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History of CCJ

CCJ was founded in the summer of 1997 as a nonprofit 501(c)4 social welfare organization created to promote economic, racial, social, civil and environmental justice through direct action and issue-oriented campaigns. With a database of over 3,000 individuals and organizations, of which approximately 800 are individual contributing members and nearly 200 are organizational members of our coalition.

In 1997 CCJ established itself as a voice for consumer rights.  During 1998 CCJ added healthcare to its agenda when it collaborated with the Pennsylvania Managed Care Accountability Coalition to seek a state Patients� Bill of Rights.  The Patients Not Profits Coalition was coordinated by CCJ in an attempt to preserve charitable assets and to create community accountable healthcare throughout the demise, bankruptcy and sale of the Allegheny Health System in Southeastern Pennsylvania. The bankruptcy of the Allegheny Health System resulted in the introduction of numerous pieces of legislation designed to preserve charitable assets.  Throughout 1998 CCJ coordinated Pennsylvania�s activity opposing national product liability and auto choice legislation, testified on numerous consumer rights issues, conducted public education on workplace safety issues, fought against attempts to limit class action lawsuits, and opposed the Commonwealth�s ability to force a jury trial in criminal matters.

CCJ launched the Campaign for Social and Health Security in 1999, recruiting nearly 100 new coalition members.  During this year, CCJ became a founding member of the newly formed national progressive organization, USAction, sending staff and board members to its founding convention in Chicago.   

Throughout 2000, CCJ organized successful opposition to the anti-consumer, corporate-fueled Senate Bill 5, The Lawsuit Abuse Reform Act.  In addition, CCJ�s statewide coalition provided expertise on prescription drugs by conducting statewide drug pricing studies; launched, with State Representative Don Walko, drug price reduction legislation similar to what was passed and became law in Maine; and conducted two successful and highly publicized �Rx Express� bus trips to Canada that saved those who took the ride over $131,000 on their prescription medications and kept the issue of the high cost of prescription drugs in the ../media and solidly in front of elected officials.  Finally during 2000, CCJ led a powerful coalition of labor unions, trial lawyers, senior citizens, and consumer groups in promoting the Pennsylvania Safety and Justice Act sponsored by Senator Allen Kukovich which contained protections for consumers and whistle blowers.

During 2001, the Campaign for Social and Health Security grew to 200 diverse organizations, and CCJ led Pennsylvania�s opposition to John Ashcroft�s nomination for Attorney General.  We also led the opposition to the Bush Tax Cut in our state.  As a natural extension of the Campaign for Social and Health Security, our coalition added safe medicine and patient safety as critical issues by focusing on doctor disclosure, staffing levels, equipment safety, and maintaining access to the courts for consumers who have been injured by medical mistakes.

Early in 2002, CCJ launched the Campaign to Build Pennsylvania Public Transportation.  This campaign is opening up new doors to our coalition building efforts in the state.  In addition to the aforementioned campaigns, we are also starting new initiatives around corporate accountability, including campaign finance reform, and democracy in the media. 


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