National Medicare for All week of action begins

Thousands of people attended events across the country today to kickstart a massive organizing campaign led by Lisa McCormick and other progressive leaders in concert with National Nurses United and US Sen. Bernie Sanders, whose 2016 presidential campaign made the idea a national priority.

Volunteers in Long Branch plan to pressure New Jersey Rep. Frank Pallone, whose congressional committee has jurisdiction over health care.

The grassroots movement is ramping up like never before during the Medicare for All Week of Action, Feb. 9-13, as volunteers across the nation host 150 ‘barnstorm’ mass organizing meetings to kickstart canvassing and grassroots lobbying in local communities throughout the country.

“Medicare for All is supported by 70 percent of voters, but Congress will move no closer to passing legislation unless supporters make their voices heard in the fight,” said McCormick.

McCormick ran for US Senate in 2018, in part to make universal health care a reality in the United States but now the nation’s leading advocates are uniting to push for a vote in Congress to move the proposed single-payer system forward.

“We hope local activism in communities across the country will bolster support for progressive advocates pressuring lawmakers on Capitol Hill to push for legislation,” said McCormick, who helped organize some of the events taking place this week in New Jersey. “Every single person in the United States should be eligible for coverage under the Medicare for All. Everybody in, nobody out. Health care is a right, not something you need to ‘qualify’ for.”

The second is scheduled for February 10, at 2:00 PM at the First Congregation Church in Montclair followed by two others on February 13, one at 5:30 PM in the Labor Education Center Auditorium at Rutgers University and the other at 6 PM at The Big Event Cafe, 1536 North Kings Highway, in Cherry Hill.

McCormick said the last one is slated for February 14, at 7:00 PM in the Bridgewater Public Library.

“With Medicare for All, Americans will benefit from the freedom and security that comes with finally separating health insurance from employment. That freedom would mean American workers would no longer have to choose between bargaining for higher wages or better health insurance,” said Sanders. “When people tell us the only thing that we can get is incremental health care change, we will tell them ‘no thanks.’ We’re thinking big and demanding fundamental change on this issue.”

“Nurses have been fighting for decades to win Medicare for All, so we are thrilled to see the movement for real health care reform in America expanding like never before,” said Bonnie Castillo, RN, executive director of National Nurses United (NNU). “The barnstorms are about harnessing that momentum and continuing to build it out even further, into every community, conversation by conversation, neighbor by neighbor—until the people’s will for Medicare for All becomes the political will to get it done.”

National Nurses United, which is affiliated with the AFL-CIO, is the largest registered nurses union in U.S. history, with more than 150,000 members nationwide.

NNU has been fighting for the proposal since the union’s founding in 2009, is asking members and supporters to host Medicare for All “barnstorms” during a National Week of Action from February 9th to 13th.

“To build the mass collective action we know we’ll need to win, we’re asking activists like you across the country to organize a Medicare for All barnstorm in your community,” the group wrote to supporters in its petition asking for volunteers. “At the barnstorm you’d gather with volunteers near you, talk about the plan to win, and begin organizing to knock doors, make phone calls, and more in your community.”

“If nurses are calling out for Medicare for all, and studies show it would save the average American money by using our resources more effectively, then I’m on board,” Reagan said.

National Nurses United says it has 150,000 members and is the nation’s largest union and professional association of registered nurses.

The audience at Sunday’s event will be encouraged to canvass neighborhoods, participate in phone banks and host house parties in an effort to spread public support for single-payer medical insurance, Reagan said.

She said she will be the main speaker but is “more excited to hear from my neighbors and new friends how they feel about helping their families and communities by equalizing the ability for people to easily get their medical needs met.”

She said that “connecting with each other is how we have real change.”

Proponents of a federal Medicare-for-all plan contend it would guarantee comprehensive medical coverage for the general population, reduce patient costs by eliminating insurance premiums, deductibles and co-payments, and relieve employers from having to provide insurance to their workers. Opponents of such a system argue it would increase taxes and government spending, extend patient wait times and depress private-sector competition.

