OWL-SF Alert February 20: END BIASED POLICE STOPS IN SF Feb 21

SITUATION: The Coalition to End Biased Stops has been working for over 2 years to eliminate racially biased police stops in SF. The Police Commission did finally vote unanimously in favor of Department General Order 9.07, a comprehensive policy to prohibit racially-biased traffic stops in San Francisco. HOWEVER – since then, this policy has been stuck in the “meet and confer process” with the Police Officer’s Association (POA).

It has taken nearly an entire year, but the policy is finally coming back to the Police Commission for its second and final vote TOMORROW, February 21st.

ACTION:

  • Please take 20 seconds to send an email to the commission urging them to finally implement DGO 9.07 by using this easy email tool.
  • Please post on social media, urging the commission to finally implement DGO 9.07, using this social media toolkit!
  • Meet us at Police Commission tomorrow at 6:30pm at City Hall, Room 400! We want to show force, and while the meeting starts at 5:30pm, this item is 8th on the agenda.

To learn more about DGO 9.07, why it’s so important for our clients, and why it has been held up so long, please read this letter drafted by the coalition.

And please share this message with colleagues, friends and family in San Francisco.

OWL-SF Info Alert: CARA Event to Repeal Unjust Utility Tax

A fixed-rate utility tax protects utility profits,
not California consumers.

This unjust tax will hurt seniors. OWLs can learn more about this tax and how to repeal it by attending CARA’s Feb. 23 Forum

CARA’s Fabulous Friday Forum

Click HERE to read California Public Interest Research Group (CALPIRG) article about the history and current status of the utility tax.

Click HERE to register to attend the event.

OWL-SF RECOMMENDATIONS for SF BALLOT MEASURES

SAN FRANCISCO PROPOSITIONS A, B, E, AND F
RECOMMENDATIONS

The OWL Board studied these Propositions on the ballot for the March 5th election in San Francisco and came to the following conclusions:

YES ON A – Bond issue for affordable housing including designations for seniors, families and abuse survivors.

NO ON B – Dubbed the “Cop Tax” and would require approval of new taxes to support this vital service which should be funded from current tax. Would actually delay increasing police force.

NO ON E – Decreases oversight by Police Commission, allows increase of dangerous vehicle chases on our crowded streets, allows more use of surveillance technologies without safeguards, decreases police accountability by decreasing reports of “incidents.”  

NO ON F – This proposition would require anyone receiving CAAP/public assistance benefits to be screened for substance use and if dependent on illegal drugs referred for professional evaluation and possible treatment. If they refuse, they will lose their public assistance money that they depend on to live! This measure is punitive, intrusive and depends on treatment services that are currently scarce and not easily accessible. 

OWL ALERT January 27: PRESERVE JUSTICE BY STAYING EDUCATED ABOUT OUR COURTS

SITUATION: Understanding our courts is vital to preserving justice. We have wanted an informative discussion on why independent judiciaries matter and how voters can thoughtfully evaluate judicial candidates. To educate ourselves on our judicial system before casting our ballot.
 
ACTION: Sign up and join the League of Women Voters SF on February 1 for an informative discussion on why independent judiciaries matter and how voters can thoughtfully evaluate judicial candidates. With nonpartisan insights from prominent judges, this event will empower you to consider qualifications, over money and politics, when choosing the judges who serve our communities. Leave informed and inspired about citizens’ impact in upholding the integrity of America’s courts. Click HERE to sign up for the event.

AND: Forward this message to friends, family and colleagues.

OWL ALERT January 19: SUPPORT A GREEN NEW DEAL FOR CITY COLLEGE

SITUATION:  City College of San Francisco does not yet have or follow a climate action and sustainability plan, despite efforts begun almost two decades ago. As one of the largest property owners in San Francisco, CCSF must do its part to ensure and contribute to a sustainable future and a just transition to a green, all-electric City.
 

ACTION:  Before Jan. 25 urge the City College Board to support the proposed resolution Supporting a Green New Deal for City College and Adopting a Climate Action and Sustainability Plan. (See the full text of the Resolution here. ) You can voice your support in person, by phone or in writing. Click here to access information on all forms of support on City College website and read the suggested talking points.

ALSO: Share this message with friends, family and colleagues in the San Francisco Bay Area.

OWL ALERT December 9: END CALIFORNIA FOSSIL FUEL SUBSIDIES

Big Oil does not want you to know that they get millions of dollars of subsidies in California every year.

