Mayor Breed released her budget for the next two years – there is much to work on, but we also have some significant victories in housing to celebrate! More details below.
In other good news, yesterday Alameda County moved to reinstate it’s indoor mask mandate, and it goes into effect today! The organizing work many SDA members new and old have been doing around masks on transit contributes to this important decision.
SDA members – we are looking forward to being with many of you next week in-person for our outdoor gathering. Please RSVP asap!
– Jessica & the SDA Staff
P.S. Did you participate in an SDA program or campaign group this past year? Take the SDA Member/Participant Survey and help us grow!
Estate Planning: Who needs it and Why?
SDA is happy to announce that Alice K. Dueker, friend to SDA and Elder Law attorney, will be holding a free Estate Planning workshop for SDA members and donors on Thursday June 23rd at 5 PM on Zoom. She will discuss the basics of estate planning, who should make sure they have an estate plan in place, what a complete estate plan includes, and what choices are available to help you meet your goals for your estate. She will also provide time to answer your questions. Please register here.
If you already have your estate plan and plan to remember SDA, please fill out this form. We want to know!
Updates from the Mayor’s Budget Release
Mayor Breed just released her proposed budget for the next two years, and it includes significant wins for housing for seniors and people with disabilities! The budget adds $4 million for Senior Operating Subsidies and $10 million for capital improvements to nonprofit housing, which includes elevator replacement. Congratulations to all the SDA members, and housing organizers Yesi and Edith, who have been working so hard to get the Mayor to listen to seniors and people with disabilities.
SDA went to the Mayor’s office on May 24 with dozens of postcards urging her to fund Senior and Disability Operating Subsidies and SRO Elevator Repairs. As a part of the Anti-Displacement Coalition, we have met with Supervisors to ask them to support deeply affordable housing for seniors and people with disabilities this budget cycle. Next, we will push for the Board of Supervisors to add $10 million for portable rental subsidies for seniors and people with disabilities. But for now, we celebrate this victory that will mean stable, accessible, affordable housing for more seniors and disabled people in San Francisco!
Want to be part of advocating for deeply affordable and accessible housing? Contact Edith at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org, or attend a Housing Collaborative or SRO Workgroup meeting (dates and times listed at the end of this post).
DIGITAL EQUITY: KEEP US CONNECTED
SDA’s Free Wifi Campaign is participating in the Dignity Fund Coalition’s Keep Us Connected campaign – as of now, it looks like the Keep Us Connected asks were not funded in the Mayor’s budget. The budget for the Department of Disability and Aging Services (DAS) does include some money to help senior centers host hybrid activities, but we know that is far from enough to meet the need. We will turn our focus to working with the Supervisors to fund these critical programs.
SDA is also asking for money for wheelchair repair in the city budget!
Thousands of San Francisco residents who use wheelchairs and scooters have no way to get emergency repairs on their mobility devices, and many do not have access to repairs at all. Wheelchair users find themselves stranded when a battery dies or their wheelchair malfunctions. SDA has worked with City Wheelchairs to provide several successful free Wheelchair Repair Clinics.
We are asking for $200,000 in the city budget for a pilot Wheelchair Repair Program to provide free wheelchair repair and battery replacement and charging. To advocate for wheelchair repair, please contact Ligia at email@example.com.
SDA Campaign & Organizing Updates
MASKS ON TRANSIT
Today, June 3, Alameda County reinstates an indoor mask mandate! This means that people must wear masks on buses and in pharmacies, grocery stores, and all shops. SDA’s Masks 4 Equity group has been working hard to bring back mask requirements so that seniors, disabled and immunocompromised people, children under 5, and all people can be protected: dozens of people advocated for the BART Board to reinstate the mask mandate, and, recognizing the importance of protecting ALL community members, they listened! Now, we applaud Alameda County’s health officials for reinstating the indoor mask mandate and urge them to keep the mandate until it is clearly safe to relax it. We urge health officials and transit officials in San Francisco and around the bay area to take the same action.
These actions are necessary because of the dramatic rise in COVID cases and hospitalizations. While public officials say that most people will recover, many disabled people, older people, and immunocompromised people may die if they get COVID. Plus, one in five people who get COVID shows symptoms of long COVID. The lack of a mask requirement on Muni puts people at risk just to get to work or a doctor’s appointment. Many of us are excluded from public spaces because of the lack of masking.
Join us in speaking out. Take action with the Masks 4 Equity Action Guide, speak out next Tuesday, June 7 at the SF Health Commission or Alameda County Board of Supervisors meetings, or email firstname.lastname@example.org to get involved.
Wheelchair Repair Campaign: July Clinic and June Legislative Visits!
In addition to scheduling legislative meetings for our Wheelchair Repair and Battery Replacement Program to push for funding in the city budget, we are also getting ready for our next Free Wheelchair Repair Clinic on July 8th.