Polling in January by Kaiser Family Foundation showed that 56 percent of Americans favor a Medicare-for-all plan. The same poll found that far larger majorities favored incremental changes, including a Medicare buy-in plan for adults between the ages of 50 and 64.

The Commonwealth Fund reported that the percentage of American adults who are uninsured dropped from 20 percent in 2010, the year the federal Affordable Care Act became law, to 12.4 percent last year. But the 2018 rate was unchanged from 2016.

The Commonwealth Fund also said the rate of underinsured adults – people who have high insurance deductibles and out-of-pocket costs relative to their income – climbed from 23 percent in 2014 to 29 percent last year, with the greatest growth occurring among people with job-related coverage.

Employer-provided insurance “is facing a crisis now that is related to the escalating health care costs and the limited options available to them to manage those costs,” said Dr. David Blumenthal, president of the Commonwealth Fund.

“Our goal is to once and for all transform America’s broken health care structure into an improved and expanded system known as Medicare for All,” said McCormick. “Medicare for All will cover everybody, cost less than we spend now and deliver better quality because it eliminates not only waste and inefficiency, but the greed that makes consumers choose between ‘your money or your life’ when faced with illness or injuries.”

“Forty percent of Americans can’t cover a $400 emergency expense, and yet we pay thousands in premiums and deductibles to the for-profit insurance industry with nothing more than a ‘promise’ of care, and ultimately enrich their executives and shareholders who take home sky-high pay,” said Anna-Marta Visky of the Monmouth County chapter of Our Revolution.

Red Bank Councilwoman Kate Triggiano told volunteers in Long Branch, “I have never believed in Medicare for All more than now,” as she shared strategies for canvassing with activists who attended and encouraged them to enlist their neighbors to support Medicare for All.

According to organizers, the goal of the “Barnstorm” events this week is to demonstrate grassroots support to encourage the New Jersey Congressional delegation to sign onto the House Medicare for All 2019 legislation.

Local grassroots organizations are hosting similar events this week in Montclair, New Brunswick, Cherry Hill and Bridgewater.

McCormick calls for Governor to resign


Lisa McCormick   732-340-1980

Lisa McCormick is calling on Governor Phil Murphy to resign, citing evidence that he ignored an allegation of sexual assault by one member of his campaign team on another.

McCormick said evidence that Murphy ignored an allegation of sexual assault by one member of his campaign team on another is another example that shows the governor is an out-of-touch millionaire who cannot be trusted with power.

She added that Pete Cammarano, Murphy’s chief of staff, was among those aware Albert J. Alvarez tried to rape Katie Brennan in April 2017. Brennan, 31, of Jersey City, told the governor’s chief counsel, Matt Platkin, about the allegation, and the matter was referred to the Chief Ethics Officer of the Governor’s Office and to the Attorney General’s Office.

Despite those notices, Alvarez was hired to jobs on the campaign staff, the gubernatorial transition and in state government after the assault, which get a response only after the victim took extreme measures and exposed her own identity. 

McCormick, a progressive Democrat who received 159,998 votes in the June Democratic primary for US Senate, has often been critical of Murphy, who she says “bought his way into elected office using a fortune in Wall Street money.”

Murphy was an executive at Goldman Sachs, a company with a history of punishing women who stand up against sexual abuse and workplace discrimination.

Alvarez resigned as chief of staff at the Schools Development Authority, a job the former campaign aide was given after also serving a stint on Murphy’s transition team. 

Brennan, chief of staff at the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency since February, went public with her story in a Wall Street Journal article published Sunday, October 14, 2018.

That article said Brennan spent more than a year trying to get authorities to take action against Alvarez, from going to police to sending an email to Murphy.

Murphy hired Alvarez, who resigned only after public disclosure of the allegations became imminent.

According to an audit conducted by the U.S. Department of State’s Inspector General, 10 complaints of harassment were reported at the U.S. Embassy in Berlin, while Murphy was ambassador there, but those allegations had “not been addressed effectively.”

After the article was published, Brennan said: “On April 8th, 2017, Al Alvarez raped me. On April 9th, 2017 I learned that the system is broken.”

