(This site last updated: February 11, 2016)
Our office is located in the rear of the
Niebyl-Proctor Marxist Library
This is on the west side of Telegraph, just north of Alcatraz.
It's accessible via #1 and #1R buses.
Gray Panthers of the East Bay
6501 Telegraph Ave
Oakland, CA 94609
Manager of this Web Page http://berkeleygraypanthers.mysite.com
is Steve Geller -- email@example.com
Gray Panthers of the East Bay is a 501(c)(3) organization
Our Tax ID number is C0737920
Edie Hallberg -- firstname.lastname@example.org
Leeza Vinogradov -- email@example.com
Correction to Tax the Rich Rally
January newsletter says it starts at 5pm on Mondays
This is incorrect -- during the winter, the rally runs from 4:00pm to 4:45pm
March 25, 2016 6:45am at Livermore Nuclear Weapons Laboratory
On this day after the anniversary of the assassination of El Salvador Archbishop Romero, we will hear from Rev Deborah Lee, senior Program Director of Immigration with the Interfaith Movement for Human Integrity -- which believes that every person is sacred across all borders. She works with faith communities to engage, accompany and advocate for the fair treatment and dignity of immigrants. She led a recent faith delegation to Honduras.
There will be a liturgical dance led by Carla De Sola.
Gather at Vasco and Patterson Pass Roads in Livermore at6:45am.
Opening music at 6:45am
Worship 7:00am followed by procession to the gate, Stations of the Cross & nonviolent acts of witness.
February 24, 1:30 PM, North Berkeley Senior Center, 1901 Hearst
Topic: NOT ACCUSED BUT STILL ABUSED
Stories from families of victims brutalized and murdered by the police in the Bay Area
The moderator will be Gerald Smith, a leader in the Peace and Freedom Party and the Oscar Grant Committee. He will help us focus on questions like: How often have incidents of brutality occurred, and have they increased or decreased in the past few years? What can we in our communities do to stop this madness? What would a just outcome be like?
January 2016 Meeting was at North Berkeley Senior Center on Wednesday, January 27 1:30pm.
Jasmine Kavezade from TURN was not available;
however, TURN's organizer Ana Montes was available.
She told about TURN and PG&E rate increases.
Click here to see Steve Geller's report.
On March 8, celebrating International Women's Day,
there will be
a performance by the Rockin' Solidarity Labor Heritage Chorus
Other performers may participate.
It will be held 7pm to 10pm at Redwood Gardens, 2951 Derby Street, Berkeley.
The performance is a public event, but donations are encouraged as a fund-raiser for the Gray Panthers
People are being called by "tech support" to fix
non-existent problems with your computer. ALWAYS hang up in their ear.
For details, click here.
March 12 @ 6:30 p.m. Claremont Library - 2940 Benvenue Ave
The “Lawyers in the Library” program offers free consultation and referrals on a wide variety of issues including landlord/tenant disputes, probate matters, employment problems, and general consumer issues.
Sign-ups start at 5:00pm for a spot with our visiting lawyer.
Names are chosen at random at 6:00pm for appointment times.
The newly elected Republican majority in Congress has begun Destroying Social Programs
Here are some details and what you can do to fight back.
This page was supplied by Harry Brill. Click here
Every 3rd Friday, Gray Panthers and Strawberry Creek Lodge sponsor a Peace rally, at Acton and University in Berkeley.
Here's a picture from the June 19, 2015 rally.
Next rally will be on Friday February 19, 2016, 2-3 pm.
Come sing, wave signs, listen to approving honks.
For more info, Call Fran Rachel at 841-4143
We need reinforcements! Please come! It's fun!
On BART trains, a sign above those aisle-facing seats near the doors says that priority on those seats is for senior, disabled and pregnant riders. Some young riders sitting in those seats don’t seem to understand that they need to get up and let senior, disabled or pregnant people sit down.
Claire and Steve frequently ride BART, travelling between music and theater venues in San Francisco and the East Bay. Claire is very good at securing a pair of seats near a door. Steve isn’t very aggressive about his senior seating rights, but Claire is pushy enough for both.
When they board a crowded train, Claire pulls Steve along as she scouts for young-looking people sitting in the door seats. She firmly draws their attention to the sign about priority, saying “these seats are for old people.” Steve is 75 and white-haired but does not appear especially disabled. He is shy about making someone give up a seat for him. Claire always rousts the youngsters out. Sometimes one of two people in the seat will yield to Claire, but the other will remain seated. Then Claire makes Steve stand in front of the non-yielding person, hanging on to the overhead bars while presumably looking abused. Often, then, the other person will yield too.
