Posted: Sep 20th, 2010
How We’re Acting Upon SB 810
Last month, Assembly Speaker John Perez (D46) made the decision to prevent SB 810 from going up for a vote. Had he done so, and it passed, SB 810 would have moved through to the Governor’s desk, where Schwarzenegger would have vetoed it, as he has done twice before when an almost identical bill passed through the California Legislature under former State Senator Sheila Kuehl. However this time, the political “will” just wasn’t there.
So what now, you ask? The author, Senator Mark Leno has agreed to re-introduce the bill next year and we as single payer activists need to get out there and continue doing what we’ve been doing all along: winning the hearts and minds of our fellow citizens in favor of a Single Payer system.
Yes, it is a huge victory that we have passed the legislation twice before. Yes, SB 810 being shut down this time was a huge disappointment. However, it is quite clear that relying on Sacramento to just do the right thing as far as Single Payer is concerned is not an option. We have to create a climate where the political “will” is there, and voting against it would be unthinkable.
If anything, this serves as a wake up call that our work is far from done. We need to be more creative and diligent about exploring new avenues of winning support for single payer. Our movement is not just about supporting something, it’s about action and inspiring others to take action. I’m motivated and energized to go and talk to other people about single payer at a farmers market– or encourage people to write their legislator or give a talk to a local Kiwanis club — because I know these efforts are going to make a difference. It is precisely these kinds of grass-root actions that are going to make single payer a reality in our state; opening up a space for one-on-one dialogue, listening to what people have to say and addressing concerns in a clear, informed and honest way.
Now is not the time to lose steam, get disillusioned, or give up. We are a movement of compassionate, determined and hard working people. Let’s keep fighting, organizing and educating. We’re here for the long haul, and not giving up. We’ll let the opposition do that.