On January 21, 2013, America celebrated the Second Inauguration of Barack Obama. While crowds cheered Obama's support of LGBT equality and equal pay for women, Rebuild the Dream President Van Jones gave real-time commentary on CNN and shared the personal and historic impact of the day.
"I think about my father. My father was in Memphis on April 4, 1968 when Dr. King was assassinated. He said he felt like they were trying to kill hope in America.And then I was with my father when he was on his death bed in 2008. He'd look up and see Obama and say, 'The hope is back.'"
Check out the entire clip on YouTube, and check out Van's op-ed on Obama's Inaugural as a rebuttal to Reaganism at CNN Opinion.
Shapeshifters! Conventions! Debates! Two months ago, Barack Obama won a major presidential election. Watch the highlights of the 2012 Presidential election with Rebuild the Dream President Van Jones covering everything from the immediate reactions from the debate to the long lines on election day.
Mosaic is a company using the crowdfunding model to finance solar in communities across the country
We are not living up to the promise of the American Dream.
Even now, our leaders are talking about cutting, instead of creating jobs to grow our way out of the deficit. Congress is ignoring big problems, congratulating itself on avoiding a fiscal cliff of its own creation. The federal budget props up broken parts of our economic system -- big banks, big polluters and big defense contractors -- instead of investing in areas such as education and infrastructure that would benefit everyone.
Now, a new breed of companies is leveraging the power of networks and sharing -- and showing us what a more sustainable, prosperous future can look like.
Today is ARTSTRIKE, and it couldn't come at a more urgent moment. Reports indicate President Obama and Speaker Boehner are still discussing a deal that would slash Social Security, cut veterans benefits, and raise taxes on the poor and middle class to pay down a deficit created by the Bush wars, Bush tax cuts, and Bush economic collapse.
Rebuild the Dream has joined forces with culture-makers to call out the "fiscal bluff" and take a stand against the lies and cuts that would hurt our communities and families.
Artists across the country have created powerful images, posters, and songs. They deserve to be seen by millions -- so that's our job today. I picked out a few of our favorites, and put them in one place on Upworthy for you to see and share.
Take a look. And then please hit "SHARE" today. We'll have the biggest impact if we do it all at the same time.
Tens of thousands of Rebuilders are joining in. Progressive allies and artist networks are mobilizing to do the same. Together, we can put these works of art in front of millions of people, more than some major newspapers will reach today.
ARTSTRIKE isn't your typical day of action -- we're not making phone calls or staging rallies or signing petitions, as important as those tactics are.
Instead, we're partnering with artists who know how to grab the attention of friends who have tuned out. We're using culture as a tool to change people's hearts and minds, in a way that only art can.
Ask Favianna Rodriguez, co-founder of our partner CultureStrike. She says: "Artists are central to social change. In order for us to win the battles that most impact our communities, we must first change the culture." Or listen to Mike Molina of 5D Stories. He says: "Artists tell the stories that define what we believe is possible."
I couldn't agree more. I'm grateful to the artists who have contributed extraordinary work to this effort. It is touching and inspiring. Some pieces show the choice we face as a nation. Others confront us with what's really happening. Every one is impactful in its own way.
Take a look for yourself. And then post your favorites on Facebook and Twitter. Print your favorite and tape it to the window at home or in the office.
Share the stuff that touches YOU. That's what matters the most. That's what is most likely to touch the hearts of the people close to you.
Thanks for taking action with us,
Van and the rest of the Rebuild the Dream Innovation Fund team
P.S. -- We picked out a few of our favorites, but you can find more submissions here.
Due to the tragedy in Newton, Connecticut, we have decided to move ARTSTRIKE from Monday to Wednesday, December 19th.
Like all Rebuilders, our thoughts and prayers are with the families of Sandy Hook Elementary School and all victims of gun violence in our nation.
In the face of a legitimate crisis such as this, it is harder to stomach manufactured ones like the "fiscal cliff." We look forward to promoting the amazing work of artists exposing the "fiscal bluff" on Wednesday, and hope you will join us.
The so-called fiscal cliff is actually a fiscal bluff -- a made-up crisis that makes us think our government is out of money and out of time. The truth is, America's not broke. America is being robbed.
ART STRIKE: DECEMBER 19
America is Not Broke - America is Being Robbed
Send your art to firstname.lastname@example.org
It's time to call the bluff. To do that, we need art, design, music, poetry, video -- the things that inspire us to dream bigger. Songs that remind us why we fight. Images worth sharing. Funny videos that convince our friends that more cuts and tax breaks aren’t the answer. We want to light up people's hearts and minds, and ultimately change the course of the tired debate in Congress.
ART STRIKE is a culture day of action. On December 19th, artists will come together to create awesome new art and music -- we'll join them by spreading it wide! Help us share their art with the millions who are making up their minds about the big budget fights. National organizations will pitch in to spread creative work. Hundreds of thousands of people will share the best new material with their friends online. Thousands more will post cool images and signs in their windows or show up at street art events. Here’s how you can help:
1) Create something. Artists, poets, musicians, filmmakers, designers are coming together with CultureStrike and 5D Storytelling to show the choices we face:
- Cut education, or invest in kids?
