HEALTH CARE JUSTICE NOW: U2K UPDATE

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

April 15th, 2000 (Issue no. 8)

Health Care Justice NOW is a bi-monthly fax/email service to U2K endorsers.  It aims to keep U2K endorsers informed and engaged.  It is also an outreach tool, so please distribute it widely, and encourage other groups to subscribe by 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 Endorsements

U2K Flash Updates
     - Service Employees International Union Endorses U2K
     - Outreach to National Organizations to Join U2K Planned
     - U2K Steering Committee Members Target Key Congressional Races
     - Michigan Universal Health Care Action Wants to Know
     - U2K Steering Committee Continues to Grow
     - National Health Care for the Homeless Council Plans Press Conference 
     - March and Rally for Universal Health Care Planned at Republican Convention 
Faith Communities Update
Contact Us

NEW ENDORSEMENTS

National
Service Employees International Union (SEIU)

State
California Association of Midwives, 
Ad Hoc Committee to Defend Health Care of Rhode Island, 
Health Officers Association of California, 
Peace and Justice Commission of the Episcopal Diocese of Ohio, 
Green Party of Florida, 
Florida Council of Senior Citizens, 
United Nurses Association of California, 
Highland Valley Elder Service, Inc. (MA), 
Ohio Council of Churches, 
West Virginia Council of Churches, 
Michigan Church Women United  Local Gray Panthers of Central Contra Costa County (CA),
AFSCME UC Contract Campaign (CA), 
Berkeley Group Therapy Education Foundation (CA),
 Huron Valley Green Party (MI), 
New York Hotel Trades Council Pensioners Society (NY), 
Town of Hempstead, Town Board (NY), 
Older Women's League of Pinellas County (FL), 
Human Services Coalition of Miami (FL), 
Women's Cancer Resource Center (CA), 
Vote Health (CA)  

LIST OF U2K ENDORSERS CONTINUE TO GROW 
Nearly 300 organizations have endorsed U2K, from over 30 states.  Are you part of an organization that you think would like to join the campaign? Send the endorsement form in to the office today.  If you need U2K literature, contact the campaign office at 216/902-5577 or uhcan@uhcan.org

NEW WEB DESIGN
If you haven't done so already, check out the U2K web site at www.u2kcampaign.org.  It will be updated regularly to include the latest list of endorsers, campaign materials, information about parallel campaigns for universal health care and more.  If your organization has a web site that you'd like us to link to, let us know - and please link to ours.  

U2K EDUCATION HANDBOOK IN THE MAIL
The U2K Education Handbook is finally in the mail.  It contains information regarding the health care crisis, health care issues in the elections and the health care issues of various constituencies we hope to involve in the U2K Campaign.  Please use the Education Handbook to education the members of your organization, reach out to a broad array of groups to endorse the campaign and educate candidates in the upcoming 2000 elections.

U2K FLASH UPDATES

**Service Employees International Union Endorses U2K

The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) recently agreed to endorse the U2K Campaign.  The endorsement of SEIU represents the first large national labor organization that has endorsed the campaign.  SEIU representatives have educated other national labor organizations about the U2K Campaign, and they are considering endorsement.  SEIU's endorsement is a giant step forward to greater labor involvement in the U2K Campaign.  

**Outreach to National Organizations to Join U2K Planned

The U2K Campaign is launching an effort to expand and broaden its list of national endorsing organizations.  Outreach is planned to organizations representing major constituencies affected by the health care crisis and actively working towards health care justice, such as labor, faith communities, organizations for people with disabilities, health care justice groups, senior organizations, African American organizations, Hispanic groups and others.  The call to join the U2K Campaign can occur from the top down and the bottom up - if you work with an organization whose national affiliate has not joined the campaign, urge them to do so today.  To offer suggestions of national organizations that you would like the U2K Campaign should reach out to, give your suggestions to Rachel DeGolia, Campaign Coordinator at 216/902-5577 or uhcan@uhcan.org.  If you contact national organizations to join the campaign, please let us know.

**U2K Steering Committee Members Target Key Congressional Races, Plan to Raise Issue of Universal Health Care

Health care reform is promising to be a key issue in the upcoming Congressional elections.  Every candidate is talking about it - and reform proposals are a dime a dozen.  However, most candidates are talking around the edges of health care reform.  They are talking about piecemeal changes such as enacting a strong Patients' Bill of Rights or coverage for working families.  Candidates will not address the issue of fundamental health care reform unless a concerted movement is made to place it on their agenda.  

