By David Ayala of Portland, Oregon. David describes himself as "a father and union organizer from El Salvador working with janitors in Portland."
In the ongoing fight for social and economic justice, sometimes you can lose perspective on how very different the lives of members of our community can be. With election gossip, the necessary evils of paperwork and everything else, I make sure to remind myself daily that we believe what we believe and do what we do because it is right and it needs to be done.
Sometimes, I remind myself that the janitors struggling to join our union, like me, fled civil war and dire poverty to come to our country to barely make ends meet while those with the power to do something hurl money at George W. Bush and Rick Santorum and ignore the people that keep their businesses running. In our city's living room, the growing rich-poor gap that we read and talk about is there -- and is usually much more dramatic than the numbers alone.
Recently, a group of downtown janitors decided to make sure that the broader community understood this situation and did not lose this valuable perspective. Working with some volunteers, they put together the 1 Building, 2 Lives video below. It takes a necessary and important look at the harsh reality of the lives of low-wage workers in our city, and the purported "civic leaders" that allow this to continue.
Take a look for yourself and let us know what you think. And stay on the lookout for more online updates about this campaign in the coming months.
Si se puede!