On Juneteenth — and fighting for real change

June 12, 2008 | Aaron Keating

Wednesday’s column in the Everett Herald, by Marilyn Watkins (Policy Director, EOI) on the meaning of Juneteenth is a hopeful – and compelling – reminder that overcoming interests entrenched against America’s promise of freedom and opportunity means fighting to win:

universal health coverage, paid family leave, high quality preschool, and better access to higher education and job training. Then, indeed, every child might grow up believing they have a shot at pursuing their dreams.

We may get real accountability and competent administration in the federal government, rather than profiteering by political cronies. We may win strict regulation of vehicle fuel consumption and renewed investment in conservation and alternative energy, to really make a dent in global warming. We may even get a foreign policy that leads to peace and security, rather than creating ever more enemies.

None of these changes will come about through consensus. They will require passing tough new laws and pursuing new policies that vested interests will fight.

Some commentators will counsel you not to expect too much of a new administration of either party. But I say, let’s prepare to win the fights ahead by grasping the hope of this moment. We need belief that a better future is possible in order to let go of the past and risk leaping ahead. This year, let’s all celebrate Juneteenth.

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Posted in Early Learning, Education, Minimum Wage, Paid Sick Days, Work & Family

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