Friday, September 30, 2011

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Onward to Wall Street | Truthout

Onward to Wall Street | Truthout

Report from the battle scene. Well worth reading.

Occupy Wall Street -- Police Brutality, Arrests, Media Blackout

What's behind the scorn for the Wall Street protests?

What's behind the scorn for the Wall Street protests?

"American Autumn" Will Depend on People, Not Parties | Truthout

"American Autumn" Will Depend on People, Not Parties | Truthout

Dr. Margaret Flowers: We certainly hope that this will be the Autumn when there is an American awakening. People across the country are inspired by what we are seeing around the world and in the US. In addition to the actions you mention as well as the protests in Madison, Wisconsin and other Midwest state capitals, Americans across the nation are protesting the direction of the country on a wide range of issues.
In fact, America has been in revolt for some time now. Many are not aware of this because the corporate media doesn't cover it. There have been protests and occupations to fight for jobs, education, health care, clean energy and a clean environment, immigrant rights and against big finance for years. These actions have been bubbling up around the country and hopefully they will erupt into a strong and persistent action in Washington, DC this fall.
RB: What do you hope to accomplish in Washington, DC, on October 6? A lot of major progressive leaders are part of this action - Cornel West, Rabbi Michael Lerner, Cynthia McKinney, Code Pink, Chris Hedges; these are serious leaders. Is the massive nonviolent civil resistance action planned for October 6 a few days of mass protest, or is it a nonviolent occupation of Washington by people who are prepared to throw their bodies onto the gears of this increasingly "odious machine"?
MF: This action is being organized because we know the urgency of stopping the exploitation of people and the planet. The movements that have been pushing for proven solutions to our crises are all facing the same obstacles: corporate control of the political process and media. We are experiencing what Chris Hedges calls a "corporate coup." And so in the face of this, we are prepared to do what is necessary to nonviolently resist this corporate power. Some of us who are organizing this action, myself included, are ready to put our bodies on the line to stop this machine.
This action is called "Stop the machine! Create a new world" because it has two components. We will stop the machine through nonviolent resistance. This includes teaching about non-cooperation which is something that everybody can participate in to some extent. People can choose to what extent they are ready to act. And we will create a new world by developing specific solutions to each of the 15 crises outlined on our web site. Participants can join one of the 15 committees and work on developing solutions to each crisis based on the evidence of models that are working in the US and around the world.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Janitors - Day of Action

OUR American Dream Is Under Attack:

Janitors National Day of Action

 Wednesday, September 28th 
@ 11:30 am

555 Capitol Mall, Sacramento

Across the nation corporations are throwing people out of work—while cutting workers’ pay, benefits and even our freedom to form a union.  Janitorial companies too are pushing for cuts to healthcare and wages, a heavier workload, and fewer hours.

Starting in September and continuing in 2012, more than 150,000 SEIU janitors and cleaners in 29 cities and counties across America will negotiate with our employers over pay, benefits, and working conditions—all of which will impact our communities.

The companies are rich and powerful.  But by showing our unity, we’ll be more powerful.  By standing together during a National Day of Action on September 28, we can show them that workers are serious about protecting what we have and winning more.

For more information, please contact (916) 498-9505.

The Class War Argument

The Truth About “Class War” in America

By Richard D. Wolff
Republicans and conservatives have done us a service by describing federal policies in terms of "class war." But by applying the term only to Obama's latest proposals to raise taxes on the rich, they have it all backward and upside down. The last 50 years have indeed seen continuous class warfare in and over federal economic policies.
But it was a war waged chiefly by business and conservatives. They won, as we show below, and the mass of middle-income and poor Americans lost. Obama's modest proposal for tax increases on the rich does not begin a class war. On the contrary, it is a small, modest effort to reduce the other side's class war victories.
Big business and conservatives have worked to undo the regulations and taxes imposed on them in the wake of the Great Depression of the 1930s. Then, an upsurge in labor union organization (the Congress of Industrial Organizations sweep across basic US industries) and in membership in both the socialist and communist parties gave Franklin Delano Roosevelt the support and the pressure to tax business and the rich. He took their money to pay for the massive federal hiring program (11 million federal jobs filled between 1934 and 1941) and to start the Social Security Administration etc. He regulated their business activities to try to prevent devastating capitalist depressions from recurring in the nation's future.
Since the end of the Great Depression - and especially since the 1970s - the class warfare waged by business and its allies (most conservatives in both parties) was successful. For example, at the end of World War II, for every dollar Washington raised in taxes on individuals, it raised $1.50 in taxes on business profits. In contrast, today, for every dollar Washington gets in taxes on individuals, it gets 25 cents in taxes on business. Business and its allies successfully shifted most of its federal tax burden onto individuals.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

