On February 9th, 2019, NWI Medicare for All held a barnstorm event sponsored nationally by National Nurses United to win Medicare for All. We had over 65 attendees, many of whom were local activists including union members, Progressive Democrats of America members, DSA members and Green Party members. We are grateful that the United Steel Workers Local 6787 in Chesterton lent use their hall for the event. The goal of the event was to organize folks to participate in future phone banks and canvassing events, as well as to move our local member of Congress, Representative Pete Visclosky, to co-sponsor H.R. 1384.
The attendees signed our petition, wrote postcards to Pete and jotted down his phone number when we urged them to call his office. We called his office in front of the crowd, put the phone on speaker and asked the group to shout "Medicare for All" on the voicemail. It was a really high-energy and fun event; we had food, give-aways and people shared powerful stories as to why they fight for M4A.
A few days later, the NNU contacted us to let us know that Pete signed on as a co-sponsor to the Medicare for All Act.
The NNU informed us that it was due to our barnstorm but I ALSO feel that it helped that many of our members had asked him about his support for M4A directly at his town hall meetings in January and had called and left messages at his office between January and February regarding Rep. Pramila Jayapal's bill.
Members of the group are just starting to hold actions following the barnstorm. The first phone bank happened last night and there is another planned for next week calling Rep. Nancy Pelosi's constituents. There will be crowd canvasses and door-to-door canvasses planned for the coming weeks and months with the help of NNU.
Here's to good grassroots organizing for all of our communities in ALL 50 states.