100 Attend Town Hall on Healthcare

Monday evening, a full house of 100 people attended an exciting and inspiring town hall meeting describing the successful new strategy  employed by activists in Vermont from 2008 to the present day.   One of the strongest messages heard was that only through dogged determination and a strong commitment to promoting unity based on principles of inclusion can any progressive movement succeed.

It was truly empowering to learn that so many dedicated activists were so committed to the first principle of reform, which is universality.  Attempts were made by opponents to dilute the resulting legislation by proposing to not cover undocumented immigrants.  It could easily have been people with disabilities since most have Medi-Cal and are technically covered with one form of insurance.  Since most of us suffer at the expense of an inferior brand of health insurance, we urge y0u to join the single-payer movement.  You can make real contributions and receive an improved, truly universal 100% coverage “Improved Medicare for All” healthcare system as a result.  In Butte County, the Butte County Health Care Coalition would welcome your contribution of effort.

The 6 Principles of Real Healthcare Reform are:

  1. Universality

  2. Comprehensive, High-Quality Level of Care

  3. Affordable, Based on Ability to Pay

  4. Costs Must Be Contained

  5. Accountability

  6. Transparency

If you would like to be the beneficiary of such a wonderful improvement in your healthcare options, consider volunteering for the Butte County Health Care Coalition.  Additional information is available on their website at : http://www.buttesinglepayer.org

In our society there is a new opening for deep changes.  If you are tired and discouraged from getting the short end of the stick lately, we encourage you to get active.  In the 60’s, disabled activists gained important civil rights through participation in the social justice issues of the day.  Now is our time to gain new rights by joining with other activists.  What better place to start than by joining the other activists fighting for a fair and just healthcare system, one in which disabled citizens share with others in living a better quality of life.

Meet James Haslam, director of the Vermont Workers Center tonight in Chico (Oct 24). Butte County Health Care Coalition presents a town hall on REAL health care reform.

Interested in REAL healthcare reform? Don’t miss the Butte County Health Care Coalition’s big town hall meeting tonight (Monday) @ 6:30 PM at Trinity Methodist Church, 5th & Flume in Chico

Let’s work together to win accessible, comprehensive and affordable health insurance for all!

 Featured speakers will be James Haslam, director of the Vermont Workers Center http://www.workerscenter.org/ & Donna Smith, organizer extraordinaire from National Nurses United, plus local speakers, including ILSNC Executive Director, Evan LeVang. Doors open at 6:00. See you there! For information, call Forest Harlan @ ILSNC: 530-893-8527.  Learn more about the path to universal, comprehensive and affordable health care for all at www.buttesinglepayer.org

Congratulations to Linda Furr, recipient of the 2011 Peace Endeavor Award presented by the Chico Peace and Justice Center.

Congratulations to Linda Furr – recipient of the 2011 Peace Endeavor Award presented by the Chico Peace and Justice Center on October 20, 2011. Linda is a tireless – and joyful – activist for too many causes to list here, but all falling under the banner of peace and social justice. We at ILSNC deeply appreciate her contributions to the Northern California State Budget Alliance as we work to preserve vital, lifeline programs and services for people with disabilities in California. Thank you, Linda, for all that you do.  For more information on the Chico Peace and Justice Center, visit: www.chico-peace.org

Join the Occupy Movement

We need to be a visible presence at the OccupyChico camp.  The disability rights movement has historically been part of broader social justice issues going back to the 1960’s.  We have been an integral aspect of the historical civil rights campaigns.  With the birth and growth of the Occupy movement, we have an opportunity to embed ourselves into this new movement.  To do so will give us the chance to secure additional rights to employment, housing, living assistance and other necessities of dignified living.

Local activists want change, too.

It seems as though many consumers and service providers are feeling beaten down and depressed after years of fighting the cuts in services from the State of California.  It has been said that activism is the best cure for depression and feelings of powerlessness. Instead of fighting losing battles over the budget cuts all by ourselves, now is the chance to engage in the Occupy movement to secure new allies in the struggle to save our lifeline programs and services.   See you at the encampment.  General assemblies are held at 7 PM nightly on the sidewalk near 4th St along Broadway.

In other cities, disabled people have been active in their Occupy encampments and marches.  ILSNC participated in a conference call this week to learn about the involvement of disabled activists in the Occupy movement in other cities.  We heard from activists in New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, Oakland and San Francisco.  In those cities, disabled people have taken leadership roles.

Evan LeVang and others from ILSNC have been marching on Saturdays in support of the OccupyChico encampment.  Included is a picture taken at last week’s march downtown.  Our numbers are growing locally, nationally and everywhere else.

The movement needs you and you need the movement.  Join us this Saturday at Noon at the Hands sculpture (4th & Wall St) for a march and rally.

Ongoing Occupation Needs You!

This Saturday, October 15, the next large rally is planned in support of OccupyChico. So far, the disability community has been largely absent from the rallies and ongoing occupation. This is the issue of our time. We absolutely need to be part of the effort.

Occupy Chico gets vocal at 2nd & Broadway 10-5-11

ILSNC director, Evan LeVang, sees hope in the Occupy Movement for re-activating the long-dormant disability community.  “Over the past few years it has become clear that – despite our best efforts at community organizing – too many members of the disability community simply don’t participate in the effort to save disability programs from budget-cutting state legislators.  Sadly, as threatened and actual program cuts have become more severe over the past few years, our local disability community has  actually become less active and less visable.  People tell me that they feel exhausted, beaten-down and powerless in the face of unrelenting cuts made by legislators unwilling to consider alternatives to gutting social programs in order to balance the state budget.  But people need to understand that it’s going to get much worse – and happen very soon – if we don’t start taking action and getting involved.  In the current state budget agreement there are “trigger cuts” to programs like In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) set to take place in December if certain tax revenue levels are not met.  We could be looking at a  20% cut in IHSS services if we simply sit back and hope for the best.  This would be a catastrophic disruption in people’s lives,” says LeVang.

He continues, “IHSS is just one of several programs that people with disabilities depend on that are facing deep cuts.  But rather than becoming despondent about our prospects for the future, we now have a reason for hope – an incredible opportunity to re-engage and push back – through the emerging “Occupy” movement.   I’m calling upon people with disabilities, our families, friends and allies to show up to lend your presence and your support to the Occupy Chico, Occupy Redding or Occupy wherever this Saturday, October 15.”

We must all get out front and center to ensure our visibility. If we fail to show up, we risk being forgotten in all the commotion. Only by showing up frequently and verbalizing our issues will we have the chance to be part of the change we need. This is far more effective than begging legislators for mercy. See you at the  Occupation!

For more information, visit OccupyChico on facebook: http://www.facebook.com/#!/groups/occupychico/

Come Down to Chico’s “Wall Street” on Saturday

You are part of the 99%.  People living with disabilities need relief, too.  Come out this Saturday to join the “Occupy Chico” movement.  We are allied with the national movement to reclaim our power.  Join us at the “Chico Hands.”  Meet at 10 AM @ the corner of 4th & Wall St.  We will “Occupy Wall Street” for a second Saturday.  For updated information, go to http://www.facebook.com/groups/occupychico