HEALTH CARE JUSTICE NOW: U2K UPDATE

The Newsletter of the Universal Health Care 2000 Campaign (U2K)

March 1st, 2000 (Issue no. 5)

 
Health Care Justice NOW is a bi-monthly fax/email service to U2K endorsers. It aims to keep endorsers of U2K informed and engaged. It is also an outreach tool, so distribute it widely, and encourage other groups to subscribe through contacting us. There are over 250 individuals that subscribe to Health Care Justice NOW. (To unsubscribe, email us at uhcan@uhcan.org.)


Table of Contents:
- New Endorsers
- U2K Kicks Off Steering Committee
- State by State U2K Update (RI, IL, MD, CA, OH, TX, NJ, MO, NY)
- Steering Committee Swaps Organizing Tips and Strategies
- Organizing Handbook in the Mail
- Faith Communities Update
- Contact Us
- U2K Steering Committee Contacts
     -State-Based Groups
     -National Organizations

NEW ENDORSERS

National

American Medical Student Association; Migrant Clinicians Network

State

MASSCare; Tennessee Health Care Campaign; Vermont Health Care for All; Vermont Consumers Campaign for Health

Local

Gray Panthers of Huron Valley (MI), People's Progressive Network (MI), Older Women's League, Brooklyn Chapter (NY), Board of Social Concerns, North Alabama Conference, United Methodist Church (AL), Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Bellport (NY), Mid-Missouri Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromylagia Association (MO), Pastors for Peace, DC Chapter (DC), Alliance for Better Long Term Care (RI), Housing Network of RI (RI), CHIsPA (RI), Project New Urban Arts (RI), Gray Panthers of RI (RI), Northern RI Community Center (RI), Greater Elmwood Neighborhood Services (RI), Mental Health Association of Rhode Island (RI), Habitat for Humanity - Providence (RI), Providence Community Mediation Center (RI), Hope Center for Cancer Support (RI), Providence Family Learning Center (RI), Injured Workers of RI (RI), RI Peace and Justice Education Fund (RI), Shelter Services (RI), Durham Polishing Co. (RI), Wellspring Community School (RI), West Elmwood Development Corporation (RI), Westminster Senior Center (RI), Woonsocket Neighborhood Development Corporation (RI), Twentieth Century Creations (RI), Hairdressers Association of RI (RI), United Nurses and Allied Professionals (RI)

U2K KICKS OFF STEERING COMMITTEE

On February 21st, the U2K Steering Committee led its first conference call with representatives from 11 states and 2 national organizations, as well as from the three founding organizations, UHCAN!, the National Council of Churches and the Gray Panthers. The energy was palpable as U2K endorsers swapped organizing stories and began to set monthly strategic priorities of the campaign.

From now on, Health Care Justice NOW will feature a state-by-state update on the 1st of each month. At the end of this email, there is a list of current Steering Committee members as well as contact information. We encourage you to call on them to engage in U2K activities in your state. Here goes:

STATE-BY-STATE U2K UPDATE

RI

Coalition for Consumer Justice, Arline Bolvin, Director

Over 25 groups have endorsed U2K to date, from a broad array of constituencies. They have targeted another 20 to 30 groups. They would like the list of endorsers in RI to grow to at least 75 organizations.

IL

Illinois Campaign for Better Health Care, Michelle Mascaro, Organizer; Illinois Conference of Churches, Nancy Tegtmeier, Associate Director

The Illinois Conference of Churches has made U2K a major priority, and a primary staff duty of Nancy Tegtmeier. They have worked on universal health care for over a year, and are excited to join the U2K Campaign.

The IL Campaign for Better Health Care is coordinating "IU2K" in tandem with U2K. They have mapped out the principles of universal health care, modeled after the U2K principles, and are discussing inclusive ways of talking about the issue. They are planning to hold hearings in every Congressional District in the state, and to develop a candidate questionnaire after the Primaries. They will also bird-dog candidates during the elections.

National Health Care for the Homeless Council, Kevin Lindamood, Community Relations Coordinator

HCH is featuring a keynote address and several workshops on U2K at their Policy Symposium April 27-29 in Denver, CO, and planning the People Like Me postcard campaign, which seeks to get homeless people and service providers involved in advocacy for universal health care. In addition they are working to reach their network of 30 member agencies and 128 HCH projects to endorse and engage in U2K.

