Yesterday, I had the opportunity to head to New York where Occupy Wall Street is now entering its third week. I had just flown into New York City from Minneapolis and was coming off the enthusiasm and passion of 800 young workers at the AFL-CIO Next Up Summit. Young workers at the Summit issued a statement of support for Occupy Wall Street, and I had to see and experience the movement first-hand.
I spoke to several students from Rutgers University about why they were participating in the movement. They were concerned about the imbalance in the economy and the runaway greed they’re seeing in the financial economy. While the anger and frustration is what’s rightly getting the attention, we also talked about the importance of focusing on solutions. And when we start talking about that, it was clear there are real policy changes that can put power back in the hands of the 99 percent – things like the financial speculation tax that would help pay for the creation of jobs, the Buffet rule and holding banks accountable for corrupt foreclosure practices.
I was inspired by what I saw — people of all stripes are expressing their anger and frustration at the lack of attention paid to “the other 99 percent.”
It’s so exciting to watch a new generation mobilize an organic movement for social justice — it gives me tremendous hope and optimism that we can get our country back on track now and for the future.