On October 24, 2017, at the AFL-CIO convention in St. Louis, Missouri Resolution 40: Rejecting the Privatization of Veterans Healthcare was passed. The Veterans Health Administration (VHA) is the largest integrated healthcare system in the United States and serves over 9 million veterans a year.Members of Congress have introduced legislation to privatize the VA and to outsource critical specialty care services to the private sector through the choice privatization program. Activists can use the resolution below as a template to be offered and passed at the city, county and state levels of government.
The following can be a useful model for members to adopt when proposing the offered resolution for approval:
Step 1: Activists meet with local president/e-board members
- LPC should make sure that local leadership is aware that this resolution is being offered. They may be able to assist as they may already have a prior relationship and can help make the ask.
Step 2: Identify your target’s
- Who is likely to be receptive to this request? (Mayor, Council member, Trustee)
- Consider the priorities of each elected official (review voting records)
- Are they a friend of labor? Do they support federal workers?
Step 3: Send an introductory email/phone call
- Introduce yourself and tell the elected official/staffer why you care. Talking points are provided on our AFGE dashboard.
- Make the ask. “I would like to encourage you to join the movement of veterans who are speaking out against the privatization of the VA. Would you be willing to bring this issue up at the next Council/Trustee/Commissioner meeting?”
Step 4: Make a follow up call
- If you don’t hear back from elected official’s office within a day or two, follow up with a phone call and ask if they had a chance to review your request
Step 5: Arrange to get on the next meetings agenda
- Contact your district LPO for talking points. Your LPO will be able to give you the most updated talking points.
Step 6: Municipality will vote on resolution, or move to vote at the next meeting
- If they move to vote on resolution at the next meeting, don’t be discouraged. You have done a great job getting their attention on the issue. This also gives you time to meet back with your district LPO to send any additional information that may be needed to get this resolution passed.
Step 7: Municipality passes the resolution
- CONGRATULATIONS. This could not have happened without your hard work! Please send a copy of the resolution to your district LPO so they can make sure the leaders in Washington, DC know what’s happening at the local level.