MD

Maryland Citizens Health Initiative, Vinnie DeMarco, Director

The MD group is working on a citizen's initiative for universal health care. They have set themselves a goal of bringing 2000 groups on board by 2000. So far, they have over 300 endorsers. They are currently working on getting endorsers of the MD initiative to endorse and engage in U2K as well.

CA

Health Care for All California, Don Bechler, HCA San Francisco

HCA California is working to bring all of the groups that signed on to State Bill 480, a bill that passed last year and mandates that the state investigate alternative methods of financing universal health care, on board U2K. They are also urging the 16 chapters of HCA California to endorse U2K.

OH

UHCAN Ohio, Larry Bresler, Director

UHCAN Ohio is bringing groups on board in Ohio, with key representation from labor groups and community organizations. They are also planning a national Day of Action on Oct. 15th with Jobs with Justice. They hope to broaden the Day of Action to include participation from the U2K network.

Austin, TX

Austin Gray Panthers, Charlotte Flynn, Convener

The Austin Gray Panthers just recently endorsed U2K at the Coordinator level. They are working to identify groups to reach out to for endorsement.

NJ

New Jersey Health Care for All, O'Brien Boldt, Chair; Chuck Rawlings, Faith Communities Coordinator

NJ Health Care for All is working to bring a broad array of organizations on board U2K. So far, they've gotten over 20 organizations to endorse. They are also launching a focused, limited strategy to reach key Congressional districts throughout the state. Chuck Rawlings and O'Brien Boldt are working especially hard on faith communities outreach, and are planning a major public event on May 7th featuring Robb Burlage, NCC, and Nick Unger, UNITE as speakers.

MO

Missourians for Single-Payer Health Care, Joy Martin, President

MoSP is working on a single-payer bill and the U2K Campaign in tandem. After a major rally in November, they brought close to 30 groups on board the campaign. They are planning a statewide conference on March 18th, and Vinnie DeMarco of MD is the keynote speaker, and will address U2K.

NY

Metro New York Health Care for All, Mark Hannay, Director

New York groups are working to broaden their base through outreach to providers, labor groups and faith communities. They have set themselves a target date of April 1st. Mark Hannay is working with Robb Burlage of NCC to plan a March 1st faith community seminar at Riverside Church. The endorsement of the New York State Health Care Campaign brought the coalition that won health care expansion for working families on board U2K.

STEERING COMMITTEE SWAPS ORGANIZING TIPS, STRATEGIES

This section of Health Care Justice NOW is an attempt to share some of the organizing strategies to emerge from the most recent Steering Committee call.

**Politics now, policy later. Organizations which support the goal of universal health care, but have not yet taken a stand on how to achieve it, should be invited to join the campaign and should find it appropriate to do so. The U2K Campaign has not debated or endorsed any specific solutions to achieve universal health care. That is the focus of the next stage of the movement, starting with the 2001 Congress, after there is much broader political support to make it happen. This makes it possible to bring in groups and constituencies new to the health care justice movement.

**Success in U2K depends upon setting goals for your organization and holding each other accountable, not waiting for meetings.

**The best recruitment occurs when you meet face-to-face asking organizations to endorse U2K. Mailings are only effective if there is personal follow up. Ask the contact person to take up the request to endorse with the organizational leadership, and then follow up once again.

**As much as possible, endorsers of the U2K Campaign - especially Steering Committee members - should share ideas and swap organizing stories. An email list serve will be created and shared with Steering Committee members, which can then share information with endorsers in their state. Also, Steering Committee members will be sent a current list of endorsers in their state, so they can facilitate networking within their state.

**In targeting new constituencies or organizations for endorsement of U2K, groups should find the right person to contact, and get an "in" with the organization. Endorsement will come easier if one of their own members makes the request. The message must be tailored to physicians can talk about the way that physicians are directly affected by the health care crisis.

**Endorsement works from the top down and the bottom up. While sometimes, local organizations won't endorse until the national does, often local affiliates can encourage their national to endorse. This can be a key strategy for bringing larger national organizations on board.

**National organizations that sign on to U2K can work to urge local chapters to endorse, and can provide state groups with a contact list. For instance, Health Care for the Homeless has agreed to provide a list of their projects and clinics to facilitate outreach of state groups to HCH providers. To obtain contact information for an HCH project in your state, contact U2K staff.

ORGANIZING HANDBOOK IN THE MAIL

After much delay it's finally here. Check the mail this week for your copy of the Organizing Handbook. Consider ways your organization can engage in U2K. Download extra copies from the web site (www.u2kcampaign.org).

