Line of March
Health Care for America Now (HCan)
Two speakers addressed the Greater Detroit Democratic Socialists of America general membership meeting on January 9th 2010. The first was Glen Shelton of the Restaurant Opportunities Center of Michigan (ROC-Michigan). ROC-Michigan was launched in June 2008. It is a multiracial membership-based organization of restaurant workers. It is dedicated to improving working conditions and raising industry standards for all Southeastern Michigan restaurant workers.
Our second speaker was gubernatorial candidate John Freeman. Though "he has since left the race, John suggested several ideas worthy of further consideration including building mass transit in Michigan, local stock exchanges to provide needed capital to Michigan businesses that are unable to obtain loans from banks, and possible revenue enhancements to provide adequate funding for education in Michigan."
DSA sponsored rally
Over 300 people attended the Call to Action Rally at the United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW) Local 876 Hall in Madison Heights on February 18th 2010. The rally was organized to press members of the Michigan Congressional delegation , particularly in the Senate, to pass key components of the progressive agenda including health care reform, cap and trade energy legislation, immigration reform, and the Employee Free Choice Act. Greater Detroit Democratic Socialists of America co-sponsored the rally along with 31 other organizations including Health Care for America Now, the UAW, the Metropolitan Detroit AFL-CIO, the Service Employees International Union ), UFCW, UNITE-HERE Local 24, AFSCME Council 25, Reform Immigration for America, Repower America (the organization founded by former Vice-President Al Gore to promote investment in renewable energy), Gray Panthers of Metro Detroit, Michigan Universal Health Care Access Network, the Arabic Community Coalition for Economic and Social Security, Southeast Michigan Jobs with Justice, MoveOn, and MOSES.
Congressmen Sander Levin and John Conyers, Jr. addressed the audience. In addition, aides to Senators Debbie Stabenow and Carl Levin and Representatives Dale Kildee, Gary Peters, Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick, and John Dingell attended the rally.
DSA member Al Fishman spoke to the audience about how the disastrous wars in Iraq and Afghanistan had undermined Obama’s domestic agenda in a manner analogous to the way in which the Vietnam War undermined President Johnson’s Great Society programs. DSA Executive Board member Dave Ivers spoke about the imperative for a national jobs program, shared a personal anecdote about how the health care crisis had affected his family, and stressed the importance of Congress passing the Employee Free Choice Act to make it easier for workers to organize unions. Other speakers included Chris Michalakis, Legislative Director of UFCW Local 876, who spoke about the importance of comprehensive immigration reform. Luke Canfora of Repower America described the huge potential benefits of investment in renewable energy (decreased reliance on foreign oil, reduced emissions of greenhouse gases, and job creation). Marcia Boehm and Altheia Henry discussed the urgent need for health care reform. John Freeman, Michigan Director of Health Care for America Now, moderated the event.
Detroit-area progressives push back
Eric Ebel, a Michigan Democratic Socialists of America member wrote a report "Detroit-area progressives push back" for DSA labor blog Talking Union on a February 18 2010 Detroit anti Tea Party rally
- The progressive Democratic community of the Detroit metro area met to answer the Tea Baggers at a “Call for Action” rally on the evening of February 18. Some 325 people attended the rally, which was held in the United Food and Commercial Workers hall in Madison Heights and sponsored by a wide spectrum of groups, from DSA on the left to Organizing for America, a political arm of the Obama administration, on the “right.” John Freeman, the moderator, made a point of singling out the DSA to praise for its support.
- The rally concentrated on five policy areas: immigration reform, clean energy, peace, health-care reform, and jobs. In addition to representatives of the groups pushing these reforms — among them DSA members Al Fishman and Dave Ivers — the rally was addressed by two members of Congress, Reps. Sander Levin (our senator’s older brother) and John Conyers.
As at Feb. 1, 2011, John Freeman, former State Representative -- Madison Heights, Royal Oak, Hazel Park, was listed as an endorser and ongoing supporter of MichUHCAN's Health Care Security Campaign Coalition. The Michigan Universal Health Care Access Network is a state-wide network that promotes comprehensive health care for all and improved health outcomes by addressing the social determinants of health through education, strategy development and advocacy. The leadership of MichUHCAN is heavily dominated by members of Democratic Socialists of America.
- GDDSA Jan 2010 newsletter, Volume 11, Issue 1
- http://detroitdsa.com/March%202010%20DSA%20Newsletter.pdf GDDSA newsletter. March 2010 Volume 11, Issue 2]
- Detroit-area progressives push back February 21, 2010 by dsalaborblogmoderator, by Eric Ebel
- MichUHCAN: MI Health Care Security Campaign Coalition (accessed on Feb. 1, 2011)
- MichUHCAN: About Us (accessed on Feb. 1, 2011)