December 2021 News and Views

Dear friends,

We are looking forward to our annual collective visioning process, that last year brought us the successful rental subsidies campaign and the ongoing high energy campaign for free wifi. At our December General Meeting, we’ll come together to dream a brighter, healthier, fuller future and start the work of determining our priorities for the year to come.

Before we get there, tomorrow is Giving Tuesday!

As part of this international day of giving, all donations made on Facebook throughout the day will be matched, so your impact can spread further. Please help keep our important work going and growing so that we can continue making our collective dreams reality!

Donate on Facebook,

or donate on Action Network:

Giving Tuesday

Advocacy Agenda Campaign Updates

Free Wifi Campaign Drumbeat is Steady!

Free Wifi members have been taking the campaign directly at AT&T – on October 18th, over 60 SDA members and allies occupied the flagship AT&T store at Market and Powell with another 25 participating on Zoom – peacefully holding a rally in the grand lobby of the building and negotiating with store officials to get in touch with Ken McNeely, President of AT&T’s Western Region to discuss our demands for Free, Fast, Reliable internet for seniors and people with disabilities.

Unfortunately, AT&T’s Public Relations team intervened and prevented Mr. McNeely from speaking with campaign leaders and then brought police in to disperse our protest. As the dispersal order was given, campaign members strategically moved the rally outdoors to public space. To read the coverage from the Chronicle and Examiner, click here.

Since the rally, we have heard from AT&T officials but they have not yet agreed to the demands – in response, campaign members have continued to take steady action with a series of visits by delegations to smaller AT&T stores throughout the city and a phone blitz day where over a hundred calls were made. We’re preparing to take the next step with another larger action in mid-December.

Before the action, join us at 1pm on Friday, December 3rd, to prepare materials and plan the action at the SDA office (1360 Mission St). We will have the air purifiers running and the windows open. If you plan to come, please wear a mask and contact Peter or Dasom to let them know. 


Come to our planning meetings! Meetings are usually the last Tuesday of the month, but the next meeting will be on Tuesday December 7th from 3:00-4:30, by Zoom and phone. Spanish interpretation will be provided – please let us know if you’d like to join and have any other requests for interpretation or accommodation.

To get involved by attending a meeting and/or joining outreach efforts, email Peter[at] or Dasom[at] or call 415-546-1333 and leave a voicemail on the main line mentioning the Free WiFi Campaign.

SDA Campaign Updates

Housing: SRO Workgroup

Thanks to the organizing of Cadillac Hotel tenants and the SDA SRO Workgroup, the elevator at the Cadillac Hotel has been working for two weeks now! After a rally and many phone calls and emails to the building owner and manager, people power won. The work continues, though, and the workgroup is currently doing a paper survey on other access issues people living in SROs have to determine the next priorities.

If you’d like to take the survey or want to help get surveys filled out, contact and come to the SRO workgroup meeting on Friday!

Mad Mob: Mental Health Group Rallies Against Conservatorship

Photos of Mad Mob holding signs to protest conservatorship. Timed to coincide with Britney Spears’ court hearing
On November 12, Mad Mob rallied outside of S.F. General Hospital to protest conservatorship. Timed to coincide with Britney Spears’ court hearing, which has brought the issue of conservatorship into the public eye, Mad Mob members, friends, and allies highlighted all the ordinary people who are held involuntarily when seeking mental health care.

SDA member Joyce Calagos led chants, including “Hey hey, ho ho, conservatorship has got to go!”. Fancher Larson spoke about her experience as a patient and patients’ rights advocate, and the need for community support beyond medical treatment. Cheryl Shanks spoke about her experiences being held on 72-hour holds, and how long it took to get into ongoing treatment. “I was one of the lucky ones,” she said. “I actually got the mental health I needed. Why did I have to be lucky? Everybody should be able to access the mental health they need.” Rebecca Ruiz from Mental Health First, a program of the Anti-Police Terror Project, spoke about how conservatorship was used to alienate indigenous people from their land and natural resources, and how the racism of the practice continues today.

Right after the rally ended, Britney Spears was released from her 13-year conservatorship. Mad Mob members celebrated her freedom, but will keep pushing for an end to forced treatment and an expansion of voluntary services, peer respite, and accessible housing. To get involved, contact Raia ( and join our next meeting on December 10, 3-4:30pm on zoom. 

Read or listen here:  

Transit Justice

For the last 2 months, SDA’s Transit Justice group has been busy! As part of our Pedestrian Accessibility Campaign, we are working on 4 accessibility issues. They are:

Shared Spaces Program: The Transit Justice group with it’s allies, MEDA, Race and Equity Coalition and the Golden Gate Restaurant Association recently won changes to the city’s Shared Spaces program, to make sure that outdoor tables and chairs don’t block access and benefit everyone. But we are not finished. Currently we are working with the Planning Department to make the program beneficial to all minority restaurant owners.

