Barack Obama and Mitt Romney faced off again last night in the second presidential debate. Watch Van Jones evaluate each candidate’s overall performance, and their responses to questions on gender equality and green jobs and read Van's opinion pieces on CNN before and after the debate.
Paul Ryan is the ultimate anti-women running mate for Romney.
Van’s advice for Obama: defend your green job record.
Obama has added 125,000 green jobs in Ohio, which Romney would be sure to cut.
What are women’s rights to Romney? They are binders full of women, who get home on time to cook dinner.
Thursday, Vice President Joe Biden and Congressman Paul Ryan came together for the Vice Presidential Debate. And while Biden called 'Malarkey' on Ryan’s austerity policies and half-truths, our own Van Jones continued calling out Malarkey after the debate on live television.
Watch Thursday’s highlight reel of the debate and tell us what your take on the debate in the comments.
Barack Obama and Mitt Romney held the first presidential debate of the general election last night, and our own co-founder, Van Jones, was there to provide analysis on CNN.
Van broke down Mitt Romney's performance, explaining debates are easier when you say anything to get elected.
Van Jones gave advice before the debate on the value of authenticity and where Barack Obama came from before the debate.
And Van brought the spotlight on issues like foreclosure and student debt where neither candidate is doing enough.
The Rebuild the Dream Village returned for a second day of community, creativity, and collaboration on Tuesday.Over 20,000 people attended and visited Chicago organizations in sustainable economy, planet, community, and economy. Hundreds entered in a contest for a chance to win a pair of VIP tickets.
Our winner, Amina, participated in six different actions from Chicago organizations in the United Center to qualify for the raffle before Prince took the stage.
Doors open at 5:00 pm for the final day of the Rebuild the Dream - Welcome 2 Chicago collaboration. Check out the photos from Tuesday's activities, get your Dream Card, and get involved.
Thousands of concertgoers attended the launch of the Rebuild the Dream Village at Prince's "Welcome 2 Chicago" concerts in Chicago on Monday.
Rebuild the Dream, along with dozens of local Chicago organizations, urged attendees to take action and help their local partners and neighbors build sustainable communities, find sustainable economy solutions, create a sustainable planet, and learn about sustainable food.
Local music and art filled the United Center concourse with the sounds of the James Brown Academy of Musik Pupils and displays by local artists.
Check out the amazing photos from the first day:
For the next three days, visitors to the Rebuild the Dream Village at Prince's Welcome 2 Chicago Residency can be quizzed on their knowledge about sustainable food, sustainable economy, sustainable planet, and sustainable communities.
Here's the quiz with the answers and sources.
1. What does it mean for a household to be “food insecure”?
A. Access to adequate food is limited by a lack of money and other resources.
B. Access to a wide range of food -- produce, dairy, meat, and grain -- is difficult.
C. Families are unsure how to cook and prepare adequate meals.
2. What percentage of U.S. families were food insecure in 2011?
Answer: C. 14.9% That’s 17.9 million households without regular access to adequate food!
Source: USDA, http://www.ers.usda.gov/publications/err-economic-research-report/err141.aspx
3. Fill in the blank: In 2011, children went hungry in ____ percent of U.S. households with children.
Answer: B. According to the USDA, millions of children went hungry last year alone.
Source: USDA Household Food Security in the United States report, 2011
4. A common problem in the U.S., a food _____ is a low-income area where a substantial number of residents don't have adequate access to food.
Answer: A. Desert. Despite the name, “food deserts” are not natural occurrences -- we can fix them!
Source: USDA, http://www.ers.usda.gov/data-products/food-desert-locator/about-the-locator.aspx#Defined
5. Globally, has the price of food increased, decreased, or stayed the same in the past 10 years?
A. Stayed the same.
Answer: C. The price of food has increased globally thanks to a combination of factors including more severe weather, and it’s leading to increased hunger and malnutrition for hundreds of millions.
Source: (Food & Agriculture Organization of the UN, 2011 report)
6. In 2011, how much money did the USDA give to factory farms in subsidies?
A. $15 trillion
B. $5 trillion
C. $25 trillion
Answer: A. $15 trillion that helps big agribusiness profits, not family farms that grow healthy food!
7. ____ is produced by farmers who emphasize the use of renewable resources and the conservation of soil and water to enhance environmental quality for future generations.
