While Max is traveling for The Real News Network, “Working People” producer Jules Taylor makes his host debut by interviewing his stepfather Ric Ortiz about his career as a death investigator and paramedic. In a way, it feels like Ric was meant to work around death—he grew up across the street from a cemetery and his first job involved assisting a local gravedigger before he was 10 years old. He would go on to work as the chief medical investigator for Nueces County, Texas, for 20 years. In this special episode, Jules speaks with Ric about the events in his life that shaped his career path, and they discuss how working around death influences the way one sees the world.

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Featured Music (all songs sourced from the Free Music Archive: freemusicarchive.org)

  • Jules Taylor, “Working People Theme Song”
  • Talons, “Toms”

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Ten years ago, I was working 12-hour days as a warehouse temp in Southern California while my family, like millions of others, struggled to stay afloat in the wake of the Great Recession. Eventually, we lost everything, including the house I grew up in. It was in the years that followed, when hope seemed irrevocably lost and help from above seemed impossibly absent, that I realized the life-saving importance of everyday workers coming together, sharing our stories, showing our scars, and reminding one another that we are not alone. Since then, from starting the podcast Working People—where I interview workers about their lives, jobs, dreams, and struggles—to working as Associate Editor at the Chronicle Review and now as Editor-in-Chief at The Real News Network, I have dedicated my life to lifting up the voices and honoring the humanity of our fellow workers.
Email: max@therealnews.com
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