Claire can be a little too pushy, making remarks about someone’s ability to read the sign. Steve usually would rather put up with standing rather than make a scene.
It’s not always easy to gauge someone’s age. When Claire asks the age of a seated rider, some people turn out to be seniors too, sometimes older than either she or Steve, or they claim a disability.
On a trip a while back, Claire pressured a young woman to yield her seat, until the woman said that she was pregnant.
Students are very nice about yielding.
Some young adults show annoyance at having to give up their seat. It may be that when the approaching senior citizen is not obviously disabled and does not look in danger of falling down, young riders don’t see the need for giving the senior special treatment.
Sometimes it takes a little social pressure from other riders to get some action. On a recent BART trip returnng to the East Bay, Claire got one of the senior seats, but a young man sitting next to her showed reluctance to get up to give the other seat to Steve. A young woman rider gently lectured him about the rules posted in the sign. Finally, the young man got up and said “OK, I’ll just sit here on the floor” and did so, leaning against the car wall on the side of the car opposite to the contested seat. Steve, embarrassed, shut his eyes, folded his hands and tried to look tired and senile. The young man was still on the floor by the time Claire got off at Macarthur. At one point, the young woman who had given the lecture about the sign came over to him and may have apologized.
The moral to this story is that sometimes senior citizens riding BART need to assert their rights to one of those seats near a door. A balance needs to be struck between being obnoxious and being firm.
The notorious Koch brothers own major shares in a wide variety of companies.
One big one is Georgia Pacific. This company makes products familar to us all.
Paper Towels: Angel Soft, Quilted Northern, Soft'n'Gentle, Brawny
Zee Napkins, Vanity Fair, Dixie Cups
Sign the pledge not to buy their stuff.
For links to all US Government departments and agencies, plus to special federal portals for disability and senior citizen resources and information useful to parents, teachers and youth.
Go to this page.
Congress has granted an especially generous tax break to some of our very richest citizens. Managers of Hedge Funds make huge amounts of money, yet pay income tax at a rate lower than most of the middle class.
Have a look at this.
To display the February 2016 newsletter click here
To display the January 2016 newsletter click here
(there was no December 2015 newsletter)
To display the November 2015 newsletter click here
To display the October 2015 newsletter click here
To display the September 2015 newsletter click here
To display the July 2015 newsletter click here
To display the June 2015 Newsletter click here
To display the May 2015 Newsletter click here
To display the April 2015 Newsletter click here
To display the March 2015 Newsletter click here
To display the February 2015 Newsletter click here
To display the January 2015 NewsletterClick here
To display the November-December2014 Newsletter click here
To display the October 2014 Newsletter click here
To display the September 2014 Newsletter click here
(no August 2014 newsletter)
To display the July 2014 Newsletter click here
To display June 2014 Newsletter click here
To display May 2014 Newsletter click here
To display the pages of the March 2014 Newsletter, click here.
To display the pages of the Jan-Feb 2014 Newsletter, click here.
March 2015 newsletter draft preview
Every Monday, the "Tax the Rich" rally gathers near the top of Solano Avenue to protest the inequality of taxes in our country. We hold signs saying “Tax the Rich” and “Tax the Big Corporations.” Cars passing by honk in support. Pedestrians take leaflets.
October 27 was the last 5-6 pm rally time. The following Monday, November 3, with the end of Daylight Saving Time, rallies will be 4-5pm . The obvious reason is to avoid rallying in the dark.
Senator Bernie Sanders has Ten Fair Ways to Reduce the Deficit and Create Jobs.
For the Gray Panther Calendar of Events click here.
How to update this calendar, add events.
For a CHART to help you understand Obamacare, click here.
Read article on the 78th birthday of Social Security.
Here's a great letter responding to the notorious Senator Alan Simpson about Social Security.
Here's a summary report on a presentation at South Berkeley Senior Center.
The October Gray Panther membership meeting was held on October 28. The subject was the United Nations. Click herefor Steve Geller's summary report.
July 2015 Membership Meeting
The July 22 Gray Panther membership meeting was held at North Berkeley Senior Center
The subject was Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. Click here for Steve Geller's summary report.
