This morning the new advocacy group Healthcare United held its first voter registration event for healthcare workers.
Nearly one-fourth of healthcare workers across the US are not registered to vote.
Healthcare United chose this day to emphasize health disparities among minorities.
Today is June 19th, or Juneteenth: the anniversary of the day that black slaves in Galveston, Tex. learned they had been freed.
Mara Kieval is a registered nurse and the organization’s lead coordinator.
Mara Kieval: “You know certainly what we have isn’t working, and we need something better. There’s 47 million uninsured Americans and I think that’s disgraceful for our country. I think we should be ashamed of how we treat our citizens.”
Kieval said that many of the healthcare workers she meets do not have insurance for themselves.
The group Healthcare United is a project of the Service Employees International Union.
The Urban League of Portland hosted the event.