October 1998

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Wed., Oct. 7 1:00­3:00 p.m.

Board Meeting at the office. All welcome!

Thurs., Oct. 8 9:00 a.m.­2:00 p.m.

SAN Annual Convention. St. Mary's Cathedral, Gough and Eddy.

Sat., Oct. 17 9:30 a.m. ­12:30 p.m.

OWL. Support Groups for Women Facing Life Changes. Goodwill

Administrative offices, 1500 Mission at 11th.

Tues., Oct. 20 12:30­3:00 p.m.

General Meeting: Election Notes and Toxic Links Coalition. First

Unitarian Church, Geary and Franklin.

Sat., Oct. 24 3:00­7:00 p.m.

Benefit for Chiapas Emergency Caravan sponsored by the U.S.­Cuba

Friendshipment/Bay Area, El Río, 3158 St.

Sat., Oct. 24 10:30 a.m.­12:30 p.m.

OWL meeting: Discussion of resources available in connection with

Alzheimer's Disease. Info at 989-4422.

Wed., Oct. 28 Noon

Toxic Links Coalition action re cancer. 555 Market St. (Chevron)

415/243-8373 x 305.

Sat., Oct. 31 9:30 a.m.­12:30 p.m.

OWL. Support Groups for Women Facing Life Changes. SFSU­Seven

Hills Center, Lake Merced Blvd & South State Dr.

School Days

The San Francisco Board of Education has contracted with the Edison Project, a private corporation, to run the Edison School, a poorly performing public school ( identical names are coincidental). This is a much-debated issue, although not before the Board where debate was limited and disposed of very quickly at one meeting. If you have an opinion on this, you should know how the Board voted. According to published reports, among those voting for the privatization were del Portillo, Jackson, Phillips, Owens and Hernandez; against Wynns and Kelley.

Election of Board of Education members is on the November ballot. We hope this information helps you determine your vote.

State Houses Reprise

Do you sometimes wonder what happens to all the bills that we keep calling to your attention and urging you to support or oppose? Here's a report on a few of them at the state level.

SB 1098. To reverse the Court of Appeals decision that replacing older workers with

younger, cheaper workers is not age discrimination. Passed by the legislature. Vetoed by the Governor.

SB 2123. Universal health care. Languishing in committee. But some health bills passed by the legislature were vetoed by the Governor:

Requiring health plans to pay for prescription contraceptives.

Requiring the state to review the adequacy of prenatal nutrition information for women.

Requiring that health plans pay for all medically necessary children's vaccines.

Expanding the state's Healthy Families program to include legal immigrants not eligible for federal benefits.

Imposing requirements for a state long-term-care ombudsman.

Also vetoed by the governor: a measure to increase the maximum state disability insurance benefit from $356 to $490 per week, the same level as workman compensation benefits. Disability benefits used to be the same as worker's comp until they were reduced in 1993 on grounds

of the state budget deficit.

Passed by the legislature and signed by the governora flat reduction in car license fees. The more expensive the car, the greater reduction in fee.

Just a few items that we happened to notice.

OctoberCome One, Come All

Elections are November 3. At our October meeting we will discuss in some detail the issues on the ballot. But you will not get your November newsletter in time to learn the results of these discussions. So for those who can't get to the meeting and for reference for everyone, here are the already-taken positions of the SFGPs Board.

State propositions:

No. 5Indian GamingYes. Overturn the governor's sweetheart deal with Las Vegas.

No. 9CUT (Californians Against Utility Initiative)Yes. Charge the utility stockholders for past mistakes like Diablo Canyon, not the ratepayers.

No. 11ASchool Bonds. We have not yet considered this officially, since it was just added to the ballot. Look carefully at the huge concessions given to developers in return for their support.

City propositions:

Prop GOMI (owner-move-in eviction)Yes. This is not an anti-landlord measure, it is an anti-greedy-landlord measure.

Your vote is important. Consider the issues thoroughly. Vote independently and intelligently.

The October meeting will also include a discussion of the Tpxic Links Coalition program and an action on Oct. 28.

Protect, Improve,

Save Medicare

All the components for a good sessiona

knowledgeable speaker, a topic of inter-
est to all of us and an audience eager to helpcame together for the September 15 Gray Panthers meeting.
Thos. S. Bodenheimer, M.D., told us about the perils Medicare faces. Some members of Congress are trying to ruin the Medicare program. In 1997 Congress and the President raised Medicare premiums to $105 per month by the year 2007, too much for many elderly and disabled people to pay. They also created a National Bi-Partisan Commission on the Future of Medicare that threatens to destroy Medicare by voting to:

· Raise the Medicare eligibility age from 65 to 67.

· Change Medicare to a "voucher" system, forcing Medicare patients to purchase private insurance with large deductibles and limited services.

Everyone will be hurt by these policies: the elderly, disabled, young people with elderly parents, and everyone who someday will grow old.

We should improve the program by:

· Covering medicines.

· Providing home care, and mental health coverage allowing people to live independently.

· Expanding Medicare to younger Americans. With more people covered, costs will be lower and the program will remain solvent.

Action! We can protect, improve and expand Medicare so that the program will be safe for

Food Fraud

Genetic engineering, growth hormones

and chemicalswhat megacorporations
don't want you to hear.
Increasingly, it's multinational conglomerates seeking to maximize profits from genetic engineering, growth hormones, chemical pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers. Corporate strategy includes suppressing information on the risks of their products and methods.

Food First is sponsoring a meeting on Monday, October 12, 7:30 p.m. to explain what is happening to our food and what we can do about it. Doors open at 7:00, Friends Meeting House, 65

future generations.

Pick up petitions at the office, get them signed and return to be delivered to Health Access.

The Flu Is Coming

Though the flu season starts in November, you

should get your flu shot as early as possible.
Call your HMO; most give free shots and shots are free with a showing of your Medicare card at all the large chain drugstores in the City. Call to find out their schedules.

Ninth Street. Donations requested. For more information call 415/567-5348.

Join the N-2-N/GP Drum Beat

Did you know that when 20 people call the

White House Comment Line on the same
day about the same issue, the President receives a written report of it on his desk?
Universal Health Care is an issue we'd like to see on the President's desk. If you call before 8:00 a.m. (Pacific time) a two-minute call will cost you 32 cents, the price of a postage stamp!

Stop Cancer Where It Starts

Confront the cancer industry. Join the fifth

annual "Cancer Industry Tour" of down-
town San Francisco on Wednesday, October 28, 12:00 noon, at 555 Market Street (at Chevron). 415/243-8373 x 305.
If you want to walk and need a Gray Panther hat or T-shirt, stop by the office. Any

cancer survivor is invited to join the group leading the march. The industry destinations are in easy walking distances.

We decided at the September membership meeting to coordinate calling. Every GP, call every Tuesday a.m.1-202/456-1111.

Tell President Clinton we want Universal Health Care. Expand Medicare! Cover everyone!

New Group Seeks Members

Senior Housing Action Collaborative

(SHAC) is a joint project of SAN and the
Housing Rights Committee dedicated to providing seniors with information identifying, organizing and advocating for the housing issues that most acutely affect seniors living in San Francisco.
Current projects are: Laguna Honda, owner move-in evictions and helping to create a center for people needing housing.

Jim Hewitt is the organizer and he can be reached at 415/863-2033.

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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