Close this search box.

GLIDE’s Truth Telling at the Capitol: Policy Advocacy with our Community

csj, eleana, sacramento, 2024
Eleana Binder, GLIDE’s Policy Manager, after being awarded the Hunger Fighter Award, standing with other members of the California Hunger Action Coalition.

April and May are some of the busiest months for policy advocacy in Sacramento, California’s capital city. State legislators are voting on bills and weighing budget decisions, and, most importantly, GLIDE community advocates are raising their voices and speaking truth to power about what our communities need.

GLIDE advocated alongside community partners for End the Epidemics’ Day of Action and California Hunger Action Coalition’s Hunger Action Day, as well as doctors from University of California San Francisco (UCSF) on three separate days – maximizing our chances to speak with legislators about critical health and hunger issues facing our community. 

On April 23, staff and clients from GLIDE’s Center for Social Justice and Harm Reduction teams joined advocates and people struggling with substance use disorder and people living with HIV to advocate for funding for overdose prevention services and services for people at risk of or living with HIV as part of End the Epidemics’ Day of Action.

End the Epidemics is a statewide coalition that advocates for anti-racist policies and funding priorities to eliminate health inequities and end the epidemics of HIV, sexually transmitted infections (STIs), viral hepatitis, and overdose in California.

GLIDE participants joined in a powerful rally, during which they paid tribute to GLIDE’s co-founder, the late Reverend Cecil Williams, and lived out Cecil’s legacy, and GLIDE’s values, by engaging in truth telling – sharing stories with legislative offices. 

The next week, on April 30, for California Hunger Action Coalition’s Hunger Action Day, staff and Social Justice Academy fellows from GLIDE’s Center for Social Justice, as well as staff from GLIDE’s Family Resource Center, Women’s Center, Volunteer program, and fund development team, joined other community members from San Francisco and across the state to advocate for expanded access to nutritious, affordable food.

During the kick off rally, the California Hunger Action Coalition awarded GLIDE’s Policy Manager, Eleana Binder, with the 2024 Hunger Fighter Award, in recognition of her dedication to addressing hunger in California and her leadership in organizing Hunger Action Week in 2022 and 2023.  

GLIDE’s Center for Social Justice led legislative visits with all of San Francisco’s legislators’ offices – with Assemblymember Matt Haney and Phil Ting’s staff and with Senator Scott Wiener himself – as well as with Senator Marie Alvarado-Gil, Chair of the Human Services Committee, who is a key decision maker for hunger-related legislation.

GLIDE’s staff and Social Justice Academy fellows joined these meetings, as well as meetings with two Marin County legislators organized by the San Francisco-Marin Food Bank, to tell their stories about hunger.

GLIDE advocated for the Hunger Action Day Policy Agenda, including increasing the minimum CalFresh benefit from $23 per month to $50 per month, making it easier for people exiting jails/prisons to get enrolled in CalFresh, protecting the Market Match program, and so much more! 

csj and scott wiener in sacramento

GLIDE staff with Senator Scott Wiener, as well as staff from TNDC, the Women’s Building, the San Francisco-Marin Food Bank, the California Association of Food Banks, and community members after meeting with the Senator on Hunger Action Day. 

On May 1, members of our policy team in our Center for Social Justice joined forces with doctors who work at UCSF and SF General Hospital to advocate for funding for health-related issues, including overdose prevention services. GLIDE staff and UCSF residents also advocated for AB 1975 – a piece of legislation that would support “food as medicine,” which are food-based interventions integrated into healthcare to prevent and treat medical conditions.

AB 1975 would make these interventions available to all Medi-Cal patients, which would help address health issues such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and preterm births – all of which have a racially disproportionate impact on Black Californians.

GLIDE staff and UCSF residents met with Assemblymember Haney and Senator Wiener’s offices, as well as staff for the Senate Budget and Senate Appropriations Committees, which are key committees for budget items and bills with financial costs. GLIDE and UCSF doctors have been partnering for years to advocate for essential health services, ranging from greater food access to harm reduction and overdose prevention. 

csj sacramento

GLIDE Center for Social Justice staff with doctors from UCSF. 

GLIDE Center for Social Justice staff and doctors from UCSF with Senator Scott Wiener’s staff. 

GLIDE is proud to be lifting up the voices of our staff, clients, and community members in the halls of power and positively influencing decisions that affect millions of Californians.