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Lansing Labor News
Established 1945
March 24, 2019
Archived Articles
Print Icon Apr 07, 2011

December 2018

Greetings sisters and brothers:

We had wonderful elections results this November the majority of our UAW endorses candidates got elected , thanks to the hard work of our members that knocked doors, passed out flyers and our retirees that tireless did phone banking, we have a Governor and representative that will work for betterment of working families, thanks again.

To my phone bankers; This year have brought us many challenges in our country and we still don’t know from one minute to another what’s going to happen with our unstable president and his administration that does not the best interest of retirees, unions , human rights and everything we stand and fought for From my family to your families I will like to wish everyone Merry Christmas full of, love, health, happiness, family time, and most of all a blessed new year Please remember to be nice to each other because we never know when we see someone if that’s the last time we see them.

Love, peace and justice,

In Solidarity,

September 2018

Greetings sisters and brothers:

Reflecting on this past time, we said our fare-well to two amazing Americans this past week from very different backgrounds and cultures but loved by most of us. Aretha Franklin asked for R-E-S-P-E-C-T and human and civil rights for all. Senator John McCain, a patriot, and a hero that always was fighting for what he believed was the best for our country regardless of political party. This included health care, immigration and respect for all the same values that we are lacking in our country these days. Let’s take a minute and ask our selves what we can do to bring back our middle class our benefits and our grassroots union solidarity that made us strong and respected by all.

Now there is a lot we can do. The midterm elections are coming up November 6. We have a nominee for Governor; Gretchen Whitmer, who will work for us to repeal the hurtful pension taxes, imposed by our current governor. She will work to resolve our water issues and our crumbling roads. I’m going to need your help phone banking, distribution of signs and any help you can give us. You also need to elect representatives that will be there to support her on our working families agenda.

Please come out and vote on November 6, or absentee vote before that by checking with your local City or township clerk. If I can help you in any way please contact me at the Union Hall at 517-372-4626 and remember that we need your help in all capacities. Phone banking Monday through Friday 10-4pm starting the last week of September. If you would like to help with phone banking, please contact me.

Thank you in advance for all your support love, peace, and justice. At your service in Solidarity

March 2018

Greetings my brothers and sisters. Happy and prosperous New Year. Let’s all make 2018 our best year yet that we have lived. 2017 was definitely a tough year. I have attended more funeral services than I have my whole life. I have paid my respects to the retirees, my friends and family members. After attending so many, I have thought a lot about life and the “dash” between the two numbers and the year’s span of our lives. Life is very precious so we need to do all we can to make a difference.  A difference in our community, unions, homes and the world around us.
If I may ask, can we all please make a commitment for some way, to make a change or make an impact on something around us? Even if you’re just sharing a smile with a stranger, because that can go a long way. As union members, we need to get to our grass roots of mobilizing and organizing.
This year is going to be critical midterm elections. We will be electing a new Governor and also House of Representative members. These days, our atmosphere is very divided and negative in our Nation. Let’s stick together as union sisters and brothers and work very hard for the candidates who support us. We will be needing help with phone banking and many other capacities. If you can volunteer any of your time please let me know. Keep in mind that the last gubernatorial election we got our pensions taxed. This can easily can be turned around, if we get the right people on the job. We need representation for the working family agenda.
Let us not forget, we all didn’t come here on the same ship, but we are in the same boat now.
We will be meeting the 3rd Wednesday of each month, at noon. Please bring a dish to pass if possible. The meeting will begin at 1pm, with bingo afterwards.

December 2017

Greetings brothers and sisters;
As we are aware, we have nearly met the end of a long year. We’ve experienced man-made and natural disasters everywhere in the world. We’ve lost a lot of loved ones and friends. With all that said, we need to remember to remain humble and positive, because that is the only thing that can never be taken away, our spirits.
Let us all make an effort to make these last weeks of 2017, so we can go into another year and make 2018, one of peace. Spend these next few days with friends and family, and cherish the time together.
Our annual Christmas luncheon for our retirees will be on Wednesday, December 13 at noon at the hall. This is a catered meal.
The deadline for sign-up for the Christmas catered luncheon is Friday, December 8.  The food is ordered right after that date so it is important you call (517) 372-4626 to get on the Christmas luncheon head count list.
Have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. With Love, Peace & Justice,  In solidarity, Marta Bobillo

September 2017

Greetings, sisters and brothers. I hope today you are all well with the passing of the hurricanes, fires, floods, and the disasters in our country. Thank you to everyone for providing ways to help the victims.
I would like to thank everyone that took the time to call their Congressional representatives about the affordable health care. With differences made, we still have it, but the difference was made by sticking together and making all those calls. But our fights are not over. This bill is going to be revisited and we have to do it again.
Senator Sanders is introducing a bill that is health care for all. It reflects the health care that Canada and all the other developed countries in the world have. When this comes to a vote, we need to again call our Congressional representatives and ask them to please pass it. We have to remember the teaching of our union movement that “An injury to one is an injury to all.”
With Halloween coming up and the holidays, I ask that you all please purchase products that are labeled “Made in the USA” so we can keep our people working.
Also on one more note, we will be meeting on the third Wednesday of the month at noon for a lunch potluck and a meeting, followed with a good time of Bingo.
Peace, love and justice. In solidarity, Marta Bobillo

March 2017

Hello, I hope everyone is doing well and enjoying this wonderful weather.
Legal Service is now open for retirees. The phone number is 1-800-482-7700.
Also, our Retiree Elections will be held for all Retiree Executive Board positions at the May 17th Luncheon which starts at 12:00 noon. Nominations and Elections will be held at this meeting. Please remember you have to be a dues-paying member to run and/or vote. If you have any questions, please feel free to call me at (517) 256-3739.
Love, Peace and Justice In Solidarity, Marta.

January 2017

Greetings my Union brothers and sisters! Happy and prosperous New Year from my family to yours! 2016 was a very divisive and difficult year and we’ve lost a lot of people that we loved.
As a Union activist, it is time to shake off the past and get back on our feet to make a change. It is time to go forward, fighting for our benefits, rights, civil rights, everything our founding fathers and sisters have worked hard for. It is critical that we do not forget what was fought before us, and we should always remember that an injury to one is an injury to all. We need to get strength from our differences to make us a stronger Union. Going back to our grassroots with boots on the ground, we are prepared to be on call for our Union.
We are approaching our General Elections of the Local 602 this spring. As retirees we can run and vote for any position with the exemption of bargaining. That being said, let’s get going and make a difference for our elections!
Also, as for our elections for the retirees E-Board: nominations will be the day of our May meeting and Elections will take place during our June meeting.
Last but not least, thank you to my retirees, E-board and active members for all the support I have received from you this past year. Our 602 staff has been wonderful, keep up the hard work! I hope to see everyone on the third Wednesday meeting of this month at 12 pm. If it’s possible, dishes to pass would be great to follow our bingo.

