Today we’re talking health care, taxes, and activism with Ady Barkan.
Like me, you probably first became aware of Ady when a video of him confronting Jeff Flake went viral.
But that wasn’t Ady’s first stab at activism – far from it in fact. A graduate of Columbia and of Yale Law, he could have done anything he wanted. He could have made a whole bunch of money right out of school, but instead, he started representing low-wage workers in New York City in pursuit of everything from paid sick days to the unionization of the car wash industry.
Today, Ady is a Director at the Center for Popular Democracy, where he runs Local Progress and the Fed Up campaign.
Eighteen months ago, at the age of 33, Ady and his wife Rachel welcomed a son, Carl, and shortly thereafter, Ady was diagnosed with ALS – a terminal illness that paralyzes its victims over time. In a very short period of time, he’s gone from being an active runner and hiker to being in a wheelchair, unable to pick up his son.
It’s a cruel and inexplicably random affliction, and after talking to Ady, I found myself in awe of his resilience and thankful for the way he’s continued to dedicate his life to fighting for what’s right.