Updated January 7, 2009.
The healthcare budget situation is dire. But it’s not hopeless. This post will be constantly updated to let you know what you can do to help change things.
Turn Out. On Monday, January 12, at 10 a.m., the Budget and Finance Committee of the Board of Supervisors will meet for a hearing on the de-appropriation (the what?). On Tuesday, January 13, at 2 p.m., the full Board will meet and will have their first vote on the possibility of a special election this summer (why?); they will also hear for the first time as a full board the de-appropriation. We need all the speakers we can get for public testimony: The supervisors need to know how important local services are to our communities, and our community members are the best people to educate them.
Find a flyer for these two meetings here.
- Call Your Local Legislator. With the economy the way it is, we’re simply not going to have enough money to fund important City programs without some new income. On Tuesday, Supervisor Aaron Peskin introduced legislation for a special election this coming Summer. We will be unable to find new revenue for the City and County of San Francisco without this election. Without new revenue, more and more programs will close down. Please call your Supervisor today to encourage her or him to support the election—especially if you live in District 2, 4, or 7. You can find contact information for your district’s supervisor at the City’s Board of Supervisors page.
- And Then Send a Postcard. No. Really. The Board of Supervisors has the ability to give poor people, people of color, queers, and women a fighting chance to keep our public health services open. Through the passing of what’s called a “de-appropriation” (basically: a restriction on the amount of money that the Mayor is allowed to spend on his own pet projects), our legislators can create for us a strong bargaining chip.
While we have the support of most of the Board of Supervisors, we’re still trying to ensure the votes of Supervisors Dufty and Maxwell. Please download our postcard for the Mayor and the two Supervisors, fill it out, and fax it in to SEIU 1021. The union will only use your contact information as instructed by the members of the Coalition to Save Public Health in trying to address this budget crisis, and will not retain it for its own use. The fax number is at the bottom of the page.
- Don’t Want to Send a Postcard? Make A(nother) Call. Or make a call even if you have written your legislator. Let our elected officials know that public healthcare matters to you! Call Mayor Newsom at 415.554.6141, Supervisor Bevan Dufty at 415.554.6968, and Supervisor Sophie Maxwell at 415.554.7670.
- Organize, Organize, Organize! Do you have the time and interest to do more? San Franciscans need you! The Coalition to Save Public Health will hold its next meeting this coming Monday, January 12, at 5:30 p.m. at 350 Rhode Island Street. Enter at 17th and Kansas.
It’s entirely possible to save the future of public healthcare in San Francisco, but it will require the participation of every one of us who gives a damn. Please help us to fight back these budget cuts today. Time is of the essence: Many of these cuts will close programs in just over a month, and some of the legislative action we need Supervisors to take must be undertaken within the next few days.