Grover Gets ’em…

February 13, 2010 at 10:48 pm (Uncategorized)

…just returned from the House Appropriations Committee meeting–a huge crowd well over 150 jamming into overflow rooms. George Adams of S.A.I.L. and the self-advocates movement joined forces with Grover Hardin to put the perspective of the client and caregiver on the same panel. The two recieved plaudits for brevity and energy, respectively. Susie and Cheryl were standing by to testify, as well; time ran out, but Cheryl managed to greet Steve Conway and hand in her written testimony personally. Chris got lots of attention: The Evergreen Freedom Foundation lobby tried to corner him…but Hardin struck out with facts and experience their kneejerk brand of ‘libertarianism’ couldn’t touch. Plaudits came from good ol’ Capt. Larry Seaquist. King TV also interviewed Chris and George for what should be a weekend of NWCN coverage. I stayed in the corner as the ‘cut-man’ and egged all on…


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Selective Attention to Education…

January 30, 2010 at 4:48 pm (Uncategorized)

…as “citizens” (aka, in my town, those who carry a mortgage rather than pay rent…) mull over school levy bond election returns this week, our state capital is beginning to smell of appeasement. Salutations for a new way for home care workers to certify themselves into professional pathways is being branded as an upward path from Certified Home Health, per I-1029, to CNA status with a couple dozen more hours.

I disagree with this messaging. I did not…nor will sign on to a CNA path. I campaigned for I-1029 with my dignity as a home health worker on the line. I love my nursing home worker sisters n’ brothers, while recognizing that they do ‘factory’ work with people in these institutions. They must be empowered to change the way they do care…and given full resources to make it happen. This work, however, has nothing to do with keeping people in their homes; doing methodically paced social/observational/theraputic work in a familiar environment. 

Education for long term care is in danger of being scuttled as much from our exhaustion having the conversation, as by lawmakers who wait in shadows for our attention to be diverted….

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Olympia Testimonials…

January 17, 2010 at 5:25 am (Uncategorized)

The past week found an immediate full-on high energy blitz of political organizers and lobbyists crowd committee chambers in our WA. State Capitol for urgent input on our budget solutions.

A refreshing lack of “’s gonna be tough this year” may be the result of a transparently up-a-creek forecast.  Determination was felt on both ends of hearing rooms; I attended two different House committees where members listened with sharp focus to a cross-section of social service/health care representatives in clinical and home-based settings.  Passionate stories ranged from a teenager rescued from the streets by mentoring to…well, SEIU members Tanika and…myself.  No one we elected whom I ran into tried to shine it on.  Much more detailed conversations happened…and I intend to continue those dialogues just as substantively this next week—beginning with a state-level ‘poor people’s march’ on…of course..MLK Day.

Personally, all I could do during my minute at the mic was picture the Four Corners neighborhood along Portland Ave. in Tacoma…the disabled adults and children along with parents and careproviders…invisible members of my union…who work and shop in the hood.  That sucking sound in the distance is their lives flushed down a storm drain of  I-960 and pampered middle-class defenses. Do these deluded walled-off ‘citizens’ who think they’re temporarily-abled really think that their attitudes WON’T result in homelessness, health crisis’…death?…I’m urging on the new-found courage of everyone walking the marble steps this year to be real….

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Parent To Parent…Citizen To Lawmaker

November 27, 2009 at 1:26 pm (Uncategorized)

Tues. Nov. 24th, I attended the annual P2P legislative conference at the Tacoma Elks. Accompanied by (MCOI team) Cynthia Rose, a sister in my 25th LD, we noted four family stories of hardship, caused by last years’ decisions in Olympia.  A well-produced video filled in a cross-section of community service needs by families who live and die by supports our state has promised in policy.

Attending from Pierce County area LD’s were Larry Seaquist, Jan Angel, Steve Kirby and Dawn Morrell.  Rep. Morrell and I spent a few min. in a friendly, but firm meet and greet at the end of the evening.  She verbally approached me first to remind me of her efforts to trim care hour reductions back from 16 to 3%. I thanked her, reminded her how adaptable we caregivers have had to be…and how our incremental implementation of our training partnership evidences that…

Great networking with Pierce County ARC members, DDD Region 5 staffers, and Diana Stadden of WA. ARC—with whom I pledged we WILL NOT allow Olympia to devide and conquer our stakeholders this next year…

The final 15 min. were devoted to an open forum…of which I grabbed 3 to remind our reps. that home health, proper outpatient/day health and vocational services (to give many folks a reason to get up every day…) are a three-legged stool…without one leg, it cannot stand.

