Obama’s Brilliant First Year

By January, he will have accomplished more than any first-year president since Franklin Roosevelt.

By Jacob Weisberg

About one thing, left and right seem to agree these days: Obama hasn’t done anything yet. Maureen Dowd and Dick Cheney have found common ground in scoffing at the president’s “dithering.” Newsweek recently ran a sympathetic cover story titled, “Yes He Can (But He Sure Hasn’t Yet).” The sarcasm brigade thinks it’s finally found an Achilles’ heel in his lack of accomplishments.

“When you look at my record, it’s very clear what I’ve done so far and that is nothing. Nada. Almost one year and nothing to show for it,”

Obama stand-in Fred Armisen recently riffed on Saturday Night Live. “It’s chow time,” Jon Stewart asserts, for a president who hasn’t followed through on his promises. This conventional wisdom about Obama’s first year isn’t just premature—it’s sure to be flipped on its head by the anniversary of his inauguration on Jan. 20. If, as seems increasingly likely, Obama wins passage of a health care reform a bill by that date, he will deliver his first State of the Union address having accomplished more than any other postwar American president at a comparable point in his presidency.

This isn’t an ideological point or one that depends on agreement with his policies. It’s a neutral assessment of his emerging record—how many big, transformational things Obama is likely to have made happen in his first 12 months in office.

The case for Obama’s successful freshman year rests above all on the health care legislation now awaiting action in the Senate. Democrats have been trying to pass national health insurance for 60 years.

Past presidents who tried to make it happen and failed include Harry Truman, Lyndon Johnson, Jimmy Carter, and Bill Clinton. Through the summer, Obama caught flak for letting Congress lead the process, as opposed to setting out his own proposal. Now his political strategy is being vindicated. The bill he signs may be flawed in any number of ways—weak on cost control, too tied to the employer-based system, and inadequate in terms of consumer choice.

But given the vastness of the enterprise and the political obstacles, passing an imperfect behemoth and improving it later is probably the only way to succeed where his predecessors failed. We are so submerged in the details of this debate—whether the bill will include a “public option,” limit coverage for abortion, or tax Botox—that it’s easy to lose sight of the magnitude of the impending change.

For the federal government to take responsibility for health coverage will be a transformation of the American social contract and the single biggest change in government’s role since the New Deal. If Obama governs for four or eight years and accomplishes nothing else, he may be judged the most consequential domestic president since LBJ.

He will also undermine the view that Ronald Reagan permanently reversed a 50-year tide of American liberalism. Obama’s claim to a fertile first year doesn’t rest on health care alone. There’s mounting evidence that the $787 billion economic stimulus he signed in February—combined with the bank bailout package—prevented an economic depression. Should the stimulus have been larger?

Should it have been more weighted to short-term spending, as opposed to long-term tax cuts? Would a second round be a good idea? Pundits and policymakers will argue these questions for years to come. But few mainstream economists seriously dispute that Obama’s decisive action prevented a much deeper downturn and restored economic growth in the third quarter. The New York Times recently quoted Mark Zandi, who was one of candidate John McCain’s economic advisers, on this point: “The stimulus is doing what it was supposed to do—it is contributing to ending the recession,” he said. “In my view, without the stimulus, G.D.P would still be negative and unemployment would be firmly over 11 percent.” When it comes to foreign policy, Obama’s accomplishment has been less tangible but hardly less significant: He has put America on a new footing with the rest of the world.

In a series of foreign trips and speeches, which critics deride as trips and speeches, he replaced George W. Bush’s unilateral, moralistic militarism with an approach that is multilateral, pragmatic, and conciliatory.

Obama has already significantly reoriented policy toward Iran, China, Russia, Iraq, Israel, and the Islamic world.

Next week, after a much-disparaged period of review, he will announce a new strategy in Afghanistan. No, the results do not yet merit his Nobel Peace Prize. But not since Reagan has a new president so swiftly and determinedly remodeled America’s global role.

Obama has wisely deferred some smaller, politically hazardous battles over issues such as closing Guantanamo, ending “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” and fighting the expansion of Israel’s West Bank settlements.

Instead, he has saved his fire for his most urgent priorities—preventing a depression, remaking America’s global image, and winning universal health insurance. Chow time indeed, if you ask me.

A version of this article also appears in this week’s issue of Newsweek.

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What Do These Opressors Have in Common?

I read the articles below, and I thought to myself, what do these two [expletive deleted] morons possibly have in common?

