An Affiliation of Gray Panthers Networks
Modified: August 31, 2008

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Losing Joan B. Lee

Rally in SF at AHIP convention (June 19, 2008)


National Gray Panthers

1612 K Street NW Ste. 300
Washington, DC 20006
(800) 280-5362 or (202) 737-6637
Fax: (202) 737-1160
Exec. Director, Susan Murany

California Chapters

East Bay/Berkeley
Margot Smith
1403 Addison Street
Berkeley, CA 94702

Central Costra Costa
Ralph Copperman
3 Penrith Walk
Pleasant Hill, CA 94523

Long Beach
Pat Stanyo, Chairperson
506 Newport Ave., Long Beach 90815
Betsy (Bettina) Lambert, Corresponding Secretary
355 Coronado Ave. #16, Long Beach, CA 90814. 562-438-2748;

Marin County
Yvette Wakefield, Convenor
PO Box 2874
San Rafael, CA 94912

Joan Lee, Convenor
PO Box 19438
Sacramento, CA 95819
Message: 916-739-1540

San Francisco
Sonia Siegel, Convenor
1182 Market St., Room 203
San Francisco, CA 94102
415-552-8800 (11-1 M-F)

Santa Barbara
Cheri Jasinski, Convenor
5110A Cathedral Oaks Road
Santa Barbara, CA 93111
(805) 967-7170

Southern Alameda County
Betty Moose, Convenor
1328 Via El Monte
San Lorenzo, CA 94580

South Bay
Jim Dawson, Convenor
PO Box 7138
Torrence, CA 90504

New York

New York
Judy Lear, Convenor
165 West 86th Street
New York, NY 10024
212-799-7572, 212-682-6569

Suffolk County
Blanche Mulholland and
George Reilly
PO Box 1395
Ronkonkoma, NY 11779
Blanche: 631-471-6614
George: 631-665-6383

Marilyn Engelman
7909 George Link Jr. Circle
Coram, NY 11727-2417


Jim Davis
1020 SW Taylor, Suite 610
Portland, OR 97205

Rhode Island

Rhode Island
Kathy Kushnir, Ex. Dir.
133 MathewsonSt.
Providence, RI 02903
401-274-6900 x707
Fax: 401-453-1149


Paula Mixson co-convenor
2020 Northridge Dr.
Austin, TX 78723-2615
512-220-6209 or 512-298-1122

Clint Smith, Co-convenor
Jeanette Payne, Staff
3710 Cedar Street, Room 223/Box 15
Austin, TX 78705

Texas Regional Coordinator:
Charlotte Flynn

Aimee Mobley Turney
5616 Portal Dv.
Houston, TX 77096

Av.?", Convenor

Greater Metro Washington
1426-9th St. NW
Washington, DC 20001

Luci Murphy
1449 Oak St. NW #11
Washington, DC 20010


North Dade
Dot Fleisher
861 North Venetian Drive
Maimi, FL 33139
305-374-8240 (Claire Yanow)

South Dade
Norman Saxe
10725 SW 82nd Avenue
Miami, FL 33156


Huron Valley
Jane Rusten
1733 Dunmore Rd.
Ann Arbor, MI 48103

Metro Detroit
Randy Block and Ethel Schwartz
PO Box 37033
Oak Park, MI 48237
Randy: 248-549-5170 (night)
313-446-4444 x5842
ethel: 248-669-6343


Twin Cities
Sally Brown and Jane Hanger-Seeley
3249 Hennepin Avenue, S, #220
Minneapolis, MN 55408

New Jersey

Southern New Jersey
George W. Hunt
43 Village of Stoney Run #G
Maple Shade, NJ 0852-2143

New Mexico

Greater Albuquerque

Marty Mitchell
2955 Ryder SE
Albuquerque, NM 87106

Gray Panthers Liaisons

Gray Panthers now helps you be part of our organization even if you live in a rural area or otherwise don't have anough people to start a network.

