On the LA Teacher’s Strike
I wrote a column for Hollywood Reporter on why I took to the picket line in support of the teachers of Los Angeles:
First, as member of two unions, I know that I owe my mortgage payment to solidarity. If it weren’t for the fellow union members and leaders who have my back, the barons of the TV industry would happily pay me a nickel a page and spend what would have been my residuals on more caviar to put in their infinity pools. So when I see other workers fighting for their own fair shake, I consider it my duty to pay it forward and have their back too.
But more importantly, I’m a child of public schools and I know how important they are. And what the teachers of UTLA are fighting for isn’t just wages — they’re saving public education in Los Angeles.
… The only way to change a system this unjust and this entrenched is for someone to finally stand up and say, “This is unacceptable, and we can’t allow it to go on.” The school board wasn’t going to; superintendent Austin Beutner wasn’t going to; so it fell to the teachers to do so. By exerting pressure from the bottom up, they aim to force reform all the way up to Sacramento. It’s a game plan every Hollywood negotiator knows well: If you’re being told “It’s not in the budget,” then you exert your leverage until you force the fat cats holding the wallet to make the budget bigger. Los Angeles is a rich city; California is a rich state; the United States is a rich country. The money is out there, and Los Angeles teachers are demanding that it be spent where it belongs, on our kids. They deserve our support.
In other news, I gave the New York Times some travel tips, including a recommendation of my favorite audiobook of the last year:
I use the Libby app to check out audiobooks from my public library. Right now, I’m listening to “Evicted,” by Matthew Desmond, which is a really incredible set of stories of poverty in Milwaukee, and about the underreported epidemic of eviction that is contributing to the cycle of poverty. The cool thing is, it’s the rare piece of nonfiction that isn’t just dumping the policy problem on you. It’s incredibly, beautifully reported personal accounts of individual families and what their lives are like on a day-to-day basis.