As I get older, I seem to be growing more progressive. Progressive is such a weird term... but I guess in my case, it means I’m more aware about the inequities that surround me and I feel a greater responsibility to help make a difference.
So when I find myself surrounded by other likeminded folks, I feel right at home. So it was last night at the annual LAANE City of Justice Awards. LAANE stands for Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy. The 20-year old organization believes that the best, fairest economy offers good jobs, thriving communities and a healthy environment, according to its website. Its work has lead to the creation of jobs and the cleaning up of the environment. LAANE doesn’t believe these can’t go hand in hand. LAANE isn’t anti-business: it firmly believes that businesses excel when their employees earn a living wage and work in clean, safe environments.
The idea is to affect change by policy development and advocacy, community organizing and communications. Among its victories over the years are the Los Angeles City Living Wage Ordinance, a regulation that provided more than 10,000 workers higher wages and better health care and became a model for similar programs. Its work on the Los Angeles City Construction Careers and Green Jobs Policy will lead to green jobs for thousands of construction workers and, more importantly, will lead to the opportunity for a “middle-class career for at-risk populations,” according to its website.
LAANE believes a strong middle class can be achieved, despite the overwhelming odds. Because of organizations like LAANE, I believe it’s possible too.
Dec. 6: LAANE