December 2016

There’s more, much more to Christmas
Than candle-light and cheer;
It’s the spirit of sweet friendship.
That brightens all the year;
It’s thoughtfulness and kindness, 
It’s hope reborn again
For peace, for understanding
And for goodwill toward men.”
I believe it says it all. We must remember all the men and women who are stationed overseas who will not be home with family and friends fighting to protect our freedom as well as the poor and needy. 
This is the time to pray for unity among all backgrounds and ages, and to celebrate religious freedoms as our Creator has instructed us. 
We wish you a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy, Healthy, Prosperous New Year!
In Solidarity, Love, Peace & Justice, Marta Bobill

September 2016

Brothers and sisters, I hope you’ve all had a great summer with family and friends and are ready to jump into fall, where a lot of things will begin to change. As we know, a lot has been going on politically and with November quickly approaching it is time to start thinking deeply about the elections and who is running for presidency.
For the Republican Party we have Donald Trump, a narcissistic candidate who is an embarrassment to the party and our country. He stands against everything we have been fighting for over time.  For us trade unionists and Americans, our human and civil rights are being offended and he is trying to take rights away from our veterans, handicapped, our immigrants, African-Americans, Hispanic, Latinos, Muslims and more. He is insulting our freedom and rights with his words.
He may start a sentence one way, but by the end of it he is completely opposing it. He does not stand on fair ground and we cannot let this happen. He is inequitably able to run for presidency if we want to see change in our world. We also need to think about if this will be fit for our children’s lives, knowing this is the next running up generation. This man is only trying to find ways to make himself successful, and we cannot afford to deal with flip-flopping situations.
On the other hand, we have the Democratic Presidential nominee, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. This woman has dedicated her time and life to fight for ALL people regardless of their race, beliefs, and religion. We have seen firsthand her strengths when fighting for the middle class. I strongly feel she will be able to help our world come up again slowly, and there will be Justice and Liberty for all.
Currently, America is prospering with job growth, lower national deficit, and some of the lowest unemployment numbers nationwide we’ve ever seen. Our UAW leadership and membership has endorsed Secretary Clinton to represent and work for us. She has definitely proven to us that she can work hard not just for union members, but for all Americans, to promote their benefits, secure our jobs, and maintain our Social Security. We cannot afford to let the wrong person in, our world needs positive change and difference and that starts with us. Not voting or taking action to vote is your standing of how you want the world to be.
The UAW 602 will be having phone banking Monday-Friday 10am-5pm for everyone. If you are not registered to vote yet we will have voter’s registration forms.  Please don’t forget to vote on November 8th, please take advantage of the freedom we have been given and help take a stand because the difference starts with us. Candidate information is available at the Union Hall if you are wondering where a candidate stands on certain issues.
Come see us on the first Monday of every month for Bingo at 6:oo p.m. and/or the third Wednesday of every month at 12:00 p.m. for a potluck luncheon where everyone brings a dish to pass, a little something for the Food Bank and own table service. We have a short meeting after eating followed by BINGO. With love, peace and Solidarity at your service, Marta Bobillo.

May 2016: Your voice is your power

As many are aware, Republicans have done it to us again, passing Senate Bill 571 with not a single hearing and no public voicing at all. This bill made it so we cannot vote straight ticket. Which means we need to mark every individual part of the ballot, which would take up too much time at the polls. The caucus members felt very comfortable and as if they had nothing to worry about making the decision of voting for it. Keep in mind they only had 15 minutes to read over 41 pages before the vote was held. This bill has become a big speak-out for the Republicans now.
In Michigan, many bills have been passed recently that are very anti-union, middle working class, civil and human rights, anti-woman, etc. I am encouraging everyone to apply for absentee ballots. That way we can take the time needed with our family members to discuss our issues and what should be done.  As union families we need to always remember that we have to take advantage of our rights so we can support what supports us. Who we elect to represent us can help us to live in a stable, strong environment. No matter the outcome of our primaries, we need to unite our country and our state, and elect a Democrat to fight for our issues.
We meet for bingo and discussions every first Monday of each month, 6:00 p.m. at Local 602, and also every third Wednesday of every month at 12:00 noon for potluck meetings and following Bingo. We welcome members to join and fellowship with us.

Marta Bobillo, January 2016

As the New Year begins, I have accepted great responsibilities, and challenges as the UAW 602 Retiree Chair. I pledge to serve my God, and the memberships of all who know me. I learned and I will continue to learn to always put 110% forward in all the work that I do, and with the help of the rock of 602, the late Dorothy Stevens, a great friend and a supporter to me and others.
Most people may know that Dorothy was always very determined, and once she had a goal set, Dorothy did all that she could possibly do to reach the goal. She achieved and worked so hard for our union up until her very last breath.
Dorothy started off her work in the Cushion Room in 1952. At the time, women were being paid less and the seniority list was maintained separate from men. In 1957, Dorothy and a group of other women were laid off before men with lower seniority. More events happened that set Dorothy on a rage to fight, and she was transferred to Trim, where men worked and had higher pay. She begged the other women to fight and beg to get transferred, but none would join her.
Once she got in, that didn’t stop her rage. With Dorothy’s determination, independence, and commitment she was elected committee person in 1967. She served and was reelected, fighting nonstop for all the members she represented. Her strong leadership got her elected the first woman zone committeeperson for the Bargaining Committee.
Dorothy was never scared to be in the front line. After 32 years of service she retired, but that wasn’t the end of it for her. She was elected to Retiree Chair and she loyally served for another 32 years until her very last breath.
As you see, I have very big shoes t fill, but I will continue to share the determination as Dorothy would expect me to. All her work was done with a purpose, and I have to follow that. I am asking for all in this union to stand with me, so we can find and make ways to make a bigger and a better union with peace and justice. I extend an invitation to all 602 retirees to join us on the third Wednesday of every month at 12 pm where we will have lunch as a family that we are, a meeting at 1 pm and then it will follow with bingo. Thank you.

