U.S. Congressman John Conyers, the author and lead sponsor of HR 676, was the honored guest and spoke of the energy that the endorsement by the NYC CLC, which represents over 1.3 million union members, brings to the movement of Healthcare for All. NYC CLC President Vincent Alvarez spoke to the necessity for all working people, union and non-union, to have proper healthcare and that the forces within the industrial-insurance complex, although powerful, must be confronted before the working class families of our country are completely decimated by the ever increasing costs of health care.
Stephen Shaff, representing the PDA, addressed the group of labor leaders and healthcare advocates, noting the work being accomplished by the PDA and the importance of collaboration between the two distinct groups in achieving the common goal of healthcare for all.
Mark Dudzic, National Coordinator for the Labor Campaign For Single Payer Healthcare, Mark Hanny, Executive Director of Metro NY Healthcare For All, Laurie Wen and Katie Robbins from Physicians For National A National Health Plan (PNHP), Joe Benincasa, CEO of The Actors Fund, Scott Cool, IATSE Local One Trust Fund Administrator, Political Directors and rank and file members from several unions including the District Council of Carpenters, the IATSE, CWA and the TWU, were also in the house.
After all in attendance broke bread together, President Alvarez made the opening remarks. We then shared a moment of silence in memory of world leader Nelson Mandela. It was my privilege to introduce Stephen Shaff and special guest and PDA supporter, television broadcaster Phil Donohue, who very eloquently spoke of his labor background and introduced The Honorable John Conyers. Mr. Conyers held our attention with his strategic advice to advance the common cause of Single Payer Healthcare For All and his history of always standing for "Jobs, Justice and Peace."
The meeting concluded with our appetites satisfied and our activism energized. Thank you to PDA and the NYC CLC for a successful coming together of healthcare advocates, labor representatives and to Congressman John Conyers whose commitment to HR 676 is unwavering and inspirational.