Earlier this month I highlighted City Council candidate Yetta Kurland's efforts to protect NYC hospitals from the epidemic of closures as well as her endorsement for City Council from the Progressive Change Campaign Committee (PCCC). You can read their endorsement here.
Yetta Kurland has picked up another endorsement for City Council, this time from the Amalgamated Transit Union. From their press release:
New York, NY – Civil rights attorney and radio show host Yetta Kurland announced yet another labor endorsement today, this time by Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) International.
ATU’s Local 1181 is currently on strike in New York City demanding better conditions for their workers.
“I am honored that at a time when the members of Amalgamated Transit Union are busy fighting for their members on the frontlines, that they would take time to support me in my run for City Council. It shows the level of commitment these workers have to making this City a better place for all working New Yorkers.” said Yetta Kurland.
International ATU President Larry Hanley said “We are proud to endorse Yetta Kurland. Yetta has been there for us on the picket line, and she will be a voice for us in City Hall. Just as she courageously stands up for working men and women, we at the Amalgamated Transit Union proudly stand behind her in her candidacy for City Council.”
Kurland has already received early endorsements from TWU Local 100, CWA Local 1180, DC 37, Local 372, the NYS Machinists District 15 along with several elected officials and clubs including the Women’s Democratic Club of NYC.
Yetta strikes me as the kind of activist that this city lacks in its government. The City Council is one of the tamest (and lamest) I have seen in any city, seldom standing up to anything the mayor does. I think Yetta would make things at least somewhat more interesting. Some background from her website: read more »
I recently highlighted Yetta Kurland's City Council run and the issues (in Manhattan) related to the closing of hospitals without clear understanding of the real dynamics of healthcare in the US. Well my friend Jo Anne Simon, a Democratic Party District Leader in Brooklyn, is addressing similar issues in Brooklyn.
Here is what I said about the Manhattan situation:
...let's remember that closing of St. Vincent's coupled with the closing of NYU's Tisch Hospital, Bellevue Hospital and the VA hospital meant that emergency room coverage was critically low in Manhattan for some time after Sandy. In fact the NYU Medical Center's emergency room remains down today, though I believe their Urgent Care center is now open.
Sadly few people have been championing keeping hospitals open. The dynamic is a complex one. Hospitals almost all run at a loss. This is not because of mismanagement usually but because the cost of care in emergency rooms and ICUs is so hugely expensive that it tends to lose money at a huge rate...in order to save lives. The more people who don't have health insurance, the more people who have to depend on emergency rooms for basic care...and the more money it costs the hospitals. Reduce the number of uninsured people and spread emergency visits over more hospitals and the burden on each hospital is reduced. But leave lots of uninsured and close hospitals and each remaining hospital gets an even higher burden on their emergency rooms...driving them deeper into a financial hole.
Closing St. Vincent's just increased the burden on every other hospital. Of course Healthcare reform is a key way to improve the financial strength of our hospitals, but closing hospitals really isn't. Yetta Kurland gets that.
Well similar ill conceived crap is going on in Brooklyn as well and Jo Anne Simon is on top of it. From a recent email she sent:
Last week, NYS Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli issued a report showing that SUNY Downstate Medical Center and Long Island College Hospital were teetering on the brink and that closing LICH has been discussed by its board.
Tomorrow, January 25th at 11 AM, join federal, state and local elected officials in the little park across the street from LICH (339 Hicks Street) for a rally to call attention to this situation and call upon the state and the hospital to find a way to retain medical services at LICH, an all important teaching hospital in an area with an increasing number of families needing its services!
Again, let me emphasize that the closing of these hospitals is largely due specifically to the costs they bear taking care of uninsured Americans, and each hospital that closes increases the burden on EVERY OTHER HOSPITAL in the area because all those uninsured Americans will have to now either die or go to the next nearest hospital. Thanks to Yetta Kurland and Jo Anne Simon for realizing the importance of this issue. People who try to just apply some imagined "business model" seem to ignore the larger dynamics. Single payer could solve a LOT of this. But until then, we have to protect our hospitals from closing because when hospitals close, people die AND other hospitals have to take on the expensive burden of caring for the uninsured. WE ARE NOT DEALING WITH THIS, and these closings really will mean the difference between life and death for New Yorkers who have to be rushed to the hospital. This is a key reason to support both Yetta Kurland and Jo Anne Simon. It is an issue we all can ignore until we are in an ambulance and the closest hospital is further than we can survive. THAT is becoming the situation. We can fight it or accept it and pray (not my strong point) that we never end up in that ambulance.
And by the way, Bloomberg's closing of firehouses creates the same problem if you have a fire in your building or a neighboring building. Right now you are less likely to have your home survive a fire thanks to the closing of firehouses. When we cut back on teachers, nurses, firehouses and hospitals, EVERYONE gets fucked. Sadly, not too many people are talking about this. Jo Anne Simon IS talking about it and Yetta Kurland is making it the focus of her run for City Council. More power to both of them.
More from Jo Anne Simon... read more »
This past Friday marks two weeks since I made my first ever 911 call.
It was around 4pm that I had told my kids to make sure they had their cell phone with them so I could call them in for dinner. I was sitting here in living room, doing some web development work when I felt a bit of a twitch on my right side and what I thought was a hunger pan.
So up I go and into the kitchen to prepare a salad and have some fruit given I've been doing some massive retooling for the past 4 months of my food intake with Jamie, my nutritionist. I wash and cut some lettuce and a piece of grapefruit which I proceed to eat.
Within 5 minutes I was howling on the floor in pain as if someone had suckered punch me in the chest whilst all the muscles on my right-side froze, seized in a painful spasm.
I had to crawl to the nearest phone so I could call my kids and their father, to warn them I was calling 911. The dad, as usual, was skeptical. I hang up to call 911 not thinking that I was using my cell phone and that they couldnt track me. So here I am trying to describe to the operator what was going on when the phone rings and the dad realizes that indeed I am in a medical emergency. read more »
The criminally negligent cancer that has led the Catholic Church to become the number one defender of child rapists and abusers within their priesthood and leadership, has reared its ugly head in the closing of St. Vincent's Hospital. The 160 year-old institution was eerily quiet yesterday when I paid a visit to the place. It shut operations on April 15th and now the fate of what could end up being a community clinic lays in the middle of political theater and takeover bluffery.
I am personally not in favor of a bail out of the Catholic Church anytime soon. Am particularly enraged by the mismanagement and closing of the Elizabeth Seton Childbirthing Center. I gave birth to my second son with the assistance of the ESCbC midwives; albeit at the hospital because he was a VBAC. I will never forgive St. Vincent's for denying thousands of women in Manhattan the best midwifery and doula services we've ever had.
read more »
This is what really gets me. Bloomberg, the city council and Albany give more and more tax breaks to developers, companies like Exxon/Mobil and Bank of America pay no taxes, and our politicians spend our tax money on slush funds that then turn around and help them get elected. And all the while, our schools, libraries, firehouses, parks and hospitals get cut more and more. I have never heard Bloomberg say we need to give less to Developers and more to our schools and hospitals.
And for each hospital that closes, that puts further pressure on the surviving hospitals. And as long as we have a substantial number of uninsured, our emergency rooms will be overcrowded with people whose only healthcare option is the emergency room. This cycle leads to more closings, which overburdens the surviving hospitals more, bringing them down. Healthcare reform, going even further than what we already have enacted, is still needed. But we also need some politicians that realize that cutting hospitals, schools, libraries and firehouses will lead to a dysfunctional city.
In this context, I would like to quote an email that came from Yetta Kurland that addresses this issue: read more »