The Lancaster Healthcare Rights Committee has come a long way over this past year. We have held bi-monthly Committee meetings, contributed to the work on some of the statewide teams, met with state and local representatives, and made base building and outreach a priority. through every action we took or event we attended, we grew in our leadership development.

We strengthened our clarity through research, conversations with other Put People First! PA leaders and political education discussions. We were competent in seeing our tasks through, deciding what is a priority and began to sway the narrative around poverty in our community. We have a core group that have become committed to the work and see the importance in making base building, political education and leadership development priorities going forward. Through all of this work we have become a connected group of leaders that support each other through the tough times and memorialize the time we spend together.

October/November/December 2018

  • Tammy attended a Popular Education Project event in North Carolina with other Put People First! PA leaders where a gathering of organizations from the Poor People’s Campaign a National Call for Moral Revival exchanged organizing ideas. This is where the idea of the “Grassroots Organizing Exchange” was born — the first of which took place seven months later, where PPF-PA hosted organizers from 14 states for a weekend of learning and base building.
  • Lancaster took immediate action against power holders over the announcement of the closing of UPMC Pinnacle Lancaster by rallying the community to attend the final City Council meeting of the year and voiced our concerns throughout the meeting. 
  • Hosted a year HRC timeline in review meeting
  • Tammy spoke at the PPF-PA helped led first PA-PPC Poor People’s Hearing in Harrisburg and other Lancaster HRC leaders attended

January 2019

  • Lancaster HRC leaders attended the HRC Leaders Intensive and Winter Steering Committee Retreat at Camp Sequanota in Jennerstown PA
  • 3 leaders of the Lancaster HRC took part in the Winter Base Building Intensive Group (BBIG) which launched in January and ended right before the Leadership Institutes. 

February 2019

  • Lancaster hosted a “Weekend of Action” and started their “Take Back St. Joseph’s” Campaign on the final weekend the hospital was open. We held a Public Forum Saturday and a Vigil outside the hospital Sunday.
  • 3 Lancaster HRC leaders participated in UPoor Spring 2019 Semester Courses.

March 2019

  • Lancaster held a rally outside the Lancaster County Government Center during a polar vortex & took action again at a City Council meeting to demand a City Resolution for a Public Healthcare Advocate. 
  • 4 Lancaster HRC leaders attended the Moral Agenda Announcement and Demand Delivery with the PA-PPC:NCMR, one Lancaster leader spoke at the Rotunda about the closed hospital and UPMC.
  • California Homeless Union visited and gave presentation in Philly and Lancaster
  • Through researching and taking action against UPMC, Lancaster saw an opportunity & secured a meeting with Lt. Governor John Fetterman.
  • Lancaster held a vigil for Antwon Rose. 

April 2019 

  • The Lancaster HRC was successful in getting the Lancaster City Council to unanimously agree to a City Resolution for a PHA
  • Lancaster HRC leaders, accompanied by new up & coming HRC leaders attended the York Leadership Institute.
  • Lancaster contributed to the Spring/Summer 2019 Edition of Keystone which was released at the Leadership Institute. 
  • Lancaster HRC leaders attended the Fundraising Retreat hosted by the Fundraising Team. 
  • Lancaster HRC leaders met with PA state representative Mike Sturla 

May 2019

  • Lancaster hosted an action outside closed hospital and began building a relationship with local reporter which led to Lancaster Newspapers publishing the “In the Spotlight” piece about the Lancaster HRC and the Poor People’s Campaign a National Call for Moral Revival 
  • Lancaster HRC leaders went to Pittsburgh with other PPF-PA leaders to support the striking workers at UPMC in Pittsburgh, called out UPMC for closing the Lancaster Hospital and demanded a Public Healthcare Advocate for Pennsylvania. 
  • Matthew attends the Launch of the Mother Jones Leadership Program as one of the PPF-PA 2019 Mother Jones leaders. 

June 2019

  • Lancaster hosted an action/march from the closed St. Joseph’s Hospital to Cedar Lawn Cemetery where hospital nurse and grandmother of Lancaster member was buried. 
  • Anne & Tammy join for Base building at Mission of Mercy Dental Clinic in Wilkes Barre.
  • Robin, Matt & Tammy attended the Poor People’s Campaign Moral Action Congress in DC as part of the PPF-PA led PAPPC delegation (80 people total, 24 from PPF-PA)
  • As a MJLP Leader, Matt attended a 6 week study on the Poor People’s Campaign. 
  • Lancaster HRC leaders attended and made their concerns known during a public meeting arranged by local power holders about the possible rezoning of the UPMC Pinnacle Lancaster site. 

July 2019

  • Lancaster HRC took part in a Grassroots organizing exchange hosted by PPF-PA with the Popular Education Project that brought 30 PPC leaders from nine states to PA.
  • PPF-PA sends four leaders, from Johnstown, Lancaster and Philly to the Summer School of Resistance.
  • Anne & Tammy joined the Philly HRC led action on the closure of Hahnemann hospital in Philly, where the reality of losing hospitals rapidly was brought to light by connecting the potential harm of losing Hahnemann to what is happening to the Lancaster community. 
  • Lancaster spoke to community about poverty in Lancaster during Peace Fest with representative from PA Poor People’s Campaign a National Call for Moral Revival. 
  • Lancaster HRC Leaders met with PA state representative Scott Martin.

August 2019

  • Anne attended the yearly “Healthcare is a Human Right Collaborative” which PPF-PA is a part of, this year it was in Portland Maine
  • The Center for Collaborative Engagement with Franklin and Marshall College awarded PPF-PA and the PA-PPC a grant for research leading to the production of A Lancaster Audit and Moral Budget.
  • Lancaster has joined F&M professor and students in classes on Marxism & Social Justice to help bridge the gap between college students and the community in which they reside in.


  • Statewide week of action: Lancaster HRC took action on Penn Medicine Lancaster General Hospital
  • National Homeless Union Leaders from NC, NY, Mass and CA joined the Lancaster HRC for the Medicaid March then met for a meeting to start a Lancaster Homeless Union to begin the rebuilding of the homeless union movement in Pennsylvania!
  • Held our first meeting of the Moral budget and audit for Lancaster County, and PA PPC.


This content originally appeared in Put People First! PA’s semi-annual newsletter, The Keystone. The Keystone is a great introduction to Put People First! PA, our work, and our community. It’s all written by our members for our own communication and education, and for supporters and new relationships to get to know us better. Each issue features reports from our work, news about our victories, stories about the health care system and the other issues affecting our communities, and poetry and artwork. Check out past and present editions here: Newsletter Archive.

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