The Journal of History     Fall 2003     TABLE OF CONTENTS


An Open Letter to Kaiser, an HMO in California

At that specific Kaiser Facility in Vallejo, they never realized that I went to the FIRST PILOT PROGRAM for AFL-CIO strategic research training. Kate Bronfenbrenner was our instructor.

As we graduated and had our ceremony........Kate's speech stuck in my mind; she was hoping we would set NEW standards, " THE END DOES NOT JUSTIFY THE MEANS."

Unfortunately, where I was hired has NEVER heard of this concept, and I failed to get their understanding. It was too radical; that's the problem with this type of program and being a "first." It takes years and sometimes lifetimes to change the concepts that others hold as "business and labor unions as usual."

The failure has been our stewards and managers and a strong alliance that is NOT in employee interests. Unfortunately, in SOME ways there were people in higher corporate with whom I matched more closely.

It will be interesting to see what happens. Instead of leading the way to a strong business ethic and TEACHING others to do it differently, how to see and hold and DELIVER a vision, it was like trying to educate a porno bar on how to be sensitive to others.

I am afraid my voice reached a high decibel level on several occasions, when my car was stolen, when I listened to hurtful and painful things said about others, and when I was bargaining for fairness to others. The wall of frustration on the value of a human being was just too high. I met my Waterloo with that department and that facility. I haven't made a judgment yet on the whole system.

Corruption is NOT my idea of a good business or a good time, and I saw too much at EVERY level there. It thoroughly burned me out. They were mad that I questioned their "excellence" and their "truthfulness." Both needed to be severely questioned. Any business that thinks it has obtained either and needs no further work is on it's way down.

It was the WORST business practices or health system I have EVER seen in my whole life. I am sorry, but I don't give BLIND LOYALTY to THAT. Want to make it better, "fine." Don't want to make it better, "fine."

If you WANT loyalty you have to give it. I saw no "giving" at any time there. I saw a lot of taking, taking life for granted, abuse of employees, abuse of laws. No, I am sorry, but that's NOT who I am or want to be.

My "heroes" are Kate Bronfenbrenner, Tom Jurvich, Congresswoman McKinney, Arlene Johnson, Vickie Travis, Dr. Patricia Doyle, B. Cayenne Bird, Wendy Ghannam.

Those are my standards and my heroes. People who have been hurt, people who try to make it better for others, people who STAND UP, "and, no, I won't sit down and shut up." (C. McKinney.)

Astraea Kelly


The Journal of History - Fall 2003 Copyright © 2003 by News Source, Inc.