Bring pencil, paper, your mind, and great food.
Chicago's DSA annual membership meeting will be held on Saturday,
June 26th, 1993, at Loyola Park, 1230 W. Greeenleaf, from 11am
until 4pm. All members are encouraged to attend and bring picnic
food for our annual party!
Like last year, Maggie Shreve, our female co-chair, will facilitate
a discussion of where Chicago DSA is and wants to go. The process
this year is more interactive, an, according to Shreve, "very
The planning process will take place from 11 a.m. until approximately
2pm in the Loyola Park center building. Shreve says that this
process results in specific, concrete goals and activities that
Chicago DSA can pursue in this coming and future years. "The
most amazing thing about this process is that people develop into
real work teams by its end," says Shreve. "I've used
it five times since January and the amount of energy it has generated
surpasses anything else I've ever done as an organization consultant."
From 2pm until 4pm we will move outside for our annual party.
Loyola Park has hibachi grills, so bring enough for yourself and
a "share" item or two for our comrades.
Any questions about the June 26th membership meeting should
be directed to Shreve at 312/989-4385.
The White Task Force on Health Care Reofrm will release its
bill to Congress at the end of the month. Contact your congressional
representative during May and June to keep up the pressure on
the President's Health Care Reform Task Force. Call 1-900-740-7900
($2.90/call) to send a postcard to your member of Congress asking
for their support for the American Health Security Act.
In letters emphasize:
We need to make the political argument that the window for
change is the next 18 months, and presidential leadership should
be used to win the only comprehensive solution to the crisis:
single-payer reform. Whatever President Clinton proposes will
be a tough sell, with a long road ahead, and will require new
taxes. Why not work for the best solution?
by Paul Lenart
In April 1992 at the Unitarian Church of Naperville, a group
of DSA members living in the suburbs met for the first time. Most
of the 15 people attending had belonged to DSA for a year or more,
but had never been aware of other socialists living nearby. After
the long night of the Reagan-Bush years, in the shadow of the
popularity of the Gulf War, and in monolithically Republican DuPage
County, fifteen leftists in one place at one time seemed like
a tremendous break out of isolation for many of us.
Perhaps it is the relief from the extreme political isolation
of individual socialists in the suburbs that explains the relative
longevity and modest successes of the West Suburban DSA. Other
Chicago-area geographically-based commissions have not maintained
themselves, while the WSDSA has consistently held monthly meetings,
participated as a group in the defeat of George Bush, the election
of Carol Moseley Braun, and the campaigns for the House of Representatives
of progressive Democrats Dennis Temple, Jonathan Reich, and Barry
Watkins, and initiated three well-attended public forums on health
care and NAFTA.
The good news is that WSDSA has succeeded in coalescing a stable
core group of five activists, eight regular participants, and
another five to ten inermittently participating members. However,
among the forty to fifty DSAers in the DuPage, Will, and Kane
County area, half do not participate. Several members were central
to the congressional race in the 14th district, while three more
were active Democratic committeemen in the 13th and 6th districts;
however, only one has significant influence within local political
circles and that influence appears to be more technical than programmatic
(he's a great organizer for the Dems; to what extent he moves
them leftward is hard to say).
Contacts have been initiated with NOW, Amnesty International,
church-based peace and justice groups, and union locals in building
the three forums. Unfortunately, with a couple of exceptions in
feminist circles, these contacts have a long way to go before
real coalitions can result. In terms of process, disagreements
are handled in a principled and democratic manner at meetings,
although as mentioned above, it is a minority of eligible DSAers
who participate and therefore determine the direction of the group.
Finally, there is the demographic issue: given our locale,
it may come as no surprise that we have only one active member
who is not ethno-culturally Anglo-American; what is surprising
is the severe gender tilt toward males and the high proportion
of Social Security recipients.
Whatever our shortcomings, West Suburban DSA is here to stay.
To make WSDSA all it should be, we invite the less active comrades
to get to know us - all of us will be better than some of us.
The next meeting takes place soon after the Debs dinner on Sunday,
May 16 at 5pm, St. Michael's UCC Church, 345 W. Washington in
West Chicago. For details call (708) 231-8058.
by J. Hughes
The forum on national health care sponsored by DSA and the
Campaign for Better Health Care March 31st at the Oak Park library
illustrated some of the bizarre twists ahead for the single-payer
struggle for the 40 people in attendence. Billed as a two-way
debate on the merits of a state single-payer bill, the forum turned
into a four-way discussion with substantial agreement among the
Representing single-payer were DSAers Tim Morris, a professor
of Philosophy at North Central College and member of the Edwards
Hospital Bioethics Committee, and Cathy McLaughlin, a nurse and
lawyer. Speaking against single-payer were Mike Vivoda, sales
rep for MacLean Health Care Providers, and Dr. Arvan Goyal, President
of the Illinois Medical Society, the state's AMA.