June 2015 Membership Meeting
The June 24 Gray Panther membership meeting was held at North Berkeley Senior Center
The subject was housing for senior citizens. Click here for Steve Geller's summary report.
Click here for related article in Street Spirit newspaper.
May 2015 Membership Meeting
The May membership meeting was held on May 27 at North Berkeley Senior center.
There were reports from the Labor Commission, Save Shattuck Cinemas and Save the Berkeley Post Office.
There was a song and words performance celebrating Labor History and Struggles
Here is the summary report by Steve Geller.
April 2015 Membership Meeting
The April membership meeting was held on Wednesday, April 22, 2015
Mary Nicely from Tony Thurmond's office spoke on "Blue and Green California"
Click here for Steve Geller's summary report.
March 2015 Membership Meeting
The March membership meeting was held at North Berkeley Senior Center
on March 25. Attorney Jim Chanin spoke on the First Amendment and Women's Rights
Click here for Steve Geller's summary report.
Even today, some people still can't vote. Click here
February 2015 Membership Meeting
The February membership meeting was held on
Wednesday, February 25 at 1:30pm
at North Berkeley Senior Center.
The speaker was civil rights lawyer Moni Law.
Click here for Steve Geller's summary report.
January 2015 Membership Meeting
The general membership meeting was held on Wednesday, January 28.
The subject was
Low Income Housing Needs for Seniors.
Click here for a summary report.
There was no membership meeting in December 2014. Instead, there was a holiday party, held jointly with the staff of North Berkeley Senior Center, on December 17.
It was a great success. Food was provided by the Senior Center. Panthers Claire and Steve brought some mandarin oranges. The masters of ceremonies were panther co-convenor Edie Hallberg and the senior center's Rodney Wong. The center's Tuesday sing-a-long group led everyone in Christmas carols and other seasonal songs, accompanied by piano.
Elliot Kennan played his banjo and sang songs, including some Hanukkah favorites. He gave the group a quick history of the origin of Hanukkah, the story of the one-day supply of oil for the temple lamps that miraculously lasted 8 days.
To celebrate the possible re-opening of diplomatic relations with Cuba, there was a performance of afro-Cuban percussion and songs. Some people got up and danced.
Beautiful dances: A Chinese group of women, exquisitely dressed, performed a dance.
Then there was more sing-along of seasonal songs.
Different dancers performed a Korean dance, and a bunch of long-braided cowgirls ended with country-western line-dances.
November 2014 Membership Meeting
The Subject of the November 19, 2014 general membership meeting was "Where Does Stuff Come From?" including a short film "The Story of Stuff," created by Annie Leonard.
Click here for a summary of the movie and presentation.
October 2014 Membership Meeting
The October 2014 membership meeting was held on Wednesday, October 22.
It featured two women from WILPF - "Talking with our Grandmothers" about
women who tried to stop World War One.
Click here for the summary report.
The September 2014 membership meeting was held on September 24.
Omar Rodriguez, Operations Manager for the Bay Area Alternative Press (BAAP)
spoke on the subject:
"The Death of Journalistic Ethics -- What News Are We Getting?"
He discussed how BAAP helps improve news and information for communities of poor and disadvantaged people.
Here is a report on the talk.
(no meeting in August)
The July 2014 Membership Meeting was on Wednesday July 23.
There were speakers about Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.
Click here for a report.
The featured speaker was Richmond's Mayor Gayle McLaughlin
speaking on the topic:
The Road to a Progressive Future Runs through Richmond, CA
Here is a summary report.
If you as an individual are interested in working on her campaign, click here.
The April 2014 membership meeting was on April 23
The speakers were Larry Kolb and Sonia Diermayer from the Sierra Club
Topic: "WATER CRISIS IN CALIFORNIA"
Here is the summary report on their talk.
The March 2014 membership meeting took place on March 26.
The speaker was Tessa D’arcangelew, Organizer for ACLU of Northern California
Topic: "Big Brother IS Watching You and How It Is Done"
Here is the summary report.
The February 2014 general membership meeting was held
on Wednesday, February 26, 1:30 p.m. at North Berkeley Senior Center.
The speaker's topic was Obamacare.
Click here for a summary report.
The January 2014 membership meeting wwas held at 1:30pm on Wednesday, January 22, 2014, at
North Berkeley Senior Center. The speaker was Victor Menotti, Executive Director of International Forum
He gave a talk on the TPP -- Trans-Pacific Partnership.