One, Chavez is a ruthless Communist dictator, the other is a religious fanatic who would torture and kill any Communist he could get away with killing. Of course, the answer is simple, is it not?

They both Hate Jews. That’s what unites them, as it unites so many other brutal criminals on the planet. A pox on both their houses.

Iranian President Ahmadinejad Gets Hero’s Welcome in Venezuela – Hannah Strange

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the Iranian president, received a hero’s welcome in Caracas Wednesday as he visited his key Latin American ally on a regional tour designed to shore up support for Tehran in its confrontation with Western powers. Shouting “Viva Ahmadinejad!” Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez pledged his full backing for Iran. Iran is trying to deepen its strategic inroads on the Latin American continent, where it has found new allies in a host of anti-American leftist leaders led by Chavez. Tehran has opened five new diplomatic missions and signed hundreds of cooperation deals in the region, including some 200 with Venezuela in the areas of trade, energy and defense. (Times-UK)
See also Venezuela’s Chavez Calls Israel “Murderous” U.S. Arm – Frank Jack Daniel
Venezuela’s President Chavez used a visit by Iranian President Ahmadinejad on Wednesday to brand Israel as a murderous agent of Washington. “We know what the State of Israel stands for – a murderous arm of the Yankee empire,” Chavez said. His fierce speeches against Israel are taken by some supporters as a green light for anti-Semitism and walls in Caracas are often daubed with anti-Jewish slogans. (Reuters)

Is Civility a Sign of Weakness?

When the President bowed to Japanese Emperor Akihito it ignited a firestorm of righteous indignation among the macho members of the hard right.

It was not even a story, other than the right’s reaction to it.

President Obama, unlike the previous President, not only actually was elected to the nation’s highest office, his life, unlike Bush’s life, is one of accomplishments against odds stacked against him.

George Bush was born wealthy, he never had to struggle, therefore, he never really had the confidence to be himself, to do what he thought was right.

Obama, on the other hand, had to fight his way upstream, so to speak, from poverty to the opulence he enjoys today.

No matter what you think of Obama, this is a man. He doesn’t have to act tough.  He is tough, he’s proven that.

Bush talked tough, Bush swaggered, the sure signs of a man filled with self doubt.

I admire Obama’s self assurance as I despised Bush’s swagger.

The look on the face of the Emperor and his wife spoke volumes, the most pwerful man in the world was a humble man.

We should be humble too.

Humility is a good thing.

Did Democrats forget what happens when women are denied access to abortion?

We’re furious.
In a backroom deal brokered to get the votes necessary to pass the House health care bill, one amendment was allowed an up-or-down vote on the floor. That amendment, the Stupak amendment — which passed on a vote of 240 to 194 — is the most serious assault on abortion rights in a generation.
What’s more, according to FiveThirtyEight.com, 20 of the 64 Democrats who joined Republicans to pass the measure are nominally pro-choice.
Sign the petition, send a coat hanger.
Why did pro-choice Democrats vote to approve the Stupak amendment? We’re telling these 20 Democrats — all men — to reconsider their vote and urge Congressional leadership to do everything they can to ensure the health care bill that comes out of committee does not take us back to an era of coat hangers and back alley abortions.
Sign our petition and we’ll send a coat hanger to the 20 formerly pro-choice Democrats who voted to take away women’s rights.
If the Stupak amendment is allowed to stand, it would ban private insurers who participate in the insurance exchange created by the health care bill from covering abortion as a part of women’s reproductive health care. Tens of millions of women would be affected.
These 20 formerly pro-choice Democrats need to hear that it is NOT ok to throw women under the bus when it comes to passing health care.
Back in 1992, Working Assets helped its members send coat hangers to Congress. Now, 17 years later, it’s time to do it again.
Please sign the petition, send a coat hanger, and tell your friends about CREDO’s SendACoatHanger.com campaign.
Sincerely,
Laura Scher, CEO of CREDO Mobile
Michael Kieschnick, President of CREDO Mobile
Becky Bond, Political Director of CREDO Action
© 2009 CREDO. All rights reserved.

Disgraced Former President: “The Purpose Of Government Is not to Create Wealth”

We are used to seeing mangled language and vapid thought from the former leader of the “No” party, but yesterday’s comment was particularly galling.

This is a man who was born rich.

He never had to do a days work in his life.

His view is that the role of government is to get out-of-the-way and let those with capital dominate the life of the country.

Bush, and those like him, believe that they are better than the rest of us, because they were born into wealth and privilege.

Bombshell.

They are not.