80 Arrested as Financial District Protest Moves North -

80 Arrested as Financial District Protest Moves North -

Save the Public Postal Service

Save America’s Postal Service Rally

Tuesday, September 27th @ 4 pm

Dan Lungren’s Congressional Office
2339 Gold Meadow Way, Suite 220
Gold River, CA 95670  

This fall, Congress will be making major decisions about the future of
 the Postal Service. 
 Will Congress consider the concerns of USPS customers and hard-working
 postal employees?    Will you have anything to say about it?

Join us for the “Save America’s Postal Service” Rally. 
 Make your voice heard, do NOT miss this opportunity!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Wall Street Protests

Wall Street protesters: over-educated, under-employed and angry
Inspired by Tahrir Square, those who gathered in lower Manhattan are keen to mount a more permanent protest at corporate influence in US politics

Wall Street Protests Continue, With at Least 6 Arrested

Monday, September 19, 2011

Campus Progressive Alliance
The Friday Night Film Series Presents
The Tillman Story
"Riveting! A triumphant success."
                                                     -- Pete Travers, Rolling Stone

"Compelling. Filled with elevated heroism."
                                                    -- Kenneth Turan, LA Times

"Ferocious filmmaking!" -- Bob Mondello, NPR

Free Film!  Free Popcorn!  Free Drinks!

Friday, September 23, 2011
 Hinde Auditorium
Sac State University Union
 Shorts--6:00pm     Feature Film--6:30pm
Info: 916-248-3970 or

Friday, September 16, 2011

8 Reasons Young Americans Don't Fight Back: How the US Crushed Youth Resistance

By Bruce E. Levine, AlterNet
Posted on July 31, 2011

Traditionally, young people have energized democratic movements. So it is a major coup for the ruling elite to have created societal institutions that have subdued young Americans and broken their spirit of resistance to domination.

Young Americans—even more so than older Americans—appear to have acquiesced to the idea that the corporatocracy can completely screw them and that they are helpless to do anything about it. A 2010 Gallup poll asked Americans “Do you think the Social Security system will be able to pay you a benefit when you retire?” Among 18- to 34-years-olds, 76 percent of them said no. Yet despite their lack of confidence in the availability of Social Security for them, few have demanded it be shored up by more fairly payroll-taxing the wealthy; most appear resigned to having more money deducted from their paychecks for Social Security, even though they don’t believe it will be around to benefit them.

How exactly has American society subdued young Americans?

1. Student-Loan Debt. Large debt—and the fear it creates—is a pacifying force. There was no tuition at the City University of New York when I attended one of its colleges in the 1970s, a time when tuition at many U.S. public universities was so affordable that it was easy to get a B.A. and even a graduate degree without accruing any student-loan debt. While those days are gone in the United States, public universities continue to be free in the Arab world and are either free or with very low fees in many countries throughout the world. The millions of young Iranians who risked getting shot to protest their disputed 2009 presidential election, the millions of young Egyptians who risked their lives earlier this year to eliminate Mubarak, and the millions of young Americans who demonstrated against the Vietnam War all had in common the absence of pacifying huge student-loan debt.

Today in the United States, two-thirds of graduating seniors at four-year colleges have student-loan debt, including over 62 percent of public university graduates. While average undergraduate debt is close to $25,000, I increasingly talk to college graduates with closer to $100,000 in student-loan debt. During the time in one’s life when it should be easiest to resist authority because one does not yet have family responsibilities, many young people worry about the cost of bucking authority, losing their job, and being unable to pay an ever-increasing debt. In a vicious cycle, student debt has a subduing effect on activism, and political passivity makes it more likely that students will accept such debt as a natural part of life.

