Week culminates with health care reform rally
Solana Beach-based group organizes demonstration
A week of several Solana Beach-organized events leading up to the anticipated health care reform vote in Congress culminated with a sizable demonstration in downtown San Diego on Tuesday.
Members of the 50st Congressional District of Organizing for America, a group committed to helping President Obama implement his plans, originated the idea of a downtown San Diego demonstration that ended up with more than 200 participants from around the county. The week also included a phone bank to drum up support for health care
reform, as well as a meeting with Solana Beach Councilman Dave Roberts to go over the current status of the bill in Congress.
“(President Obama) said it was going to take time, and he said we can’t wait another year. Unfortunately, it’s been another year, and we still have not gotten it done,” Roberts said at the March 11 meeting, adding that even so there has been some progress made.
The group also organized “All Aboard for Health Reform,” which promoted taking public transportation to downtown for the Tuesday rally. However, after a freight train derailed the night before, about 20 people from Solana Beach were detoured to Sorrento Valley and had to board a bus downtown. They were delayed even further when the bus wouldn’t start, ultimately arriving at the San Diego Civic Center just a few minutes late.
“With the train being derailed, this epitomizes what’s happened with the health care bill,” said participant Mary Jane Boyd, adding she is remaining hopeful a solution can be reached in Congress. “I’m glad we did it. I think we made a statement, and hopefully they will hear us all the way to Washington, D.C.”
Tuesday’s rally, known as the “Final March for Health Reform,” included speeches from Tracy Emblem and Francine Busby, who will face each other in the Democratic primary. The winner will go up against incumbent Brian Bilbray in November.
Boyd said the Solana Beach participants were greeted with cheers from passers-by on the walk from the Santa Fe train station to the downtown Civic Center.
“This is not a partisan issue — it’s not Democratic, Republican, conservative or liberal,” she said. “Everybody has a sense of urgency and wants this to get done now. That was the theme.”
Congress was originally scheduled to vote on the health care reform bill Wednesday. However, with Obama delaying his trip to Asia until March 21, there is more time for him to reach some consensus among congressional democrats who do not yet support the legislation.
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