6:01 p.m.: Our online petition to save the renters' rebate just hit 1250 signatures. The response to the petition has been amazing. Spread the word!
5:05 p.m.: We've obtained an email copy of Assembly Speaker Karen Bass' statement that was read at the LA rally. The Speaker directly addresses the rebate program. Here's what the statement says:
"The Renters and Homeowners Assistance Program is designed to assist seniors, the disabled and low-income citizens; all of whom are among the most vulnerable. The Governor's decision to eliminate funding from the Homeowner/Renter Assistance Program has left individuals on limited fixed incomes with difficult choices. What do you eliminate from a budget that barely allows for food, medicine and shelter?"
"Californians expect thoughtful leadership when it comes to balancing our budget. The state requires increased revenues in order to prevent cuts to such critical programs as the Renters and Homeowners Assistance Program. California must balance raising the revenue it needs while making sensible cuts that do not punish those in greatest need of assistance."
4:40 p.m.: More pictures roll in from the San Francisco rally.
Aaron Peskin, President of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors and Chair of the San Francisco Democratic Party
Assemblymember-Elect Tom Ammiano
2:50 p.m.: San Diego reports successful press conference. Speakers included representatives from California Alliance for Retired Americans, Golden State Manufactured-home Owners League, Access to Independence, Disability Rights California and Affordable Housing Coalition. Extensive media interest, with three separate TV stations there as well as the Union Tribune. TV media says they are heading from the press conference to a senior center and mobilehome park for more interviews.
2:15 p.m.: Los Angeles press conference participants report that a representative from Speaker Karen Bass' office is reading a letter from the speaker objecting to these cuts. We'll post the letter when we get it.
1:20 p.m.: Seniors in Selma (Fresno County) decide to stage impromptu rally at Veteran's plaza in Selma. This was not part of the planned Day of Action events, but seniors in Selma are so upset about the rebate veto that they are pulling together this small rally at 2:00 p.m.
12:15 p.m.: Big rally in San Francisco. Over 150 people. Many senior and disabled folks impacted by the loss of rebates spoke, as did community leaders. Assemblymember-elect Tom Ammiano and President of the Board of Supervisors Aaron Peskin spoke at the rally.
"Contra Costa Times on the day of action. Senior renter John Melone is interviewed: "We're catching it from every angle, particularly seniors and the disabled," said Melone, a former medical social worker who pays $500 a month for a room in a friend's Richmond home. "This is ridiculous, that people in their 70s have to decide they have to take a pill every other day so they can make rent."