A. Vegan food
B. Organic food
Answer: B. It’s better for the earth, safer and healthier for humans to produce and consume -- and great for building community.
8. What does the term “CSA” refer to?
A. Community student association
B. Community subsidized architecture
C. Community supported agriculture
9. Which best describes what a CSA does?
A. A farmer offers plots of land to community members for a small yearly fee.
B. A farmer teaches school children how to plant and grow food.
C. A farmer offers a certain number of “shares” to the public, who receive a box of seasonal produce weekly in return.
Answer: C. CSAs support small farms and small business, provide healthy, local food, and build community.
10. How many million people went hungry worldwide last year?
A. 300 million
B. 674 million
C. 925 million
Answer: C. That’s one-seventh of the world’s population.
11. That number includes __% of U.S. children.
Answer: B. Any percentage of children going hungry is inexcusable -- why are big businesses thriving in the U.S., while children go hungry?
1. True or false: Financially, low-wage workers are better off now than low-wage workers in the 1960s.
Answer: False: If America’s minimum wage had kept up with inflation, today’s low-wage workers would make $10.38 an hour, or over $21,500 annually for full-time work. Instead they earn just $7.25, or $15,000 a year!
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics
2. How much money could the average American save by ride-sharing or carpooling?
A. $100 - $200 per year
B. $200 - $500 per year
C. $500 - $1,000 per year
Answer: C. Ride-sharing or carpooling isn’t just good for the environment, it’s a great way to save money.
3. Some politicians say we can't afford to create jobs because America is broke. True or false: America is broke.
Answer: False! Our economy is still bigger than Europe and China, and Wall Street is doing better than ever, but through tax loopholes, low rates, and more, the worst of the 1% aren't paying their fair share, while demanding that the government subsidize banks, oil companies, and more.
4. What is the “jobs cliff” or “fiscal cliff”?
A. Another name for the 2008 economic crash
B. Automatic cuts in government spending that will take place on January 1
C. When half or more of a company’s employees are laid off simultaneously
Answer: B. Automatic cuts in spending coming in January, including for healthcare and education, would badly damage our fragile economy.
5. How much money have the Bush-era tax cuts cost us in revenue since 2001?
A. $1 billion
B. $2.5 trillion
C. $5 trillion
Answer: B. Worse, most of it went to the top 2% of Americans. Imagine the investments in education or jobs we could have made instead!
6. How much have the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq cost our nation?
A. $440 billion
B. $1.4 trillion
C. $4.4 trillion
Answer: C. At a total cost to date of $4.4 trillion, the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq are a huge reason we have a federal budget deficit.
7. Triple-bottom-line accounting is a business framework that incorporates three dimensions of performance. What are they?
A. Revenue, Expenses, Investments
B. People, Planet, Profit.
C. Long-term costs, short-term costs, and revenue
Answer: B. Triple-bottom-line businesses are sustainable, community-oriented, and still profitable!
8. How much is a living wage?
C. $9,000 per family member
D. It depends on where you live
Answer: C. A living wage is the minimum amount necessary for a worker to meet his or her basic needs. It changes according to standard of living -- but almost nowhere is federal minimum wage enough!
9. Which of these statements describe “worker co-ops” -- companies owned by workers?
A. Offer better pay benefits
B. Are less destructive to communities
C. Are just as if not more productive
D. All of the above
Answer: D. All of the above. Worker co-ops are just one example of a new, more sustainable and prosperous economic future.
10. True or false: tax cuts create more jobs than direct government spending.
Answer: False! Despite what you may hear, direct spending usually boosts the economy more, because extra money from tax cuts is often saved instead of spent on goods and services that create jobs.
11. True or false: 47% of Americans do not pay federal taxes.
Answer: False. While they may not pay income tax, almost all Americans pay a payroll tax. Those who don’t include seniors on Social Security, troops serving overseas, or the working poor.
1. What is a “green job”?
A. Work that contributes to preserving or restoring environmental quality.
B. A job in a new, developing field.
Answer: A. Specifically: work in agricultural, manufacturing, research and development (R&D), administrative, and service activities that contribute substantially to preserving or restoring environmental quality.
Source: United Nations Environment Program
2. If we doubled the recycling rate in the U.S., about how many green-collar jobs would it create?
C. 1 million
Answer: C. Imagine how many more jobs we could create by also retrofitting homes and buildings with more energy-efficient materials, started composting programs in communities, boosted production of electric cars... the possibilities are endless!
