A reminder that advocates for health and justice are ready to fight

Three days out from the election and many of us are still trying to adjust to this new reality. It’s been a very rough week.

And assuming that we take the new president-elect at his word — that we believe the promises he made on the campaign trail — public health workers and advocates, as well as the often-vulnerable people and communities they serve, now face a very difficult four years. Fortunately, public health has plenty of practice confronting and overcoming powerfully entrenched interests for the greater good. Just ask Big Tobacco.

In that vein, below are excerpts from post-election responses from some of the nation’s most influential organizations working on behalf of public health, social justice and the many social and environmental determinants that shape a person’s opportunity to live a long, healthy, happy and productive life.

From the American Public Health Association:

Our mission to improve the health of the public and achieve equity in health status for all is still the noblest of goals and does not change. In fact, its need now becomes more urgent in these times of uncertainty. Character counts, and our core values represent the highest of standards. We need to remember this as we work to create the healthiest nation in one generation.

The gains we’ve made together in recent years in protecting health and improving well-being are remarkable. Sometimes our progress has come in giant leaps. Other times it has come in little steps. Occasionally, we have lost ground. But we’re always committed to moving forward and making progress. That is a hallmark of our work as the American Public Health Association.

Families USA:

We must take Trump at his word, and he has repeatedly said his first act would be to repeal the ACA – even calling Congress into special session, if necessary. This will have tragic consequences for tens of millions of people and we at Families USA are going to be on a total war footing to make sure this never comes about. …

We will fight at the grass roots level and in the halls of Congress to make sure Mr. Trump’s proposed ACA repeal and Medicaid restructuring don’t happen. Millions of people should not have their lives placed in jeopardy through reckless action.

Planned Parenthood:

Planned Parenthood health center doors will stay open and our voices will just keep getting louder. Our determination will keep growing stronger. Our commitment to protecting the rights and health care of millions of people will continue to be unwavering. Together, we are strong. We are powerful. And we are never, ever giving up.

For the past 100 years, Planned Parenthood has been there for those who needed them. That doesn’t change today, tomorrow, or ever. No matter what.

National Employment Law Project on the more uplifting news from the election:

The results on the minimum wage ballot initiatives show that voters are angry and demanding change. Voters in red, purple and blue states across the country decisively backed raises to the minimum wage, delivering badly needed raises for 2.3 million workers.

The Election Day minimum wage ballot wins bring to 19.3 million the number of workers who have received raises because of minimum wage increases in the four years since the Fight for $15 launched in New York City and began changing the politics of the country around wages. The Fight for $15 continued to gain momentum Tuesday, with voters in Flagstaff, Arizona approving the first $15 minimum wage outside of the coasts. Voters in Maine and Flagstaff also delivered historic victories for the growing “One Fair Wage” movement. The wage initiatives passed there will gradually phase-out the unfair subminimum wage for tipped workers–and make them the first state and city to get rid of the tipped wage in more than 30 years.

AFL-CIO:

The President-elect made promises in this campaign–on trade, on restoring manufacturing, on reviving our communities. We will work to make many of those promises a reality. If he is willing to work with us, consistent with our values, we are ready to work with him.

But make no mistake, we can never back down from our values. The presence of racism, misogyny, and anti-immigrant appeals caused damage in this campaign and we must all try to repair it with inclusion, decency and honesty.

ACLU:

One thing is certain: We will be eternally vigilant every single day of your presidency. And when you leave the Oval Office, we will do the same with your successor as we have done throughout our nearly 100 years of existence. The Constitution and the rule of law are stronger than any one person, and we will see to that. We will never waver.

Union of Concerned Scientists:

The bottom line is this: UCS will continue to work toward practical solutions and, regardless of whether or not our elected leaders choose to come together, we will stand up on behalf of science and democracy as we always have, and as forcefully as we need to. We will call out elected officials and other special interests when they ignore science and undermine safeguards that protect people’s health and safety. We will continue to expose fossil fuel companies when they deceive the public and their shareholders about climate change. We will continue to connect members of our Science Network with local groups working to reduce the pollution that make their children sick. We will provide research to communities on the front lines of climate change–threatened with rising seas, wildfire, floods, and drought.

NAACP:

During this critical period of transition, we are now calling upon the next president to speak and act with the moral clarity necessary to silence the dog-whistle racial politics that have characterized recent months and have left many of our fellow citizens snarling at one another in anger and even whimpering in fear. The more than 120 million Americans who cast ballots in this election – as well as the more than 100 million more eligible voters who declined to vote – deserve no less.

