Jul 28, 2011 | By Page May
The month of August is going to be a bit quiet here at the NETWORK office. Many are going on much-deserved vacations and I myself am moving to Chicago. I can’t say enough about the wonderful staff who work at NETWORK and the importance of their work. The Mind the Gap! campaign has been one of my favorite projects to have ever worked on, and I am quite sad to leave!
I was lucky enough to be placed with NETWORK through the Congressional Hunger Center as an Emerson Hunger Fellow. Many of my friends and family were surprised that I was “leaving my field" of hunger and environment to study the wealth gap. But from my perspective, it's all connected.
The way I see it, wealth inequality is one of those topics that really gets to the heart of what’s wrong with the world. What I have attempted to explore and share with the Mind the Gap! campaign is that:
#1 Wealth begets more wealth
#2 Wealth is power
#3 The wealth gap is a power gap
#4 Any relationship in a society- consumer, producer, supplier, employer, family, neighbor, citizen, representative, etc- involves power. And that problems arise when there is an imbalance of power in these relationships.
Considering how large of an issue wealth inequality is, it is certainly overwhelming trying to redress it. In fact, some of the very reasons we want to end the wealth gap (concentrated power and influence) is exactly what makes it so difficult to challenge!
To avoid feelings of depression and defeat, I attempt to identify entry points- specific issues that will not only put a dent in the wealth gap, but eliminate its main artillery. Some of these entry points include racism, criminal (in)justice, the budget and tax policy, campaign financing, union busting, minimum wage, healthcare, education systems, gentrification, predatory lending, corporate power, the financialization of capital, credit and debt, immigration policy and xenophobia, and free trade agreements. I encourage others to become activists in one or more of these issues as a means to reduce the wealth gap. And remember the fact that we are all fighting for justice!
So while my time at NETWORK is ending, I will continue the work of Mind the Gap!...just in a different place and under a different name. You may see a few blog posts of mine appearing here from time to time, and permanent staff will be carrying on the campaign.
Please continue sending in your comments, questions, and donations!
“True compassion is more than flinging a coin to a beggar; it is not haphazard and superficial. It comes to see that an edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring.”
-Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.