Lacy MacAuley


a home for my pen, projects, and passions

A letter to an unemployed activist: Occupy.

I got a letter today from a young unemployed activist, a recent college graduate from New Jersey. He wrote to my office address, looking for a job at the nonprofit organization I work for, the Institute for Policy Studies. We’ll call him Brian.

Brian writes:

I don’t know if I have stood out in any petitions or other forms of advocacy you have promoted, but I am an avid supporter of all of the work you perform. I haven’t found a welcoming place within our grandiose job market to grant me a livable wage or compensation package since my time, effort, and student loans spent receiving my Bachelor’s Degree in 2009. Because of this, I was inquiring about any possible employment opportunities and/or assistance needed with anything you guys have in the works. 

Brian has spent a little while canvassing for a local environmental organization. Disenchanted by the idea of going to work for a “major banker,” he’s looking for a job with a livable wage somewhere in the progressive movement.

I wrote Brian back:

Dear Brian,

The job market is very tight right now. Many young progressives are looking for jobs, even those who are qualified like yourself. I’m sorry, I am not aware of job openings.

My advice to you: Keep up the job search. But in the meantime, find Occupy Boston, Occupy Wall Street, or Occupy DC. Take a bus. Ride a bike. Ride a pickle. Whatever you need to do. Occupy.

Lend your skills to the progressive movement full-time for the winter. The connections you’ll make at the occupation, the friends you’ll meet, the things you’ll learn, and the experience you will build, will be invaluable to finding a job in the progressive sphere once the economy looks up a bit. Come join the movement where it is now: In parks, plazas, and squares all over the country and all over the world.

Good luck to you, and hope to see you down the road!


Filed under: Uncategorized

One Response

  1. Cures Riches says:

    Well said Lacy, I was a while to clue in to camping at Occupy Montreal. Father and 4 year old were neighbors for a weekend camp occupy. How often do you get a chance to camp in public in city, and for good cause. We are the 99%. Actually we’re sort of a fraction of a percent that actually make material efforts of complaint. Thanks again Ms. MacAuley for adding beauty and grace to a movement that doesn’t exclude and marginalize the bigger losers than we. from occupy Montreal, Square Victoria, Cures

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