The NAACP stands ready to work with a new administration to realize the racial justice concerns that not only compelled millions of people to go to the polls on Election Day but also inspired millions to protest in the streets in the preceding days and months. Depending upon the new administration’s fidelity to America’s ideals of liberty and the NAACP’s agenda for justice, we will either be at its side or in its face. We will not let this election distract or dissuade us; the NAACP will continue to stand strong at the frontlines, advocating for voting rights, criminal justice reform and equality for all.

Kim Krisberg is a freelance public health writer living in Austin, Texas, and has been writing about public health for nearly 15 years.

15 Comments

  1. Celeste Monforton, DrPH, MPH

    Three days out from the election and many of us are still trying to adjust to this new reality. It’s been a very rough week.
    And assuming that we take the new president-elect at his word — that we believe the promises he made on the campaign trail — public health workers and advocates, as well as the often-vulnerable people and communities they serve, now face a very difficult four years. Fortunately, public health has plenty of practice confronting and overcoming powerfully entrenched interests for the greater good. Just ask Big Tobacco.
    In that vein, below are excerpts from post-election responses from some of the nation’s most influential organizations working on behalf of public health, social justice and the many social and environmental determinants that shape a person’s opportunity to live a long, healthy, happy and productive life.
    From the American Public Health Association:
    Our mission to improve the health of the public and achieve equity in health status for all is still the noblest of goals and does not change. In fact, its need now becomes more urgent in these times of uncertainty. Character counts, and our core values represent the highest of standards. We need to remember this as we work to create the healthiest nation in one generation.
    The gains we’ve made together in recent years in protecting health and improving well-being are remarkable. Sometimes our progress has come in giant leaps. Other times it has come in little steps. Occasionally, we have lost ground. But we’re always committed to moving forward and making progress. That is a hallmark of our work as the American Public Health Association.
    Families USA:
    We must take Trump at his word, and he has repeatedly said his first act would be to repeal the ACA – even calling Congress into special session, if necessary. This will have tragic consequences for tens of millions of people and we at Families USA are going to be on a total war footing to make sure this never comes about. …
    We will fight at the grass roots level and in the halls of Congress to make sure Mr. Trump’s proposed ACA repeal and Medicaid restructuring don’t happen. Millions of people should not have their lives placed in jeopardy through reckless action.
    Planned Parenthood:
    Planned Parenthood health center doors will stay open and our voices will just keep getting louder. Our determination will keep growing stronger. Our commitment to protecting the rights and health care of millions of people will continue to be unwavering. Together, we are strong. We are powerful. And we are never, ever giving up.
    For the past 100 years, Planned Parenthood has been there for those who needed them. That doesn’t change today, tomorrow, or ever. No matter what.
    National Employment Law Project on the more uplifting news from the election:
    The results on the minimum wage ballot initiatives show that voters are angry and demanding change. Voters in red, purple and blue states across the country decisively backed raises to the minimum wage, delivering badly needed raises for 2.3 million workers.
    The Election Day minimum wage ballot wins bring to 19.3 million the number of workers who have received raises because of minimum wage increases in the four years since the Fight for $15 launched in New York City and began changing the politics of the country around wages. The Fight for $15 continued to gain momentum Tuesday, with voters in Flagstaff, Arizona approving the first $15 minimum wage outside of the coasts. Voters in Maine and Flagstaff also delivered historic victories for the growing “One Fair Wage” movement. The wage initiatives passed there will gradually phase-out the unfair subminimum wage for tipped workers—and make them the first state and city to get rid of the tipped wage in more than 30 years.
    AFL-CIO:
    The President-elect made promises in this campaign—on trade, on restoring manufacturing, on reviving our communities. We will work to make many of those promises a reality. If he is willing to work with us, consistent with our values, we are ready to work with him.
    But make no mistake, we can never back down from our values. The presence of racism, misogyny, and anti-immigrant appeals caused damage in this campaign and we must all try to repair it with inclusion, decency and honesty.
    ACLU:
    One thing is certain: We will be eternally vigilant every single day of your presidency. And when you leave the Oval Office, we will do the same with your successor as we have done throughout our nearly 100 years of existence. The Constitution and the rule of law are stronger than any one person, and we will see to that. We will never waver.
    Union of Concerned Scientists:
    The bottom line is this: UCS will continue to work toward practical solutions and, regardless of whether or not our elected leaders choose to come together, we will stand up on behalf of science and democracy as we always have, and as forcefully as we need to. We will call out elected officials and other special interests when they ignore science and undermine safeguards that protect people’s health and safety. We will continue to expose fossil fuel companies when they deceive the public and their shareholders about climate change. We will continue to connect members of our Science Network with local groups working to reduce the pollution that make their children sick. We will provide research to communities on the front lines of climate change—threatened with rising seas, wildfire, floods, and drought.
    NAACP:
    During this critical period of transition, we are now calling upon the next president to speak and act with the moral clarity necessary to silence the dog-whistle racial politics that have characterized recent months and have left many of our fellow citizens snarling at one another in anger and even whimpering in fear. The more than 120 million Americans who cast ballots in this election – as well as the more than 100 million more eligible voters who declined to vote – deserve no less.
    The NAACP stands ready to work with a new administration to realize the racial justice concerns that not only compelled millions of people to go to the polls on Election Day but also inspired millions to protest in the streets in the preceding days and months. Depending upon the new administration’s fidelity to America’s ideals of liberty and the NAACP’s agenda for justice, we will either be at its side or in its face. We will not let this election distract or dissuade us; the NAACP will continue to stand strong at the frontlines, advocating for voting rights, criminal justice reform and equality for all.
    Kim Krisberg is a freelance public health writer living in Austin, Texas, and has been writing about public health for nearly 15 years.