Bush is a good example of the American aristocracy.

Not very intelligent.

Not educated.

A former alcoholic and drug user.

The most unsuccessful president in history.

It is the purpose of the government to promote the general good, and it should start by taxing these bloated examples of the super-rich inheritance class.

George W. Bush became the leader of the country without any qualifications other than one, inherited wealth.

 

I’d been living in the Sandia Mountains for a couple of seasons

The sun was just beginning to paint the sky as dawn crept , like an awakening lover, over the distant mountain ranges.
I’d been living in the Sandia Mountains for a couple of seasons.
I had a Toyota pickup, a tent and assorted camping gear stowed in the back.
I heard the quiet chirping of birds in the fragrant Douglas fir overhead and the hectic chatter of a family of squirrels.
I guess they were complaining about me being here.
I was invading their space, and they were letting me know it.
My campsite was on a grassy field off of a rock covered four-wheel trail at the timberline.
I stretched in my sleeping bag in the red, heat-encapsulated tent, grabbed some matches, put on a pair of cut off jeans and walked outside through the yielding soil towards the fire ring six feet from my tent. The morning air was chilly.
I poured some gasoline on the logs in the center, struck a match and stood back as the pile exploded into flames.
As the flames died down, I leaned over the burning logs to warm up.
I looked around.
The firs and pines of the forest were covered with sweet dew, the grass looked healthy and alive, the hills and valleys around me were pink from the rising sun.
I hiked down a rocky slope and through a thicket of reeds where I knelt beside a cold, clear stream and bathed, goose bumps breaking out on my body as I braved the frigid water.
I pulled the cutoffs over my hips and trotted back to the fire.
The warmth of the flames on my skin felt good.
The smell of burning pine mixed with the scent of the forest was invigorating.
I looked at my watch.
It was 7:30 in the morning; I had to be at work by 8.
I put on a pair of faded jeans and a black t-shirt, a pair of tennis, threw my tent and accoutrements in the back of the truck, stuck the key in the ignition, cranked the Toyota’s four cylinder engine to life, and gravel spraying behind me, bounced over the rock strewn four-wheel trail into town.
The countryside was lit with the blazing fire of the sun, which now was burning over the horizon.
The valley below was alive with brush and green cacti,
The green jungle- like strip of forest bordering the Rio Grande snaked it’s way through the middle of the valley, only occasional glimpses of reflective silver betraying the river running through it.
I gunned the engine as I left the wild country and pulled onto Tramway, heading downtown.
20 minutes later I wheeled the pick-up onto the gravel covered parking lot of the yellow cab company.
I was covering for another driver today.
Usually I worked nights.
If you want to see the raw underbelly of life in a city, drive a cab for a while.
I got behind the wheel of cab 64, guided her out of the lot and drove over to 15th and Summer where Kevin lived with his wife Liz.
Liz was a beautiful Spanish girl with lustrous black hair, soft brown eyes, and an intelligent, cheerful, soft-spoken manner.
Kevin was a match for her physically, and had a kind of animal magnetism that made him irresistible to men and women.
I liked the neighborhood, I had survived quite an ordeal there, and I had come back to life, from the brink of self-destruction, in an addition to Kevin’s house that he and I built over a couple of summers and winters.
I reached into the pocket of my beaten leather jacket and extracted a joint, which I proceeded to smoke while I watched the rustic little neighborhood come to life.
The dispatcher’s voice crackled over the radio as I blew a stream of bluish smoke through my nose.
‘Sixty-four, you got a personal call. A young lady wants you to pick her up at the restaurant on Central next to the
Imperial Inn.  Her name is Marcia.”
I coughed up a lungful of potent marijuana as I clicked the mike, “Ten-four, dispatch.  My ETA is 10 minutes.”
I shoved the transmission into drive and maneuvered the cab onto 15th as I headed for central.
The dew had burned off of the lawns and young Hispanic kids were plodding towards their respective schools.
I caught the traffic light at 15th and Central, and the eye of a pretty 15 or 16 year old schoolgirl.
She waved and stuck out her thumb.
I waved back and smiled, but kept driving.
I pulled into the rear of the restaurant as Marcia walked up and got beside me in the cab.
Marcia and I had been dating for a couple of months.
She was a hooker, but I wasn’t a customer. It was personal.
We talked a lot, she was quite intelligent, really.
She was pretty, a brunette with very short hair, not butch, but short, just past her ears.
She looked about thirty, but she was only 27.
We talked about life, philosophy, and morality.
She was a very moral person, for a prostitute.
She put a soft hand on my knee and said, hoarsely, “I’m tired, Michael, take me home. I just want to soak in a hot tub, relax, drink a beer.”
