Medicare for All – Wendell Potter

By Martin J. Walsh
On Wednesday, December 6th many of us were privileged to hear Wendell Potter give us the straight scoop on our private for-profit healthcare debacle. Mr. Potter was an executive with CIGNA Insurance, whose conscience got the better of him, and he quit his post so he could live with himself.
His job as Director of Corporate Communications put him in charge of convincing us of lies regarding the benefits of private healthcare. He gave examples of cases where the company was willing to let people die, and his job was to justify their actions. He led the fight against the Michael Moore film “Sicko”. He worked to convince us that 50M were uninsured by their choice. One huge example was going to a county fair site where many doctors volunteered their time to help people who waited days in line to get into animal stalls to be helped.
He explained the “free market” is not the way to go to keep our costs reasonable.  Private carriers consider claims as losses, rather than the reason they exist.
Mr. Potter finally went before Congress in 2009 to help expose the industry lies.
He explained some facts about Obamacare which help immeasurably. We know about reasonable coverage for pre-existing conditions. Also, women and older persons pay less. And insurance companies are forced to pay 80% of premiums for claims. There was one interesting statistic to me. In 1999, the family coverage cost average was $5,791 vs 2018 of $19,688. Many employers pay more in benefits than salary.
He strongly fights for Medicare for All. A great idea, whose time has come.

Messaging to Win in 2018 – Saturday, March 10th

Keynote by: Nationally Recognized Democratic Strategist – Isaac Wright 

Plus Presentations on What You Need To Know To Effectively Talk About these Important Issues in our State:

Right to Work and Prevailing Wage – AFL-CIO

Cleaning Up Missouri’s Election Laws – Clean Missouri

Raising Missouri’s Minimum Wage – Raise-Up Missouri

Missouri’s Voter ID Changes – League of Women Voters

And a Special Presentation by It Starts Today on their innovative Missouri pilot

Saturday, March 10th

Doors open at 9:30 AM

Program begins at 10:00 AM

Carpenters Union Hall

1401 Hampton Avenue, St. Louis, MO 63139


Please RSVP at Eventbrite

This is a FREE Event.  Space is limited.

Walk-ins welcome as space allows

What can I do now? Building Community! Actions that Preserve the Good and Fix the Broken



Our speakers include:

Rep. Bruce Franks

Chris Krehemeyer – Beyond Housing

Maggie Lalor – SLACO

Tod Swanstrom – Community Builders of St. Louis

Keynote Speaker:
Chris Krehmeyer – Beyond Housing

Beyond Housing’s approach brings lasting results because we listen to the community, act as stewards of their vision, and bring together partners to support that vision and generate results.

Our truly holistic approach was formed by the voice of community members taking part in hundreds of local meetings. Success is fueled by the collective impact generated by the participation of dozens of nonprofits, businesses, churches, government officials, and agencies from within and outside the community.

Come learn what others are doing to build the society we so desperately need and what you can do to help.

Visit with 30+ advocacy groups and organizations and network with other concerned citizens.
Program Details and Additional Speakers:
12:30 – 1:15    Registration, visiting with each
other, informational tables
1:15   – 1:30    Welcome and Introductions
1:30   – 2:00    Chris Krehmeyer, Beyond Housing
2:00   – 2:30    Todd Swanstrom, Community Builders 
The Community Builders Network of Metro St. Louis (CBN) is an association of nonprofit community building organizations (CBOs) and associate members comprised of lenders, philanthropy, nonprofits, and government actors working to build vibrant neighborhoods where people of different incomes, races, and walks of life can access the opportunities and resources necessary for a good life. We believe that strong neighborhoods help to build a stronger and more competitive regional economy. 
2:30  – 3:00    Maggie Lalor, SLACO
Improving the quality of life in neighborhoods throughout the St. Louis region through community-based initiatives, citizen empowerment and neighborhood organizing.
3:00  – 3:30    State Rep. Bruce Franks
What we need to do and can do to move St. Louis forward.

Sunday, October 15th, 2017
1:15 to 3:30 p.m.
Registration opens at 12:30

Carpenters Union Hall –

Hampton between Hwy 40 and 44
1401 Hampton Ave
St. Louis MO, 63139

This is a FREE Event. 


RSVP www.whatcan.eventbrite.com 

Walk-ins welcome as space allows

For further information, please contact either:
Harvey Ferdman    HarveyFerdman@aol.com
(314) 469-0595
Dennis Roach          DennisR63122@gmail.com
(314) 520-6859


On July 23 the Gateway Democrats held an event that drew over 200 people to the Communications Worker Hall on Grissom.  There were over 30 advocacy groups that staffed information tables at the event.