- Cut taxes for the super-wealthy, or protect social security and health coverage for our elders?
- Give away loopholes for big oil and big coal, or invest in clean air and clean energy jobs?
Submit your content to JoinArtStrike@gmail.com for inclusion. (Planning a street art event on Dec 19? Let us know!)
2) Spread the word to your networks. Whether you’re an organization with a big list of supporters or one person with a few creatives, we need your help. Promote artstrike.tumblr.com in advance and encourage people to join in.
3) Join ART STRIKE on December 19. Publish your own art or videos (anything that stirs the soul!), share something cool created for ART STRIKE, or visit artstrike.tumblr.com and share stuff with your friends. Tweet, share, forward, or get out in the street in your community -- collectively, we can put heart-changing content in front of millions, and change the conversation.
At his official post-election press conference, President Obama told reporters that he's serious about fighting climate change while creating jobs. "We can shape an agenda that says we can create jobs, advance growth and make a serious dent in climate change and be an international leader," he said, "I think that's something that the American people would support."
We have just the answer. It's not a new idea, but as the two parties face off over the federal budget, it could be the path forward.
There's a tool we can use to answer the public's call for more jobs -- without cuts to Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security: a carbon tax.
You've probably read the headlines about a fiscal cliff.
Here's the good news: America will not FLY off into financial catastrophe on January 1st. The bad news is members of Congress may use the threat and hype of the fiscal cliff to CUT Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, education, help for the needy, and more. Catch Van explain the fiscal showdown and why the word “cliff” wants to make him bang his head on the table.
The economy is recovering, but we can’t turn back now. Over 350 economists have signed on to a letter telling Congress to prioritize job growth over a manufactured austerity crisis. We should avoid a bad deal that sells out our earned benefits and kills jobs to avoid a "cliff" that isn't real.
Wait! The fight isn't over!
Tuesday night was HUGE. Everyday people triumphed over big money. Years of hard work paid off. And best of all, progressives won a contest of ideas: "Together we are stronger" beat "you're on your own" at the polls.
Let's take a moment to give ourselves a pat on the back... and then get. right. back. to. work!
And let's dream big. If we put this same energy into the next four years, we can create jobs for young people, rebuild roads and bridges, spark the clean-energy economy of the future, get our tax code making sense again, and grow communities from the bottom up.
We can do this. We don't have to trim our vision. But we do have to fight. We can't repeat the mistakes of 2008 and 2009. Now that we've gotten folks elected, we need to make sure they do the job.
The first test starts now. Romney and Ryan ran on cutting Medicare, Social Security, and homefront investments to pay for massive tax cuts for the rich. Their ideas were rejected. But in Washington, bad ideas never die. They come back in the name of "compromise," and it's about to happen:
- At the end of the December, the Bush tax cuts expire. New budget goals that call for much lower spending also go into effect. There will be a big fight over this. That fight starts now.
- Washington calls this the "fiscal cliff." Don't buy it! They're trying to scare us into a "grand bargain" that cuts the pillars of the middle class but helps big banks. This isn't a cliff, it's a showdown between two ideas for America's future.
- If we don't keep fighting, any "grand bargain" will look more like a "grand swindle" that cuts Medicare, Social Security, education, and pretty much everything that helps guarantee the American Dream!
Let's not fall for what I call "ham and egg" justice. When it's time for breakfast, the farmer calls for "shared sacrifice." But if the hen gives up an egg, and the pig gives up a leg, that's not balanced. Instead of cutting help for sick kids, why don't we tax Wall Street speculation? Why not institute a carbon tax that would also save our planet, or end subsidies for big oil and handouts to Halliburton, or close loopholes for tax-dodging corporations... and then put that money to work rebuilding America?
The President won a hard-fought victory promising to make the wealthiest pay their fair share. Vice President Biden said he could "guarantee" no changes in Social Security. But we've learned they can't create change on their own.
The most important thing is that we don't rest now. So today, I'm asking you to click here to commit to keep fighting.
America is not broke. America is being robbed. Winning an election is just the first step to stopping it.
Now it's up to us,
P.S. -- Our movement can't win unless we speak to hearts as well as minds. So we also need your voice: your songs, your poetry, your design, your creative ways to explain where the money really goes, why a strong safety net matters, how investing in education opens doors, who it will be who pays the price for unfair cuts. If you have a creative idea, comment on this post right now and let us know.
Yesterday, the diverse coalition that came together in 2008 re-elected Barack Obama to a second term in office. On election day, Van Jones joined CNN to report on news and results from the battleground states across America.
Van Jones celebrated Democratic Party's victory on CNN by congratulating the organizers across the country, and reminded us that the fight is not over yet. The fiscal showdown is just around the corner.