On October 4 Americans for Democratic Action presented LNS co-founder and president with the Winn Newman Lifetime Achievement Award. In his acceptance speech, Joe said in part:

Art is a critical complement to activism, because no matter how brilliant our attempts to inform, it is our ability to inspire that makes the difference and builds a movement. Music is my art form and I’ve been a proud member of the American Federation of Musicians for 57 years, having joined in Cleveland, OH at the age of 13.

We live in a time like no other in human history. Income inequality has reached disgusting levels. Never before have so few taken so much from so many for so long. And after four decades of public knowledge about global warming, with all the early predictions not only coming true but with the impacts arriving sooner than we thought, and with far more intensity, we are living in the era of climate chaos and the human race is staring at the precipice of climate catastrophe that will cause massive economic and social disruption. 

But we can do something about it. We can end the extraction and burning of fossil fuels, reconstruct our energy, agriculture, and transportation systems, and reverse global warming; and we can do this while creating good paying jobs, union jobs, throughout the economy. We CAN imagine and create a new societal construct built on the concepts of full spectrum sustainability: economic, social, and environmental justice. At the Labor Network for Sustainability we are fighting for a future where everyone can make a living on a living planet. That’s our mission.

For video of Joe’s segment of awards ceremony:

For video of full awards ceremony:

For text of Joe’s talk: