Holding them accountable

THE RETURNS WERE BIG and bold in New York: NYSNA endorsed 21 winners of Congressional contests and 148 victories for state office. For the first time since 2010, we have majority support in the New York State Senate for our agenda that includes safe staffing and guaranteed healthcare in the New York Health Act. No fewer than 15 NYSNA-endorsed candidates were first-time candidates. We did our part across the state to bring about these election victories.

Now is the time to hold them accountable.

Our priorities protect our professional standards, our patients and their families, and the communities up and down the state.

Safe staffing must be atop the agenda of our legislators. We will insist that the understaffing that pervades our facilities be addressed comprehensively. This condition, as we know, threatens harm to our patients every day and drives experienced RNs from our hospitals.

We will hold them accountable on safe staffing.

The New York Health Act, our state’s Medicare for All legislation, must also be a top priority of our legislators. After all, polls showed that a majority of voters put healthcare at the very top of what determined their votes. We cannot allow an insurance industry that makes money by denying care to keep its grip on patient care. This is both a professional and moral imperative. We will hold them accountable on guaranteed healthcare for all.

When we marched shoulder to shoulder for climate justice we did so with the knowledge that air pollution from carbon is a killer in our communities, and around the globe. The extreme weather poses an imminent threat to our very existence.

When we decry a degraded environment from corporate spillages in our communities and stand with allies advocating for the environment’s protection we do so as public health advocates and experts.

We will hold them accountable on climate change and the environment.

Nurses know that decent housing and real living wages are part and parcel of what makes a healthy human being. That’s why we are actively in coalition with organizations and other unions dedicated to these causes.

We will hold our elected officials accountable on these critical issues, as well.

NYSNA and other unions are the bedrock for the protection of working people, a floor upon which a shared American prosperity was built. We demand that collective bargaining and labor rights be protected.

We will hold them accountable.

Not just in New York. But in Washington, too, where we helped vote in members of Congress. We must hold them accountable for the laws they have promised us.

From this moment on, we will insist, persist and demand that the protections of our patients, families and neighbors, upstate and downstate and across the nation be the subject of democratic debate and comprehensive solutions.

We will hold them accountable to take action.

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