It’s about to happen. On Monday, October 23, the national video blog I was invited to work on for ACORN and AFL-CIO goes live on the Net. And as my life has been going for the past few months, since last Monday I’m in deeper still.
I started out doing media work for the project. Then late last week I was asked to help find and interview the workers (I was lucky to find Jessica and Erin). The subject of one of those interviews, Jessica, told a tale of life on minimum wage so emotionally stark and, frankly, devastating, that her interview has become the centerpiece of the project, and will be shown in its 13-minute entirety on Thursday evening, October 26.
It was the first time in my life I ever used a video camera, much less interviewed somebody with one. I have every belief that God had a hand in the result. Jessica and her four children make it through life on fumes, not money. Her perseverance, her courage, and her tears, all portrayed in the video, will bring you to weep for a country that allows anyone to live like this.
Jessica is not alone in her plight. Beginning Monday at sevendaysatminimumwage.org, these are the people you’ll meet:
Susan Windham and Paul Greg Valdez (construction laborers in Denver)
Erin (a supermarket worker in Northern Indiana)
Jeffrey Edwards (a fast-food worker in Denver)
Jessica (a clerical worker in Chicago)
Chris Peters (a day-laborer in Denver)
Amanda Stewart (a fast-food worker in Cleveland)
Mallory McCarty (a retail clerk in Cleveland)
The interviews are being hosted by ACORN-supporter Roseanne Barr (and from what I hear she did a spectacular job), and we’re further blessed to be able to host a chat with Nickel and Dimed-author Barbara Ehrenreich, scheduled for Sunday, October 29, from 11 a.m. to Noon EST.
This is truly the most just effort I have ever had the good fortune to be involved in. In three short weeks, I am changed, truly. I invite you all to come and watch the seven days of “7 Days…” and find out why.
Jessica and Erin, thank you for saying yes.
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For more information…
You can also view the project on YouTube.
Browse the AFL-CIO “7 Days…” press release here.
Browse the ACORN press release here.
Or simply visit your nearest Wal-Mart, diner, or day-laborer staging area…and ask someone who works there about their life.
Just be prepared for their answer.
Michael Thaddeus Doyle
I'm a NYC-native, Latino, Jew-by-choice, hardcore WDW fan in Chicago with an Irish last name. I believe in social justice, big cities, and public transit. I do nonprofit development. I've written this blog since 2005. Believe in the world you want to live in.