September 2015

The UAW Region 1D Travel Committee is on the road again. We have five buses to New Orleans and three buses to Pigeon Forge leaving on October 4-10.
We have several trips planned for 2016. In March, to Lakeland, Florida for Detroit Tigers spring training game and tour. In May, a train tour to Canyonlands. Also in May, 14th to 22nd, is a trip of nine days and eight nights to Mount Rushmore, the Badlands, and the Black Hills of South Dakota for $689 per person, double occupancy. There are eight dinners and six breakfasts included in the price. If you are interested or need more information, please contact Connie Dunn at 517-323-2146.
These trips fill up fast, so get your reservations in early to insure you get a seat on the bus.
I was asked the question, “Do you need to be a UAW member to take these trips?” The answer is no, as there is no UAW money used on these trips.
If you have any suggestions of places to visit, please let us know.
All of those who are on the sick list you are in our thoughts and prayers. For all of you who have lost a loved one or dear friend, we send you our condolences.

May 2015

Spring is here! It sure seems good to see the grass green and all the trees budding out. We held our area euchre tournament on the 17th of April and it was enjoyed by everyone.
Next on the agenda is May 26 to 29 at Black Lake for retirees who have never gone as a retiree. If you’d like to go, give me a call at 517-627-3542 ASAP and I’ll see if I can’t get you on the list.
We are also signing people up for our annual Region 1-D trips—Pigeon Forge at $525 and New Orleans at $529. Both are leaving on October 4 and returning home on the 10th. There is a $75 deposit when you sign up for either trip, with Pigeon Forge final payment due on July 28, 2015 and New Orleans final payment due on August 1, 2015. If you are interested or would like more info you may call me at 517-627-3542.
Retiree Fisher Girls, mark your calendars for the last Thursday in July for our annual luncheon get-together at Finley’s on South Cedar at 1:30 pm. That’s July 30. I look forward to seeing everyone for an afternoon of reminiscing.
I hate to sound like a broken record but I follow closely on Social Security and Medicare.
The powerful House majority just fired the first shot in an all-out attack on Social Security.
If they succeed in forcing a 20% benefit cut, it could amount to a “death sentence” for some of the 11 million seniors living on disability and open the door to huge benefit cuts that will have impacts on all beneficiaries.
The 114th Congress made it clear early on that they were determined to cut Social Security benefits of millions of American seniors, workers with disabilities and their families. Just months in this Congress and they’ve already manufactured a phony “Social Security crisis” and taken steps that put Social Security on a collision course that will devastate this program and your earned benefits.
Elected officials from both parties are openly embracing schemes like the “Chained CPI” which would cut the monthly Social Security Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA) of current and future beneficiaries.
The last thing America’s senior citizens can afford is to have our Social Security checks cut and our Medicare benefits reduced in ways that make prescription drugs more expensive and increase out-of-pocket medical expenses. We can’t let this happen. Contact your representatives and make your voice heard.
All of those who are on the sick list you are in our thoughts and prayers.

January 2015

We are starting a new year with a new Congress and many wonder what will come next.
There is growing political will in Washington to alter our Social Security system. The changes to our country’s social insurance safety net appear to be inevitable, especially now, with a new willingness by President Obama and lawmakers in both parties to change Social Security and Medicare and cut your earned benefits.
It has been a constant fight to protect and improve these vital programs for current and future beneficiaries.
Given the federal debt, the anti-
Social Security lobby will continue to
target the Social Security system in
order to pay down deficits while many Washington politicians want to cut
Social Security and Medicare and keep tax loopholes for millionaires.
Some of the most harmful proposals gaining momentum in Washington would cut the Social Security Cost-of-Living Adjustments (COLA) already too low to keep up with rising costs, end traditional Medicare and privatize the program for the benefit of large insurance companies, increase your out-of-pocket health care costs and undermine the purpose of Social Security and Medicare.
Sending a message to your Representative is very, very important right now. Here’s why:
1) As a constituent writing or contacting your representative to urge them to approve any legislation, plan or recommendation that will in any way harm the benefits, or traditional role of Social Security or Medicare are effective coming from you.
2) These are benefits YOU have worked for, paid for, and are counting on for your retirement.
3) The next two years are going to present us with enormous challenges. If we stand together we can stop bad things from happening and make our country stronger and more just.
This is the least we can do to try and leave something for our children and grandchildren. Won’t you please take a few minutes and contact your representative now?
For all the sick and shut-ins, you are in our thoughts and prayers.
For those who have lost a loved one or dear friend, we send you our sincere condolences.

December 2014
Now that the elections are over it is time for us to focus on the holiday season. 
I came across a Christmas poem I’d like to share with you. 
“There’s more, much more to Christmas
Than candle-light and cheer;
It’s the spirit of sweet friendship.
That brightens all the year;
It’s thoughtfulness and kindness, 
It’s hope reborn again
For peace, for understanding
And for goodwill toward men.”
I believe it says it all. We must remember all the men and women who are stationed overseas who will not be home with family and friends fighting to protect our freedom as well as the poor and needy. 
It is the season of giving and helping one another. 

September 2014

Where has our summer gone? In a couple of weeks the kids will be starting back to school and that brings us closer to the 2014 Election Day, November 4.
It is of utmost importance that you vote for the right people. We must vote for those who will work for us. We seniors should be especially concerned about our Social Security and Medicare. Think: how would it impact you and your family personally if Washington decided to change, cut, or dismantle Medicare and Social Security?
A group of politicians, special interests, and pundits are talking about doing just that. They say these programs are too expensive, ineffective, and actually harmful to the economy and the American people.
This is one the most dangerous and deceitful ideas ever to come up in Washington and it needs to be challenged. The vast majority of seniors are NOT living high on their earned benefits as some economic experts claim. Far from it. The average retiree is scarcely able to afford soaring food and utility expenses, not to mention out-of-pocket Medicare costs.
While some in Washington claim America cannot afford programs like Social Security and Medicare, without the current level of Social Security benefits, 44% of all seniors would be living in poverty.
That’s why, with so much at stake for the future of Social Security and Medicare, it is so important you take the time right now to contact your Representatives in Congress asking them to reject any proposals that affect the well-being of Social Security and Medicare.
The Region 1-D UAW Travel Group is now finalizing their next trip, which is to Cape Cod. At the present time, we have eight buses going and we’re taking stand-bys for the ninth bus and possibly the tenth. We will be going October 19-25 at $529 a person. If you’re interested, you may contact Connie Dunn at 517-323-2146 or myself at 517-627-3542.
For all our sick and shut-ins, you are in our prayers.
For all who have lost a loved one or dear friend, we send our condolences.

