If the People Lead

One disadvantage of blogging is that you put your principles in writing and then you have to answer to yourself. Yesterday it was cold, I was totally chilled after driving around all day making visits, and I did not want to go downtown to hold a sign once again for health care reform. But I had to. I kept getting emails like this–

Join us to call for urgent action from Congress to create more jobs for Rhode Islanders, reduce damaging state budget cuts by sending federal money to the state, and finish the job on health insurance reform.
We can’t solve the economic crisis in Rhode Island or around the country unless Washington helps by creating jobs, covering the uninsured, lowering health care costs, and helping to close state budget gaps.
We need Rhode Island’s members of Congress to push their colleagues and Congressional Leadership to get this done!
Join Rhode Islanders, union members, small business owners, and the faith community to call on Congress and the President to act now for:
The JOBS FOR MAIN STREET Act to help reduce the Rhode Island budget deficit and to extend unemployment and COBRA for unemployed workers,
NATIONAL HEALTH CARE REFORM to control costs, extend coverage to everyone and make sure insurers are treating consumers fairly,
and the PUT AMERICA TO WORK Act to create jobs for unemployed workers in urban core communities and meet community needs.

Hosted by:
Ocean State Action
RI Jobs with Justice
SEIU 1199 NE
RI AFL-CIO
Direct Action for Rights and Equality
American Medical Students Association, Warren Alpert Medical School
Open Table of Christ Church
OpenDoors
RI Progressive Democrats of America
Brown University Student Labor Alliance
RI National Organization for Women

I wish I had my reporter’s hat on, or a tape player. Among the speakers were George Nee of AFL-CIO, Dr. Hanna Watson of the Warren Alpert School of Medicine at Brown University, Pat Crowley of Rhode Island’s Future. Labor was well-represented, and organizers for the unemployed spoke for Rhode Islanders who need a living wage. Tom Sgouros, candidate for Treasurer was there. There was a warm endorsement of Senators Whitehouse and Reed, who sent representatives. Other candidates also, sorry I don’t have their names. I ran into my friend and writing-group partner Ruth, who could represent the citizens who are covered by Medicare but very concerned about what is happening to all the people left out of the system.

The Providence Journal and I estimated about 100 people there, but you’ll get more detailed reporting from me, your citizen-journalist.

It’s a strain to have to keep doing this, but our politicians really do pay attention. For everyone who was able to get downtown yesterday there were more who were there in spirit, and even more who vote. Demonstrations are one way of demonstrating support for reform. You have to do something. Otherwise louder and well-funded voices will be the only ones heard.

DO WE FEEL A PULSE? This health care debate is giving me an ulcer, but here’s another push for a public option, or Medicare for all, or the ‘In God We Trust’ bill, or whatever you want to call it. Call it the ‘Never Visit Kmareka Site’ bill and if it will help Americans get access to health care I’ll march for it.

PEOPLE’S PRESS– Good coverage from Rhode Island’s Future including video of all the speeches. You might see Ninjanurse in the right hand corner, because they liked my sign and told me to hold it up high. I tried to put a word of sense into the Journal comments, but my word of sense vanished. Was it censored out, or more likely just dropped? Anyway, I’ll try again. The Journal coverage of this action is pretty well buried by now anyway.

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One response

  1. Thanks so much for coming out yesterday! It was certainly a few degrees below comfortable, which just reflects the extra degrees of commitment in everyone who was there. We’ll get there!

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