April 2014 News and Views

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News and Views Volume 2 Issue 3 April 2014 Free Muni for Seniors & People with Disabilities The city is getting increasingly unaffordable for low-income communities and com- munities of color. At the same time, transportation is getting more expensive and fare enforcement is getting more aggressive. Google buses are paying $1 to use Muni stops, while seniors and people with disabilities pay almost that much for every single trip. In many neighborhoods, Muni is overcrowded and unreliable. We need to organize to make sure that everyone has access to reliable, affordable public transit. Last year the community organized and won Free Muni for Youth! This was a huge victory to help families struggling with the high cost of transportation and cuts to yellow school buses. Just one year later, already 30,000 youth have enrolled in Free Muni for Youth. Youth and community members are organizing to make Free Muni for Youth permanent and to include 18-year-olds, and the SF MTA Board is considering ex- panding the free-pass program to low-income seniors and people with disabilities. Many seniors and people with disabilities are living on a very limited income and can’t afford to pay for transportation. We shouldn’t have to choose between paying for medicine and paying for Muni to be able to get out of our homes! We need to be able to get to doctor’s appointments, go to the grocery store, attend community meetings, or see friends. Seniors and people with disabilities often rely on Muni to get around town, not being able to drive or not able to afford to drive. Free Muni for seniors and people with disabilities is not expensive. It will only take a little piece of the MTA budget. It’s the right thing to do to make sure that ALL of us can be active in the community and get where we need to go. Support Free Muni for Seniors and People with Disabilities! • Come to the MTA Budget Hearing on Tuesday, April 1. Press conference at City Hall at 12:00, meeting in City Hall Room 400 at 1:00. • Email the MTA Board through Roberta.Boomer@sfmta.com to tell them you sup- port Free Muni for seniors and people with disa- bilities. • Call your representative on the Board of Supervisors to say you support this. • Help collect postcards in support of Free Mu- ni for Seniors and People with Disabilities. Check out our new and improved website! http://www.sdaction.org. Updated frequently! IHSS Task Force Meeting Thursday April 17th 10:30 AM Senior and Disability Action Office 1360 Mission Street #400 Inside this Issue: Pg. 2 Housing Rights and 1st Friday Flick Pg. 3 Senior and Disability University Pg. 4 Report from Medi-Cal Expansion Forum Pg. 5 News and Events Pg. 6 Medi-Cal Limits and Welcome to Alice! Pg. 7 Community Calendar Find us on Facebook: Senior and Disability Action 
Housing Rights Events Over the last several months San Francisco tenants have engaged in a series of neighborhood tenant conventions which provided a forum for San Francisco renters to voice their concerns and formulate solutions to the severe eviction crisis that has seen a 178% increase in Ellis Act evictions over the past 3 years. The neighborhood conventions culminated in a large citywide convention that took place in the Tenderloin. As a result of the plenary, it was agreed that in order to rein in the out of con- trol evictions in the city, legislation specific to real estate speculation must be intro- duced. It was agreed that legislation be crafted that would impose a speculator’s tax on those who purchase buildings and try to sell within 5 years. Tenants and advo- cates agree that assessing a significant tax penalty would take much of the specula- tion out of buying buildings with the intent to flip them quickly to make a profit. An “Anti-speculator’s Rally” to kick off a signature drive to get the initia- tive placed on the November ballot will take place at Civic Center on Saturday April 26th, 12-3pm. Twenty thousand signatures are needed by July to place the initiative on the November ballot. Come out and show your support. Call Fred or Tommi at Housing Rights Committee at (415) 703-8634 if you would like more information, or to help with the event. Action at the SF Association of Realtors Please join SDA and other community partners for an action at the Association of Realtors to draw attention to their role in the mass evictions of seniors and people with disabilities in San Francisco. Date: Tuesday April 22nd Time: 10 AM Location: Near 301 Grove at Gough—Call for more details Please call Tony if you would like to join us 546-1333 ext. 306 First Friday Flick!! Come to the SDA office, 1360 Mission #400, on Friday April 4th at 2:00 PM for our monthly movie showing. This month we will watch part of the Sochi 2014 Winter Paralympics. The Paralympic Games are a series of international contests for ath- letes with disabilities that are associated with and held following the summer and winter Olympic Games. Free popcorn and drinks. Please call 415-546-1333 to RSVP. 2
