Local Resolutions

HCAO’s new strategic plan has an action that we hope many activists will help with immediately – getting local resolutions from municipalities, counties, and perhaps school boards. A local resolution could be in support of an appropriate response by the state to the HB 2828 study, or it could be more general support of the sort of universal health care system we want.

  1. Purpose – Local resolutions can serve HCAO in several different ways

a.  Support a push for the state to respond appropriately to the HB 2828 study, or to support the general notion of an equitable, comprehensive, affordable, publicly funded, high quality health care system serving everyone in Oregon and eventually the United States.

b.  A campaign for local resolutions can have powerful effects in building local solidarity and enthusiasm among HCAO members and supporters and in generally recruiting new supporters.

c.  The most powerful local resolution will involve as many people as possible in the conversation. Convincing a local government to pass a resolution by gathering many signatures (informal, not as a filed initiative) can open dialogue with many. Even better is convincing the local body to put the resolution on the local ballot to involve voters. In a few (but not most) localities, this can be done by initiative petition.

2.  How to do the campaign – Mobilization, Education, and Communications committees will work with the Legislative committee to help local groups with this task. If you have questions, contact Charlie Swanson.

a.  Assemble a local team of strong leaders that includes both HCAO supporters and people recruited to the HCAO campaign for the purpose of obtaining a local resolution. If possible, include people who have worked on local resolutions in your community.

1)  Communities with a recent resolution relating to excessive money in politics – Ashland, Baker City, Beaverton, Coos Bay, Corvallis, Eugene, Lincoln County, Multnomah County, Newport, Silverton, Talent, West Linn, Yachats.

2)  Communities with a recent resolution relating to the earned income tax credit – Benton County, Clackamas County, Eugene, Hillsboro, Lane County, Multnomah County, Springfield, Beaverton

b.   Discuss which content would work best in your locality. Let HCAO leaders know what you decide. There may be good reasons for deviating from the suggestions in this document, but make sure that it makes sense to HCAO leadership.

c. Immediately begin collecting, preparing, and preserving local “stories” to use in the campaign. Stories are powerful persuaders, and local stories are best, if they can be found. (Also send stories to the state HCAO Story Bank.)

d. Build and maintain solidarity among this local team with meetings, potlucks, fun and serious events.

e. Contact friends and allies and build a list of people who will support the local campaign in some way.

f. Decide whether or not you will gather signatures to help pressure the local body to support a resolution. In general, signature gathering is a powerful tool that can also be used to build the organization. Make sure to also collect contact information (email & phone) if the signer is willing.

g. Hold local private and public/media events to develop local awareness of HCAO issues and solutions. The local team should decide how much background education on the issue should precede telling the community specifically about the proposed local resolution. These events will promote HCAO generally as well as the local resolutions campaign. HCAO should be prepared to supply materials and speakers.

h. Meet with decision-makers (i.e. the city or county officials who will vote on the proposed local resolution). Meet face-to-face several times, establishing a relationship and making a clear, firm “ask.” Send email to councilors and participate in online forums set up for discussing local issues. Invite them for tea, coffee, beer, wine, etc.

i. Contact media about intent to propose local resolution. Send LTEs.

j. Propose the resolution as appropriate to the local body.

k. Line up speakers at the meeting of the local council, according to its rules. Provide them with talking points.

l. Turn out as many people as you can for the meeting(s) at which the local resolution will be discussed and voted on; make speeches; keep in touch with media.

m. The local body may well want to put the resolution in their own words. Be open to reasonable changes, but be wary of changes to the nature of the resolution.

n. Celebrate victory, and send a copy of the approved resolution and other relevant information to Charlie Swanson.

3. Content of a resolution – There are two suggested versions below on this page. The first is intended to push the legislature to respond appropriately to the HB 2828 study by creating some sort of transparent public process to do so. This resolution makes sense through January 2017. The second resolution is more generic in support of the sort of system we want, and is useful at any time. The whereas portions of the two resolutions differ slightly, and it is certainly reasonable choose the whereas portion of the first resolution to go with the resolved portion of the second (and vice versa), or to mix and match individual clauses.

4. Where should HCAO seek local initiatives? Everywhere in Oregon where activists think it would be useful. The resolutions could be from a city, a county, or an organization.
 

Resolution option 1 – urges 2017 legislature to respond to the HB 2828 study

On the front side for petitioners to sign, put a short version of the resolution:

We want the [local body here] to call on the 2017 Oregon legislature to create a transparent public process to design a system that provides timely access to affordable comprehensive health care for all Oregon residents, ensures choice of provider, has effective cost controls, equitable access, and a focus on preventative care.

On the back side, write out the full suggested resolution:

Whereas, there are many components that contribute to good health, including the ability to respond to sickness, disease and injury; and

Whereas, achieving the goal of living a healthy life is impossible without the ability to access health care; and

Whereas, a publicly funded universal health care system can help businesses by reducing costs for those that currently provide employee health insurance, and help individuals by disconnecting health care from employment; and

Whereas, the lack of available health care is a barrier to opportunity, success and quality of life; and

Whereas, the access to healthcare by all members of a community greatly reduces the risk of contagious diseases, significantly reduces absenteeism for businesses, while simultaneously increasing the quality of life for the whole community; and

Whereas, Oregonians should not be divided between those who can afford to be healthy and those who cannot;

Now, therefore, be It Resolved, __________________ urges the Oregon legislature, in the 2017 session, to create a transparent public process to design a system that provides timely access to comprehensive health care for all Oregon residents, ensures choice of provider, has effective cost controls, equitable access, and a focus on preventative care. The process shall begin with the recommendations of the study authorized by HB 2828 from the 2015 session to best meet the criteria described in chapter 712, Oregon laws 2013, and the system will be affordable for families, businesses, and society.
 

Resolution option 2 – support for a universal health care system in Oregon

On the front side for petitioners to sign, put a short version of the resolution:

We want the [local body here] to call on Oregon to create an equitable, comprehensive, affordable, high quality, publicly funded health care system serving everyone in Oregon.

On the back side, write out the full suggested resolution:

Whereas, there are many components that contribute to good health, including the ability to respond to sickness, disease and injury; and

Whereas, achieving the goal of living a healthy life is impossible without the ability to access health care; and

Whereas, health care should be available to everyone; and

Whereas, the lack of available health care is a barrier to opportunity, success and quality of life; and

Whereas, Oregonians should not be divided between those who can afford to be healthy and those who cannot; and

Whereas, Oregonians should not be divided between those who have hopes and dreams and those whose sickness, disease or injury robs them of their hopes and dreams;

Now, therefore, be It Resolved, __________________ urges the Oregon legislature, in the 2019 session, to refer to the voters a measure creating an equitable, comprehensive, affordable, high quality, publicly funded health care system serving everyone in Oregon. The system should be transparent, and accountable, involve meaningful public participation, and be affordable for families, businesses, and society.