2. Psychopathologizing and Medicating Noncompliance. In 1955, Erich Fromm, the then widely respected anti-authoritarian leftist psychoanalyst, wrote, “Today the function of psychiatry, psychology and psychoanalysis threatens to become the tool in the manipulation of man.” Fromm died in 1980, the same year that an increasingly authoritarian America elected Ronald Reagan president, and an increasingly authoritarian American Psychiatric Association added to their diagnostic bible (then the DSM-III) disruptive mental disorders for children and teenagers such as the increasingly popular “oppositional defiant disorder” (ODD). The official symptoms of ODD include “often actively defies or refuses to comply with adult requests or rules,” “often argues with adults,” and “often deliberately does things to annoy other people.”

Many of America’s greatest activists including Saul Alinsky (1909–1972), the legendary organizer and author of Reveille for Radicals and Rules for Radicals, would today certainly be diagnosed with ODD and other disruptive disorders. Recalling his childhood, Alinsky said, “I never thought of walking on the grass until I saw a sign saying ‘Keep off the grass.’ Then I would stomp all over it.” Heavily tranquilizing antipsychotic drugs (e.g. Zyprexa and Risperdal) are now the highest grossing class of medication in the United States ($16 billion in 2010); a major reason for this, according to theJournal of the American Medical Association in 2010, is that many children receiving antipsychotic drugs have nonpsychotic diagnoses such as ODD or some other disruptive disorder (this especially true of Medicaid-covered pediatric patients).

3. Schools That Educate for Compliance and Not for Democracy. Upon accepting the New York City Teacher of the Year Award on January 31, 1990, John Taylor Gatto upset many in attendance by stating: “The truth is that schools don’t really teach anything except how to obey orders. This is a great mystery to me because thousands of humane, caring people work in schools as teachers and aides and administrators, but the abstract logic of the institution overwhelms their individual contributions.” A generation ago, the problem of compulsory schooling as a vehicle for an authoritarian society was widely discussed, but as this problem has gotten worse, it is seldom discussed.

The nature of most classrooms, regardless of the subject matter, socializes students to be passive and directed by others, to follow orders, to take seriously the rewards and punishments of authorities, to pretend to care about things they don’t care about, and that they are impotent to affect their situation. A teacher can lecture about democracy, but schools are essentially undemocratic places, and so democracy is not what is instilled in students. Jonathan Kozol in The Night Is Dark and I Am Far from Home focused on how school breaks us from courageous actions. Kozol explains how our schools teach us a kind of “inert concern” in which “caring”—in and of itself and without risking the consequences of actual action—is considered “ethical.” School teaches us that we are “moral and mature” if we politely assert our concerns, but the essence of school—its demand for compliance—teaches us not to act in a friction-causing manner.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Nurses Fire Up Message Outside Federal Reserve

Nurses Fire Up Message Outside Federal Reserve

“Take it back. Take it back,” chanted the nurses in reference to the damage inflicted on communities where nurses live and work as rising unemployment, foreclosures, loss of health benefits and access, and damaged infrastructure have turned dreams into nightmares few in the working class can escape.

Wall Street Wrecking Ball

Wall Street banks shattered our economy and left our communities to pick up the pieces.  While it was Wall Street’s toxic lending practices and recklessness  that created the crisis, it is California homeowners and taxpayers that are paying the price. The housing market is where the economic crisis began and without immediate action, we are facing a multi-billion dollar devastation in our  neighborhoods that is undermining the economic recovery we desperately need.
Read the report:  The Wall Street Wrecking Ball, here.
Produced by AACE. 

Is Poverty a Death Sentence?

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Cost of Foreclosures



Broad coalition to launch new Refund and Rebuild California campaign
saying "it's time to make Wall Street banks pay"

SACRAMENTO -- More than four years into a housing crisis caused by banks
that continues to depress the economy and ravage California
neighborhoods, a coalition of homeowners and community leaders will hold
a press conference in Oak Park to release a new report documenting the
devastating costs of the foreclosure crisis to neighborhoods throughout

Following the press conference, community members will go door to door
in Oak Park to spread the word among neighborhood residents discuss the
issue and inviting them to participate in the community campaign.

Call the Governor; Establish a state bank

A good project of PDA,the California Green Party, DSA and others.

