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Palgrave Macmillan

Grassroots Advocacy and Health Care Reform

The HCAN Campaign in Pennsylvania

ISBN 9781137339195
Publication Date June 2013
Formats Hardcover Ebook (PDF) Ebook (EPUB) 
Publisher Palgrave Macmillan

Grassroots Advocacy and Health Care Reform shows how grassroots issue advocacy is conducted today by telling the story of Health Care for America Now's campaign in Pennsylvania in support of the Affordable Care Act. As both the director of the HCAN PA campaign and a former professor of political theory, Stier brings a unique perspective to the analysis of how HCAN Pennsylvania implemented a national campaign in the context of contemporary political science. Grassroots Advocacy and Health Care Reform provides valuable insights for historians, political scientists, organizers, and citizens alike about how advocates can best build campaigns to affect legislative change.

Marc Stier is a writer and political consultant. He was the Pennsylvania State Director of Health Care for America Now and previously led advocacy campaigns for health care reform, the minimum wage and transit funding in Pennsylvania. He taught political science, intellectual history and American Politics for twenty five years at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks, USA, University of North Carolina Charlotte and Temple University.

1. A Federal Campaign
2. Why We Organize
3. A Coalition That Worked
4. Virtually Real


'Led by Marc Stier, PA Health Care for American Now was at the frontlines of cultivating and enlisting grassroots support from across Pennsylvania in support of the Affordable Care Act. As a member of Congress who worked to write and pass this key legislation, I know firsthand how important their work was in ensuring both its passage and its successful implementation. There have been few debates in Congress as intense as health care reform, and it made an enormous difference for members of Congress to hear directly from their constituents. A debt of gratitude is owed to the countless Pennsylvanians who stepped up and called, wrote, organized, and committed to being part of achieving a uniquely American way to ensure that all Americans have access to affordable, quality health coverage.' - US Representative Allyson Y. Schwartz, 13th District of Pennsylvania"Grassroots Advocacy and Health Care Reform shows how the HCAN campaign was built step by step in Pennsylvania and how it helped generate Congressional support for the Affordable Care Act. The book is distinctive in that it shows how Congressional champions can work hand in hand with grassroots activists to build the public support needed to overcome powerful interests opposed to legislation that benefit working people." - Congressman Chaka Fattah, 2nd District of Pennsylvania, USA
"The great strength of Grassroots Advocacy and Health Care Reform is the unique perspective Stier brings to the book. His experience as both an academic and a professional activist makes the book important to scholars, practitioners, and the public. Chapter 4, on how HCAN knit together an extensive ground game and a sophisticated online presence, should be required reading for every new issue campaign organizer hired, before they come to work and then after a year of work. It's a great explanation of they need to do." - Richard Kirsch, Senior Fellow, Roosevelt Institute, USA and author of Fighting for Our Health: The Epic Battle to Make Health Care a Right in the United States"Marc Stier shows us how and why leading a grassroots campaign is, in essence, a form of teaching. From giving pep talks to filling in spreadsheets, from orchestrating field trips with his colleagues to explaining fragmentary and sometimes tedious actions, Stier helped HCAN PA 'students' stay on task and in sync for 22 months—and their graduation present was the Affordable Care Act. Every community organizer should read this book and keep it close at hand." - Michael Cornfield, George Washington University, USA
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