by boshea, Tue Jan 15, 2008 at 09:28:23 AM EST
Let me set the stage for you all. I'm a recent graduate of an applied politics master's program, a program designed to train future political orginizers, campaign managers, fundraisers, etc.
Following graduation, I became distressed with the real absense of decent paying work for entry to mid-level political professionals. Far too mant of these jobs are the political "McJobs" (poltiical equivilent of working at McDonald's) that have beed decried by a few prominant bloggers as being truly against the principles that we as progressives are advocating. Even if they pay canvassers 10 to 12 bucks an hour, that's still a far cry from the $30,000 a year a family really needs to make ends meet, especially for these young workers who'll soon be paying off student loans.
I think this is a very urgest crisis in our movement. The absense of well paying jobs with decent benefits with progressive groups. This is what will lead well-education individuals who want to go into campaigning and orginizing to instead move to the private sector and get stuck at desk jobs when they could be out with us, changing the coutry.
What is worse, is many of the perpetrators are groups that we love and respect: Working America (AFL-CIO), Clean Water Action, organizing groups like Grassroots Campaigns and Grassroots Solutions. These groups are exploiting young progressives in my opinion with wages that are decent at 24,000 a year, but insufficient if these young progressives have children or student loans to pay.
I'd love to hear input from the community on this. It is an omportant issue for the progressive movement, we need these kind of jobs to provide a farm team of sorts. To get rid of the Mark Penn's of the world and replace them witha more optimistic and progressive alternative.
Anyway, thatnks for your thoughts, whoever reads this.