Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Fighting Foreclosures: Picketing Wachovia Bank in Atlanta, 4/21/09

The Fighting Foreclosures Coalition gathered a diverse crowd of at least 100 enthusiastic people participated for a
picket and rally in front of Wachovia Bank at Peachtree and 10th street this
morning, including a big contingent from the Communications Workers of
America, most of the other coalition member organizations, and 10 or 12 DSA

Media covering the event included all 4 major TV channels, AJC, Atlanta
Inquirer, Atlanta Progressive News, and another online news outlet.

A delegation attempted to present a letter to Wachovia/Wells Fargo
management but were turned away - no surprise. There were no unpleasant

Where do we go from here? We promised that Wachovia is only one of many
banks that need to be held accountable (in fact the problem is systemic, as
we know) so our work is not done. . . .

More info:

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Economic Recovery Teach-In and Town Hall

Georgia Rural Urban Summit

announces the debut of

GRUS Third Thursdays at the Capitol

Thursday, January 15, 2008
Room 310 Coverdell Legislative Office Building
2:00 – 3:30 pm

Join GRUS for a Town Hall and Teach-In on the current economic crisis and the Road to Recovery. Find out how we got here and how we can get out, with an Economic Recovery Package as a down payment on the

Next New Deal (www.NextNewDeal.org).

As we all know, this is the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, and now many major economists – both conservative and liberal – are saying that it may be worse than the Great Depression.

•During the three-month period from the beginning of September to the end of November, 1,256,000 jobs were lost, the second-highest such figure in more than 60 years.

•Even with action, unemployment is expected to reach 7 percent by January and 8 percent by next summer. Without action, it will reach 9 percent by the end of next year and 10 percent in 2010.

Any Economic Recovery Package must include these 4 elements, which bring the most dollars back to Georgia and will directly help those most in need:

Returns on $1
food stamps: $1.73
extending unemployment benefits: $1.64
infrastructure: $1.59
aid to states: $1.36

Join the Town Hall and Teach-In…For Georgia's Sake

GRUS is the Georgia affiliate of USAction / TrueMajority, and as such we've been receiving frequent briefings on the evolving crisis and what will likely be included in a recovery package. USAction / TrueMajority affiliates are mobilized around the country in support of a major Economic Recovery Package. Join us as we arm you with the most updated information, so that we can push Georgia's Congressional delegation to support the Economic Recovery plan.

For more information, contact iafcoordinator@aol.com or brooksGRUS@gmail.com, or go to www.NextNewDeal.org.

For now, a victory at Grady

For now, a victory at Grady.


But since the board decided to not take up the issue of cuts at the Monday meeting, it remains to be seen what will happen when they do talk about it.

If health care is an issue that you care about (and the vast majority of Americans do), visit


Saturday, January 3, 2009


From Bert Skellie:

The Grady Coalition will meet at 3:30 PM Monday (1/5) at McDonald's at Grady to discuss our plans for the board meeting. Everyone is welcome.  Please do plan to come to the Board meeting on Monday (Jan. 5) at 4:30 PM at Grady on second floor at conference room B206 & speak against the proposal to cut free care.

You can also write or call CEO Young at
to voice your opposition to cutting free care to those with income above 125% of the federal poverty level. 

We may have a press event just before the 4:30 Board meeting - I will let you know if so.Peace, Bert 404.378.5883

Sunday, December 21, 2008

How to Act to Stop the Cuts at Grady

Bert Skellie of the Grady Coalition has sent this information on how to take action to stop the cuts:

"Please call or write CEO Young & Chair Pete Correll to urge them not to cut patients with incomes up to 250% of poverty from the rolls of Grady free care.

. . .

We plan to provide more details later on who else to contact & other addresses, but meanwhile you can call CEO Young's office at Grady at 404-616-4252 , and you can also leave a message for Pete Correll, Chair of Grady Board at the same number. Also, you can send a letter to either or both of them c/o Grady Health System, 80 Jesse Hill Jr. Drive, SE, Atlanta, GA 30303. You can also send an email to CEO Young at myoung@gmh.edu.

Here's the text of an email I have just sent over. Please send your own letter or email by adding your own personal information at the beginning & putting in your own words concerns you have about the 250 – 125 cut.

'Greetings Mr. Young,

I am writing to urge you not to remove patients with incomes of up to 250% of poverty from the rolls of free care at Grady. As a resident of DeKalb County for most of my life, I appreciate Grady's crucial role as the safety net hospital for our area. I have had experience with Grady's good care of my son after an accident several years ago, and I have many friends who depend on Grady for their lives.

Thank you for referring the Grady Coalition to Mr. Ayers, who gave some of us a presentation on the proposal to change financial requirements for Grady patients.

I'm writing to urge you not to lower the free care income limits for Fulton and DeKalb patients from 250% to 125% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines. I am concerned that most savings, if any, from this change, will come at the expense of the health and lives of patients who will be affected. Since many patients will understand that they must pay to get service, I believe thousands below this level of income ($26,000 for a single individual) will suffer, and some will die rather than seek the primary care they need.

Please do not make this dangerous change.'

Thanks for your help. Please circulate this email widely. A vote on this proposal is likely to be made at the January 5, 2009, Grady Corporation Board meeting."

Friday, December 19, 2008

How to Get Involved in the Grady Coalition

To get involved in the Grady Coalition (discussed in the post from yesterday), contact Bert Skellie at bertskellie@gmail.com or 404.378.5883.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Press Conference to oppose Cuts at Privatized Grady Hospital

The Grady Coalition held a press conference in front of Grady Hospital today to protest proposed cuts in service. As many of the speakers stated, if the cuts go through, "PEOPLE WILL DIE."

A statement from the Grady Coalition is below. And following that are two of the 19 video clips from the Press Conference. To view all of them, go to www.youtube.com/GRUSvideos.

And stay tuned to Georgia Rural Urban Summit to find out how to get involved in STOPPING THESE CUTS.

"We have been informed by Michael Ayers, Grady CFO, that he plans to bring to the new Grady Board [the Grady Memorial Hospital Corporation] on January 5 a proposal to stop providing free care to large numbers of Grady paients [sic]. At present, Grady provides free care to patients with income up to 250% of the federal poverty guidlines [sic] (fpg), or up to $26,000 annually for a single person. Under the proposed rule, Grady will provide free care only to those earning under 125% of fpg, or $13,000 for a single person. Patients in Fulton & DeKalb from 126% - 250% will be required to pay 40% of the cost of services. Mr. Ayers did not tell us how many patients will be affected, but we believe it will be in the thousands."