Saturday, August 11, 2007 at 1:00 pm, Los Angeles City Hall, South Lawn
Lily Tomlin, SB 840 Advocates, Labor Leaders to Appear

What is anticipated to be LA’s largest-ever health care rally, calling for California leaders to eliminate for-profit health insurance companies and to guarantee universal coverage for all residents, will take place at 1:00 p.m., Saturday, August 11, 2007 on the south lawn of L.A.’s City Hall at First and Spring Streets.

Organized by a new coalition of grassroots, faith and community groups and labor unions, the rally will be the 365th day of a record-setting one-every-day educational program that has been held throughout the state for SB 840 (Kuehl). The Healthcare for All/OneCareNow (HCA/OCN) campaign was launched when the bill, passed by a majority of the California Assembly and Senate last August, was vetoed by Governor Schwarzenegger in September, 2006. The August 11 Event will be used to reveal plans for “veto-proofing” the current SB 840 bill which was reintroduced this year by its author, State Senator Sheila Kuehl, and now has 43 co-authors.

The rally, which starts at 1:00 p.m., will begin at the arrival of a procession of “hearses,” which will have proceeded from Santa Monica to City Hall, representing the estimated 50 persons in the U.S. who die because they lack health coverage. The event will include entertainment with Lily Tomlin, live music, celebrity hosts, California reform leaders and victims of the health care crisis. Scheduled speakers include Senator Kuehl, Lieutenant Governor John Garamendi, Dolores Huerta, Maria Elena Durazo, and Andrew McGuire of the OneCareNow campaign and leaders of the State Strategy Group for SB 840.

Encouraged by the timing of the release and message of Michael Moore’s new film “SiCKO”, that for-profit insurance is the major cause of today’s health care crisis, the Los Angeles event has become the focus of the state-wide campaign, and will be promoted and supported by many groups including the League of Women Voters, California Alliance for Retired Americans, California Physicians’ Alliance, Older Women’s League, American Medical Student Association, California Council of Churches and many other political, health advocacy and community groups.

Organized labor’s support is lead by the California School Employees Association (CSEA), California Federation of Teachers, California Nurses Association, California Teachers Association (now all co-sponsors of SB 840). The United Teachers Los Angeles, Calfornia Faculty Association, California Faculty Association and the Labor Task Force for SB840 will all be supporting the rally.

The Great LA Health Care Rally Steering Committee is co-chaired by Jim Hilfenhaus (Laborers’ Local 300), Jose Morales (CSEA) and George Savage (HCA/OCN).