Saturday, August 19, 2006

Chalk It Up to Innovation

Everybody knows that the web has changed our lives. But it is also changing grassroots politics as well. One group that is taking advantage of this is the Service Employees International Union.

While much of the attention on SEIU of late has been focused on the Big Box issue, they have also been actively working for some time now on their Americans for Health Care intiative. As part of their initiative, this coming Tuesday, they are having a series of press conferences and events in 34 cities around the country.

Activists at the “Chalk It Up!” events will draw murder-scene style chalk outlines on the ground to represent the approximately 18,000 people SEIU says die annually because of inadequate healthcare.

To help promote these events, a couple of their advocates had the foresight to whip up a simple yet effective video that they put up on You can see the video here. I think that it was a smart way for them to help get their message out there. And I think that you will start to see more things like this in the future.

And if you're interested, the local Chalk It Up! event will be held this Tuesday, August 22nd at 1 pm outside Congressman Hastert's office which is at 27 River Road in Batavia.

My journey home from Taiwan starts in about 6 hours. I'll share insights on my trip in a couple of days depending on the joys of jetlag.


At August 20, 2006 at 8:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why do you use the title Hon.?

At August 20, 2006 at 8:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So people who die of inadequate health care (undefined) are murdered?

And let me increasing taxpayer funding, less murders will occur?

And people wonder why the voting public is cynical.

At August 21, 2006 at 11:01 AM, Blogger John Ruberry said...

John...Keep in mind that SEIU has a long history of corruption.

At August 21, 2006 at 1:22 PM, Blogger Hon. John Fritchey said...


We had a lengthy discussion on that subject on one of the threads shortly after the blog was started. If you're really inclined to track it down, it's back there somewhere.

The honorific title obviously comes with an elected position and after ten years in the Legislature, I have no qualms about using it. At the same time, there is absolutely no pretense intended through its use either.

I guess I could relatively easily switch it over to 'Rep.', but I think that it's six of one, half-dozen of the other. Hope that answers your question.

At August 21, 2006 at 1:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon 8:28...

While people dying because of lack of health insurance may not be a chalk outline at a crime scene (or murder as you put it) it is criminal that 18,000 people die each year because they do not have it. We are the richest country in the world and we have one of the worst health care systems. That is just wrong.

Additionally, I have found nothing that says they are trying to increase taxpayer funding - instead, information stating that they are looking for realistic solutions to a the health care crisis on the national level. Nothing is going to be done unless businesses, working people and elected officials work together to tackle the crisis and develop a new system that provies quality, affordable health care for all, without gaps in coverage or access. Sounds good to me!!!

At August 21, 2006 at 3:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Intended or not, it's a little pretentious. Whereas Rep at least serves as a reminder of what you were elected to do.

At August 21, 2006 at 5:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

(or murder as you put it)

Not as I put Hon. Fritchey puts it (and I quote):

"Activists at the “Chalk It Up!” events will draw murder-scene style chalk "

And if SEIU is involved, they want more money. My solution: work hard, make short term sacrifices, and invest in yourself.

Your productivity will go up, and you will quickly move up the economic ladder. Then you won't have to rely on anyone to have your health care needs met.

But this line of thinking isn't what SEIU is all about.

At August 21, 2006 at 9:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is a big difference between 'murder-scene style chalk outlines' and accusations of murder. There is nothing wrong, or new, about using strong visual cues to make a point.

And for what it's worth John, I don't think that it makes a bit of difference whether you go by Hon. or Rep., just keep up the good work.

At August 21, 2006 at 10:25 PM, Blogger John Ruberry said...

John F. is right. Check your style books, if you have any, anon. poster. "Honorable" is the correct form of address for an elected official.

At August 22, 2006 at 12:10 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is not the correct form but a correct form. That makes it an option. By the way John R., just because you're opposed to anonymous posts doesn't mean the comments contained therein are illegitimate. For those of us without blogs, what's really the difference. Does it matter if the comments anon versus Joe Schmo? No, but it saves time the writer.

At August 22, 2006 at 7:27 AM, Blogger Hon. John Fritchey said...


At the risk of perpetuating this insignificant sidebar, I'd like to think that readers here are more interested in the substance (big or small) of what I'm posting rather than on what three letters I put before my name. It's just not that big a deal.

As for John R. no longer allowing anonymous posts on his blog, that is a legitimate decision for anybody to make as it relates to their own blog. The immaturity/meanness level of many people unfortunately escalates when they lurk behind a keyboard.

It was for that reason that I went to moderating comments rather than letting them automatically post. Check with Rich Miller sometime about how much time he has to spend babysitting his blog.

The easiest way to be able to say whatever you want is simply to start your own blog. Other than that, you need to abide by whatever rules apply to the blog on which you want to share your thoughts. While he has a different policy than I do, I hardly think that John R. has created an insurmountable barrier for commenters.


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