When I was a kid, the name Sidney Hillman was like magic in my home. As a three-generation labor family, Hillman -- the head of the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America during its most innovative era -- was an icon.
This poor garment-cutter-from-Lithuania-turned-labor-innovator inspired me to create the Freelancers Union and still influences the choices the organization makes today.
I’ve been thinking a lot recently about Hillman and the other men and women in my life who helped shape the person I am. The people who inspired me to follow my passions. The people who helped shape my values.
We all have these people who made a difference for us -- even if they don’t know it yet. Maybe it was your high school English teacher. Or an old boss or mentor. Or a neighbor who was the first person to tell you how much they loved your sketches.
This week, I hope you join me by sharing -- and thanking -- the person who inspired you.
Share on Twitter or Facebook using #ThanksForTheSpark so we can all celebrate the people who helped shape our lives. If you can, @mention the person in your post.
For me, Sidney Hillman was one of those people. He showed us what could happen if workers were empowered to come together to build institutions that served their needs, like housing, insurance companies, banks, etc.
He’s one of my all-time heroes. My grandmother was a garment worker and actually lived in Amalgamated housing.
In many ways, the idea of New Mutualism can be traced back to Hillman.
So, I’ll say simply:
#ThanksForTheSpark Sidney Hillman, one of the most important voices in labor history, inspired me. Who inspires you? http://t.co/qrxsyrqaoX
— Sara Horowitz (@Sara_Horowitz) August 12, 2014