On September 21, 2013, the Central Illinois Jobs with Justice Chapter officially endorsed HR 676, Expanded and Improved Medicare for All single payer legislation, reports David Johnson, a retired union carpenter and delegate to the chapter from the Illinois Single Payer Coalition.
“The delegates voted unanimously to support HR 676,” said Johnson, in spite of variations in their estimates of the Affordable Care Act. “Differences of opinion were centered around the question of whether or not the ACA is a step in the right direction,” but there was unity around HR 676 as the goal, said Johnson.
Founded in 2006, the chapter is made up of 27 unions, community and faith-based organizations in Champaign County and has worked in solidarity with unions on the University of Illinois campus, supported mineworkers in Vermillion County, mobilized in support of FlexNGate workers, participated in the effort to remove Coca Cola from the campus, and much more.
The organization has taken the name “The Mother Jones Chapter of Jobs with Justice” in honor of Mary Harris Jones the legendary mineworkers’ organizer who is buried in Mt. Olive, Illinois, alongside the miners killed in the strike-related Virden riot of 1898.
In other news, Representatives Chaka Fattah (PA-2) and Alan S. Lowenthal (CA-47) signed on as co-sponsors of HR 676, bringing the total to 51 counting chief sponsor John Conyers, Jr. (MI-13).