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Eye on the Ball: Where the Action Is

Welcome to another installment of Eye on the Ball. There’s so much happening these days that it can be hard to keep focused. So, we’d like to spotlight a few things going on this week of special relevance to our communities.

As we all know too well, something is rotten in Denmark—(no offence, Denmark, we mean Washington, D.C.) From resisting racist immigration policy to defending the Affordable Care Act, we all have important work to do in defending one another and advancing the values of a decent society.

Because it can be overwhelming to know where to plug in our time, efforts and resources, GLIDE has created a new page on our website where we highlight gatherings, actions, workshops and demonstrations taking place throughout the Bay Area that are consistent with GLIDE’s values of love, inclusion and solidarity. Check it out at www.glide.org/action.

We’ve included GLIDE-sponsored events there as well, such as our upcoming and ongoing Radical Action Thursdays, where we integrate political action into our free-meals service by writing postcards to our representatives with urgent messages about what matters to us most.
Meanwhile, GLIDE Church’s Racial Justice Group is embarking on a listening campaign, asking GLIDE’s congregation and greater community what matters to them, in

an effort to mobilize together around the most pressing concerns.
In times like these, it’s crucial to remember that there are actions we can take locally to improve our community and contribute to a wider movement for positive change.
Here are three things that you can do right now to make an impact:

  1. The SF Planning Commission is hearing feedback on a proposal by Mayor Lee that would significantly reduce the amount of affordable housing for low-income people in our city. Did you join the successful NO vote on Props P and U this November? This proposal basically tries to replicate their effect! Check out this article from the Council of Community Housing Organizations for more information. This proposal may be brought to the Board of Supervisors very soon. Call your supervisor. Tell her or him where you stand. Call the mayor, too!
  1. Our friends at St. Antony’s are fighting to ensure that people on social security can afford food and clothing. Folks on SSI make just over $800 a month in a city were even a single room costs far more. We’re asking for economic justice for people who sorely need it. Sign this petition to make your voice heard.
  1. Have you been following the news about Safe Injection Facilities (SIFs)? If you have, you’ll know that these medical programs provide injection drug users safety, freedom from infectious disease, and access to rehab programs by giving them a medically supervised space to use. In the U.S, SIFs are often considered controversial. However, they’re common in Europe and there are several in Canada, and an immense amount of research has confirmed their efficacy. They save lives and money and improve communities by making it unnecessary for people to inject drugs in the street.

California is leading the way on SIFs in this country with Assembly Bill 186, which would allow municipalities such as San Francisco to opt into providing such facilities. State Senator Scott Wiener, formerly District 8 Supervisor in San Francisco, co-sponsored this bill. This would be a major step towards addressing the opioid epidemic in our state and we at GLIDE fully support it. Call your state representative and let them know you support legalizing SIFs.

Ben Lintschinger is the Manager of GLIDE’s Advocacy Program, part of GLIDE’s Center for Social Justice. He has worked at GLIDE for over five years and has expertise in social welfare policy, program evaluation and clinical social work. He enjoys working as a part of GLIDE’s broadly diverse community, where he gets to see people from many walks of life work towards and celebrate creating a more just, equitable and caring society.