Vigil Honors Lives Lost to COVID in New Haven

by Megan Fountain, Unidad Latina en Accíon

In a vigil to commemorate one year of the COVID crisis, on March 22 the immigrant organization Unidad Latina en Acción (ULA), along with Black & Brown United in Action, and Hamden Action Now remembered 186 lives lost in New Haven, including two of their loved ones, Nora Garcia and Ignacia Teniza.

photo: Frank Panzarella

To the crowd of sixty people, ULA announced a Rental Relief Fund and called for an economic recovery for immigrants. ULA released a report documenting the needs of their community and the urgent demand for an economic recovery to include immigrants. Since the pandemic began, ULA has mobilized nearly a dozen car caravans to the state capitol and governor’s mansion calling for COVID relief for “essential” undocumented workers, who have been excluded from unemployment insurance and federal stimulus payments.

While US Congress has failed to provide any relief to undocumented workers, the state of Connecticut last week launched UniteCT, a $235 million rental assistance program that is open to all residents regardless of immigrant status. At the same time, the state legislature is considering Senate Bill 956, which would open Husky health insurance to immigrants. The rental assistance fund comes after ULA and partner organizations negotiated for nearly one year with the Connecticut Department of Housing and distributed $2.5 million in a pilot program.

“Today as we remember Nora and Ignacia and the 186 lives lost in our city, we will call for a new day in Connecticut, when healthcare and economic security will be a right for all of us, not just for a few of us,” said John Jairo Lugo, Community Organizing Director of ULA.  “As we mourn the dead, we must denounce the deadly racial and economic inequities in this state, and we must fight for the living by creating a recovery for all that includes undocumented workers and families.”

For more information: Megan Fountain, (203) 479-2959, megan@ulanewhaven.org.

COVID-19 Vaccine Info and Other State Updates

From Sen. Chris Murphy’s Office

All Connecticut residents over the age of 16 will be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine starting April 1 and can sign up for a vaccine appointment at https://portal.ct.gov/Vaccine-Portal [as well as through the Vaccine Administration Management System at https://dphsubmissions.ct.gov/OnlineVaccine or call (877) 918-2224 weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. You can also call the City of New Haven Health Department at (203) 639-2245, and Yale New Haven Health at (833) ASK-YNHH [(833) 275-9644)].

Starting March 19, Connecticut eased a number of COVID-19 restrictions. Among other changes, restaurants, retail stores, offices, libraries, houses of worship, indoor recreation (excluding theaters), gyms and fitness centers, museums, aquariums and zoos are allowed to operate at 100% capacity. Mask requirements and social distancing rules remain in effect.

Members of Connecticut’s Congressional delegation, Gov. Ned Lamont and Connecticut Housing Commissioner Seila Mosquera-Bruno announced the launch of UniteCT, a new state program to provide rental and utility assistance to qualified Connecticut households financially impacted by COVID-19. UniteCT may provide up to $10,000 in rental assistance and up to $1,500 in electric utility arrearage payments to landlords and utility companies on behalf of approved tenants. To learn more about the qualifications and apply for assistance go to bit.ly/UniteCT.

Connecticut’s Congressional Delegation, Gov. Lamont and CT Airport Authority Executive Director Kevin Dillon announced that CT’s airports have been awarded more than $8.8 million in federal grant funding under the COVID-19 pandemic relief plan passed by Congress in December.

Gov. Lamont and Attorney General William Tong are warning Connecticut residents to be on alert for potential scams related to COVID-19 vaccines. To protect themselves against vaccine-related scams: 1) Do not pay anything to sign up for the COVID-19 vaccine; 2) Ignore sales ads related to the vaccine; 3) Beware of unsolicited emails or texts concerning the vaccine, including offers of rewards or payments; and 4) Do not share personal, financial, or health information with unfamiliar people.

Gov. Lamont announced that he has signed an executive order modifying certain state laws in order to allow expanded access to telehealth services to continue in Connecticut during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The filing and payment deadline for Connecticut and federal individual income taxes has been extended to May 17, 2021. For information on federal coronavirus relief, including help for small businesses, direct cash payments and more, visit murphy.senate.gov/coronavirus. This page provides answers to frequently asked questions and gives a summary of available programs and funding. For the latest information about keeping you or your family safe go to cdc.gov/coronavirus. For resources and information about Connecticut’s response, including updates about vaccine distribution, visit ct.gov/coronavirus.

