San Francisco Bay Physicians for Social Responsibility
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2020 has been an extraordinary year with many potentially immobilizing challenges. However, through it all, SF Bay PSR has managed to find our voice and stay grounded thanks to the generosity of our board and committees as well as our many other supporters.
As a result, what could have been a calamitous year for our organization turned into one in which we’ve been able to expand our capacity and make significant gains in advocacy, communications, and other programming.
What follows is a partial summary of some of SF Bay PSR’s accomplishments in 2020:
— We upgraded our communication tools by building a new website (www.sfbaypsr.org), improving the quality of our online newsletters, expanding our social media presence on Twitter and Facebook, and initiating regular action alerts about time-sensitive events and actions.
— We launched our new monthly webinar series with educational presentations and discussions that focused on the war in Yemen and the ensuing health and humanitarian crises, the results of the 2019-2020 CA legislative session, and the ongoing demands in Bayview Hunters Point to clean up the legacy radioactive and toxic waste and address the impacts that are compounded by climate change and the health and racial inequities experienced by Black and Brown communities.
— We joined more than 40 sign-on letters urging state and federal policymakers to take immediate action on a variety of issues, including protesting the EPA’s gutting of environmental regulations and refusal to listen to its own scientists, demanding that CalGem (the CA Energy Management Division) establish safety setbacks around oil and gas drilling, calling for Governor Newsom and the CA Energy Commission to make the electrification of new buildings a priority, etc.
— We engaged with more than 20 local, state, and federal lawmakers by participating in legislative visits (before COVID-19), making office calls, and writing letters as part of broad public education campaigns.
— We formalized our commitment to eradicating racial inequities and affirmed the need for bringing a diversity, equity, and inclusion lens (DEI) to our work by issuing public statements demanding an end to police violence and supporting the rights of peaceful protesters, generating online webinars, increasing our online library of resources on combating racism, launching a racial equity reading group, and convening a task force to conduct an inventory of our governance, advocacy, communications, and other programs.
— We and other advocates persuaded the American Public Health Association (APHA) to adopt a resolution that put the organization on record as supporting the five points of the Back from the Brink Campaign and urging the U.S. to join the U.N. Treaty on the Prohibition on Nuclear Weapons.
— Individual board and committee members pressed numerous health professional organizations and academic institutions to adopt progressive policies related to climate change, divestments from fossil fuel companies, banning toxic chemicals, ending the use of single-use plastics, etc. They also provided more than 25 educational presentations to schools, civic and religious associations, and local and regional bodies.
— We affirmed our Environmental Health Committee as a gathering place for health professionals from a variety of institutions and associations, to share intelligence and coordinate efforts on topics such as the health impacts of climate change, moving to a carbon-free economy, fossil fuel divestment, voter education, and health professional education.
— We launched our Nuclear Weapons Abolition Committee and organized around the 75th anniversary of the bombing of Japan, including jointly sponsoring an online event with City Lights Bookstore focused on the legacy of the bomb, providing speakers for the #stillhere, three-day virtual event organized by National PSR and other coalition partners, including our annual protest of the weapons work at the Lawrence Livermore National Lab.
— We welcomed 4 new board members with the goal of creating an increasingly diverse board in terms of age, gender, ethnicity, and race as well as in terms of the skills and expertise that participants bring to our board.