“I have pursued every form of justice available,” Brennan said. “But it has become clear that this system is not built for survivors.”

Brennan said she “decided to come forward because I know that Al Alvarez, and all perpetrators, must be held accountable, must never rape again, and the justice system needs a complete change with regard to sexual violence.”

“It is clear that leadership from the Murphy administration is needed to create meaningful policy change on several levels to make sure future victims do not have to endure what I have,” Brennan said.

Stop gun violence

Lisa has embraced the 10-point policy agenda advanced by student organizers of March for Our Lives, because common sense is the American way. Every day, 96 Americans are killed with guns. The number of Americans injured with firearms dwarfs the number who are killed, although data to measure non-fatal shootings are less reliable. 

1. Fund gun violence research.

We must provide the CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) with dedicated funding to research gun violence as a public health issue. Even the original sponsor of the law that limits the CDC’s ability to do this research, former Congressman Jay Dickey, said that it was a mistake. More than 100 medical organizations have called on Congress to restore this funding.

Read more here.

2. Eliminate absurd restrictions on the ATF.

The gun industry has operated with little meaningful oversight for far too long. ATF (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives), the federal agency with jurisdiction to regulate the gun industry, has been operating with one hand tied behind its back – unable to even digitize records of gun sales – or require gun dealers to conduct annual inventory checks to make sure they aren’t missing any guns. The ATF needs to become a modern agency, one capable of keeping receipts and efficiently regulating this massive industry.

Read more here.

3. Universal background checks.

It is too easy for the wrong people to obtain a firearm. Right now, federal law only requires you to obtain a background check if you purchase a gun from a licensed dealer. We must close the private sale loophole and make sure all sales undergo a background check.

Read more here.

4. High-capacity magazine ban.

High-capacity magazines that hold more than 10 rounds serve only one purpose – to allow someone to shoot as many bullets as possible, in the shortest amount of time. These magazines are used in most mass shootings and need to be banned.

Read more here.

5. Limit firing power on the streets.

Weapons of war have no place in our communities. Our nation requires a comprehensive semi-automatic assault rifle ban that prohibits the future production and sale of these weapons and provides a solution for dealing with those semi-automatic assault rifles that are already owned, such as a buyback program or registration. Limiting high-powered weapons to the military has worked elsewhere to eliminate the opportunity for mass shootings.

Read more here.

6. Funding for intervention programs.

A comprehensive approach to reducing gun violence requires not just new policies, but investment in programs that address the root causes of this violence. Federal, state, and local leaders should invest in evidence-based violence reduction strategies that engage all community stakeholders and have been proven effective.

Read more here.

7. Extreme risk protection orders.

There are few options available to family members concerned about an individual who is experiencing a crisis, poses a risk of harm to self or others, and owns a gun. Extreme risk protection orders provide a crucial lifesaving tool to temporarily remove a gun from a person in crisis.

Read more here.

8. Disarm domestic abusers.

While current law bans some domestic abusers from gun possession, others remain free to buy and possess firearms. A gun in a domestic violence situation makes it five times more likely that a woman will be killed. Congress needs to act to close loopholes that allow dating partner abusers, individuals convicted of stalking, and those subject to a temporary restraining order to continue possessing guns, and to make surrender of guns from prohibited abusers mandatory .

Read more here.

9. Gun trafficking.

We know that guns move from states with weak gun laws to states with stronger laws and that illegal gun trafficking facilitates easy access to guns in impacted communities. Yet, there is no federal law specifically targeting gun trafficking, making it more difficult to investigate and prosecute the criminal networks responsible for flooding communities with guns.

Read more here.

10. Safe storage and mandatory theft reporting.

While many  gun owners use responsible storage practices, and estimated 4.6 million children living in homes with unsecured guns, contributing to accidental deaths. There are few laws in place to ensure that guns are stored securely when not in use.

Read more here.

Israel & Palestine

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict has been one of the world’s most difficult and intractable disputes for more than sixty years. Moreover, the failure to resolve that crisis has helped fuel other conflicts in the region.

