Elizabeth Stafford is a Virginia activist.
- McLean, VA-Members of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) from Virginia’s 8th Congressional District advocated for single-payer health care at a town hall on September 17 hosted by U.S. Rep. Don Beyer (D). Congressman Beyer had yet to co-sponsor H.R. 676, the Improved and Expanded Medicare for All Act.
- To encourage him to sign on, Beyer’s DSA constituents shared personal stories of how the current health-care system has failed them and their families. The local action is part of the DSA’s Medicare for All campaign.
- “While we were disappointed that a member of the House Progressive Caucus had not already signed on to the bill,” noted Elizabeth Stafford, a member of DSA’s Northern Virginia Branch Organizing Committee, “this town hall gave us a chance to make ourselves visible in the community, have our voices heard, and gave Congressman Beyer a chance to show that he is as progressive as he claims.”
- At the town hall, Congressman Beyer hedged at first. He noted that he and his staff “are committed to fixing the Affordable Care Act.” He also said that HR 676 has a few problems. “We’re waiting until Bernie’s Medicare for all bill reaches the house, and we’ll take the best of HR 676 and Bernie’s bill,” he said. In the end, however, he agreed to support HR 676. “I’ll sign off on HR 676 in the morning,” he said.
- The DSA members were elated. James McCormack, another member of the organizing committee, recalled the first meeting of the DSA’s Northern Virginia branch just four months ago.“We started out with 15 people in a playground and now look at us,” he said. “After the 2016 election, I realized that we couldn’t depend on just showing up and voting. I realized that if things were going to change we’d have to do it ourselves, all of us, together. Together, we are powerful.”