News from Around the State

News from Around the State

Region 1:
Marion/Polk Counties:

Lee Mercer reports Silverton has a new “Red Door” women’s group to follow up with resistance, and several members are hosting a Fix It house party soon. Salem is tabling at an art fair.

MidValley Health Care Advocates:

NVHCA 4th parade.jpeg

Mike Huntington reports that the July 4 parade brought out a larger turnout than he could recall, with about 35 people with red shirts and signs and good energy.
The MVHCA legislative team met every two weeks during the session, led by Bruce Thomson, and the team who met with legislators felt it went well. MVHCA is reaching out to other areas to develop relationships and to approach candidates supportive of health care reform.

Mike taped this interview with Shirley Gregory on the Canadian health care system at the Corvallis farmers' market:

On July 20, MVHCA also hosted a meeting of local nurses organized by Betty Johnson, Bruce Thomson, Dagmar Johnson, Laurie Labbitt, and Mike Huntington. Betsy Zucker was the guest speaker.

Corvallis nurses meeting organized by MVHCA, July 20, 2017. Photo by Ricardo Small.

Region 2:
Health Care Reform Action Team

Cheryl Simpson reports that June began on a high note with great attendance at the first Eastern Oregon screening of Now is the Time, a new documentary on the need for universal, publicly funded health care. The ORA Health Care Reform Action Team co-sponsored the event with the Union County Democrats and the Union County Progressives. Thanks to the great group of people who planned, promoted and produced this 2-hour community presentation. A special thank you goes out to our panelists: Gene Uphoff, MD; Kathy Pfister-Minogue, Retired MSN; Rebecca Tilley, RN Surgical Nurse; Steve Clement, La Grande City Mayor and Moderator, and Thorman Hulse. 
On June 28, HCRAT is tabling with Union County Progressives at the second Eastern Oregon screening of the film in Baker City at the request of hosting group - Power of People: Eastern Oregon (POPEO).  Keep posted for a public screening of the documentary, Big Pharma, which we plan to help sponsor sometime this fall.

Pill Bottle Drive
HCRAT’s momentum continues as we move into July and August. This is especially important in light of the potential loss of health coverage for millions of Americans if, and when, the Senate passes their proposed American Health Care Act of 2017. HCRAT is partnering once again with the Union County Progressives, this time for the Pill Bottle Drive. We are collecting empty pill bottles to use to deliver messages about the inadequacies of the GOP bill to Congressman Greg Walden. An estimated 220 family, friends and neighbors will die annually in Congressional district 2 if this bill becomes law.

This “message in the bottle” campaign is intended to coincide with and celebrate the 52nd anniversary of Medicare. Don’t forget to celebrate Medicare’s 52nd birthday at the La Grande Farmers’ Market on Saturday, July 29, where bottles containing messages to our nation’s leaders will be on display. Let’s do all we can to get the word out and support Health Care for All.

The agenda for the ORA Health Care Reform Action Team meeting on July 18 included preparing the pill bottle messages, news update about the HCAO statewide movement for universal, publicly funded health care on the 2020 Oregon ballot, and opportunities to get involved in local actions that help educate and inform people about “single-payer health care.”  Now more than ever, we need to address the urgency for true health care reform. 

For more information about the ORA Health Care Reform Action Team, please contact Cheryl Simpson at 541-663-6468.

Klamath Falls:

Lee reports that Julie Ryder is helping build a Klamath Falls chapter, with help from Wes Brain. They did a rally on July 15, working with other groups.

Region 3:
Lincoln County:

Joanne Cvar reports the Lincoln County Democratic Precinct Committee invited HCAO Newport to table with them at the County Fair, August 18-20.

Yamhill County:

Lee reports the Yamhill group is doing tabling for us. He plans a presentation in Tillamook.

Region 4:

Bob Fischer reports there will be a screening of Big Pharma, at the Bandon Public Library on August 6, which Lee will attend.


Lee reports that Florence screened Big Pharma at the library, which he also attended.