A Third of COVID Deaths Tied to Lack of Insurance as Dems Reintroduce Medicare for All | Democracy Now!

A new report by Public Citizen finds about one-third of COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. were tied to a lack of insurance. Nearly 537,000 deaths have been reported since the start of the pandemic. Millions of infections would likely have been prevented under a Medicare for All system, says Public Citizen.

This comes as Democratic Congressmembers Pramila Jayapal and Debbie Dingell are introducing the Medicare for All Act of 2021 today — one year after the first COVID-19 cases were confirmed in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The bill has over 100 co-sponsors. President Biden has rejected Medicare for All, even though the majority of Americans support it.

Source: Report Finds a Third of COVID Deaths Tied to Lack of Insurance as Dems Reintroduce Medicare for All | Democracy Now!

Medicare 4 All CT Action Alert on Universal Healthcare in CT! | Action Network

We need you to contact our CT Legislators to support Universal Healthcare! We now have two opportunities this week to make our elected leaders hear our demands!

We have all been made exhausted by this year of the pandemic, but our healthcare system has been making us tired even long before then. We now have a real chance of making a statewide single-payer system a reality in Connecticut that would ensure we can all be in good health no matter our wealth!

Write to The Human Services Committee to tell them to support this bill! Click here to be taken to the letter writing form!

Then, Next Tuesday, March 30, at 2 PM EST, you have a chance to speak to our legislators at the General Assembly when The Human Services Committee will hold a public hearing on S.B. 1090, a bill that we at MEDICARE 4 ALL CT have written that will study the benefits of a HUSKY for All program. As Bernie Sanders would say, WE WROTE THE DAMN BILL!

 

This key bill will finally allow resources to go into a formal study that will prove to everyone in Connecticut for all that not only will the costs of single-payer healthcare create a great savings for the people of Connecticut, it will finally ensure that everyone can be covered and finally be healthy!

Do you have your own healthcare story you need to tell? Are you a member of a union or organization that wants to be able to focus on other issues for your members? Do you have astronomically high co-pays, deductibles, and premiums that make it almost irrelevant to have for-profit healthcare coverage at all?

Then please step up to say ENOUGH IS ENOUGH! Follow these steps to take action NOW!

  • Use this form here to contact all members of The Human Services Committee to tell them you support S.B. 1090 and that they need to vote to move the bill on to the next step of the legislative process! Vote to send SB1090 out of committee!
  • You can draft written testimony to submit to the committee or simply submit “Say YES to S.B. 1090!”. If you have any questions or need any assistance writing your testimony, please sign up here and we will contact you for help.
  • If you plan to submit oral testimony over Zoom, please register here before Monday, March 29, at 3 PM.
  • The order of speakers to deliver oral testimony will be randomized and published by the Committee by 8 AM EST on the day of the hearing.

