Protesters March for Single Payer in the California Assembly District of Speaker Anthony Rendon

27 Jul




Protesters, on Sunday, July 23, marching toward Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon’s South Gate Office; photo by Barry Saks 

More than 150 people marched from Hollydale Park to the office of California Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon in South Gate, on Sunday, July 23, for California Senate Bill 562, also known as the Healthy California Act.

At the rally in the park, people told the crowd why they were there with chants interspersed.


Michelle Manos, Sunday, July 23, speaking to protesters gathered in Hollydale Park, South Gate, California; photo by Barry Saks 

One speaker was Michelle Manos, who’s an activist with California for Progress.  Manos said while this country may have a high standard of health care, “only certain people have access to that excellent healthcare and that is absolutely preposterous.  Your ability to survive a disease or an accident should not depend on the dollar amount in your pocket or bank account.”


Yolanda Gonzalez, on Sunday, July 23, speaking to protesters in Hollydale Park, South Gate, California; photo by Barry Saks

Another speaker was Yolanda Gonzalez, who is a Green Party activist, said, “As an educator and a teacher for 25 years, I’ve seen students who can’t learn… because they are sick….They don’t make it to the doctor (because) they cannot afford the deductibles.”

A third speaker at the park was Lori Margaret.  She said she has worked all her life for nonprofits and “never had great health care.”  Margaret said, “With the ACA (Affordable Care Act), I actually was able to get my knee replaced and I had an emergency hysterectomy…and on my salary it was a lifesaver.  She added she will do anything to fight for the health care for everyone else.


Marcia Martin, on Sunday, July 23, speaking to protesters in Hollydale Park, South Gate, California

Another speaker at the park was Marcia Martin, who later emceed the protest outside the South Gate office of Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon.  Martin, who is an environmental and racial justice activist, said, “The area I was born and raised in it has been subject to environmental racism.  It was contaminated by Exide Technology, which operated in the city of Vernon for over a 100 years.  For over 33 years, they operated on a temporary permit and spewed lead, arsenic, cadmium, chromium 6, benzene, 1 3 butadiene into the atmosphere.  It contaminated our soil…and consequently contaminated our ground water…Pretty much we’re the most vulnerable community and most in desperate need of (Senate Bill) 562.”

One chant at the rally was “When the system fails us, what do we do?  Pass SB562.”  Another chant was “Hey, Hey, Ho, Ho, health care greed has got to go.”  A third chant was “Anthony Rendon, what do you say.  How many people died today?”  A fourth chant was “What do we want? Health care!  When do we want it?  Now.”  A fifth chant was “If we don’t get it, shut it down.”  A sixth chant was “When health care is under attack, what do we do?  Stand up, fight back.”

After the rally in the park, the protesters marched about three-quarters of a mile to Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon’s office.  One chant during the march was “Medicare for all is our fight.  Health care is a human right.”

At the office, more people spoke with chants interspersed among them.


Reed Heisley-Shellably, on Sunday, July 23, speaking to protesters outside the office of Assembly Speaker Anthouy Rendon in South Gate, California; photo by Barry Saks

One speaker was Reed Heisley-Shellaby, who was identified as a member of the Los Angeles Green Party and Health Care for All, said we face a health care and a political crisis.  He said regarding healthcare in California three million people don’t have health care with many underinsured and some go bankrupt because of their health care costs.  He pointed out a disparity exists because of class and race.  He cited a study, which showed people living in South Los Angeles will live 11 years less than people living in Beverly Hills.  Heisley-Shellaby told crowd the health care crisis can be solved by getting rid of the health insurance industry.  He said the political crisis California faces is because “the Democratic Party leadership is bought by the health insurance industry and by the pharmaceutical companies.  Currently the chair of the Democratic Party in California, Eric Bauman, he was a lobbyist for the pharmaceutical companies….The Sacramento Bee reported that (Assembly Speaker) Rendon received over $36,000 in 2015….Rendon, Kevin DeLeon and Jerry Brown, all Democrats, have received combined $370,000 from groups opposed to Single Payer Health Care legislation and $3.4 million in campaign donation from the health insurance industry.”


Gayle McLaughlin, former Mayor of Richmond, on Sunday, July 23, speaking to protesters outside the office of Assemby Speaker Anthony Rendon in South Gate, California; photo by Barry Saks

Another speaker outside Assembly Speaker Rendon’s office was Gayle McLaughlin, who is running for Lieutenant Governor in 2018.  McLaughlin, who was the Mayor of Richmond, California from 2007-2014, said all four of her campaigns were funded without corporate funding.  She said democracy in California is under corporate control and that a corporate-free candidate should run against the Speaker.

On Friday, June 23, California Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon decided SB 562 will remain in the Assembly Rules Committee and will not move forward.





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