“Sure thing, Babe.” I said as we headed out into the rush hour traffic heading west on Central.
I looked over at her.
She really looked tired.
She had been a middle-class kid from a good home in the suburbs when she started working for a high-class escort service as a teenager.
Years later she was on a whole other level, selling her body to strangers, and as a cabbie, I knew, some pretty unpleasant strangers, for the money to survive and pay for her habits, whatever they might be.
She told me that she wanted to go back to school, get out of the life, but it was her life now.
She felt stuck in it.
I leaned over and kissed her softly on the mouth.
She smiled. “You’re nice, Michael. I like being around you. You make me feel all warm and fuzzy.”
I chuckled. “I  know some women that would take issue with that assessment.”
She rolled her eyes, “They don’t know you like I do.”
Marcia lived in a motel near the Rio Grande, one of those weekly rates places, a little run down, almost abandoned after the freeways were put in.
I keyed the mike, “Dispatch, I’m out of service for a few.”
The dispatcher drawled back, with what sounded like an edge of sarcasm, “Check, 64.”
I walked her to the door.
“What do I owe you?” She asked as she reached into the pocket of her tight, worn, blue jeans.
“It’s on Yellow Cab.” I smiled.
She reached up and clasped her hands around my neck, “I don’t want to take advantage of you.”
I leaned closer, her perfume was soft, enticing. “Take advantage of me, Marcia.”
She ran her hands down my back; I tingled.
“Alright, Darlin’, come inside.” She whispered.
We walked into her room, furnished with a TV, a small gas range, a bed, a mini-refrigerator and a couple of worn looking chairs.
Marcia kicked off her high heels and said, “I’ve gotta use the little girl’s room. Make yourself comfortable. Kick your shoes off, and whatever.”
She looked so pretty.
She was safe here, at home, I liked her, and I felt like she knew it.
I turned on the TV. It looked to be a slow news day, a couple of muggings, an assault or two, and a rape. Nothing unusual or particularly news worthy.
The newscaster was a frankly sexual- looking blonde.
I really felt like Marcia and I were friends more than anything else, but I was still a young man with normal desires, and I couldn’t help but think of what she would be wearing when she emerged from the “little girls room.”
I think she got a kick out of my expression when she wore something particularly sexy.
I looked at my watch. She was certainly taking her time in there, I thought.
I waited a few minutes more and said, “Hey Marcia, you ok in there?”
The silence, as they say, was deafening.
I walked over to the bathroom and knocked softly, “Marcia?”
Not a sound.
Something was wrong, I felt it.
“Marcia!” I banged on the door.
I cracked the door and the world focused sharply in one terrible moment.
Marcia lay sprawled out on the floor, her feet up against the door, pale as a cadaver.
I forced the door open, her legs bending at the knee stiffly.
She was dead.
A needle dangled from a vein in her arm, her eyes stared unseeing into the vacuum of space.
“F**k!” I cried “F**k!” I knelt beside her body and placed my fingers on the side of her throat, checking for a carotid pulse.
Nothing.
I could see she wasn’t breathing, either.
I placed one hand on her forehead, tilted her head back, pinched her nostrils shut and blew into her mouth.
Buttons popped as I ripped her blouse open and felt for her sternum.
I’d done this kind of thing before, I mean CPR, but not on someone who I cared about, someone who I’d expected to be relaxing in bed with about now.
I gave her a couple of breaths and began chest compressions.
Suddenly there was a man standing in the doorway, staring at us wide-eyed.
He looked like a junkie.
I turned towards him, “Call 911!”
I turned back and continued performing CPR on Marcia.
The junkie was still staring, frozen to the spot.
“Mother-F*cker!” I shouted  “call 911, NOW!”
He stammered,  “I can’t, I’ll get busted..”
“I will track you down, motherf*cker, if this girl dies, and I will beat you to death. Don’t give your name. Tell them what you saw. Give them the address and walk away. Call, Goddammit!”
The junkie started walking backwards, “OK,” he said.
I could hear him on the phone as I forced air into Marcia’s lungs and pushed her sternum against her lifeless heart.
My hands were sliding across her  chest from perspiration, I was almost blind from sweat pouring into my eyes as I worked on Marcia’s unresponsive body.
In what seemed like an eternity, Firemen where rushing into the bathroom.
“We’ll take over, fella.” A tall, muscular looking Paramedic said.
I fell back against the shower stall, dazed, saddened and nearly exhausted.
The Paramedic shoved an endo-tracheal tube down Marcia’s throat while another medic injected her with Narcan.
He looked at me while he attached a bag to the endo-tracheal tube and began hyper-ventilating Marcia.
“How long has she been down?”
I wiped perspiration from my forehead with the back of my hand. “Five minutes, ten. I’m not sure. She was in here alone when I found her.”
Suddenly Marcia coughed and began gagging.
My eyes widened.
I could not believe it.
She was alive!