May 2014
The Republican Party is not going to leave working people alone. State legislation to limit union picket activity in HB 4643 would change current law to allow employers to obtain an automatic injunction from a circuit court against picketing activity without first having to prove irreparable harm, as is currently the case.
The bill would seek to financially intimidate workers from expressing their constitutional right to protest unfair working conditions. What next?
Call or write your State Representative now and tell them to oppose HB 4643, an unnecessary and likely unconstitutional attack on the ability of workers to exercise their First Amendment Rights to protest.
This may seem like a broken record but I cannot stress the importance of keeping the heat on Congress to strengthen Social Security and Medicare. Over and over again, seniors are being told they must foot the bill for the crisis in Washington.
Rather than cutting Social Security and Medicare to pay down a deficit which these programs did not create, Washington should be looking for ways to address the retirement crisis head-on.
The debate over the future of Social Security has started anew. With federal debt now exceeding $17 trillion, will lawmakers rubber-stamp deficit reduction proposals that cut Social Security benefits? Raise the retirement age? Reduce the COLA?
This is a very real battle with very real consequences for our retirement security. Congress needs to know where you stand so I hope you will write or call your representatives. Let them know that among their top priorities as your representatives should be to defeat proposed benefit cuts, privatization, and other harmful proposals that threaten your retirement and health.
We must help elect more lawmakers who are on our side and will support legislation seniors need and reject proposals that undermine the promise of Social Security and Medicare. If we flood them with letters and phone calls, they will listen, but it takes numbers and we’ve got the numbers if everyone does their part.
The Euchre Tournament has been changed to May 7 at Local 602.
For all of the retired Fisher Girls, mark your calendars for the fourth Thursday in July, which is July 24, at 2:00 pm at Finley’s on S. Cedar for our annual luncheon.
Your picnic this year will be held at Royal Scot with the entire meal being furnished on August 12.
For all who are ill and homebound, you are in our thoughts and prayers.
For all of your who have lost a loved one or dear friend, we send you our sincere condolences.

January 2014
As we enter a new year, we are faced with many challenges. Millions of seniors will continue to see their earned benefits on the chopping block. We cannot afford to sit back and allow Social Security and Medicare to continue to be used as scapegoats for Washington’s spending problem. 
Wall Street bankers, powerful insurance companies, and their deep-pocketed special interest groups are sparing no expense to win the battle to scale back your earned benefits and preserve tax loopholes for the wealthiest Americans. 
The year 2014 is an election year and it will be necessary for everyone to jump in to help defeat the Tea Party Republicans and elect a Democratic majority in Congress to work with President Obama to keep America moving forward by helping its citizens to build better lives for themselves. 
All euchre players, mark your calendars for April 30. The tournament will be held at Local 602 at 8:00 am with lunch being served at noon. Can we keep the trophy in Lansing another year? We’ll see! 
The session for retirees at Black Lake following Memorial Day will soon be here. I need an updated list of all retirees interested who have never gone before as a retiree. Please call me at 517-627-3542 to get your name on the list. 
White Shirt Day is February 11. Don’t forget to honor the SitDowners. 
For those who have lost a loved one or dear friend, we send our sincere condolences.
For those who are ill and homebound we wish you a speedy recovery in hopes you’ll be well soon.

December 2013

This is a time of year for remembering everything that makes us grateful. 
It is also a time for giving. Our soldiers in Afghanistan need phone cards so they can call their loved ones back home. Let’s make it a Merry Christmas for them and their families. 
Following is a poem I would like to share with you:
Twas the night before Christmas, he lived all alone, 
in a one bedroom house made of plaster and stone. 
I had come down the chimney with presents to give,
and to see just who in this home did live. 
I looked all about, a strange sight I did see, 
no tinsel, no presents, not even a tree.
No stocking hung by mantle, just boots filled with sand, 
on the wall hung pictures of far distant lands.
With medals and badges, awards of all kinds,
a sober thought came through my mind. 
For this house was different, it was dark and dreary,
I found the home of a soldier, once I could see clearly. 
The soldier lay sleeping, silent, alone.
curled up on the floor in this one bedroom home.
The face was so gentle, the room is such disorder,
not how I pictured United States Soldier. 
Was this the hero of whom I’d just read? 
Curled up on a poncho, the floor for a bed?
I realized the families that I saw this night
owed their lives to these soldiers who were willing to fight. 
Soon round the world, the children would play, 
and grownups would celebrate a bright Christmas Day.
They all enjoyed freedom each month of the year,
because of the soldiers, like the one lying here. 
I couldn’t help wonder how many lay alone,
on a cold Christmas Eve in land far from home. 
The very thought brought a tear to my eye. 
I dropped to my knees and started to cry. 
The soldier awakened and I heard a rough voice, 
“Santa don’t cry, this life is my choice;
I fight for freedom, I don’t ask for more.
my life is my God, my Country, my Corps.”
The soldier rolled over and drifted to sleep, 
I couldn’t control it, I continued to weep. 
I kept watch for hours, so silent and still
and we both shivered from the cold night’s chill.
I didn’t want to leave on that cold, dark night,
this guardian of honor so willing to fight. 
Then the soldier rolled over, with a voice soft and pure,
whispered, “Carry on Santa, its Christmas Day, all is secure.”
One look at my watch, and I knew he was right.
“Merry Christmas my friend, and to all a good night.
[Editor’s note: This is an anonymous variation of a poem which was written by Lance Corporal James Schmidt and published in Leatherneck magazine in 1991.

September 2013

Washington politicians must think we’re stupid. They take money from corporate interests like Big Oil and Wall Street banks. They introduce legislation that directly affects the bottom line of these companies, and then they expect us to believe that the campaign contributions they receive have nothing to do with how they act or vote. 
In the real world, no one believes Exxon Mobile or Bank of America gives millions of dollars to Congress out of the kindness of their cold, corporate hearts. And no one thinks Big Business is confused about what it is doing. They spend millions for returns in the billions. 
Big Oil won a big vote in the U.S. Senate by blocking a popular bill that would have cut $24 billion in taxpayer subsidies for the five richest oil companies. The 48 U.S. Senators who voted in favor of Big Oil received $23.5 million in career contributions from the oil and gas industries. The 52 Senators who voted to cut the subsidies received $5.8 million. [Editor’s note: 60 votes were needed for cloture.]
That’s no coincidence, it’s just business as usual in our nation’s capital, another corporate handout by politicians in exchange for campaign contributions. It’s time to get our special interest money out of our politics. It will take a constitutional amendment to overturn the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision.
The American people understand it cannot long survive the Supreme court’s disastrous Citizens United decision and a permissive political culture that lets corporations and the super rich effectively buy—or at least rent—politicians and policies. 
At last count, there were 16 states which had taken action for a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United. Michigan needs to be next. 
For all our sick and shut-ins you are in our thoughts and prayers each day. 
For those who have lost a loved one or dear friend we send you our condolences.

May 2013
Welcome back to all the snowbirds. You’re great with your suntans. We’re glad you’re back safe.