Lisa McCormick supports a two-state solution that recognizes Israel’s right to exist in peace and security, and the Palestinians’ right to a homeland in which they control their political and economic future.

The U.S. must play a leading role in creating a two-state solution, which will require significant compromises from both sides. The two-state solution envisions an independent State of Palestine alongside the State of Israel, west of the Jordan River, with secure, recognized borders and a fair resolution for refugees.

The Palestinians must unequivocally recognize Israel’s right to exist as a democratic and Jewish state. The Israelis must cease developing settlements on land that will obviously be part of a future workable Palestinian state. As neighbors and allies, Israel and Palestine will ultimately someday anchor Middle East peace.

McCormick slams President Donald Trump’s retreat from the trade war

The following is a statement from Lisa McCormick, one of two Democratic primary election candidates for US Senate:

President Donald Trump has once again staked out a set of policies that leave American consumers and businesses, as well as our international allies, in a worse position than we were in when he started his loud, angry and misinformed griping, blustering and chest thumping.

There are some very dear prices to pay for President Donald Trump’s retreat from the trade war he almost started without reduce America’s massive deficit in goods exchanged with China, which reached a record $376 billion last year.

China and the United States issued a joint statement Saturday saying the world’s two biggest economies agreed not to engage in a trade war, a victory for Chinese President Xi Jinping, who made Trump his bitch after he initiated the crisis

Trump screwed up the Iran Deal, pulled out of the Paris Accords on climate change, shook the confidence of our NATO allies, begged for a summit meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un for which he is already making concessions when the United States agreed to downsize a military exercise with South Korea and Japan in addition to retreating from his tough talk on trade with China.

Clearly, the ignorant and egotistical president’s ‘shoot first ask stupid questions later’ approach to foreign policy is hurting America’s interests. Instead of ‘America First’ the end result of this administration would be better described as ‘America Alone’ because that’s where we are heading.

Candidate quells division among Our Revolution chapters

A number of Our Revolution chapters in New Jersey have recommended endorsements for progressive US Senate candidate Lisa McCormick but some voters are questioning whether the organization founded after Bernie Sanders’ 2016 presidential effort is worth the time of courting.

A number of Our Revolution chapters in New Jersey have endorsed Lisa McCormick for US Senate.

McCormick said disparate elements in the progressive wing of the party “need time” to get organized and she counseled patience among volunteers and donors “because we never intended to do this all at once.”

She said progressives should take a long view and seek to score victories over several elections and a period of years. Noting that ‘infighting’ is common it can preclude groups from doing what they want to do.

Still, the candidate urged voters who want to get involved to reach out to chapter leaders, who are listed below based on data obtained from the national Our Revolution website.

McCormick said while it makes sense to organize around candidates while voters are attracted to them, personalities should not keep the organization from flourishing because the issues it represents are what really make a difference in peoples’ lives.

“I encourage any voter who wants to volunteer with us to advance the kind of agenda Bernie spoke about during the campaign or in any of his books, please reach out the organizers listed below,” She said.  “Not everybody is on the same page but they all share Bernie’s ambitions for a better world. .”

Firstname Lastname Phone number Email
Nick Sodano (609) 351-5259
Rachel Delgado-Simmons (571) 224-3847
Richard Askins
Barry Brendel (609) 474-0007 BBRENDEL@GMAIL.COM
Geo Chalker (646) 833-5566
Tamar Wilson (856) 345-4084
Pat MULLIGAN (757) 262-7922
Joni Brennan (609) 972-7663
Elly Faden (415) 342-1552
Steven Weinberg (732) 485-0756
Thomas Auzinger (908) 872-2238
Joey Novick (908) 892-6859
Michael Rushnak (732) 259-7535
Kim Dunn-Meynell
Sean Smith (908) 310-2483
Steve Belo (908) 419-8772
Justin Goldsman (973) 718-1658
Katherine Joyce (973) 783-9284
Danny Kim (201) 590-7303
Tamar Wilson (856) 345-4084
Jim Devine (774) 338-4630

McCormick says she is pleased to have the endorsement of several Our Revolution chapters and looks forward to building stronger bridges among various factions within the progressive movement.



