Minutes of the ISPC Annual Meeting

Jun 17 2017
Philip Verhoef, ISPC Board President

ISPC annual meeting notes June 17, 2017, 12:30PM


PNHP offices, 29 E. Madison, Suite 1412, Chicago, IL 60602


Roll call: Phil Verhoef (ISPC board President and Chair of the meeting); Jim Rhodes, Marcia Rothenberg, Pam Gronemeyer (ISPC board VP), Sonja Rotenberg (ISPC board member), Clarice Herne, Bill Bianchi (ISPC board member and treasurer), Mark Johnson (ISPC board member), Kimberly Soenen, Mat Tomkwiak, Donna Janovsky, Anne Scheetz, Timi Papas, Sean Zolfo, Giudi Weiss, David Meimers (ISPC board member) and (by phone until they were unfortunately disconnected) Anna Carvlin and Ed Cole


1. Announcement of ISPC Board for 2017-2018

·       Re-elected members of the board include Pam Gronemeyer, Mark Johnson, and Bill Bianchi

·       Newly-elected members of the board include Sean Zolfo and Jordan Centers

·       Sonja Rotenberg (ISPC’s first board President) and Rachel Stones (board Secretary) will be stepping down from the board, and we thank them for their service


2. Committees Reports: For full details, please the committee reports at the end of the notes

·       Anne S. gave the nominating committee report

·       Bill B. gave the membership committee report

·       Jim R. gave the labor outreach committee report

·       Giudi W. gave the website committee report

·       Marcia R. gave the people with disabilities committee report

·       Anne S. gave the legislative committee report

·       Bill B. gave the finance report (as treasurer). During this report, there was brief discussion about the possibility of starting a separate 501c4 organization, as well as about whether or not being tax deductible (and being “non-partisan”) benefits the organization. Further research by David M. revealed that ISPC can participate in some lobbying activity (amounting to <20% of our resources), which we will pursue further in light of the campaign targeting our IL senators

·       Phil V. gave the social media committee report


3. Local groups report: For full details, please the local groups reports at the end of the notes

·       Anne S gave the ISPC-Chicago report

·       Pam G gave the Southern IL People for Progress report


4. ISPC accomplishments in the past year: For full details, see the report at the end of the notes


5. Future actions/activities and goals for the coming year: production of a finance/organizing document, responding to the AHCA, starting a 501c4, develop a senate targeting campaign to promote a single payer bill in the senate (not just the house), promote Michael Milligan’s upcoming Chicago run of his two one-man plays, Side Effects and Mercy Strained  (also known as Mercy Killers)


6: Strategy discussion:

Marcia R opened the discussion: heard an expert on the healthcare system from the NYT who didn’t mention it once; heard 4 faculty from the U of C econ department who didn’t mention single payer at all.  She noted that we push single payer, but that we need to bring together all of the bad things that are happening as a function of the changes in the govt right now (environmental, prisons, etc) and relate the SP movement specifically to those issues and stakeholders, under a broad umbrella of healthcare justice.


Anne S: noted that the Senate campaign is an important opportunity for us to reach out to other groups and understand their agendas in order to bring them in as we pressure our IL senators to support single payer, which Pam agreed with, noting that the Senate campaign grew out of the Everybody INstitute


Pam encouraged us to network more, to create an uproar on days such as our single payer call-in day (June 27). In addition, there was the suggestion of a die-in as the stick to threaten our legislators with (such as a die-in at Durbin’s office in IL), although subsequent discussion indicated that organizing a die-in may require a fair bit of advanced planning and should be strategic and intentional


Additional discussion focused on the logistics and objectives of calling: Clare wondered the most efficient way to do so, or if ISPC should have designated representatives with a unified message; Pam noted that the more that could call, the better, while Anne noted that perhaps we could have 10 people commit to calling an office (coordinated by a single individual) with the objective of getting an appointment (probably with staffers) to discuss further. Once such a meeting is secured, the script that we follow would need to be coordinated too.


