This article was originally published for The Retiree Advocate at psara.org in July 2016.
Forty-four years ago I was a poor recent college graduate and antiwar activist. I moved from Chicago to Seattle to work on my brother Jim’s campaign for governor. He was opposed to the Vietnam War, and he was fighting for universal health care, mass transit, and a more just world. He ran hard but lost. For the next 44 years, Jim and I continued to fight for economic, racial and social justice, peace, and much more. Brother Jim chose the path of serving in elected office; my path was as a lifelong labor and community activist and appointed official for three governors and four Seattle mayors. Continue reading “Two Profiles in Courage”
This article was originally published for The Retiree Advocate at psara.org in April 2016.
My post-retirement career has taken me around the state and country speaking to a wide range of organizations. My consistent themes have been finding common ground across our differences as we work toward a country with greater economic, racial, and social justice. Continue reading “Finding Common Ground Across Our Differences”
This article was originally published for The Retiree Advocate at psara.org in March 2016.
I wish I could have a face-to-face, one-on-one conversation about the 2016 elections with each of you. I can’t, so I will try through this article. Continue reading “Putting Our Time and Money Where Our Hearts Are in the 2016 Elections”
This article was originally published for The Retiree Advocate at psara.org in February 2016.
Last November, my wife and I spent almost a month in Egypt and Ethiopia. It was a trip of a lifetime experiencing the history of 3,000 years of rule of the Pharaohs and the modern day struggles for democracy and freedom against the modern day Pharaohs. Continue reading “Finding Inspiration and Courage in Egypt”
This article was originally published for The Retiree Advocate at psara.org in October 2015.
PSARA will premiere our new workshop “Making Retirement Security Real for Everyone” on Friday, October 30, from 10 a.m. to noon at Washington State Labor Council, 321 16th Ave. S., Seattle. Led by PSARA Education Committee Chair, Mark McDermott, the workshop will educate and inspire participants to fight for a more secure retirement for all people and generations. Continue reading “Making Retirement Security Real for Everyone”
This article was originally published for The Retiree Advocate at psara.org on May 3, 2012.
We live in difficult times. For more than three decades, working people, seniors, the poor, the young, people of color, women, immigrants and people with disabilities have faced growing threats to our economic well-being and security. Our nation is one of the wealthiest countries in the world and yet tens of millions of us live in poverty, face hunger, fear the loss of our homes or homelessness, worry about affordable quality health care, and hope that our children and grandchildren will receive a quality education. Growing old brings new fears of economic hard times even though we and our ancestors worked for generations to build the great fortunes of our great and wealthy nation. Why? Continue reading “Learning from the past to build a brighter future”
This article was originally published for The Retiree Advocate at psara.org in August 2015.
Many of you might assume the confederate flag has been flying over the South Carolina capitol since the end of Reconstruction in the 1870’s. Here is the real story and its broader context. Continue reading “Let’s Stop the Lying about the Confederate Battle Flag in South Carolina”
This article was originally published for The Retiree Advocate at psara.org in November 2014.
For years, I have been arguing that our state’s progressive movements need to create a permanent alliance to move forward decisively. Equally important is learning from movements in other states. Our consistent failures on tax reform make this point. Continue reading “I Found $3.5 Billion for the People: We Need a Permanent Alliance to Get It”
This article was originally published for The Retiree Advocate at psara.org in September 2017.
In September, my wife, Diane, and I traveled to North Carolina to meet with leaders of the “Moral Monday Movement.” We met with Rev. Curtis Gatewood of the state’s NAACP, James Andrew, President of the state AFL-CIO, and Rev. George Reed and Aleta Payne, two top leaders of the North Carolina Council of Churches. We wanted to learn about their broad movement that brought upwards of 80,000 to the steps of their state Capitol in February, the largest progressive rally in the South since 1965. They were demanding economic justice; labor rights; education equality; health care for all; environmental justice; equal protection under the law without regard to race, creed, class, gender, sexual orientation or immigration status; expansion of voting rights; and more. Why the mass organizing? Continue reading “North Carolina’s Forward Together Moral Monday Movement – “We Are a Movement, Not a Moment””
This article was originally published for The Retiree Advocate at psara.org on September 2017.
In May and June, PSARA’s Education Committee sponsored two labor/community workshops that brought together leaders from 35 labor and community-based organizations. We discussed our common ground of discontent and our shared values and vision for a better future. We also began to reflect on how our many organizations and movements might work together in more long-term strategic ways and present our shared vision and values more effectively in our many diverse communities. Continue reading “Building the Road to a Better Future”