As a Liaison, you may do some or all of these things:

  • Connect with others in your area
  • Give out information about the Gray Panthers organization
  • Relay information to you from other Gray Panthers organizations regarding Gray Panthers activities

To join, download this form, fill it out, and mail or e-mail to Susan Murany:

1612 K Street NW Ste. 300
Washington, DC 20006
(800) 280-5362 or (202) 737-6637; Fax: (202) 737-1160

Rachel Zane
T: 520-745-3660

Giudi Weiss
T: 773/955-1224
F: 773/955-2869

Philadelphia Area
Eileen Borenstein
T: 215-885-0982


Joan B. Lee’s Memorial Service
Friday, August 15, 11 am
Unitarian Universalist Society of Sacramento
2425 Sierra Boulevard
Sacramento, CA 95825

Documents from from the Memorial Service:

  • The Order of Service from the Memorial (Word) (PDF)
  • Rev. Doug Kraft (UUSS Minister) (Word) (PDF)
  • Arnie Godmintz (Joan's husband) (Word) (PDF)
  • 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) (PDF)
  • Bill Powers (Liaislative Liaison with CARA and long-time friend, ally and mentor of Joan's) (Word) (PDF)
  • Marty Omoto (Director, CA Disability Action Network, and close friend of Joan's) (Word) (PDF)

Joan Lee, 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; 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.

Please contact Margie Metzler, 916-921-5008 or if you have questions.

Article in the Bee, July 30
Obituary: Political activist Joan Lee was Gray Panthers leader
By Robert D. Dávila -
Published 12:00 am PDT Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Story appeared in OUR REGION section, Page B5

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 Nevada.

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 65.

"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!

PowerPoint Presentation: Gray Panthers National Issues
Presentation for people without Powerpoint

The latest healthcare train wreck presentation (June 14) (More on history and myths)

Gray Panthers members make a video!

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!)

Please check it out at!

To comment yourself on the governor's proposed budget, contact:

  • Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger: Sacramento office (916) 445-2841; San Francisco office (415) 703-2218; e-mail from the governor's Web site at
  • Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez, D-Los Angeles: Sacramento office
    (916) 319-2046; e-mail
  • Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata, D-Oakland: Sacramento office
    (916) 651-4009; district office (510) 286-1333; e-mail
  • Senate Republican leader Dick Ackerman of Irvine (Orange County):
    Sacramento office (916) 651-4033; e-mail
  • Assembly Republican Leader Mike Villines of Clovis (Fresno County):
    Sacramento office (916) 319-2029; e-mail
  • 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 county.

"We 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 Chapter

Spring Quarter Gray Panthers Affiliation of California Networks Meeting was held in San Lorenzo, on May 24, 2008.

Minutes are posted here, or you may call Joan B. Lee at 916-332-5980 for details.

Our next meeting wil be hosted by Berkeley in Oct. so as not to conflict with the national meeting in Detroit. (Details for national conv. at

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National News

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,

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.)


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 their votes.

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 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.

Join 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 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:

Dear Friend,

Welcome to Gray Panthers Action Network, an email-based alert system.
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,, to get a general overview of the network and view all alerts, past and present.

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 and click on "Sign Up."

Data Privacy

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 official privacy policy at

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 (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 your participation.

Gray Panthers Action Network

From now on, you can go to, 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.

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Good info: California Budget Project
Article from LA Times on Guardianship for profit
The Older Americans Act: Overview

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What State Assembly and Senate District are you in?

  1. Go to
  2. In the top left corner, go to Find Your Representative. Enter your zip code.
  3. You will be on a page that lists your US House of Representatives District, your California Senate District, and your California Assembly District

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Info for sending our Doughnut postcards (what you can say, where you can send it...)

Gray Panthers Documents

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From the California HealthCare Foundation

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.

  1. Guide to MediCal
  2. Snapshot: Health Care Costs 101
  3. Open Source Software: A Primer for Health Care Leaders
  4. Health Care in the Express Lane: The Emergence of Retail Clinics
  5. IT Tools for Chronic Disease Management: How Do They Measure Up?
  6. Medi-Cal Facts and Figures: A Look at California's Medicaid Program
  7. Consumers in Health Care: Creating Decision-Support Tools That Work
  8. Guide to Health Programs in English
  9. The Medicare Drug Benefit: How Good Are the Options?
  10. Snapshot: Employer-Based Insurance: Coverage and Cost
  11. Link: Visit our Most Recent Publications

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Contact Information

Gray 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
California Meetings. Quarterly. See above.

Sacramento Meetings:
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

Healthcare Reform in California Program:
1121 Wayland Avenue
Sacramento, CA 95825
Contact Margie Metzler, (916) 921-5008 or