Timi suggested that ISPC draft a manifesto (of sorts) that reflects both healthcare and more broad injustice issues, followed by a demand that our elected officials stand up for what’s right, including single payer. She will draft an initial version of such a document, with the idea that we get all other stakeholders and social/healthcare justice groups to sign on. Bill noted that there is a political struggle taking place within the democratic party, not within the republican party, and that democrats should absolutely sign on to such a manifesto, and providing opportunities for taking progressive stands might be a route to success. He suggested that we should publish statement as widely as possible, with as many supporters as possible. Giudi reiterated that it should stay pretty close to the message of single payer (since that’s the crux of our organization).


Kimberly S made a few points: 1: She noted that Bernie came out in April saying if trumpcare falls through, we should start from scratch, meaning Bernie’s message is misaligned with the single payer movement, which is not good. 2: Illinois doesn’t have a budget, so that’s created a trust crisis. So without addressing the economic impact of single payer, we’re never going to get businesses on board (and she reiterated the point that single payer is good for infrastructure). She suggested making sure that our single payer message include the economic impact (along the lines of what Bill Bianchi is doing), given that is such an issue for Illinois. 3: ratcheting up our digital presence is critical. She also notes that we are working at a tremendously rough time… As long as private insurance companies (like Blue Cross/Blue Shield) finance Durbin’s campaign, he will never come over to single payer, and we need to convince businesses to come on board with SP, in order to drive an economic argument that our senators may listen to.


Anne notes that there are people that have worked on all of these elements, and that some choose to focus on the moral/ethical basis for single payer, while others focus on the economic impact.


After the meeting ended (at 2:30pm), there was a presentation by Luka Kula of the Move Illinois Policy, which was open to all.





Nominating Committee


There were five candidates for five seats, all of whom were elected.


Number of eligible voters (individual plus organizational): 81


Number of voters who participated: 42 (just over 50%)


 Individual: 37


 Organizational:  5


Problems:  One person requested additional information identifying the organization, and we provided this in subsequent emails.


Committee members: Anne Scheetz, Phil Verhoef





Membership committee report

The Membership Committee is responsible for building and maintaining ISPC’s base of paid members and supporters; planning and overseeing outreach activities approved by board such as emailing or mailing.  It also maintains individual and group member lists as well as the ISPC email lists.


Membership Committee Members:  Bill Bianchi, Chair; Sonja Rotenberg; Pam Gronemeyer; Mark Johnson and David Meimers.


Activities (fiscal year 7/16 through 6/17), membership committee was relatively inactive though individual ISPC members including some from the membership committee gathered signatures of supporters throughout the year.  This activity helped build our email base and recruit volunteers. 

1.     During the fiscal year, we increased our email supporter list to 3800 names.

2.     The committee is moving toward better tracking of memberships via the CiviCRM.  It is now accurate in expiration of memberships and the renewal notices will be going out automatically, probably as of July. 

3.     The membership committee will discuss attending outdoor activities and gathering names and contact information.  Events to consider include, Halsted Market Days, some farmer markets, DSA national convention Aug 3-6 at UIC, and possibly the ISO conference July 6-9. 


Membership (dues paying) and Supporter base

Goal for total individual dues paid members by June, 2017: 100

Actual paid members 80, more or less same as previous year

Organizational membership: 6, no changes from last year
Current organizational members: PDA – IL, PNHP-IL, the Green Party, JWJ NIJwJ (Northern Illinois Jobs with Justice), SIPP (Southern Illinois People for Progress) and ADAPT


Total mailing list fluctuates but is steadily increasing.  Now stands at 3822 5% increase over last year.





Labor Outreach Committee Report


ISPC has a reciprocal membership with Northern Illinois Jobs with Justice, and is a member of Chicago Jobs with Justice and Central Illinois Jobs with Justice. Our membership in CIJwJ supports the radio program World Labor Hour out of Urbana, which has hosted many single-payer-related programs, and where our name is announced on each program. 


