NEW YORK —
"It's an interesting characteristic of Sara that she can identify macro trends," says Maria Gotsch of the New York City Investment Fund, a private organization that provides startup capital for civically useful projects. "She saw the shift in the workforce, where people were no longer being tied to an employer, and she understood what that meant for collective benefits. She'd done a lot of thinking about the macro forces in place." Horowitz's North Star is to improve the lives of this new and growing category of American worker. Every move she makes, big or small, is steered by this overarching idea.
This fall saw the opening of the Freelancers Medical Center in Brooklyn, where members get zero copay care and free yoga classes, among other perks. She next envisions a new form of unemployment insurance for the contractor class — helping freelancers make it through dry spells the same way that fired full-time employees can rely on the government for support. And there's that spot on the New York Fed board. ("We need to bring the freelancer's viewpoint into national discussions over capital and finance," she says.) Horowitz can toss around highfalutin' discourse on Northern Italian cooperative regions, the history of trade unionism and the concept of "new mutualism." But her focus always remains on achieving tangible results.
Seth Stevenson is a frequent contributor to Slate. He is the author of "Grounded: A Down to Earth Journey Around the World."