SITUATION: The corporations responsible for decades of climate destruction are padding their profits with our tax dollars—on top of the hundreds of billions of dollars they make selling polluting oil and gas. Then, they turn around and use that money to subvert our democracy for their gain. Between 2020 and 2022, oil corporations and their trade groups spent more than $36.3 million in California alone lobbying state regulators and elected officials to delay climate action.

Even this year, when faced with a multi-billion dollar budget deficit, our state still gave away millions in subsidies to fossil fuel corporations and cut climate investments as a result.

California must stop bailing out wealthy fossil fuel corporations.

ACTION: Governor Newsom has the power to end their special treatment and reinvest that money in a climate-safe future. Newsom will unveil his next budget proposal in January. This is our chance to make sure not a single cent of taxpayer money goes to oil and gas corporations. Email and/or call Governor Newsom: END FOSSIL FUEL SUBSIDIES.

Governor Gavin Newsom
1021 O Street, Suite 900
Sacramento, CA  95814
(916) 445-2841
Click HERE to email Gavin Newsom.

OWL ALERT November 17: OPPOSE THE SOCIAL SECURITY “DEBT COMMISSION”

OWL-SF has been fighting against Social Security and Medicare cuts for decades. Efforts to cut these programs have taken various forms.  
 
SITUATION: Currently a very dangerous “debt commission” is being suggested by House Speaker Mike Johnson, and Senators Manchin and Romney have introduced legislation that would establish such a commission. (Some of you may remember the Bowles-Simpson Commission back in 2010.)
 
This “debt commission” would likely operate behind closed doors, have no input except from its members, and be fast-tracked without debate in Congress. It would try to reduce social security benefits, rather than providing new revenue to strengthen these earned benefits.
 
ACTION: This is extremely dangerous. It is time for us to tell our legislators again that we want them to vigorously oppose the establishment of a “debt commission”, which will give cover for cutting Social Security/ Medicare benefits.

And: Please share this message with friends, family and colleagues. 
 
Alex Padilla:
333 Bush Street
Suite 3225
San Francisco, CA 94104
415) 981-9369
Click HERE to email Alex Padilla

Laphonza Butler:
One Post Street
Suite 2450
San Francisco, CA 94104
(415) 393-0707
Click HERE to email Laphonza Butler

Nancy Pelosi:
90 7th Street Suite 2-800
San Francisco, CA  94103
Phone: (415) 556-4862
Click HERE to email Nancy Pelosi
 
Kevin Mullin:
1528 S. El Camino Real, Suite 307
San Mateo, CA  94402
(650) 342-0300
Click HERE to email Kevin Mullin

OWL ALERT November 5: Keep Billionaires Accountable by Funding the IRS

SITUATION: Representative Mike Johnson, the newly elected Republican Speaker of the House, has advanced legislation to balance funding for Israel by slashing the proposed IRS budget.

Many studies have shown that the proposed IRS increased budget will pay for itself many times over by forcing billionaires and other high income individuals and groups to pay fairly owed taxes.

ACTION: Call our California senators to tell them that cutting proposed IRS funding is a non -starter.

And forward this messages to friends, family and colleagues. 

Alex Padilla
112 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
(202) 224-3553
Click HERE to email Alex Padilla

Laphonza Butler
Dirksen Senate Office Building, Room G-12
Washington, DC 20510 
(202) 224-3841 
Click HERE to email Laphonza Butler

OWL ALERT October 31: TELL CONGRESS TO BAN ASSAULT WEAPONS

SITUATION: In May OWL devoted its Membership Meeting to a discussion of Gun Violence with a speaker from the Brady campaign.

And now we have yet another mass killing using a high-powered automatic weapon.

We must tell our Congress people to ban the sale of all automatic assault weapons.

ACTION: Please write again to Congresswoman Pelosi, and Senators Alex Padilla and Laphonza Butler. Tell them how you feel about this preventable violence in our country, town after town—565 mass shootings so far in the U.S. this year!

Also please share this message with friends, family and colleagues. 

Contact info:

Nancy Pelosi
1236 Longworth H.O.B.
Washington, DC  20515
Phone: (202) 225-4965
Click HERE to email Nancy Pelosi

Alex Padilla
112 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
(202) 224-3553
Click HERE to email Alex Padilla

Laphonza Butler
Dirksen Senate Office Building, Room G-12
Washington, DC 20510 
(202) 224-3841 
Click HERE to email Laphonza Butler

OWL ALERT October 26: INFORM AND PROTECT SAN FRANCISCO RESIDENTS AFFECTED BY APEC

SITUATION: The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders’ Meeting being held in San Francisco from November 11th to the 17th will involve dignitaries and heads of state visiting from 21 member nations—including U.S. President Joe Biden and potentially his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping. For this reason, U.S. Homeland Security has designated the APEC summit a “National Special Security Event,” and has called for an “exclusion zone,” which will close streets and limit vehicular and pedestrian mobility in the South of Market Area.
 
