43 Years of Achievements

1976-78: With our statewide Minnesota Senior Federation, we won the Property Tax Circuitbreaker and Renters Credit.

1977: Created a nursing home Ombudsman program, and started the VOICE newspaper.

1979: Won creation of the Lifeline electric rate for Minnesota Power & Light customers. (Lower price for low use.) Also that year, created a low-cost Legal Program.

1976 – 1979:
Waged a major campaign, which almost succeeded, to license a second ambulance service, to provide lower rates. Later, helped the Duluth Fire Dept. expand their life-support services.

1977 – 1984: Helped, as part of the Minn. Senior Federation, to hold down NW Bell telephone rate hikes. 1980: Got the State of MN to put a poorly-run Duluth nursing home into receivership.

1980 – 1988: Held down Minnesota Power’s electric rate hikes, including fully defeating one in 1987

1988: Won intervenor compensation awards three times in recognition of our efforts.

1982: Helped, together with many groups around the country, to defeat the deregulation of natural gas prices.

1989: Helped our Minnesota Senior Federation win landmark living will legislation.

1991 – 1992: Helped, with Broadbased Organizing a Newer Duluth, to create the Health Care Access Office.

1992 – 1994: Fought for fair garbage rates. Held down a major rate hike in 1993, and helped create true competition which broke up the haulers’ cartel and lowered Duluth garbage rates 10% – 20% in 1994.

1993 – 1995: Fought the gasoline price-fixing cartel. Helped foster real competition, which holds down local gas prices. Created a three cent per gallon gas discount for members in 1994, and expanded it.

1994 – 1995: Challenged Minnesota Power’s rate hike, and held it down by $40/year for low to average users of electricity. Won intervenor compensation for the fourth time regarding rate hike proposals.

1996: Convinced the Duluth Economic Development Authority (DEDA) to institute public hearings and detailed reporting on job creation for Tax Increment Financing projects, to promote public accountability.

1996 – 1997: Led a successful fight to keep the St. Louis County nursing homes publicly owned and in good financial health, resulting in the County contracting for management services in 1997.

1997: Helped pass the Duluth Living Wage Ordinance, as part of the Duluth Coalition for a Living Wage.

1998 – 2000: Helped obtain, with other groups, pay increases for all Minnesota nursing home workers.

1999 – 2001: Won, with our Community/Religion/Labor Network allies, placing all major economic development spending with the City Council; helped enact the state Corporate Subsidy Reform Act and Duluth’s Business Subsidy Guidelines; and helped win living wage contracts for Holiday Inn and Radisson workers.

2000 – 2003: Worked to reduce drug prices in Minnesota and nationwide, and started a Canadian drug import program with the statewide Greater Minnesota Health Care Coalition.

2004: Won Senate Committee approval of drug price and universal health care measures; was invited to explain the new Medicare law to the State Senate Health Committee; and won full Duluth City Council control of DEDA.

2005: Saved local taxpayers $1.35 million by causing UnitedHealth to give up its unwarranted TIF subsidy; testified to the Senate that $150 million/yr could be saved by de-privatizing the state’s health care programs; educated the public on the new Medicare law; created our website, www.citizensfed.org; and convinced Duluth city government to offer imported and other reduced-price medications for its employees and retirees.

2006: Helped win a Duluth Card Check ordinance for hotel and restaurant workers.

2007 – 2008: Introduced a state single-payer bill; got a Legislative Auditor report revealing lax regulation on HMOs and enactment of measures to correct this; and promoted county-based purchasing.

2009-2010: Got the single payer bill (MN Health Plan) approved in two committees; saved the lifeline electric rate once more from elimination; blocked a proposal to privatize Duluth’s natural gas utility; and, along with statewide allies, pushed for progressive federal health care reform.

2011: Saved the lifeline electric rate for a  year in a row, and greatly reduced the proposed rate hike;  pushed for accountabilty over the HMOs that run the state’s health care programs; helped get them to agree to reduced profits, and helped get one of them to give back $30 million to the state.