The good Dr. Young—social media superstar! | Bleader

The good Dr. Young—social media superstar!

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Dr. Quentin Young in 2010
  • Dom Najolia/Chicago Sun-Times
  • Dr. Quentin Young in 2010

I finally have a little good news to report from Chicago's left-of-center front.

Mayor Emanuel awoke yesterday from a Scrooge-like nightmare and said, "Holy shit! I'm a Democrat. Why am I acting like Texas senator Ted Cruz?"

Then he promptly called N'Dana Carter and other members of the Mental Health Movement to apologize for closing all those clinics.

Well, we can dream.

In all seriousness, I got a call from the filmmakers of the Quentin Young documentary that I'd written about. They reached their Kickstarter goal, so they can make their movie.

OK, so it's not like Mayor Emanuel returning to his Democratic roots, but it's better than nothing.

"Our goal was to raise $30,000 and we raised 31," says Al Nowakowski, one of the project's three filmmakers. "We had one big $5,000 donor who was the game changer."

Their purpose is to document the life and times of Young, the 89-year-old activist who, among other things, marched with Dr. Martin Luther King, allied himself with Mayor Harold Washington, and has assiduously fought for single-payer health care for several decades.

"The single-payer community really came through," says Nowakowski.

Speaking of which . . .

Last night I was at the budget hearing sponsored by eight members of the City Council's progressive caucus, which is the only budget hearing we have since Mayor Emanuel stopped holding them.

Among the dozens of speakers were several retired city librarians who pointed out that their medical premiums are about to skyrocket thanks to Mayor Emanuel's retiree health care cuts.

Think of it this way. The less money the mayor spends on 80-something-year-old retirees who live on the south side, the more money he has to spend on that DePaul basketball arena and Marriott hotel in the South Loop.

The retired librarians said they'll be looking for help from the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare.

That is—if President Obama can ever get that Obamacare computer system to work.

If nothing else, Nowakowski and his film partners, Cat Jarboe and Jeff Bivens, are hoping their documentary inspires others to join the single-payer fight Young's been waging since the late 40s.

"The passage of ACA has strengthened the single-payer movement," says Nowakowski. "They think of it as step one in the process."

Thanks to all the Reader readers—and there were a lot of you—who helped them make their goal.

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