Published in the The Nurse Alliance Roundup on Nov. 7, 2011
Many of you have heard about the actions happening around the country on behalf of the “99%” of us. We know that the middle class has had enough–three years after Wall Street wrecked our economy, 25 million people are still unable to find full-time work and the gap between the 1% and the 99% continues to widen.
But instead of creating jobs, Congress continues to ignore our concerns and focuses on job-killing budget cuts and tax giveaways for the rich.
So what can we do? It’s time to declare an Economic Emergency for the 99%.
On Thursday, November 17, nurses, doctors and healthcare workers will join with concerned Americans and community allies to peacefully gather at bridges and other sites across the country. Our goal: to make clear that America needs an economy and a country that works for everyone, not just Wall Street and huge corporations.
Together, we can send a loud message to corporate America, to local elected officials and to Congress: We need jobs, not cuts. We need to put America back to work, protect Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security, and make Wall Street pay for crashing our economy.
Why November 17?
November 17 is mere days before the congressional “supercommittee” must make its recommendations to Congress–recommendations that will very likely include job-killing austerity plans and cuts of up to $500 billion to Medicaid and Medicare. This national day of action will focus the frustration and anger of the 99% on Congress’ failure to create good jobs while at the same time pursuing job-killing budget cuts.
Want to learn more?
SEIU International Executive Vice President Kirk Adams is holding a conference call on Thursday, November 10 at 12:30pm Pacific/3:30pm Eastern to talk about the potential cuts to healthcare funding and the November 17th National Day of Action. Nurse leaders and local union staff are invited to join by calling 800-288-8974.
How can nurses participate?
Nurses know all too well what can happen to struggling families: healthcare is delayed for lack of affordability… until it becomes a serious emergency. And, for millions of Americans, Medicaid and Medicare serves as a literal lifeline to healthcare and a life with dignity and independence. The powerful, heartfelt letters many of you wrote to Congress for the Nurse Alliance’s “Code Blue” visits to Capitol Hill a few weeks ago demonstrate your commitment to the nursing profession and your patients.
Nurses can play a special role as the congressional “supercommittee” continues its work; here are some opportunities for action:
1. Call your member of Congress and ask them to protect Medicaid and Medicare and jobs for our communities. SEIU has established a national toll free number, 877-736-7831, so you can call your member of Congress directly.
2. Write a letter to your member of Congress to remind him/her exactly what kind of patient care is put at risk with cuts to Medicaid and Medicare. You can bring your letter to the bridge action on Nov. 17, where a local union staff person will collect it to fax to your member of Congress. If no bridge action is happening in your community: Fax your letter to Jen Stange at the International at 202-350-6621 by Nov. 17th and we will make sure Congress gets your letter.
3. Join hundreds of ordinary people on November 17 to declare an Economic Emergency for the 99%. We encourage you to come in everyday work clothes or scrubs, to stand up for “No More Cuts to Medicaid and Medicare.”
To find out where Bridge Actions are happening in your area, please click here.
Please take a minute and pass the Roundup to other SEIU Nurses using our online tool here.