May 2022 News and Views


We believe deeply in independence, choice, bodily autonomy, and equitable access to healthcare at SDA and we are disturbed and enraged by the recent Supreme Court leak. We are in solidarity with those organizing to protect the right to safe, legal abortions. If you aren’t sure how to support, here’s somewhere to start.

Partly spurred by other reckless federal court-induced chaos, there has been A LOT going on lately. We won a big victory to reinstate the mask mandate on BART and members are pushing to do the same on Muni and AC Transit as we speak. Congratulations to the many members who organized, showed up, and were firm in this fight for safe, accessible public transit. The fight continues but celebrate this win!

In the midst of this organizing effort, we moved out of our office at 1360 Mission St last week. It was a bittersweet move, but a long time coming – the building owners have been steadily raising the rent while refusing to work with us on accessibility issues. With most of our stuff in storage, we are continuing to work remotely and seeking to find a new home. Our phone number remains the same, but please use our PO Box in the future (listed at the end of the email). We will keep everyone updated. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us with questions!

And TODAY at noon, the SRO Workgroup and Housing Collaborative, Community Tenants Association, and other allies are banding together for an exciting housing rally at SF City Hall! Join for that and make public comment in-person or virtually at the hearing at 1pm, directly following the rally.

With joy and hope in solidarity and struggle,

Jessica & the SDA Staff

P.S. SDA Members: stay tuned for information on an outdoor gathering later in May.

P.P.S. Did you participate in an SDA program this past year? Take the SDA Member/Participant Survey!

Advocacy Agenda Campaign Updates

Thank you for the ideas and input many of you shared at SDA’s General Meetings in December and January on major issues for SDA members, staff and board to take on in 2022. Every year, we clarify our Advocacy Agenda – the top two or three issues that we agree we will focus on so we can have a strong impact. We did not have a Leadership Retreat as planned and we apologize for the late update. All three of our key issues from last year are continuing, so we will extend our Advocacy Agenda for 2022!

Advocacy Agenda Issues for 2021 & 2022:

  • Deeply affordable housing
  • Free wifi
  • COVID protections for seniors and people with disabilities

We will be continuing many other campaigns as well that saw strong support at the meetings in December and January, such as:

  • Gimme Shelter (bus stop shelter access) – through the Transit Justice Group
  • Medicare for All / universal health care – this is not an SDA-led campaign, but we will continue to work with CARA and other statewide groups on this
  • Wheelchair repair program – through HAT (Healthcare Action Team)

Please get involved in any of these campaigns! Email for information about how to connect. 

Rally for Housing TOMORROW!

Join us TODAY to call on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors to fund Senior Operating Subsidies, create Disability Operating Subsidies, and replace SRO elevators!

Today, Wednesday, May 4th, the Board of Supervisors will hold a hearing on the Prop I/Housing Stability Fund Recommendations. We support the entire set of recommendations that were made with community input, and we are most excited about funding for SRO elevator repair and Senior and Disability Operating Subsidies (for housing).

We will be holding a rally TODAY at 12 noon on the Polk Street steps of City Hall. We will give public comment (remotely and in person) at the hearing at 1pm. Let’s tell the Board of Supervisors that seniors and people with disabilities deserve deeply affordable housing that is accessible and in good working order.

To make public comment remotely, watch the hearing on sfgovtv and call (415) 655-0001, enter Meeting ID: 2488 607 7768 # # (do one pound sign at a time), then hit *3 to raise your hand to speak. When you hear “your line has been unmuted,” start talking! See the agenda here

Please email or call Edith at (415) 347-1277 if you can join us in person or online!

Free Wifi & Keep Us Connected – Better Together!
Keep us connected (image)

Free Wifi and devices and training – better together!

As we enter budget season, SDA’s Free Wifi Campaign is supporting the Dignity Fund Coalition’s Keep Us Connected campaign! As a member of the Dignity Fund Coalition, SDA is part of the advocacy efforts currently underway to build on the outstanding success of critically important technology access programs in San Francisco. These programs have worked for many seniors and people with disabilities, but they need room and support to grow!

