Joe the Plumber Campaigns with Toomey in Harrisburg

Joe the Plumber’s rally last night in Pittsburgh at the Radisson was upstaged by a significantly larger gathering of Employee Free Choice Act supporters including Union members and Keystone Progress.  During the rally America’s favorite fake plumber, Joe associated the Employee Free Choice Act to being “un-American”.  Tell us something Joe, is it un-American for businesses to harass, undermine, and control workers while they decide if they want a Union?  Is it un-American for big businesses to stiff working families with inferior wages and benefits while deferring this burden to the taxpayers?…

No…. Joe refused to answer any of these questions.  Oddly enough, there was quite a large contingent in the audience with Pat Toomey campaign buttons on.  Apparently, Joe the Plumbers sideshow tour will turn into a full blown circus today because while Joe the Plumber continues to rail against progress for working families… he will be joined by none other than Pat (“big business”) Toomey as they campaign in Harrisburg, PA.  

Senator Specter must realize that he needs to snap out of this funk because in disguise it is a political ambush waiting to happen. Instead of maneuvering around it, he appears to be going right into the neo-cons trap. Toomey on the campaign trail today with Joe the Plumber symbolizes how far to the right the Republican party has gone…. and they’re anxious to get rid of Arlen Specter because he threatens their extremist mentality.  Toomey and his cult of followers will quickly fill the hate vaccuum void left when Rick Santorum got defeated by Bob Casey in 2006.  Im predicting, by choosing to “take a stand” against progress for workers… Pat Toomey will quickly fill that void.  

Vito Back On the Job

Acting Labor Secretary Sandi Vito has returned to work following two embarrassing incidents.  First she was arrested for being drunk outside the Harrisburg Hilton.  Then CNN aired a piece where she agreed to speak with them about how the Commonwealth is ripping off unemployed people then ducking their news crew.  That gave the state a black eye following various news accounts about the privatization of unemployment benefits.  Banks are getting rich charging out of work Pennsylvanians to access their benefits.

Sandi Vito only seems to be available when she’s drunk and trying to stumble her way to a taxi.

Abstinence or Science Based Sex Ed?

I’m off to Harrisburg today to volunteer to do some lobbying for the bill proposed by Planned Parenthood to endorse age appropriate, scientifically fact based sex education in our schools.  Gov. Rendell has accepted the Bush Administration abstinence only funds every year while our children go without actual sex education in their schools.  Abstinence only education has been proven completely ineffective.

Grade school children need age appropriate education to teach them about predators and inappropriate advances by adults.  Teens need comprehensive education to teach them the real facts of life.  Teen pregnancy hasn’t decreased at all through the current failed policies so it is time to adapt appropriate teaching methods.

As a point of disclosure I am a Board member for Planned Parenthood Pennsylvania Advocates.

Dowd: Ravenstahl’s Waste Trashing Pittsburgh

(Challenger Dowd exposes Mayor Ravenstahl’s wasteful spending and pay-to-play contracts – promoted by PA Eagle Eye)

Standing beside a brand new $1,010 trash can funded by City of Pittsburgh taxpayers (that’s right… one thousand and ten dollar apiece trash cans when Cincy and Philly paid FAR LESS per recepticle) Pittsburgh Mayoral candidate Patrick Dowd revealed that the City of Pittsburgh under the leadership of the Ravenstahl Administration has wasted $20.2 million dollars in taxpayer money.

The Pittsburgh Post Gazette quoted Mr. Dowd as he stood by the thousand dollar trash can with Mayor Ravenstahl’s name advertised on it. “Sadly, millions of dollars, millions of taxpayer dollars, are being wasted through mismanagement and cronyism,” said Mr. Dowd, as he stood by a new, $1,010 trash can on an East Carson Street sidewalk. “We cannot afford another day of this sort of waste, let alone another four years.”  

To review some of the items of wasteful spending that Dowd contends the Ravenstahl Administration has engaged in see:…  One thing is for certain.  The $252,250 in taxpayer money that Mayor Ravenstahl spent on a mere 250 trash cans, when literally the entire state is in a fiscal emergency is an insult to taxpayers and city workers.  A majority of that quarter of a million dollars could have been allocated in the budget to much more immanent needs than fancy trash cans with the mayor’s name. It could have been allocated to save a few workers jobs or be allocated towards the city’s pension obligations.

