Normally hospital staff is tickled pink when a wealthy benefactor agrees to donate money to build a new wing or pay for upgrades at the hospital. That wasn’t the case, however, at New York-Presbyterian Hospital this past weekend, as members of the New York State Nurses’ Association, the NAACP New York State Conference and SEIU Local 1199 marched to protest the construction of the new David H. Koch Center at the top-ranked hospital — all because the benefactor is one of the nation’s most notorious conservative political donors.
Saturday’s rally was timed in part with International Women’s Day, as the event’s organizers claim that the Kochs — who are the primary benefactors of Generation Opportunity and Americans for Prosperity among others — are the primary funders of the “war on women’s reproductive rights” and behind “the effort to defeat and repeal healthcare to all Americans.”
Even the local city council representative, Ben Kallos, was on hand bashing the job-creating project in his district.
Other protestors tweeted various scenes of the protest, including one picket line set up outside Koch’s Park Avenue Apartment.
The protest comes just days after news broke that former President Bill Clinton accepted a $225,000 honorarium to speak at the nonprofit Washington Hospital Center in 2012 — just as the hospital was going through two big rounds of staff layoffs.
“No disrespect to Bill Clinton, but that money could’ve gone a long way and been put to better use,” Dan Fields Jr., president of the SEIU Local 722 representing hospital workers at the D.C.-based hospital, told The Washington Times. “Our contract expires on June 30, and I’m pretty sure they’re going to come to the table and talk about how they’re losing money, so this concerns me greatly.”