Health Justice for Boston ~ Number 5. May 2014

Community Meeting

Wednesday, May 14, 2014 ~ 6:30 PM
Massachusetts Jobs with Justice Boston Office
3353 Washington Street corner Green, Jamaica Plain
Near the Green Street T Station, on Bus Route 42

  • Developments around BU Bioterror Lab
  • SEIU Local 888 Healthcare Committee
  • Status of Community Health Centers
  • Discussion on next steps forward

Biolab Battle Goes On ~ Community Mobilized

The twelve-year fight to stop the Bush-BU bioterror lab from importing and manipulating the world’s deadliest germs in the heart of the community has brought us together and propelled us into action. In recent weeks we’ve hit the air waves over WRCA 1330, BNN Cable, TOUCH Radio 106.1 FM and WRBB FM discussing the threat of the biolab and related questions of public and community health.

The public hearing on Councillor Yancey’s ordinance to ban Level-4 work came before the Boston City Council Government Operations Committee on April 16th in a packed chamber. Our coalition brought together a formidable array of community leaders, scientists, peace and disarmament activists, nurses and lawyers. Scores of people from the community came to the mic to express their support for the ban. No council vote on Councillor Yancey’s ordinance has yet been scheduled. We must continue to press home the message that the community does not want this and had never been given due respect, that this is indeed a biodefense project, that air-borne pathogens will be studied as well as blood-borne, and that the threat of human malfeasance remains real. BU has its staff and students barraging our councillors and our mayor to block the ban, so we must act too. Full reports of the hearing are here and here.

Call & email your Boston City Councillors

District 1      617 635 3200
District 2      617 635 3208
District 3      617 635 3455
District 4      617 635 3131
District 5      617 635 4210
District 6      617 635 4220
District 7      617 635 3510
District 8      617 635 4225
District 9      617 635 3113
At-Large      617 635 4205
At-Large      617 635 4376
At-Large      617 635 4217
At-Large      617 635 3115

In Memoriam Greg King

A founder of our Health Justice for Boston initiative passed away on April 18th after a short illness. Greg sat with us on December 10th in Jamaica Plain as we assessed the health needs of the people of Boston and discussed what we could do to help improve things. Greg spent a lifetime advocating for peace and equality. He was a champion in the fight for workplace fairness, union democracy and healthcare justice. Over the years, Greg helped thousands through his work as a housing counsellor with the City of Boston. We extend our condolences to his spouse Yupin, to all his family and to friends. A memorial meeting will be held in the Charlestown union hall where he helped build a healthcare committee to prepare for difficult negotiations and to build for our future move to truly universal health care. Come to SEIU Local 888 on Saturday, June 7th from 11:00 to 1:00. Light refreshments will be served. Donations may be made to a scholarship fund to be established in his name through his union.

Boston Hospitals & the Ballot

On April 29th, the Massachusetts Nurses Association held a press conference at the State House to promote the Hospital Profit Transparency & Fairness Act, exposing such gross inequities as Massachusetts hospitals’ offshore bank accounts. Ten prominent Boston hospitals have accounts in the Cayman Islands. Most of these have ties to our community health centers. A number have CEOs in the millionaires’ club. With all this wealth and power, how come health outcomes in Roxbury remain as they were forty years ago? How come BMC let RoxComp close? If the legislature fails to act, voters will get to enact this bill on November 4th.

Boston Hospitals with Offshore Holdings:

  • Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
  • Boston Children’s Hospital
  • Boston Medical Center
  • Brigham & Women’s Faulkner Hospital
  • Brigham & Women’s Hospital
  • Dana Farber Cancer Institute
  • Massachusetts Eye & Ear Infirmary
  • Massachusetts General Hospital
  • New England Baptist Hospital
  • Tufts Medical Center

What is Healthcare Justice?

  • Access: Can you get the care you need?
  • Affordability: Will you go bankrupt if you do?
  • Quality: Will you survive your encounter?
  • Equality: Do you meet special barriers to care?


For more information on campaigns to make health care a right, not a commodity:

Healthcare NOW!
Labor Campaign for Single Payer

For help navigating the current system:

Boston Mayor’s HealthLine @ 617-534-5050

Health Care For All - Massachusetts
Consumer Health HelpLine @ 800-272-4232

Massachusetts Health Connector
Customer Support @ 877-623-6765

Sponsor: Boston Ad Hoc Committee for Healthcare Justice

For more information, contact:

Quentin Davis @ 617-553-2949 or
Sandy Eaton @ 617-510-6496 or

Health Justice for Boston is archived on Seachange Bulletin.