One could surmise that there appears to be a pattern of behavior that’s developed with Mayor Ravenstahl, which suggests a lack of foresight and leadership.  I am not sure where spending $252,250 on 250 trash cans would rank in terms of incompetency and mismanagement, but I must agree with Mr. Dowd, the challenger that it is pretty high up there.  The only question is whether it is as “un-mayor-like” as shoving around cops at a Steelers football game, or taking the City of Pittsburgh’s vehicle for personal use to a concert.…

Mr. Dowd recently touched upon another penchant of Ravenstahls Administration to date… that being the city awarding “pay to play contracts” to contractors when mayor Ravenstahl receives campaign donations.  Luke has defended the action by stating that he has proposed meaningful campaign finance reform.…  But, in the meantime, he’ll take the campaign contributions, which is rather hypocritical to say the least, and yet another example of the Mayor putting himself in an “ethically” challenging situation.

Stay tuned as we assess the race for the Mayor of Pittsburgh, review the candidates and, my favorite… investigate the accusations made by the candidates against each other.  Hopefully, there will 3 or 4 debates atleast.  The candidates are incumbent Luke Ravenstahl and challengers Patrick Dowd, Carmen L. Robinson, and Franco “Dok” Harris, Jr.

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(See Joe the Plumber try to manipulate Pennsylvanians this week. – promoted by PA Eagle Eye)

REAL licensed plumbers use a snake to unclog pipes.  Joe the Plumber, an unlicensed plumber, but nonetheless a snake in his own right makes a stop in Pittsburgh at the Radisson in Green Tree tonight at 5:30pm to rail against the Employee Free Choice Act.  

Republicans have turned to their “go to” flunkie Joe the Plumber once again in crunch time to come to Pennsylvania to campaign against the Employee Free Choice Act. Joe will make 3 stops in Pittsburgh, Harrisburg, and Philadelphia to convince Senator Arlen Specter (R) to stab working families in the back by withdrawing his prior commitment to support the EFCA, which he even recently co-sponsored. Amidst pressure from greedy big business out-sourcing type and an election challenge from right wing looney tunes Pat Toomey and Peg Luksik, Specter has decided to conveniently “postpone” his support of EFCA until the economy improves.  

However, Senator Specter up-to-date has failed to give an explanation to working families of exactly which barometer signs (or benchmark indicators) he will use to judge whether or not he can return to supporting EFCA.  Ironically, these same big business groups will likely turn on Specter anyways and support Toomey in the Republican primary, regardless of how Arlen votes on EFCA.  Simply put, Patrick Toomey promotes “more greedy” policies… thus he will certainly receive the support of big business.

Peering into the big business mentality is really quite disturbing in some aspects.  Their warped logic is that it IS OKAY to reward themselves and their upper crust friends at the top in white collar positions with lavish bonuses and six figure salaries. Yet however, IT IS UNACCEPTABLE to them when the notions of a dollar an hour across the board raise, or better benefits for workers are mentioned.  

This is why the EFCA needs to pass.  The EFCA will assure workers the right to be free from intimidation, and lessen company control from the workers decision-making in whether or not to have a Union. Unions have obviously been dubbed “evil” because they fight for fair wages and better benefits for workers. Right now, the big business-likes fear EFCA because in the past they have screwed over these same workers at Wal-Mart McDonalds, etc., and have been able to have a hand in controlling and stifling union-organizing by using threats, firing workers, intimidation, and privately offering bonuses to in effect bribe employees to vote against it.  These are all unconstitutional and illegal acts if these were to be done in a regular political election.  

Pennsylvania working families need EFCA to fight for better wages and benefits to keep up with cost-of-living increases and as a solution to the burden of corporate welfare which puts an enormous strain on all hard-working taxpayers.  Perhaps Joe the Plumber can answer this question. Joe, when a business short changes an employee on benefits intentionally, who do you think picks up the tab for that businesses decision to do so?  

C’mon Joe, even though you’re a tax dodger… you still know the answer… THE TAXPAYERS, which is exactly why we need the EFCA to help corral corporate welfare.  

Joe the Plumber in his own-self in effect is a microcosm of fraud that big business represents on this issue.  They expressedly reject the notion of “workers create wealth” and thus should be treated with the dignity that they and their families deserve.  That dignity means giving workers cost-of-living raises adequate benefits, and them being able to share in the wealth that company has created.  The Plumbers Union, 300,000 members strong has expressly rejected Joe the Plumbers anti-worker views, and cited a statistic from a recent survey that does not bode well for Joe the Plumber as he tries to manipulate people this week in Pennsylvania.  70 percent of unlicensed plumbers would like to join a Union without fear of retribution.….