Some dates to remember:

Euchre tournament, May 8. Registration is at Local 602 at 8:30 a.m. and playing starts at 9:00. The top four winners will meet with Flint’s top four at Local 602 in the afternoon. Come join us for a day of fun and also lunch.
Retired Fisher Girls’ annual luncheon will be on the last Thursday in July, the 25th, at 2:00 p.m. at Finley’s Restaurant on South Cedar Street in Lansing. We’re looking forward to seeing everyone for an afternoon of reminiscing.
We are working to set up a travel club for all retirees in the region. If you have a place you’d like to go and think that other retirees would enjoy, please let me know. If we can get the numbers, we’ll be looking at cheaper rates.
Despite its success and popularity, Congress is now seriously considering undermining the existing Medicare system. They would slash benefits for the elderly and leave older Americans at the mercy of the for-profit insurance industry.
The solution to our nation’s health care crisis isn’t cutting Medicare. It’s making Medicare into a single-payer system for all.
More than four years after the financial crash and two years after the passage of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, Wall Street still remains out of control. We need to push for the rules that Dodd-Frank mandated and for tough standards that will crack down on Wall Street abuses.
Spend just a few minutes of your time and call your Congressperson and make your voice heard.
For all our sick and shut-ins you are in our thoughts and prayers and for all who have lost a loved one or dear friend, we send you our deepest condolences.

January 2013
As we enter the New Year there are many challenges we will be facing. The “right-to-work” law our Governor signed into law in December has been a big challenge for the middle class. The Governor is now saying it has already created at least two new jobs. These, of course, are government jobs with a salary of $76,000 to $106,000 a year, paid for by the taxpayers.
When you file your tax return you are in for a surprise. Seniors no longer can claim the homestead property tax credit along with other deductions we have had in the past. Just so they could give breaks to companies and the wealthy.
We still are faced with a GOP unwilling to work with President Obama and we are looking at a Congress that is trying to change Social Security and Medicare. We need to call our Representatives and tell them to leave Social Security alone. It didn’t cause the deficit, so why should it be used to pay down the deficit?
I am updating my list of retirees who have never gone to Black Lake as a retiree and would appreciate your giving me a call at 517-627-3542 or call the Union Hall to get your name on the list.
Retired Fisher Girls, mark your calendar for July 25 for our annual luncheon get-together at Finley’s restaurant on South Cedar St at 2:00 p.m. Hope to see everyone there.
The area-wide picnic is planned for August 12 at Hawk Island. There will be more details later on.
Kudos go out to Local 652 and the employees at the Grand River plant where they make the Cadillac that was named Car of the Year! Great!
I just received a phone call from one of my snowbirds, and the weather is fantastic in Florida and they’re loving and enjoying every minute of it.
For all our sick and shut-ins you are in our thoughts and prayers and for all who have lost a loved one or dear friend, we send you our sincere condolences.

December 2012

The elections are over so now we can focus on the holidays. While you are planning your holidays take a few moments to think of all the homeless and hungry out on the streets on these cold nights. We, as a retiree group, have been very generous in giving to several organizations that benefit our veterans, children, and the elderly. It gives you a good feeling to know that a family had a nice dinner, or a child had a gift to unwrap under the tree all because you cared enough to share a little with them.
As always, our retirees will bring unwrapped toys for tots at our Christmas Dinner along with items for the food bank. We also have a money can in case you forgot, which can be used to buy food for the homeless.
On Thursday, December 13 at 2:00 pm Health Plus will be at Local 602 for an informational meeting for all UAW Trust Retirees. This is the highest-ranked Medicare Plan offered to UAW Retirees. This plan has been in the Flint area for quite some time and their members have found it to be a good plan. It think it would be well worth your time to attend this meeting.
I have this poem by an unknown writer that I’d like to share with you
“There’s more, much more to Christmas
Than candle-light and cheer;
It’s the spirit of sweet friendship,
That brightens all the year
It’s thoughtfulness and kindness,
It’s hope reborn again
For peace, for understanding
And for goodwill toward men.”
We wish you all a Merry Christmas and Best Wishes for a Joyful Holiday and a New Year filled with happiness.
We look forward to seeing everyone again in January. For all our sick and homebound, you are in our thoughts and prayers. And to all who have lost a loved one or dear friend, we send our heartfelt condolences.

September 2012

In a matter of days once again Election Day will be here. It is a day that will govern your lives in the future so it is extremely important that you vote the right way and support those who support you.
Those you elect this November will no doubt make their historic decisions concerning Social Security and Medicare—your earned benefits.
The Republican Party wants full
control of our government. They ran our government, our economy, and our
international standing in the ditch
before and they’ll do it again if we let them.
It is vital for the middle class, women, low-income families, seniors, and minorities to all pull together for the challenges that lie ahead and vote straight Democratic to stop the war the GOP have declared on us instead of eliminating the breaks and loopholes for America’s wealthy.
The GOP makes no secret about what they will do if elected. They boast about repealing heath care reform, making Medicare a voucher program and privatizing Social Security using the federal debt crisis as justification for their reasoning in order to give the wealthiest a tax break.
Do not forget the election year motivation for some lawmakers to score political points at seniors’ expense by cutting your earned benefits.
That is why we must support candidates who will fight for us and fight against support for changes to Social Security, proposed by Fiscal Commission Co-Chairs Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles; Resist the pressure to approve changes to Medicare like those proposed by Paul Ryan; The ‘Trigger’ mechanism in Ryan’s plan that, if passed into law, could call for deep cuts to
Social Security starting next year, and politically motivated forces seeking to unravel critically needed Medicare benefit improvements under the “Affordable Care Act,” by challenging and ultimately, repealing the law.
Candidate Mitt Romney made his fortune closing plants, driving companies into bankruptcy, laying off workers, and shipping their jobs overseas. He has invested millions of dollars in funds set up in the Cayman Islands, a notorious Caribbean tax haven.
If Romney and Ryan were to win this election it’s impossible to imagine or be prepared to live with the consequences of spending cuts and devastating losses in future benefits.
We must re-elect President Obama, secure our hold in the Senate, and retake the House.
All across Michigan we worked tirelessly collecting over 600,000 signatures to get “Protect Collective Bargaining” on the ballot and now we ask you to please support this proposal with a YES vote and enhance the quality of living and working conditions for all Michigan citizens.
Don’t forget to turn your ballot over and vote for our endorsed candidates for the Michigan Supreme Court—Sheila Johnson, Connie Marie Kelley, and Bridget Mary McCormick. All of whom are labor friendly.
For all our sick and homebound, you are in our thoughts and prayers.
For those who have lost a loved one or dear friend, we send you our deepest condolences.

