In a unanimous vote by its executive board, meeting over the weekend in Anaheim, the California Democratic Party has endorsed SB 562, the Healthy California Act which would guarantee health coverage to all Californians and eliminate premiums, deductibles and other out-of-pocket health costs.
The vote Sunday by the CDP’s executive board followed a recommendation by the CDP Legislative Committee Saturday, which also voted unanimously to endorse SB 562. The executive board includes some 320 members including both Democratic elected officials and appointed CDP representatives.
In effect, the vote is a tacit rebuke to Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, one of the top Democratic Party office holders in California, who acted unilaterally in late June to block legislative action on SB 562 after the bill passed the California Senate.
“This represents the leadership of the Democratic Party recognizing that the activists are not going to stop working to enact this bill, and that this is going to have to be addressed,” said David Welch, a Chico RN who is a member of both the CDP executive board and the board of directors of the California Nurses Association, lead sponsor of SB 562.
The activists, who do the day-to-day work of the Democratic Party, feel very strongly about this issue. There is enormous support among them for single payer healthcare reform, and that it is the only way to solve the ongoing healthcare emergency for so many people in this country including in California,” Welch said.
CNA members along with an outpouring of activists across the state, including some who serve on the CDP leadership bodies, opposed Rendon’s decision to halt the public legislative process and have been actively campaigning to demand action on the bill before the end of the current legislative year.
While the legislature was on its summer break, activists paid visits to a number of Assembly members in their district offices, asking them to support the bill and to prod Rendon to do his job, authorize public legislative hearings, and consider amendments to address his claim that the bill needs changes.
Additionally, over the past two weekends CNA, Our Revolution, the Healthy California Campaign #KnockEveryDoor begun canvassing in Assembly districts around the state, including last Saturday in Speaker Rendon’s Los Angeles area district.
In the first two weekends volunteers knocked on more than 1,100 doors, with up to a third of the residents committing to contact their Assembly member to express support for SB 562. Volunteers will continue knocking on doors in four additional Assembly districts this coming weekend.