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Civil rights groups open K Street office in final health-care push

By Krissah Thompson
After some small-scale, disjointed efforts to push for health care reform, civil rights groups are renting temporary office space on K Street and combining their efforts to run an operations center with the sole goal of lobbying on health care policy.

The office will be run by staffers from the National Urban League, the NAACP and the Black Leadership Forum. Over the next two weeks, they will coordinate rallies in 10 cities, run a phone bank where volunteers will pepper members of Congress with calls and keep up with the latest developments in the debate.

The groups are calling the effort a "war room" and plan to staff it long hours each day, creating a central hub for the civil rights groups to share ideas and staff resources. The voices of minorities, who are disproportionately represented among the poor and uninsured and could benefit the most from reform -- and who also are more likely than others to have chronic illnesses such as diabetes -- have been a small part of the contentious health care debate.

Marc Morial, president of the National Urban League, said the groups have been working behind the scenes but are trying to push to the front in the final stretch. "What's important here is that this represents among this generation of civil rights leaders a very important strong unified public stand," he said. "We support the robust public option. We have not heard a single alternative that would both make coverage accessible and affordable."

The central office is a first for the civil rights organizations, which in recent years have tended to go their separate ways with the National Urban League focused almost exclusively on the economic issues facing the black community and the NAACP on social issues.

"If we were going to do something unprecedented and pool our resources and combine our staff, this is the time to do it," NAACP President Benjamin Jealous said of the joint effort. "For black people, for people of color, the constant delays and deliberation have cost people lives. Most black people know someone who has died for want of effective health care policy."

By Web Politics Editor  |  November 2, 2009; 5:16 PM ET
Categories:  Health Reform  
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Comments

Civil rights? Or, civil greed? Obviously these civil greeders have not studied this Obamascam desaster. If these civil rights group want HC, then pay for it yourselves. Stop stealing and coveting from everyone else. I don't appreciate you suckers voting to cut the elderly's care. Stop mooching, the 1960's was a long time ago. Move the heck on and keep your entitled greedy hands out of my pockets and my neighbors. Go after your greedy rich libs like Pelosi.

Posted by: annlawler26 | November 2, 2009 8:53 PM | Report abuse

“””The office will be run by staffers from the National Urban League, the NAACP and the Black Leadership Forum. Over the next two weeks, they will coordinate rallies in 10 cities, run a phone bank where volunteers will pepper members of Congress with calls and keep up with the latest developments in the debate.””
=======================
See, this bill has not even been passed and you guys are already causing trouble by pulling the "Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton" card. NAACP, ACLU, NUL, Black leadership forum, Black Panthers, ACLU, SEIU and this Obama administration are huge BULLIES and all share the same deranged mindset! Give me, give me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me. Contrary to what you beggars think, this is United States of America not United States of Entitlement. Are you guys a doctor? Then mind you own freaking business and stay the freaking he!l out of ours. Why do you think we don’t want to unionize? I will tell you….It’s because of you low lifes that want freebees. And if you think this bill will give it to you --- then you are in for a huge surprise, especially when it comes to your elders!

Civil rights -- yeah, and here are our rights? The civil war was 150 years ago. We are sick of the civil rights bull sh!t. Stop crying like wittle babies. You are the problem not the solution. You don’t like America? Get the he!l out. Otherwise get out and work and help get America out of debt.

Posted by: annlawler26 | November 2, 2009 9:16 PM | Report abuse

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