Take Back the American Dream Conference: Top 5 Things I'm Looking Forward To

The time is finally here. On Monday, we'll meet in Washington DC for the Take Back the American Dream conference (Oct. 3 to Oct. 5). I'm excited to share the very first national summit of the American Dream Movement with you. If you can't make it in person, we're going to livestream all of the keynote and plenary sessions right here, so bookmark www.RebuildTheDream.com. Here are five things I am especially excited about:

1. The American Dream Movement face to face. We met up locally in our communities throughout the summer, including the over 1,600 house meetings in July that reached every single congressional district in the country. But this is the first time we've all had a chance to gather in one place. Over 1,000 of us will share a space to talk, eat, listen, and inspire one another over three days in our nation's capital. I'm overjoyed to meet with many of you for the first time, and I hope you feel the same way.

2. The speakers. I keep busy as a public speaker in my own right, so it's always a treat for me to become part of the audience. This week, we can soak up the knowledge and wisdom of an amazing range of leaders and thinkers, from AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka to comedian Elon James White to immigrant rights activist Jackie Mahendra, not to mention a number of members of Congress.3. The conversations. With so many brilliant activists concentrated in one location, I can't wait to see what sort of inspiration and ideas explode out of our conversations. The Take Back the American Dream conference will host over 1,000 committed activists, both those with decades of experience in movement politics and those just recently engaged in the political process. Dozens of amazing breakout sessions have been scheduled, and I'm sure the exchanges and chance meetings between panels in the hallways will be just as fruitful.

4. Celebrating our successes. The American Dream movement is just getting started, and there's already a lot to be proud of. More than 300,000 people have signed our Contract for the American Dream (in which more than 130,000 people participated in creating). In August, people poured their time and passion into hundreds of protests to put pressure on Congress. We have hundreds of thousands of supporters who meet in living rooms and community centers in every congressional district in the nation. And we just started three months ago. Speaking of celebration, we'll also recognize an unsung hero at the conference with the Maria Leavey Award. You can see the amazing stories of the award finalists here.5. The rally. As a finale to the conference, on Wednesday at noon we will hold a major rally on Capitol Hill with a simple message: Start focusing on creating good jobs in this country and stop fiddling with cuts to essential programs for the middle class. I can't wait to see the American Dream Movement giving Congress a message it cannot ignore, right on its own doorstep. 

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