Lobby Day 2017 was a busy one for Washington CAN! We stormed the Capitol Steps in Olympia for Equity Day — a rally with hundreds of activists from two dozen coalition partners pushing for fully-funded education in an equitable and just way that doesn’t hurt those most vulnerable in Washington. It was moving, emotional and best of all LOUD!
Also on Presidents’ Day, we participated in a press conference with Governor Jay Inslee about health care. Our Board Chair, Deana Knutsen served as emcee, long-time health advocate and witness (at the White House) to the signing of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Gina Owens reminded us how important the ACA has been. New Spokane member, Courtney Anderson was brilliant storyteller as she shared her story of beating cancer twice. She reminded us that cancer is persistent and she fears being able to fight cancer off if it resurfaces again and she is no longer covered because the ACA was repealed by Republicans and Trump.
In all, they conveyed just how much repealing the #ACA would cost Washington state — as outlined by a new report from Health Care for America Now. The report, A Cost Too High, calculated the cost to the state being $18 Billion in lost federal funding, more than $2 Billion to doctors and hospitals and the cost to each Washington recipient eliminated from support to be $3,005 per year.
We rallied outside Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers’ headquarters in Spokane on Monday, February 13th, to demand that she stand up to her peers and protect health care. We asked her WHERE IS YOUR HEART and tried to speak with her and tell her our stories of people who NEED their health care.
We prepared special presents for her — stuffed animals, each with a name and a story attached of an actual person who needs their health care. But, she was not there to hear from her constituents.
Rep. McMorris Rodgers and other Republican leaders are pushing to repeal the Affordable Care Act, which would leave thousands in her district without the quality, affordable health care they deserve. #SaveTheACA
On Sunday, January 15, Washington CAN! members were out in force at Westlake Park rallying to not just save health care, but to expand it so everyone in Washington is covered. Our leader Roi-Martin Brown addressed the crowd along with the Main Street Alliance of Washington leader Makini Howell who told their own personal stories of how the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has made a difference in their lives.
Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal led the rally with strong support from the crowd. She will be a fierce ally in Washington D.C. as the fight begins to #SaveTheACA.
We are facing the repeal of the ACA and potentially huge reductions in the support for Medicaid for low-income Washingtonians. We also face an attempt to privatize Medicare. Almost all of the progress made in the last decade in health care is in jeopardy. Washington CAN! is helping to lead the fight against these challenges. A bill is being drafted to protect Washington State against the possible destruction of huge portions of our health care system.
We’ve just set the date for our annual Summer Conference. This year our theme is “beyond basic needs.” It’s time for our community to push past being in survival mode and build communities where we all thrive! Join us and meet other leaders and members from across the state, learn more about our leadership council, get a chance to meet some of our board, and discover more about the power of grass roots organizing!
The Summer Conference will take place at the Double K Retreat in Easton, WA on Friday, September 16 through Sunday, September 18. We will have many more details in the coming weeks including information about transportation and what sessions we will offer.
We’ve got great news! We’ve been planning a celebration in Seattle to mark the 80th anniversary of Social Security and the 50th anniversary of Medicare. These two programs have been successful in providing health care and economic security for people of all ages.
AND ….drumroll …we’d like to announce the keynote speaker for our August 8th rally Social Security and Medicare: Celebrating Decades of Success: SENATOR BERNIE SANDERS!!!
As a lifelong champion for Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, Senator Bernie Sanders has spent his career fighting tirelessly for retirement security issues. He’s coming here to Seattle to help us celebrate these two great anniversaries.
The August 8th rally starts at 1:00 p.m. at downtown Seattle’s Westlake Park.
Other Speakers include:
Adam Smith, U.S. Representative
Kshama Sawant, Seattle City Council Member
Lynne Dodson – Secretary Treasurer, Washington State Labor Council AFL-CIO
Heather Villanueva – Senior Community Strength Organizer, SEIU 775