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Labor & Economy

LAANE’s Madeline Janis Appears on “Moyers & Company”

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On the most recent Moyers and Company, Bill Moyers turned his attention to the ways underdog communities have organized themselves to win economic victories – in often hostile political environments. Moyers first spoke with Marshall Ganz, the veteran civil rights and United Farm Workers organizer; he then interviewed Madeline Janis, co-founder of the Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy, and affordable-housing activist Rachel LaForest.

Ganz, a professor at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, based his organizing techniques on the moral teachings of his father, who was a rabbi, and on the need to transfer personal narratives onto organizing campaigns. Janis and LaForest have combined traditional organizing techniques with the practical need to adapt to fluid local situations.

As Janis told Moyers:

“You have a struggling housekeeper in a hotel who cleans 25 rooms in a day and barely puts food on the table. The idea of her being able to fight for better working conditions — a union in her hotel, a living wage — that’s going to move her a lot more than just the theory of being able to have a voice in her democracy.”

See the clip above for Moyers’ interview with Janis and LaForest, or watch the entire program here.

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