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Internet Advocacy Roundup -- Health Care and Beyond

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There is always lots going on in the world of internet advocacy and this is the place to see some of the best. The Internet Advocacy Roundup is an occasional newsletter I have written for the past few years. Starting today, it will be a semi-regular feature here. So let's dive right in.

Health Care

With 47 million Americans living without health insurance, it is long past the time we addressed the issue. Where in 1993, a proposal to reform the health care system spearheaded by Hillary Clinton was vilified by the right with a TV ad campaign that targeted only a few major cities (Boston, Philadelphia, and DC among them), today Harry and Louise are on the side of the uninsured, at last!

Families USA has launched a new campaign to make health care the top priority this year. The campaign features a video of Harry and Louise, 15 years later, finally realizing that they were on the wrong side back in the nineties. I suppose this is the danger of using professional actors in advocacy commercials. Years after taping a commercial for one side, nothing stops them from switching over.

Also on the health care front, Health Care for American Now is a coalition campaign also pushing for universal coverage. The coalition includes the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, Americans United for Change, Campaign for America's Future, Center for American Progress Action Fund, Center for Community Change, MoveOn.org, National Council of La Raza, National Education Association, National Women's Law Center, Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Service Employees International Union, United Food and Commercial Workers, and USAction. Following up on a recent petition drive, HCAN is now asking activists to call Congress to demand health care for all. Using a tool provided by Advomatic, all activists have to do is enter their name, phone number, street address, and ZIP code and the service will call them back and patch them through to the right Member of Congress at no charge.

Health Care Plus Life

Taking a bit of a wider view on life, Qvisory is providing a comprehensive service to support the "health, financial well-being, and career goals of young adults from 18 to 34." Mixing together advocacy tools and opportunities with tools and advice to help young adults manage these aspects of their lives, Qvisory offers an innovative approach to internet advocacy. Currently, Qvisory is running a campaign to tell the Senate to pass the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act.

On to the Big Picture

The common thread in these advocacy campaigns is an underlying foundation in progressive values. Providing health care and fair pay for all are great examples of the basic principle that progressives stand with people, not privilege. This principle is among the four lessons taught in John Podesta's new book, The Power of Progress. The Center for American Progress Action Fund (yes, that is where I work) has just launched a campaign to create a national discussion around the ideas in this book using Facebook. The Power of Progress Book Forum is a publicly accessible Facebook page that will host these discussions. The page is filled with information about the book, links to related articles, posts from John Podesta and (soon) his co-author John Halpin, and information about upcoming events and radio/TV interviews. The Power of Progress Book Forum will have featured discussions about the various ideas in the book, which explore how progressives have always been the driving force in America for solving the pressing problems of every era, standing for the people over privilege, and the common good.