News from around the state:
Eugene Springfield Solidarity Network/Jobs with Justice
We have had some good wins of late; ESSN was once again in attendance during the Lane County Commissioners Board Meeting on Tuesday the 30th of August to oppose a proposal that would allow the commissioners to block local ballot initiatives. Dave Piccioni and I both spoke out against this proposal but the real kicker was our friends and allies at Community Rights Lane County. All and all a good day for Democracy. See Register Guard article: “Lane County commissioners reverse course.”
I would also like to congratulate Lou Sinniger from Health Care for All-Oregon (HCAO) who received recognition for all of his activist work fighting for a Single Payer Health Care system that works for all Oregonians. ESSN also did a recent presentation in support of Measure 97
to HCAO. I would like to say it was my awesome skills as a presenter that convinced them to endorse Measure 97, but they had voted to do that before I even showed up. So a big thank you to HCAO for fighting for working families.
--In Solidarity, Lonnie L. Douglas, Co-Chair, Eugene Springfield Solidarity Network
Region 1 (Mid-Valley)
Mike Huntington reports that MVHCA hosted a benefit concert for their Corvallis ballot measure, which urges legislators to pay attention to the RAND study and consider a publicly funded and managed health care system. The event raised $1,500 to pay for signs and conducting the campaign, including use of canvassers and lawn signs.
Tim Roach adds that they are preparing to host the Nov. 12 membership meeting in Corvallis.
Edie Orner reports that she made a presentation at the Episcopal Church in Albany for Woman's Spirituality Day and handed out application forms for HCAO membership to persons representing five Episcopal synods in the state. Edie said Ryan Douglas will be making a presentation on M97 to the Albany group.
Region 4 (Southwest)
Kathy Phillips reports the Eugene group hosted a presentation on M97 by Ryan Douglas, though he was unable to show a video on the legislation. They've been tabling at the Saturday Market, and activists gathered 50 signatures at the Labor Day picnic. The Oregon Health Policy Board is meeting at the Unitarian Universalist Church in Eugene on Sept. 25.
Joe Graf relates that Rogue Valley is continuing work on their ballot measure. They've developed materials to distribute, and did Labor Day picnic tabling, where they gathered 50 sign-ups. They talked to all three Democratic candidates, who were there.
Bob Bickers reports the small group in Roseburg is rebuilding; will be meeting monthly, with weekly emails. They’re reaching out for new members, and seeking a fall program. They have good contacts at the Methodist Church, and with a nurse who works with nutrition for Head Start. Rick Staggenburg, who recently moved to Douglas County, just joined them.
Metropolitan Regional Coordinating Council
We hosted a presentation on A Better Oregon by Michael Hayden, who thanked HCAO for endorsing Measure 97, asked for individual endorsements from members, and answered questions about how the money would be used, how to counter arguments against the measure, and what those arguments will be.
Ken Myers reported on Oregon Health Policy Board meetings. The last meeting covered four reports, including one on coming up with a program to keep providers in underserved areas, an excellent quarterly report (available online) about what is happening with CCOs; and a report on making data more available and consistent across the state (for billing, etc). OHPB is trying to find out more about CCOs with listening sessions; they will have a session in Portland on October 18 to hear members’ beliefs, concerns about their CCO. All are welcome to attend.
Thirty-one HCAO members in the Metro area have signed on to be contacts for the Legislative Contact Program –only four outlying districts don’t have any contacts at this point. Sandra Coyner is heading up the state effort. If anyone is interested, please let Sandra know Ken would like to get contacts together periodically to keep them involved and active.
Ken Myers reports that the HCAO business caucus with Richard Master (producer of the FixIt Movie) and Senator Michael Dembrow have set up a conference call with 50-60 business people. Master thinks Oregon is one of the prime spots for action on single-payer health care. Ken is having a showing of the FixIt Movie at the Holladay Park Plaza in October.
Barbara Council has been to several street fairs and coordinated HCAO presence at Sunday Parkways.