I grew up on Carol Lynn Drive in a small town called Little Chute. We weren’t poor – but we weren’t rich, either. My dad, a Lutheran pastor, wore a white collar. So many others on our block wore the blue collar and were able to make a decent living at the nearby paper factories and mills.
As America shipped jobs overseas thanks to free trade agreements like NAFTA, and political leaders put corporations and Wall Street in the driver’s seat of our economy, I saw these same families struggle and their dreams dim. I learned two lessons growing up. The importance of serving your neighbor and the importance of working families and how they need an advocate; someone to stand up for them against the big moneyed interests. We saw it in mega-corporations like International Paper that busted unions and profited handsomely from the sweat and tears of my neighbors.
But their hardships were no accident: The U.S. Senate is now made up of two-thirds millionaires like Ron Johnson who totally ignore workers and instead answer to the command of corporate special interests and billionaire donors.