In wrapping up… I wished Joe the Plumber would visit Pennsylvania every week.  He is basically a flunkie of the GOP, who is dispatched to rail against policies that are actually for his own best interest (such as EFCA).  “Geez, Joe… talk about shooting yourself in the foot!” The message most Pennsylvanians get is “don’t be hoodwinked like Joe the Plumber”.  Of course, even though Joe has sold his morals long ago, best sure to stop by the Radisson tonight at 5:30pm to tell Joe the Plumber what you think of his anti-worker policies!  

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President Ousts GM Chief

Barack Obama has begun rolling heads as he demanded the Chairman of General Motors resign in return for additional government loans.  Rick Wagoner submitted his resignation today following a Friday meeting with the President.  Now we need heads roll on Wall Street.  GM, Ford and Chrysler would be much healthier if Americans had jobs, homes, retirements and the confidence to buy new cars.  Credit for loans continues being tight.  These factors all added to the car makers own failures to produce a catastrophic situation.

It doesn’t appear GM was serious enough in its restructuring to satisfy the White House.  Obama demanded Wagoner’s resignation in return for more money.  This required the GM Chairman to put his company and employees ahead of himself.  Credit to him for doing the right thing.

Where are the heads of AIG, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, GE and other companies responsible for the meltdown?  The heads and top executives of Moody’s and Standard and Poors should be in prison.  These ratings companies provided the fraudulent AAA ratings for toxic securities which enables them to be sold.  This was criminal.  I’m still wondering where all the litigation is.  Wall Street conspired to defraud pension funds, banks, corporations and investors based on such fraudulent ratings they pushed through.  Considering the trillions being lost why aren’t these victims suing for damages?  Our system should be self policing to the extent where the legal outcomes bankrupt these companies, executives are prosecuted and some victims reclaim losses.  It appears the legal system is as broken as Wall Street if there is no legal responsibility for mismanagement and fraud.

Congressman Sestak Hosts 7th Congressional District Business Procurement Summit

From Congressman Sestak’s office:

Over 1,000 Respond to Invitation for Transparent and Timely Access to Opportunities Presented by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act

SPRINGFIELD, PA-On Friday, March 27, 2009, over 1,000 attendees packed Congressman Joe Sestak’s second 7th Congressional District Business Procurement Summit at the Springfield County Club. The summit brought dedicated leaders of government and business together with local small businesses, community organizations, and municipalities to ensure that the 7th Congressional District has the tools, information, and contacts to secure funding and business opportunities through the government contracting process and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Nearly 60 government agencies and major contractors presented exhibits for the more than 900 representatives of local businesses and organizations.

In his opening remarks, Congressman Sestak (PA-07) stressed that his objective in convening this event was the execution of his pledge throughout his first term of office to be diligent in bringing Washington decision-makers to the 7th Congressional District and to see that the views of the constituents of the District were fully integrated in his legislative agenda. “It is clear that the nation is in an economic crisis and this is a time that demands good government-a government proactive and wholly dedicated to the needs of its citizens,” the Congressman said. “The unemployment rate in Delaware County is at 6.4% and the underemployment rate is much higher. Both numbers are very likely to increase in the near term. Right now, I want the businesses and the workforce of the 7th Congressional District to have every conceivable advantage as they fight through this economic crisis. I want them to be expert at understanding the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). If there is an opportunity for a local business to profit from their good work through the ARRA, I want that to happen. Today was designed to prove that government, businesses and labor can come together in close collaboration for the mutual benefit of all and the greater good of our community and country.”  

Congressman Sestak and Dr. Zanti:

Throughout the day, over 1,000 participants had the opportunity to discuss the ARRA with government experts. “This was an exercise in offering our constituents timely information and transparent access to their government,” said the Congressman. It has been less than six weeks since the stimulus legislation was signed by President Obama and today by virtue of the hard work of Congressman Sestak’s staff, every attendee was provided a CD with current information on the funds that will be available through the ARRA as well as contact information for the offices responsible for executing that initiative. Also, programs were distributed containing contact information for nearly 60 prime contractors, government agencies, and vendors of all sizes.  Panel discussions were offered on the management and execution of the ARRA, ‘Government Marketing’ and ‘Joint Ventures and Partnerships’.

“Well before the ARRA was law, my staff was hard at work converting policy and legislation into points of contact my constituents could reach out to in their efforts to win ARRA contracts,” Congressman Sestak said. “We must offer all businesses access and information to convert the ARRA’s $787 billion into kinetic activity that will accelerate our recovery from this crisis.”