On Tuesday March 4th, hundreds of seniors, people with disabilities and their allies gathered for a rally at City Hall and the MTA Board hearing to voice their support for Free Muni for seniors and people with disabilities. Many members from the coalition for Free Muni for Youth showed up to show their support. Senior and Disability University Presents Transit Justice Classes will cover MUNI, Paratransit and Pedestrian Safety Issues that affect Sen- iors and People with Disabilities. Some of the topics covered will be 􏰀.. On April 8: FREE MUNI for Seniors and People with Disabilities, Muni Fare En- forcement & Google Buses: On April 22: Vision Zero & Street Crossing Times WHEN: Tuesdays April 8, 15, 22 and 29, 1:00 to 4:00 pm WHERE: Valencia Gardens, 390 Valencia Street / 15th Street Join us & see how we as a community can create Transit Justice To register or for more information Please contact Pi Ra at Senior & Disability Action 1360 Mission #400, SF CA 94103; 415-546-2096 srira@sdaction.org Senior & Disability University is a Leadership Training Program by and for Seniors and People with Disabilities in San Francisco. Classes cover community organizing skills, leadership and empowerment. 3
Report on Medi-Cal Expansion Forum On Monday March 17th at Koret Auditorium in the Main Library, the IHSS Task Force sponsored an enlightening forum about the effect of the Affordable Care Act and Medi-Cal expansion on seniors and people with disabilities. The speakers were Anna Rich, of the National Senior Citizens Law Center; Megan Elliott, the director of San Francisco IHSS, and Alana Theriault, a Disability Benefits Advocate. Anna Rich spoke about the qualifications to be eligible for Medi-Cal expansion. She also talked about what they are calling the “eligibility cliff”. To be eligible for Medi- Cal, people over 65 are still subject to the asset limit of $2000 for an individual, and $3000 for a married couple. This is confusing, since there is not the same asset re- quirement for people who get Medi-Cal under the expansion. Currently, we are work- ing to increase the income cap. Please see page six for a sample letter to send to your California state senator on this issue. Megan Elliot talked about IHSS. We have recently learned that IHSS will be in- cluded as part of the Medi-Cal expansion. This is good news because it means more people will be able to get IHSS. Alana Theriault talked very passionately about the Medi-Cal Working Disabled Program of Medi-Cal. Some would call this the best-kept secret of the program. Many people who receive Medi-Cal don’t think they can work because their share of cost would be too much if their income increased. This program works around that prob- lem. You are allowed to work, and it can be anything from a small job you do once a month, to a full time job where you earn close to $60,000 a year. There are require- ments for the program, but it could help a lot more people if they knew about it. We will be talking more about the Working Disabled (or 250%) program of Medi-Cal at our general meeting on Thursday April 10th. You can also learn more about it at http://www.db101.org The forum cleared up some lingering confusion about Obamacare and seniors and people with disabilities, and we learned about the wonderful Working Disabled program. We are grateful to all the presenters and all who helped put the event to- gether. April SDA General Meeting Topic: Workers’ Rights and Employment Learn more about employment support and the AT&T Park Workers’ Rights campaign Thursday April 10th Doors Open at 9, Meeting starts at 10 AM Lunch at 12 noon Unitarian Universalist Church 1187 Franklin at Geary Call 415-546-1333 for information 4
News and Events SF Connected Swap Meet #2 Join us at the second SF Connected Swap Meet. We will have: • A map of SF Connected computer labs in your neighborhood. • Resource tables about affordable computers, internet access, volunteer opportu- nities and more • Presentations by those ready and able to provide training and support • Accessible technology to make computers easier for those of us with disabilities. • A giant “Bulletin Board” of opportunities to Swap When and Where: Tuesday, April 22, 2014 Gathering and Networking at 9:30 AM Session Begins at 10:00 AM Refreshments provided First Unitarian Universalist Center 1187 Franklin Street (at Geary) Bus lines 38, 38L, 49, 47 and 90 To register: Call Community Living Campaign at (415) 821-1003 or register on-line at: bit.ly/TechSwapMeet2 ASL will be provided. For other translations and accommodations, please call 72 hours in advance. Co-Sponsored by the Community Living Campaign and SF Connected Water Rates in San Francisco set to rise by 40% in the next four years Due to the needs to upgrade the pipes and keep the system up-to-date, the San Francisco PUC is proposing rate hikes to begin July 1st, 2014. The rate proposal is to raise them an average of $7-10 a year for the next four years for single-family resi- dences. Multi-family homes will also see a rate increase. If you have concerns about this proposal, you can attend the meetings of the Rate Board and/or you can send written comments. The information is below: S.F. Public Utilities Commission Meetings Tuesday, April 22, 2014 at 1:30 PM Tuesday, May 13, 2014 at 1:30 PM San Francisco City Hall, Room 400 1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place “Protests must be submitted in writing via mail or hand delivered to our April 22nd or May 13th Commission public hearings in order to be counted and may not be delivered electronically or verbally.“ Low-income water users: You can apply for payment assistance through the CAP program. You can call (415) 551-3000 to find out more. 5