McCormick on Hugin, Menendez, & the Iran Deal

The following is a statement from Lisa McCormick, one of two Democratic primary election candidates for US Senate:
Senator Robert Menendez’s so-called flip flop on the Iran Deal, is infinitely better than the entirely wrong position on the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, that Bob Hugin and Donald Trump have staked out for themselves.
The whole point is to stop Iran from developing nuclear weapons. President Barack Obama worked out a treaty with five other nations that accomplishes this act.
While Israel is America’s strongest ally, the current government there has a horrible record on the human rights of Palestinians and it seems eager for war with Iran. We could not be good friends is we lie to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and we are fooling ourselves by opening a tinder box on top of a powder keg by relocating the US embassy.  Israel was also wrong to fear the Iran Deal.  Americans learned long ago that fear, itself, is a dangerous thing.
Humanity must not act out of fear, or panic, or revenge.
So far, 50 protesters have died from excessive force in Gaza. We have a buffoon in the White House. We have warmongers in Congress. We have principles of peace and standing by them requires real strength, but lashing out with force and trading harsh rhetoric is not the path to justice or calm. It is barbaric insanity that appeals to the lowest reptilian part of the human brain.  America’s response to the 2001 terrorist attacks has led us into the longest and perhaps most futile war in our history. It led us to distraction and chaos in Iraq, which unleashed further violence and mayhem.
Bob Hugin would be smart to stay away from condemning flip flops. Trump promised over and over again that he would bring back American jobs that have been outsourced to China. Instead of working to bring back outsourced jobs, he is now pledging to create jobs in China for ZTE, a massive Chinese phone company,

President Donald Trump’s administration is confounded by the horrific slaughter of demonstrators protesting at the Gaza Strip, part of the  occupied by Israel since the 1967 war. the Gaza deaths were predictable & preventable.

These tough guys ought to step aside and let sane people govern before they get us all killed. That is why I am running for US Senate, despite the long odds and vast disrespect heaped upon me every time the media ignores my campaign or critics make personal comments.
As it says at the top of my Twitter feed, “With all due humility, I am committed to saving our species from itself. Join me because I cannot do that alone.”
Bob Menendez and Bob Hugin continue to offer a path to death and destruction. Mainstream media offers an incredible amount of distraction.

The US should not be supporting Saudi bombing in Yemen.  The US should not be inciting war with Iran. The US should not be allowing Russia to dictate our foreign and domestic policy. The US should not be allowing the Pentagon to spend $716 billion, up from $250 billion in 2001. The US should not be spending a trillion dollars on new nuclear weapons.

All I have is a plan for peace, progress and prosperity but I remain confident that hundreds of thousands of voters in New Jersey remain alert and sane. I am counting on them to share my desire for human survival because either of the corporate-owned war advocates named ‘Bob’ would probably get us deeper in trouble.

Happy Mothers Day!

Happy Mothers Day!

Democrat Lisa McCormick said she is celebrating Mothers Day with her son on the campaign trail, warning that the severe decline in America’s standard of living that has occured while her opponent has been in Congress is evident in relevant statistics.

Several times the number of new mothers die in the US than in any other rich country.  With few exceptions, countries have drastically reduced the number of maternal deaths since the 1990s. In America, that rate has increased.

For every woman who dies at childbirth, an estimated 50 to 100 come close to dying with one a conservative estimate that up to 50,000 or more near-misses per year.


McCormick condemns murder of priests in Philippines

Lisa McCormick condemned the murder of Father Mark Ventura, a 37-year-old priest who was shot dead on Sunday, April 29, by unknown killers after saying Mass in Gattaran, Cagayan, Philippines.

President Donald Trump welcomed notorious killer Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte to visit the White House… and he refused!

McCormick blames fascist Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte for the slaying of Ventura and another priest who was gunned down 4 months ago, Father Marcelito Paez.

