Courtesy Kahlil Seren
Cleveland Heights Mayor Kahlil Seren
At its meeting Monday evening, the Cleveland Heights City Council unanimously passed a resolution supporting Medicare for All.
Though Cleveland Heights Mayor Kahlil Seren previously acknowledged that the legislation is purely "ceremonial," he said that "every bit of advocacy helps." Seren himself drafted the legislation, which calls for universal healthcare and notes how urgent sweeping medical reform is in the era of Covid-19.
The pandemic has led to "record levels of unemployment, loss of employer-sponsored health insurance, a severely strained healthcare system, widespread illness and taken a profound toll on our community’s mental health," the legislation reads, "all of which places significant demands on our healthcare system, with the impacts most severe on our Black and brown neighbors."
In Cleveland Heights, one of the City of Cleveland's largest suburbs on the east side, nearly 3,000 people are uninsured. About 9,000 people, close to 20% of the city's total population, live in poverty.
The bill was co-sponsored by all seven members of city council. It declares that universal, quality healthcare is a human right.
Lisa Rapaszky, representing the grassroots political organization Our Revolution Ohio, said in a news release that Seren's advocacy honored a commitment he made on the campaign trail. (In November, Seren won the Cleveland Heights mayoral election, becoming the city's first elected mayor.)
"Furthermore," Rapaszky said, "these unanimous resolutions signify what we already know - people want and need Medicare for All now."
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