Margie Metzler (Joan's staff and close
friend) (Word) (PDF)
Susan Murany (Exec. Director of anational
Gray Panthers and close friend of Joan's) (Word) (PDF)
Susan McKee (Staff to Sen. Darrell Steinberg;
speaking on behalf of Sen. Steinberg and Assemblymember Dave
Jones) (Word) (PDF)
Betty Perry (Legislative Director of
OWL-CA, Older Womean's League California, and long-time friend
and ally of Joan's) (Word)
Bill Powers (Liaislative Liaison with
CARA and long-time friend, ally and mentor of Joan's) (Word)
Marty Omoto (Director, CA Disability
Action Network, and close friend of Joan's) (Word) (PDF)
speaking on behalf of Blue Diamond Workers, May 2008
Our believed leader, Joan B. Lee passed
away Saturday, July 26, about 7:30, very peacefully and with dignity.
She died after a valiant but mercifully brief struggle with lung
cancer that had metastasized to her liver and bones. She was cremated
and there was a memorial service at the Sacramento Universalist
Unitarian Church on Friday, August 15th, 2008.
Her husband Arnie thanks
everyone who was with him and Joan on this last difficult journey.
Joan had many wonderful friends and partners in advocacy, and
the cards, letters, flowers and best wishes of all of you have
been read and savored. All of you helped Joan, Arnie and their
family more than you can know.
Remembrances: You can of course send cards,
flowers etc., but we know that Joan's fondest wishes were for
the Gray Panthers to endure and for the causes of justice, peace,
equality, healthcare etc. to triumph. Contributions to Gray Panthers
are welcome, or participation in advocacy and activism in her
name would also have made her happy. To contribute to the national
organization, go to www.graypanthers.org;
to contribute to the Sacramento chapter send to Gray
Panthers of Sacramento, P.O. Box 19438, Sacramento, CA 95819.
Of course, you can also join our organization. To join
our Sacramento Gray Panthers chapter, download and fill out the
application (Word or PDF)
and mail to P.O. Box 19438, Sacramento,
CA 95819. To send notes or good wishes to Arnie, send to
5313 Fernwood Way, Sacramento 95841.
Joan Lee, a prominent Sacramento political activist and advocate
for seniors who was a state and national leader in Gray Panthers,
died Saturday at age 80.
The cause was lung cancer that spread to her bones and liver,
said her husband, Arnie Godmintz. Her illness was diagnosed last
week after she spent 16 days in a Sacramento hospital, he said.
Ms. Lee was active for many years in Gray Panthers, an advocacy
organization for seniors seeking social and economic justice.
She led the Sacramento chapter and was legislative liaison for
Gray Panthers California, a statewide coalition. She served on
the group's national board in Washington.
She was ubiquitous in public and in the press as a grass-roots
organizer on progressive causes and issues important to seniors.
She carried signs at rallies, registered new voters and collected
petition signatures. She buttonholed community leaders, politicians
and news reporters on universal health care, access for disabled
people and workers' rights.
"Joan was someone who conveyed the plight of seniors and
families and poor people in ways that policymakers and legislators
could understand," said Assemblyman Dave Jones, D-Sacramento.
"She had a real grasp of facts and figures and policy, but
she was very effective at putting a human face on issues."
Ms. Lee was widely respected at the state Capitol for her expertise
in gerontology and for building political alliances with other
groups, especially disability advocates. She spoke at hearings
on health care reform, nursing homes and accessible transportation.
She spearheaded efforts to pass legislation requiring University
of California medical schools to fully integrate geriatrics into
the three-year curriculum.
"Joan was very passionate about the issues that she fought
for," said state Sen. Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento. "She
was very kind, but in terms of her advocacy, she was very tough.
She held friend and foe accountable for the decisions we make
in public life."
Ms. Lee was involved in politics and civic issues in suburban
Sacramento County with her husband, a longtime Democratic Party
activist. She was legislative chairwoman of the Town & Country
Democratic Club and a member of the Older Women's League.