Click here for a summary report.
The October 2013 general membership meeting of Gray Panthers of the East Bay was on October 16. The speaker was Pennie Opal Plant, on the subject: "The Tar Sands: Pipelines and Climate Chaos"
Here is a summary report on what she said.
The September 2013 membership meeting was held Sept 25 at North Berkeley Senior Center.
The speaker was Toby Blomé. An activist with CODEPINK, Toby has been very involved in the drone warfare resistance movement in the U.S. She was part of a CODEPINK legation to Pakistan, to learn firsthand about the consequences of drone warfare in Pakistan and to support the growing resistance to U.S. drone strikes.
Here is Steve Geller's report on her talk
There was no meeting in August 2013.
The July 2013 membership meeting was held July 24 at the North Berkeley Senior Center.
The speaker was Gray Brechin, on the subject of the Post Office (Berkeley and elsewhere)
Here is the summary report.
Here's a Daily Cal article written by Gray Brechin.
On June 26, 2013, Steve Geller spoke on public transit for senior citizens.
Here is a report and summary.
Here's a report on the David Bacon talk, on immigration at the May 22, 2013 membership meeting.
David Bacon passed out a model letter to DHS Secretary Napolitano,
urging her to stop the I-9 audits.
Click here for an abbreviated version which you can print out, sign and send personally.
The Panther Membership Meeting on April 24, 2014 featured
Adam Scow of Food and Water Watch, talking about fracking.
Here is the full report.
Click here to read the report on the Cindy Sheehan talk at the March 27, 2013 membership meeting.
Click here for the report on the February 27 membership meeting, during which new officers were elected. Speaker was Keith Carson..
Membership meeting January 23, 2013 the featured speaker was Gus Newport.
Here's the report.
Here is a report on the general membership meeting held on October 24, 2012, about the present and future of the Occupy Movement
Gray Panther General Membership meeting
on June 27,2012 speaker was Nicky Gonzalez Yuen, Trustee, Peralta Community College
Topic: The Crisis in Education
Here is the report
The Gray Panther membership meeting on May 23, 2012
featured a talk by Cecile Pineda, about Fukushima and
the nuclear industry.
Here is the report.
April 25, 2012 Gray Panther Membership Meeting
was about the changing nature of War under Obama
Speaker: Activist Janet Weil of Code Pink.
Here's the report.
March 28, 2012 Membership meeting on was about the Attack on Women. Here is the report.
Membership meeting on February 22,2012 was about prison reform. Here is the Report.
***We're open to ideas for future general membership meetings. What are your interests? Send us a postal mail with suggestions.
Berkeley's Mayor Bates has shown some exciting leadership in the fight against downtown traffic congestion. It's called goBerkeley.
There's plenty of housing available for low-income people,
but the system does not manage it well.
Read this article from the SF Chronicle about the public housing mess in The City.
There really should be better ways to connect people with affordable housing. A Panther project?
The City of Richmond proposes rescuing people who are "underwater" with their homes by using eminent domain to get the mortgage adjusted. This article is from the San Francisco Chronicle.
Here's another article, from SALON
Colonoscopy procedures are a leading reason for high health care costs.
Read this article from the New York Times.
Gray Panthers believe that post-retirement years should be spent in dignity and security. In addition to our strong support for Social Security, we support union movements that gain and protect pension rights for both government and private-sector jobs. Existing government pensions must be protected for both current and future retirees.
We are tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code
We are not allowed to support candidates for office, but we may support Propositions and Measures.
Click here for a list of Progressive Principles.
Report on the April 15 debate at UC about Single-Payer vs Market-Based health insurance.
Article about impact of sequestration on Medicare
Report on The Health Care Movie about efforts toward universal national health insurance.
Open House for California Assembly in Oakland
Report on meeting about single-payer, held in San Francisco,
basement of Saint Mary's Cathedral
Training Bus Drivers -- Prodded by mail we received from a bus driver, I sent an inquiry to the AC Transit Board about how they train their drivers, especially on unfamiliar routes.
Here's the letter, followed by the nice response I received.
LA Times Article on the nefarious motivation for privatizing the US Post Office.
Website: click here.
CARA (California Asociation of Retired Americans) has a list of Priority Bills
***Eleanor Walden, housing chair, is especially looking for any
news/rumors about housing issues.