May 2012

Seniors must take actions. 2011 saw one bruising fight after another and many are concerned that our future budget deals might include deep cuts to benefits or increased taxes to “save” Social Security. We need to send a strong message to our Congressmen urging them to guard your Social Security benefits, and those of future generations, against any cuts is the wrong way to go!
Now, at a time when retirees need Social Security more than ever, the agenda to cut Social Security continues. Retirees are struggling to afford soaring food, energy, and health care costs. But the forces opposed to Social Security have thrown big money behind campaigns to reduce government spending and, ultimately, cut benefits.
The fastest growing segments of our population, those age 60 and older, are the “powerful force” that Congress will listen to.
Voters who make their wishes unmistakably clear to Congress in overwhelming numbers have the best chance to defeat the special interest lobbies. That’s the way the system works. Members of Congress listen to the people and this being an election year, let’s make our voices heard loud and clear. Show them that we are sincere and determined. We must all unite to keep Social Security and Medicare on the right course and by doing so it could pay back enormous dividends for years to come for you and future generations.
This will be the most expensive campaign in history, thanks to the Supreme Court’s “Citizen’s United” decision. Republicans are funded by secretive special interest money and are already targeting President Obama and our House candidates with vicious attack ads. Latest being he’s the reason for high gas prices.
President Obama needs a strong Democratic majority in the house to fight for policies that invest in the middle class and move America forward.
Thanks to the Supreme Court’s disastrous Citizens United decisions, Big Oil, pharmaceutical companies and corporations that ship American jobs overseas can now spend unlimited sums of money to both reward their political allies and punish their political opponents.
Groups led by Karl Rove, the ultra-conservative billionaire Koch brothers, and many others are spending millions of dollars to support the campaigns of Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, and Tea Party Republicans determined to defeat President Obama and expand their House majority.
Democrats need just 25 seats to win the House majority.
The Federal debt crisis in being used as an excuse to push unfair spending cuts to our social insurance safety net, at a time when the need for Social Security and Medicare is growing to unprecedented levels.
Corporations and individuals who have fared extremely well in the last decade enjoy tax breaks and loopholes that have contributed to today’s federal debt crisis.
Congress can cut the deficit without cuts to Social Security and Medicare if it focuses on improving the economy and asking those who have done extremely well in the last decade to finally pay their fair share.
We must all contact our elected officials urging them to protect the interests of senior Americans in budget decisions and to protect Social Security and Medicare from spending cuts that weaken these programs and threaten future benefits.
We are in the midst of contacting retirees to sign petitions protecting jobs and will be at the Hall weekdays 10 am-4 pm. For those unable to come to the hall, we will get your name and address and make every effort to come to you.
With Memorial Day approaching I have a tribute to all veterans who sacrificed so much for us;
“They answered their country’s
call to arms,
into battle they did go,
Where their final destination was,
No one will ever know.
May their final resting place,
under some unknown sod,
be forever hallowed,
For it is known,
Only unto God”    TMP
For all of our sick and homebound, you’re in our thoughts and prayers and for those who have lost a loved one or dear friend, we send you our condolences.

January 2012

The House majority is determined to cut $4 trillion from federal spending by ending Medicare as we know it and shifting an extra $6,300 in annual health care costs to the average future retiree.

Privatizing Medicare is a centerpiece of House Budget Committee Chair Paul Ryan’s 2012 budget proposal. If it is passed, this pWe are starting a new year with the hope that 2012 will be better than 2011. However, there are many issues facing the American public yet to be solved.
The American people have become increasingly aware of the impact of corporate power in their lives and are no longer willing to roll over and let corporations get away with ripping off consumers, spending whatever they want to influence elections, and otherwise wreaking havoc on our lives.
Corporations are not people. But the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in “Citizens United” that corporations have the same “rights” as you and me to spend unlimited money influencing elections. And now WE the People, actual, real people, need a constitutional amendment to take back our democracy.
Instead of delivering on the promise of strong limits to protect our economy and hold Wall Street accountable, the Republican majority in Congress is hammering away at financial reform that didn’t go far enough to begin with. They’re chipping away at the Consumers Financial Protection Bureau that was created to keep you and me from getting ripped off by the banks.
America is in a crisis because a largely deregulated Wall Street drove the economy off a cliff and brought the middle class to its knees. It’s time to stop and there can be no going back so I ask each and every one of you to get involved.
With everything that’s going on and all the nastiness and political bloodbaths we’ll be seeing in 2012, it’s easy to let cynicism and disgust make you want to wash your hands of this mess.
Don’t do it! Big corporations are trying to mug our democracy and take what belongs to us, We the People.
Don’t be a bystander who just keeps walking, get involved and help protect and strengthen our democracy in this country. Contact your elected representatives in Congress and make your voice heard.
The GOP may have their secret billionaire backers, but we have the numbers and by everyone doing their utmost part can mean the difference between victory and defeat.
For all our sick and shut-ins, you are in our thoughts and prayers. For those who have lost a loved one or dear friend, you have our condolences.

December 2011

The House majority is determined to cut $4 trillion from federal spending by ending Medicare as we know it and shifting an extra $6,300 in annual health care costs to the average future retiree.

Privatizing Medicare is a centerpiece of House Budget Committee Chair Paul Ryan’s 2012 budget proposal. If it is passed, this plan will send our nation back to a time before Medicare was enacted and when health insurance was unaffordable for millions of seniors.

The real threat here is not a “budget cut” but the powerful right-wing agenda to dismantle Medicare. These lawmakers and many policy experts claim our government can no longer afford Medicare, especially with Baby Boomers beginning to retire.

It’s not all the Baby Boomers’ fault. Some politicians and opponents of our program just want you to believe it is.

One of the biggest factors straining the federal budget is historic long-term debt created by spending on other priorities. It began with President Bush’s tax breaks for wealthy Americans and continues to soar as the Obama Administration must spend to heal the economy.

Steadily rising Medicare premiums have eroded the value of Social Security benefits. Medicare Parts B and D out-of-pocket costs consume more and more of the entire Social Security check.

Ryan’s plan would have a devastating impact on seniors at a time when millions of seniors are struggling to afford prescriptions, along with food, housing, and other basic needs.

If you care about future Medicare benefits please write or call your elected representatives in Congress urging them to protect your Medicare benefits now and in the future. They need to hear from you now!

I hope everyone has a safe and happy holiday season. Merry Christmas to you and your families, and may your New Year be a good one

For all our sick and homebound, you are in our thoughts and prayers, and for all those who have lost a loved one or dear friend, we send our condolences.