Joan Barbara Wilson was born in 1927 and reared in the Chicago
area. She studied music in college, married and spent much of
her life raising four children. Her first marriage ended in divorce,
and she married Godmintz in 1980.
She graduated from the gerontology department at American River
College and earned a bachelor's degree in communication from Sacramento
State at age 57. She started the Robertson Adult Day Care Center
and worked at the Sacramento Housing and Redevelopment Agency.
She wrote and directed a video about common experiences of adults
with disabilities and seniors.
Ms. Lee was an accomplished cellist and oil painter. She wrote
poetry and was an avid birdwatcher during hikes in the Sierra
She believed seniors were getting "a raw deal" in society
but had power in numbers and political activism to make changes,
Godmintz said. Her role model was Maggie Kuhn, who founded the
Gray Panthers after she was forced to retire from work at age
"Joan was a firm believer in 'use it or lose it,' "
her husband said.”She didn't want to sit around and watch
the boob tube. She felt seniors should get out and get busy."
About the writer:
Call The Bee's Robert D. Dávila, (916) 321-1077.
Note: Please see our
new page, devoted to single-payer healthcare issues!
Gray Panther Margie Metzler and her friend Lyn Stueve
decided to make a vdeo protesting the Governor's 10% across-the-board
budget cuts.This idea would have gone nowhere, except that Lyn's son,
Sean Stueve, not only has a video camera and microphone etc., but knows
how to use them! (He has a business making videos.) Lyn, Sean and Margie
came up with a script and conscripted GP members Arnie Godmintz and
John Bernier to be our stars. Sean was the director, producer, and editor,
and Lyn, Joan B. Lee and Margie did a variety of crew jobs. (Like throwing
bark at John!)
The Impact of the Governor's Proposed Cuts
on Children, Seniors, and Women
New CPB Fact Sheets on the impact the Governor's Proposed
Budget Cuts would have on children, seniors, and women.
The Governor's proposals include cutting funding for public schools,
lowering cash assistance payments that help seniors meet basic needs,
reducing funding for health and in-home care services, and cutting
child care funding. Three
new fact sheets examine the impacts of various spending reductions
in the Governor's Proposed Budget on these population groups.
New Analysis Examines the Local Impact of the Governor's
Proposed CalWORKs Cuts
Governor Schwarzenegger proposes policy changes to the CalWORKs
Program that would cause nearly 200,000 low-income children to lose
cash assistance. A new
CBP fact sheet examines the impact of these proposed cuts by
are the Gray Panthers, a network of independent activists bound together
by our passion for social justice. We are a loosely coordinated set
of networks bound only by our passionate commitment to speak truth to
power.” --Mary Magill, Gray Panthers Contra Costa
Panthers Affiliation of California Networks Meeting
was held in San Lorenzo,
on May 24, 2008.
Next National convention: September, 2008 in
Detroit. We may have some scholarship help available;
contact Joan B. Lee, 916-332-5980 for more information.
Or contact Susan Murany, (800) 280-5362 or (202) 737-6637,
Fax: (202) 737-1160, email@example.com
Gray Panthers has focused on the War In Iraq
as this year's most critical issue. And we have a new
postcard to make our point graphically! (Donut Hole postcards
are still available as well.)
SILENCE IS CONSENT--SPEAK OUT TO END THE WAR
Don't make Congress guess what you think about the war
in Iraq. Let them know that you're paying attention to
the real costs of this illegal and immoral war and to
The real cost of the Iraq war is a huge mortgage on the
future of our children. A war that was entered into on
lies is piling up massive debt that will strangle hopes
for universal health care, affordable housing and education,
Make your elected officials stand up and take notice.
THEY work for YOU! Send your Senators and Representatives
post cards and tell them to STOP THIS MADNESS and pay
attention to the needs of our children, elderly, people
with disabilities and thosepoor who are poor.