Bill to Study State Bank Passes in California

 -Needs Governor’s Signature
The California Legislature just approved a Blue Ribbon Task force to study starting a state owned bank (AB 750), and we need you to urge the governor Jerry Brown to sign it.
This bill will take California’s money ($17 billion in taxes, fees, etc. at any one time) out of Wall Street Banks and bring it to California where it can be used  with community banks to lend money to small businesses, manufacturing and agriculture.
The proposed California bank can join a national movement to take money out of Wall Street and invest it in main street. 
  This is California taxpayers money.
For more information go to
Please write to Governor Brown, or call him at 916-445-2841.
This is a project of PDA.  The Sacramento Progressive Alliance often works with PDA. 

And right this minute, please write Governor Brown or call him 
at 916-445-2841.
Heal Main Street; Abandon Wall Street!
In solidarity,
Susan Harman
Public Banking Institute national coordinator PDA.

What happened to Obama ?

What Happened to Obama?
Drew Westen is a professor of psychology at Emory University and the author of “The Political Brain: The Role of Emotion in Deciding the Fate of the Nation.”
IT was a blustery day in Washington on Jan. 20, 2009, as it often seems to be on the day of a presidential inauguration. As I stood with my 8-year-old daughter, watching the president deliver his inaugural address, I had a feeling of unease. It wasn’t just that the man who could be so eloquent had seemingly chosen not to be on this auspicious occasion, although that turned out to be a troubling harbinger of things to come. It was that there was a story the American people were waiting to hear — and needed to hear — but he didn’t tell it. And in the ensuing months he continued not to tell it, no matter how outrageous the slings and arrows his opponents threw at him.

Boycott of Arizona is not over

Boycott Against Arizona Is Not Over, Say Grassroots Groups
By Valeria Fernández
The decision by the Hispanic advocacy group National Council of La Raza to call off a year-long boycott of Arizona for its passage of one of the nation’s toughest anti-immigrant pieces of legislation is being met with opposition by grassroots organizations determined to keep up the pressure.
“This is a decision they took without consulting all the people affected,” said Salvador Reza, organizer of PUENTE, a pro-immigrant rights movement. “SB 1070 still affects us and it is disrespectful not to consult with the community.”

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Elizabeth Warren To Announce Senate Run Wednesday

Published on Tuesday, September 13, 2011 by The Huffington Post
by Sam Stein

WASHINGTON -- Consumer advocate and former White House official Elizabeth Warren will announce on Wednesday that she is running for the United States Senate seat currently held by Scott Brown (R-Mass.), a close source tells The Huffington Post.
Consumer advocate and former White House official Elizabeth Warren will announce on Wednesday that she is running for the United States Senate seat currently held by Scott Brown (R-Mass.), a close source tells The Huffington Post.The announcement will not come as a surprise, as Warren has spent the last few weeks traveling across Massachusetts and speaking at several high-profile political events as part of a statewide listening tour. Still, her formal entrance into the race is likely to be cheered by progressives and national Democrats alike, as Warren is both beloved by the base and represents one of the party's best chances to unseat Brown.
“The pressures on middle class families are worse than ever, but it is the big corporations that get their way in Washington,” said Warren, in a statement obtained by The Huffington Post. “I want to change that. I will work my heart out to earn the trust of the people of Massachusetts.”
The consumer advocate will be spending the day tomorrow greeting commuters in Boston, before travelling to New Bedford, Framingham, Worcester, and Springfield. She has alreadypicked up an endorsement from a prominent nurses union in the state and has been informally courted by other unions.
National Democrats are wary of saying much, if anything, about her candidacy, lest they give off the impression that they are meddling in a state primary. But it has been apparent for some time now that party officials view her as a more formidable candidate than Brown's other prospective challengers, including Newton Mayor Setti Warren, social entrepreneur Alan Khazei and state Rep. Thomas Conroy.
One recent poll had Warren trailing Brown by just nine percentage points, with more than a year remaining before the election.

