The ability to participate in grassroots organizing derives implicitly from the Constitution’s declaration of “We the People” and explicitly from the First Amendment’s guarantee of the right to petition the Government for redress. At Virginia Organizing, we take this grant of power very seriously as is evident from our recent grassroots organizing for Medicaid expansion in Virginia. Our work focused predominately on more rural parts of the Commonwealth where our chapter members have experienced the consequences of a lack of access to health care. By mobilizing individuals passionate about Medicaid expansion and those who suffer from the lack of it and collaborating with the Healthcare for All Virginians Coalition, we were successfully able to take advantage of the changes in the House of Delegates and Senate that occurred in 2018. In part because of grassroots organizing by groups like Virginia Organizing and the Healthcare for All Virginians Coalition, in a special session in May 2018, the Virginia General Assembly voted to expand Medicaid in Virginia. Our work, though, is not complete. Now begins the task of raising public awareness of Medicaid expansion so that everyone who needs it will be able to sign up and take advantage of the program. Additionally, we must continue to work to eliminate the work requirement that might prevent thousands of people who ought to be eligible for Medicaid from receiving it. Such continuing efforts, though, are only possible because of the support of our members and other community stakeholders who also recognize the importance of grassroots organizing.
Brian Johns, Rosemary Gould & Ladelle McWhorter,
Grassroots Organizing and Medicaid Expansion in Virginia: The Lee County Chapter of Virginia Organizing and Medicaid Expansion,
Rich. Pub. Int. L. Rev.
Available at: https://scholarship.richmond.edu/pilr/vol22/iss1/4