Sharpening Our Tools

Tools for carrying out our Health Care Revolution

--by Lee Mercer, ,HCAO President and Mobilization Committee Chair

     Save Our Health Care Rally, Medford 2017

     Save Our Health Care Rally, Medford 2017

As we move into a playing defense as well as playing offense mode (see National Single Payer Conference article), we see the basic tools of our movement remain the same. Our defensive mode is reflected in statewide rallies Jan 15 to defend Medicaid and Medicare supported by HCAO in Portland, Corvallis, Eugene, La Grande, Medford and other cities. Our offensive mode is public education on the need for single payer with speakers, forums, film screenings, events and tabling throughout the state

And what are the tools of our health care revolution? Banners, picket signs, clip boards with Statements of Support, brochures, flyers, t-shirts, bumper stickers and membership packets. These are the tools of our frontline work to educate tens of thousands of Oregonians on the need for universal, publicly funded health care. As we discussed at the statewide meeting in November, we need to build our database from 20,000 to 60,000 supporters (roughly 3% of the electorate) as we prepare for a ballot measure campaign in 2020.

                  Lou and Lee at OSEA, 2016

                  Lou and Lee at OSEA, 2016

But to enhance our capacity, HCAO will be working to improve our E-Tapestry database and put new technology to work in support of this effort. A committee has been working on refining our database to be not only a fundraising but also a community organizing tool. Local data doctors are being trained to input the hundreds of names collected on clipboards at events throughout the state. Then, reports are built so that local chapters can identify all the HCAO supporters in their area for outreach to promote events and to activate volunteers and advocates. If your chapter wants help with creating a report on activists in your area, let me know.

A new volunteer for HCAO can now fill out a Volunteer Involvement Form on the website listing his or her skills and this will be e-mailed directly to our Statewide Volunteer Coordinator, Jana Gregory. She will then point the volunteer towards action opportunities or towards volunteer coordinators in chapters around the state. Chapters are encouraged to identify a volunteer coordinator for your area (let me know!.)

Also, to automate our recruiting of supporters, we now have an automated Statement of Support on the website. We have budgeted to pilot the use of tablets or I-Pads instead of clipboards in some HCAO chapters this year. Instead of collecting info on paper, new supporters’ names and contact information can be filled out on a tablet and automatically entered into the database (saving lots of data input labor)! Let me know if your chapter would like one of these tablets, or start using your own computer, I-pad or tablet now!

Also, for those wishing to become Individual Members of HCAO, that can be done on the website as well (rather than mailing in from the Membership Brochure). Click here to become an Individual Member of HCAO.

Finally, as we have lots of opportunities to do Power Point and film presentations to educate on single payer, we will be purchasing some Power Point projectors and sound equipment for several chapters that do not have access to them now. These will be helpful to do more screenings of Fix It: Healthcare at the Tipping Point and the new film on the single payer movement, Now is the Time: Healthcare for Everybody, coming soon to a venue near you! Let me know if your chapter needs some AV equipment.

So, let’s sharpen our tools and keep building our health care revolution!

Contact Lee Mercer HERE.