS, wages and working conditions for in-home health care workers, died in the legislature.

SB 320, increase workers compensation benefits by $1.2 billion over the next six years. Passed by the legislature, vetoed by the governor who agrees with business that the increase should be only $400 million.

Nationally, so far, the record is dismal:

The National Patient Bill of Rights, an inadequate package of bills, was opposed by Senate Republican travesty of protection with the same name. So far, nothing has been passed.

The Senate refused to ratify the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty.

And in San Francisco: the living wage ordinance has been effectively bottled up for "study" for the past six months.

Leonard Peltier Freedom Month

Members of the Leonard Peltier Defense Committee are ask

ing that November be designated "Freedom Month" for
this long-incarcerated Native American leader. President Clinton has declared November Native American Heritage month and what more appropriate time to grant clemency to this man, labeled a political prisoner by Amnesty International and numerous other human rights organizations.
You can learn more about this cause and how you can help and join in by contacting the Committee at PO Box 583, Lawrence, KS 66044; phone, 785/842-5774; e-mail

Where Are They Now?

As an advocacy organization, we have taken positions on

many social issues in the past year. Here's what has
happened to a few of them:
Victories in California:

The legislature passed nine of the 10 Health Access Patients' Bill of Rights and they were signed into law! These include guaranteed second opinion, review of denial of care, disclosure of criteria for denial of care, whistle blower protection, increased diabetes coverage, consumer advocates, quick independent review, and the creation of a Department of Managed Care, taking HMO supervision out of the business-oriented Department of Corporations.

CNA's AB 394 requiring patient-safe levels of nursing staffing.

AB 633 making private-label manufacturers and retailers responsible for wages owed by their subcontractors to garment workersthe runaway sweatshopis now law.

Who Said This?

"Our government is susceptible to a corporate economic

globalization that is not free trade but corporate managed
trade. Global rules written into trade agreements, enforced by the World Trade Organization, protect things like patents and intellectual property rights but not labor rights, profits but not people, investments but not the environment. We're making the world safe for globalization rather than making globalization safe for the world."
Warren Beatty speaking to the Southern California Americans for Democratic Action.


Mobilize! Don't Globalize!

Come to Seattle November 29­December 3 or any part you

can! A full schedule of events is planned to protest and, if possible,
shut down this much touted meeting of the World Trade Organization and its plans for globalization of corporations to the detriment of labor, the environment and human rights.
Join the tens of thousands of people who will converge on Seattle and transform it into a festival of resistance. Why?

We eat food. The WTO regulates the standards by which our food is grown, processed and sold to us. The WTO determines the labor and environmental practices that determine how our food is grown.

We work. The WTO sets the standards by which employers determine whom to hire, how much to pay, what kinds of benefits we receive and the safety conditions of our workplaces.

We breathe. The WTO has already ruled that breathing clean air is not a priority. Higher profits for oil companies is far more important to the benefit of the world.

We go to school. The WTO wants to create eductional standards that limit public sector educational services to the standards that business people and corporations decide. Math programs designed by M&M Candies (what's the chance of a green one?) have already entered our school systems.

We live in an industrialized country that exploits other nations and other peoples for the sake of comfortable living conditions in the U.S.A.

We have a responsibility to understand the reality of the global economy beyond our own lives and speak out(!), protest!

The "Rich" Get Richer

Well, not really rich, but certainly better able to cope with the

inflation of necessities! By now you know that Social Secu-

rity Benefits will increase by 2.4 percent for 2000. But is this a fair way to compensate all recipients for their actual increased expenses? Food, most rent, clothing and the basics of existence rise the same dollar amount for those who receive the least from SS as those who receive the mostabout a $500 per month difference.
Most of us are pleased to be receiving even this small cost-of-living increase, but if this is really about the cost-of-living, is this the fairest way to allot these funds? Think about it! Astrid


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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