This year we have two very exciting dinner speakers--Bill Samuels and Naquasia LeGrand! Although from two very different backgrounds, both have interesting perspectives and are both leaders in LARGE MOVEMENTS. They are movers and shakers ready to change the status quo. We are very excited to have them speak at our dinner.
Bill Samuels has a lifetime of experience as an innovative political thinker, activist, successful businessman & CEO.
Bill’s father, Howard Samuels, was a leader in New York state politics and served as Undersecretary of Commerce & Director of the Small Business Administration for President Lyndon B. Johnson.
Bill political activism began raising money to finance the 1971 Vietnam Veterans Against the War March on Washington, one of the pivotal moments in the anti-Vietnam War movement.
In 2010, Bill launched the New Roosevelt Initiative, a multi-year campaign to achieve critical reforms in New York’s fiscal practices, ethics rules, redistricting policies & campaign finance.
He currently is Chairman of EffectiveNY an organization bringing in the best of progressive politics, policy & advocacy to drive solutions that repair our government & make New York work for all of us.
Naquasia LeGrand was frying chicken, sweeping floors and serving customers for $7.25 an hour when she was recruited by union organizers to join a campaign for higher pay.
After sixteen months and participating in five strikes backed by the SEIU and the local NY Communities for Change group, Naquasia has become New York City’s face of a growing national movement that has staged strikes across the country demanding a $15-an-hour wage and union representation for fast-food workers.
Just last January, she promoted the Fight for 15 on “The Colbert Report,” joined a strategy session with congressional Democrats and visited President Barack Obama.
After speaking at a workshop on raising the minimum wage, Rep. Keith Ellison of Minnesota described Naquasia as the leader in the movement for better pay for low wage workers: “Movements will throw up leaders [...]This low-wage worker movement has thrown up Naquasia.”
Naquasia became a labor activist after hearing so many stories from co-workers describing how difficult it was to pay the bills. In a city where $1,500 for a one-bedroom apartment is the norm, it’s difficult to comprehend how service-sector employees being paid minimum wage can make it here.
Although we've sold out of tickets, you can still make a contribution to Metro Justice. Help us offset the costs of our biggest fundraiser of the year! Donate today.