President's report: It’s time to fish or cut bait

President's report: It’s time to fish or cut bait

HCAO's Board is going into a strategic retreat the weekend of September 24-25, with a report-back at the Membership Meeting November 12 in Corvallis. As we prepare for the retreat, we are doing some serious thinking about the need to accelerate and enhance our efforts towards winning an Oregon ballot measure in November of 2020 creating universal publicly funded health care. Four short years away, we have an immense amount of work to do to prepare to win this fight.

Just as our friends are facing with the ColoradoCare initiative this November, we must be doing a sober analysis of the millions of dollars which will be thrown at us by the insurance and pharmaceutical (and other) industries and be prepared to have engaged sufficient Oregon voters to hold our majority support when we arrive at the polls.

In studying ballot measure efforts in Oregon, we note that a good way to engage the electorate is to get out and get voters to pledge a yes vote on universal publicly funded health care. One ballot measure group’s goal is to collect 65,000 signatures on pledges to vote yes on their measure, calculating that to be about 3% of likely voters this year.

Among the progress metrics we will build into an operations plan at our planning session will be how many voters’ pledges we need to collect and enter into our e-Tapestry database. Currently approaching 20,000 folks, let’s say, just for the argument, that we set a goal of 80,000 supporters in the database by 2020. To achieve these additional 60,000 supporters, we will need to enter 1,250 new folks each month into the database, starting this November through the 2020 elections.

And this is where you come in!

What we need is to hear from local chapters and activists how many new folks you can get to sign our Statement of Support monthly at farmers' markets, community events, house parties, etc. And who from among local groups can volunteer to enter this information into the e-Tapestry database in a timely manner (at least monthly)?

This will help us understand what other efforts we need to take to begin reaching out to sufficient Oregon voters to win single payer health care at the ballot in 2020.

Please email me with estimates on how many individuals you or your local group can sign up each month for the next four years, who you have to enter data into e-Tapestry, and other ideas on how to build our campaign

It’s time to fish or cut bait!

-Lee Mercer, HCAO President