September 2011

Key members of Congress are leading the charge to balance the federal budget on the backs of those least responsible for our financial woes and most vulnerable to deep benefit cuts.
First Social Security, then Medicare, and now Medicaid—a program critical to seniors—is under attack by those who care more about tax breaks for the wealthy than funding these programs that are vital to seniors’ well-being.
Statistics say one in three Americans turning 65—many with adequate retirement incomes—will at some point exhaust their life savings and turn to Medicaid.
Already the House has approved a budget proposal to cut Medicaid by almost $771 billion over the next 10 years and convert it to a block grant program. This reduces the flow of federal Medicaid dollars to the states by huge amounts that the states cannot and probably will not be able to absorb. This would result in dramatic pay cuts to doctors, hospitals, and nursing homes; reduction of covered benefits; limits on eligibility; seniors forced onto nursing home waiting lists; and some seniors left with no health benefits at all.

The Medicaid cuts could lead to reducing nursing home staff who work to prevent conditions requiring hospitalization, such as dehydration, malnutrition, and broken bones. The cost of treating these conditions would be shifted to the already overburdened Medicare system. Since Medicaid is the nation’s single largest provider of long-term care coverage, making 62% of total payments, many families would be pushed into poverty without it.

We must rein in our nation’s crippling deficits. But making the most vulnerable seniors pay the price is unfair and financially irresponsible. 

Yet leaders in Congress forge ahead, under political cover of “deficit reduction,” with plans to dismantle the entire retirement safety net by destroying a large part of Medicaid, ending Medicare as we know it, and cutting future Social Security benefits!
I’m asking each of you to contact your Representatives and Senators and ask them to reject deficit reduction plans threatening our retirement safety net programs: Medicaid, Medicare, and Social Security. Tell them, as your constituent, you’re urging them, your elected representatives, to protect our retirement safety net by rejecting deficit reduction plants to cut, cap, or fundamentally change Medicaid, Medicare, and Social Security.
Now is the time to make your voice heard. Don’t wait until tomorrow because that could be too late.
To all our sick and shut-ins, you are in our thoughts and prayers for a better tomorrow. For all who have lost a loved one or dear friend, we send our condolences. 
Quote: “Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow.”
May 2011

Social Security is more at risk now than when President Bush tried to privatize benefits.

In a strong signal of the fight to come, Senator Lindsey Graham, a Republican from South Carolina, said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” that he is prepared to let the U.S. default on its debt obligation if Social Security isn’t reformed. He stated, “I will not vote for the debt ceiling increase until I see a plan in place that will deal with our long-term debt obligations, starting with Social Security.”

Graham said Congress should look at the recommendations for Social Security from the President’s debt commission, which included raising retirement age to 68 by 2050 and 69 after that. The debt commission considered Social Security in its plan even though the program does not contribute to current deficits. Social Security is a financially sound program with sufficient reserves to pay full benefits for decades to come. You as a citizen and voter have paid into Social Security and Medicare during your working lifetime.

The promise of Social Security and Medicare must not be broken by misguided proposals that undermine these programs. You are entitled to the guaranteed benefits and protections of Social Security and Medicare.

Please call or write your members in Congress, urging them to protect what more than 36 million senior Americans and our children have worked for, paid for, and are counting on.

Get involved in the fight to protect Social Security and your benefits from cuts and “reforms” used to solve deficits this program did not create.

You may reach Senator Carl Levin and Senator Debbie Stabenow c/o U.S. Senate Office Building, Washington DC 20510, and your U.S. Representative c/o House of Representatives, Washington DC  20515.

For our sick and homebound you are in our thoughts and prayers. For those who have lost a loved one or dear friend we send you our heartfelt condolences.

January 2011
   We are starting a new year with a new Congress which will begin tackling its legislative priorities. There are serious concerns about the most critical domestic issues facing these lawmakers. It is the future of Social Security and Medicare. We need to contact our members in Congress and ask them to take a stand NOW and promise seniors, workers, and their families that they will do three things:
1.) Protect Social Security from needless benefit cuts to pay down deficits this program did not create and;
2.) Restore the Social Security COLA to a level that keeps pace with seniors’ higher health care costs, heating expenses, and food and;
3.) Keep Medicare strong by rejecting proposals to repeal the Affordable Health Care for America Act.
Let’s not forget the campaign promises of some of the newly elected lawmakers who have pledged to raise the Social Security Retirement age, reduce the COLA, and repeal the Affordable Health Care for America Act that is putting new life into Medicare. That would be a huge mistake. The Affordable Health Care for America Act, with its provisions to strengthen and improve Medicare, has already added 12 years to the solvency of the Medicare Part A trust fund. It will take a fight to keep this law in effect.
We cannot allow the Republican majority in the House to go forward with its agenda of deregulation, protecting Big Oil, rolling back Wall Street reforms, denying rights to victims of corporate crime and wrongdoing, and providing massive tax breaks for the rich.
We need to make sure that our elected representatives represent our interests, and not those of Big Oil and billionaires who expect a return on their electoral investment.
Americans must fight to take back their government from the lobbyists and big money special interests that shape our laws to suit their own interests and not for the good of the nation.
There is no doubt about it, we are in for some rough time—but if everyone will join together we can prevail.
For each of you who have lost a loved one or dear friend, we send you our condolences. For all of those on the sick list and the homebound, we wish you a speedy recovery. You are in our thoughts and prayers.

December 2010
As we near the end of the year and the beginning of a New Year, I wish each and every one of you and your families a safe and happy holiday with the hope that the New Year will bring peace and happiness to you and your family. From my house to your house, Merry Christmas!
Dorothy Stevens' September 2010 column
In less than 2 months, millions of voting seniors will help elect a new Congress that will have the power to change Social Security and Medicare and future benefits as well. Those we elect to serve in the 112th Congress will inherit the historic federal debt crisis now driving plans that would cut spending on Social Security and Medicare.
With the political campaign in full force, we must work to help the candidates who will fight for our retirement security. Washington deficit hawks and the forces opposed to benefit programs are using the debt crisis as justification to unravel Social Security and Medicare.
The co-chairs of President Obama’s Commission on Fiscal Responsibility have made it clear that Social Security and Medicare top their list for targeted spending cuts.
The Senate rejected COLA relief legislation that would have given Social Security beneficiaries a one-time payment of $250 to help offset the loss of the 2010 Cost-of-Living Adjustment.
Efforts are already underway to repeal important improvements under the health care overhaul, improvements that include phasing out the “donut hole” coverage gap in the Medicare Part D prescription drug plan.
These issues will be carried over to those we elect this November and a closely divided Congress puts benefits for retired Americans at risk. This coming Congressional election will have an enormous impact on the future of Social Security and Medicare.
There’s only one thing certain at this point: we must help our candidates win or be prepared to live with devastating losses in seniors’ benefits.
Now is the time to make a difference, whether it be phone calling, door-to-door, lit drops, yard signs, and most of all Get Out The Vote (GOTV). Waiting till election day will be too late.
For all our sick and homebound, you are in our thoughts and prayers. For everyone who has lost a loved one or dear friend, we send our deep condolences.

