|Frank Knapp with Danny Herrera, Media Matters|
Below is a blog about this meeting from the co-founder of the American Sustainable Business Council and Seventh Generation, Jeffrey Hollender:
Today for close to one and a half hours the Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis sat patiently, deeply engaged as she listened to the challenges and opportunities small business faces in a country dominated by the influence of large multinational corporations. These small companies believe in livable wages, health care for all, and reversing the concentration of wealth that threatens to tear our society apart.
Almost 20 of us sat around the table representing the 65,000 companies that are part of the American Sustainable Business Council, businesses that are all committed to a just, equitable and sustainable economy. We joined by no fewer than six representatives of Secretary Solis’s senior staff. As the conversation circled around the table the Secretary made notes, asked questions, recommended opportunities for her staff to follow-up on an idea or seek more information.
The Secretary has personally surmounted many obstacles, perhaps more than anyone else in the room. A four-term congresswoman, she became the first Hispanic woman to serve as a cabinet member. Her mother worked in a toy factory, her father in a battery recycling plant, where he contracted lead poisoning.
The third of seven children, she grew up in a modest home near a giant landfill just east of Los Angeles.
Today’s dialogue helped renew my faith in government. I saw first hand deeply passionate and caring people trying desperately to do the right thing. Sometimes what’s missing from the process is us. Our voices of support embolden their conviction. In a political process dominated by money, lobbyists, and self-serving interest groups the door was open for people who perhaps hadn’t fully realized how essential that are to the process of governance.