 

Human Rights and Health Care

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted by the United Nations in 1948, proclaimed that “everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of oneself and one’s family, including food, clothing, housing, and medical care.” Although this statement of high principle was adopted at the urging of the United States, and although it reflects the truths of our nation’s founding documents, our government has achieved neither formal recognition nor practical realization of these rights. Mass homelessness and the escalating health care crisis in the US are compelling evidence of our disregard for human rights. Sadly, our country is but one of many nations where grave offenses against the dignity of human beings are commonplace, and global enforcement of human rights remains a distant goal. In the US, however, the twin advantages of democratic institutions and great wealth provide the opportunity for our nation to implement the principles human rights. Implementation of human rights principles will lead inexorably to the elimination of mass homelessness. A useful summary of the international agreements that establish and codify the human right to health care, entitled “The Right to Health Care in the United States: What Does it Mean?” has been published by the Center on Social and Economic Rights, and is available by clicking here or at CESR’s website. Since 1991, the National Health Care for the Homeless Council has recognized that “every person has the right to adequate food, housing, clothing and health care” and has incorporated a human rights perspective into our work to assure health care for everyone and to ends homelessness. Policy changes that will advance implementation of the right to health care, along with other human rights such as housing, are described in the annual Policy Statements of the National Health Care for the Homeless Council. A number of important organizations advocate for a rights-based approach to social justice organizing. We call to your attention: US HUMAN RIGHTS NETWORK 659 Auburn Ave NE, Unit 205 Atlanta, GA 30312 404/588-9761 http://www.ushrnetwork.org The US Human Rights Network was formed to promote US accountability to universal human rights standards by building linkages between organizations, as well as individuals, working on human rights issues in the United States. The Network strives towards building a human rights culture in the United States that puts those directly affected by human rights violations, with a special emphasis on grassroots organizations and social movements, in a central leadership role. The Network also works towards connecting the US human rights movement with the broader US social justice movement and human rights movements around the world. THE INTERNATIONAL SOCIETY FOR HEALTH AND HUMAN RIGHTS Tordenskioldsgate 6b 0160 Oslo NORWAY http://www.hhri.org/tm/ The International Society for Health and Human Rights is a membership organisation for health workers engaged in work with survivors of human rights violations. The aim of the Society is to contribute to the promotion and improvement of aid to persons who have experienced gross violations of human rights, and to contribute to the world-wide eradication of gross violations of human rights, with emphasis on increasing knowledge and exchanging information about treatment methods, medical and psychological care and psychosocial interventions, campaign for the recognition of the consequences of gross violations of human rights for health and society, adhere to existing international legal instruments concerned with health and human rights, encourage their implementation and improvement and support colleagues involved in the care of persons who have experienced gross violations of human rights. OFFICE OF THE UNITED NATIONS HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR HUMAN RIGHTS Palais des Nations 1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland 41 22 9179159 http://www.ohchr.org/english/ The High Commissioner is the principal UN official with responsibility for human rights and is accountable to the Secretary- General. The post of High Commissioner was created in 1993. There are different UN human rights institutions and agencies. All have the common aim of promoting and protecting internationally agreed human rights – civil, cultural, economic, political and social. These rights were first proclaimed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Every person on the globe is equally entitled to enjoy them, and the task given to the High Commissioner is to strengthen the efforts of the United Nations to implement all of them. PHYSICIANS FOR A NATIONAL HEALTH PROGRAM 29 E Madison Suite 602 Chicago, IL 60602 312/782-6006 http://www.pnhp.org Physicians for a National Health Program is a single-issue organization advocating a universal, comprehensive Single-Payer National Health Program. PNHP has more than 10,000 members and chapters across the United States. Its members and physician activists work toward a Single-Payer National Health Program in their communities. PNHP organizes rallies, town hall meetings, and debates; coordinates speakers and forum discussions; contributes Op-Eds and articles to the nation’s top newspapers, medical journals and magazines; and appears regularly on national television and news programs advocating for a Single-Payer