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Nurses: Make Wall Street Help Struggling Residents in SB County

Nurses from around San Bernardino County, including Loma Linda and Redlands, will hold a "Call for Action." They want Congress to support a Wall Street transaction tax that will raise revenue to help save needed community programs.

As the economy continues to sputter, members of National Nurses United said it is the working class that is shouldering the burden.

On Thursday, nurses in 21 states will descend on congressional district offices to demand that Wall Street pull their weight. The group will call on their representatives to support a tax on Wall Street financial speculation, “to pay for healing the nation,” organizers said.

Nurses and community supporters are targeting 61 Democratic and Republican legislators, event organizers said.

San Bernardino County’s nurses and their supporters will meet from 11 a.m. to noon Thursday near Congressman Joe Baca’s office, 201 N. E St. in San Bernardino.

The nurse's group wants Congressial members to sign a pledge to “support a Wall Street transaction tax that will raise sufficient revenue to make Wall Street pay for the devastation it has caused on Main Street,” organizers wrote.

A letter was sent by certified mail to all 535 members of the House and Senate last week asking them to back the pledge and help “make the promise of the American dream… a reality,” according to a group news release.

A tax on Wall Street trading of stocks, bonds, derivatives, currencies, credit default swaps and futures -- the financial speculative activity linked to the 2008 financial meltdown and resultant recession -- could raise hundreds of billions of dollars to pay for the programs that are desperately needed to "reduce the pain and suffering felt by so many families who feel abandoned in communities across this nation," according to NNU Co-President Deborah Burger, an RN.

"It’s important for the American public to know about the crisis that we’re facing in this country,” said Kimberly Amini, a registered nurse with the San Bernardino County Department of Public Health.

“They need to understand the economic crisis, which is deepening,” she said. “As a pubic health nurse, I see people all the time, people who I serve, living in marginal housing. Some have even lost that. I’ve seen an increase in homelessness. I’ve seen an increase in shared housing, where you have a two or three bedroom apartment unit and you have two or three families sharing a unit that was designed for one family.”

Amini pays home visits caring for the ill in the San Bernardino area. Those struggles, and the loss of programs, could be fixed if corporations paid their fair share of taxes, she said. Single payer, universal healthcare would also be a great benefit, she said.

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