Remembering Marilyn Clement – Health Care Now
As many listeners may know, Marilyn Clement, a great social activist and founder of Healthcare-NOW died on August 3. Early in her social activism career Marilyn Clement joined the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and worked with Martin Luther King in Atlanta. She moved to New York City after King’s assassination, she was the executive director of the Center for Constitutional Rights and was active with the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom in Philadelphia. Video Of Marilyn’s Speech June 2009
Mrs. Clement became one of the strongest voices for passing a single payer health care bill. She founded the New York based advocacy organization Health Care Now in 2004. We’re joined by long time friend of Marilyn Clement, Reverend Lucius Walker, founder of Pastors for Peace and executive director of the Interreligious Foundation for Community Organization.
Reverend Lucius Walker:
- It’s pleasure to talk about someone so rare and wonderful as Marilyn, I first met her in late 1967.
- She joined the IFCO staff in those early years. I met her in the interview process and felt that she was a remarkable person.
- She came directly to IFCO from being on a staff with Martin Luther King in Atlanta.
- She was drafting an program to do outreach to black ministers, black pastors.
- She sought out the influences that made her radical philosophy possible.
- She quickly became associate director of IFCO and in the thick of some of the most dynamic movements among people of color and poor whites in the country.
- She was very key staff in IFCO in helping to stop COINTEL PRO from trying to break IFCO’s back.
- The IRS ask to audit IFCO’s records. It took them 3 years to examine 18 months of our financial records.
- It was pure harassment, and she was key in helping us move through that whole process.
- Founded Health Care Now, that phase of her life began in 1970. She was the first person I heard articulate the concept of single payer healthcare.
- It (Health Care Now) started in her apartment, that was her office.
Guest – Reverend Lucius Walker – Executive Director of the Interreligious Foundation for Community Organization (IFCO). He was the founding director from 1967 to 1973. He served as Associate General Secretary of the National Council of Churches from 1973 through 1978. In January of 1979 he returned to IFCO, which has the distinction of being the only national ecumenical foundation committed exclusively to support community organizing.
Victory for Vulcans in NYC Firefighters Case
Last month US District Judge Nicholas Garaufis ruled in favor of the fraternal order of black firefighters, in that New York City has been discriminating against minorities in firefighter hirings. The case, similar to other firefighter cases, brought to light the disparities in the results of hiring 5300 firefighters from 1999 to 2007. Out of the 3,100 black applicants and 4,200 Hispanic applicants who took the exam, only 184 black firefighters and 461 Hispanic firefighters were ultimately appointed. These practices help make New York City the least diverse fire department of any major city in America. 09.07.22_Garaufis Vulcans Opinion.pdf
Center for Constitutional Rights Attorney Darius Charney says, “This is a tremendous victory that we’ve been fighting towards for over seven years and we applaud the court for recognizing that the FDNY written examination has no bearing on whether or not a firefighter is qualified.”
- No other major city worse than NYC. Most civil service jobs were using written tests since the seventies.
- New York has continued to use a paper and pencil multiple choice test.
- A reading comprehension test, more akin to SAT. The city says its not feasible to structure other types of tests.
- Charney: That’s a bogus answer because other cities such as L.A. incorporate other testing methods.
- the case started in 2002 because we filed a complaint with the EEOC.
- EEOC found probable cause that New York City had discriminated, made under the Bush Administration.
- Vulcan society also brought a lawsuit against the fire department in the seventies
Guest – Darius Charney, Staff attorney at the Center for Constitutional Rights in the Racial Justice/Government Misconduct Docket. He is currently lead counsel on Floyd v. City of New York, a federal civil rights class action lawsuit challenging the New York Police Department’s unconstitutional and racially discriminatory stop-and-frisk practices, and Vulcan Society Inc. v. the City of New York, a Title VII class action lawsuit on behalf of African-American applicants to the New York City Fire Department which challenges the racially discriminatory hiring practices of the FDNY.
Story on Town Hall Riots: Right-Wing Shock Troops Do Corporate America’s Dirty Work
Were the fights and disruptions during the town hall meetings this month carefully organized and meticulously planned? A breaking news story at Alternet titled Story on Town Hall Riots: Right-Wing Shock Troops Do Corporate America’s Dirty Work unearths the massive right wing strategy. Anti government fringe groups have aligned with the health care industry, the GOP and Rupert Murdoch to create the town hall riot spectacles.
- I do think its important to look at the conflagration of interest in this whole thing.
- You have the corporate health care interest, you have Wall St., you have big media in the form of Rupert Murdoch, you have a Capitol Hill PR firm, that serves all these interests, and then you have these folks on the ground espousing anti-corporate personal belief.
- Dick Armey, former House Majority Leader, former Congressman from Texas, who works for a lobbying shop called DLA Piper and runs the non-profit called Freedom Works.
- Freedom Works is one of the major organizers of these town hall protests. DLA Piper, Dick Armey’s day job, represents a number of medical and oil interests.
- Resist Net - really caught my attention. It’s part of a network called Grassfire.org, and really organizes the far right. Milita types, anti-taxers, etc.
- Grassfire.org has solid connections to the institutional Republican Party. William Crystal, Peggy Noonan (You Are Terrifying Us)
- You’ll go to these sites and it will say, Stop Obama care now, and you’ll see a listing of the town hall meetings.
- Restoretherepublic.com at bottom of protest signs, connects to ResistNet. It’s clever and hard to find the tentacles.
Guest-Adele Stan, AlterNet’s Washington Bureau Chief