Golden Gate Park Plan:  As a response to shelter in place mandate in Spring of 2020, Rec and Park closed JFK Drive to provide a safe open space for all local residents. This closure highlighted how inaccessible the park is for seniors and people with disabilities. Now over a year later, there is a proposal to close JFK Dr. permanently.  So we have formed the Golden Gate Park Accessibility Coalition. Our first task is to make JFK accessible for all people.

Restore Muni: Another win! SF Municipal Transportation Agency, SFMTA has finally agreed to fully (actually 95%) restore all Muni routes.  This win was the result of strong pressure coming from the Coalition to Restore Muni, of which TJG is a founding member. We will continue our pressure on SFMTA to address the needs of its’ senior and disabled Muni riders as the SFMTA starts designing the future Muni service network in 2022.

Gimme Shelter Campaign:  Currently only 25% of Muni bus stops have shelter with seating. Our campaign is demanding that all Muni bus stops must have a bus shelter with seating. Presently we are conducting a survey and petition drive and recruiting support for our campaign.

Interested in any of these current campaigns?  Or have an idea for one in 2022? Then join us. Just contact Pi Ra,, (415)225-2080.

Here are the links to the Gimme Shelter survey and petition: 

Access the Survey in English, Chinese or Spanish

Access the Petition in English, Chinese or Spanish

Upcoming SDA Events

November and December General Meeting:
Forming our Advocacy Agenda

As 2021 comes to a close, its time to look back and to dream forward.

On Thursday December 9th from 10-12PM PST, all SDA members are invited to dream together about our hopes and wishes for 2021, as the first step in our Advocacy Agenda Process. Through an open-ended, conversational, collective visioning process, we can come to start the process of determining and affirming our priorities for the year to come.

Join us over Zoom. Info on how to join by Zoom or Phone is at the bottom of this email, in the Upcoming SDA Meetings section.

Wheelchair Repair Clinic


Friday, December 3rd from 10:00am to 1:00pm

Clementina Towers, 320 Clementina St., San Francisco

Senior and Disability Action members and staff, with support from City Wheelchairs, will host our first FREE WHEELCHAIR REPAIR CLINIC. We will invite people to bring their wheelchairs and get basic repairs. The event will take place at Clementina Towers.

The lack of affordable wheelchair repair is a serious issue for people with disabilities of all ages in San Francisco. Medi-Cal has strict rules about who can get wheelchairs and how often people can get repairs and/or new batteries. And for someone whose battery runs out or a part malfunctions while out of their home, there is no one to call for immediate repairs. At the Wheelchair Repair Clinic on December 3rd, trained staff of City Wheelchairs will be present to provide repairs. 

The event will include food and music, and a chance for people to talk about the problem of wheelchair repair. 

Attached is an information sheet about wheelchair repair and below are the graphic and image description for the event. Please start spreading the word, and join us December 3rd!

SDU on Social Media Advocacy


Our Senior & Disability University (SDU): Social Media Advocacy has been a powerful exploration of digital safety and activism. All sessions will be recorded and uploaded to our Senior & Disability University Youtube playlist, for accessible access. Spanish interpretation will be available. We welcome participants from San Francisco as well as the East Bay. Register here:

Remaining Sessions: November 30th to December 15th, Mondays & Wednesdays from 3-5PM PST on Zoom.

Questions? Email or 


Dignity Fund Community Survey

Make your voice heard!

The San Francisco Department of Disability and Aging Services is currently conducting the 2022 Dignity Fund Community Needs Assessment (DFCNA) to understand the strengths, challenges, and gaps in services to older adults and adults with disabilities in San Francisco.

Fill out the DFCNA Community Survey by Friday, December 17 at

The survey is also available in Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Russian, Spanish, Tagalog, and Vietnamese, and Samoan is coming soon.

Please also share feedback through virtual and in-person forums, held from November 28 to December 15, around the city and in multiple languages. More information is available here.

SF Department of Disability and Aging Services Report:
Affordable Housing for Seniors and People with Disabilities

San Francisco Department of Disability and Aging Services 2021 Overview Report on Affordable Housing for Seniors and People with Disabilities (table)

San Francisco Department of Disability and Aging Services also recently released the 2021 Overview Report on Affordable Housing for Seniors and People with Disabilities. (Table above)

Some key takeaways:

  • Across both senior-occupied units and also disability-occupied units, over 75% of households report actual income levels below 20% AMI. (p. 11)
  • Most units are designated for … the 30% to 50% AMI level. This indicates most residents require a rent subsidy or else face significant rent burden. (p. 11)
  • In practice, most senior and disabled residents rely on a rental subsidy to meet their monthly rent. About 77% of senior-occupied units and 91% of disability-occupied units have a rental subsidy through federal sources (such as Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers or Continuum of Care programs) or local sources (such as the Local Operating Subsidy Program). (p. 11)
  • Over the next three years, an additional 925 units for these populations are anticipated to be in development. Almost all are senior-designated units. A small number (27) are units designated for adults with developmental disabilities (Units can only be set aside for disabled occupants if there is a dedicated funding source, such as HUD’s Section 811 program for people with developmental disabilities.) (p. 12)

Read the report in full here: Housing Overview October 2021.pdf

Becoming Disabled During the Pandemic

Have you recently developed a chronic illness or disability?

