March 24 Speakers Meeting - Activist Calendar, Commission on Aging, Berkeley Tenants Union

Gray Panthers of Berkeley and the East Bay (aka EBGP) meets multiple Wednesdays a month at 1:30 by Zoom or  phone.  EVERY 4th Monday, we have a Speakers Meeting, featuring in-depth presentations/discussions with invited guests. We appreciate your RSVP, which also includes the link, but the Zoom link is also posted at the end of this description. 

Video of March 24, 2021 

Chat, March 24, 2021

01:01:35 East Bay Gray Panthers: Welcome, all. Please keep your connection muted except when speaking. We will be recording, and close captioning is available, along with a live transcript - hit the CC button at the bottom to adjust sizing or turn off.
01:03:42 East Bay Gray Panthers: Also, we will spotlight selected speakers but feel free to switch back to gallery view at any time to see all your beautiful faces.

01:04:10 Matthew Lewis: BTU’s updated position/demands on fourplexes:

01:12:32 Betsy Morris:

01:20:01 Betsy Morris: Hi Hali!
01:21:42 Betsy Morris: Raines how do we get the closed captioning?
01:22:01 Raines, EBGP: Just hit the CC button at the bottom of the screen to adjust your settings
01:23:17 Carol Crooks she/her Chochenyo Ohlone land: The captions say sciatic cinemaS INSTEAD OF Shattuck CINEMs
01:23:50 Raines, EBGP: @ Carol, I always call them “automatic approximate” captions. Use your rhyming imagination to figure out the real words.
01:28:53 Carol Crooks she/her Chochenyo Ohlone land: I KNOW, BUT THAT ONE WAS SO FUNNY!
01:31:39 Raines, EBGP: Activists Calendar: Https://’s-ahead.html

01:32:14 Betsy Morris: click on the CC Live transcript on the controls buttons next to reactions
01:32:33 Helen Walsh♿️: Great 🙌🏽♿️🏳️‍🌈 Thank Kelly
01:36:38 Helen Walsh♿️: Yes we should celebrate trying !
01:36:56 Raines, EBGP: Folks can either click the raise hand button or actually raise your hand
01:37:48 Nancy Scott: How can I get the Daily Planet?
01:38:43 Helen Walsh♿️: Here is the link to the Berkeley Daily Planet:
01:38:58 chimey lee: Kelly, Can you add your reading list? cudos!
01:39:53 Betsy Morris: I believe that link will change every week. [email protected] to subscribe of her calendar.
01:41:41 Betsy Morris: Fave/Raves: PUSH Documentary and articles/book by Patrick Condon.
01:42:18 Betsy Morris: Caste is a read; Surveillance Capitalism
01:42:39 Nancy Scott: Is the Activist Diary the same as the Activist Calendar?
01:43:25 Betsy Morris: The Diary his her personal thoughts and readings for the week or ongoing.
01:44:53 Betsy Morris: March 29, the council Agenda committee will discuss proposals to keep//merge/fold some of the 35 commissions. Public Works may be combined with Transportation.
01:47:25 Raines, EBGP: Would you be up for a brief share as we transition?
01:51:53 Hali Hammer: lyrics to song - May the work that I have done speak for me May the work that I have done speak for me If I fall short of my goal someone else can take a hold May the work that I have done speak for me 1) May the lists that I have made 2) May the meetings I've been to 3) May the marches I've been on 4) May the people I have helped 5) May the work that I have done

01:55:40 NormaJFHarrison: Kelly, Holly, all SUCH GREAT WORK!!! Thanks!
01:57:05 Nancy Scott: We have 23 vacancies at Strawberry Creek Lodge.
01:59:16 Raines, EBGP: Tax the vacancies!