While Tim Morris reiterated the clear success of the Canadian
system, and need for such a system here, Ms. McLaughlin pointed
to the substantial restructuring of community health care that
is required, restructuring that a single-payer system will only
facilitate and by no means accomplish.
In response, Mr. Vivoda agreed with the need for fundamental
reform, and argued that managed care plans under "managed
competition" will provide consumers with primary care doctors
and force specialists and hospitals to stop forcing unnecessary
care on the consumers. This so enraged Dr. Goyal, that he spent
his time attacking both managed care and single-payer,
and arguing for more tickering with the status quo.
In question period, Mr. Vivoda was asked whether his proposed
reforms couldn't just as well be accomplished under a single-payer
plan, to which he answered yes! This led to our dubbing
him "comrade managed care."
The forum was a great success, and demonstrated clearly that
(a) doctors have a lot more to lose under managed care than under
single-payer, and (b) that all the supposed advantages of managed
care can be accomplished better by a single-payer plan.
"NO HEALTH CARE NO PEACE" was the chant when over
1,000 health care consumers representing 45 cities attended the
Campaign for Better Health Care's annual Health Care ACTION Day
in Springfield April 22... which happened to coincide with the
vote on the single-payer Illinois Health Security Act -HB 1459.
As of Thursday morning we had commitments of 52 legislators,
with 60 needed for passage. As the buses started rolling in from
Peoria, Danville, Decatur, Alton, Rock Island, Rockford, Aurora
and ten from Chicago, along with carloads/vans form dozens of
other cities, support for HB 1459 was growing.
By 12:30 the State Capitol Rotunda exploded into chants of
"NO HEALTH CARE NO PEACE." The handful of uncommitted
legislators were beginning to lean our way. By 1:15 p.m. the whole
floor of the State Capitol was filled with HB 1459 supporters
and the pressure was on. By 2:00 p.m. we were at 57/58 votes and
by 2:30 there was clear indication that if we could trust what
all the legislators told us, we would have 60/61.
At 2:45 the debate began, with Republicans (Black, Weller)
and a couple Democrats(Mautino) regurgitating misinformation spread
by the Illinois State Medical Society and the Illinois health
When the vote was taken we found out two things: 1) The local
grassroots efforts of the Latino community and the white ethnic
areas were being successful at winning support of most of our
targeted swings; and 2) Once again, like last year, legislators
who were either co-sponsors of HB1459 and/or who had already voted
for HB1459 voted No!
HB 1459 received 57 YES 57 NO 2 Present 2 excused. The three
weak-kneed legislators were:
Judy Erwin (Chicago- D-11) - She is a co-sponsor
of the bill and voted YES on March 31 st in the House Health Care
Committee. Springfield # 217/782-8404 & District # 312/266-7453;
Jeff Schoenberg (Skokie- D-56) Schoenberg voted
for this bill on March 31st in the House Health Care Committee
and committed to dozens of people and organizations that he would
vote YES on the floor. This is the second year in a row that Schoenberg
reneged his commitment to people. Schoenberg received $5,000 from
the Illinois State Medical Society's PAC for his last election
and we should know in the next couple of weeks what he received
from the insurance lobby and others that opposed this bill. HB
1459 was the ISMS's and the insurance industry's top bill to defeat.
Schoenberg fulfilled their wishes. Springfield #217/782-0499 &
Harold Murphy (Markham-D-30) Murphy a co-sponsor
of the HB 1459 and Voted Present. Springfield #217/782-3424 and
District # 708/424-3636.
Urgent: Please call all three, especially Schoenberg,
and express your and your organization's unhappiness with their
vote. Remind them: NO HEALTH CARE NO PEACE. All the Republicans
voted NO, except Skinner (Present). Other Democrats that voted
NO [Gash - Deerfield /Highland Park; Granberg -
Centralia/Carlyle; Hicks - Mount Vernon; Mautino
-Spring Valley; McAfee - Indian Head Park/Summit; McPike
- Alton; Novak- Kankakee; Rotello - Rockford].
For the latest information at both the state and federal level,
call the Campaign's HOTLINE 0-700-ONE-PLAN.