How to Pass A Local Resolution in Support of the New York Health Act
Passing a local resolution in support of New York Health in your town, city, school board or county is a fantastic opportunity to demonstrate local support for guaranteeing health care for all of us. Resolutions have passed all over the state, including areas that are considered conservative, so this effort shows it is not just a partisan issue -- New York Health is supported by people of all political affiliations.
Follow the steps below to get started passing your local resolution campaign! Sample resolutions:
Step 1: Begin Research & Create a List of Likely Supporters
The first step involves gathering information about who would be a likely supporter of The New York Health Act (NYHA) in your local area. Depending on whether you are working on a town/city/county/school board resolution, create a list of relevant elected officials and work on a strategy that would appeal to each specific target to help spark their interest in holding a meeting or hearing for a resolution in support of the NYHA. Once a strategy is developed, engage the elected official(s) in requesting a meeting or hearing on how the New York Health Act would benefit the local government body and the residents in that community. Make sure each person contacted has the Campaign for NYHA website [nyhcampaign.org] and create informational packets/resources to have accessible in case asked for some literature on the New York Health Act when the meeting/hearing occurs. Suggested resources include:
COUNTY GOVERNMENT PAYMENTS FOR MEDICAID
Medicaid, a program typically funded by federal and state governments, is uniquely financed in New York State by payments from counties. While the State is capping these county payments, in 2015 they still amounted to 15% of the total cost of Medicaid in New York. In total, $7.8 billion was levied from county governments across the state in 2015, forcing cash-strapped counties to assess property taxes at some of the highest levels in the nation. Some upstate and western New York counties, such as Erie, spend as much as 85% of property tax revenue on Medicaid. New York City contributed over $6.4 billion to Medicaid in 2015 equivalent to nearly 10% of its total spending! Check out the table on the reverse side of this page to see what your own county now spends on Medicaid.
WHAT WILL THE NEW YORK HEALTH ACT DO?
The New York Health Act would “[end] the requirement for local social services districts to pay part of the cost of Medicaid and replacing those payments with revenue from the assessments under the [New York Health] revenue proposal.” This simultaneously terminates county Medicaid payments while providing Medicaid beneficiaries (and everyone else!) with better, more comprehensive coverage.
WHO WILL BENEFIT?
Together, “downstate suburban counties would save over $1 billion, upstate cities over $600 million, and rural areas and elsewhere $1.3 billion.” And New York City would save around 10% of its current spending. Clearly, the taxpayers in each of these jurisdictions would see substantial savings on their property taxes and other taxes and fees.
Step 2: Coordinate with Local Groups
The next step is to build people power by reaching out to other groups or individuals in your area that support the NYHA, or would be likely to support the NYHA, to join the Campaign for New York Health in the scheduled meeting/hearing with local officials. Good examples of local groups or individuals to coordinate with include residents/constituents, labor unions, nurses, physicians, small business owners, and other community activist groups [link to endorsers page]. Contact the Campaign for New York Health [[email protected]] for help identifying which local organizations have endorsed the NYHA. This is a great opportunity to gather impactful stories to help sway the elected officials towards adopting a resolution in support of the NYHA and to bring together various groups who endorse New York Health.
Step 3: Alert Media
Create a press release about the meeting/hearing on the resolution, speakers, and information about the NYHA, send it to all media contacts. Be sure to choose and prepare speakers for public comment before or after the meeting/hearing. When choosing speakers for public comment, make sure comments are impactful (speaking from a personal perspective as a patient/healthcare worker/business owner/faith leader/labor organizer) and shortened for time (if a chosen speaker is speaking at the meeting/hearing). A few days before the meeting/hearing be sure to check in with the media alerted to confirm presence and any last minute details. Be sure to thank whomever arranged for the vote on a resolution in the press release and when speaking to the press at the press conference.
Step 4: Meeting/Hearing on Resolution in Support of New York Health Act
Be punctual or early. Be aware of any security measures at the location where the local resolution is being consider. If you are holding a press conference, visit the location before the meeting/hearing to know exactly where your NYHA advocates will speak to the press. If you are making signs for the press conference, or to silently hold during the hearing, be sure to call the location beforehand to check if signs are permitted. Relax, breathe, and be confident! Know the process for the local resolution. Depending on the elected body, you may have a public hearing at one meeting, and a vote at a separate meeting. If there is a second meeting/hearing for a vote on the resolution, it is a good idea to have a few members from the first meeting attend the press conference before the second, as well as the meeting/hearing itself to witness the vote. As the organizers, you should be aware of which meeting/hearing is the most important for a public presence.
Step 5: Follow Up
If your resolution passes, contact the press again on your success and even write an article or op-ed yourself for your local newspaper or magazine! Make sure to tell the folks at [email protected].
Legislative Bodies and Elected Officials Endorsed NY Health Act as of June 20, 2018
Albany Common Council
Albany County Legislature
Buffalo Common Council
Ithaca Common Council
New York City, Mayor Bill de Blasio
New York State Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic and Asian Legislative Caucus
Rockland County Legislature
Sullivan County Legislature
Tompkins County Council of Governments
Tompkins County Legislature
Town of Caroline
Town of Cheektowaga
Town of Enfield
Town of Ithaca
Town of New Paltz
Town of Ulysses
Westchester County Board of Legislators
Questions? Contact [email protected]