Website Meeting - April 20, 2022








Website (Nation Builder) updates and discussion:

  • Update splash page - upcoming speaker meeting, out of date?
  • font is small - make bigger
  • Member actions
    • Which pages can they update?
    • Campaign blog pages?
    • Calendar - adding events
  • User actions
    • can anyone be allowed to post to a blog page, even if they are not a member?
    • can users subscribe?
      • create specific blog pages for Issues/Campaigns
    • digest - with links
    • email people according to interests
  • New Permission sets?
    • need to upgrade/pay for more permission sets
    • Staff and Admin are current sets
  • Supporter v. Prospect (Nation Builder categories)
    • supporter means they've given us their email and are willing to receive messages
      • "Join" 
    • Member - our current version, lowest cost subscription doesn't have
      • list of membership fees and expirations - handles renewals of dues, emailing members to renew
      • right now we have to track their membership separately, payment by payment
    • Finance page
      • can see transactions
      • can manually enter expenses
  • Website updates
    • Participate - move subpages Join, Volunteer, Get In Touch underneath
      • Join - add questions about their interests, indicating what our issue areas
        • which of these issues affects you the most now?
        • what specific issues are you involved in? blank box
        • best contact method and times to contact you personally? is it okay to call you on the phone or do you prefer email or text?
        • accessibility needs
      • add link to Membership form somewhere after they Join - revisit/redraft, and post it on the website for people to fill out
        • create new Form page on website, redirected after they Join
      • get email or flag when a new member Joins (Betsy asks for this!!)
    • Meeting Notes - move under Events
      • add recordings links
      • use Tags to call out issues and link to notes in Newsletter/Digest
      • add past annotated Meeting Notes and Invitations
        • e.g. CANHR California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform lawyers and founder have spoken to Gray Panthers many times
        • CANHR is a Resource, Partner, and part of Campaigns
    • Resources v. Partners v. Issues
      • Resources - across campaigns and some general resources
        • static information
        • affordable housing, mental health resources (211 sucks)
        • where is the best information possible?
        • connects to calendar
      • Tag Resources and Calendar events with Issue/Campaign Tags
      • Active v. potential campaigns
    • Directory under Partners is automatically created based on Tags
      • Raines - build database with Tags
      • different Directories for different categories
  • Hannah
    • Doesn't intend to be an admin
    • LTS for All campaign liaison
    • Do you want to be able to add calendar items? Blog posts? not for now
    • Issues tab


Issues v. Campaign v. Partnership - create new pages?

  • Issues (higher level) >> Campaigns (sub-campaigns) - sometimes there are no active campaigns under issues
    • Issues
      • Health 
      • Housing
        • homeless rights
        • housing access
        • decommodify land
      • Transportation
        • specifically for older adults and persons with disabilities
        • Daveed needs to name a campaign
        • David Blake is liaison for Public Voices for Transportation, focuses on getting bond measures
        • David Blake - Pan-Disability Coalition ??? - ask David
      • Disability Rights
        • not necessarily ADA compliance enforcer
    • Campaigns - membership endorses each campaign, has a liaison, limited in scope (with specific goals, timeline, actions); how do we define a campaign and when do we know it's active?
      • Healthcare for All
        • Healthcare for All Californians
          • there's a coalition
          • legislation pending
        • Medicare for All
        • Long-term Support Services (LTSS) for All
          • New page describing issues (Hannah could edit) - coming from grassroots rather than professional level
          • Link to calendar with events
          • Relatively new organization, everybody in the coalition has their own website
          • 3-parts
            • IHSS Time for 20
            • Long-term Social Insurance Program
            • Build Back Better - in Congress, House passed, trying to get Senate to agree
        • Nursing Home Accountability
          • CANHR is a Resource, Partner, and part of Campaigns
          • National Gray Panthers nursing home campaign
            • SF chapter communicates with Betsy
          • we are part of Senior Housing Subcommittee - one of members wrote a gray paper
        • Disability Rights - no campaign, issue area
          • Disability Rights California
          • Senior Disability Action
          • Hand to Hand Domestic Employers Network
          • LTSS
        • Bill in Congress that would decrease the cost of insulin
          • part of National Council of Gray Panthers Network
      • Housing for All
        • Save Coyote Bush Collective Garden - formally request endorsement as active campaign
          • AG becomes liaison
          • add to blog
          • post events
        •  Partners
          • Landless Peoples Alliance
            • Daveed supports
            • mental health
              • Betsy gets emails about mental health events
              • link to someone else's page
              • invite guest experts or guest activists to use blog space
          • Friends of Adeline
          • Wood St. Commons
      • Transportation
        • Daveed can write a blog on transportation
    • Partners
      • CARA - partner on all levels
        • there are some campaigns they're not as active on
        • EBGP is a member of CARA - due-paying
        • meeting Tuesdays
        • lobby days
        • senior get out the vote
      • USOAC - haven't paid dues since the first year
      • Association Members - change/edit to Membership or Organizational Memberships (maybe include $ annual fee)
        • attend their regular meetings and join their campaigns when appropriate
        • pay dues
        • provide trainings usually
      • Gray Panthers chapters
        • Gray Panthers Portland
          • anti-gun campaign
          • wants to boycott Walmart
          • not an active issue or campaign, but can add referrals to other Panther chapters
        • link to list of all Gray Panthers chapters - Randy from National Council may have this
  • About
    • add long history
    • principles - discuss in board meeting - HEALTH is our core main focus related to all issues
      • anti-racist - define as a group
      • anti-agist
      • anti-ableist
      • anti-capitalist
      • intersectionality
      • feminist
      • democratic
    • organizational goals - talk with board and membership 
      • housing
        • de-commodification of land
        • rent-free housing
      • disability rights - get specific
      • equal rights - get specific
    • add Articles, Bylaws, 501(c)(3) letter, code of conduct 
      • add Code of Conduct under Meetings/Events page
    • edit content in About page to include Issues list - links to campaigns
  • Campaigns (new high level page) - subpages for each campaign
  • Resources



