MoveOn Members Demonstrate
Senator Webb's (D-VA)   Arlington Office

1501 Route 29 / Lee Highway #130
Arlington, VA 22209
photos by Jerry Nelson
9 July 2009

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MoveOn Arlington VA demonstration at Senator Webb's office 
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PUBLIC OPTION NOW ! converges on downtown Arlington to demonstrate in front of our Senator's office for health care reform.  Tom Pratt, left, volunteered to put out the call to Northern Virginia MoveOn members.

MoveOn Public Option NOW! demonstration in Arrlington
We waited for Senator Webb's staffers to come out to meet with us.
People shared stories of family members working in Europe and unable to come home to face certain loss of medical converge, stories worse than that,   stories will all know.    

Senator Webb staffer Gwen Sigda at our MoveOn demonstration for health care    Arlington demonstration for health care public option

Senator Webb (D-VA) staffer Gwen Sigda was given the task of coming out to meet the crowd from
She was given only the briefest prepared statement:  

Sen. Webb was considering support for the Public Option we wanted.

Ms. Sigda was not from the legislative staff and had been given nothing further to say or explain to us.  But  we started talking to her anyway.  

MoveOn demonstration in Arlington VA at Webb's officeSen Webb staffer Gwen Sigda

We are an engaging bunch, and eventually we engaged Gwen Sigda.
One MoveOn member asked for a show of hands,

How many here had manned the phones or canvassed neighborhoods to get out the vote that put Jim Webb into the Senate?  

Nearly every hand in the crowd went up.  We are MoveOn.  We are the activists that volunteer for your election campaign.  You can get corporate money, but how are you going to spend it?  We are the feet on your street.  

Sen Jim Webb (D-VA) staffer Matt Lucas

Sen Webb staffer Matt Lucas explains the fine points of an advocacy letter to a MoveOn member.

Tom Pratt, MoveOn organizer, with Sen Webb staffers Gwen Sigda and Matt Lucas 
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Tom Pratt, MoveOn voluneer organizer (right, yellow), with Sen Webb staffers Gwen Sigda and Matt Lucas

MoveOn "Public Option NOW" demonstration in Virginia 
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MoveOn members pressed Sen Webb staffers in a lively discussion of health plan priorities.

We all had fun, we got our points across, we made it clear that we are the base that got this man into the Senate in the first place.  
Senator Webb should see MoveOn as a tool he can use, not an irritant.  We would enjoy meeting his legislative staffers at our next event.  

We are a nice bunch of people.  We know our stuff.  And we are on his side.


It is funny how obvious things like impeachment for crimes or single-payer health insurance get to be "off the table".  You wonder who decides.

If leaders can only run away from single payer, then lets try a public health option, a plan of last resort that anyone in the nation can get.  A  public health option among the corporate insurance plans might some day grow to underwrite all citizens and average out all risks -- a single, strong underwriter who would not have to deny treatment to avoid a hit on earnings.  

So here we are with in July, 2009, trying to keep at least a public health option in the Congressional health care legislation.

Yet I still wonder why we are here.  Why this form of government, one that no longer cares about the welfare of its citizens?  

Capital gets invested.  You can put it into one corporation or take it out and put it in another.  The wealthy do not need health insurance corporations, others might be more profitable.  But the corporations one has at the moment seem to be the ones that finance many facets of the political process.

Thank you everyone.  A special interest group promoting the interest of all citizens is the most patriotic interest group of all.  

MoveOn campaign for health care reform 
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MoveOn's letter of thanks to volunteers across the nation leads off with the photo above, and fully 88 Senators were pressured publicly  so we did good.

On a sadder note, we lack power and we are  retreating from the single payer solution that other countries use,  to a compromise in health care (a "public option").  Here is what  a leading scientist has to say about retreats to the land of future hope:  

Dr. James Hansen
Director of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies
Posted: July 9, 2009 10:33 AM
G-8 Failure Reflects U.S. Failure on Climate Change

"Some leaders of big environmental organizations have said I'm naïve to posit an alternative to cap-and-trade, and have suggested I stick to climate modeling. Let's pass a bill, any bill, now and improve it later, they say. The real naïveté is their belief that they, and not the fossil-fuel interests, are driving the legislative process." to hopeful compromises in global warming

Is  naive about the health insurance interests that just drove the legislative truck over us?


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