Spring has arrived! Time for a good news blog.
1. The President signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which improves health insurance coverage for everyone, e.g., no declinations for pre-existing conditions, and may make health insurance more accessible for tens of millions of people who are currently uninsured. The legislation is quite detailed, rather than the sort that is made up as it goes along after enactment (I have never understood how voting for a concept to be defined by regulations later is responsible governance). There are plain-language resources describing the new law, so you can check how much of your healthcare reform wish list was satisfied. May all your dreams come true (within the next eight years). The Act isn’t horrible, which appears to be the standard we find satisfactory these days. We’ll call this good news.
2. San Francisco wasted no time in moving to plug gaps left by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The Mayor’s immediate response to the new law was to announce the wonderful Healthy San Francisco program will continue, for those city residents who will still be uninsured and do not qualify for another government health program. This is good news. Let’s hope the next mayor is as forward looking. Add this to your list of mayoral and supervisor candidate questions.
3. The San Francisco public library system is the best in the world. I don’t say that from personal experience or based on extensive research, but what could a library system do that ours does not? It offers a stunningly extensive collection with every single item available upon your request, delivered to the library branch of your choice. Well, perhaps there is a restricted circulation element, but it’s not enough to diminish the glow. There are good people in the branches who will recommend terrific books it would never have occurred to you to read. These people will even let you linger a little longer past closing, if you were late getting out of work and breathlessly made it in the door. It’s easy to be nice to these people. Check out the calendar of events, exhibits, and classes. Free!!!!! Plus, soak in the sense of community that pervades every branch. I could go on. The City’s library system is good news.
4. San Francisco for Democracy (SF4D) has one of the most amazingly informative meet-ups around. All parties welcome, though admittedly the group leans left. The presenters are always on top of the issues, grounded in analysis and/or inquiry. The issues are always timely. There is no charge to participate in the meet-up, but if you want to vote when the group endorses candidates and ballot measures/initiatives, the annual membership is $25. Very cool and comfy sweatshirts available for purchase. Be there April 7 at Schroeder’s/240 Front Street, in the back, 7:00 p.m. Get smart about the June election issues from people who know, among people who ask thoughtful questions. SF4D is good news for democracy.
5. Prop 15 is on the ballot in June. Public financing for candidates. Read up here, and be persuaded. Be ready to mark that ballot Yes! on 15. Elections money can’t buy would be good news.
6. The air has a lovely, soft quality. That’s night jasmine making your knees weak when you catch the fragrance. People in the parks are sitting in circles, talking and laughing. Their spirit is infectious. Spring is good news.
7. The San Francisco League of Women Voters is ramping up to educate and inform in advance of the June elections, and already making plans to be ready to be your most credible, neutral election source for the November mid-term elections. Funding is so terribly tight, the fact the office is able to stay open, with the best program manager any League could hope to have (feel better, Mary!), is remarkably good news. (Join or donate here. Action to advance democracy is good action.)
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