3. True or false: Coal is the most common fuel for generating electricity in the U.S.
Answer: True -- and mining coal is both highly dangerous for workers, and extremely harmful to the environment.
4. Each year, Americans use about ___ plastic shopping bags.
A. 1 billion
B. 500 million
C. 75 million
Answer: A. One billion plastic trash bags created over 300,000 tons of landfill waste.
5. Each day, the average American produce about ___ pounds of trash.
Answer: B. 4.6 pounds for each of the more than 311 million of us!
6. Each year, how much do our tax dollars subsidize just oil companies?
A. $1 billion
B. $4 billion
C. $6 billion
Answer: B. How much are you paying for gas?
7. What is the total cost to taxpayers for subsidies to the oil, gas, and coal industries each year?
A. $100 million
B. $1 billion
C. Over $10 billion
Answer: C. Imagine if this money was going toward alternative forms of energy -- not something that is causing irreparable damage to our planet!
8. The earth’s average surface temperature will rise between 2 and __ degrees over the next 90 years.
Answer: C. And we’re already seeing the effect in rising seas, droughts, severe weather, and famine!
Source: Clean Air Council, Health Effects of Global Warming
9. Some say preventing climate change will cost too much. But how much will it cost to build sea walls, relocate cities and towns, and deal with the consequences?
A. 5% of the world’s total yearly economic output
B. 10% of the world’s total yearly economic output
C. 20% of the world’s total yearly economic output
Answer: C. We are going to end up paying big-time for destruction caused by global warming.
1. What is the biggest contributor to the current federal deficit?
A. Public education
B. Bush-era tax cuts
Answer: B. Bush-era tax cuts, the bulk of which benefited the 2% of Americans making more than $250,000 a year.
2. Credit unions are..
.A. Just as predatory as big banks, but just as safe
B. Not predatory like big banks, but risky
C. Non-predatory and safe!
3. About how many people moved their money from big banks to credit unions last fall?
A. No more or less than usual.
B. Over 650,000 -- more people than in all of 2010.
Answer: B. Credit unions are more democratic and aren’t predatory like big banks -- they truly are “people helping people.” Unlike banks, credit unions return surplus income to their members in the form of dividends.
4. A tiny fee of a twentieth of 1% on each Wall Street trade would:
A. Raise tens of billions of dollars that could be spent on Main Street
B. Reduce speculation and risky trades
C. Have little to no impact on investment
D. All of the above.
Answer: D. It’s called a Wall Street Speculation Tax, and it’s one of 10 items in Rebuild’s Contract for the American Dream.
5. How much could we raise from a tiny, 1/20 of 1% tax on Wall Street speculation in the first 9 years?
A. Over $150 billion
B. Over $250 billion
C. Over $350 billion
6. True or false: the word “underwater” now has a new meaning.
Answer: True. "Underwater: having, relating to, or being a mortgage loan for which more is owed than the property securing the loan is worth."Source: http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/underwater
7. 5 years after banks crashed the housing market, how many homeowners still owe those banks more than their homes are worth?
A. 1 in 3
B. 1 in 5
C. 1 in 10
Answer: A. Underwater homes are a huge drain on our economy. But there’s hope for these homeowners through principal reduction/modifying the home’s loan so it reflects fair market value -- and it’s a proven solution.Source: http://investors.zillow.com/releasedetail.cfm?ReleaseID=702014
8. What is the average American household income?
9. What is the U.S. poverty rate?
Answer: C. America isn’t broke -- so why is such a huge percentage of our country impoverished?
10. How much student debt is there?
A. $50 million -- $100 million
B. $200 billion -- $500 billion
C. Over $1 trillion
Answer: C. The amount of student debt in America is larger than credit card debt -- and rising. From rapidly rising tuition to high-interest loans from banks, college is becoming less affordable -- and becoming more necessary at the same time.
11. Most funding for public education come from the ____ level.
A. State and local level
The word sustainability is usually associated with the planet and environmentalism. Prince is partnering with Rebuild the Dream to highlight organizations promoting ideas to increase green practices.
The following organizations will be participating at the Rebuild the Dream Village:
Green for All works with business, government, labor and grassroots communities to create and increase quality jobs in the green economy. Founded by Rebuild the Dream's co-founder Van Jones, Green for All is working to create green jobs to lift communities out of poverty.
