On Wednesday, March 24, the morning after a major spring snow storm blasted Denver, a group of approximately 50 Colorado citizens led by local progressive radio host, David Sirota, braved the roads to deliver a petition to Senator Michael Bennet's Denver office.
The petition, which amassed 35,000 signatures in just four days, asks Senator Bennet to follow through on his promise to introduce an amendment creating a public option to compete with private insurance companies.
In November 2009, Senator Bennet declared on CNN that he was willing to lose his senate seat over the public option. But now that the final vote for healthcare reform is upon him, he has wavered from the public option. This morning's group presented the petition with hopes of persuading the senator to keep his word.
Byron, from Arvada, CO, said he attended because, "the public option is necessary to foster competition and try and keep healthcare costs down."
Mike, a commodities broker in Denver, said, "It is a right for private corporations to make a profit but it is not their right to gouge the American people." He also noted that healthcare stocks are on the rise in the wake of President Obama recent signing of the House healthcare bill.
In addition to Sirota's petition, a group of progressive organizations including the SEIU, Colorado Health Care for America Now, Progressnow Colorado and MoveOn delivered a letter to Colorado Senators Bennet and Mark Udall, urging them to support the bill without amendment.
In stark contrast to the Tea Party, today's protesters were respectful and sincere with their support of the public option and hopes that Senator Bennet would make good on his promises.