Betty Traynor, President
Betty Traynor became a member of Senior Action Network in 2000 and became a Board member in 2008. She has been active in San Francisco as coordinator of the Friends of Boeddeker Park in the Tenderloin, Board member for five years of the co-op where she lives, St. Francis Square Cooperative in the Western Addition, and volunteer with Food Runners. She is also a core group member of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom-San Francisco branch. Betty played a lead role in the merger of Senior Action Network and Planning for Elders to become Senior and Disability Action in August 2012 and is currently Board President of the new organization. You may contact her at (415) 931-1126 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Karen was born in Berkeley, almost 70 years ago. She has lived her life in the Bay Area, and wouldn’t have it any other way. Karen was a Licensed Clinical Social Worker for most of her professional life, worked with seniors, and used what she had learned to assist her parents through their declining years. She is married and divorced, has 2 children and 2 grandchildren. Now happily retired, Karen divides her activist life between SDA, and her neighborhood group, HANC, the Haight Ashbury Neighborhood Council. Maybe she’ll get a dog.
In addition to SDA, Michael Lyon works with the Gray Panthers of SF and the California Alliance for Retired Americans (CARA). After 40 years in SF’s Bernal Heights, he is newly returned to Berkeley where he lived a while as a kid. He has three wonderful kids, all with families of their own, within a half-hour drive, but he should see them more often. He hates sweet potatoes, eats prodigious quantities of fresh fruit, and he and his wife lead a simple life subsisting largely on tamales and trying to recover from lost sleep due to restless cats. On a more serious note, Michael is interested in health care issues and abhors capitalism and its racism and its corrosive effects on the working class, particularly minorities and those it deems “useless eaters;” elders, children, and people with disabilities.
Ursula grew up in Northeast Pennsylvania. After college, she taught in New Jersey briefly and then joined the ranks of the Foreign Missionary Society of Mary Knoll. Under their auspices she taught in East Africa (Tanzania) for two years. When she returned to the states, she became part of the Catholic Worker (CW) movement out of New York City. The CW is a pacifist organization and as the Vietnam War was full-blown at the time, she became an anti-war protester. Ursula started to become paralyzed in 1965 when she got back from Africa. She says she knew something was wrong when the Scotch drink she was holding fell out of her hand. She was in a coma for 11 weeks, and when she came out, she was paralyzed from the cheekbone down. Eventually, with physical therapy, she was able to speak again and gained some movement in her upper body. After years of being an activist with the Catholic Worker, Ursula migrated to Berkeley, where she joined the legal arm of the Center for Independent Living (CIL). This was a group of both able-bodied and disabled people who advocated for the necessary societal changes needed for the realization of independent living. In 1977, Ursula took part in the month-long occupation of the San Francisco Federal Building as part of the nation-wide campaign for civil rights for people with disabilities. The sit-in was successful, and the Health, Education, and Welfare (HEW) regulations were signed, implementing Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the first federal civil rights protections for people with disabilities in the history of the United States. In 1980 she started working for the federal government in the Civil Rights division, as a Human Rights Specialist.