Beth Shulman in Remembrance
Posted by Allison Fine on February 10, 2010
Last Friday my friend Beth Shulman passed away. She had been battling brain cancer for about a year and died from complications from pneumonia. Here is an obituary from the Washington Post. That article will tell you all of the facts of Beth’s life. I want to tell you about my friend.
We were Fellows together at Demos, but I met Beth earlier when we were both clients of Pro-Media. Passionate is the best word to describe her. She was passionate about the need for us, as a country, to find mechanisms and create policies to treat all working people with dignity, to provide living wages, paid sick leave and paid family leave. She wrote a seminal book on low wage workers, “The Betrayal of Work: How Low-Wage Jobs Fail 30 Million Americans” (2003).
It would have been very easy for Beth to pick an easier cause. Advocacy of low-wage workers has never been sexy or popular, particularly during the go-go years when they were invisible. But Beth’s passion and determination never wavered, her commitment never waned. I will miss her voice and passion, we will all miss her leadership.
One thing that Beth was passionate about was leaving a tip in her hotel room for the underpaid, underappreciated, nonunionized hotel cleaning staff. I call it Beth’s tip. I hope you’ll consider leaving Beth’s tip the next time you stay at a hotel.
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