The highlights of the day were the keynote addresses delivered by Dr. Mark Zandi, the chief economist and co-founder of Moody’s, and Lt. General Mark Shackelford, Military Deputy Assistant to the Air Force for Acquisition. Zandi captivated an overflow crowd in the Springfield Country Club’s largest room for an hour as he described his views on how the crisis originated, his assessment of the government’s policy response to it, his forecast for the future of the risks our economy will face on the road to recovery. Zandi holds that unemployment and underemployment will rise and the recession will continue until December 2009. Thereafter, he expects two years of an economy that will continue to retract and does not expect the economy to be ‘comfortable’ until 2011. Zandi praised Congressman Sestak’s grasp of the current crisis and his actions to prevent the economy from collapse when the crisis was at its worst. Lt. General Mark Shackelford briefed the same audience on the U.S. Air Force acquisition process and his assessment on the direction of future defense budgets. Both speakers entertained multiple questions from the 800 at the lunch and made themselves available for individual discussions for the remainder of their time at the summit. Sestak acknowledged the professionalism and generosity of both men. “I know how much in demand Mark Zandi is and how difficult it is for a very senior military officer like Mark Shackelford to leave Washington for this length of time. I cannot thank them enough for sharing their expertise with us today,” he said.

Throughout the day the congressman acknowledged the support the event received from twelve local chambers of congress. “Today’s event would not have been so successful without the cooperation of Jeff Vermeulen, Al Paschall, Steve Shunck, Carmen Italia, Lynne A. Williams and other leaders of local chambers and business organizations,” the Congressman said. “In addition, the federal and state government stood tall today. The number and range of organizations represented here today reflects the sort of good government that the nation needs now more than ever.  The people here today-in tough times-reflect a professionalism and commitment to constituents, clients and customers that demands respect.”

Since his election in 2006, Congressman Sestak has used his positions on the HASC, Education and Labor Committee and Vice Chairmanship of the Small Business Committees to advocate for additional opportunities for the efficient businesses and skilled workers of his district and this region. The results have been impressive.  His first BPS drew an impressive 400 participants; today’s event reflected a 250% increase. The reasons for the Congressman’s credibility among business and labor leaders is a function of the results he has achieved in improving their opportunity to compete for government contracts and his legislative efforts to benefit business and labor interests. For example, Congressman Sestak’s Amendment 163 to H.R. 1873, Small Business Fairness in Contracting Act, prohibited contract bundling to make small businesses competitive. He worked closely with Boeing to support the ability of local small businesses to work with Boeing on competing for work that otherwise would have been outsourced from this region. His BESTT (Business and Education Securing Tomorrow Together) initiative is an innovative workforce-development program aimed at inspiring middle schools students to seek a career early in life with the assistance of a mentor from a local business or industry. Already, Rajant Corporation has a proposal to offer students at Beverly Hills M.S. the opportunity to learn about IT-WiFi technology and careers from systems that Rajant is considering for installation at the school. One goal of the BPS was to offer more businesses the opportunity to participate in BESTT. The Congressman is continuously working with Tony Ceballos, Director of the Philadelphia U.S. Export Assistance Center, U.S. Commercial Service, to increase exports of products from the this region. “The nation that recovers first and most efficiently from this global recession has an extraordinary competitive advantage in the future,” the Congressman said. “That nation must be the United States, and I want the 7th Congressional District to lead our nation in that recovery.”  