Contact her at 510-848-6397 or 510-847-2579 (cell)
Her email is firstname.lastname@example.org
She has a website: www.eleanorwalden.com
Current Gray Panthers office Address in Oakland:
Berkeley - East Bay GRAY PANTHERS
6501 Telegraph Ave
Oakland, CA 94609
East Bay Gray Panther Officers and Board
Election was held during the membership meeting on October 22. Seven (7) ballots were cast. New officers are:
Co-convenors -- Edie Hallberg and Leeza Vinogradov
Secretary -- Claire Risley Treasurer -- Chris Caldwell Newsletter Publisher -- Steve Geller
Committees, go-to persons:
Margot Smith -- co-convener emeriti, Coalition Health Care, Post Office
Carolyn Scarr -- United for Peace and Justice,(Ecumenical Peace Institute)
Leeza Vinogradov -- Code Pink liason
Edith Hallberg -- Labor Commission liason
Fran Rachel -- Third Friday Anti-War Rally with Strawberry Creek
Jeanne Dritz -- Health Care
Charles Robinson -- Kaiser
Steve Geller -- Transportation, Web Site, Tabling at Events
Eva Bluestein -- National and International Issues of Importance
Eleanor Walden -- Housing
Henry Clarence -- letter writing; help with Newsletter
Schedule for Staffing Panther office on Telegraph Mondays 1-3 Jeannie Dritz Tuesdays 1-3 Edie Hallberg and Leeza Vinogradov Wednesdays Thursdays 10-12 Margot Smith Thursdays Chris Caldwell Fridays 1-3 Henry Clarence
This Website: http://berkeleygraypanthers.mysite.com
Webmaster: Steve Geller email@example.com
United Seniors of Oakland website
***Here are some letters sent from East Bay Gray Panthers to public officials by GP Secretary Henry Clarence
Letter to Senator Feinstein about Social Security
Letter supporting ILWU Local 10
Letter showing support for SB810
Some more LETTERS
It is most interesting to match up the "programs at risk" (targets for budget cuts)
with selected tax breaks for the wealthy.
Click here for chart "This is What Class War Looks Like". (Sources for the figures are listed at the bottom of the page)
Here is a statement by Dylan Ratigan. About "get money out of politics," the protesters today and some good history.
Letter from GP National Vice Chair in Monday Jan 31 SF Chronicle
Strengthen Social Security
In the State of the Union address, while speaking at length on deficit reduction, President Obama referenced a bipartisan solution to strengthen Social Security. The program deserves far more robust support. For 75 years, Social Security has been America's most successful anti-poverty program. It is the most fiscally responsible part of our federal budget, paying entirely for itself and adding nothing to the deficit. The funds surplus is expected to reach $4.3 trillion by 2023, and the program is able to pay full benefits through 2037. About 85 percent of Americans oppose Social Security cuts. There is no reason it should be part of any deficit reduction plan. Yet the program faces threats from Congress. John Boehner calls for cuts in benefits and an increase in the eligibility age, delaying benefits for future recipients and unfairly burdening America's most vulnerable populations. Some seek to privatize the system, putting it into the hands of Wall Street, the very people who created our current economic crisis. President Obama appears to oppose these ideas, and as vice chair of the Gray Panthers national board, I urge Congress to lift the cap on taxable income, guaranteeing the benefits promised to current and future beneficiaries.
For a guide to rebut all the lies about Social Security, click here.
Letter sent to President Obama about Social Security
Proposal for Action Item calling for Reparations for Women who have been underpaid in the past and thus are getting lower social security today.
Summary of ObamaCare talk at May 26 General Membership Meeting
Click here for a summary.
If you have MicroSoft WORD installed, click here for a copy of the entire handout.
HICAP -- medical advice for seniors, call HICAP 1-800-434-0222
Roger Sanjek's book on the history of Gray Panthers.
Don't like banks paying their execs big money? You can move your money to another bank or to a credit union. Here's some information.
Checklist form for actions.
Click here for other useful phone numbers and websites.
"Word of Mouth trumps everything, even money"
Membership dues: $35/year, $15 low-income.
Tell us your interests
Name ___________________________________________________ Address ________________________________________________ City ________________________________________ State ______________ ZIP _______________ Phone ___________________________ Email: _________________________________________________ Send to: East Bay Gray Panthers 6501 Telegraph Ave Oakland, CA 94609