This area is home to many vulnerable residents, including immigrants, unhoused and seniors, plus small businesses, childcare centers and schools.
 
The Mayor’s office recently announced that they surpassed their fundraising goal, and the bulk of these funds have been budgeted to advertise and promote APEC, along with plans and events to host dignitaries—while there has been very little information shared with the affected communities on how their daily lives and movement may be impacted.
 
The San Francisco Board of Supervisors has passed a resolution urging Mayor Breed to prioritize funds—currently on reserve for residents and neighborhoods including community based organizations, schools, small businesses, and workers—to address and mitigate the local impacts and disruptions that will be caused by the APEC related activities.

SOLUTION: OWL-SF is very concerned about the impacts of the coming APEC summit. Please contact Mayor London Breed to request that she spend some of the $10 million in reserve funds set aside for the APEC conference to inform and assist seniors and people with disabilities as well as families living in the area. 

Mayor London Breed
phone: (415) 554-6141
E-mail:
 MayorLondonBreed@sfgov.org

OWL ALERT October 19: CELEBRATE OWL VICTORIES

OWL-SF would like to thank Members for your political participation via OWL Alerts. Congratulations are in order for a pair of recent victories:

The OWL Alert for September 6 asked Members to contact California State legislators to urge them to pass AB 645, which creates a pilot program in several California cities—including San Francisco—installing cameras to enforce speed limits. Not only did the legislature pass the bill, Governor Newsom signed it into law on October 13.
 

C   O   N   G   R   A   T   U   L   A   T   I   O   N   S   !
 
Then on September 28, the OWL Alert asked Members to contact Newsom to urge him to sign AB 360, a bill that will prevent the mislabeling of wrongful in-custody deaths as “excited delirium,” which frequently—and wrongly—justified the use of force by law enforcement. The Governor did in fact sign the bill into law on October 8, another victory!
 
C   O   N   G   R   A   T   U   L   A   T   I   O   N   S   !   A   G   A   I   N   !
 
OWL-SF is deeply proud of our contribution to grassroots social change!

OWL Alert October 13: WE’RE TAKING THE FIGHT TO MEDICARE ADVANTAGE

Please try to attend this important Medicare webinar and also forward this to friends across the country.


Dear Medicare supporter,

As we move into Medicare’s Open Enrollment period, PNHP is ramping up its campaign against corporate profiteering. The need is clear: Our recently released report shows that the so-called “Medicare Advantage” program is overpaid by a stunning amount—up to $140 billion per year. That’s money that should be going to patient care instead of profits for executives and shareholders. We have to put an end to this, and we need your help to do it.

Please join us on Monday, Oct. 16 at 4:00 p.m. Eastern (1 pm Western) for an important webinar kicking off our campaign against corporate profiteering in Medicare Advantage.

REGISTER HERE

We’ll be going over our new report, sharing powerful stories from patients and physicians, and providing lots of ways for you to join the fight. We’ll also be joined by several allies in this movement, and will hear a special message from Medicare for All lead sponsor, Rep. Pramila Jayapal!

 

Millions of Medicare champions are taking action to stand up for seniors and people with disabilities. Help build the kind of grassroots movement we need to confront the power of big insurance…and win!

This next phase of the campaign kicks off next Monday, Oct. 16 with the OPEN SEASON webinar.

Please join us. 

Physicians for a National Health Program
29 E Madison St Ste 1412 | Chicago, Illinois 60602
312-782-6006 | info@pnhp.org

OWL Alert Oct 3: Understanding Long Term Care and Who Pays For It

At our last OWL membership meeting on September 23 we had a good discussion of long-term care and Medicare with some questions still left unanswered. Here is an opportunity to hear more about this important topic from one of our partner groups—the Community Living Campaign—as part of their Zoom presentations each week.

Understanding Long Term Care and Who Pays For It
As if the fear and treatment related to this issue is not enough, the financial concern is an added burden. Join Sarah Hooper, j.d. UC School of Law as she discusses the options currently available to help.

Takes place, Friday, October 6, Noon to 1 pm.