Three Medicare For All CT Zoom calls

Today at 7 PM EST – 9 PM EST
Price: Free · Duration: 2 hr
Public Anyone on or off Facebook
Join us, for the February 9 Medicare for All CT virtual meeting:
The town of Windham, CT, passed a Medicare for All resolution! The CT single payer bill to guarantee healthcare to all nutmeggers has been introduced!
Join us, as we discuss these recent successes, and learn more about next steps for federal Medicare for All, state-level single payer, as well as municipal resolutions – RSVP here:
https://us02web.zoom.us/…/tZIqf-Chpz4vEtUlK0mTQcPAZ0a…
Guest speakers:
– Dr. Bill Honigman, California state coordinator Progressive Democrats of America (PDA), will share updates about federal Medicare for All as well as California state-level single payer
– Councilwoman Wildaliz Bermudez, member Hartford city council, amongst other things speaking about why Medicare for All is crucial to low income communities and communities of color
– CT state legislators, will share updates about the legislation and how CT residents can get involved, to help pass guaranteed healthcare for all
Bring your ideas! Bring your questions! The format of this meeting will be a virtual via Zoom. Join us by calling in with your phone, or via the free Zoom video conferencing software. Everyone is invited to join us from the comfort of their home!
Please register on Zoom, to receive the call-in info or the Zoom link respectively, via email.
Let’s come together virtually for the Medicare for All CT meeting, to continue our fight for guaranteed healthcare for all!
_________________________________________________________
Online: yale.zoom.us
Tomorrow at 8 PM EST
Price: Free
Public Anyone on or off Facebook
Discuss next steps to pass a resolution endorsing Medicare for All in Hamden.
ZOOM INFO:
You are invited to a scheduled Zoom meeting. Zoom is Yale’s audio and visual conferencing platform.
Topic: Hamden M4A resolution meeting
Time: Feb 10, 2021 08:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
Join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android: https://yale.zoom.us/j/96039250943
Or Telephone:203-432-9666 (2-ZOOM if on-campus) or 646 568 7788
Meeting ID: 960 3925 0943
International numbers available: https://yale.zoom.us/u/abhVa4nAcH
For H.323 and SIP information for video conferencing units please click here: https://yale.service-now.com/it?id=support_article…
_________________________________________________________
Online: yale.zoom.us
Thursday at 6 PM EST
Price: Free
PublicAnyone on or off Facebook
Dear Greater New Haven,
You support Medicare for All, because you, and yours, need health insurance with:
No premiums
No copays;
No deductibles;
Yes, dental and vision
That’s why we need your help organizing support for a single-payer Medicare for All system.
We are going to ask our Board of Alders to pass a resolution in support of Medicare for All.
We are going to ask Representative Delauro and Senator Murphy to have the courage to confront the health insurance industry and join our majority for Medicare for All.
Our first organizing meeting will be Thursday, February 11th at 6:00 PM. Please join us Here:
Join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android: https://yale.zoom.us/j/4354566642
Or Telephone:203-432-9666 (2-ZOOM if on-campus) or 646 568 7788
Meeting ID: 435 456 6642
International numbers available: https://yale.zoom.us/u/adrpU2XHdh
__________________________________________________________

Department of Education Seeking Contact Tracing Support Staff

The Connecticut Department of Education is seeking to hire support staff for a K-12 contact tracing program, hoping to better control and monitor the potential spread of COVID-19 among students, staff, and faculty members. The contact tracing protocol involves finding individuals who came within close contact with infectious or potentially infectious individuals, isolating them, and voluntarily quarantining them. To apply, please fill out an application form at docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSclg9uTdIWRs51y7Z03uLPTP3VHsFkmlRyb6UntLJXX82J6mQ/viewform

Help the Progressive Community. Become an Active Part of the PAR Newsletter Team!

To Our Readers:

The Progressive Action Roundtable is looking for someone who knows how to write clearly and has a good command of spelling and grammar. This person must also be interested in talking to local organizers about their groups and plans, and writing a couple of short articles (of approximately 300 words) for the monthly PAR newsletter. A small stipend will be available.

In addition, we would like more of our readers to become involved in working on the newsletter. We want to expand our Planning Committee and Production Team. Enhancement of our Facebook presence is also needed. Would you like to gather articles about local activities? Can you help with graphics? Are you a good proofreader?

If you’re interested in helping the PAR newsletter provide news about New Haven-area activism, please send an e-mail to parnewhaven@hotmail.org and let us know what you’re able to do to keep PAR promoting the work of the many wonderful progressive organizations in the New Haven area.

Thank you!

Help Make Thanksgiving Special This Year

Downtown Evening Soup Kitchen

For almost 30 years, the Downtown Evening Soup Kitchen has participated in a community-wide effort to deliver meals to people in need on Thanksgiving morning. Although the COVID-19 pandemic is limiting the scale of this annual program, we’re determined to get at least 500 meals out to those most in need on Thanksgiving Day, focusing on people experiencing homelessness and staying in warming centers, hotels, and shelters. In addition, we will once again be providing plenty of Thanksgiving foods at our weekly pantry on the Wednesday before the holiday.

Here’s how YOU can help:

Donate Food!

Help us make Thanksgiving special for those in need in your community by donating food from our Thanksgiving Shopping List.

  • Frozen turkeys (Nov. 15 drop-off only)
  • Stuffing (boxed)
  • Green beans (canned)
  • Cranberry sauce (canned)
  • Yams (canned)
  • Corn (canned)
  • Broth (turkey, chicken, or vegetable)
  • Butter (1-lb. boxes)
  • Reusable shopping bags

Please drop off frozen turkeys on Sunday, Nov. 15, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. All other items can be dropped off during DESK’s regular receiving hours (Sun. – Thu., 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.) through Sunday, Nov. 22. Drop-off Location: 311 Temple Street.

