Building Statewide Campaigns for Medicare for All
The realization of Medicare for All will not happen in a vacuum, nor will it be handed down from the top. It will be won through a bottom-up mass movement. In order for that to happen, the grassroots efforts at the local, state, and regional level need to be built and interwoven. A robust line of communication and coordination between each chapter in a state or region is critical to the growth of this movement. The national Medicare for All regional organizer can stay informed on developments across the area and leverage national resources to provide support to local chapters where needed. The skills, experience, and capacity of each chapter can be combined or distributed across a statewide coalition as they are most needed. These efforts help lay the foundation on which a statewide Medicare for All coalition can be built.
Where possible, campaigns for statewide demands, particularly single-payer healthcare, are the most strategic vehicles for furthering the movement for Medicare for All in 2021.
Build new statewide M4A organizing infrastructure in three Southern states
How to build a statewide Medicare for All Coalition
Do outreach within and outside existing networks.
Start with statewide DSA chapters.
Ask each DSA chapter to do outreach and make invitations to other local groups that have common principles and goals (i.e., universal healthcare, collective liberation, redistributing national wealth to fund social services).
Seek support and participation from local National Nurses United or Physicians (or Students) for a National Health Program chapters.
Hold an initial planning meeting
Zoom is likely the best choice during the pandemic. Once it’s safe to gather with others again, we recommend holding these launch meetings in-person at a convenient centralized location.
Set specific goals, organizing structure, decision-making structure and document it.
Create essential working groups, i.e. Communications, Membership/Outreach, Legislative, Finance, and Core (a top-level group that includes participants from all working groups to integrate the coalition’s work)
Hold weekly/bi-weekly virtual meetings and encourage participation throughout the state.
Remember to take notes, document decisions and follow up to move forward.
Set meeting norms aimed at facilitating collaboration and group decision making and dismantling white supremacist norms.
Launch online presence
Create a logo. Use
this tiny organizing guide for some tips on doing graphic design even if you aren’t a graphic designer. Launch website (free, easy-to-manage website available through Wordpress and other blog sites, while sites such as Nationbuilder offer increased functionality)
Create social media, Youtube, and linktree accounts, assign administrators.
Streamline posting to channels via Hootsuite platform.
Launch a campaign for people to support, such as a petition to sign on in support of Improved Medicare for All.
Petitions help you collect contact info (like email address) and stay connected with supporters, while also collecting signatures to deliver to electeds.
Use digital tools to stay connected and collaborate
Slack for workflow and communication among members
Google drive for sharing important documents
Reach out to Congressional representatives and request health policy meetings with legislative aides. Start/continue pressure campaigns urging electeds to sign-on in support of Medicare for All, or become a champion if they’ve already signed on.
How to hold statewide M4A DSA organizing calls
Identify a contact from each chapter in your state/region
Decide on a set date/time for the call to occur, typically bi-weekly
M4A Regional Organizers will typically be the ones to facilitate each call but this can rotate
The agenda can be somewhat set: each week, have each chapter’s representative share M4A updates, then discuss something that can be collaborated on statewide
The M4A RO will assist with connecting further chapters and helping to get national resources to any chapter/regional effort that is needed
Build off each other’s experience to grow and develop your skills!
Use statewide M4A organizing to stand up new chapters in each of the non-Medicaid expansion states (TX, KS, WY, SD, WI, TN, MS, AL, GA, FL, NC, SC, MO, OK)
Use this guide as a resource to move at-large members, pre-OCs, and OCs in your region towards becoming a full-fledged DSA chapter The biweekly statewide or regional M4A organizing calls can be a grounding place for new members to learn from more experienced organizers.
Leverage national campaign to support state-wide single payer campaigns in California, New York, Massachusetts, Colorado and elsewhere
Want to organize an event supporting a single-payer campaign in one of these states?
Reach out to your M4A Regional Organizer to get connected with an organizer from one of those states and figure out what event might be best -- a phonebank, a social media show of solidarity, hosting a Zoom social to build relationships and community with other DSA organizers, hosting a Zoom teach-in to learn how they did it and share strategies are all possibilities!
How to organize a Virtual Phonebank using VAN
This is a generic guide for supporting the Health Care Emergency Guarantee Act. Although the principles still apply for any campaign, you’ll need to update the script for supporting different campaigns (such as statewide single-payer campaigns). To get started on that, talk to your M4A Regional Organizer and get connected with organizers in those states!