Robert Reich Debunks 6 Big GOP Lies About The Economy

Monday, September 12, 2011

The Greek Debt Crisis- and ours

by Duane Campbell
The so called Greek debt crisis continues to grow.  The Sacramento Bee has an editorial on Sept.12 on the editorial board’s view that the nations of Europe will need some form of consolidation.
This view illustrates how the corporate owned media takes austerity and budget cuts for granted.  They are presented as normal and inevitable.
    The Bee editorial, along with one side of the  European economic establishment,  propose  the need for a consolidation of government power in Europe.  The editors compare the growing debt crisis in Europe  to the Articles of Confederation .
But,  to understand the situation, you need to first ask, unified for what purpose?  The proposed solution forms a new government power to protect the financiers in Germany and France.  They want a government that can enforce austerity to repay bank debts.  The Bankers and capitalists caused the crisis.  Now, the question, as in the U.S. is – who will pay for it.
Austerity programs, whether in Greece, Spain, Italy or California, cost someone.  In addition to the loss of wages and benefits,  austerity programs take capital out of the system and thus make the recession worse.  Greece, Spain, Italy, Portugal, Ireland, and California working people will suffer more.
The Bee editorial assumes that government should be an enforcer for banks ( as they were in the U.S.). This ignores the position of the working people in the streets organizing resistance.  They say, the Bankers caused the crisis- make the bankers pay.  The Bee editorial assumes that austerity is necessary in Greece, Spain, Ireland, Portugal , and more.  Working people  , pensioners and social services  should pay for the bankers looting of the economy. 

Sunday, September 11, 2011

We Remember 9/11: A Decade Later- Public employees

AFSME has produced a moving video looking back at 9/11. 343 firefighters and 60 police officers died as a result of 9/11, and many thousands more remain sick from respiratory ailments.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Free Screening of Michael Moore's "CAPITALISM: A LOVE STORY"

Dear Friends,

We hope you can join the Sacramento Progressive Alliance and our friends, the Mother Lode Progressives, tonight for a potluck social and a free screening of Michael Moore's brilliant film, Capitalism: A Love Story, under the stars on Cameron Park Lake tonight. Details are below. All are welcome. RSVP's are much appreciated, as seating is limited. See you at the movies!

Peace & Solidarity,
Paul B

WHAT: Free Screening of Michael Moore's Capitalism: A Love Story &  Potluck Social
WHEN: Tonight (Saturday, 9/10), 6:30pm (Social Hour); 7:30pm (Film)
WHERE: Leisa & Paul's House, 3025A Cambridge Rd., Cameron Park  95682 (Cambridge exit off 50, 2 miles north, house on the right, bottom of driveway)

Friday, September 9, 2011

Governor Brown arranges massive tax cuts to corporations, no job growth

Gov. Brown arranges last minute  tax cuts mostly for corporations.   Really Governor Brown ?  That is the budget problem?  I thought the problems included cutting 4.5 billion from K-12 schools, laying off tens of thousands of teachers,  forcing cities and counties to lay off police, and firefighters.  Underfunding local services so that parks are closed and garbage not picked up.

One Response of the California Budget Project

Statement: Jean Ross on Tax Deal Announced by Governor Brown

"The California Budget Project strongly opposes the last-minute tax deal announced by the Governor today. This agreement not only makes major changes to the state's tax system in the final hours of the legislative session without an opportunity for public review and comment, but it also provides costly new tax breaks at a time when the Governor's Department of Finance projects budget deficits into the foreseeable future.

"The Governor's proposal suffers from what the California State Senate's Office of Oversight and Outcomes called the 'blank check effect,' in a report issued this morning. This report noted: 'Tax expenditures, unlike direct spending, can balloon far beyond initial expectations with little notice or control.' While recent corporate income tax collections suggest that the cost of elective single sales factor apportionment, also enacted as part of a last-minute deal, will far exceed the initial February 2009 estimates, the proposal announced today replaces one flawed policy with another. Although the proposed tax deal strives for revenue neutrality, last-minute drafting and the lack of public review could very well result in policies that will cost the state far more than initial estimates suggest.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Why I oppose the Columbia "Free Trade" deal

by Duane Campbell.
                 It will not bring jobs to the U.S.  The production of unemployment, instability, and poverty around the world is produced by  the economic policy known as neo-liberalism.  Neo liberalism is the current stage of capitalism. Trade agreements, like NAFTA ( North American Free Trade Agreement)  and the proposed trade agreements with Columbia and an important part of neo-liberalism and  actually increased poverty for many.

