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B'ville man organizes health care forum

Gerald Lotierzo is a passionate individual.

Instead of spending his golden years idly, the retired Liverpool High School counselor is actively involved in three different organizations.

"I retired and couldn't sit around, so I picked things I was passionate about, namely peace and social justice," the Baldwinsville resident said.

He is currently the co-chair of Syracuse Peace Action of CNY, on the board of Citizen's Action and involved with the Syracuse Peace Council. He is also a member of the non-profit group running the Syracuse Center for Peace and Social Justice, which is home to all three organizations, in addition to two others (American Friends Service and Public Power).

"I try to do a lot of things with people who are trying to improve the quality of life in Central New York," he said. "I'm busier now than I have ever been and I am happy."

Lotierzo's latest effort is promoting a Universal Health Care Forum at the Palace Theatre in Eastwood.

"This is a crucial issue. There are so many under or uninsured people, even here in Baldwinsville," he said. "The U.S. is the only country I'm aware of in the western world that doesn't supply Universal Health Care to its citizens."

The event, held from 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday Oct. 2, will feature Professor Erik Kingson, a well-known professor of social work and public policy at Syracuse University, who will deliver a lecture on the issues surrounding Universal Health Care. Afterwards, former investigative reporter Jean Kessner will moderate a candidate's debate about the subject.

"We are asking the candidates for the 25th Congressional District to react and state their view on health care," Lotierzo said. "We need them to tell us how they feel about this issue."

Each candidate will have 10 minutes, then the audience will be given an opportunity to ask questions.

"It is important for people to understand the issues and where the candidates stand on an issue that affects all of us," Lotierzo said.

Following the forum, the vice presidential debate will be televised on the big screen. Parking for the event is available in the back of the theatre building, on the street, and in the Pomco and Bank of America lots.

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