Planning a Visibility-Raising Event at City Hall

Holding a vigil or creative action in front of City Hall can help your city or county council to move forward a Medicare for All resolution while educating the public and press in your community about Medicare for All.

A “heal-in” is one creative idea to raise awareness about Medicare for All, while highlighting the importance of the doctors and nurses who save and sustain lives every day.  You may invite volunteer health care providers to offer care to demonstrators or members of the public, or you can simply wear white coats and conduct a “heal-in” as street theater.

Other ideas include holding a silent vigil outside City Hall or sharing stories of our current broken health system.

Location and Time

For maximum effect, hold your heal-in or vigil outside your town’s City Hall and follow up with speakers and/or a press conference. The heal-in itself could only take 5-10 minutes or longer if you provide actual health care screening, and you can time the event to take place around lunchtime during a weekday so that office workers can join you.

Let us know through our check list form or email us if you are holding an event and be sure to include a link to a Facebook or Meetup event so that we can publicize it through our Medicare for All resolutions map.

Volunteer Roles

You will need a group of volunteers to share the tasks of collecting materials, taking photos and video, doing media work, acting in a heal-in, outreach, and public speaking.

  • Collecting materials for a heal-in: useful items might include lawn chairs or other easy-to-carry furniture, medical props such as lab coats, nurses’ scrubs, stethoscopes and clipboards. If you can’t get a hold of the real thing, your local Halloween store might have it.
  • Delivering your message at the event: find a megaphone for your speakers and consider passing out flyers explaining the action and urging the city council to pass a Medicare for All resolution.
  • Petition: if you are using our petition toolkit, consider collecting signatures at your event.
  • Press outreach: Read our guide on preparing for the press.
  • Visuals: Medicare for All signs, banners, red t-shirts.
  • Photos: find volunteers to take pictures (camera photos will look better than mobile phone photos) and livestream the event on Facebook.
  • Social Media & outreach: Read our guide how to publicize and get people to your event.

Ideas for Heal-In Street Theater

You can use the heal-in to show examples of the types of care that will be covered under Medicare for All:

  • Emergency care: act out cleaning and dressing wounds
  • Physical therapy: act out teaching someone how to walk again
  • Primary care: checking blood pressure
  • Dental care: act out teeth cleaning on a volunteer in a lawn chair
  • Vision: act out an eye exam
  • Behavioral Health: act out a therapy visit
  • Long-term care: act out an elder seated in an easy chair at home, talking to a nurse

Here are some ways that you can involve local providers in your heal-in:

  • Many towns and cities now have mobile units that can check blood pressure and other types of preventative care. If they are able to participate, they can do this as part of your action.
  • Doctors, nurses, opticians, dentists, pharmacists and other care providers who are part of your organizing group will have their own ideas of how to demonstrate the type of care they will be able to deliver to everyone under Medicare For All. They will also have access to materials that you can use for props (lab coats, scrubs, empty pill bottles, etc).
  • If your town includes a medical school, students can also be a great resource in helping you plan your event.

Questions? Comments? Please get in touch if you need help planning your event.