Labor Outreach Committee members reached out to and met with the leadership of United Auto Workers Local 551, which passed a resolution in support of HR 676, the Expanded and Improved Medicare for All Act , in February 2017.  Committee members  are having continuing conversations with UAW 551 vis à vie outreach to their members as well as their community connections . List of IL labor groups that support single-payer health care here.


Members of the Committee solicited and worked with Kassie Beyer, Illinois Jobs with Justice organizer, on a workshop at the April 1 Everybody INstitute


ISPC members tabled, by invitation, at an American Federation of Government Employees Local 1395 "lunch and learn" fair; and made a presentation on single-payer to an SEIU Local 73 health committee meeting.   


ISPC members participated in "Healthcare NOT Wealthcare" rallies organized by the national railroad union Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employes, whose members also participated in Medicare for all rallies


Members' article about workers' comp and single-payer health care was published by Fox Valley Labor News. 


Chair: Hale Landes




Website Committee Report


Website Committee members have addressed the following issues during the past year: 

•    problems with the interface between the website and Healthcare-NOW!'s client relationship management (CRM) software

•    improvements to CRM membership functions, so that renewal notices will be sent automatically, probably as of July; and memberships will expire automatically when dues are not received in the allotted time (membership can always be renewed, of course)

•    updates to the website following the election and new sessions in the Illinois General Assembly and the US Congress

•    website security


The Committee is looking for new members who have relevant technical knowledge or who are willing to learn. Please contact Giudi Weiss, giudi@giudiwrites.com, if you are interested. 


Giudi Weiss, Chair, for the Website Committee




People with Disabilites Committee Report

Disability rights activist Michael Grice was elected to the ISPC Board in 2016.


Members of this committee are active in many other organizations, including Access Living, the Alliance for Community Services, Autism Speaks,Chicago ADAPT (which remains an organizational member of ISPC), Chicago Jobs with Justice, Jane Addams Senior Caucus, Northside Action for Justice, They educate people about single-payer, and also educate single-payer activists about related issues. 


ISPC members participate regularly in Chicago ADAPT actions around Medicaid , personal assistants' overtime, and other human services,.


ISPC Chicago participated in the 2016 Disability Pride Parade. This year members who can attend will march with other groups. 


People with disabilities were a strong presence at the April 1 Everybody INstitute and at the People's Summit.


ISPC members who are disability rights activists requested support from ISPC Chicago on the personal needs allowance for people confined to nursing homes; cuts to special education; and employment for people with disabilities, all of which statements were passed. 


People with Disabilities Co-chairs: Susan Aarup and Tyler McHaley





Legislative Committee Report


Some ISPC members signed on to an open letter to all Illinois members of the US Congress, initiated by ISPC and Northern Illinois Jobs with Justice member Mary Shesgreen, in support of single-payer health care. It was published in the Kane County Daily Herald


We publish on the ISPC website a list of bills in the Illinois General Assembly (GA) that would not be needed if we had single-payer health care; 99th GA here; 100th GA here


In October 2016, ISPC adopted a Position Statement on Fair Taxation and Just Fiscal Policy.


ISPC members regularly take part in Congressional townhalls and meetings with legislative staff, and communicate with legislators by phone, fax, and email. 


Chair: Anne Scheetz

Finance Committee Report


Committee members include Bill Bianchi (board treasurer), Mark Johnson, Dave Meimers, and Jim Rhodes.


We had a peaceful transition of the Treasurer's position from Mark to myself.  With Dave we are working on modernizing our financial record keeping. 


Please note that the FY will end on June 30 so these remarks should fairly represent what is to be expected for the year. 


We had two major initiatives that have involved some expense. 


1)  The Everybody Institute on April 1.  This cost around $1000 and we received about $1000 from participants and backing from PNHP-Illinois.  In short, it basically broke even.  It was a successful event.


2)  The other major initiative was a project not yet completed, the Economic Impact Study.  So far about $1600 has been spent on this project, with approximately 6300 budgeted by the board.


More generally, by the end of the year ISPC should have received Membership dues of over $1600 and donations of over $6000.


Our total assets as of the end of the FY are available from the treasurer upon request.