FAITH COMMUNITIES UPDATE

A one page promotional piece has been developed for use in faith community outreach. Contact Faith Communities Coordinator Linda Walling if you would like a copy to circulate among the faith groups in which you participate (216-751-2440 or u2kwalling@aol.com).

U2K work is gaining momentum among the faith communities. Gloria Weber (Interfaith Voices for Peace and Justice) reports that she is presenting a

U2K workshop for Lutheran churches in St. Louis on March 1; Robb Burlage

(National Council of Churches) and Chuck Rawlings (NJ Faith Community

Campaign) are convening their March 1 Interfaith Health Seminar at Riverside Church in NY around the topic "The Faith Community and Grass Roots Health Care Campaigns." Sammy Mayer reports that Gethsemane Lutheran Church in St. Louis will sponsor an "offering of letters" for universal health care during their Lenten observances.

CONTACT US (Let us know what you are doing in your state or region.)

Rachel DeGolia, Campaign Coordinator
Lee Chilcote, Field Organizer
U2K Campaign
2800 Euclid Ave., Suite 520, Cleveland OH 44115
Phone: 216/902-5577 * Fax: 216/241-8423
Email: <uhcan@uhcan.org>
Web Site: http://www.u2kcampaign.org

Linda Walling, Faith Outreach Coordinator
U2K Campaign
15905 Fernway Rd.
Shaker Hts. OH 44120
Phone: 216/751-2440
U2kwalling@aol.com

REQUEST TO INCLUDE NEWS about your organization's activities on behalf of U2K and health care justice to this newsletter: Send your message to <uhcan@uhcan.org>

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U2K Steering Committee Contacts

STATE-BASED GROUPS

CA
Don Bechler
Health Care for All California
3407 24th St. # 28
San Francisco CA
94110-3755
415/695-7891 (T)

dbechler@value.net

CA
Aroza Simpson
Gray Panthers of San Francisco
1182 Market St. Room 203
San Francisco CA
94102
415/552-8801 (T)

graypanthersfaction@juno.com

FL
Eileen Jacobs, Co-Chair
Florida Health Care for All
2007 Ripon Dr.
Clearwater FL 33764
727/446-2897 (T)
eileenoneal@webtv.net


IL (faith community)
Nancy Tegtmeier, Associate Director
Illinois Conference of Churches
2211 W. Wabash Ave.
Springfield IL 62704
217/698-3440 (T)
ICCNRT@juno.com


IL
Michelle Mascaro, Organizer
Illinois Campaign for Better Health Care
1325 S. Wabash # 305
Chicago IL 60605
312/913-9448 (T)
cbhc@enteract.com


MD
Vinnie DeMarco, Director
Maryland Citizens Health Initiative
2600 St. Paul St.
Baltimore MD 21218
410/235-9000 (T)
demarco@mdinitiative.org


MI
Marjorie Mitchell, Chair
MichUHCAN
35828 Smithfield Court
248/477-7911 (T)
MJMitchell@ameritech.net


MO
Joy Martin, President
Missourians for Single-Payer Health Care
4143 Federer Place
St. Louis MO 63116-2816
314/832-7545 (T)
JOYJoytotheworld@cs.com


NJ
O'Brien Boldt
Health Care for All New Jersey
62-B Dwight Place
Englewood NJ 07631
201/569-5721 (T)
201/569-5722 (F)
obboldt@carroll.com


NY
Mark Hannay, Director
Metro NY Health Care for All
130 William St. Ste. 700
NY, NY 10038
212/964-3534 (T)
212/571-3332 (F)
metrohealth@igc.org


RI
Arline Bolvin, Director
Coalition for Consumer Justice
145 Waterman Ave.
Providence RI 02906
401/521-1534 (T)
consumerj@surfree.com


Austin, TX
Charlotte Flynn
Gray Panthers of Austin
7710 West Rim Dr.
Austin TX 78731
512/345-1869 (T)
wbillflynn@aol.com


NATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS

Kevin Lindamood, Community Relations Coordinator
National Health Care for the Homeless Council
111 Park Ave.
Baltimore MD 21201
410/837-5533 (T)
klindamood@hchmd.org


Simon Ahtoridis, Legislative Affairs Director
American Medical Student Association
1902 Association Dr.
Reston VA 20191-1502
703/620-6600 (T)
lad@www.amsa.org


Gloria Weber
Interfaith Voices for Peace and Justice
4910 Valley Crest
St. Louis MO 63128
314/892-1177 (T)
revweb@worldnet.att.net