Questions? Call us at (203) 624-6426, ext. 6137, or email info@deskct.org.

Donate Money!

Your financial support will ensure that DESK can serve those in need on Thanksgiving and all year-round! Show your support and we’ll be able to purchase supplies to keep everyone safe and protected during these difficult times. Contact us with any questions at (203) 624-6426, ext. 8557.

Donate Your Time! Volunteer!

While we won’t need all 250+ volunteers who typically take part in Thanksgiving for All, we still need some folks to make this happen! If you’re interested in helping out onsite or delivering meals, email us at volunteer@deskct.org, and we’ll be in touch in the weeks leading up to let you know how you can help.

Thanksgiving for All is a community partnership of Downtown Evening Soup Kitchen, Interfaith Volunteer Care Givers, Yale Hospitality, and Chabaso Bakery.

Statement from Green Party of Connecticut Candidate Justin Paglino

by Ronna Stuller, Secretary, Green Party of CT

A unity of local Green Party chapters, the Green Party of Connecticut is committed to grassroots democracy, social justice, non-violence and ecological wisdom. These are the Four Pillars of all Green parties worldwide.

Green Party candidates accept no PAC contributions, only donations from individuals. In this year’s election we are running over a dozen candidates in municipal, state, and federal elections all across Connecticut.

In this PAR article we feature a statement by Justin Paglino MD, PhD, of Guilford, who is our nominee for US House of Representatives in the Third Congressional District, the seat currently held by Rep. Rosa DeLauro. We invite readers to visit our website https://www.ctgreenparty.org to learn more about our positions and our candidates. We also invite readers to consider changing their voter registration to Green Party, and/or to consider visiting your local Green Party of Connecticut chapter to learn more and get involved. You will be most welcome.

Statement by Justin Paglino M.D. Ph.D., Green Party of CT candidate for US House of Representatives, CT-3:

This year I decided to run for US House of Representatives so that voters in my congressional district would have the option of voting for a representative who supports Medicare for All, Ranked Choice Voting, Reduced Military Spending, a bold Green New Deal with Carbon Pricing, Fracking Ban and Federal Jobs Guarantee, and other policies that my opponents in this race do not support. Many voters do, however, support these policies, and these issues need at least one candidate on the ballot who supports them, so that voters can show where they stand on these issues.

Unlike my opponents, but like most Americans, I support Medicare for All.   Single-payer healthcare will not only provide comprehensive healthcare without charge to all Americans, but will also save up to $500 billion a year thanks to efficiencies of scale and removing the profit motive from healthcare insurance.

Unlike my opponents, I am a strong advocate for Ranked Choice Voting (RCV), an electoral reform that ends two-party dominance by eliminating the spoiler effect.  RCV accomplishes this by allowing voters to rank their candidates in order of preference on the ballot. This reform exists now in Maine, where Lisa Savage is running as a Green Party candidate for US Senate; because of RCV, she will not act as a spoiler.

Unlike my opponents, I seek to rein in overblown Pentagon spending and redirect these funds towards the needs of Americans, including a Federal Jobs Guarantee. Rep. DeLauro, in contrast, this year voted YES for the $740 billion dollar Pentagon budget, and voted AGAINST a modest 10% cut (the Pocan amendment).

Unlike my opponents, I am willing to support bills that would enact the bold greenhouse gas-reducing policies that science calls for, such as HR763, the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act of 2019 (Carbon Tax and Dividend), or such as HR5857, the Ban Fracking Act. Neither bill is supported by our current representative.

I encourage PAR readers: always vote for what you want, not only against what you fear. If you want something, you have to vote for it, or you’ll never get it. There is a way out of the two-party system – it’s Ranked Choice Voting – but first you have to show you are willing to vote for it.

Please visit me at justin4all.org, e-mail me at justin@justin4all.org. Follow me on facebook/justin4all, twitter/justin4all2, insta/justinpaglino, youtube/justin4all.

And thank you to all you progressive activists!

– Justin Paglino M.D. Ph.D.

Medicare for All CT News

by Stephan Ramdohr, Medicare for All CT

We believe that healthcare is a right, not a privilege, and that a single-payer type model, like Medicare, is how we achieve it. Medicare for All CT is pushing our state’s federal legislators to sign the single-payer bills in the U.S. House and Senate.

