At GLIDE, we are thankful for the community we create and nurture here. We are especially grateful for our GLIDE community as our nation’s political and social landscape is rapidly changing after the recent election. This week we sat down with our Executive Director Rita Shimmin to discuss renewed commitment to our community as we enter the bustling holiday season. This post marks the first in our “Check-in” series with Rita, who delivers perspective and a sense of grounding during times of transition.
What is the meaning of community at GLIDE?
We invite everyone to join us in community at GLIDE. We want to make room for everyone to feel safe and that they belong. All voices and differences are welcomed and needed. We are mobilizing our community to care for each other, without exception.
What is the importance of community at GLIDE, especially now?
I think of GLIDE as good news, good news for our community. The election and post-election period has been very disturbing to a lot people. Many people in our vulnerable and marginalized communities have felt wounded, disappointed, and are afraid. In the past couple of weeks, I have been with many different groups of people. It has been important for these groups to share their feelings and share their ideas. Gathering together helps people hold their pain and disappointment in positive ways, or at least in ways that help them to keep moving through their pain. Sharing keeps them from getting stuck in isolation, or stuck in feelings of fear, anxiety or anger. It is especially important for people to have places to come during the holidays, where they can be together in a physical space, to feel like they belong and are loved.
At GLIDE, during the holidays, there are many opportunities for people to be together. There are several holiday meals and many special events. There are Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners and Celebrations, Prime Rib dinner, Sikh Luncheon, Senior Luncheon, Holiday Gala, Grocery Bag Giveaway, Toy Bag Giveaway, Women’s Holiday Party, to name a few!
I invite everyone to join us at GLIDE during the holidays and throughout the year. Come and learn about others and share yourself. It is good to witness and be witnessed in our sorrows and in our joys. I hope to see many people join us so we can make new friends.
Happy Thanksgiving to all!
A report back on key state and local propositions in November 2016
The last week-and-a-half has left us wondering about our nation’s future. Many of us are feeling loss, anger and fear. Protests and demonstrations are giving voice to genuine grief and outrage. And these feelings emanate from something even deeper: our love.
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If you are looking for Melina, chances are you will find her encouraging and supporting others who are in need. But it was not that long ago that Melina herself needed a helping hand. She found herself in San Francisco with no money and no one to turn to. After spending over a month on the street, enduring sleepless night after sleepless night and walking the City streets to keep safe, Melina was picked up by the San Francisco Homeless Outreach Team, who took her to a women’s center.
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Editors’ note: As a social justice organization, GLIDE supports Proposition V, which would add a one-cent-per-ounce tax on beverages with added sugar to help reduce the health problems, such as diabetes, brought on by consuming too much sugar. We view this proposition as a social justice issue, as soda companies have historically targeted low-income communities, particularly communities of color, to advertise their products even though these companies are aware of the health risks brought on by excess consumption of sugar. Indeed, African American and Latino communities have a higher rate of unhealthy weight gain and obesity than white communities, and together account for nearly twice as many Americans with Type 2 diabetes. In their massive campaign against Prop V, soda companies call Prop V a “grocery tax,” a misleading term insinuating that prices will be increased on all groceries when in fact only beverages with added sugar will be taxed by the local government.
The following perspective on Prop V comes from Jan Schilling, founder of Weigh of Life—a non-profit organization that provides opportunities for East Bay families to enjoy improving their health through exercise classes, nutrition education and social support—and a proud member of GLIDE’s congregation.
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Editors’ note: P and U are two of the more potentially misleading propositions that San Francisco residents will find on the November ballot. And P & U concern one of the most important issues facing residents of this city: affordable housing. P & U have been put forward by the Realtors Association with a promise of “more housing for more people,” but in fact neither proposition will create any new housing at all. Instead, Prop U increases the number of middle-income earners (up to 110% of the area’s median income) who can apply for inclusionary rental units (that is, housing units required by law to be offered at below the market rate). This would do away with the 12% of new housing that is currently set aside for people earning $39,000 a year or less, leaving them with nowhere to live. Prop P, meanwhile, opens up the bidding process on affordable housing projects to potentially substandard developers interested in taking advantage of the rental increases allowed by Prop U, and arguably would result in many affordable housing projects not going forward. Access to housing is a social justice issue. Anyone interested in securing affordable housing for all San Franciscans, and in seeing San Francisco grow as a diverse and inclusive city, should pay close attention to the details of P & U.
On October 5, a coalition of local faith leaders, nonprofits and residents held a rally outside the offices of the San Francisco Realtors Association, not far from City Hall. Below, we print a letter written by these faith leaders that was recently submitted to the San Francisco Chronicle.
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