Support Raising the Income Cap for Medi-Cal—AB 2025! Call your elected officials today! For years, low-income seniors and people with disabilities have struggled to make ends meet; many don’t get the health care services they need, as they are forced to choose between paying for rent, food, transportation or medical care. While the Affordable Care Act (ACA) expands eligibility for free Medi-Cal for most single adults with incomes up to $15,856, this expansion does not include many seniors and persons with disabilities. Right now, in order to qualify for free Medi-Cal through the Aged and Disabled Medi-Cal Program, an individual must have a monthly income of less than $1,188. If their income is over this level they have the burden of a “share of cost” before their Medi-Cal coverage will pay for services, often hundreds of dol- lars a month. This is an outdated threshold set 14 years ago that does not accurately reflect current health care costs. We are urging support for Assembly Bill 2025 which addresses the problem of having a two-tiered system by ensuring that seniors and people with disabilities are provided the same healthcare coverage eligibility as adults with Medi-Cal under ACA. Increasing the Aged and Disabled Medi-Cal income eligibility threshold to $15,856 will make health care more affordable for a population increasingly burdened by rising health care costs. You can show your support for AB 2025 by calling your elected representa- tives in Sacramento: Assembly Member Tom Ammiano: 415-557-3013 Senator Mark Leno: 415-557-1300 From the March 17th Medi-Cal Expansion Forum at Koret Auditorium Left: Alana Theriault Right: Anna Rich and Megan Elliott Welcome to our new staff Alice Bierman! We would like to extend a warm welcome to our newest SDA staff member, Alice Bierman. She is our new Office Assistant. Alice has already helped us out in numer- ous ways, and fits in nicely here. In addition to working here, Alice works at Asian Women’s Shelter, and volunteers with the IOA Friendship Line. If you come to the office on Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday, you might see her hard at work at the front desk. We are so happy to have Alice here! 6
DATE Mon-Fri Tuesday April 1st Tuesday April 15th (TBA) Community Calendar: April 2014 ACTIVITY Computer Open Lab and Beginning Computer Classes Free Muni MTA Rally and Hearing TIME & PLACE Mon-Fri 9:00 AM-4:00 PM 1360 Mission Street Suite 400 Call for class times and lab hours 12:00 PM Rally in City Hall 1 PM City Hall, Room 400 MORE INFO? Pi Ra 546-2096 Jessica 546-1333 x301 1st Wednesday April 2nd DAAS Commission 9:30 AM City Hall, Room 416 355-3509 1st Thursday April 3rd SDA Board Meeting 1:30-3:30 PM 1360 Mission St. #400 Jessica Lehman 546-1333 ext. 301 1st Friday April 4th 1st Friday Flick: Paralympic Games 2 PM 1360 Mission St. #400 Jessica Lehman 546-1333 ext. 301 March 26th-Middle of May Write On! Writing workshop for seniors and people with disabilities in SOMA SROs 2-3:30 PM Canon Kip Senior Center 705 Natoma Tony Robles 546-1333 ext. 306 Tues. April 8th SRO Elevator Work- ing Group Jessica 546-1333 x301 2nd Wednesday April 9th HealthCare Action Team (HAT) 2-4 PM DAAS, 1650 Mission Street, 5th Floor 11:00-1:00 Bayanihan Center 1010 Mission Street at 6th James Chionsini 546-1333 x304 2nd Thurs April 10th SDA General Meeting 10 AM-12 PM Unitarian Universalist Church 1187 Franklin @ Geary SDA 546-1333 2nd Thurs April 10th California Alliance for Retired Americans (CARA) 1 PM 1188 Franklin #4 Jodi Reid 550-0828 2nd Thurs April 10th Long Term Care Co- ordinating Council 1:00-3:00 pm 170 Otis, Born Auditorium Bill.Haskell @sfgov.org 2nd Monday April 14th Coalition of Agencies Serving the Elderly (CASE) Patty Clement-Cihak 452-3500 SDA Housing Collaborative 3 PM-5 PM 3rd Weds April 16th 1-3 PM 1390 Mission St., 2nd Floor Tony Robles 546-1333 x306 3rd Friday April 18th Mayor’s Disability Council 1-4 City Hall Room 400 Mayors Office on Disability 554-6789 7
Become a Member of Senior and Disability Action!! Dues are $20/year OR according to your means. Pay more or less as you are able. Name: ____________________________________________________________ Address: ____________________________ City: ___________ Zip: __________ Phone: __________________________________ □Cell □Home □Work Phone: __________________________________ □Cell □Home □Work Email: ___________________________________________ Interests: □Housing □Healthcare □Long-term care & supports □Community education □Computer training □Pedestrian safety & transit □Other: ____________________________________________________ How would you like to receive newsletters & postcards? □Email □Postal mail Please send dues to: SDA, 1360 Mission St. #400, San Francisco CA 94103 Senior and Disability Action News is produced by SDA Staff and volunteers. Newsletter Volunteers: Constance Smith, Lenny Reiter, Alex Macdonald, Gary and Emeline Jacobs We would like to hear from you! Send information and commentary to sarah@sdaction.org or fax to (415) 546-1344. Thanks to all our Funders for your generous support for our work!