Press Release

National Nurses Join DC Action to Reclaim Dr. King’s Dream

RNs decry impact of poverty on publics’ health, call for tax on Wall Street

Washington, DC – This Saturday, Aug. 24, members of National Nurses United, the largest union and professional association of registered nurses in the country, will join hands with thousands of activists from coast to coast in the historic commemoration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s March for Jobs and Freedom.

Fifty years ago, Dr. King stood in the shadow of the Lincoln Memorial and announced he had a dream “that one day this nation [would] rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.” However, fifty years later, we have still not achieved his dream.

“Though a lot has been realized since Dr. King gave his iconic speech, we are not coming to DC to celebrate,” said Dianne Hibbler an RN who works at Jackson Park Hospital in Chicago. “As nurses, we hear the economic horror stories every day from our patients. We see the chronic symptoms that could be prevented. Poverty is growing and people are getting sick from it.  Unemployment and underemployment remain rampant and these rates are almost double for people of color. Thirty million people will still be without health care even after the enactment of the Affordable Care Act and families are still struggling to keep their homes in the face of foreclosures.”

Recent studies show heart attacks, hypertension, and diabetes on the rise in families losing their homes to foreclosure.

“Nurses won’t stand by and watch the continuing devastation of our communities,” said Jean Ross, RN, NNU Co-President. “If we want to see real change, the kind of change Dr. King dreamed about, then we need to rein in the Wall Street excesses that have destroyed our economy and continues to plague our communities. We need a Robin Hood Tax, a tiny sales tax on Wall Street trades, so we can create a fair taxation system that funds living wage jobs, quality education, guaranteed healthcare, a secure retirement, a clean environment, and safe housing for everyone.”

The nurses will be joined by other activists from the Robin Hood Tax Campaign from around the country in a march contingent to demand a financial transaction tax.

For more information on the Robin Hood Tax please visit