Jori Argue, Oakland, Calif.

This is a picture of the May Day Occupy San Francisco rally. This "Rise Up 99%" sun was painted in the middle of the financial district. Everyday folks were able to add their concerns and demands for our country by painting them on each of the sun's many rays. Things like "housing for all", "down with debt", "compassion", "solidarity", "love" and "equality" were painted around the sun, all middle class values and concerns. While I am comfortable enough in my life, I believe that the policies of our politicians, written by corporate lobbyists, combined with the effects of globalization, are shrinking our middle class and pushing more and more people into poverty while benefiting the few. Part of being middle class is representing and protecting those less fortunate than you from those who would like to take more than their fair share. Being middle class in America is a privilege, and with it brings responsibility to our fellow woman, our planet and democracy.

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