Nurses to Converge on 60 Congressional Offices in 21 States Sept. 1 – Call for Tax on Wall Street to Heal America

For Immediate Release

Contact: 

Charles Idelson, (510)-273-2246 (NNU National)
Carl Ginsburg, (917) 405-1060 (NNU National)
Donna Smith, (773) 617-4493 (NNU National)
Jan Rabbers, 651-414-2861 (Minnesota)
John Nemo, 651.414.2863 (Minnesota)
Mary Holbrook, 517.349.5640 (Michigan)
David Schildmeier, 781-830-5717 (Massachusetts)

Nurses to Converge on 60 Congressional Offices in 21 States Sept. 1 – Call for Tax on Wall Street to Heal America

RNs to sponsor soup kitchens, food pantries, speak outs on the need for jobs, healthcare, education, housing – and outline the RN plan on how to pay for it

WASHINGTON - From Maine to California, nurses, joined by others fed up with the ongoing economic crisis, will call on Congress members in their local district offices September 1  to support a tax on Wall Street financial speculation, a revenue source fast becoming an international norm, to pay for healing the nation.

Events, from soup kitchens to help feed the hungry and homeless, to community speak outs to street theater are planned from major urban centers like Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, and Orlando, to smaller cities and towns, such as Corpus Christi, TX., Marquette, MI., Bakersfield, CA., Dayton, OH., and Worcester, MA. National Nurses United is sponsoring the actions.

Nurses will visit the home offices of Republicans and Democrats alike, with a common message. Everyday Americans are hurting, and they need jobs, healthcare, housing, quality education, nutrition, and a secure retirement, not more cuts, as has been the obsession of Congress.

See a preliminary list of actions at http://www.nationalnursesunited.org/pages/sept-1-event-list

The RNs will be calling on Congress members to sign a pledge to “support a Wall Street transaction tax that will raise sufficient revenue to make Wall Street pay for the devastation it has caused on Main Street.” The visits follow a letter sent by certified mail to all 535 members of the House and Senate last week asking them to back the pledge and help “make the promise of the American dream… a reality."

A tax on Wall Street trading of stocks, bonds, derivatives, currencies, credit default swaps, and futures – the very financial speculative activity linked to the 2008 financial meltdown and resultant recession – could raise hundreds of billions of dollars to pay for the programs that .   “are desperately needed to reduce the pain and suffering felt by so many families who feel abandoned in communities across this nation,” says NNU Co-President Deborah Burger, RN.

A new NNU video depicts the Wall Street-made debacle, http://www.youtube.com/user/NationalNursesUnited

NNU, the nation’s largest union and professional association of nurses, has convened numerous other protests in recent months joined by labor and community activists, including in Washington DC, outside the headquarters of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and in New York City, across from the Stock Exchange, to advance this campaign.

 “America’s nurses see every day the broad declines in health and living standards that are a direct result of patients and families struggling with lack of jobs, un-payable medical bills, hunger and homelessness. We know where to find the resources to bring them hope and real solutions,” said NNU Co-president Karen Higgins, RN.

“It’s time for Wall Street financiers, who created this crisis and continue to hold so much of the nation’s wealth, to start contributing to rebuild this country, and for the American people to reclaim our future,” says NNU Executive Director Rose Ann DeMoro.

That point was reinforced Monday by University of Massachusetts economics professor Nancy Folbre in a New York Timesblog, http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/08/22/a-sales-tax-on-wall-street-transactions/, in which she wrote:

“Purchases of stocks, bonds and other financial instruments in the United States go untaxed but for a tiny fee on stock trades that helps finance the Securities and Exchange Commission. In Britain, by contrast, a 0.5 percent tax on stock transactions raises about $40 billion a year. President Nicolas Sarkozy of France and Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany recently announced plans to introduce a similar tax in the 27 nations of the European Community.

“Our current tax policies favor speculative investment in financial instruments over productive investments in human capabilities. This imbalance helps explain why nurses’ unions in the United States (NNU) have been particularly outspoken advocates of a financial transactions tax. As they put it: “Heal America. Tax Wall Street.”

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National Nurses United, with close to 185,000 members in every state, is the largest union and professional association of registered nurses in US history.

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