    Related

  2. Thanks, I needed that!

  3. “Fortunately, public health has plenty of practice confronting and overcoming powerfully entrenched interests for the greater good. Just ask Big Tobacco.”
    I asked Big Tobacco,
    and Big Tobacco said
    “We’re still in business and making a lot of money. But strangely, virtually none of the $200+ Billion dollars the Government extorted from us in the Master Settlement Agreement ever went to the programs publicized to sell the extortion – e.g. smoking cessation programs; reimbursement to Medicaid and others for treatment of smoking-related illnesses. The money apparently went into a black hole in Washington D.C.,
    but the politicians and do-gooders got a lot of good PR.”
    ……
    Regarding Planned Parenthood, Trump has said he wants to defund Planned Parenthood as long as it performs abortions. We pro-lifers are powerful. And we are never, ever giving up.
    ……….
    Regarding the minimum wage, we will continue to fight against actions which lead to a wage of $0/hour –
    which is what people get paid when their employers lay them off because they can’t afford to pay $15/hour.
    …….
    Regarding the “Union of Concerned Scientists”, well, I didn’t read any further since I figured it was about climate change b.s.
    …………………….
    Regarding the N.A.A.C.P., who’s the head of that arm of the Dem Party, and how do they get away with still saying “Colored People”?
    ……………
    P.S.
    *Politically* speaking, November 8, 2016 was the greatest night of my fairly long life.
    God Bless America!

  4. “We pro-lifers are powerful”
    That is the oddest spelling of “vile, despicable, dishonest, and profoundly hateful of women” I’ve ever seen. You aren’t pro-life sn, nor are any of the moral reprobates you associate with. Once a fetus is no longer a fetus but a person you don’t care if it lives, dies, or is incapacitated.

  5. The level of smoking was, at last check down to the lowest level in the US since we started tracking it in the 1960’s. And to those of us who believes that the obviously irritating smoke of cigarettes also cause cancer and heart disease, that is a good thing. But not to S.N. No, he is concerned that people who profit from the manufacture and sale of an addictive and deadly substance lost profit. One gets the impression that he worships not only father figures, but also profit.
    As we slide into the slime pit of fascism, from which many , maybe all of us, will fail to survive, we can look up at the top of the pit at S.N. Smiling and waving sadistically. There he is: Happy, science free, fact free, superstitious, Jesuitical, hateful, unempathetic, sociopathic, and pro Trump. We ignored and belittled him in our hubris, and his side won the battle. And here we are.
    One way we of the science tribe really screwed up is that we failed to recognize how widespread the viewpoint of the authoritarians was; and how immune it is to scientific reality and facts; and how antithetical it is to the social values that most of us who read these pages share. Wanting to keep man-made carcinogens, irritants and allergens out people’s lungs is bad to S.N. Wanting people to learn to put aside the learned or natural human tendency towards prejudice, as many of us have learned to do, is apparently also bad to S.N. Wanting to create jobs by building an alternative energy infrastructure that doesn’t doom the planet to a soggy flooded future is also apparently bad to S.N.
    So what do you say now, Se Noevo? Are you going to be heading up a torture squad? Maybe helping to man the guard tower at your local internment camp? Burning science books? How bad is it going to get? What are your demands? Can we negotiate anything, or is it just going to be war?
    Have a nice day.