At the start of our Free Wifi Campaign, there was a lot of discussion about focusing on digital devices and skill-building or on internet affordability and access – our campaign chose to focus on internet. For the next few months as we engage in the San Francisco city budget process, we have a powerful opportunity to support the push for digital devices and skill-building that we all agree is a critical complement to the work we’ve been doing. To do this, our Free Wifi campaign will coordinate with the Keep Us Connected campaign. Through this strategic alliance, we can both fight for critical programs that are necessary for our progress pushing AT&T to be meaningful and we can grow our Free Wifi Campaign.

100,000 San Franciscans – nearly 1 in 8 – lack access to broadband Internet, devices and digital skills. Older adults, people with disabilities and those from marginalized communities are disproportionately impacted. Building on these and other findings from the 2021 Empowered San Francisco Technology Needs Assessment, the Keep Us Connected campaign is asking for $3.5 million a year for two years (2022-2024) to strengthen and expand SF Connected Programs beyond their current baseline funding to close the digital divide for people with disabilities, older adults, and other impacted communities.

Learn more here and sign the petition HERE

Masks on Transit Win and Work to be Done: Keep COVID Protections in Place!

Success! We achieved a big victory at the BART board on Thursday, April 28. Seven BART board directors voted in favor of a mask requirement on BART, with two abstentions and none opposed. The requirement will last until July 18, and can be extended by the board. Dozens of SDA members and allies called in, urging the board to vote in favor and swaying previously undecided board directors.

We gathered community support for reinstating the mask mandate on BART through a town hall held last Monday: Masks for Equity: A Town Hall & Teach-in, featuring writer and activist Tinu Abayomi-Paul, psychology post-doc and attendant employer Loren Steinberg, Oakland high school student leader Blue Lopez, geriatrician Louise Aronson, BART board President Rebecca Saltzman, and SEIU 1021 leader Cherelle Jackson. Over 80 participants heard from disabled Bay Area residents about why reinstating the mask requirement on BART is essential for disability rights, racial equity, and public health. We contacted BART board directors, the SFMTA director, and the AC Transit board about why this issue is important to senior and disability communities during the meeting.

BART is the first local transit agency to pass its own policy requiring masks, and we’re hopeful that other agencies will follow their lead. Today, members went to the SFMTA Board!

To get involved in our campaign for masks on transit, email Check out our action guide to contact local transit officials about mask policies.

SDA Campaign Updates
Wheelchair Repair Campaign: Legislative Visits!

We are starting to schedule legislative meetings for our Wheelchair Repair and Battery Replacement Program. If you would like to represent SDA to advocate for additional funding for a new program, please contact Ligia Montano at (415) 912-8643 or email at 

And sign the petition here to support the campaign!

Transit Justice: JFK Drive

As many of you know, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted to pass Mayor’s Breed legislation to close a part of JFK Drive to cars. At the same time, Supervisor Chan’s proposal to have the north lanes of JFK drive be converted into one-way traffic for cars and the south lanes be closed to traffic was sent to the Land Use Committee, where it will sit until it gets a Environmental Impact Review (EIR) exception ruling by the Planning Dept. If it gets an EIR exception, it will then go back to the BOS Committee of the Whole for a vote.

In mid-March, the SDA Board released our position on the proposed closure, which can be viewed here. The opinions on this issue are far from unanimous among seniors and people with disabilities, and within our membership specifically this has been a contentious issue, but we will unequivocally continue our work to advocate for improved accessibility to the many attractions located on the eastern position of JFK Drive, and to the road itself.

Welcome to SDA, Edith!

Edith Castorena (she/they) is SDA’s new Housing Organizer, coming on board to organize the Housing Collaborative and teaming up with Yesi Koopman who will continue to organize the SRO Workgroup. Send Edith an email to welcome them at!

