If we can't reform our system, we at least need to communicate to baby boomers that they need to stay at their decently-paying jobs at least another decade, rather than "retiring" and ending up taking part-time, benefit-less minimum-wage jobs to try to make ends meet.
As minority candidates, the path each one of us walked was particularly tough. Few thought that the Gang of Four, also known as the Harlem Clubhouse, were up to the job. But we overcame great prejudice and paved the road to politics in which race was less a factor than talent.
In spite of these strides, millions of female workers are getting the squeeze in today's economy. Even as women break the glass ceiling in business and politics, they still earn on average, 77 cents to every dollar earned by men -- and unions are a big part of the solution.
As someone who believes all social justice issues are interrelated, here was a chance to take a stand in defense of families being torn apart by an immigration system that flies in the face of our nation's immigrant history, and the bedrock American value of justice for all.
It's a busy time for APSCU, the trade association of America's for-profit colleges. The group spends its time trying to block reasonable measures to hold the worst actors in its industry responsible for their systematic abuses of students and taxpayers.
For many years the American Right -- and many of the most powerful elements of corporate and Wall Street elite -- have conducted a war on public employees. It's time for Progressives -- and Americans of all stripes -- to wake up and smell the coffee.
This week I visited the National Mall and walked into a tent with a sign that said "Day 9 of Fasting." Inside sat a group of advocates who have been fasting to draw attention to the impact of our broken immigration system. Sometimes the quietest acts of protest can be the most powerful.
Like the Tea Party, BART workers have the strong support of barely one-quarter of the population. Yet, there is little doubt that those that support the goals and tactics of the BART unions particularly revile the Tea Party, and would be loath to acknowledge those things that they have in common.
Fast food workers are drowning in economic hardship, trying to live on $7.25 per hour, and in some case a bit more. These workers are mainly women, with 25% being parents who can barely make ends meet on an average pay of less than $11,200 per year while working in a $200 billion industry.
What started out last fall as a one-day walkout at fast-food restaurants to protest poverty-level wages and stand up for basic human dignity has transformed into a movement that has captured the public interest.
These are hard-working folks, often with two jobs, who simply can't survive on what they are paid. Think about it. Work 50 hours at $8 bucks an hour, and your weekly pre-tax income is $400, or about $20,000 annually. Raise a family of four on that.
In California and nationwide, our youngest citizens' futures must be at the top of our agenda. This is not the time to be timid, or deal with it in K-12 proposals and politicking. Later is too late; the research keeps mounting about where we need to put our money and why.