  • we don't have a newsletter because we don't have a newsletter editor
  • include links to events and just include headlines
  • used to be monthly newsletter and monthly flyers with announcements
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Board Meeting - April 13, 2022

Start time 15:15

Maria Sol
Helen and Raines can't attend

1. Checkins

2. Officer reports/ business

  • Minutes of last meetings approval - secretary
    • David moved and Daveed seconded motion to approve meeting minutes from Jan. 12th
    • Unanimous approval
  • Treasurer
    • Finances available via the website's dashboard - need to be logged in
  • Co-convenors
    1. Speaker Meetings april and may

3. Current Campaign Updates and Announcements

  • POOR Campaign - 3 speakers tomorrow at the policy meeting 12-1pm - contact Carol for link to join
    Gray Panthers general meeting - April 27th fourth Wednesday of every month
    Angeles speaker suggestion - talk about composting toilets and demystify sewage
  • Private equity firms buying up housing developments (Betsy)
  • Skylark, in Larkspur - housing full of seniors and people on fixed income
  • 405 units in Skylark building in Marin
    Purchased by Prime Portfolio - John Atwood CEO, headquarters in SF
    bought for 300M, 660K per unit
    Immediately started raising rents
    Skylark leaders are getting a lot out of Gray Panthers support
  • Oakland and Berkeley have had grassroots groups raising this issue - some local and state legislation is aimed at controlling through taxation
    Gray Panthers nationally are looking into equity funds
    Social Housing Coalition - East Bay DSA - state initiative to take properties off the market
    Statewide TOPA bill
  • Coyote Bush Collective Garden (Angeles) - sold at county tax auction for 274K, new buyer Sanjay Khanna wants to make money and asked what we could offer for him to profit. We offered a potential tax break. He's talking to his CPA and will let us know
    Rental Assistance (Daveed)
  • The state did not keep their word on the rental assistance - it was a rip-off, criminal
    • Daveed got only 5 months of rental assistance, and they lied to us
  • We need to work with Tenants Together
    • City of Berkeley is more interested in building construction than accessibility
  • Maria Sol
    • Distributing food almost every day
    • Still looking to be of value to the community - challenge of urban camping
    • Searching for gas money to get to the doctors and distribute food
    • 2nd St. in Berkeley - RVs have relocated there on a dirt road
    • Senior centers - have they been helpful? Maria Sol has not tried yet, her mobility is limited and her health is an issue as well - please reach out if you can help
  • Hannah - LTSS for All
    • 3 programs
      • LTSS insurance program
      • Build Back Better
      • Time for 20 (HIH campaign) - rally yesterday, Carol, Robert, and Betsy were there
    • Call-in campaign continues - call early and often
  • TOPA requests for endorsements (Betsy) - hearing in Sacramento is on April 19th (Betsy)
  • Board Communications - what's working what's not in our communications with each other? 
    • David - searching for Gray Panthers emails

6. Set next Board meeting - ??

5pm Adjourn (Angeles left, stopped taking notes at 4:30pm)

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Board Meeting - January 12, 2022

Board meeting - January 12, 2022


Begin: 13:45 via Zoom



Betsy Morris
Raines Cohen
Daveed Mandell
Robert Magarian
Carol Crooks
Marcia Kimmel, visitor member from Redwood Gardens and National Alliance of HUD Tenants
David Blake
Angeles Gottheil
Margot Smith joined at 14:14
Michael Ruchlis joined at 14:30
Not Present: Maria, Gary.  Board Emerita: Margot Smith. Member: Marcia Kimmler from Redwood Gardens.



