Monthly Archives: October 2014

Metro Returns to Our Labor Roots

After a four-and-a-half-year hiatus, the Metro New York Health Care for All Campaign rejoined the family of District Council 1707 of AFSCME.  In late September, the community-labor health advocacy coalition moved into the union’s headquarters in the Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood of Manhattan.  Previously, Metro was based at the union’s former location in the Soho section of Manhattan from 2002-10.  It was from there that we lead the New York City Organizing Committee of Health Care for America Now, the large omnibus, multi-constituency campaign that pushed historic health care reform legislation through Congress during 2008-10, now known as the Affordable Care Act (ACA.)

 DC 1707

The union recently elected new leadership, comprised of Victoria Mitchell as Executive Director, and Lorraine Guest as President.  DC 1707 is comprised of six locals representing workers at non-profit agencies who provide human services via contracts with the City of New York:  day care centers, home care programs, social services, teaching and educational organizations, membership and fundraising groups, and Head Start programs, along with a retirees chapter.  We thank Ms. Mitchell and Ms. Guest for warmly welcoming us back.

Previously, Metro was based at the New York City office of Citizen Action of New York.  During our tenure there, we worked closely with Citizen Action and other groups involved in leading Health Care for All New York, a major state consumer health advocacy coalition, as the state implemented ACA.  To date, over 1.6 million New Yorkers have enrolled in new health insurance coverage plans created under the ACA, through the New York State of Health marketplace.  The vast majority of them were previously uninsured.  We greatly appreciate Citizen Action’s hospitality, and the generosity of their Executive Director Karen Scharff.  We look forward to continue working with them on new initiatives to expand coverage to those who have not yet benefited from the ACA, and to improve quality care and value in health care services.

Our new contact information is:

420 West 45th Street
New York, NY  10036

Phone:  646-527-6612
FAX:  212-925-0806 (include cover sheet)

Email:  metrohealth (at) igc (dot) org

2014 Health Care Justice Leadership Gala Announced

Each fall, the Metro New York Health Care for All Campaign sponsors the Annual Health Care Justice Leadership Gala.  The event salutes leadership in the fields of public service, trade unionism, and community advocacy, and features a special keynote speaker who frames the current moment in the struggle for health care justice in New York and America.

This year, the following groups and individuals will be recognized:

Assemblymember Annette Robinson, who has represented the Bedford-Stuyvesant area of Brooklyn since 2002.  She chairs the Banking Committee, and serves on the Aging, Children and Families, Housing, Small Business, Oversight, Analysis and Investigation, and Real Property Taxation Committees.  Previously, she served in the New York City Council.  In recent years, she has provided key leadership in bringing public officials in Brooklyn together to preserve Interfaith Medical Center, one of our city’s foremost community safety net hospitals, and to develop a creative solution for the Center’s future.


The Healthcare Education Project, a joint program of 1199 SEIU United Healthcare Workers East and the Greater New York Hospital Association.  Its mission is to protect and expand  access to quality, affordable healthcare for all New Yorkers through community education, advocacy, and coalition building.  Launched in the late 1990s, the Project works in partnership with individuals, healthcare providers, and civic and religious leaders in local neighborhoods across New York.  In recent years, they spearheaded Regional Enrollment Summits across New York State, in collaboration with Health Care for All New York, and undertook door-to-door canvasses in low-income communities to identify uninsured New Yorkers and direct them to in-person enrollers.

The Coalition to Transform Interfaith, a community-labor-faith collaboration to protect and expand health care in Bedford-Stuyvesant, one of our city’s low-income communities with many uninsured.  To date, they have successfully kept Interfaith Medical Center in operation, and are now spearheading an innovative effort to re-establish the Center’s viability into the future.  They are striving to reorganize Interfaith as a “co-operative” jointly operated by the staff, patients, and community leaders.

This year’s Gala will be held on Monday evening, November 17 at District Council 1707 of AFSCME, 420 West 45th Street (bet. 9th & 10th Aves.) in Manhattan.  An informal reception will begin at 6 p.m., followed by the presentation of the awards.  The keynote speaker will be James Knickman, President and CEO of the New York State Health Foundation.

 The Gala is a fundraiser for the Metro New York Health Care for All Campaign.  The suggested contribution for individuals is $75, although all are welcome whatever they can donate.

Organizations and unions can support the Gala by joining the Host Committee, placing an announcement in the Commemorative Journal, or reserving groups of tickets.  Contact us directly for more information on these options.  The deadline for commitments for the Host Committee and placing journal announcements is Friday, November 7.