Get Well Soon, Henry Shelton

From, longtime activist for the poor, Henry Shelton, is in the hospital surviving a stroke.

I crossed paths with his wife, Carol, who was teaching social work at Rhode Island College when I was a student there. Henry was formerly a priest, and Carol a nun. As a married couple in the secular life they practice a ministry of advocating for the poor, for the people who do the hard work at low wages, for the people who don’t have a voice at the State House.

Our Governor prides himself on being a businessman, but a state is not a business. The working poor are not a cheap labor pool we can kick out when they are not needed. Our citizens with disabilities are not a charitable donation we can decide not to bother with when times are hard. Our elderly are not going away, and cutting insurance to pregnant women is not only immoral but guaranteed to bring costs in the future. A state without good education will drive away investors more than high taxes. And firing the few specialized interpreters who helped to integrate immigrants into the system gums up the works in the hospitals, clinics and schools.

We need people like Henry and Carol. Get well soon, Henry, and best wishes to your family and friends.