On the other end of the political spectrum from all of the foolishness in D.C. is a groundswell of terrific, on-the-ground activism and organizing work taking place across the country in just about every state, with tangible results.
Yesterday, homeowners who have been royally screwed over by big Wall Street banks risked not only arrest but worse in demonstrations at the Department of Justice demanding that they start prosecuting bankers rather than the people ripped off by them.
Without the persistent effort of Fred Ross, the names Cesar Chavez, Delores Huerta and Gilbert Padilla would be lost in the 100-year turmoil to improve the lives of those who grow the food we daily consume at out tables.
Many Americans know that Barack Obama spent three years as a community organizer in Chicago, but hardly any Americans know about Fred Ross Sr., perhaps the most influential community organizer in American history.
What America needs now is not a new guest worker program but genuine immigration reform. Most Americans who aren't wealthy don't ask "guests" into their homes to do work on an almost permanent basis. Likewise, let's be honest about the term "temporary" worker.
Today, the places where Cesar Chavez lived and worked have become a national monument to the immense significance of his life and the wonderful example of an existence devoted to do as much good for the rest of humanity as possible.
When President Obama travels to Keene, California on Monday, October 8th, to establish the César E. Chávez National Monument, I hope he publicly recalls the Arizona native's towering legacy in civil rights and immigration showdowns in Arizona today.