There are a few ways to sum up the events of 2013. On the one hand, 2013 was a year marked by Congressional ineptitude and the wholly unnecessary government shut down. On the state level, progressive movements in Texas and North Carolina failed to stop Republican legislatures from passing restrictive laws regarding women’s health and voter ID laws. On the other hand, 2013 was actually just the beginning. It was a year to lay down the groundwork for the real fight ahead of us in 2014. Low-wage workers walked off the job in record numbers, the minimum wage fight is shaping up to the be the issue in the mid-term elections and the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn DOMA has paved the way for more and more states to legalize same-sex marriage. On Saturday’s Melissa Harris-Perry we are taking a look at where the nation stands on a number of issues compared to where we started last January. Though 2013 has certainly had its frustrating moments, we think you’ll be pleasantly surprised to see how productive this year has in fact been.
One movement that saw significant gains this year is the push for legalizing the use and sale of marijuana. Just this week, Colorado became the first state to issue special licenses to businesses so that they can sell recreational marijuana come January 1st. In Sebastopol, California, Robert Jacob who founded the town’s medical marijuana dispensary was selected to be mayor. Need cold hard data to convince you that legalized marijuana is turning main stream? A recent Gallup poll shows that 58% of Americans agree that pot should be legalized. On Saturday’s MHP, we’ll hash out all of the details plus the economic and social pros and cons.
In 2013 we also saw the resurrection of the protest. From reproductive rights in Texas, to the fight for living wages, to fighting against Stand Your Ground Laws, to demonstrations protesting cuts to education budgets, protestors stood their ground and made themselves heard. Though there is still work to be done to enact sweeping policy changes, these protestors proved that when individuals are organized and motivated, they can bring an issue from obscurity to the front pages. This Saturday, Melissa and her panel will check in on a number of these protests and see what progress has been made and what more needs to be done.
Lastly, instead of just showcasing one foot soldier, we checked in with a few of our all-stars to see what they’ve been up to since appearing on the show and we can’t wait to share their progress.