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Crosstown Traffic

October 11, 2009 at 1:44 pm (Uncategorized)

I have just thrown money down at a house rental in a historic former mill town on the south edge of Tacoma. This means two quick changes: I will be leaving the 28th-and my ambivalent relationships with my state reps there. I will…almost immediately…be able to raise bantam chickens again…a key to getting as far away from the corporatist food-grid as possible.  The 25thLd location puts me right in the home district of our adversary, Dawn Morrell. The other state Rep., Bruce Dammierer, is a GOP frosh very experienced in vocational rehab. and support services advocacy…someone I have a healthy respect for…interpret that anyway you want. The LD Senatorial presence is what really troubles me-conservative democrats muddy the waters. Any threat to “trade” (read responsible corporate tax citizenship…) will come under fire

Just as Olympia begins to demand our attention, again, I will prepare to assist desperate, outraged MPO’s tell their stories. They don’t want to see me in those offices; they want their cousin Mertyl, the caregiver entrusted with their own family members. Firing Mertyl up is my job…

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Faith Initiatives

October 4, 2009 at 2:07 pm (Uncategorized)

…my first concrete means of expressing my social justice…needs…came from the theology prevalent in the late ’70’s and early ’80’s. Became an adult convert to Catholicism…saw the liberatory tide wash up and virtually disappear overnight in the mid ’80’s. Still…wondering what happened…

We have left the priceless…literally…legacy of Catholic Worker founders Dorothy Day and Peter Maurin. The Labor meditations of these two..and thoughts on alternatives to traditional ‘jobs’ when such as we find today are dissolving with the old economic order…still ring true. I can’t grasp pure pacifism…never really could…so don’t see affiliating with what modern Catholic Worker fellowship has become…charity replacing community building being another issue with me…
Nope, SEIU unon affiliation is a pragmatic-often impersonal- exercise in praxis. My Sunday Worship today is going out to find other purple people to hang with…and continue to collectively define our place in the workplace.

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Sunday Breakfast

September 6, 2009 at 1:54 pm (Uncategorized)

I don’t expect to have time for several weeks to write on a Sunday prior to anything like a ‘normal’ work shift.  After Convention, my suspicion is that the Health Care For All movement will be doing long shifts, itself.

I don’t want to post controversy for it’s own sake, but I would be pretty inauthentic to deny having read and saved the new article in RS critical of the whole Capital Hill debate.  It, too, must be considered a shill piece in all fairness-one planned in advance by the single payer crews with blessings from Jann Wenner’s elitists.

Also on the topic of not posting wildcat stuff, I’m casting about for comment from (self) educated Catholics to give me feedback, following an unsettling AP story this Sunday morning…a “minority report” of conservative heartland Bishops.  IF…Heaven For-fend.. health care turns out to be considered ‘market economy’-worthy by social teaching, then I may well end up living even further into the dissenting progressive woods of the Universal Church…just add it to the list.

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Autumn Vigil Underway

September 3, 2009 at 1:13 pm (Uncategorized)

Last night, I joined many Americans in candlelight vigil for health care reform. Our Tacoma event drew over a hundred people spilling over the sidewalk and bike lane of the main drag in my ‘hood. Tonight, Seattle peeps are gathering at Westlake Center, one more time. I’m hoping friends due in town around convention time can make some time and meet with 775 members. Canadians, in particular, often love to tell naive Americans how health care works in ‘the real world’….

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Health Factoids

August 30, 2009 at 1:38 am (Uncategorized)

…while meaning to toss something akin to rebuffing the fluff handed out last Tuesday at the Adam Smith bash, I ran across this group of faq’s from…ah..the White House-and their smooth operators. Concise stuff to counter nonsense..

“This isn’t about politics. This is about people’s lives…”- President Obama

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Before The Dawn…

August 27, 2009 at 2:45 am (SEIUHealthcare) (, , )

…many of us expected to feel depths of dispair when Sen. Kennedy made his inevitable crossing over.  I’m gently relieved how much a resolve and fairly consistent energy has marked the day after… Andy and the DC peeps made memorial appropriate to the occasion in the form of a ‘card’ for the extended Kennedy family.  This ‘family’ feels about as inclusive as those of us who ever got into a Grateful Dead show for free.  I identify myself as ‘progressive’, rather than the 20th century moniker: ‘liberal’-for several reasons I’ll go into another time. Kennedy, then, gave me a voice as more of a champion of my causes-not so much of my class.  My inability to relate to his background does stop at the point where financing one’s way through the Great Depression comes into play…but back on track..

Ted Kennedy simply motivated me not to quit at several key points where I was willing to either A) Throw in the towel on politics…or B) Give up on Democracy as an effective agent for progress.  His speeches did more than get me “fired up and ready to go”.  Kennedy spoke with a perspective gained through intense emotional grief and resolve to choose hope- much before that concept gained panache’.

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