Ever since I first read, as a teenager, John Kennedy’s prize-winning book, “Profiles in Courage,” I have been drawn to the many heroes, and in particular their stories that came to life over the ’60s and to this day. Kennedy’s title had the key word, courage, that illuminated them all in their quests to make our world a better place.
A recent afternoon, I tuned into Seattle Channel Live and witnessed the City Council proclaim a local hero, naming January 11th “Tim Harris Day.” Harris, the founder of Real Change, was honored by the full Council for his leadership, advocacy and work as a journalist.
Beginning in 1994, Real Change newspaper quickly became the standard bearer of having the courage to speak the truth, and soon Tim became one of the most compelling and impactful voices in the region in amplifying the rights of poor and homeless people — this coming from a heart and soul of courage.
With his courage and tireless advocacy in Seattle and Olympia, Tim helped bring about many policy advances that made the difference in hundreds of lives.
Tim was relentless in his courage to tug the sleeve of the community’s social consciousness, teaching us that housing is not a reward, but a basic need.
Through his courageous work, Tim gained the support of thousands of individuals like myself, who put their faith and trust in the mission and in the staff and volunteers of Real Change.
With retirement from Real Change, Tim can take well-deserved rest, but I am sure he will not be silent for long. I was honored to have worked with Tim, and I still serve on this organization’s Board of Directors. Thank you, Tim, thank you!
James Lauinger has served on the Real Change board since the spring of 2016, stepping up to be the president and treasurer, and as the mayor and a city councilmember of Kirkland.
Read more in the Jan. 20-26, 2021 issue.