Marcia - Member Report:

  • Marcia Kimmell, from Redwood Gardens reports Tenants Association are still short-staffed, and had been working together with new management, FPI, a Folsom based company. Then they and presumably Harriet Tubman Terrace received word another property management company:  JR Stewart, or JRS, which manages many properties in Berkeley and around the county.  Marcia is also now an elected Board Member of National Alliance of HUD Tenants for this part of the country (SF East Bay).
    John Stewart Company has a good reputation as property management company - when people talk about the good ol' days of Redwood Gardens it's because of JSC
  • John Stewart was a Quaker
  • Betsy - People at Harriet Tubman community had negative experiences with the John Stewart Company
  • Emergency preparedness project at Redwood Gardens has been shelved until they make a connection with people on 2nd and 3rd floors who are handicapped and are going to need help if there is an emergency
    Marcia talked to chair of tenants association at Strawberry Creek Lodge and she's open to collaboration, exchanging information, regarding SAHA
  • Eileen sent email, Raines forwarded on Jan. 10th about Harriet Tubman Terrace and issues with housing 
  • Housing subcommittee can determine how we can help as GP


Betsy - Executive Committee Report:

  • Membership Report (Betsy) As of today, we have 23 current members current (voting) on dues.  Some expire this month. Another 15 former who’s dues expired since 2020.  Note we have 388 emails in our database, 13 without email; and 376 other contacts We also have over 500 Facebook members willing to receive our Facebook posts. (overlap is 45 people. 

Robert - Treasurer Report: 

  • Mechanics Bank checking balance:             $4320.49.
  • Savings Account Balance:                          $745.70
  • No income or new members/renewals since November 30.
  • 1/3 of members pay $15/yr, 1/3 of members pay $35/yr, and some pay more than minimum



  • ANNUAL Organizational Memberships by Berkeley East Bay Gray Panthers

    $50            CARA/Alameda county chapter, org membership (based on size of membership)

    $35            NAACP (national and Berkeley chapter) membership

    $75            NAHT National Alliance of HUD Tenants, organizational associate

Associate non-voting members - anyone can participate at any of the meetings but we can't vote, Michael Cane is a contact
4 or 5 tenant councils in Berkeley that are/have been NAT members
Trainings once a year at the convention are great (Betsy)

$75            EBHO, East Bay Housing Organizations, membership

Monthly or bimonthly conversations with owners/developers of affordable housing in Berkeley
Allows us to get endorsements for support for unhoused community
We can bring up issues related to oversight of HUD housing managers
Next meeting is this Friday 9:30 on zoom (ask Betsy)

$100            National Council of Gray Panther Networks


  • Nation Builder - website, membership management 
    • Pay ~5% per transaction for donations received
    • Raines requesting reimbursement for $468/year


  • David moves to approve the expenditure/reimbursement
    Daveed seconds
    Passes unanimously
  • Robert Magarian moves to join Senior Disability Action, a new membership


BUDGET PROPOSAL and Check Requests:

  • Last January the Board approved a total of $500 for current and continuing organizational memberships and contributions.
  • DECISION:   Motion proposed to approve $500 total in our 2022 budget for Group Affiliations/Org Membership Dues:  Moved by ________; seconded by :  Unanimous approval.
  • DECISION: We will budget $480 for the year for use of Raines’ NationBuilder platform for our EBGP website, database of supporters, email, donations, and online calendar:  This is $39/month for 12 months = $480.00   (to be reimbursed to Raines Cohen, on a regular basis.
    Proposal draft To seek an intern or person to assist with Secretary duties, and Membership Coordination and Website/Research and to budget an amount for them.   Written proposal edited and discussed at length.
  • The issue of a budget for outside recruitment was set aside.


Secretary Nomination:

  • DECISION :  the nomination of Angeles Gottheil as Secretary of the Board.  Secretary duties will be clarified, but covers at least taking/maintaining approved minutes of Board meetings and its decisions, and keeping membership records.
  • Moved by Helen, and seconded by Michael Ruchlis, unanimously approved



  • Betsy is sending out job description
  • Helen - we're asking for a lot of tasks, important, and the job needs to be taken seriously
  • David doesn't like the word intern
  • Allocating a couple thousand dollars to hire an intern to help with board minutes, decision logs, etc.
  • $3,300 unallocated
  • How much of that do we want to allocate to internship?
  • Raines - with in-person membership we can raise more funds
  • Determine specific list of what needs to be done, for stipend


Robert Magarian - update on guaranteed healthcare for all Californians
Angeles had to leave at 15:34 but meeting continued
Betsy continued taking notes until the end of the meeting (notes incorporated above)

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