Yesterday, a colleague asked me if I had one of those t-shirts with the little fish ganging up on the big fish. That inspired me to dig it out of my drawer and wear it today. Putting on the t-shirt reminded me of when I bought it – 20 years ago this summer, during my first organizing job.
I was working at Michigan Citizens Lobby as a regional organizer and part-time canvasser, working to stop the cost overruns from the Fermi II nuclear plant from getting passed on to consumers and for increased access to health care (yes, we’ve been fighting that particular battle for more than two decades). That summer, I had an opportunity to go to a gathering where I picked up the t-shirt. Dolores Huerta was a featured speaker, and she set me on the course I would follow for a lifetime. When she got us shouting “Si se puede!” there was no doubt it was true!
Now we’ve got a community organizer in the White House, and I still can’t imagine a better career path. After 20 years, I still get excited about working every day to effect change, and I also get to train and support new activists as they get their first taste of the power and thrill that comes from seeing that we really can make a difference. What a joy!