Kathy Filips reports that there was a good turnout in the Eugene area for the forum on July 5 with Senators Wyden and Merkley. The Eugene group attended the Oregon Country Fair. With health care songs. Larry Symonds made a presentation on peer-to-peer communication at their last chapter meeting, and Henry Elder gave a talk about the failures of the market in regard to medical care. medicine. They are training on communication and legislation.

Rogue Valley:

Joe Graf reports July 4 activities in Ashland, Eagle Point, and Central Point, with a lot of red shirts. They shared booth in Ashland and signed up 45 people. They hosted a film screening of Big Pharma at the Unitarian Church, and two screenings of Now’s the Time at Eagle Point and the Medford Library. Their committee is offering orientation for new members.

Special report from Wes Brain:

HCAO parade entry July 4, Eagle Point, Oregon.
Wearing Rosie shirts: Gemma Marlia-Johnson (left)
and Mary Ann Thomas.

Eagle Point, Oregon’s historical roots include three sisters who put Health Care for All-Oregon in the limelight this Fourth of July. Having grown up where their family had lived for generations, Eagle Point’s Liz Marlia-Stein, Mary Ann Thomas, and Gemma Marlia-Johnson put sibling heads together and came up with a plan for this town of nearly 9,000 in northern Jackson County. They each bought a Rosie Nurse t-shirt, borrowed an HCAO banner from the Rogue Valley chapter, along with a "tabling pack” consisting of signs, buttons, bumper stickers and such. And with their commitment to universal single payer health care these sisters did it--they made some history in 2017 with HCAO’s presence in July 4 festivities!                                                               

The HCAO informational table was a hit with a community that was somewhat skeptical, but wanted to learn more. Besides sharing HCAO brochures and materials, selling some buttons and Rosie Nurse shirts, the sisters gathered local signatures on the Statements of Support for adding more names to the growing statewide database for Health Care for All-Oregon.

Wes Brain with "Eagle Point Sister" Liz Marlia-Stein
(Liz lives in McMinnville these days), Salem Capitol-
Apr 20, 2017, HCAO Legislative Lobby Day and Rally


Region 5:

Gary Sinnen reports that the Clackamas Chapter had its third monthly meeting, with 15-20 people and a lot of energy and ideas. They'll table at the City Celebration on July 22 and seek to co-table with Clackamas Democrats at the August County Fair. They are working on the Milwaukie City Council to pass a resolution, and preparing to do one with Multnomah County. They plan a film series at Lake Oswego in the winter and spring, with our four major films, one a month. They’ll seek to work with independent theatres, as well. They are reaching out to an “Indivisible” group.
The Clackamas group meets on third Wednesdays, 6:30-8:00 p.m., at the Universal Unitarian Congregational Church at Willamette Falls in Oregon City. For more information, contact Karen Baker, 503.789.9925.

Metro Council:

Jim Robison reported he is working on a resolutions for Multnomah County and the Metro Council, as well as with outlying areas. There will be an October 6 HCAO fundraiser at the Riverside Golf Country Club in Portland, honoring Rep. Mitch Greenlick.
Tom Sincic reports the Portland Wyden/Merkley/Bonamici event was well-attended. Statements of Support ran out, so over 100 business cards were then handed out. New HCAO board member Nico Serra’s presentation/story was the highlight. A July 24 Medicare for All event is scheduled.
On July 26 Lee Mercer, Sandra Hernandes, and Kate Thomas will be on KBOO radio for an hour, working to engage new people with improved messaging.
Hyung Nam reports several health care events have been organized by other groups, attended by HCAO members in red t-shirts. He was interviewed by Street Roots, people concerned about cuts to Medicaid and promoting health care for all. One event, hosted by SEIU, focused on cuts to those with disabilities. The Socialist Alternative wants to protest the cuts and promote HCAO; these are opportunities to form alliances.
Hyung reports that volunteer orientation at Metro Council meetings will be monthly at 6 p.m. on the second Tuesday of the month, followed by the Council meeting in which Portland Metro activists discuss and plan local activities to promote Health Care for All. The meetings are at Holladay Park Plaza, 1300 NE 16th AV in Portland. Contact Ken Myers for more information.