  6. To SteveP #4:
    “The level of smoking was, at last check down to the lowest level in the US since we started tracking it in the 1960’s.”
    Yes, but from 1965 to 1999 (the year after the $206B Master Settlement Agreement) smoking rates dropped by 44%. However, in the years SINCE the $206B MSA, rates have dropped only another 28%.
    If, as Kim says, “Fortunately, public health has plenty of practice confronting and overcoming powerfully entrenched interests for the greater good. Just ask Big Tobacco”, then
    – Why is Big Tobacco still in business? Why wasn’t Big Tobacco shut down, and smoking declared illegal?
    – What happened to the $206B paid by Big Tobacco to the government?
    ………………
    “So what do you say now, Se Noevo? … Can we negotiate anything, or is it just going to be war?”
    Liberals aren’t any good at negotiating anything.
    So, it’s probably going to be war.

  7. See Noevo. I am guessing that you are a person who enjoys the thought of torturing others. You come here to torment those who refuse to see your divinely inspired wisdom. Am I wrong? I am guessing that you are someone who has issues with sex. Someone for whom religiously inspired sadism and torture is good, and sex is bad, carnal, animal. Am I wrong? Does your religious order forbid sex? I’ll bet it does. I’ll bet that you have to do some sort of penance or mortification if your mind strays to sex and sexuality. But tormenting sinners, now that is just fine with you, that is okay. Right? Isn’t that you?
    Tell us about yourself See Noevo. Tell us about your views on sex and sexuality. We would love to know more about you.
    And Have a Nice Day.

  8. To SteveP #6:
    Are you wrong? Yes, on all counts.
    And Have a Nice Day.

  9. I consider it pretty damned sadistic of you to come to a blog meant for environmental and public health professionals, where the readers are trying to comfort themselves because they believe that the president elect is going to devalue them and put them out of work, noble work at that, and where there is evidence of increasing violence being perpetrated against trump opponents, and the press, and you pile on and attack them. Pretty damned sadistic. You see, what you have done here amounts to a form of torment or torture, but I am pretty sure that you either don’t have the basic human decency to see that, or maybe you know it hurts, but you use your Christo-Capitalism-Libertarianism beliefs to justify it.
    Kicking people when they are down is something I expect to see a lot more of from the Trump supporters in the days ahead, because Trump and his white supremacist supporters share a lot of traits in common with Nazis and Nazism, and that is just the sort of thing that they did.
    How ironic it is that the current “Christian” attack on women who have abortions first came to prominence at the end of WWII. German women raped by communist troops were desperate for abortions, but the RC church stood in their way. The church, which had helped the Nazis rise to power !!! was apparently trying to win back the moral high ground they had lost by that act. So of course they took it out on women! Funny how the “religious” strictures against religion had their start from a church THAT INITIALLY SUPPPORTED THE NAZIS!
    And that is what I think you will find the vast majority of the readers of this blog think of you, and the Westboro Baptist church, and David Duke, and “right to lifers”, and all the rest of the white supremacist looneys that you are apparently turning your famous blind see -no-evil- eye towards. You are Nazis, and you are going to be justifying murder and other atrocities in the days ahead with arguments like you have advanced here. Lethal attacks on abortion providers will be justified in the name of tiny pieces of aborted tissue with less brain than a grain of sand. Muslim women will continue to be easily identifiable, weak targets. Black students will contiue to be tormented by the likes of See Noevo. Gays. Forget it. Oh, and by the way, the Nazis attacked gays, liberals, unionists, and all the “inferior” races. Probably, just like you do!
    I’m pretty sure the parallels will be completely lost on you so I am not hung up about hurting feelings that you show now evidence of having.
    Have a nice day.

  10. To SteveP #8:
    I consider it pretty damned sadistic of you to come to a blog meant for environmental and public health professionals, where you support the falsehoods/distortions being promulgated. (For an example of such falsehoods/distortions, see again Kim’s statement in first section of #2 above.)
    ……………
    “…there is evidence of increasing violence being perpetrated against trump opponents…”
    Like this: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3930834/Trump-supporters-attack-Wilson-Eschevarria-Anthony-Hobdy-arrested-Connecticut-New-York-police-hunt-suspect-choked-subway-passenger.html
    “Pretty damned sadistic.”
    Yeah, you got that right.
    As to the rest of your rant, you are one very, very sick dude.
    Have a nice day.

  11. Hey SN, thanks for reminding us (as though we needed reminding) who we are up against, and who we are fighting for.
    Because that’s the thing. When we, as public health and safety professionals make the world a better place, we make it better for everyone, even the people who don’t like us.
    You may say that you don’t want clean water, clean air, safe food, access to medical care, a safe work environment and a decent wage, but when we work to get those things for all people, you get them too.
    We are the rising tide, and we shall lift all boats.

