CALENDAR OF EVENTS
Tues., Nov. 5 Vote First!!! then 1:003:00 p.m.
Board meeting at the office. More ballot discussion. We need your input!
Wed., Nov. 6 6:00 p.m.
N2N: Explanation of the Single Payer Health System. 450 Church St.
(Everett Middle School), Room 115.
Tues., Nov. 12 2:004:00 p.m.
SF Gray Panthers Health Committee. At the GP office, 1182 Market St.,
Tues., Nov. 19 12:303:00 p.m.
Gray Panthers General Meeting. Election wrap-up.
Sat., Nov. 23 3:00 p.m.
Health Care for All: Forum, "Race Matters in Medicine" with Kevin
Grumback, M.D. 626 Pacheco Ave. All welcome.
Tues., Nov. 26 12:101:00 p.m.
UCSF Brown Bag Lecture Series: "Healthy Aging in Women." Discussion
will focus on diet and exercise, medications and tests. Judith Walsh, MD,
MPH. 1600 Divisadero, Herbst Hall, 2nd floor.
Thurs., Nov. 28 Happy Thanksgiving to all!
Ballot ResultsActions to Take
Where do we go from here in reaction to the results of the ballot? Our November meeting will feature a public discussion on the effects of this year's election results.What actions can be taken to implement the positive votes and lessen the harm of the antisocial ones? And Caleb Klepperman of the Center for Voting and Democracy <www.fairvote.org> will describe strategies used to join in the state-wide movement for Instant Run-off Voting.
Pleading Our Causes at Farmers' Market
For three Wednesdays in October, GPs tabled in the Civic Center from 10 to 2, publicizing our positions on state and local ballot issues, registering voters and handing out GPs literature.
And Gray Panthers demonstrated at the Peace Rally on Oct. 6 at Union Square and the big one on Oct. 26 at the Civic Plaza to protest the proposed war in Iraq.
Gray Panthers Take a Stand!
Individual board members volunteered to examine and present an analysis of each of the entire long list of items on this year's ballot. Following is a straw vote taken at our October meeting, following their explanations.
State Prop. 46, Shelter Trust Fund Act, reviewed by Aroza Simpson, was voted Yes by the meeting. The board had already recommended Yes on Prop. 47, Public Education Facilities Bond Act, at its last meeting. Prop. 48, Consolidation Constitutional Amendment had no proponent but was voted Yes in the straw poll.
Gretchen Davis undertook Prop. 49, Before and After School Programs, and she received a resounding No from the crowd. She also presented her husband Dick's research on Prop. 50, Water Quality, Supply Projects Purchase and Protection Bonds, which resulted in a Yes vote.
Our board had already taken a No stand on Prop. 51, Transportation. Distribution of Motor Sales and Use Tax.
Mitzi Raas examined State Prop. 52, Election Day Registration, and agreed with the Yes vote. She went on to the SF City and County Prop. A, Water System Improvement Bonds and Surcharge on Retail Customers, which produced a No vote in the poll. Mitzi continued with Prop. B, Affordable Housing Bonds, producing a Yes from those at the meeting.
She concluded with Prop C, Veterans Building Seismic Safety Bonds, and agreed with the No vote it engendered.
A public power advocate, Angela, brought forth a unanimous Yes when she described the benefits of okaying Prop. D, Should the City change the Public Utilities Commission to make it the primary provider of electricity to the City. D had been endorsed by the GPs board.
Mary Frances Smith presented Prop. E, Increase the duties of the PUC with regard to transferring surpluses to the General Fund? Attendees found it too confusing to merit a vote.
After passing on Prop. F, the appointment of an Entertainment Commission, Bernie Rush encouraged GPs to vote Yes on Prop. G, Clarification of the role of City employees and the Sheriff in elections and restrictions on Elections and Ethics Commission members , their staffs and the City Attorney. Attendees also passed over Prop. H, Increasing retirement benefits for police and firefighters.
