Monday, September 21, 2009

The Fight for Health Care Reform Continues

This Wednesday, a wide coalition of organizations has organized a rally to support the public option in health care reform. The rally will be held outside Senator Mary Landrieu's office - Landrieu is among the key Democratic votes who have been standing with Republicans in blocking meaningful health care reform.

One of the key organizations behind this rally is the New Orleans Social Aid and Pleasure Club Task Force, the coalition that represents virtually every S&P Club in the city. While these clubs are known for their central role in our city's culture through sponsoring secondlines most weekends, they deserve recognition for their social justice role as well.

Historically, S&P Clubs were founded as benevolent societies, offering insurance to their members and engaging in other forms of community support. This role continues to be an important aspect of most clubs - for example, several clubs hold benefits in the fall to buy school supplies for kids. Post-Katrina, the Task Force has played an even larger role in advocating for culture - for example, by fighting against city rules that would have nearly eliminated most secondlines - and also greater community needs, such as supporting the recent demonstration to save Charity Hospital.

Wednesday's rally will begin at 6:00pm at the Federal building at 500 Poydras St. At least two brass bands will perform, and speakers will include Dr. Joia Crear-Perry, the President of the New Orleans Medical Association and founding steering committee member of the Louisiana Consumer Healthcare Coalition; Robert “Tiger” Hammond, President of Greater New Orleans AFL-CIO; K Brad Ott, Co-chair, Committee to Reopen Charity Hospital; and Tamara Jackson, President of the New Orleans Social Aid and Pleasure Club Task Force.

For more info on the rally, contact Michelle at 214-684-1426, or, or Gilda, at

(Photo above by Taslim van Hattum)

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