Join us for the upcoming Medicare for All CT virtual monthly meeting! Tuesday, Sept. 8, at 7 – 9 p.m. for our Zoom meeting, hosted by Medicare For All CT, Quiet Corner Democratic Socialists of America and 5 others.

Register here to receive the Zoom link to join via computer, or info how to dial in via phone: us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZMtc-yhqz4vG93KTnLTdgqP-T1OjI2SRFRw.

Just a few months ago, New London was the first municipality in Connecticut to pass a Medicare for All resolution. Now we plan to discuss how we’ll continue to advocate for Medicare for All, even when due to current restrictions we cannot meet up in person.

Activists from all across the state are invited to join us from the comfort of their home! Bring your questions! Bring your ideas! Let’s meet on Tuesday, September 8, 7 p.m., to continue our fight for guaranteed healthcare for all!

For more information, e-mail Stephan Ramdohr at medicare4allct@gmail.com. At this time, our meetings are online. Please contact us with your ideas and suggestions by phone at (857) 472-0694 or on Facebook at Medicare for All CT.

June 2 Hearing: City of NH Peace Commission Ballot Referendum

A public hearing (by Zoom) will be held on Tuesday, June 2 at 6:30 p.m. before the Health and Human Services Committee of the New Haven Board of Alders. The hearing seeks support to place the following non-binding referendum question on the November 3 ballot in New Haven.

“Shall Congress prepare for health and climate crises by transferring funds from military budget to cities for human needs, jobs and an environmentally sustainable economy?”

“Deberia el Congreso prepararse para una crisis de salud y clima mediante la transferencia de fondos del presupuesto militar a las ciudades para las necesidades humanas, los empleos y una economia ambientalmente sostenible?”

A 2/3 vote by the New Haven Board of Alders is required to put the question on the ballot. Please join the hearing and testify as to why you think the question should be on the Nov. 3, 2020, ballot in New Haven.

Cuts are being figured into our City budget that is already less than bare-bones thanks to more than a decade of under-funding from Yale and from state and federal sources. The bloated US war economy comes at the high cost of under-funding human needs and implementation of just climate change solutions.

Please confirm your participation by leaving a message at (203) 624-4254 or sending an e-mail to Peace Commission acting chair: joellefishman@pobox.com.

Update from Nicaragua as the Pandemic Arrives

by Susan Bramhall, New Haven/ León Sister City Project

In March and April, as the world began to face the historic public health crisis caused by COVID-19, the Nicaraguan government flagrantly ignored recommendations of health and human rights organizations by encouraging mass gatherings and requiring school attendance. During the April holidays, people were encouraged to celebrate semana santa as usual with trips to the beach and large gatherings. As of this writing, there are still no recommended social distancing measures and professional sports events continue to draw fans.

In the last few weeks, reports of the coronavirus illness have begun to emerge in the larger cities and there is now an outbreak in Chinandega – not far from our Sister City, León. There is still no acknowledgment that the pandemic is the cause but hospitals are reporting many cases of atypical pneumonia and a rise in sudden deaths from heart attack and stroke. Nicaraguans are reporting that when patients die, the bodies are buried immediately, often before families are notified. Testing, treatment and results are kept secret leading to more fear and suspicion.

The staff of the New Haven/León Sister City Project are currently healthy and trying to work from home but it is difficult to do social distancing or self-isolation. It is common for homes to contain large extended families and multiple generations and often a small store open to the public. During March and April, our staff was able to continue visiting the rural communities bringing some protective gear (masks) and, most important, information about the facts of the situation. As the community has begun to hear of the cases in nearby areas they are becoming more fearful of people from the city and our staff are now doing as much as they can from their homes.
Our León Director, Erendira Vanegas, reminds us that this is a new crisis within the existing crisis created by the 2018 crackdown against protest and the devastating effect that was already having on the Nicaraguan economy. The crisis created by the pandemic on top of the economic challenges already in play have been overwhelming and has created increased food insecurity. Our Nicaraguan team advises that an urgent need is enhanced access to food for the rural population. The Sister City Project has long been supplementing the meal that children get at school – a meal they may miss if they are not in school. We are currently researching organizations we can partner with to ensure food security for Goyena and Troilo.

If you would like to make a special donation to bolster our programs please visit our website at newhavenleon.org/get-involved/give.

As always, muchisimas gracias to all our supporters in the area.

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