At the last board meeting, Prop. I, Provide paid leave for City employees after birth, adoption or foster care placement of a child, was unanimously endorsed.
Mitzi Raas outlined the next several propositions. On Prop. J, Shall the Civil Service Commission set Board of Supervisors salaries? Members said Yes. And on K, Shall City change selection criteria for publishing public notices? Yes. Prop. L, Shall City increase taxes on real estate deals over $1,000,000? This brought a resounding Yes from the board and the meeting. Though Mitzi advised No on M, shall the City use money from business taxes to promote business development?, the straw poll took no position.
The GPs board had already voted No on N, Shall the City change the way it provides assistance to certain homeless? Prop. O, Shall the City create new housing and drug treatment programs? Yes!
Anton Lethine urged a Yes on P, Public Utilities Revenue Bond Oversight Committee, and the meeting agreed.
Prop Q, Prohibit use of City funds for political activity, brought a tentative No. And R, HOPE, allowing apartment buildings to be converted to condominiums, engendered a resounding No!
A unanimous Yes greeted S, Explore possibility of City growing and distributing marijuana for medical use. And the straw poll was undecided about BB, BART Seismic Safety Bond.
Last-minute Bush election ploy to bypass, with a far less effective measure, the refusal of the Congress to pass a Medicare Rx bill. The President's Rose Garden announcement was calculated to dull the popular clamor for reduced-price generic drugs that pharmaceutical manufacturers have been fighting (successfully) for years. Stay aware!
Social Security Quandary
Because of the skewed way the Feds fogire cost-of-living increases, Social Security checks will increase by only 1.4% next yearroughly $13and about 1/3 of that will be eaten up by an increase in Medicare rates. Perhaps the rent control board should take that into consideration and hold rent increases to 1.4%.
Public Citizen warns about misleading names of organizations purporting to speak in our names. Their target was something called USA United Seniors Associationwhich is financed largely by the pharmaceutical industry, not seniors. Local relevance: in the November voters pamphlet, arguments signed by the Coalition for Better Housing, Citizens for Housing Equality, Coalition for Fair Water Rates and other so-called "groups" were all paid for by Worthington Apartments.
We're Now StateWide Gray Panthers
The quarterly Gray Panthers Regional meeting was held in San Lorenzo on Oct. 5. Hosts were the Sourthern Alameda network. Other networks present included Sacramento, Central Contra Costa, Berkeley, San Francisco, Marin, South Bay (LA) and Long Beach.
The two representatives from southern California who journeyed up to meet with us were most heartily welcomed. At their suggestion our name was changed from Northern California Region to California Gray Panthers.
The Gray Panthers National Board has reiterated our antiwar position. This meeting endorsed and applauded that action. All networks are urged to participate in antiwar marches, demonstrations, phone and letter-writing actions, public statements, and any other activities to make heard our voices for peace. Especially notedthe national day of protest on Oct. 26, centered in San Francisco and Washington, DC.
The Sacramento network and Joan Lee, our lobbyists in Sacramento, reported that the legislature and Governor Davis signed 29 bills that we supported covering environmental, labor and senior issues. We are working in coalition to strengthen oversight of nursing homes, to implement the Olmstead Act (financial aid to the disabled to live in the community, which includes community-based and in-home long-term care), and to plan next May's senior rally in Sacramento.
The purpose of these statewide meetings is to coordinate our campaigns on our common issues, specifically at this meetingsingle payer universal health care, antiwar and clean money. The next meeting will be hosted by Marin in January.
Aroza, Mary Frances, Gretchen and Mitzi represented the San Francisco network on Oct. 5. All Gray Panthers members are welcome to attend and participate.
SF GPs network elects members of the board of directors every December. Nominations are now open. Nominations can be made by any member by letter or orally to the office or any current member of the board. Nominations will be open until the elecation at the December meeting.*
Members of the board serve for two years and may serve for only two consecutive terms. The board determines policy and activities for this network. All board meetings are open to GPs members and friends but only Board members can vote on proposals.