May 2010
Legislation introduced by a member of the House Budget Committee, H.R. 4529, called the “Roadmap for America’s Future,” includes the Bush-like provision to “reform” Social Security into a system with private accounts for future beneficiaries trading guaranteed benefits for the risks of Wall Street. It would transform Medicare into a voucher program for future beneficiaries.
Do these lawmakers think we’ve forgotten what happened to Wall Street in 2008? Can you imagine how much a retiree would have lost with Social Security invested in the stock market?
The battle to change Social Security has begun. On one side are the big lobbyists of special interests, their allies in Congress, and the fiscal conservatives who want to disable the government programs with crippling benefit cuts. On the other side will be our allies in Congress who have promised to protect seniors’ benefits. They need to hear form you as a strong reminder that we are watching very closely.
This being an election year, they know that informed citizens will not support a plan of privatization or any talk of benefit cuts, so they’re changing the rhetoric, using terms like “re-engineering,” “reforming,” and “transitioning” to describe their unpopular plans.
Whatever they choose to call it, the goal is to move much of Social Security into the hands of Wall Street bankers.
It is a sad fact that rich and powerful special interest groups continue to wield power in Washington. As someone who represents the fastest growing segment of our population, retired Americans, you have enormous influence over what happens next to Social Security.
Your representatives in Congress need to hear from you. They will, at some point, be considering additional proposals to change Social Security and Medicare that could have a big impact on you.
Please, make your voice heard now, while there is still time to roadblock the “Roadmap for America’s Future.”
For all our sick and homebound, you are in our thoughts and prayers each day. For those who have lost a loved one or dear friend we send our condolences.

Dorothy Stevens' April article "The TRUTH about Social Security"
Social Security is NOT going bankrupt. Some politicians and opponents of Social Security just want you to believe it is. Saying that Social Security is in danger of financial collapse is a scare tactic and false justification to dismantle this successful government program.
Social Security's trust fund currently takes in more money from worker contributions than it pays out in benefits. Current projections show Social Security able to pay full benefits for almost another three decades. Even in the troubled economy, the total surplus is in the trillions of dollars.
Social Security was created by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1935 to provide retired workers with guaranteed income, plus increases for inflation added later, for the rest of their lives. Now, powerful, well-funded forces in Washington have worked tirelessly to convince this Congress that the debt crisis is a "benefit crisis." And they have made an impact.
A significant number of lawmakers from both sides of the aisle want to reduce long-term debt through an 18-member commission to re-think the government's commitments to Social Security and Medicare.
The threat against Social Security is stronger today than ever. We must appeal to our congressional leadership to steer our lawmakers toward a responsible debt reduction plan that does not harm Social Security and its promised benefits!
Don't let them forget: Today's debt crisis has its roots in President Bush's tax breaks for the wealthy. That - not Social Security - is what jump-started the historic deficits that have continued to mushroom in the wake of federal bailouts and economics recovery attempts.
Please make a call or write a short letter urging the leaders of the 111th Congress to guide our lawmakers toward a debt reduction plan that will not threaten future Social Security benefits or Medicare:
Mark Schauer, 517-780-9075, 800 W Ganson St, Jackson, MI 49202
Mike Rogers, 517-702-8000, 1327 E Michigan, Lansing MI 48912
For all our sick and homebound, you are in our daily thoughts and prayers. For those who have lost a loved one or dear friend, we send our condolences.

Dorothy Stevens' December article:
Every year I have this poem by an unknown writer that I like to share with you here:
“There’s more, much more to Christmas
Than candle-light and cheer;
It’s the spirit of sweet friendship,
That brightens all the year
It’s thoughtfulness and kindness,
It’s hope reborn again
For peace, for understanding
And for goodwill toward men.”
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all!
To all our sick and homebound, you are in our thoughts and prayers each day. For those who have lost a loved one or dear friend, we send our condolences.

Dorothy Stevens' September 2009 article:
In 1968 Walter Reuther announced the organization of a committee for National Health Insurance and enlisted 100 leading Americans to join in working toward a single-payer health insurance system. He recruited a man by the name of Max Fine to be executive director of the committee of 100 for National Health Insurance. They had first met as members of President Kennedy’s Medicare Task Force. Not present among the 100 were any leaders of the Auto Industry.
Walter and his top V.P., Leonard Woodcock, spent hours with General Motors officials, praising the economic and social values of National Health versus the burdensome Blue Cross and major medical premiums, which even then had become a competitive and wage drag on GM, its employees and retirees, Walter emerged from the meeting and said, “There’s something more important to them than their own self-interest.”

He had made an offer that Union leaders of lesser stature would not have dared to make; under a comprehensive national health care plan he would ask no more in collective bargaining that the benefits provided under the plan. His urging that they join in working to enact such a plan was flatly rejected. If it had been accepted, possibly GM followed by most U.S. manufacturers, could have produced enactment of a national health plan, probably during the Nixon Adminstration.

After denouncing the Reuther effort early in 1969, Nixon, persuaded by favorable media reports about Reuther’s plan, recanted that July, said he saw a “massive health care crisis” and vowed to act. Six months later Walter died in a plane crash. In 1973 Nixon, surrounded by Watergate, offered a health plan based on employer mandates.

Here we are 40 years later and still trying for a National Health Care Plan. The Health Care Reform plan includes provisions to fix what broken with our health care system. Most importantly are the millions of families with no coverage, ending price gouging, and continues to let patients to choose their own doctors. The Republicans and their big money campaign contributors along with special interest lobbyists and right-wing media are going all out to block health care reform.

We’d be a stronger country if the Republicans started taking to heart the values Senator Ted Kennedy stood and fought for every day, especially the truth he spoke in 1980. I quote, “Let us resolve that the state of a family’s health shall never depend on the size of a family’s wealth.”

Republicans are trying to scare the American people by repeatedly calling President Obama’s health care plan “socialized medicine” when they know the President just wants to give every family greater choices of health care. The best answer to that lie comes again from Senator Kennedy in 1980 and I quote, “If health insurance is good enough for the President, Vice President, and the Congress of the United States, then it’s good enough for every family in America.”

The plan may not be perfect, but it’s a step in the right direction. Look for the truth and ignore the lies.

To all our sick and homebound, you are in our thoughts and prayers. For everyone who has lost a loved one or dear friend, we send our condolences.

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