Chair: Bill Bianchi

Social Media Committee Report


Anne Scheetz is currently drafting 140 character updates/tweets which are posted on Facebook, on a daily basis. These are twitter ready but are not currently being actively tweeted.

Stephanie Nakajima presented an excellent summary of how we might use social media at the Everybody INstitute in April. We need volunteers to take this on!

Al Nowakowski and Cat Jarboe post to the Facebook page, and Phil Verhoef is also a moderator of this page.

We do not currently have a presence on instagram, snapchat, or other social media platforms.


Chair: Phil Verhoef




ISPC Chicago Local Group Report

The ISPC Chicago Community Outreach Committee has worked with the Alliance for Community Services, the Chicago Mental Health Movement, Jane Addams Senior Caucus, the Pilsen Quality of Life Health Task Force (PQoLHTF), the Southside Trauma Center Campaign, and the New Poor People's Campaign. We support grassroots campaigns for health care justice, and educate the people involved about the need for single-payer health care. The PQoLHTF made working for single-payer one of its goals.  


Thanks to the work of ISPC members, the Jane Addams Senior Caucus Health and Economic Justice Committee voted 23 to 0 with one abstention to recommend to their Board that JASC become an organizational member of ISPC. ISPC members met with representatives of the Board, which ultimately voted not to join. 


ISPC Chicago members participated in , among other events, the 2016 Hyde Park July 4th Parade, 2016 Bughouse Square, Moral Mondays, the AIDS Walk/Run, the NAACP State Convention, anti-TPP events, May Day 2017 (co-sponsored), legislative townhalls, defend the ACA rallies (bringing single-payer to the events), the April 8 national day of action, the 2016 Martin Luther King memorial in Marquette Park, the 2016 Disability Pride Parade, the day of action on health sponsored by Senator Durbin and Representative Schakowsky (brought single-payer message), and the April 29 Medicare for all rally at Stroger Hospital (co-sponsored).


Dr. Pia Justesen presented a talk on the Danish health care system at a monthly meeting . 


ISPC Chicago approved the following statements:

•    Statement on Personal Needs Allowance

•    Statement on a Chicago Task Force on Employment of People with Disabilities

•    Statement on Chicago Public Schools Special Education Budget Cuts


ISPC Chicago welcomed to our meetings a new 501c4 organization, Move Illinois Policy, that is working for single-payer health care; their presentation will follow the annual meeting. 


Chairs: rotate




Southern Illinois People for Progress Local Group Report

·       We have been working to promote single payer with the showing of both "Fix It" and "Now IS the Time" as free movie events during our meetings.

·       We have actively networked with local groups like Action Metro East and Invisible IL 12 to educate about single payer.

·       We have held a constituent townhall for our IL Congressman Rodney Davis to discuss healthcare reform and had about 50 people attend. We filmed it and put it on YouTube.

·       We have attended rallies and office visits at Rodney Davis's office and have talked to Congresswoman Cheri Bustos at an event in Belleville and discussed Raja Krishnamoorthi’s endorsement of HR676. 

·       We are tabling at the Goshen farmer's market in Edwardsville, IL this summer, one Saturday a month and will try to get out to some local fairs.

·       We marched and tabled at The Women's March in St. Louis and the tabling event at the YMCA in downtown St. Louis that followed.

·       We marched in the March for Science in St. Louis.

·       We spoke about single payer at the PDA IL Central meeting in Springfield in May. 

Chair: Pam Gronemeyer




ISPC Accomplishments (beyond everything else noted above!)

1: Everybody Institute in April which was quite successful!


2: Ongoing work by Bill Bianchi and others on interviewing people to develop a “white paper” on the financial implications of single payer for the state of IL


3: Financial support to the ColoradoCare single payer movement (which, unfortunately, did not pass)


4: Participated in lots of disease-oriented events to raise awareness of single payer


5: Joined (as an organization) Chicago Jobs with Justice


6: Members have given talks both locally and nationally about single payer


7: Working to implement “Quickbooks” to help manage finances


8: Members have attended numerous town halls and public events to raise questions about single payer, and provide education.


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