ORGANIZING NOTES

April 16, 2024

        When We Organize We Win

Join Community and Labor Struggles That Make A Difference

 

 

Towns and cities across the Commonwealth are working BOTH to encourage green development of housing and energy and ALSO to avert the climate emergency.  Learn how to make development climate friendly and “green” by preserving trees’ crucial eco-services in urban areas and in wild forests.  Two scientist and three community advocates will explain how natural climate solutions can work together with the development Massachusetts needs. Register here: https://tinyurl.com/Trees-Matter  Join our Network: https://tinyurl.com/join-TreesPG 

 

Build The Movement For A Single-Payer “Medicare for All”

Health System In Massachusetts

by David Cohen, retired UE Union organizer, Mass-Care Board member representing Franklin County Continuing the Political Revolution

Mass-Care, the coalition for single payer in Massachusetts has several tools that are easy to use.

One way to build support for Medicare for All is to show people how much money can be saved by eliminating insurance companies and having one single payer of health bills.

The municipal calculator can be used to show how much money a city or town would save if Medicare for All legislation were in force right now.

There is just some basic information you need to get from your city or town (which they have to provide. You may have to file a freedom of information request to get it.)

1) How much money did the municipality spend the previous fiscal year on health insurance. Be sure to include anything they spend on retirees.

2) What is the total payroll of the municipality?


3) How many employees does the municipality have?

The basic source for funding comes from a payroll tax for employers and employees. How much it will cost municipalities is laid out in “Section 19 -Funding Sources” of the legislation, S.744 and H.1239.

Plug the figures into the calculator and you now have how much the municipality would spend to provide full complete medical coverage to all their employees and their families. Compare this to the actual spending and you have how much the municipality would save.


For example: In 2021 the City of Greenfield spent $7,327,551.00 on health insurance. Their total payroll was $33,613,578.00. Under the Medicare for All formula, Greenfield would have spent $2,687,486.00 on health insurance, for a savings of $4,640,065.00. Imagine what a city of 17,000 people could do with an extra 4.6 million dollars per year!

Here’s a big one. The City of Boston, using fiscal 2024 figures would save $255.626.000.00, yes that’s 255 million dollars! The City of Quincy would save $36, 202,075 million per year!


You now have how much the municipality would spend to provide full complete medical coverage to all their employee and their families. Compare this to the actual spending and you have how much the municipality would save.

We have come across a few very small municipalities that have very few employees and that provide the minimum in health insurance. They might actually have to pay more.

If you want to figure out costs for employees, the formula is 2.5% payroll tax, with a $20,000 dollar exemption. Compare this to what employees now pay for premium costs. You have to remember that employees will have greater savings because there will be no co-pays or deductibles with Medicare for All.

As with any tool, what we do with it is the key.

In some cities and towns activists have publicized the savings to the municipality and used this to have resolutions in favor of Medicare for All passed at annual town meetings or by City Councils. Here is is sample resolution to use. (note please check the bill numbers on the resolution, they might need to be updated)

Vote for Medicare for All

This year, Mass-Care will be running non-binding ballot questions in 11 State Rep. districts. The ballot question says,


“Shall the Representative from this District be instructed to vote for legislation to create a single-payer system of universal health care, that would provide all Massachusetts residents with comprehensive health care coverage including the freedom to choose doctors and other health care professionals, facilities, and services and that would eliminate the role of insurance companies in healthcare by creating a publicly administered insurance trust fund? “ 

We will be collecting signatures starting May 1 in 3 districts in Western Ma, one in South Eastern Ma. and 7 in Eastern Ma. We need to collect 200 valid signatures per district by July 8.

The municipal savings calculations are a very useful piece of information to distribute while campaigning for passage of the ballot question. People begin to think about why something as basic as health care should not be left in the hands of insurance companies, and what that extra money could be used for.

If you would like to help, please contact us Here

 

!Congratulations to ORMA’s Winning DSC Candidates!

