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FIVE ACTIONS FOR HEALTH EQUITY

Times are hard, but we can still speak up and out. Choose from among these five actions and make your voice heard. Choose one or three or do all five!

1. Complete the Census (and spread the word)

There’s still time to complete the Census! You can complete online, by phone or fill out a paper questionnaire and mail it in.  An accurate Census count is so important for our communities and the communities we serve.  An inaccurate Census count would mean that the diverse sectors of our community are deprived of political power, access to much-needed resources and economic investment. Fill it out yourself and spread the word! CLICK HERE TO COMPLETE THE CENSUS. Read this article about the need for LGBTQ+ folks to complete the Census.

2. Register & Get Out the Vote

As of today, there will be a Presidential, state and local primaries in New York State on June 23rd. The New York State Board of Elections removed the presidential race from the ballot — infuriating those who hoped to win delegates to the national convention which prompted a legal challenge. A Federal District Court Judge recently ruled that the cancellation violated the First and Fourteenth Amendment rights for New York business leader Andrew Yang, who initially filed the suit in New York’s Southern District, as well as those of Bernie Sanders and eight other former candidates.

Learn about who will be on your ballot here.

Absentee requirements changed for New York Primary (June 23) 

  • The governor released an executive order that allows all New Yorkers to vote absentee in upcoming elections, even if they do not meet the usual criteria. If you wish to vote absentee due to COVID-19, you should select the “temporary illness or physical disability” reason when completing your absentee ballot application.
  • You can apply for an absentee ballot here. The last day to postmark your absentee ballot application or apply online is June 16, and the last day to apply for an absentee ballot in person is June 22. Completed ballots must be postmarked by June 22 or returned in person by Election Day, June 23.

Register to vote online here  (you will need a NYS driver’s license, permit or non-driver ID):

  • MAIL REGISTRATION: Application must be postmarked no later than May 29, 2020 and received by a board of elections no later than June 3, 2020 to be eligible to vote in the Primary.
  • IN PERSON REGISTRATION: You may register at your local board of elections or any state agency participating in the National Voter Registration Act, on any business day throughout the year but, to be eligible to vote in the State and Local Primary, your application must be received no later than May 29, 2020
  • CHANGE OF ADDRESS: Notices of change of address from registered voters received by June 3, 2020 by a county board of elections must be processed and entered in the records in time for the Primary.

3. Protect Medicaid

The State budget that passed early in April empowers the state’s Executive (the Governor) with “super powers” to make additional health and human service cuts if they are deemed necessary. The administration will potentially propose up to an additional $10 billion worth of cuts to Medicaid and other critical health and human services, right as our State is grappling with the devastation and disruption of the COVID-19 pandemic.  These cuts will disproportionately impact the same vulnerable New Yorkers (including LGBTQ communities) most impacted by the pandemic.  Flex your social media muscle by participating in the #ProtectMedicaid #NoMedicaidCuts Twitter campaign this week. Adapt one of these sample Tweets or create your own.

  • Medicaid is a lifeline for many TGNB NYers and NYers living with HIV. Safeguard critical health services for our communities. Now – more than ever – we must #ProtectMedicaid and say #NoMedicaidCuts.🚫🩺✂️
  • 6.3 million of New York’s children, seniors, individuals with disabilities and low-income families rely on Medicaid to meet their fundamental healthcare needs. Now – more than ever – we must #ProtectMedicaid to fight #COVID19 and say #NoMedicaidCuts.🚫🩺✂️
  • Leadership is defined by how you treat those most vulnerable in a crisis. @AndreaSCousins @CarlHeastie please #ProtectMedicaid and tell @NYGovCuomo #NoMedicaidCuts. We must safeguard critical services for seniors, disabled, low-income New Yorkers.

4. Speak Out Against Healthcare Discrimination.

In the midst of this pandemic, the current (federal) Administration is planning to issue a final rule that would allow discriminatory beliefs to dictate patient care.  This is a direct attack on the communities the law protects, including people of color, women, people with disabilities, seniors, people whose primary language is not English, immigrants, and LGBTQ individuals. The final published rule will erase explicit non discrimination protections for LGBTQ people from Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act.  The Trump administration is fast-tracking a final rule that seeks to weaken the ACA’s nondiscrimination protections.

Callen-Lorde’s Advocacy Ops team is working on a way to vehemently voice its opposition to the rule by participating in a 30-minute listening session with the White House Office of Management and Budget. If you would like to participate in such a meeting, please contact Kimberleigh Smith at ksmith@callen-lorde.org by Friday, May 15th. Space will be limited.

5. Call Congress: We Need More Funding for CHCs

Community Health Centers, like Callen-Lorde, are on the front lines of combating the COVID-19 pandemic. Community health centers are taking extra steps to ensure primary care continues to be accessible by transitioning swiftly to telehealth and staying open for all who needs us. CHCs have and will continue to care for everyone who needs help.  Thirty million patients across the country are currently depending on Congress to make sure they continue to access healthcare, now and beyond the pandemic. As unemployment numbers increase, CHCs must have the resources to be able to support a growing patient base.

Tell your members of Congress to pass emergency and long-term funding to stabilize this essential network of health care providers. Contact Congress.

Keep Fighting!