Post cards, for individuals or for groups, are available
from Gray Panthers Headquarters. Just click here firstname.lastname@example.org
to send the national Gray Panther office a request for
post cards. Let us know how many cards you’d like.
Don’t forget to include your family and friends.
Click here for info about
Margie and Joan's Trip to the FamiliesUSA conference and
participation in the March to end the War (Jan. 27).
Gray Panthers Work with United Nations
Gray Panthers continue to have real visibility as NGOs
at the United Nations. As part of their commitment to
equity, whether race, gender, or any other segment of
the population, they have signed onto a statement, the
Coalition Against Trafficking in Women's
"Financing for gender equality and the empowerment
of women" as a member of the Coalition
Against Trafficking in Women. For the complete
statement, go to link below.
Judy Lear as our Main UN Representative had signed off
for Gray Panthers on a women's trafficking issue. We have
posted the information on our website under United Nations
(It is a drop down item under the United Nations heading
in the tool bar on top of the site). See the link below.
the new, upgraded national Gray Panthers Website!
As many of you know, the Gray Panthers website,
has recently undergone a massive re-do, bringing
us smartly into the 21st century. We urge you to
go to the site and look around.
One of the great new features is an action network,
which will easily allow you to write to your Congress
people and legislators. You can do so online if
you have e-mail, or you can print out the letters
generated by this easy to use program if you don’t.
To join the action network, go to http://graypanthers.e-actionmax.com/signup.asp.
You will see an online form; fill out all the items
required (marked by an asterisk) and any of the
other items you want. After you fill out all the
required information and press Submit,
you will see a list of current issues on which you
can take action. You will also receive an e-mail
from Susan Murany, our Executive Director:
Welcome to Gray Panthers Action Network, an email-based
This network of email activists like you will
be contacted about important and timely issues,
encouraging you to send emails or faxes to your
elected officials. With each action alert, you
will be given concise information about an urgent
issue and instructions on how to contact targeted
officials simply and effectively.
At any time, you may go to our main web site,
graypanthers.e-actionmax.com, to get a general
overview of the network and view all alerts, past
Tell your friends about Gray Panthers Action
Network! The power of this system is in the vast
numbers of people contacting their elected officials.
Feel free to forward this message or tell your
friends to visit graypanthers.e-actionmax.com
and click on "Sign Up."
We will never share your information with anyone
and will only use your email address for the purpose
of sending you action alerts. You may view our
Removing your name from this list
If, at ANY TIME, you wish to have your name removed
from this network, you can do so at http://graypanthers.e-actionmax.com/
(login with your email address and choose "Update
Profile"). Or, you may click the "unsubscribe"
link at the bottom of any action alert message.
Thank you for joining us! We look forward to
Gray Panthers Action Network
From now on, you can go to http://graypanthers.e-actionmax.com/,
and add it to your Favorites or Bookmarks for easy
access in the future. You’ll have to log on
using your e-mail address and the password you selected
when you signed up.
In California, as across the nation, the issue of rising health
care costs continues to dominate conversations on how to fix our
ailing health care system. At the end of 2006, the discussion of
how to cover those unable to afford the cost of care came to a head,
with California's governor and other political leaders offering
proposals for expanded or universal coverage. The new year promises
an important debate about possible solutions.
This past year, the California HealthCare
Foundation published a wide array of research on the issues
that health care policymakers will face in the year to come. Here
we've compiled the ten publications of 2006 that drew the most interest.
Panthers Sacramento and Gray Panthers of California
P.O. Box 19438, Sacramento, CA 95819
For more information contact
Joan B. Lee, Chairperson, at (916) 332-5980
Website: http://www.gpcal.org/ California Meetings. Quarterly. See above.
Monthly Meetings: 2nd Tuesday of the month, 1-3
Steering Committee, 4th Tuesday of the month, 1-3
Both, Hart Senior Center, 915 27th Street, Sacramento, CA 95816