When asked why he supported ARRA, the Congressman replied, “For the same reasons the U.S. Chamber of Commerce supported this landmark legislation: to stop the hemorrhaging of jobs and avoid a deeper recession or depression. The legislation was an A- in the House and declined to a B- in the Senate, but I felt strongly that more business tax cuts were necessary. In fact, in September I called for a more coordinated, aggressive, four-tiered approach to include: more aid to businesses and more infrastructure; an accountable TARP program; a comprehensive housing package; and support of the Federal Reserve’s current and future policy approach. I am confident that the ARRA will improve our national security. Our Energy and Environment programs will benefit from tax incentives to create jobs and spur investment in green technology. I am impressed by the $2 billion available for advanced batteries manufacturing grants and hope local companies like Lith-Chem will be able to compete for and win contracts to advance their work. In Education, the ARRA offers help for families trying to secure Student Loans. It allows for $53.6 billion in state fiscal relief, will support 250,000 jobs in education and allows for $2,500 for 138,000 additional families in Pennsylvania to qualify for the new American Opportunity Tax Credit. It also includes $1.6 billion for schools and programs in the in 7th Congressional District through State Fiscal Stabilization Fund. ARRA Transportation and Infrastructure funds will support 1.5 million jobs and offers $1.5 billion in funding for Pennsylvania projects. Perhaps most importantly, working families will receive desperately needed support through the ‘Making Work Pay Tax Credit,’ the Earned Income Tax Credit, and the First-Time Homebuyer Credit. Local hospitals like Crozer Chester will receive assistance as COBRA benefits are extended to more citizens. Medicare and Medicaid will receive assistance, and we will advance long-overdue Health Information Technology initiatives. Most analysts expect that 250,000 jobs in the health care industry will be saved or created. On a subject very near to my heart, the VA and department of defense will receive funds to care for our Veterans and future Veterans currently on active duty or serving in the reserves or National Guard. I look forward to visiting military installations with the sort of housing our troops deserve and VA Medical Centers that are consistently among the best maintained in the world. I am especially proud that small businesses will receive tax credits for hiring veterans. In addition, small businesses will benefit from extension of bonus depreciation and tax incentives. However, we need to do more.  For example I strongly support raising guarantees to up to 90 Percent in SBA’s 7(a) Loan Program. The purpose of the 7(a) loan program is to provide a government guarantee that reduces the risk lenders face when they make loans to borrowers who cannot find credit elsewhere. But during this recession, the guarantees-up to 85 percent for loans at or below $150,000 and up to 75 percent for larger loans -have not been large enough to give banks the confidence they need to lend. I have encouraged all of the municipal leaders in the 7th District to look closely at the tax incentives associated with the ARRA as well as ‘Build America Bonds.’ We need to do much, much more to revitalize our communities, especially our ‘First Suburbs’.”

As evidence of the tremendous benefit government contracting can have for small businesses, Congressman Sestak highlighted new figures showing a dramatic increase in federal contracts going to small businesses in the 7th District. In FY2006, small businesses in the District secured just over $155 m in federal contracts; by FY2008, that figure had risen to more than $235 m, a 52% increase. Of the total federal contracts in the District in FY2006, only 6.6% went to small businesses; in FY2008, that figure had jumped to 15.6%-an increase of 137%.

“The government has a goal that 23% of federal contracts will go to small businesses. We’re not there yet, but we will be,” the Congressman said. “That’s important, because small businesses have generated 70 percent of new jobs annually over the past decade. Small business drives this economy, and small business will drive this recovery.”

In his closing remarks, the Congressman urged all of the attendees to recognize that the only way to resolve the current crisis is to ‘work and win-together.’ “As a Veteran, I avoid associating ‘war’ with everything from sporting competitions to social and economic problems,” the Congressman said. “War is horrific in every sense and is a term that holds special meaning. However, in my estimation our nation is fighting three wars at this time. This economic war requires the same sense of shared sacrifice, innovation, hard work, and character that has brought us through tough times in the past. We have many difficult days and difficult decisions before us. I would like to remind us all that when the survival of our nation was challenged, our parents in government, business, and labor found the patriotism and good sense to work together while the nation was in jeopardy-we must do the same now. Today is another indication of my commitment to work with you, my colleagues in congress and the entire federal government to restore the integrity, efficiency, and accountability that was the hallmark of our economic system.”  

NY-20: Stick It to the GOP

{First, a cheap plug for my blog Senate Guru.}

While I typically focus on Senate races, the special election in New York’s 20th Congressional district is an excellent opportunity to stick it to the Republican Party.

NY-20 is a Republican leaning district in voter registration, but has been recently represented by now-Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and even narrowly supported now-President Barack Obama over John McCain.

The Democratic nominee, Scott Murphy, has turned a deficit in the polls into a narrow four-point lead over Republican Jim Tedisco.  Momentum is on our side!  A victory in this special election wouldn’t just be a nice Democratic hold, but, since it is a Republican-leaning district, it would also be a major embarrassment for Republicans, particularly new RNC Chair Michael Steele.

How desperate are Republicans in this race?  Well, they’re very literally reduced to going with a noun, a verb, and 9-11 in flailingly attacking Murphy.  And how loathsome is the Republican nominee?  Even the Libertarian candidate, who was booted from the race after – it would appear – Republicans made a concerted effort to get enough Libertarian ballot signatures overturned, has endorsed Scott Murphy.  (And it’s one hell of an endorsement.)