         So called “Free Trade” agreements, like those presently proposed for Columbia, Panama, and South Korea produce economic winners as well as losers.  The winners are the transnational corporations.  The losers are the workers on both sides of the border.
Free trade is the elimination and/or lowering of taxes and other trade regulations between countries with the purpose of increasing exports .   The Administrations argues   that the FTA will create jobs and economic stability for Colombians, yet experience with prior free trade treaties, such as NAFTA,  has shown that free-market agreements lead to more poverty for the majority and increased wealth for a few multinational corporations.
Colombia’s labor laws undermine the free exercise of fundamental labor rights and there are no policies aimed at job creation and social protection. As a result, fewer than 5 percent of Colombian workers today are in a union and fewer than 2 percent of workers are covered by a collective bargaining agreement.  
Anti-union violence still remains at alarming levels. In 2010, 52 trade unionists were murdered and 21 were the objects of unsuccessful attempts on their lives. In 2011, another seven trade unionists have been killed.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011


Here's a stunner. Of last year's 100 highest-paid U.S. corporate chief executives, 25 took home more in CEO pay than their company paid in 2010 federal corporate income taxes, according to a new report from the Institute for Policy Studies. The report also reveals that in addition to handing their CEOs big dollars, 20 of the 25 corporations in the study spent more on lobbying lawmakers than they paid in corporate taxes. Think there's a connection?

Read more:

Monday, September 5, 2011

Obama Labor Day Speech

President Obama's Labor Day speech is on C-Span.  It will be replayed at 5 PM tonight, or on the web.

Friday, September 2, 2011

USW The Fighting Spirit

Fight back. Celebrate Labor

Join with the UFW on Sunday at the Capitol

The United Farm Workers are asking for your help this Sunday.

10 days ago, in the tradition of Cesar Chavez, they set off on a 13-day, 200-mile march which ends at the Capitol this Sunday, on Labor Day weekend. The march presses for enactment of the Fair Treatment for Farm Workers Act and legislation giving farm workers the right to be paid overtime after 8 hours like other workers.

The march begins at 10 a.m. at Southside Park and the rally will begin at noon on the North Steps of the Capitol. Will you join them?

In Governor Brown's June veto of the "Fair Treatment for Farm Workers Act," he says he is "not yet convinced" that this is the right moment to give farm workers basic rights. For farm workers, "not yet" means farm workers don't get water and shade. "Not yet" means farm workers continue to die of heat illness.1At least 15 California farm workers have suffered heat-related deaths since 20052 and California's sun may have already claimed two farm worker lives this year.3

Farm workers can't afford to wait any longer, not when their lives are at risk. So they are marching to the Capitol in Sacramento to try to convince Gov. Brown to sign their new bills that will soon reach his desk. And they are also asking the public to help them get their message across to the governor.

Will you join thousands of farm workers as they march with these peregrinos (pilgrims) in their final trek to the Capitol and rally with them?

Si Se Puede!

Click here to sign up:

Thank you.

--Arturo Rodriguez, United Farm Workers

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Some 80 Nurses and their union supporters boldly marched into the offices of Congressman Dan Lungren ( R. Sacramento) asking that he sign a pledge to support a Wall Street Transaction Tax on Sept.1, at his Gold River, California offices.  Speakers from California Nurses Association, from Retired RNs, and from the Sacramento Central Labor council asserted that they were united by the harm being done to our society by the Great Recession, and demanded a response from the Congressman who was not in his office and could not be located.

On Sept 1, 10,000 nurses and community participants  joined   actions in 21 states Thursday demanding action on the economic crisis to heal America. They called  on senators and Congress members in their local district offices  around the nation on Thursday  to pledge to “support a Wall Street transaction tax that will raise sufficient revenue to make Wall Street pay for the devastation it has caused on Main Street.” National Nurses United, the largest U.S. union of nurses,  sponsored  the actions.  Unions, labor councils, DSA, Jobs with Justice and other groups joined in solidarity with the nurses union.
American families are hurting, and they need jobs, healthcare, housing, quality education, nutrition, and a secure retirement.
The RNs and their allies called on Congress members to sign a pledge to “support a Wall Street transaction tax that will raise sufficient revenue to make Wall Street pay for the devastation it has caused on Main Street.” The visits follow a letter sent by certified mail to all 535 members of the House and Senate last week asking them to back the pledge and help “make the promise of the American dream… a reality.”