Sunday, August 14, 2011

Rebuild the Dream Progress Report

Rebuild the Dream, Powered
by Civic Action

Hi friend, 
Thanks so much for signing up to be a part of Rebuild the Dream and the American Dream Movement—and for contributing your time, passion, and hope.
We are so glad that you are in on the ground floor of something we believe is going to be very impactful. Early adopters and pioneers like yourself tend to be among the most creative and committed in any community. 
We just released the crowd-sourced Contract for the American Dream, and because 100,000 people came together to sign it so quickly, we were able to run the Contract as a full-page ad in The New York Times last Wednesday. The rest of August, we'll be holding Congress accountable for their lack of action on jobs. And this fall, we'd like you to join us at a major "Take Back the American Dream" summit in Washington, DC.
In the coming weeks, we will be generating more tools, structures and opportunities for you to work together with others—and to increase your impact at both the local and national levels.
I also wanted to give you a progress report on this American Dream Movement that we are building together—read below for an update on what we've been up to and where we are going next.

To be continued!

Van Jones,
President & Co-Founder

P.S. We're seeing more and more folks displaying the new American Dream Movement logo. Please print off a sign and display it proudly in public, and send us a picture. 


ORIGINS: 'American Dream Movement' Is Born

Long-time organizers Natalie Foster, Billy Wimsatt and I came together this spring around a simple observation: a lot of people were fighting hard to keep the American Dream alive, but we were all isolated from each other.

We had seen so many inspiring fights across America: workers battling union-busting efforts; homeowners resisting foreclosures; veterans seeking work and support; students fighting against tuition hikes; both older workers and youth scrambling for jobs; major protests to keep state and local governments from firing hundreds of thousands of firefighters, teachers, cops, librarians, and nurses.

We knew that each of these groups would fight on, as best they could. During hard times, good people don't lie down and surrender.

But our question was: do they have to fight alone?

In this day and age, couldn't we use technology to bring us more together?

What if we all could see our fights as key components of an even BIGGER fight—the fight to save the American Dream itself? Millions of American Dream builders would have the power to stop the dream killers in their tracks.

We wanted to do something to pull the various strands together into an American Dream Movement. So we reached out to Civic Action and other partners. With their help, on June 23, 2011, we launched—as a dedicated support center and hub for a movement to save and rebuild the American Dream.

TODAY: 350,000 Strong & 'Jobs Not Cuts' Agenda Launched

That was about six weeks ago. This movement now consists of more than 350,000 individuals, including you, plus 70 supporting organizations. Our main slogan has become: "jobs not cuts."

This movement is emerging as a values-based network of activists. We have achieved a lot, including:
  • 130,000 people participated in creating the Contract for the American Dream, a bold plan to create jobs which we released this week. Over 100,000 people helped shape the Contract online, and about 25,000 participated in-person at 1,600+ house parties on July 16-17 in all 435 congressional districts. 

  • 20,000 attended rapid response events on July 26 at Default Crisis rallies. We were at 800 local offices in all 435 congressional districts. We also held a Capitol Hill speak-out on July 28 with 400+ people, including eight members of congress. We organized all of these rallies on 36 hours notice. (The Tea Party also had a rapid response rally the same week, which attracted 40 people).
The final deal was not one that you or I would have wanted. Many of us were frustrated with the White House and disgusted with the Republicans. But without our work together, the debt deal would have been worse. For instance: Medicare, Social Security and Medicaid were not harmed in the immediate deal.

NEXT: Where we are going

Now that we've released the Contract for the American Dream that many of you helped write, we'll be holding Congress accountable for the deficit crisis and tea party downgrade. Click here to find an August recess event near you.

And this fall, on October 3-5, 2011, we will be working with the Campaign for America's Future to produce a major summit in Washington, D.C.: "Take Back The American Dream." We'll send more information soon, but please plan to be there.

Thanks for all you do—and please stay in touch. We read our Facebook wall and Twitter feed every day.

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