Congratulations to Dylan Clark for his victory on the March 5th primary ballot, and J. Michael Gilbreath for his victory at the March 23rd district conference in Littleton! These wins secured their re-election to the Massachusetts Democratic State Committee. 

 

When activists in Massachusetts responded to Bernie Sanders’ call for an organization to continue the broad “political revolution” that sustained his presidential campaign, we knew that included building a presence in those institutions that shape our political choices. We knew this meant not only campaigns of local and state offices, it also meant building and organizing a presence inside the Democratic Party of Massachusetts. 

 

Since 2016 members and supporters of ORMA have sought and won seats on the Democratic State Committee (DSC). By mobilizing our inside outside strategy we have pushed the party to publicly commit to everything from activism on behalf of Medicare for All, and state house staff unionization, to support for regular outside audits of the Massachusetts Legislature!

 

2024 was another electoral cycle for the DSC

 

In February, ORMA conducted endorsement processes for candidates seeking to win or be re-elected to positions on the Massachusetts Democratic State Committee representing three separate state senate districts, and ultimately lendorsed three candidates:

 

In the Second Middlesex district, Rand Wilson of Somerville, a longtime union and community organizer, and founding member of Our Revolution Massachusetts, was endorsed for the Male Ballot seat on the DSC.

 

In the Worcester and Hampshire district, Dylan Clark, inspired by the Sanders campaign in 2015 to get involved in politics, and a Bernie “super-volunteer” in three states during the 2020 campaign, was endorsed for the Male Ballot seat. (Dylan previously held the so-called male “caucus” seat for 4 years.) 

 

In the Middlesex and Worcester district, J. Michael Gilbreath, an 8-year incumbent on the DSC having followed Bernie’s call “build a more progressive party” in 2016, and a founding member of ORMA, was endorsed for the Male “Caucus” seat.

 

By seeking election to the state committee in these very public races, our endorsed candidates made the case for a more progressive, open, and activist democratic party. A party not held hostage to neo-liberal corporate interests, and ready to fight for action in support of arguably one of the most progressive Democratic party platforms in the nation.

 

Though we did not win all three races, the convincing victories by Clark and Gilbreath demonstrate that there is real interest and support among grassroots party members for a more activist, more transparent, and more democratic Democratic State Committee and party! 

Both Dylan and Michael can be reached at info@ourrevolutionma.com

 

Join others with Progressive MASS to take action with our partner organizations to protect democracy and promote civic engagement, in the company of your friends and neighbors. You will write postcards, make phone calls, and take other actions on a range of issues ranging from voter registration, voter turnout, and progressive state policy.

                 SIGN UP HERE

Red Rebel Day of Action: The Funeral For Nature

Saturfay, April 20th 2PM

SIGN UP HERE

EARTH DAY 2024 

A Party For the Planet

Monday, April 22nd 4PM 

SIGN UP HERE

 
 

ORMA is excited to announce that

Issue #29 of Organizing Notes readership exceeded 5,000!! 

We are so grateful for your support!  We hope you will continue reading the stories of our organization, the coalitions we work in, the organizing of our allies, and the challenges we face. We will continue offering opportunities to engage in climate, community, education, labor, and social justice struggles that will make a difference. Please help us celebrate our 30th issue by making a donation today!

 

      If you would like to work with ORMA Members on

  • Climate Change
  • Community-Based Alternative Emergency Response Teams
  • Ranked-Choice Voting
  • Housing For All       

ORMA depends on your support to continue Bernie’s Political Revolution to create a society, a politics, and an economy that works for everyone, not just billionaires, corporations and the political elite.

If you value Organizing Notes and its twice a month distribution schedule, please make a donation to ensure its continued existence.

Invest in Change Now!

 

Please send requests for action items, articles or upcoming events

for the next Organizing Notes to 

beccobrien.orma@gmail.com by Thursday, April 25th

We’d love to have you send us your favorite pictures of Bernie here in MA!

 

Campaigns End, Movements Endure


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