Paez, 72, was slain in Jaen, Nueva Ecija, also by unidentified gunmen in December 2017.
“A year ago, when President Donald Trump met with Duterte, he should have confronted him over the bloody drug war that has resulted in thousands of extrajudicial killings,” said McCormick. “Instead, Trump praised Duterte for doing an ‘unbelievable job‘ in combating the illicit drug trade, embracing the authoritarian dictator who is accused of ordering extrajudicial killings, and invited the Filipino President to visit the White House.”
“Duterte’s abysmal human rights record, authoritarian politics and extrajudicial killings are an affront to the civilized world and the rule of law,” said McCormick.

Father Mark Ventura was killed in the southern Philippines after Sunday Mass.

Duterte boasted about running vigilante death squads that killed 1,700 people during his years as mayor of Davao, the biggest city in the southern Philippines, then denied any links to the vigilantes, when he attracted criticism from human rights groups and the United Nations.

 “Duterte pledged to eradicate crime during his presidency by ordering security forces to kill criminals but Father Mark Ventura was not a criminal,” said McCormick. “he was a 37-year-old man, known for opposing mining and helping oppressed indigenous people.”
Duterte promised to end crime by killing tens of thousands of suspected criminals and plans to pardon himself for mass murder, as well as police and soldiers accused of abusing human rights.
“I am always amazed by those who boast about law and order and hold themselves unaccountable for crimes against humanity,” McCormick said.

Lisa McCormick proposing $5 trillion domestic Marshall Plan

Lisa McCormick is proposing a $5 trillion domestic Marshall Plan to invest in America, create good jobs and transform this nation’s urban communities to rescue those residents who face the greatest disadvantages in our trickle-down society.

“America will become a third-rate power unless we undertake policies to ensure that our neglected population gets the education, housing, health care and job skills they need to help America compete successfully in a global economy,” McCormick said.  “The United States spent $2 trillion on defense because we were locked into a wartime mentality in the 10 years leading up to the end of the Cold War with the Soviet Union. Instead of redirecting that money into more productive uses, or military industrial complex kindled a new kind of permanent war against terrorism, assuring fear and panic that would channel money into profits for decades.”

“Once, Americans could complete a course of free public education, which prepared one to get a 40-hour per week job that paid enough to have a really good life & retire at 60,” McCormick said.  “That is gone now — as people struggle to make ends meet with two or three jobs — but Americans have the power to take it back by ending the 40-year class war against workers and investing.”

McCormick said Congress should direct the Federal Reserve to fund an urban Marshall Plan that develops our economic infrastructure, renews our cities, and moves people out of poverty and to bring the national debt down to ‘minimal levels.’

There was no peace dividend, after politicians argued that any savings from reduced defense spending will be used to reduce the federal deficit until they invented their insidious war against terrorism.

The Marshall Plan, named after Secretary of State George C. Marshall, was a program under which the United States provided more than $12 billion in economic aid to Western European nations between 1947 and 1952 to help them rebuild after the devastation of World War II.

McCormick said that as long ago as 1963, the Urban League, under the leadership of Whitney Young, had called for a domestic version of the Marshall Plan.

“Many urban inner-city areas today are like zones of desolation and despair, racked by chronic unemployment, underemployment, poverty, inadequate health facilities, environmental degradation, poor performing schools, the infestation of drugs, crime, gangs, the illicit economy, fear, police occupation and terror – all feeding a prison-jail industrial complex where Black and Brown people are the primary fodder,” McCormick said.  “Life in America’s broken communities can be deadly and destructive of the aspirations of people especially on working class and poor families. It has been devastating among Black and Hispanic Americans.”

Currently there is no acceptable response to our plight by policymakers in Washington. Total neglect of the 21st century. Ultimately we must compel the government to rescue and transform this nation’s cities.

Long advocated by the National Urban League under the leadership of John E. Jacob, the concept of a Domestic Marshall Plan was derived from the massive and unprecedented expenditure of U.S. resources to rebuild Europe and Japan after World War II.

When Europe found itself in physical and economic ruin after World War II, the United States invested the equivalent of $130 billion in today’s dollars, and since 2006, the United States has spent nearly $50 billion rebuilding Afghanistan, while the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) that President George W. Bush signed into law in 2008, infused the nation’s faltering financial institutions with investments of more than $400 billion.