How People Power Generates Change

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Moyers & Company

How People Power Generates Change

Activists Marshall Ganz, Rachel LaForest and Madeline Janis share how organized people can successfully fight organized money.

With our democracy threatened by plutocrats and the politicians in their pockets more than ever, the antidote to organized money is organized people. It takes time and effort, but across the country, grass roots democracy is growing. Individuals are banding together, organizing toward common goals and demanding change – and often delivering it. Bill sits with three organizers leading the way.

Marshall Ganz is a social movement legend who dropped out of Harvard to become a volunteer during Mississippi’s Freedom Summer of 1964. He then joined forces with Cesar Chavez of the United Farmworkers, protecting workers who picked crops for pennies in California’s fields and orchards. Ganz also had a pivotal role organizing students and volunteers for Barack Obama’s historic 2008 presidential campaign. Now 70, he’s still organizing across the United States and the Middle East, and back at Harvard, teaching students from around the world about what it takes to beat Goliath.

Later on the broadcast, economic equality advocates Rachel LaForest, executive director of Right to the City, and Madeline Janis, co-founder and national policy director of Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy, discuss with Bill how social action can change both policy and lives. Janis led the fight for a living wage in Los Angeles; LaForest fights for fair and affordable housing across the country.