National Nurses United

California Nurse magazine November 2005

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Editor Lucia Hwang Executive Editor Rose Ann DeMoro Graphic Design and Production Jonathan Wieder Communications Director Charles Idelson Contributors Hedy Dumpel, RN, JD Liz Jacobs, RN California Nurse November 2005 Volume 101/09 (ISSN 0008-1310) is published by the California Nurses Association, 2000 Franklin Street, Oakland, CA. 94612-2908. It provides news of the Association's activities and reports on developments of concern to all registered nurses in the state. It also carries general coverage and commentary on matters of nursing practice, community health, and healthcare policy. It is published ten times a year with combined issues in the summer and winter. Periodicals postage paid at Oakland, California. Postmaster send address changes to California Nurse, 2000 Franklin Street, Oakland, CA. 94612-2908. To send a media release or announcement: Phone: 510-273-2200 Ext. 249 Fax: 510-663-0629 California Nurse is carried on the CNA Website: For permission to reprint articles write to Editorial Office. To subscribe: Send $40 ($45 foreign) to Subscription Department. Letter from the President President's Note Now, I know no CNA member would be foolish enough to throw away a chance to be heard by not voting on Nov. 8, but chances are, many of your relatives, friends, colleagues, and community members are so busy working and raising their families that they may sit out this special election. That would be a big, big mistake. The special election ballot contains a whole ros- ter of initiatives that, if passed, would seriously hurt ordinary Californians – not just in the short term, but in future efforts to push for policies and can- didates that support working people's needs for things like quality education and healthcare. Prop. 76, for example, would give the governor new powers to dramati- cally slash school funding and public services to balance the budget instead of, say, taking a look at increasing taxes slightly for the state's wealthiest cor- porations and individuals or even just plugging tax loopholes for these groups. Prop. 75 would silence the voices of public unions that fight to improve the lives of California's public servants and the constituents they serve. For these reasons, and as a protest of this special election which voters never even wanted, CNA is recommending a "no" vote to the entire ballot. We've done the research, and the public respects our judgment. Please take some time to get your family, friends, and neighbors to the polls. Send them an e-mail with your positions. Stop and talk to your acquaintances about the election when you run into them at the store or the Little League game. Volunteer a couple hours to help CNA phone bank. There's too much at stake to do noth- ing. When our public safety nets and infrastructure collapse, we get disasters like what happened to New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. In this issue, we feature a package of amazing, first-person stories by RN volunteers sent to the Gulf Coast by CNA and the National Nurses Organizing Committee (NNOC) to give critical medical care to survivors. I promise you will cry, so keep some tissues handy. Again and again, returning RNs commented on how many of the survivors already had underlying health problems, and on the prevalence of uncontrolled chronic diseases, such as diabetes, asthma, and hypertension. Events such as Katrina again underscore the need for a single payer system where everyone has access to quality healthcare. And while we're on the subject of public health, check out a story in this issue on how the defunding and decimation of public health departments leaves the U.S. open to the next great pandemic. Until we meet in December. Remember, vote no on Nov. 8. Deborah Burger, RN CNA President

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