Volunteers unite for National Health Care Day of Service

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Hundreds of San Fernando Valley volunteers joined thousands across the nation for National Health Care Day of Service on June 27 and 28. Events were held under the auspices of Organizing for America, a grassroots volunteer network that grew out of President Barack Obama’s  presidential campaign.

Volunteers Kaye Goldman Clarke (right) and Nicole Czakon (left) with an unidentified volunteer.

Groups of volunteers fanned out at locations across the Valley, among them: the Universal and North Hollywood Metro Stations, Westfield Sherman Oaks Fashion Square, Vons Tarzana, Trader Joes Northridge, the Burbank Shopping District and Ralph’s Woodland Hills, to educate their communities about the President’s plans for healthcare reform and to sign pledges of support in bringing these plans to fruition.

At the Universal City Metro station, volunteers John Hopgood, Janice Radder, Kaye Goldman Clarke, Patricia Barnes, Nicole Czakon and Tamara Cannon spoke with people as they entered and exited the subway station.

While many of the subway riders didn’t care to stop, a good portion of the day’s passersby were intrigued enough to come over and investigate.

Metro riders stop to talk to volunteers and hear about their health care options.

The volunteers spoke to commuters about universal health care and the President’s public option plan.

Clarke noted, “The goal of our group was to help pass the word and garner support for Obama’s health care goals via a pledge, that we would have people sign.”

“We’re trying to provide information about illness prevention, healthy lifestyle choices, and services already available to the public such as the SCHIP Insurance Program which provides healthcare coverage for children with no insurance,” explained Radder.

Hopgood said that there were a large number of people from other countries including Canada, Great Britain, Australia, France, Belgium, and Germany who stopped to speak to them, and noted  “these countries all have single payer health care through their governments.”

The visitors were curious and he said, “a little shocked at the way we cover health care expenses in this country.”

Janice Radder
Studio City resident and  volunteer Janice Radder said she felt especially pleased to get young adults interested and to sign pledges of support.

As to the goal of turning interest into action, Hopgood said he felt good at the end of the day.  “Our group was able to collect 317 pledge signatures at this one location in support of the President’s healthcare plan, to send to the President and members of Congress.”

Radder felt especially pleased to get young adults interested and to sign pledges of support. “Most were uninterested at first and blew us off.  I would point out that their future children would want them to take a moment to sign a petition and that they should take a moment to support their president, and they did.”

For more information about Organizing for America, go to www.barackobama.com

Lisa Ekberg Hopgood is a 17+ year resident of Studio City. She lives with her husband John and two sons Justin and Aidan.

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Karen Young is the founder of My Daily Find.

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