Edith is looking forward to deepening their knowledge around housing issues in their hometown. She credits her parents for her passion for organizing, as she was raised in the office and on the picket lines of Unite HERE Local 2. Their only time away from San Francisco has been to earn a bachelor’s degree in Feminist Studies at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Her time in Santa Cruz brought her a wealth of experiences in student organizing, feminist critical thinking and writing, improv comedy, and how to best pair sandals with socks. She’s now based in San Francisco, and loves taking care of her plants, reading about San Francisco history, and writing in nature. She is excited to be a part of this organization and to help members and staff shape the sustainable and equitable future of SDA.

Have you missed voting since the last election a few weeks ago?
Don’t worry! There’s a June Election!

There is an election coming up on June 7th! Don’t forget to register if you haven’t and to vote when it’s time.

In San Francisco, there are 8 Propositions, including a measure for public transit and the measure proposing to recall District Attorney Chesa Boudin (Prop H). Check the full list out here. We will be discussing different Propositions at the General Meeting on Thursday, May 12th. The California Alliance of Retired Americans hosted a forum last month that included a Pro/Con on the proposition to recall DA Boudin. You can watch the forum here.

In Alameda County, there is a parcel tax measure to support city libraries for Oakland voters, a bond for schools, and a competitive race for the open seat in Assembly District 20 (register for a candidate forum HERE – happening tonight). Also tune in to the Alameda County District Attorney’s race, where there is lots of discussion among candidates about who to charge and who not to charge, resentencing, as well as the DA’s power to choose alternatives to incarceration such as diversion programs that include restorative justice or substance abuse recovery. This is the first fully open DA race in Alameda County since 1938 where neither the incumbent nor someone from their office is running. This means that Alameda County voters have a fresh field of candidates from which to choose. More info on candidates, ballot measures, and more here.

At the state level, CalMatters offers a nonpartisan breakdown of the different races. Check it out here!

Stay tuned for SDA positions on some of the props!

SDA Feedback

Are you an SDA member? Have you participated in SDA programs? Please take the SDA Survey! Your feedback and thoughts help us grow as an organization.

Join our team!

The Attendant Employer Organizer will coordinate SDA’s work to organize seniors and people with disabilities who hire home attendants or caregivers. This new role is part-time (15-18 hours/week) with pay starting at $25/hour, and paid sick time. The job description and information on how to apply are here. For more information, email

Seniors and people with disabilities and Black, indigenous, people of color are encouraged to apply to any and all positions with SDA.

Do some spring cleaning and support SDA
Community thrift store (image)

When you donate to or shop at Community Thrift Store, 623 Valencia Street, please mention you would like your donation to go to Senior and Disability Action. We’re one of their community partners. Thank you!

Defend the Warm Line!

A call to action from Mental Health Association SF: Don’t let the clock run out on providing zero-cost, accessible mental health care for all! The California state legislature MUST continue to fund the California Peer-Run Warm Line and expand its budget. That way, this not-for-profit resource can continue to keep up with the growing demand for mental health care services — rather than leave people out in the dark.

Warm line (image)

We can’t desert 39.5 million Californians and deprive them of a mental health service that has become essential — especially during the pandemic and whatever new challenges lay in store for 2022. Sign the petition now!

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**

Thursday, May 5 and 19: SDA in the East Bay (typically 1st and 3rd Thursday of every month). 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm. Email Jessica for more information.

Friday, May 6: SRO Workgroup (first Friday of the month). 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm. Email Yesi for more information.  

Tuesday, May 10: Healthcare Action Team (HAT) Meeting (2nd Tuesday of every month). 11:00 am – 12:30 pm. Email Ligia for more information.

Thursday, May 12: General Meeting (2nd Thursday of every month). Join at 9:45am for Zoom support, 10:00am for General Meeting. 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. 

Wednesday, May 18: Housing Collaborative Meeting (3rd Wednesday of every month). 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm. Email Edith for more information. 

Friday, May 27: Transit Justice Meeting. 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm. Email Pi for more information.

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

Tuesday, June 7th: Free Wifi Campaign: Email Peter and Dasom for more information.

Mad Mob SF: Email Raia to get the information to join or to find out about future meetings.

Let’s build this movement together.

Please become a member or donate today!

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