Don’t Get Mad, Get Organized!
--Lee Mercer, HCAO Mobilization Committee Chair
HCAO and other activists statewide are angry at recent attempts by Congress to repeal the Affordable Care Act and by efforts by Republican legislators in Oregon to overturn bipartisan health care provider assessment legislation designed to maintain healthcare coverage for 300,000 Oregonians (We need to Vote Yes on Measure 101!!). All of this while over 20 states are attempting to take healthcare to a new level in this country creating an improved and expanded Medicare for All.
In the social and economic justice movement, however, our motto is Don’t Get Mad, Get Organized! We can sit around and whine about what’s wrong with our healthcare system, or we can build a robust statewide and nationwide movement to change it.
As the Mobilization Committee, our job is to facilitate the creation of local chapters throughout the state to support our efforts to pass a ballot measure creating health care for all in Oregon on the 2020 Presidential ballot. As an overarching goal in preparing for this ballot measure campaign, we need to increase our supporter database from the current 24,000 statewide supporters to 80,0000.
We are responsible for developing the strategies, tools, and resources needed to engage, educate, and mobilize Oregonians in our universal healthcare movement.
Working with our statewide chapters, we help facilitate projects including petitions (canvassing), write-ins, call-ins, rallies, film screenings, speaker events, house parties, rapid response events, etc. We also are here to help organize new chapters based on strategic criteria and assist in developing chapter advocacy and education plans.We currently have 13 statewide chapters and leader/contacts in 23 counties. To build on this base we need to:
1. Confirm a chapter leader, volunteer coordinator and data doctor for each chapter.
2. Discuss how each chapter wants to participate in accomplishing goals in our strategic plan.
3. Make sure each chapter has filled out a Chapter Agreement.
4. Have each chapter select the Zip codes in their organizing area to create queries to build their membership lists from the statewide E-Tapestry database.
5. Develop engagement plans with chapters to select appropriate goals to support an average of at least 100 new contacts on Statements of Support monthly to meet organizing goals (80,000 by 2020, 1400 per month statewide).
6. Some chapter options for building our supporter base and educating public on universal health care:
1,. Organize two to four rallies/sign-waving events annually with street clip-boarding (or I-pad tablets).
ii. Organize two to four speaking events annually
iii. Organize two to four film screenings annually.
iv. Host one to two statewide tour events (forums, theater, Mad as Hell Doctors)
v. Organize two to four house parties per year.
vi. Organize 6-12 tabling opportunities (farmers markets, art or cultural fairs, free speech areas at local colleges or other events or locations).
vii. Canvass (residential) two to four neighborhoods in conjunction with Neighborhood Leader, PCP or other political canvassing.
viii. Seek a city or county resolution supporting health care for all.
7. Possible statewide tour ideas for 2018:
i. Health Care for All Oregon/Mad as Hell Doctors traveling Medicine Show
ii. Regional healthcare forums
iii. Michael Milligan’s (formerly toured Oregon with Mercy Killers) new play Side Effects.
8. Other ways chapters and local leaders can help meet our goals in 2018:
i. Help us identify a statewide Volunteer Coordinator to replace Jana Gregory.
ii. Let us know what equipment (projector, sound, banners, literature, help with tabling fees) you need to do your outreach work.
iii. Identify and train chapter volunteer and data coordinators.
iv. Help us track speaking events, tabling, film screenings etc.
If you would like more information on how you can get involved with building or strengthening our HCAO chapter structure in Oregon, you can get on the Mobilization Committee call at 5 p.m., the first Monday of every month. To get on the Mobilization Committee call list or for more information e-mail me.
Thanks for your support of health care for all!