Ms. Brownely — We Demand a True Healthcare Town Hall
By Deborah Baber Savalla
Have you ever read George Orwell’s classic allegorical novella Animal Farm? If yes, I urge you to read it again. If no, I urge you to do so now. Animal Farm on Amazon Why is this important? It is important because that story is what has played out this week on healthcare. It features Congresswoman Julia Brownley who, through her actions, epitomizes the Animal Farm’s final single commandment:
“All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others.”
Our Congresswoman was home this week during the Congressional recess in Washington, DC. Julia Brownley claims to have held a Town Hall on healthcare last Tuesday at the Camarillo Library. It most certainly was not that. Nope, not a town hall; it was a political rally of her base and nothing more. We know this is true because only one view, Congresswoman Brownley’s, was displayed. But maybe there is hope.
Her Chief of Staff, Lenny Young, approached me after the “Town Hall” saying that Congresswoman Brownley wanted me to be in touch with her office. I have been. In an exchange with Mr. Young on Thursday, he said: “…we (Congresswoman Brownley and her office) recognize that the imbalance of the crowd did not make it the most productive venue for people who had opposing views and…” (here is where the hope comes in), Mr. Young continued: “…we are totally open to figuring out something that might.” So, how can you help? Before you sit down to read Animal Farm, contact Ms. Brownley’s office and tell her that you too want a true Healthcare Town Hall. Here is what I’ve proposed:
- No signage whether carried or worn on an article of clothing would be permitted.
- A guide is provided in advance through the news of hot-button, incendiary words that will not be allowed as part of the give and take exchange.
- A small group works to structure the Town Hall. That group represents multiple sides of concerns regarding delivering healthcare to Ventura County.
- Here’s the key: Congresswoman Brownley and someone known not to share her view appear together but each is required to read aloud the other person’s position as though it were his or her own.
Deborah Baber Savalla
I believe in fiscally-sound small government, personal accountability and responsibility, and a measurable, results-driven social safety-net.
Deborah Baber Savalla was a 33-year resident New Yorker where she enjoyed a decades-long career in book publishing finishing that chapter of her life as VP Corporate Administration for Macmillan, a half-billion dollar company in the US.