I saw as a teacher how, if you take that spark of learning that those children have, and you ignite it, you can take a child from any background to a lifetime of creativity and accomplishment.
It is the belief that extremes and excesses of inequality must be reduced so that each person is free to fully develop his or her full potential. This is why we take precious time out of our lives and give it to politics.
Politics is about the improvement of people's lives. It's about advancing the cause of peace and justice in our country and the world. Politics is about doing well for the people.
A politics that is not sensitive to the concerns and circumstances of people's lives, a politics that does not speak to and include people, is an intellectually arrogant politics that deserves to fail.
As free citizens in a political democracy, we have a responsibility to be interested and involved in the affairs of the human community, be it at the local or the global level.
When too many Americans don't vote or participate, some see apathy and despair. I see disappointment and even outrage. And I believe that out of this frustration can come hope and action.
I emphasize self-esteem, self-confidence, and dignity, not as an ideal, but as a real test of community organization. Without leadership development, community organizations do not have staying power.
What the poor, the weak, and the inarticulate desperately require is power, organization, and a sense of identity and purpose, not rarefied advice of political scientists.
There are three critical ingredients to democratic renewal and progressive change in America: good public policy, grassroots organizing and electoral politics.
I was talking about no nukes, the farm crisis. People said that wasn't stuff that a state auditor was supposed to be talking about. Maybe they were right.
Politics is not predictions and politics is not observations. Politics is what we do. Politics is what we do, politics is what we create, by what we work for, by what we hope for and what we dare to imagine.
The first task in teaching is to bring to consciousness what the students already believe by virtue of their personal experiences about themselves and society.
The kind of national goal we ought to be thinking about is way beyond national product - it is how do we as a nation help our children be the best kinds of people they could possibly be?