In May of 2017, the general body of Pittsburgh DSA endorsed a Single-Payer campaign to organize, educate, and agitate for a comprehensive, free at the point of service healthcare system. During the summer of 2017, we got our feet wet canvassing for single-payer, and participated in several actions protesting the attempted rollbacks of ACA protections and Medicaid expansion. In November 2017, we hosted a Health Justice Potluck, where we held educational segments pertaining to current legislative efforts for single-payer, as well as assisted folks with ACA sign-ups.
To better accommodate the scope of our work beyond campaigning for Medicare for All, we formed the Health Justice Committee in January of 2018. Since then, we've put together several projects and events to propagate our stated goal of not just single-payer specifically, but overarching Health Justice generally. A representative of our committee took the lead in organizing an educational panel on paid sick leave as part of the local IWD events, and we collaborated with our Political Education Committee to host a reading group on current paid sick leave legislative efforts. In April, we participated in the national M4A campaign's "weekend of action" both by holding a Health Justice open mic/speak-out, where we invited the community to share their personal experiences with our predatory and exploitative private health insurance system, and by sponsoring single-payer themed canvasses for DSA endorsed State Rep candidates Summer Lee and Sara Innamorato. In May, we stood with AFGE workers from the VA and Veterans for Peace in protesting efforts to privatize the VA system. We are currently in the middle of our summer single-payer canvassing campaign to build support and capacity for our work, and recently supported the passing of City and County Council resolutions calling on state and federal members of Congress to pass single payer legislation, an effort that was spearheaded by County Councilwoman and DSA member Anita Prizio.
In addition to the work being done by the Health Justice Committee, our Electoral Committee has helped elect supporters of single-payer and health justice causes to Magistrate Judge, County Council, and State Representative positions, while our Socialist Feminist Committee has launched a campaign to expose "crisis pregnancy centers" as fake abortion clinics and fight for reproductive justice.
As Pittsburgh DSA continues to grow and build power, we look forward to ever greater opportunities to organize our fellow workers throughout the region to win the comprehensive, publicly controlled healthcare system we deserve!