  12. So, SN was able to come up with two examples of violence against Trumpers. Wow. A simple assault? How about this. I can list about 200 examples of terrorist activities initiated by trump supporters. Where shall we start? Trump activists donning KKK like robes in Connecticut?? Colorado…”Death to Diversity” was written on a banner displayed on our library for people to see, as well as written on posters across campus. As well as white males going up to women saying that it was now “legal to grab them by the pussy”. How about the black veteran who was denied his free Chili’s veteran meal because some old white ass hole told the manager that the black man was not really a veteran. Cedar Hill Texas. Look it up.
    Anaheim California. White males in black Ford truck were calling a black family in vehicle next to them N***ers, and yelling that it was Trump’s country now.
    Washington State. “Build a wall” was chanted in our cafeteria Wed at lunch.”If you aren’t born here, pack your bags” was shouted in my own classroom. “Get out spic” was said in our halls.
    Louisiana- “I was standing at a red light waiting to cross the street. A black truck with three white men pulled up to the red light. One of them yelled, “Fuck your black life!” The other two began to laugh. One began to chant “Trump!” as they drove away.
    Trump picked Steve Bannon as his chief strategist. That tells you a lot right there. Bannon openly allowed racism and anti-semitism to flourish at Breitbart.
    So see noevo, are you good with the fact that Trump thinks its okay to grab women by the pussy because one is privileged? What conservative value is that?
    A number of black freshman students at Pennsylvania were targeted on Friday from a GroupMe account in Oklahoma. Multiple publications, including Philly.com, said the students were added to a list that referenced lynching in the subject and came from users with names like “Daddy Trump.”
    Your writings show you to be an unempathetic, selfish, sexless , sadistic , supersticious, anti-science, racist, mysogenist. You come here to cause pain, but you think you are not a sadist. Shall we add stupid to the list too?
    President pussy grabber. Make America Great by destroying civility. Make America Great by encouraging racism. Make America great by grabbing women by the pussy. Make America great by breaking up families to appease the hateful. Make America great by disparaging entire ethnic groups. Make America great by appeasing the dimmest, most primitive tendencies in America. Make America great by destroying our science infrastructure. Make America Great by appeasing anti vaxxers. Make America Great by destroying the CDC. Make America Great by bringing back coal fired smog generating plants. Make America Great by turning your back on science and scientists. Make America Great by destroying public health.
    Trump and his supporters have demoralized over half the nation in less than a week. And he hasn’t even taken office yet.

  13. To my fellow smart science people. The parallels between trump and hitler are startling, to say the least. We need to stay angry, alert, activated. Every time I damp down my concerns about trump he turns around and makes another clownishly stupid move; I go WTF; and then I draw solace in the fact that America is more heterogeneous, and less bound and primed by authoritarian religion than Germany was. I draw solace in the fact that a president stupid enough to go down the failed path of authoritarianism is probably too stupid to keep the reins of power for more than a very short time. We need to begin to rally around the cause of impeachment now so that when he inevitably makes or reveals past impeachable offenses, we can bring him to ground, legally, and swiftly. We need to work with those military and intelligence officers who value NATO and hate the Russians to work against him. And as supporters of science and scientists, we need to fight as strong as possible against the impending attempt to drag America back into the dark ages. We are going to have to do whatever is necessary stop this disgusting clutch of dead eyed barbarians, paranoids, racists, psychopaths, and idiots before they destroy us all.

  14. You should know, if you’ve followed sn’s comments around Science Blogs, that
    * he views women as useful for producing babies and nothing else, so it is quite likely Trump’s actions don’t bother him at all (after all, when women use birth control it “harms me”)
    * he has stated that Catholicism (but only his version) is the only real religion, and that people who don’t believe that are condemned to hell. He is especially antagonistic toward people of the Jewish faith
    * has stated that people who are poor “deserve to be poor”
    * seems to agree with Nixon speechwriter and nazi apologist Pat Buchanan that we should have sided with Nazi Germany in WWII to beat Soviet Russia, since they were worse than the Nazis ever were going to be
    so, if we engage in a little Bayesian thinking, that he is perfectly fine with the KKK, racists, white nationalists, and other scum backing trump, and endorses the violence committed by trump supporters, since it is (in his mind) directed at people who did something to deserve it (and, likely, that something is that the folks who were attacked were not racists)

  15. Dean: Don’t forget he’s also a creationist, anti-vaxxer and generally doesn’t like people but loves to argue with everyone about that.
    Slippery as an oiled snake nest and only 0.001% as nice.

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