If you’d like to get more information on the clinic or to represent SDA to advocate for additional funding for this new program, please contact Ligia Montano at (415) 912-8643 or email at email@example.com
“Remote accessible meetings provide a lifeline for seniors and disabled persons who wish to participate and remain active in their communities.”
– remote participation survey participant
During the pandemic, as meetings were held remotely, many seniors and people with disabilities who had not been able to come in person were able to participate in public meetings. As a result, countless seniors, people with disabilities, and others have been able to participate in meetings that were previously difficult or impossible to access and to share our experiences, insights, and knowledge on issues that affect our lives: affordable housing and land use, vaccine equity, technology, and much more.
Now that government bodies are starting to meet in person again, we need to make sure they keep providing a remote option for public meetings so that we can all continue to participate. Please share your story or lend your support through this survey.
Laguna Honda Hospital is in crisis. Due to problems with patient overdoses, it lost its certification with the federal government and is being required to move out all 700 residents in the next 4 months. They may be recertified but are still required to make plans to move people out.
But where will people go? There are not enough skilled nursing facility beds in San Francisco or even in the Bay Area. To complicate the issue, Laguna Honda is the largest skilled nursing facility (nursing home) in the country and has in the past been a focus of organizing by disability rights activists who want disabled people to live in community settings, not institutions. Some see Laguna Honda as a place where San Francisco warehouses people with mental health disabilities, but many people also see it as an important place where people can go when they don’t have anywhere else to go.
We know that, with support, many people in nursing facilities can live in the community, and this crisis may be a moment to imagine new community options and push city leaders to come up with the funding. We could envision some kind of intensive supportive housing, with extensive services such as IHSS, case management, therapy, and activities. People who live in Laguna Honda are scared and need options. We invite Laguna Honda residents, or others who want to discuss this issue, to contact Jessica at firstname.lastname@example.org.
June 20 SDA Teach-In: “The Plan to Privatize Medicare, and What You Can Do About It”
Members of the Healthcare Action Team are organizing a teach-in panel discussion on the threat of Medicare Privatization. The event will be held on Zoom. Please spread the word and share this shortened registration link with others who want to join: bit.ly/620TeachIn
Date and Time: June 20, 5-6:30 pm
- Barbara Commins: A simple introduction to Medicare and Medicare Advantage
- Melanie Grossman: A simple explanation of Medicare Direct Contracting and ACO-REACH
- Dr. Claire Cohen: What seniors and people with disabilities can do to fight back
- Moderator: Dr. Ana Malinow
June 7th Election!
There is an election happening right now – and election day is on Tuesday June 7th! Don’t forget to register if you haven’t – and to vote ASAP.
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). 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. SDA cannot take a position on candidates so has no position on the recall measure; the SDA Board has taken a position on one measure: Support for Prop A. Check the full list out 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!
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 email@example.com.
Seniors and people with disabilities and Black, indigenous, people of color are encouraged to apply to any and all positions with SDA.
Are you an SDA member? Have you participated in SDA programs? Please take the SDA Survey! Use 10 minutes to share what you think of SDA’s programs and have a chance to win a Target gift card! Your feedback and thoughts help us grow as an organization.
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.
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!
Sign the petition to refund the Warm Line today and learn more here.
How much do you pay for home internet?
Several organizations and funders around the state are conducting a survey on cost of internet service. By using this link to take this short 3-minute survey you will be helping document price discrimination and helping get closer to internet justice!
Please take the survey at this link and send it throughout your networks.
La encuesta esta disponible en español tambien.
Upcoming SDA Meetings
**Please note meetings continue to be remote until further notice**
Friday, June 3: SRO Workgroup(first Friday of the month). 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm. Email Yesi for more information.
Friday, June 3 & 24: Transit Justice Meeting. 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm. Email Pi for more information.
Tuesday, June 7: Masking Campaign Strategy Session. 1:00 – 3:00 pm. Email Jessica or Raia for more information.
Tuesday, June 7: Free Wifi Campaign. 3:00 – 4:30pm: Email Peter and Dasom for more information.
Thursday, June 9: 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: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85282401205
One-tap mobile: +16699006833,,85282401205# US (San Jose).
Toll-Free Dial In: 888-475-4499; Meeting ID: 852 8240 1205.
Tuesday, June 14: Healthcare Action Team (HAT) Meeting (2nd Tuesday of every month). 11:00 am – 12:30 pm. Email Ligia for more information.
Wednesday, June 15: Housing Collaborative Meeting (3rd Wednesday of every month). 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm. Email Edith for more information.
Thursday, June 23 and July 1: SDA in East Bay (typically 1st and 3rd Thursday of every month). 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm. Email Jessica for more information.
Mad Mob SF: Email Raia to get the information to join or to find out about future meetings.