HOW TO JOIN THE EVENT :

To join by phone, dial 669-900-6833 or 646-558-8656.
Enter Meeting ID: 298 110 801# and then the password: 671492

To join by video from a PC, Mac, Linux, IOS or Android device, 
Click this link: https://ucsf.zoom.us/j/298110801

Password is: 671492

For more information, see: https://sfcommunityliving.org/event/senior-connections-2023/2023-10-06/

OWL ALERT September 28: CALL WRONGFUL DEATHS BY THEIR RIGHT NAMES

SITUATION:  The term “excited delirium” has been used extensively when reporting on wrongful deaths in custody, frequently justifying the use of violence by law enforcement, and disproportionally applied to black people. In fact, neither the American Medical Association nor the American Psychiatric Association recognizes this term as a legitimate diagnosis.
 
California Senate bill AB 360, would prohibit “excited delirium,” as defined, from being recognized as a valid medical diagnosis or cause of death in this state.

AB 360 has been passed by the California Legislature and will become a law if Governor Newsom signs it.
 
ACTION: Write to Governor Newsom urging him to sign AB 360 to get rid of this racist term.   
 
Go to gov.ca.gov/contact
On the right column “by email,” select “an active bill.”
Select AB360
Purpose is to “leave a comment.”
Hit “next”
Choose “pro”
 
Paste the following for message subject and message:
 
Message Subject: AB360
 
What to Say:
 
Dear Governor Newsom,
 
I am writing to urge you to sign AB360 – Excited Delirium – to make California the leader in ending the fraudulent use of the term as medical science, which it is not.

It is rare that such an important issue can be passed by the legislature with almost universal bipartisan support. In the Senate, there was only one no vote, and in the assembly, 77 ayes and 3 NVRs. Please make California the first state to ban the use “Excited Delirium” and other similar fraudulent terms in death determinations. By signing AB360, you are promoting transparency, accountability and responsibility.
 
Sincerely,
 
Hit “next”
Add contact information (name and email), and submit.
 
 ALSO: Share this message with friends, family and colleagues in California. 

OWL ALERT September 21: INVEST IN TRANSIT ACCESSIBILITY

“A developed city isn’t one where even the poor drive cars but where even the rich take public transportation.” Enrique Peñalosa

SITUATION: Underinvestment in transit too often leaves seniors and people with disabilities out in the cold. For the environment and for equity, we need to invest in transit that’s accessible for all. 

ACTION: Attend a rally IN PERSON at Market & 5th Street in front of the broken elevator on Wednesday, September 27, from 10 am to 11 am.

If you can’t attend the rally write to Mayor Breed, the supervisors, and members of the State Senate and Assembly urging them to be there. (Contact Info below)
 
What to Say:  I am a senior voter and a member of OWL, Older Women’s League.  Several organizations for seniors and people with disabilities–OWL, Senior & Disability Action,  California Alliance for Retired Americans– have joined other organizations to endorse the upcoming rally “Invest in Transit Accessibility” on September 27 from 10 to 11 at the Hallidie Plaza.  Please show that you care by attending–and perhaps speaking at– this rally. 

Click HERE for London Breed contact info.
Click HERE for SF Board of Supervisors contact info.
Click HERE for California State Assembly contact info.
Click HERE for California State Senate contact info.

OWL ALERT September 6: SPEED CAMERAS SAVE LIVES

SITUATION: About 30 people die and more than 500 are severely injured while traveling on San Francisco streets every year. Seniors are particularly vulnerable, and speeding is a major cause. Speed limits need to be enforced, and speed cameras would be a huge help.

California State Senate bill AB 645 creates a new speed camera program in pilot cities including Los Angeles and San Francisco. AB 645 is out of the Senate Appropriations Committee and heading for the full Senate for a vote on September 14.

ACTION:  Write to state senators, urging them to vote YES on AB 645. Thank Senator Wiener for advocating for the bill.

What to SAYWe need to enforce our speeding limits to save lives and prevent injuries. AB 645 has safeguards for privacy. Please support and vote for AB 645, the Speed Camera Pilot.

SAVE THE DATE: Wednesday, September 27th 10:00-11:00 am at Hallidie Plaza (5th and Market, by the cable car turnaround)–a Transit Accessibility Event endorsed by OWL.

Click HERE for State Senator Scott Weiner’s contact info.

Click HERE to identify and locate California State Senate and Assembly Representatives.

OWL ALERT August 28: Laguna Honda Hospital Still Needs Our Help

Situation: Laguna Honda Hospital (LHH) has been recertified for Medi-Cal (Medicaid) as of August 16th, however, this important resource for older people and the disabled is not out of the woods yet! Several questions remain to be answered:

  • Will residents who were inappropriately transferred out of LHH be allowed to return?
  • Will 120 beds still be cut as demanded by Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)?
  • Will the “flow project,” prioritizing hard to place patients from SF General Hospital over traditional nursing home patients, continue?

