State activists joined national allies and funders at the Ford Foundation December 4 to celebrate nine years of successes by Family Values @ Work. We learned from FV@W director Ellen Bravo and policy experts such as Rep. Raul Grijalva (AZ), Maya Wiley from the Center for Social Inclusion, former Obama staffer Patrick Gaspard, economist Heather Boushey, and labor leader Ed Ott. The speakers agreed with Maya Wiley that “this is the moment” to demand accountability from corporations and from elected officials, and to make sure that gains reach all workers.
They made us think – and they made us laugh.
Leaders from our state campaigns shared lessons from the field. Roxana Tynan described the first of the next string of wins, this one by hotel workers in Long Beach, California who won living wages and paid sick days in a ballot initiative – the result of a long-time partnership between labor and community groups. The local paper named hotel workers top of the list of the most powerful people in the city.
Other speakers included New York City Central Labor Council Political Director Marco Carrión; Andrea Paluso from Portland, OR; Deborah Dion from Miami-Dade and Stephanie Porta from Orlando. Their work reflects the results of strong worker activism, holding politicians accountable, engaging key voters, and exposing dark money.
Communications experts from Creative Activism and Topos Partnership expanded our skills.
We left energized, determined and eager to move forward, together.
Top two photos by Hallie Easley, bottom photo by Wendy Chun-Hoon