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Tom Hucker's picture

Of the many lessons my mom taught me, the most lasting is this: because we had good health, food to eat, and a roof over our heads, we had a responsibility to be thankful and to give back to our community, especially the poor, disabled and elderly. I don't remember her saying "to whom much is given, much is expected," but that was the message. She had drawn that lesson from her Catholic faith and the tight-knit Irish immigrant community she grew up in. She practiced it by serving as a Cub Scout Den Mother and volunteering with our church and school. And while I didn't realize it twenty years ago, that lesson drew me into a career of public interest activism and public service. Twenty-five years later, lessons I learned in conversations with her and many other mothers have led me to help lead efforts to require living wages for state contractors, raise the state minimum wage, and expand parental leave and protections for pregnant workers. Thanks, Mom!

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