02:02:52 Raines, EBGP: Just a reminder to all to stretch and take care of yourself, these calls can be addicting and we have bodies to take care of, we need to stay healthy to remain active.
02:05:03 NormaJFHarrison: I've never said ' a breakdown of capitalism'. Capitalism is not a victimless crime. We are all - 99.99% of us are all enslaved to it, - And as clearly indicated by this dis-repeating of what I've been telling everyone, OUR OWNERS, THE CAPITALISTS, owns our minds. Needing to come away from accepting that enslavement - done to us FROM THE CRADLE! - is SO difficult.
02:05:49 chimey lee: When does the committee on Aging meet??
02:06:37 NormaJFHarrison: Needing to come away from it seems insurmountable. But no one sleeps in the streets in Cuba, or did in the USSR - for starters.
02:06:49 Betsy Morris:
02:08:59 NormaJFHarrison: Venezuela was getting there, until money problems initiated by what's called 'the economy', a false reality, got crashed Venz was moving away from capitalist forms DRIVING OUR OWNERS INSANE!!!
02:14:12 chimey lee: Hey folks, there is a lot of us
02:14:26 chimey lee: senior still riding bikes,
02:15:25 chimey lee: That's too bad, elders would
02:16:09 Helen Walsh♿️: Mayors Council on Disability in Oakland has been working on pushing for more inclusive micro mobility. Some of the scooter companies at our last meeting presenting on new models. Disability Senior and Action is wanting to be more inclusive of the east bay area. We need representation of our elder community and I am not with the Berkeley to consolidate the commission on aging just when disability organizations are reaching out to these communities to work on common issues.
02:16:17 chimey lee: elders would grow younger if they rode bikes and other means other than cars, yes!
02:18:34 Helen Walsh♿️: I have been working with my council member Terry Taplin on Para transit and transportation issues. We are working on an item for council to hold a town hall for Berkeley citizens to talk about the issues and solutions for transit.
02:24:54 NormaJFHarrison: It was exciting to hear you, Ethel, go from one and another step to deal with our needs/wants to 'small busses
02:26:23 chimey lee: I have been a chronically disabled senior for thirty years, and would never give up my bike for a car, now in my eighties-helps your mind and body grow younger-love chimey
02:26:51 Julia Cato: Jodi Reid <[email protected]> Unsubscribe To: Julia Sat, Mar 13 at 8:00 AM View this email in your browser CARA Alert – March 13th, 2021 A publication of the California Alliance for Retired Americans PRINT/DOWNLOAD NEXT FABULOUS FRIDAY FORUM – MARCH 26TH @ NOON MAKING THE MASTER PLAN ON AGING A REALITY - Register here CARA and St. Barnabas Senior Services are sponsoring a special FRIDAY FORUM on March 26th to present some key strategies to implement the Master Plan on Aging that was released by the Governor in January of this year. Learn about the plan, and how you can help make it a reality. Donate to CARA today! Click on the icon above to go to our donate page. Thank you for your contributions! Contact CARA: MAIN OFFICE: 600 Grand Ave. #410, Oakland, CA 94610/ 510-663-4086 TOLLFREE 1-877-223-6107 / FAX: 510-663-4099/ NORTH: 415-515-2156 / [email protected] CENTRAL VALLEY: 415-515-2156/ [email protected] (Modesto – Fresno) 714-460-3542/ s
02:27:27 Nancy Scott: Thank you for a very informative meeting. I have to go now. Bye.
02:29:58 NormaJFHarrison: small busses - I've been urging that for years among folks - pretty much endless busses - never having to stand around and wait for transportation - just get on a bus - needing to transfer y'get off and go across a street and get on the bus that comes - almost constantly And free clean safe travel - because we've adjusted the social order to that all people are livng satisfactorily to themselves! because they have the materials to do that - services, sufficiently financed
02:30:35 chimey lee: I write to the city clerk a lot,
02:31:20 chimey lee: Mostly the city clerk ignores my emails too!
02:31:24 Helen Walsh♿️: commission on disability is also not communicated well with. What we did is was start attending other commission meetings in order to get a voice in on issues being discussed.
02:34:16 Raines, EBGP: It’s George Porter.
02:34:44 NormaJFHarrison: Betsy - your cough came to us alll
02:37:45 chimey lee: Mathew, just remember , senior
02:39:17 chimey lee: Asian Seniors are being killed , assaulted everyday now across the country by younger people
02:48:55 Raines, EBGP: Https://
02:49:03 Raines, EBGP: $35 ($15 if you have limited income)
02:49:19 Raines, EBGP: Annually to be a voting member and have the opportunity to serve on the board.
02:50:05 NormaJFHarrison: why should we make it seem as though we have to organize to attain unsatisfactory compromises!? Whatever we - voters/citizens - bring up gets rejected, modified anyway!
02:51:56 Margot Smith: And student loans—they are burdening a whole generation.
02:53:43 NormaJFHarrison: one answer to my quest ion is that people don't KNOW the changes we want - people know only the limited services we've gotten and keep asking for them. Radical-ism is digging to the root - finding actual causes and deriving the highest and best alternatives and promoting those - likely having to accept any limited responses....
03:00:55 Matthew Lewis: Send emails and give public conment: No to upzoning without affordability! No to gentrification!
03:03:33 chimey lee: doesn't mean RCD is correct and bears room to be corrected, spoken by one who use to build and renovate housing for thirty years.
03:04:51 Margot Smith: Ribbon Cuttings (Tentative Schedule)
Do to the pandemic, City staff has delayed or cancelled ribbon cuttings for many projects. The following dates have been tentatively selected for on-site ribbon cuttings depending on our status.

