National Nurses United

California Nurse magazine December 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 California Nurse December 2005 Volume 101/10 (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 We did it. I could hardly believe it myself for a while, but we did it. Voters listened to us nurses and rejected all the measures on the special election ballot, not just Arnold Schwarzenegger's pet initiatives. And then just two days after the Nov. 8 election, we learned he was dropping his appeal of the court decision that upheld our safe staffing ratios after he rolled them back through emergency order last November. What a difference a year makes. What a difference persistence makes. And what a year it was. Our staff figured out that we CNA RNs attended what would average out to one protest every three or four days. Thanks to all of you who took the time to attend a rally, write a letter, or make a phone call, our ratios and patients are safe. But this momentous campaign was just a road bump, albeit a big one, on the road toward our real goals. We're going to keep pushing for true reform, proposals that take all money out of politics, that establish quality, univer- sal, single-payer healthcare, that properly fund our schools, that require cor- porations to pay their fair share of taxes just like those of us who work do. As one RN told me, Schwarzenegger has not changed his "corporate colors." Just a few days after he lost the election, he departed for China on a trade mission, accompanied by a whole entourage of corporate executives, the very executives that "sponsored" the initiatives in the special election— including the California Hospital Association. So, as you can see, it's busi- ness as usual for our governor. We don't have the luxury to take that attitude. Business as usual in our society means that people like Chris Taylor, a working student and son of one of our CHW RNs, has no health insurance and hasn't seen a doctor in six years. Taylor is just the first profile in an occasional series that we're launching in this issue to put a face to the millions of uninsured and under- insured that appear as daily statistics in the media. Please check out this series, and refer us any uninsured people you know with good stories who'd be willing to be profiled. Business as usual also means that our ever-increasing use of fossil fuels is contributing to global warming, which in turn is spawning climate changes that jeopardize human health. Various unusual heat waves, floods, major hurricanes like Katrina, and other extreme weather events are testing our public health systems, and it's clear that we're not prepared. Read more about this problem in this month's issue. All of this means that nurses still have much work to do in fighting for the good health of our patients, our communities, and our global society. Let's get busy. Deborah Burger, RN CNA President

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