Chicagoland Citizens Climate Lobby is a fast-growing, non-partisan group advocating for good policy in the important area of climate change.Blacks in Green promotes sustainable economic development in black communities in Chicago by weatherizing and improving the cultural heritage and stewardship of the community.
Little Village Environmental Justice Organization works with families, coworkers, and neighbors to speak up for the environment where they live.
GreenCorps Chicago is the City of Chicago’s green job training program and provides career paths to hard-to-employ Chicagoans with skills for the green economy.
Neighbor Space supports community-based ownership and management of small parks throughout Chicago, in order to create and protect green open spaces where community groups start create gardens.
Sweet Beginnings offers a second chance for formerly-incarcerated citizens to find jobs in the green economy.
What do bees, computer code, and factories have in common?
They are all tools used by our sustainable economy partners to create a shareable, collaborative and local economy. At the Rebuild the Dream Village at Welcome 2 Chicago, we will be featuring these organizations using innovative growth models to create a new economy from the community up.
Code for America is a "Peace Corps for Geeks." Code for America connects developers and designers with city governments to change the way cities work through technology and public service. Volunteers from the Code for America Brigade in Chicago will be demonstrating the Open311 service.
Sweet Beginnings creates two things: all-natural honey products and second chances. Sweet Beginnings extracts their honey from urban beehives in Chicago and provides transitional job opportunities in the green economy to formerly-incarcerated citizens.
New Era Windows is a new worker-owned cooperative company that made national headlines in 2008 after responding to a shutdown of then-Republic Windows and Doors by occupying it.
Seaway Bank is a bank founded to counter discriminatory lending practices in Chicago's southside with a commitment to the community that continues to the present day.
Center for Neighborhood Technology promotes urban sustainability to create solutions for transportation and community development, energy, water, and climate change.
Sustainability goes beyond what you eat. Rebuild the Dream Village is also featuring organizations promoting solutions for sustainable communities, to lift up the voices of everyday people through empowerment and education.
Find out more about these organizations empowering their communities:
SOUL (Southsiders Organized for Unity and Liberation) empowers residents living in the Southside and Chicago's southern suburbs to address concerns within their communities.
Lakeview Action Coalition is a community group comprised of 49 religious congregations, non-profits, banks & credit unions, business groups, and senior citizen organizations. Together, they advocate for the communities of Lakeview, Lincoln Park and North Center.
STOP (Southside Together Organizing For Power) is a community organization empowering the residents of the Southside of Chicago through organizing, education and leadership development.
Chicago Freedom School educates young people on the history of past movements, deepens their understanding of current social problems, and helps young people lead social change movements with the assistance of adult allies. Think of them as a university for social justice.
Chicago Votes is not your average voter registration organization. They have three goals: training leaders, mobilizing millennial volunteers, and having fun.
Fiesta Del Sol/Latino Progress Institute - Fiesta Del Sol is the Midwest's largest festival celebrating Latino culture, and the Latino Progress Institute is an educational center helping over 14,000 participants with basic academic skills, a high school diploma or GED, U.S. citizenship exams, and job skills and opportunities.
Next week, Rebuild the Dream will be partnering with Prince to lift up solutions for an economy that works for everyone. When Prince explained his collaboration with Rebuild the Dream, he said, "It's not political... we're at a place now in this country where we're going to have to work together and stop looking at each other's affiliation and start taking care of each other."In cities across the United States, organizations are working to create a more sustainable society. The goal of the Rebuild the Dream Village is to lift up organizations in four areas:
- Sustainable Communities
- Sustainable Economy
- Sustainable Planet
- Sustainable Food
These are four organizations working to make food accessible, healthy, and sustainable to all citizens of Chicago.
UrbanPonics produces fresh foods year round in the urban neighborhoods using hydroponics -- an agricultural technique allowing crops to be grown without soil.
Growing Home provides transitional employment and training in organic agriculture to formerly homeless or incarcerated Chicagoans who face obstacles finding a job.
Fresh Moves is tackling food deserts — communities with limited access to fresh food and vegetables needed to maintain a healthy diet — with a mobile farmers market that provides those things.
Growing Power provides training, outreach, and technical assistance to create Community Food Centers. Growing Power aims to grow food, grow minds, and grow community.