The U2K Campaign is planning to raise the issue of universal health care in key Congressional races across the country.  Activists in Rhode Island, Pennsylvania and other states are finding that health care reform will be a defining issue for candidates.  They are spreading the message that how candidates stand on the issue of universal health care will affect how their constituents vote.  U2K Coordinators are planning candidate forums, candidate questionnaires, delegations to candidates and other means of raising the issue of universal health care in the 2000 elections.  They are asking candidates questions like: "If you are elected, what will you do to ensure comprehensive, affordable, quality, publicly accountable health care for all?"  Over the next few months, the U2K Steering Committee members will be developing analyses of Congressional campaigns in their state, in order to focus organizing efforts on key contested races.  Additionally, they will be developing resources such as "candidate questions."  We hope this will give grassroots health care justice activists a strong sense of how to effectively organize around universal health care in the 2000 elections. Watch this space for details about candidate engagement in 2000.

**Michigan Universal Health Care Action Wants to Know: "Universal Health Care: If Not Now, When?"

On a blustery April day, MichUHCAN, a statewide health care justice organization in Michigan, held a forum entitled, "Universal Health Care: If Not Now, When?"  Over 40 people braved the weather to attend.  Dr. Claudia Fagan, past President of Physicians for a National Health Program and an expert on the Canadian health system, spoke about the health care crisis and the policy issues underlying it.  Lee Chilcote, Field Organizer for the U2K Campaign, addressed strategies for organizing around universal health care in the 2000 elections, including outreach to new constituencies, candidate engagement and "hot" health care issues in the 2000 elections.  While candidates are talking about piecemeal reform measures, citizens can raise the issue of universal health care as a top priority among voters, he said.

**U2K Steering Committee Continues to Grow

New Members of the U2K Steering Committee include Church Women United (NATIONAL), the West Virginia Council of Churches, the West Virginia Citizens Health Reform Coalition, Minnesota COACT and the Coalition for Wisconsin Health.  Currently, 19 states are represented on the U2K Steering Committee, as well as four national organizations.  The campaign is actively seeking Steering Committee members - who commit to coordinate U2K activities and organizing efforts in their state - in ten to fifteen more states before the 2000 elections begin to approach.  If you think your organization may be willing to participate in the campaign at the "Coordinator" level, contact us at 216/902-5577 or uhcan@uhcan.org

**National Health Care for the Homeless Council Plans Press Conference for "People Like Me" Contest, and Policy Symposium Featuring U2K

The National Health Care for the Homeless Council (NHCHC) plans to announce the winner of its "People Like Me" poster contest at their Policy Symposium in Denver from April 27-29.  The contest has involved homeless people and service providers in the movement for universal health care.  People without homes submitted original artwork, and the winning entry will be featured on a postcard, which will be sent to candidates in the 2000 elections.  The postcard urges candidates for Congress in the 2000 elections to support universal health care, stating that the senders vote depends on it. "Everybody needs health care.  Including people without homes," the postcard states.  "People like me"  For more information about the "People Like Me" campaign and Health Care for the Homeless projects across the country working on it, contact Kevin Lindamood, NHCHC Community Relations Coordinator at 410/837-5533 or klindamood@hchmd.org.

**March and Rally for Universal Health Care Planned at Republican Convention in Philadelphia on July 29th

Not to be outdone by last year's protests against the World Trade Organization in Seattle, the Ad Hoc Committee to Defend Health Care of Philadelphia is planning a March and Rally for universal health care at the Republican Convention on July 29th.  The organization is working with a broad array of groups, including labor and religious organizations, to plan an effective demonstration of public support for universal health care. Organizations from across the country are invited to participate and to send representatives.  Leaders of the U2K Campaign are hoping to hold a press conference, and to use the opportunity to build stronger ties with the array of progressive organizations working towards health care justice.  For more information, contact Harold Wallach of the Ad Hoc Committee to Defend Health Care of Philadelphia, at 215/242-5385 or kbatt@ccp.cc.pa.us.

FAITH COMMUNITIES UPDATE

Endorsements: We celebrate the continuing growth of the campaign throughout state ecumenical and interfaith councils, and groups related to those councils.  Endorsements from state groups to date include:  AK IMPACT, CA Church IMPACT, AR Interfaith Conference, FL Council of Churches, IL Conference of Churches, NY State Community of Churches, OH Council of Churches, and WV Council of Churches.  U2K supporters are urged to work with their own faith groups, as well as interfaith and ecumenical groups, to encourage additional support for U2K!

Literature: To facilitate greater distribution of materials related to the U2K work of faith communities, a "print pak" of resources is available. Hard copies of anything published on the internet are available, as well as additional materials related to specific faith groups. contact Linda Walling, Faith Communities Coordinator at <u2kwalling@aol.com> or 216/751-2440 for the resources that you need.

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

Rachel Rosen 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>

"U2K Update" ARCHIVES: Direct your Web browser to:<http://www.u2kcampaign.org/News> to see past issues of this newsletter.

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