It is fitting on this Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday that we report on a group of neighbors who are organizing their voices to be part of the national discussion on healthcare reform. This past Sunday over 20 people gathered, on just one week’s notice, at Doreen Braverman and Stuart Rudnick’s Hancock Park home to be part of an effort to prevent the repeal of the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as “Obamacare.”
Doreen Braverman, a former labor lawyer who served as general counsel for the Writer’s Guild and is now retired, volunteered for Hilary Clinton’s Presidential campaign. Braverman traveled to Nevada to register voters, spending several weekends working on the campaign’s get-out-the-vote effort. After the campaign, she was inspired by Mrs. Clinton, who told her former volunteers in a conference call following the election not to give up.
“She told us, first, spend some time doing the things you love,” said Braverman. “Then find something you are passionate about and get involved. If there’s no organization, then start one. She told us, we were the kind of people who could make a difference,” said Braverman.
A cancer survivor, Braverman is very concerned about the promise of the new administration to repeal the Affordable Care Act. She spoke about the importance of the provision that prevents insurers from discriminating against those who have had a pre-existing condition and the devastating impact it would have on people. It’s already having a chilling effect on people, explained Braverman. With the threat of repeal looming, a member of her family, also a cancer survivor, is afraid to accept a new job for fear he could lose his insurance coverage.
Braverman invited everyone to join her in forming the Organizing for Action Mid-City LA chapter part of Organizing for Action’s national effort “Fight the Rush to Repeal Obamacare.”
Everyone shared a story about why affordable healthcare is a personal issue. Among the group were fellow cancer survivors who knew Braverman. Others wanted to protect affordable insurance for their young adult children, who are working on jobs with low salaries or no benefits, or both in some cases. Others were heart-broken by the election results and were looking for a way to stay involved to continue advocating for progressive issues. But to a person, everyone said they wanted to concentrate their efforts on something local and specific that would make a difference.
At the Buzz, we love hearing local stories about neighbors getting engaged and working together to empower each other to effect change. If you are working to make change we’d love to hear your story too.
Enjoy this holiday and bright, sunny day!
This story was updated to correct Stuart Rudnick’s last name.