Outten & Golden: Empowering Employees in the Workplace

My Dinner With Andre

September 21st, 2006 | Paula Brantner

Well, not quite…it was just a reception (with free food and drink.) But it was work-related…the most famous retiree in America right now headlined a fundraising event in Washington, DC to support the Arizona and Nevada state minimum wage campaigns.

When my turn came to speak with the tennis legend, I thanked him for supporting a workers rights issue, pointing out that not too many celebrities lend their name to causes supporting workers. He thanked me and said that he was happy to help out.

In his short and most humble speech later, he pointed out that supporting a minimum wage increase is consistent with all the work he’s done previously to support children, because if their parents can’t afford to live and support their families, then the children are going to suffer as well. His talk was prefaced by the appearances of Rep. Shelley Berkley, who praised one of her most prominent constituents in her Las Vegas district, and Rep. Ed Pastor of Arizona. The best quip of the evening was when one of the speakers quipped that Andre needed a higher minimum wage in Nevada because he’s now retired, and he said without missing a beat, “I’m unemployed.”

Let’s hope that the minimum wage movement, and other workers’ rights issues, become so popular that more of the rich and famous jump in to get involved and raise the profile of these important causes. Certainly not to take away anything from the work of the Andre Agassi Charitable Foundation, which by all accounts is doing great work in the Las Vegas area, but it’s refreshing to see him make the connection between his work with children and the needs of their parents. Perhaps others will do the same, even if working to support low-income workers perhaps isn’t quite as glamorous as helping children.

And while I’m making this personal, feel free to check out my recent appearance on Fox 5 News, here in the Washington, DC area. I’m apparently becoming known for my telecommuting (I work from a home office in the DC area, while the rest of the Workplace Fairness staff (Glenn Simpson and Eva Silverman) work in our San Francisco headquarters.) You can tell me if you agree that my kitty Morgan stole the show…

Permalink

Leave a Reply

Your Rights Job Survival The Issues Features Resources About This Blog