Month 9: Athens and Washington


In the lobby of the Folger Shakespeare Library. The upper part of a wooden wall over a doorway. There is a large crest and engraved underneath a David Garrick quote: "Thrice happy the nation that Shakespeare has charm'd. More happy the bosoms his genius has warm'd: Ye children of nature, of fashion and whim. He painted you all. All join to praise him."Cultural Event: Timon of Athens

Last month, I decided to return to the Folger Shakespeare Library’s theater for a second visit. Back in January, I attended As You Like It. This time around, I went for the lesser-known Timon of Athens, in which we learn that friends aren’t truly friends if they only like you when you are giving them things. (Are you listening, Washington DC?)

This was my first time repeating a cultural venue for this challenge, and incidentally I’m now toying with the idea of becoming a Folger subscriber. It’s fun being a patron.

Five people introducing legislation in the Dirksen Senate Office Building. From left to write, a Union worker, Senator Al Franken, Senator Tammy Baldwin, the president of the Machinists Union, and Bernie Sanders. Sanders is at the podium, which has two labels. "Keep our Pension Promises Act" with the Capitol Building above the seal for the U.S. Senate. People taking photos gather around. Labor Event: Pension Legislation in the U.S. Senate

KOPPA: Keep Our Pension Promises Act.

On May 9th, Senator Bernie Sanders introduced KOPPA to the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions.

To sum it all up, multi-employer pension programs are hurting right now, and Congressional leaders want to do something about it. Many people of wealth were bailed out during the most recent recession, and now Congressional leaders believe it’s time to help the working class.

Rather than have me fumble through more details, you can watch this press conference held in the Dirksen Senate Office Building, where KOPPA was announced to the public. A group of us from the DC Federation of Musicians attended in solidarity.

Speakers included Senators Bernie Sanders, Al Franken, and Tammy Baldwin, as well as representatives from the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, the National United Committee to Protect Pensions and the Pension Rights Center.

…It is the HELP Committee: Health, Education, Labor and Pensions. Without the “P”, it’s just HEL.
-Senator Al Franken

About Doug Rosenthal

No one told Douglas Rosenthal to give up playing music. Not even his patient siblings, who endured many early-morning practice sessions; even they encouraged their brother to follow his passion. As the years passed, that passion evolved from simply playing music to advocating for music, musicians, and music-lovers. Douglas is based in Washington, DC. He is the Assistant Principal Trombonist of the Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra/Washington National Opera Orchestra. He currently makes his home on Capitol Hill in DC with a pug named Jake, who serves as a constant reminder to relax, eat well, and sleep plentifully.

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