50 Years After the March on Washington, Labor Still Leading MLK’s Dream

As we approach the 50th anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington, we must ask ourselves, how far have we come? We have worked hard and achieved some important victories, but the honest answer is: not far enough.

Racial inequality persists, and yet across the nation voting rights are under attack. Income inequality is on the rise, and yet state and national government balk. It is a frustrating time to be a progressive.We feel the spirit of Martin Luther King watching with disappointment.

Then again, progressive sentiments are growing.We have made huge strides toward marriage equality.Popular opinion favors comprehensive immigration reform.Young people and people of color form increasingly powerful, progressive voting blocks.

On a local level we are poised to make great positive change.The Labor Movement has advanced the political careers of many women and people of color, and we have won major battles in the struggle for good jobs, like the campaign to raise the minimum wage in San Jose. Our strength and our momentum are growing.

Despite our mixed record over the last 50 years, I feel hopeful about our prospects, especially at the local level. I sense that other progressives feel the same way, which is good, because there is a lot of work to do.