One of the most important decisions coming out of the May 21 HCAO Membership Meeting was the unanimous vote by member organization representatives to transform HCAO into a “lean, mean, well-funded winning machine” by shifting our emphasis to massive statewide educational efforts as Health Care for All Oregon - now as a 501(c)3 - and creating HCAO-Action, a 501(c)4 to begin planning for a ballot measure to create universal, publicly funded healthcare.
One of the benefits of this transformation is that donations to HCAO will be tax deductible. Further, though, it will make HCAO more appealing to grant funding organizations, to memberships by individuals, churches and other non-political nonprofits as well as municipalities. It will also allow us to provide fiscal sponsorship grants to local groups. As reaching hundreds of thousands of Oregon voters is what will be needed to win in a ballot initiative campaign, focusing our membership organization on education and outreach to voters statewide will be our focus for the next three years. We must scale up film screenings, house parties, tabling at public events, presentations to businesses, churches, community and union groups to reach enough Oregonians and achieve our goal.
In the meantime, our new HCAO-Action board will begin designing the foundation for a campaign to pass a ballot measure (whether signature driven or by legislative referral) during the next presidential election in 2020. Much of the effort of our existing legislative and mobilization committee structures will shift to support the work of HCAO-Action.
For more information on the structural changes voted on in this decision, click here to view the Power Point presentation on the proposal to amend HCAO Articles of Incorporation. Thanks to all attending HCAO member organization representatives and other activists for your work and your decisions at the HCAO annual meeting. You are helping pave the way to victory!
- Lee Mercer, HCAO President