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Why Healthcare is a Human Right

October 22, 2020 @ 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm

This panel examines the inadequate state of healthcare and makes the case for why healthcare is a human right.


Host of Spectrum News Capitol Tonight

Capital Tonight host Susan Arbetter came to Spectrum Networks in 2019 after 29 years in broadcasting, much of it at NPR and PBS affiliates in upstate New York. She is most recently the past host of The Capitol Pressroom, a 1-hour political program which she created, and which broadcasts from the 3rd Floor of the State Capital in Albany. Prior to that she created and hosted New York Now which continues to broadcast on all 9 PBS stations across New York State. Susan is a veteran political journalist with a long list of accolades, including her induction into the Women’s Press Club of New York Hall of Fame. She is the recipient of over 30 awards for electronic journalism including an Emmy Award for Best Public Affairs Series; an Edward R. Murrow Award; PRNDI; and Scripps-Howard Awards, as well as multiple AP and NYSBA awards.


VP of Health Initiatives, Community Service Society

Elisabeth Benjamin is the Vice President of Health Initiatives at the Community Service Society, where she supervises health policy, health advocacy, and consumer health assistance programs, including: the CSS Navigator Network, Community Health Advocates, Independent Consumer Advocacy Network, Harlem Health Advocates Project, and the Small Business Assistance Program. Collectively, these programs help over 100,000 New Yorkers each year enroll in or use their health insurance or access low-cost health care. Most of these programs offer direct assistance through a toll-free helpline or in-person assistance through a network of community-based organizations and small business-serving groups. She is a co-founder of Health Care for All New York Campaign (HCFANY), a statewide coalition of over 170 organizations devoted to securing affordable, quality health care for all New Yorkers. She has published extensively and has been a frequent commentator about health policy issues.


New York State Senator, District 33

State Senator Gustavo Rivera represents the 33rd Senate District in the Bronx. Since taking office, Senator Rivera has focused his efforts on addressing issues of health inequity.

In 2018, Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins appointed Senator Rivera as the Chair of the Senate Health Committee. He is collaborating with colleagues, stakeholders, and constituents to improve health outcomes, increase access to health coverage, and ensure a financially viable health care system.

Senator Rivera served as the ranking member of the Senate Health Committee for six years. In that role, he passed three smoking ban laws, and has been a champion of harm reduction policies. He is currently the main sponsor of the “New York Health Act.”


New York City Council Member, District 2

Carlina Rivera represents the 2nd Council District which includes the diverse neighborhoods of the East Village, Flatiron, Gramercy Park, Rose Hill, Kips Bay, Murray Hill, and the Lower East Side. Since taking office in 2017, Carlina has fought for the affordability and livability of New York City by championing issues around affordable housing, small business survival, equitable healthcare, transportation, and quality of life issues. In addition to tackling these tough legislative issues, she has taken a stand for gender equity as the Co-Chair of the Women’s Caucus by sponsoring legislation on sexual harassment and the gender wage gap.


Deputy Director, Make The Road New York

Theo Oshiro helps lead Make the Road New York, the largest grassroots community organization in New York offering services and organizing low-income and immigrant communities.  Theo leads MRNY’s Westchester office and oversees its services departments including MRNY’s Legal Services, Adult Literacy and Health Advocacy, and serves as lead health policy expert.

A Peruvian immigrant raised in Queens, Theo has been recognized several times for his contributions to immigrant communities, winning the New York Lawyers for the Public Interest’s Felix A. Fishman Award. Theo was appointed to to serve on city- and state-level policy task forces focused on immigrant health and health disparities.


October 22, 2020
6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
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