Over the past 18 months of the COVID-19 pandemic, many people have become disabled or chronically ill for the first time– due to COVID-19, mental health effects of the pandemic, lack of access to healthcare, and more. Senior and Disability Action is hosting a training program for people who are new to disability or chronic illness and want to connect with other people and/or change the way disabilities are created and treated in our society.

If you have long COVID or a new disabillity, please fill out our short survey here: 

If you want to learn more about this cohort, contact Raia at raia[at[

Remote meeting participation

Do you like being able to join meetings by zoom or phone, rather than having to go in person? Does a remote option make it more possible for you to participate? 

If so, please fill out this form! It’s time to work together to make sure that as people start to meet in person again, disabled people and seniors don’t lose our ability to participate.

Please share widely. Contact to get more information or to get involved. 

First Hybrid SDSS in the books!

Senior and Disability Survival School

Senior and Disability Survival School (SDSS) October-November 2021 celebrated graduates from our first hybrid course (Zoom and in-person) on November 10th! If you’d like to participate or volunteer for the January 2022 SDSS at Richmond Senior Center in English and Chinese, contact Dasom at

Partner Updates

STOP Ellis Act Evictions in San Francisco!

There are tenants being pushed out through the Ellis Act at 3661 19th Street, between Guerrero and Dolores. Half of them are seniors, and some are people with disabilities too. With the Eviction Defense Network and other allies, the tenants are organizing to stop the speculators who have bought the building from evicting them. Call the building’s new owners to show them the community is against these evictions and will fight!


Jeff Pollack (650) 533-8534, 

Pierre Malak (408) 807-3409, 

Ryan Fong (650) 504-8940,   

Sample Script:

Hi, my name is ___, and I’m a member of Senior & Disability Action. I heard that you’re evicting people at 3661 19th Street with the Ellis Act and I want to ask you NOT to evict anyone! Housing is a human right and people must be allowed to stay in their housing. Thank you. 

Also, at 40-42 Sycamore Street, Filipinx seniors and people with disabilities and their families are facing Ellis Act evictions from their longtime homes. The tenants are organizing with SOMA Pilipinas, United to Save the Mission, and others to stop these evictions by working with the city to purchase the buildings through it’s small sites program. 

Both fights are tied to the current effort to pass the Emergency Housing Acquisition program at the Board of Supervisors. Stay tuned for more information on how you can support that fight as well. 

Tai Chi and Qigong with SF Village

Every Thursday, 2:30PM – 3:15PM PST

Starting December 2 until December 16, 2021. Held in Person at SF Village Office (3220 Fulton St.).

Tai Chi and Qigong are exercises designed for health of mind and body. Tai Chi is known to be the best form of exercise for elders to practice balance to prevent falls. Practice the first twelve basic movements of the Sun Style form. No experience necessary and you are welcome to join at any time as the moves are broken down and repeated. The emphasis is on improving balance, increasing flexibility and building strength. Led by Caroline Lew, a Certified Instructor through the Tai Chi for Health Institute. Stand or Sit. 

To register visit: 

Beyond the Bay and Beyond CA

#CareCantWait: a national campaign for action

In alliance with Hand in Hand, the Disability Organizing Network, and the CA Domestic Workers Coalition, SDA members and staff rallied for a Halloween action to call on Congress to pass Build Back Better with full funding for home & community based services (HCBS), to make sure that seniors and disabled people get needed home care. On Friday, November 19th, the House of Representatives passed the Build Back Better plan with $150 million toward Medicaid Home and Community-Based Services and for better wages to address the staffing shortage. Please continue to call your Senators to urge them to increase funding for HCBS, or use this toolkit to get the word out on social media.

Upcoming SDA Meetings

Click here to view the full SDA Calendar of Events on our website!

**Please note meetings continue to be remote until further notice**

Friday, December 3: Transit Justice Meeting. 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm. Email Pi for more information.  

Friday, December 3: SRO Workgroup (first Friday of the month). 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm. Email Yesi for more information.    

Thursday, December 9: General Meeting (2nd Thursday of every month). Join at 9:45am for Zoom support, 10:00am for General Meeting. Topic: Reflecting on our Year and Dreaming for 2022. Captioning and Spanish Interpretation provided. Email SDA or leave a message at 415-546-1333 mentioning the General Meeting with any questions.  Zoom Link:  One-tap mobile: +16699006833,,85282401205# US (San Jose).  Toll-Free Dial In: 888-475-4499; Meeting ID: 852 8240 1205.   

Friday, December 10: Mad Mob SF (2nd and 4th Friday of every month). 3:00 pm – 4:30 pm. Email Raia to get the information to join or to find out about future meetings.

Tuesday, December 14: Healthcare Action Team (HAT) Meeting (2nd Tuesday of every month). 11:00 am – 12:30 pm. Email Ligia for more information.

Wednesday, December 15: Housing Collaborative Meeting (3rd Wednesday of every month). 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm. Email Freddy for more information. 

Let’s build this movement together.

Please become a member or donate today!

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