San Francisco Gray Panthers Half-Year Report, Sept. 12, 2009




·         We and Sacramento GPers were plaintiffs in a lawsuit that stopped California from cutting payments to Medi-Cal doctors, pharmacies, day-care centers etc. by 10%. (Calif. is already among lowest in payments and ratio of providers to patients.) We had a demonstration around a hearing, and Newsletter articles.


·         We are also plaintiffs in a lawsuit against Calif. for terminating Medi-Cal “optional benefits”: adult dentistry, podiatry, vision and hearing testing, speech therapy, and others. We had a small demonstration at the first hearing, which we lost, but the Attorney General is involved in an expedited appeal.


·         Members were active phoning, faxing legislature on threat to close all Poison Control Centers. Half saved.


·         We have been active in CARA and Senior Action Network activities on SB 810.


·         Discussing whether to go beyond single payer and endorse National Health Service.


Civil Liberties/Human Rights: Committee is restarted.


·        Committee members are writing a short dramatic presentation on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and have incorporated the theme of the UDHR into leaflets protesting budget cuts, racial profiling of immigrants.


·         We had a brunch benefit for Mumia, featuring his lawyer and a SF leader in the Free Mumia campaign. It turns out Mumia and Maggie Kuhn knew each other. Can we get National GP support for Mumia?


·         We have attended court hearings of the SF8 (eight former Black Panthers being re-tried on murder and conspiracy charges that were dismissed 36 years ago because the confessions were elicited by torture in New Orleans.) All but one are essentially free.


·         We played significant role in preventing SF Labor Council from backing down on support of SF8.


·         We participated in the May Day march for worker and immigrant rights, and participated in demonstrations against homelessness.


·         We, and national Gray Panthers joined a coalition against 287(g) programs, empowering local police to enforce immigration law, with gross racial profiling and unlawful detention, deportation.




·         Consistent articles in Newsletter and Blog


·         We participated in March against Gaza Invasion


The Economy, Meltdown, Bailout, Joblessness


·         Numerous Newsletter articles analyzing the financial meltdown, the bailout, etc


·         Co-hosted meeting with Norman Solomon on economy, war, health care, spun off discussion meeting.


·         We were members of Workers Economic Recovery Campaign; had one mass meeting, then fizzled out.


·         Members participated in a march against the bailout of banks


·         We have introduced theme of “Make the Bosses Take the Losses” in articles, speeches, banners, signs.


Budget Cuts


·         We initiated a budget action in a previously untouched neighborhood with a car caravan with loudspeaker and leafleting on sidewalks.


·         We were active in a Coalition against City health budget cuts,


·         Numerous Newsletter articles and several monthly programs on crisis of safety-net cuts


·         We were active in the campaign against the measure to cap the State budget in the Special Election.


·         We participated in marches, rallies against the budget cuts.





·         Spoke twice at retirement home where Santa Barbara Gray Panther had recently moved in.


·         Community Access TV exposure should be increasing soon, as member is getting daily show.


·         Again, membership growing slowly, but some new members are active. Activists some members knew while working are now retiring, and coming around.


·         Again, more consistent contact with new contacts via e-mail and phone conversations.


·         Phone tree is more organized, still successful in bringing people out.


·         Internet activity:  website getting ~ 1,300 hits per day, down from ~2,000/day six months ago. News article blog is getting ~70 hits per day. URL is