Friday, August 25, 2017

Newhall to March for Jobs and to End Violence

A neighborhood march on Saturday, September 23 will highlight the need to end gun violence and create opportunities and jobs for youth in Newhallville.

The march reflects the results of a youth survey this summer led by Jahmal Henderson and the Winchester-Newhall Club in their Newhall neighborhood which has high unemployment and violence.

The youth survey was originally formed by New Elm City Dream/YCL six years ago when there were a record number of homicides in New Haven. Recognizing that lack of jobs and economic security leads to violence, the group launched a campaign for "Jobs For Youth, Jobs For All" and organized several large marches.

The newly elected Board of Alders adopted these priorities: good jobs, safe communities, and youth needs. As a result of pressure from the public and the unions at Yale, the University committed to hire 500 people from New Haven's neighborhoods with highest unemployment.

This summer's youth survey was done realizing that it is necessary to hold Yale accountable for that commitment. Knocking on doors for seven weeks on Saturdays along the year-round People's World route brought a number of young people to fill out surveys and sign up to get involved.

When 14-year old Tyrick B. Keyes a leader of Ice the Beef Youth who performed at People's World events was killed, the survey campaign was dedicated to him.

In August, youth from the neighborhood, New Elm City Dream / YCL and Ice The Beef gathered at a meetup. The forum was held during the annual Newhall/Division St block party. Seventeen people turned out including Tyrick B. Keyes' mother and Sen. Robyn Porter for a passionate discussion on the key subjects of youth violence and the need of more job opportunities in their communities.

Planning began for the September 23 grass roots march/rally through the streets of Newhallville to the now vacant former state welfare building. The rally will support efforts to open the building for youth needs and job placements, working with local and state elected officials, community and clergy representing the neighborhood.

Youth leaders are being identified and future actions will be planned.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Health Care Cuts Threaten Connecticut's Economy

The millions of people who spoke out, rallied and took part in civil disobedience stopped U.S. Senate Republicans from repealing the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The fight for the ACA and for the right to health care continues. Below is testimony of William P. Morico to Senators Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy at New Haven City Hall on June 23, 2017:

I worked for 50 years in health-care related fields. Others will speak about the devastating effects on health care services of attempts to “repeal & replace” the ACA. As I don't believe the majority of Republicans in Congress care about our health care, I will address the financial impact of such cuts.

Federal health care spending from Medicare and Medicaid (2014-15) in CT was over $8 billion, including $4.7 billion from Medicare, and $3.6 billion from Medicaid. The various proposals from Congress cut between 10% -30% from Medicaid, translating to over $1 billion in cuts to the CT economy each year. The elimination of increased Medicare taxes will weaken Medicare and lead to further calls for benefit cuts. This has been their agenda since Medicare was enacted in 1965.

Cuts of this magnitude will directly impact not only the State budget, but all health care provider organizations, especially primary care providers like community health centers, and hospitals, required to care for all regardless of ability to pay.

These amounts do not include proposed federal budget cuts to public health programs, basic medical research, medical education, medical education loan forgiveness, etc.

CT state legislators need to be keenly aware of the effects on the CT economy of the proposed federal tax-cut legislation masquerading as repeal of the ACA. We will hold our Republican state legislators responsible if their federal colleagues pass this anti-people legislation.

We have outlived the health care financing system based on insurance, whether employer-provided, private, or public. Anthem, Aetna and Cigna will re-invent themselves, and take care of their shareholders. We need a Medicare for all Universal Health Care system such as proposed in H.B 676, which would do away with all insurance, and create a single system of health care, governed and administered locally, with care provided by private and public entities, and financed nationally by general taxation.