SOJWJ marches for Health Care
2014’s traditional Fourth of July in Ashland was HUGE. Twenty-five to thirty thousand lined streets for the parade and then transitioned to festivities in Lithia Park. Southern Oregonians did it again and HCAO-Rogue Valley had a presence in the parade while our HCAO-RV booth was well placed as the very first one upon entering Lithia Park.
For the first time in years Southern Oregon Jobs with Justice did not apply for our coalition parade entry and chose to join forces with Move To Amend-Jackson County whose Dave Hyde let it be known, “join MTA for a coalition entry,” and so we did. Besides SOJwJ partners HCAO-RV, KSKQ Community Radio and more came forward for our grand entry in this year’s parade. HCAO activists in red-shirts with Rosie lifted high our banner and called out our message over and over to the welcoming throngs, from Liberty Street to the Plaza: “Everyone In, Nobody Out” and “Healthcare Is a Human Right.” This year’s parade theme was “This Land Is Our Land” so guess what song we sang in front of the judge’s stand and along the route (hint, Woody Guthrie wrote it)?
HCAO-RV’s booth was a hit. We sold Tee-shirts (Rosie the Nurse) and we gathered dozens of signatures for our growing statewide database. Most remarkable were the numbers of young people who engaged in thumbs-up conversations. Most who came to our booth were Oregonians yet tourist town Ashland had many out-of-state people, too. One women from Minnesota purchased a Rosie Nurse tee-shirt while telling us she was an occupational therapist who “can’t wait to wear this to work when I get back home.”
Volunteers staffing the HCAO-RV booth included a broad section of organizations and at the end of the Independence Day we put HCAO on the map.
Wes Brain, Southern Oregon Jobs with Justive and HCAO board member