system. THE CAMPAIGN FOR A NATIONAL HEALTH PROGRAM NOW! 339 Lafayette St. New York, NY 10012-2725 212/475-8350 http://www.cnhpnow.org CNHPNow is a grassroots organizing effort in support of HR 676. The organization’s efforts complement among lay people the work being done among doctors by Physicians for a National Health Plan. AMERICAN MEDICAL STUDENT ASSOCIATION 1902 Association Drive Reston, Virginia 20191 703/620-6600 http://www.amsa.org The American Medical Student Association (AMSA) is a student-governed, national organization committed to representing the concerns of physicians-in-training. With a membership of nearly 50,000 medical students, premedical students, interns, residents and practicing physicians from across the country, AMSA is a vital force of future physicians who believe that patients and health professionals are partners in the management of health care and that access to high-quality health care is a right and not a privilege. At AMSA, activism is a way of life. Student idealism is transformed into meaningful public service, innovation and institutional change. PROJECT EINO (EVERYBODY IN, NOBODY OUT) 1815 MLK Parkway Ste #2, PMB #142 Durham, NC 27707 http://www.righttohealthcare.org The mission of Project EINO and RightToHealthCare.org is to provide educational resources and a forum for discussion on the concept of a Right to Health Care. This educational work includes the history and philosophy of the concept and its relation to other human rights, legal documentation and argumentation, the geography of work on the Right to Health Care, the relation of this concept to other work in US health care reform and international perspectives. EINO provides a discussion forum including opposing viewpoints to assist visitors in evaluating the issues from all perspectives. The educational work is intended to provide a basis for broad popular mobilization, demands on legislatures and activism generally on this issue. CENTER FOR ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL RIGHTS 162 Montague St 2nd Floor Brooklyn NY 11201 718/237-9145 http://www.cesr.org Established in 1993, the Center for Economic and Social Rights is one of the first organizations to challenge economic injustice as a violation of international human rights law. Through its projects abroad and in the United States, CESR has developed an effective strategy that combines research, advocacy, collaboration, and education. CESR believes that economic and social rights — legally binding on all nations — can provide a universally accepted framework for strengthening social justice activism. MENTAL DISABILITY RIGHTS INTERNATIONAL 1156 15th Street NW Suite 1001 Washington, DC 20005 202/296-0800 http://www.mdri.org Established in 1993, MDRI documents conditions, publishes reports on human rights enforcement, and promotes international oversight of the rights of people with mental disabilities. Drawing on the skills and experience of attorneys, mental health professionals, human rights advocates, people with mental disabilities and their family members, MDRI trains and supports advocates seeking legal and service system reform and assists governments to develop laws and policies to promote community integration and human rights enforcement for people with mental disabilities. MDRI, based in Washington, DC, is forging new alliances throughout the world to challenge the discrimination and abuse faced by people with mental disabilities, as well as working with locally-based advocates to create new advocacy projects and to promote citizen participation and human rights for children and adults. SERVICE EMPLOYEES INTERNATIONAL UNION AMERICANS FOR HEALTH CARE 1313 L Street, NW Washington, DC 20005 866/HCVOTER http://www.americansforhealthcare.org/about/ Americans for Health Care is uniting working families, small business owners, seniors, health care workers, community leaders, and policy makers to fight for affordable, quality health care that we can all count on. In states across the country, we are building broad-based coalitions of individuals and organizations who are concerned about rising health costs in order to push for health care policies which ensure: • Quality, affordable health care for all, without gaps in coverage or access; • Care that is cost efficient and medically effective; • A core package of health insurance benefits with choices comparable in quantity and scope to those available to federal employees; and • Financing that is fair and includes employers, individuals, and the federal, state and local governments. THE NATIONAL LAW CENTER ON HOMELESSNESS & POVERTY 1411 K Street NW Suite 1400 Washington, DC 20005 202/638-2535 http://www.nlchp.org The mission of the National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty is to prevent and end homelessness by serving as the legal arm of the nationwide movement to end homelessness. To achieve its mission, the Law Center pursues three main strategies: impact litigation, policy advocacy, and public education. The Law Center strives to place homelessness in the larger context of poverty. By taking this approach, the Law Center aims to address homelessness as a very visible manifestation of deeper causes: the shortage of affordable housing, insufficient income, and inadequate social services. The Law Center presses for solutions that address the causes of homelessness, not just its symptoms.