25 June 2007

How It Really Happened

Michael Huttner, executive director of ProgressNow in Denver, and Monica Griego, legislative liaison of the Colorado Consumer Health Initiative, were really the two who made this rally come off the way it did. I've never organized a rally, and was in full meltdown Friday afternoon — after Rehya Young, associate producer of the film, had called Thursday afternoon and suggested one.

Sure, I said. It was naive, but we could not say no. We had to try to make it happen. I emailed about a dozen organizations, asking them to help spread the word, but not ProgressNow. I won't make that mistake again. Huttner called to say that Monica had told him about the rally. He offered to email out tens of thousands of blasts about it; to send out the press release to his media list; and oh, we didn't have a good location? He'd make a call. It wasn't long before he'd arranged for a permit for the West Steps of the Capitol. I'd been told too bad — you need to apply 30 days in advance for a permit.

In addition to passing on the word to Michael Huttner, Monica Griego arranged for audio — pretty key when you're talking to 2,000 people. She was the first one there, with clipboards and volunteers to spread the word about healthcare.

So it was really the Colorado Nurses Association but also the Colorado Consumer Health Initiative, Health Care for All Colorado, ProgressNow, and the other co-sponsoring organizations: the Colorado Progressive Coalition, the Physicians for a National Health Plan, the Progressive Democrats, the Rocky Mountain Peace and Justice Center, and Boulder's Wellness Institute.

Not all these organizations are for single-payer universal healthcare. I hope that "Sicko" will change that. It's time to come on in. The water's great.

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