Every (Working) Woman

(Photo: What a difference–in downgraded hope–two years can make.)

During Election 2006, I had the good fortune to participate in 7 Days @ Minimum Wage, a video diary of working Americans struggling to keep their families afloat on minimum-wage pay.  I interviewed Jessica, a single mom in Chicago.  Her searing answers and barely contained sorrow made her, much to my surprise, the centerpiece of the entire project.

I’ve thought about her lately. I wonder whether if we had spoken during Election 2008, the current economy would have removed even what little hope she expressed back then for her children’s future. Take a look at her interview, below (the second part will break your heart), and decide for yourself whether it’s worth it for the government to make sure we don’t enter a second Depression.

The 7 Days project was co-sponsored by the national offices of the AFL-CIO and (the lately unfairly-maligned) ACORN, from an idea germinated by my D.C.-based fellow social-justice media maven, Sarah Massey.  It’s the interview of Jessica’s life and mine–this guerilla project helped win minimum-wage increases in six states and my work on it unexpectedly catapulted me into a career as a communications strategist.

But watch it for Jessica. Her everywoman story is every bit as legitimate today as it was in 2006.  Sadly.

Jessica’s Story Part One (alternate YouTube link)

Jessica’s Story Part Two (alternate YouTube link)

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