Live Oak Community Center- Wednesday, March 24 (1:00 PM)
James Kenney 2-5, 5-12 Playgrounds – Saturday, April 3 (10:30AM)
San Pablo Park 2-5, 5-12 Playgrounds – Saturday, April 3 (1 PM)
Codornices Creek Restoration – Wednesday, April 14 (10:30AM)
Adult Mental Health Center – Wednesday, April 14 (1 PM)

Ribbon cuttings for the San Pablo Park Tennis Courts and Rose Garden Pergola, pathways and Tennis court project will happen in May.

Projects being awarded at City Council in April/May will include the Marina Streets Project, Sidewalks, and the King Park Play Structure Renovation
03:06:44 Margot Smith: Sorry, I must leave. Viva!
03:07:07 Helen Walsh♿️: Viva Margot
03:13:06 Ethel Murphy: Thanks again for inviting us. Have to leave, another meeting.
03:20:43 chimey lee: There Is IHSS via medical right?
03:23:26 Helen Walsh♿️: March 28th 7P for the Equity Summit Series Part 3: Learning From Our Elders: Listening And Honoring The Past To Guide The Future link to zoom:
03:26:17 Pam White: 3/29 League of Women Voters with Weiner
03:26:40 chimey lee: the city is honoring the slained Asian seniors Sat at Aquatic Park 2-4PM March 27, 2021
03:30:22 chimey lee: Remember Jenny Wong is an Asian immigrant and
03:32:29 chimey lee: Coming to what and where?/
03:36:13 Matthew Lewis: Send emails and give public conment: No to upzoning without affordability! No to gentrification!
03:37:05 Helen Walsh♿️: Thanks Betsy for organizing another GP great meeting 🙌🏽🙌🏽♿️🏳️‍🌈

1:30 - Welcomes and Introductions  
Reports/Announcements from Board and Members 
          Board Officers 
    Criminal and Racial Justice Coalition - Mike R (cont. after 3pm)
     Landless Peoples Alliance - Angeles
      Senior Digital Access Project - Betsy
      Berkeley EQUITY Summit, # 3 - see flyer below
       Other Upcoming Events 
1:50 - Guest speaker Kelly Hammargren, Berkeley Activist Calendar and Activist's Diary.
Artist and retired RN, Kelly provides an invaluable resource here with her weekly calendar of civic meetings, and summary of City Council and Commission agendas and decisions and how to reach members. Kelly will speak about her personal story, the work of the calendar, and her very personal take on the hot issues on her radar, the housing crisis and recent council proposals; and the effort streamline 35 civic commissions. What is an effective commission?  She will also share inspirational media,  Sick City by Patrick Congdon, and the documentary PUSH about the growing corporate dominance of local housing markets around the world. 
2: 30  The Future of the Berkeley Commission on Aging with Guest speakers:  Ethel Murphy (chair) and George Porter (former chair).   They will share their experiences and perspectives on the Commission on Aging, their roles, and how it could be more effective. 
Does Berkeley still need a Commission on Aging?  Would merging with one or more other commissions help or hinder the voice of seniors to be advocates on our own behalf?   
Please NOTES below for more on the Commissions original Mission/Functions and the needs of seniors today. 
3:00+ Updates and Announcements continued
3:30 Adjourn
Social Time and Discussions until 4pm
See Calendar below for more upcoming events of GP and allies
Functions and Duties of the Berkeley Commission on Aging, established in 1970: 

