CANTON, Mass., Aug. 7, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — The Massachusetts Nurses Association Board of Directors – elected nurses and healthcare professionals representing the largest union and professional association of registered nurses and healthcare professionals in the Commonwealth – has endorsed Rev. Vernon Walker for Cambridge City Council.
“MNA nurses and healthcare professionals are proud to endorse our longtime friend and supporter Rev. Vernon Walker for Cambridge City Council,” said Katie Murphy, a practicing ICU nurse and president of the Massachusetts Nurses Association. “Rev. Walker has stood beside nurses countless times, lending his strong voice and empathy in our fight to fix our broken healthcare system, improve patient care quality, and bring nurses back to the bedside.
“Cambridge will benefit greatly from a City Councilor like Rev. Walker who understands his constituents and will work with them to address critical issues like climate change, the housing crisis, inclusion in society and government, and the creation of a sustainable future for all residents,” Murphy said.
Rev. Walker has been an ally of MNA nurses and healthcare professionals for many years, including serving as a prominent supporter of the safe patient limits ballot campaign in 2018. He was among several Boston-area faith leaders who rallied with nurses outside the Cathedral Church of St. Paul that year with the goal of ensuring every hospital patient received safe, quality care.
Since its founding in 1903, the MNA has been the most powerful and effective voice on nursing and healthcare in the Commonwealth. The MNA created the Nurse Practice Act, the RN license designation, developed a uniform curriculum for the education of nurses, wrote the first code of ethics for nurses and passed, or helped to pass, nearly every state law governing nursing practice including the law allowing nurses to unionize in Massachusetts.
Today, the MNA represents more than 24,000 nurses and healthcare professionals working in 85 health care facilities, including 51 acute care hospitals, as well as a growing number of nurses and health professionals working in schools, visiting nurse associations, public health departments and state agencies.
“I am proud to be endorsed by the MNA! MNA is the largest union and professional association of registered nurses and health professionals in the state,” Rev. Walker said. “Historically, I have joined with the MNA in their fight for safe patient limits and added workplace safety measures for nurses. I am elated about the possibility of standing in solidarity with the MNA as a Cambridge City Councilor.”
Rev. Walker is a dedicated advocate for change with a diverse and impactful academic journey. While earning his bachelor’s degree in organizational leadership from Penn State University, he served as an associate pastor overseeing social justice at the Berachah Church for several years while a graduate student at Boston University. There, he focused on theology, macro social work, and community engagement and earned a master in Theological Studies, which eventually led him to the environmental movement. Along the way, he also took the opportunity to cross-register for courses at Harvard Divinity School, solidifying his commitment to his cause.
Currently, as a graduate student at Tufts University, Vernon is working towards a master’s degree in public policy with a specialization in environmental justice. Since becoming a resident of Cambridge in 2020, Vernon has wholeheartedly immersed himself in local issues, actively participating in rallies to protect mature trees and advocating for a Green New Deal in the city.
His dedication to addressing the inseparable connection between climate justice and racial justice is evident through his impactful speeches at gatherings organized by Cambridge Heart. Understanding the power of collaboration, Vernon sees joint efforts of groups striving for racial justice and environmental justice as a potent force to effectively address both critical issues.
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Founded in 1903, the Massachusetts Nurses Association is the largest union of registered nurses in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Its 23,000 members advance the nursing profession by fostering high standards of nursing practice, promoting the economic and general welfare of nurses in the workplace, projecting a positive and realistic view of nursing, and by lobbying the Legislature and regulatory agencies on health care issues affecting nurses and the public.
SOURCE Massachusetts Nurses Association