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Working America opens its first field office in Houston today. It’s our first office ever in the state of Texas.

We knock on our first door in the Lone Star state tonight.

“Working America brings an entirely new outreach dynamic to our labor movement in Harris and surrounding counties,” said Richard Shaw, Secretary-Treasurer of the Harris County AFL-CIO Council. “This is an opportunity to connect with like-minded working families to work together on issues and concerns important to all of us.”

Organizers will be fanning out in the working-class communities of Harris, Montgomery, Brazoria and Ft. Bend counties, among others.

Our first focus? The expansion of Medicaid, which the federal government is offering as part of the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare. This provision of Obamacare is key to helping the nearly 2 million Texas families without insurance get access to affordable coverage – but it is being blocked by Governor Rick Perry.

Gov. Perry, as we know from his 2012 campaign, has national ambitions. His so-called “stand” against Obamacare is great for riling up conservative activists and attracting millions of dollars from right-wing mega-donors. But it does nothing for 1 in 4 Texans, including 1.2 million children, who don’t have health insurance – according to the latest Census, that’s the highest rate of uninsured in the country.

“This is a central issue for working people in Texas, and we are excited to help working people have their voices heard in the state capitol and in Washington, D.C.,” said Working America Regional Director Kevin Pape. “Whether it’s about healthcare, a good public education, retirement security or good jobs, we will mobilize working people around these issues and make sure we hold our lawmakers accountable.”

Even if you’re not in Houston, you can join Working America’s efforts now by signing on to our petition to Gov. Perry and the legislature to accept the Medicaid expansion.

And if you are in Houston area, you might be seeing us soon.

by Doug Foote - Reposted from Working America's Main Street Blog

Originally posted to Working America on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 12:15 PM PST.

Also republished by Houston Area Kossacks, TexKos-Messing with Texas with Nothing but Love for Texans, and In Support of Labor and Unions.

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