A.    The functions of the commission shall be to:

1.    Identify the needs of the aging of the community and create a citizen awareness of these needs;

2.    Encourage improved standards of services to the aging and encourage establishment of needed new services for the aging, both public and private, and in so doing, encourage coordination among organizations providing services to the aging in the community and provide advice and assistance thereto; in cooperation with other agencies collect, maintain and interpret information and statistics on the aging for the use of citizens and organizations in the City; encourage preparation of publications and results of study and research pertaining to the aging;

3.    Advise the City Council on all matters affecting the aging in the community;

4.    Render advice and assistance to other City boards and commissions, to City departments and to private agencies on matters affecting the aging;

5.    Perform such other functions and duties as may be directed by the City Council.

B.    In prescribing the above duties and functions of the commission it is not the intent of this council to duplicate or overlap the functions, duties or responsibilities heretofore or hereafter assigned to any other City board or commission or to a City department. As to such functions or responsibilities above set forth which are partially or wholly the responsibilities of another board or commission or of a department of the City, the commission will render assistance and advice to such board, commission or department as may be requested. (Ord. 4492-NS § 10, 1970 )

How is the Commission doing?  Are these functions and activities still relevant? or needed? 
Observations from your GP Convenor
While some of Berkeley 35 commissions are legally mandated by federal law or city charter, the Commission on Aging is not. One proposal by Council member Sophie Hahn is to merge this commission with Peace and Justice, Human Welfare and several others into a single Civil Rights and Anti-Poverty Commission.  Would merger make the concerns of seniors more visible to the public, city council and other commissions? 
People over 65 are now the fastest growing group in Berkeley (and the nation); over 85 especially. The Age Friendly Berkeley Strategic Plan approved by the Council in April 2019 reports that older residents surveyed identified Housing and Economic Security as their #1 concern, regardless of income.  Where does more affordable senior assisted living come into the city's planning and negotiations?  About one-third of all seniors in Berkeley are extremely low income  (30% or less of the Area Median Income).  Nationally senior poverty is rising again, and growing numbers of people over 50 (Boomers) are experiencing homeless for the first time in their life. Health researchers show that unhoused, people age rapidly, become sicker and die years earlier than the norm. Seniors and disabled adults on fixed incomes are at highest risk of displacement even in rent controlled housing. 
According to the Strategic Plan and other Census/AMC results, nearly half of older Berkeleyans live alone and more than a third spend more than 40% of their income for housing costs. We all know that financial scams are too common, and that real estate agents and speculators are pressuring senior homeowners as we speak.  
Who is shepherding the priorities of the Age Friendly Berkeley Plan? The Updates and Progress page is empty. The Plan's authors did not even  put Harriet Tubman Terrace or Redwood Gardens on their map of senior/disabled housing resources!  
We are fortunate that the City's Health Department has kept death rates in Nursing Homes far lower than in California as a whole.  But, did it really take a year for the Senior Services division to do check-in calls with Senior Center members to see how they were doing?   A year ago Gray Panthers asked the City Manager to please check in on Harriet Tubman Terrace, and residents of Harriet Tubman have asked multiple city officials for help with dangerous unsanitary conditions regarding Covid-19, and help to get testing. We have both requested help getting vaccinations on-site. Can the Commission on Aging help get results or at least a call back? 
Meanwhile, Gov. Newsome has approved a new California Master Plan on Aging which outlines many elements needing improvement to deal with current conditions and the future.  Funding its implementation is crucial.  Stakeholder groups that GP partners with such as California Alliance for Nursing Home Reform, Hand In Hand  Domestic Employers Network, and Senior Disability Justice are following up with state legislation to create Universal In-Home and Community Based Supports and Services as alternative to nursing homes.  Can we get City Council to support this initiative as well?  
Finally the digital divide is alive and well among Berkeley senior especially seniors of color.  Senior Services staff reportedly called members of the Centers to determine how many are digitally isolated. What was the results, and, how do we get the right resources and training into the hands of seniors who need it now, especially with $52 million in special federal funding coming to Berkeley.
I believe we need strong senior champions and champions of senior issues in housing and economic security, in health equity, and digital access to speak up and link up. I don't have the answers, but invite Panthers and allies to consider the possibilities. 
Sunday March 28, 7-9-pm Berkeley Equity Summit - All are welcome. Confirmed roundtable speakers include: former Mayor Gus Newport, former Vice-Mayor and forner GP Board Member, Carole Kennerly; NAACP Secretary Afi Tiombe; Rev. Mary Breland (daughter of late councilmember Margaret Breland), Max Ussury, former President of BART; former Councilmember Max Anderson; Nikki Williams, retired Exec. Director, Berkeley Youth Alternatives; Musician, Carl Dubarry; Poet,  Paradise, and more. 
Thursday March 25, Berkeley Tenants Union 6pm
also Behind the Mask, Berkeleys Mental Health Crisis, see flyer below
Friday March 26, National Alliance of HUD Tenants - discussion of Related Properties, a national real estate company that owns Berkeley's 75 scattered site affordable family housing units. 9AM to 11:30.   Email me [email protected] if you are not already a member of NAHT - I can share the link with members of East Bay Gray Panthers, an associate member.
March 27 - OWL - Older Womens League San Francisco Monthly meeting March 27, Sat. 11 am to Noon will be on "Single Payer" Medicare for all (AB1400). 
Friday March 26 - Noon - CARA and St. Barnabas Senior Services are sponsoring a special FRIDAY FORUM on March 26th called “MAKING THE MASTER PLAN ON AGING A REALITY” - to present some key strategies to implement the Master Plan on Aging that was released by the Governor in January of this year.  Learn about the plan, and how you can help make it a reality.  Contact CARA at 510-663-4086 or TOLL FREE 1-877-223-6107 or email to SF Panthers Convenor <[email protected]> get registration info. 
     * CARA Alameda County meets the first Tuesday of the month at 10AM-11:30am. 
April 11, 2021 - Grand Opening of Youth Spirit Artworks (YSA) Youth Village, Hegenberger Road, Oakland.  (member of Landless Peoples Alliance.)
Monday April 7 and every other Monday - Meeting of the National Council of Gray Panther Networks, 4pm-6pm PST   
May 21, National Day of Mourning for Staggering Numbers of People Dead from COVID-19 in Nursing Homes and Long Term Care Facilities - coordinated with the New York chapter of Gray Panthers. 

