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June 23, 2006

Drum Major For Justice Awards

The Drum Major Institute honored Kos last night at their Annual Benefit. The other two recipients of the DMI's Drum Major For Justice Award were Anna Burger the Secretary Treasurer of the SEIU and arguably the most powerful American woman in labor today, and jazz trumpeter Wynton Maralis.

The theme of Berger's acceptance speech was "The Line Never Stops", a reference to the meat-cutters who risk life and limb to flip 400-pound hogs in non-union plants. These workers have no medical care and no job security, a double-whammy because they get hurt on the job so often. Burger said a lot of working Americans feel as if the line never stops for them, either. They keep working harder for less money and fewer benefits. Many are beginning to despair at ever getting out of debt in their lifetimes. A significant percentage of working parents no longer believe that their children will have a better life than they do. Burger urged to progressive movement to get serious about reclaiming the American dream for the average American.

Wynton Marsalis talked about his childhood in New Orleans and lectured the audience about the evils of partisanship. He drew parallels between racial bigotry and political partisanship, but the analogy seemed strained. Surprisingly, Marsalis scarcely mentioned his music at all.

Kos's acceptance speech was about how lucky he was to take credit for the work of so many talented people: DailyKos diarists, readers, the volunteers who organized YearlyKos, etc. The great thing about the netroots, Markos argued, is that anyone can take a leadership role if they have the drive and the initiative to do so. Markos also stressed that blogs were only a small part of the larger progressive movement. He called on labor to reach constituencies that he could never hope to reach through DailyKos.

In this photo, former progressive mayoral candidate Freddie Ferrer congratulates Kos on his award.


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Blogistan should begin live radio type real time pod casting or whatever it is called... both to compete with right wing rubbish radio and to give people who have to work the ability to listen in the "background" to some progressives and their ideas.

Blogistan requires lots of reading and then posting and this is fine for some, but we can use the net to reach more people more of the time... And bloggers could "read" their little bits and they could be short pieces strung together and looped for people to listen to.

Time for some change.

Hey, I have a political progressive blog too, can I have this award next time?

Seriously, what has Kos ever done for justice? Apart from serving in the army of the country that fucked up El Salvador?

If Kos helps Lamont beat Lieberman in the CT Senate primary, he'll do a lot for justice.

More importantly, Kos deserves credit for creating the YearlyKos community, which has been an incubator for a lot of progressive voices. I don't like Kos's politics very much, but I think he's helped transform media and political organizing in the U.S. for the better.

Hey, a minor correction. Anna Burger is definitely one of the most powerful women in organized Labor today, and very high up in the leadership of the SEIU. But the top-ranking official there is Andrew Stern, the President of the union. Burger is the Secretary-Treasurer.

She's also the Chair of Change to Win, a labor federation of about 4 or 5 different unions, including the United Farm Workers and the Teamsters.


Thanks, MoXmas, I'll fix that.

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