Gateway Democrats is comprised of representatives from six County Democratic Central Committees in the St. Louis Metropolitan Area:  St. Louis City, St. Louis County, St. Charles, Franklin, Jefferson, and Lincoln Counties.   Co-Chairs of the Gateway Democrats are Harvey Ferdman, President Maryland Heights Democratic Township Club and our own Committeeman and club president Dennis Roach.

The event featured speakers on the topic of Advocating Through Boards and Commissions.

The Keynote speaker was Missouri Democratic Party (MDP) Chair Stephen Webber.  Mr. Webber gave a rousing speech that outlined the priorities and actions the MDP will take in the coming year.  More on that in another article.

He was followed by speakers that explained how a citizen could identify, contact, and get on boards and commissions at the state, St. Louis County, and city levels.

1st State Senatorial District Senator Scott Sifton talked about the importance of the boards and commissions from the state level.  Senator Sifton stressed that all boards and commissions have a powerful impact on the functioning of the state government.  Most legislators rely on input from these boards and commissions when deciding whether to support a bill.  Many of these boards and commissions (B and Cs) are not fully staffed.  We have an opportunity to influence our state in a progressive direction if we apply to be on a B or C that interest us.

Linda Henry, Director Constituent Services, St. Louis County, spoke about B and Cs from the standpoint of St. Louis County.  She had a great slideshow that showed how to go through the website for St. Louis County and identify B and Cs that may be of interest to you. (http://boards.stlouisco.com/)

The final speaker was City of Kirkwood Deputy Mayor Paul Ward.  Mr. Ward reiterated the importance of B and Cs.  He started his political career on the Kirkwood Planning and Zoning Commission and has since served in many different capacities in Kirkwood including the City Council and as Deputy Mayor.  A message he offered was that before you apply to a B or C be sure you want it.  You cannot be effective if you are not willing to do the work the position requires.

The Gateway Democrats have another event planned for September.  Information on that event will be available in the coming weeks.

What Can I Do Now? Boards and Commissions!


Gateway Democrats

“Building Momentum for Progressive Causes”

What can I do now?
Advocating Through Boards and Commissions

Keynote Speaker:

Stephen Webber
Missouri Democratic Party Chair

Come learn what others are doing to build the society we so desperately need and what you can do to help.

Visit with 30+ advocacy groups and organizations and network with other concerned citizens.

Learn about Boards and Commissions in our Cities, Counties, and State and Ways YOU can get involved.

Program Details:
Effective Advocacy through Boards and Commissions
(including how to be appointed)

12:30-1:30  Registration and visiting with each other and informational tables
1:30-2:00    Welcome, Introductions, and Keynote
2:00-2:30    State Boards and Commissions
– Sen. Scott Sifton
2:30-3:00    County Boards and Commissions
– Linda Henry, Constituent Services, St. Louis County
3:00-3:30    City Boards and Commissions
– Paul Ward, Deputy Mayor, City of Kirkwood

Sunday, July 23rd
1:30 to 3:30 PM
Registration opens at 12:30
CWA Hall
2258 Grissom Dr
St. Louis, MO 63146
(Near Westport Plaza)

This is a FREE Event!




What can I do now? Networking for a better future – Web links for participating groups

ACLU of Missouri

Anti-Defamation League

Carpenters Union

Citizens’ Climate Lobby

Coalition of Black Trade Unionists

Council on American-Islamic Relations in Missouri 

Equal Housing Opportunity Commission

Expose Thrive!  (Facebook)

Forward Together in Action (Facebook)

Franklin County Women’s Group

Indivisible St. Louis (Facebook)

Labadie Environmental Organization (LEO)

Let America Vote

Liberal Women Unite  (Facebook)

Metropolitan St. Louis Equal Housing and Opportunity Council

Missouri Democratic Party

Missouri 2nd District for Change (Facebook)

Missouri for All

Missouri Health Care for All

Missouri Progressive Action Group

Missouri Women’s Political Caucus

Mobilize Missouri

Moms Demand Action (Facebook)

NARAL – Pro-Choice Missouri

National Women’s Political Caucus of Metro St. Louis

St. Louis Animal Rights Team 

St. Louis Young Democrats

Sierra Club of Eastern Missouri 

West County Community Action Network – WE CAN (Facebook)

West County Democrats

Women’s Voices Raised

Yes on Prop P

What Can I Do Now? Networking for a Better Future

You’re invited to participate in our Sunday, March 19th, 2017 event.

Keynote Speaker – Jessica Post, Executive Director, Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee (DLCC) – Ms. Post will be speaking on “Advantage 2020” the DLCC redistricting initiative.

We are expecting 250+ to attend. Come learn what others are doing to build the society we so desperately need and what you can do to help.

Visit with 20+ advocacy groups and organizations and network with other concerned citizens.

Each group will have 4 minutes to present their Mission, Strengths, and Needs from the podium.

1401 Hampton Ave, St Louis, MO 63139-3115

Space is limited, so be sure to Register now!