A note to MNA Members regarding the Sept. 1 Day of Action

1 Sep

To our members:

You may have noticed today (both in the mainstream media and via social media) that MNA was quite active on the political front as part of the Main Street Contract for America campaign. Today’s events included a soup kitchen in Duluth targeting Rep. Chip Craavack and a Twin Cities protest/food shelf event targeting Rep. Michele Bachmann, among other actions. It was part of a nationwide effort featuring 10,000 nurses in 21 states holding more than 60 events targeting members of Congress.

Some of our members have contacted us today asking why is MNA even involved in politics in the first place. It’s a great question, and one we’d like to answer for all of you.

Though we realize that as an organization with 20,000 members, we’ll never all agree on every one of our political views, there are issues at stake that affect all of our practices, and we must be involved in politics and policy-making to ensure that nurses and the patients we advocate for have a voice at the table. In this case, we’re advocating for patients through the new Main Street Contract effort.

Main Street is hurting. Millions have lost their jobs and their homes, face bankrupting medical bills, and are jammed into over-crowded classrooms and emergency rooms. Soup kitchens, food pantries and food stamps now provide sustenance for millions more. Meanwhile, Wall Street-funded politicians are intent on stealing more from working families. That is why nurses across the nation are joining together in the movement for a Main Street Contract . Today, nurses held 60 actions all over the country to urge elected officials to tax Wall Street to pay for the damage they’ve done to Main Street. With these revenues, we can reclaim the American dream of:

  • Jobs at living wages
  • Equal access to quality, public education.
  • Guaranteed healthcare
  • A secure retirement
  • Good housing, and protection from hunger.
  • A safe and healthy environment.
  • And a just taxation system where corporations and the wealthy pay their fair share.

Nurses know an important part of healing is humor. Some of our events today were lighthearted attempts to highlight the records of many of our elected officials who side with Wall Street, rather than Main Street. While their constituents suffer, these Wall Street politicians accept campaign cash from big corporate interests and vote against programs that would help people avoid foreclosure, access affordable health care, and retire with dignity. Our Day of Action provided a moment to step back and realize even though we are hurting, we can move forward if we work together.

Thanks for being a part of MNA, and thanks most of all for caring enough to share your honest, heartfelt feedback with us about this and many other issues. We value everyone’s opinion, and strive to make sure we’re always listening to and engaging with you, our members, to help explain the “how” and “why” of MNA’s actions – political or otherwise.

Please feel free to share any additional feedback/thoughts here in the comments, and we’ll do our best to respond and reply as quickly as we can!

3 Responses to “A note to MNA Members regarding the Sept. 1 Day of Action”

  1. Janet Izzo, RN September 1, 2011 at 7:44 pm #

    I retain the position that puppetry and nurses protesting in a parking lot is unprofessional and a sad example of who we are as professional nurses. Let’s step up to a little higher standard when it comes to public displays.

    • eric September 2, 2011 at 12:37 pm #

      For future actions, what would you suggest as the “higher standard” for a protest? If you are going to critque then suggest alternatives.

      • Janet Izzo, RN December 23, 2011 at 2:45 pm #

        Making fun of others is not in the best interest of the profession. We already struggle with the media making us look like fools on bill boards, television and in the press. Let’s not add to it.

        I suggest protesting the capital, initiating press conferences, purchasing air time to get our point across (via commercials) and writing articles to express out points of view. Sweaty nurses in tight red t-shirts at a State Fair is humiliating as far as I’m concerned.

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