The special election is this Tuesday!  So what can you do to help?

Phone bank for Scott Murphy!

This is a special election, so GOTV is everything.  On Monday or Tuesday, if you can spend literally one single hour making calls, that could be the difference in a Republican pick-up versus a Republican embarrassment.

The Sestak Initiative

Congressman Joe Sestak held an event today at Springfield Country Club where he brought together hundreds of small business people from his District to connect and meet with key people from various local, state and federal agencies and contractors.  Boeing was there with a helicopter parked in front of the building for viewing and tours.  NASA, State, DRPA, and dozens of other agencies were able to connect directly with hundreds of small business managers and owners with no “gatekeepers.”

Several of the business persons echoed the usefulness of the event to me saying how difficult it can be to discover the proper person to contact with each agency and/or business to develop a working relationship.  By bringing everyone together under one roof Congressman Sestak has greatly facilitated the process for his constituents.

This is a great idea and one he also did a year and a half ago.  That first effort had 440 attendees and this year it grew to well over 900.  The ballroom was indeed crowded with people making contacts, getting computer discs filled with key information and also being able to speak with experts in aiding small businesses develop export markets.  

As if that weren’t enough Sestak also secured Mark Zandi, Chief Economist for Moody’s and Lt. Gen. Mark Shackleford as speakers.  Zandi spoke at length about the economy and predicted tough times through this year before recovery beginning next year and continuing until 2013 or 2014 before we return to full employment.  I’ll have video of this early next week.

Each Congressional District should be conducting such seminars and meetings to bring their business constituents together with vendors, cutting through much of the red tape involved with connecting with the right people.  In these economic times the opportunity to find new markets is essential.  Tony Ceballos of the U.S. Export Assistance Service spoke with the press with two small business owners who have developed nice foreign market niches.  John Juzbasich of Merit Systems LLC talked about his efforts in Liberia and the knowledge he has gained in trading with West African nations.  His company is sending significant aid to war torn Liberia in the form of children’s clothing, shoes and books.  Alix Kocher of Neilsen Kellerman of Boothwyn spoke about developing export markets in Europe for her company’s rowing/sculling electronics.  Working with agencies such as the U.S. Export Assistance Agency tells her where markets exist, aid with translations, understanding foreign cultures and traditions and innumerable other obstacles facing small businesses expanding overseas.

Congressman Sestak is to be commended for his ideas to bring these people together.  He has already managed to increase small business’ share of federal contracts in his District through these efforts.  His staff is also to be commended for organizing and putting together such an excellent event.

Single Payer Advocates Meeting in Pittsburgh This Weekend

Healthcare 4 All PA is conducting a seminar this weekend in Pittsburgh.  I’ve been committed to other events for this weekend for some time so I won’t be joining my friends.  If you are in Western Pennsylvania and want to support REAL, comprehensive healthcare reform which can help save the economy, lower taxes and save lives please attend this event.

Everybody In – Nobody Out: Conference on Single-payer Healthcare

PITTSBURGH, PA – March 26 – “Everybody in – nobody out,” so says Pennsylvania United for Single-payer Healthcare or PUSH.  

With its co-sponsors, Healthcare for All Pennsylvania, and Western Pennsylvania Coalition for Single-payer Healthcare, PUSH is hosting a free, one-day learning conference on Saturday March 28 from 9 am to 4:30 pm in Doherty Hall at Carnegie Mellon University.

PUSH works educate the community about the cost savings, jobs creation, and healthcare benefits of the Single Payer

Solution.  Seminars at the conference will cover how single payer healthcare coverage for everyone will help individuals, families, small and large businesses and municipalities.

The Pennsylvania state legislature is currently considering single-payer healthcare reform. The “Family & Business Healthcare Security Act of 2009” (SB400/HB1660) is sponsored by conference presenter and State Senator Jim Ferlo.

The conference keynote speaker is nationally known universal single-payer healthcare advocate, Donna Smith, representing the

California Nursing Association and Progressive Democrats of America.  Smith was featured in the Michael Moore film about the

perils of America’s current healthcare system, Sicko.

Local Pittsburgh advocate, Celeste Taylor, will also give a keynote talk.  Taylor is an activist with the Black Political Empowerment

Project (B-PEP) and Black & White Reunion, an anti-racism organization. She will teach a seminar on the positive impact of single payer healthcare on individuals and minorities.

The conference location is wheelchair-accessible and a free brown bag lunch will be provided if you pre-register.  Pre-registration is suggested but not required.