Action: Please call or email your SF Supervisors or SF Public Health Commission.

What to say:

  • Residents previously discharged from LHH must be readmitted.
  • There must be no loss of beds at the nearly new LHH.
  • Stop the “flow project” that allows unsafe and inappropriate admissions to LHH.
  • City, State and Federal agencies must provide sufficient mental health and substance abuse treatment and residential beds to give people the care they need.
  • Elders and people with disabilities must have enough services and housing to enable them to thrive in their communities.

Please share this message with friends, family and colleagues in and near San Francisco.

Contact info:

San Francisco Health Commission
(415) 554-2666
healthcommission.dph@sfdph.org

Click HERE to find contact info for your member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors.

OWL Alert August 11: Strengthen Financial Abuse Protection for California Seniors

SITUATION: The FBI’s 2022 Elder Fraud Report found that victims over the age of 60 suffered $3.1 billion in losses last year–losses from which victims sometimes never recover. In many cases, much of the loss could have been mitigated or prevented by intervention from banks. California State Senate Bill 278 (SB278) will clarify existing law to hold banks and financial institutions liable for detecting predatory practices.

SB278 has passed in the California State Senate and now heads to the Assembly.

ACTION: Passing SB278 is an important step to make sure banks do more to protect all seniors in California. Contact your State Assemblymembers, and urge them to vote yes on this crucial legislation.

Click HERE to identify and locate your California State legislators.

OWL ALERT JULY 25: MAKE DEMOCRACY WORK BY SUPPORTING REDISTRICTING REFORM IN SAN FRANCISCO

SITUATION: Every ten (10) years the San Francisco Board of Supervisors’ election map is redrawn. At the conclusion of the redistricting process in 2022, a report sponsored by, among others, the ACLU of Northern California was issued, indicating that there was a lack of true independence in the process. The report included practical reforms to improve local redistricting and create fair maps

Since 2022, the SF Elections Commission and its FIERCE Committee have been working hard to formulate recommendations for improving the City’s important redistricting process before the next election map is drawn. It is important to act NOW while redistricting is fresh in the minds of people from the 2021-2022 cycle, and—in case a ballot measure is needed for implementation of the reforms— it can be added to the 2024 ballot. 

ACTION: Support the work of the San Francisco Elections Commission and FIERCE Committee by emailing them or attending a meeting. Thank them for working hard to reform the San Francisco redistricting process NOW, and urge them to immediately complete the process.

Also please share this message with friends, family and colleagues. 

Elections Commission: 
elections.commission@sfgov.org

If you prefer, you can give public comments at a meeting instead.

Information regarding Election Commission meetings can be found HERE. More information about the FIERCE Committee can be found HERE. And for an informative and detailed article on why redistricting reform is needed NOW, visit the San Francisco League of Women Voters HERE.

OWL ALERT July 15: RAISE YOUR VOICE AGAIN FOR THE FRAIL ELDERLY AT LAGUNA HONDA

SITUATION: The situation at Laguna Honda Hospital remains dire. Recertification of Laguna Honda Hospital has not been completed. Over 500 frail, elderly and disabled people could be forcibly moved and scattered—with some possibly moved out of state—and cut off from any friends, family or familiar surroundings. 
 

Imagine yourself or a loved one
in that helpless and lonely predicament.

 

San Francisco could lose scores of skilled nursing beds, adding to the already frightening shortage of such caring places. Any one of us might need such a place because of injury, illness or age. We cannot lose any more.

ACTION Yes we’ve done this before, but let’s do it again and keep up the pressure to prevent older and disabled people from the disruption of being transferred out of a facility that has served them in the past.

Contact those below and say “Laguna Honda Hospital must be saved with all beds intact:

 

  • No closure.
  • No bed cuts.
  • No forced relocation of patients.
  • No funding loss. 
OWLs: Even if you have done this before, please do it again. Make them hear us! Hoot and holler!

And share this message with friends, family and colleagues!Contact info:

Click HERE for phone and email contact of individual San Francisco Supervisors,
or write to them at:

1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place
City Hall, Room 244
San Francisco, CA 94102-4689

Xavier Becerra (Secy. of federal Health and Human Services Dept.)
200 Independence Avenue, S.W
Washington, D.C. 20201
Email: xavier.becerra@hhs.gov
Phone: 1(877) 696-6775

Chiquita Brooks-LaSure (US Dept. of Health and Human Services)
200 Independence Avenue, S.W
Washington, D.C. 20201
Email: LaSure@cms.hhs.gov
Phone: (202) 690-6329