On January 2, 2021, Vincent Bryant, a Black, unhoused man was shot in the face at point blank range by the Berkeley Police while experiencing a mental health crisis.
Thankfully, he survived, but this police response is outrageous. Berkeley Copwatch invites you, the Berkeley community, to analyze footage of this incident and try to understand what went wrong.
We will be joined by a panel of mental health experts and activists to explore the question: What would mental health care and crisis response look like without police involvement?
  • Asantewaa Boykin, Co-Founder - Mental Health First & APTP

  • Maria Moore, sister of Kayla Moore who died at the hands of Berkeley police

  • Gigi Crowder, Executive Director - National Alliance on Mental Health, Contra Costa

  • Dr. Lisa Warhuus, Director of Health, Housing & Community Services, City of Berkeley

In Berkeley, we have an opportunity to create structural change: this summer the City Council approved an initiative for a Specialized Care Unit (SCU) that would respond to mental health crises without police involvement. Now is the time to pressure the City of Berkeley to follow through on their commitment:
- The SCU must be well funded, so that it can actually be effective
- The SCU must be dispatched without police
- Since the police will not be responding to these incidents, funding must come directly from the police budget
- There must be options for long-term care in addition to crisis intervention
*Content Warning: This event will discuss and show video of police violence against Black people and people with mental health conditions.*
Join the Zoom event:
Date: Wednesday, March 24th at 7pm
Zoom link:
Meeting ID: 874 2284 2921
Passcode: copwatch
Dial in: +1 669 900 6833 US
Meeting ID: 874 2284 2921
Passcode: 54672099
*The event is free to attend, and everyone is welcome.

Your RSVP on this page is appreciated but not required. If you do RSVP we'll email a link with full access info for the call.

You are invited:

Gray Panthers East Bay Weekly Zoom Meeting, Wednesdays 1:30-4pm
Meeting ID: 858 8494 3363  Passcode: 446231

One tap mobile
+16699006833,,85884943363#,,,,,,0#,,446231# US (San Jose)


March 24, 2021 at 1:30pm - 4pm
Co-Convener Betsy Morris · · 510-842-6224

Will you come?