Nurses hold "Governor Snyder's 'No Soup For You' Kitchen in Protest of Budget Cuts
For Immediate Release
July 13, 2011
Lansing, MI – Nurses representing the Michigan Nurses Association (MNA) served chicken noodle soup, sandwiches and cookies on the Capital lawn today as a part of “Governor Snyder’s ‘No Soup for You’ Kitchen.”
The event was an opportunity for the nurses to reach out to those in need of sustenance and to call attention to the effect Governor Snyder’s budget cuts will have on the social service programs in Michigan.
“The programs in this state that are in place are already strained to the breaking point,” said Jeff Breslin, RN, MNA President. “Now our Michigan legislature says it’s okay to reduce the business tax by 1.8 billion and raise taxes on the working poor and retirees by 1.7 billion. How many more people is that going force into the system because they can no longer afford to live without help?”
Speakers at the soup kitchen included Breslin, Susan Cancro, Executive Director of Advent House Ministries; Deb McMillan, an elementary teacher from Lansing; and Ashley Forsberg, RN, a registered nurse from Sparrow Hospital.
Our patients are both inside and outside the hospitals, Breslin commented. “We see public health departments being slashed in staff and budget cuts. Mental health programs are falling prey to bottom-line thinking, and those needing mental health care are being turned out on the street. This is irresponsible behavior for a state towards its residents. We cannot sit by and watch our patients suffer because the Michigan legislature has failed them.”
The Michigan Nurses Association is calling for a Main Street Contract for Michigan which would call for seven principles:
- Jobs at living wages to reinvest in America.
- Equal access to quality, public education.
- Guaranteed healthcare for all.
- A secure retirement, with the ability to retire in dignity.
- Good housing and protection from hunger.
- A safe, clean, and healthy environment.
- A just taxation system where corporations and the wealthy pay their fair share.
“Every American is entitled to basic rights that ensure a quality life,” said John Karebian. “It’s a sad day when nurses are so saddened by the conditions in this state that they hold a soup kitchen to feed the needy.”