#ThanksfortheSpark: The real force behind the New Deal

Aug 15, 2014

We all want to make positive change in our communities -- and as we’ve seen, thousands of freelancers across the country are making change happen.

But I often wonder where these quiet revolutionaries got their spark. What made them want to bear this burden and change their communities for the better? Was it a friend? A story? An early experience?

One of the earliest influences I can remember was Frances Perkins -- the first female cabinet secretary under FDR.

Who inspired you to follow your passion or helped shape your values? This week, let them know on Twitter or Facebook using #ThanksForTheSpark.

In 1911, after bearing witness to the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire -- one of the worst industrial disasters in American history -- Perkins formed the New York City Committee on Public Safety to help get workers shorter work-weeks and other protections.

But this was only the beginning. She also served as Secretary of Labor from 1933 to 1945 under President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

She helped bring the labor movement into the New Deal and was the force behind the Social Security Act (unemployment benefits and pensions), and the Fair Labor Standards Act (minimum wage, overtime laws, and the 40-hour work week), among other employment initiatives.

She was the quintessential social entrepreneur. She could turn big ideas into policy, turn policy into legislation, and then get the votes to get things passed.

Frances, #ThanksForTheSpark and for inspiring me in so many different ways.

Sara Horowitz

As the founder of Freelancers Union, Sara has been a voice for freelancers for over two decades.