Pages tagged "americandream"


What to Expect From the Take Back the American Dream Conference

The Take Back the American Dream Conference is coming.Last year over 2,000 people participated in this conference to rebuild the American Dream. There was workshops, panels, plenaries, seminars and ad-hoc sessions with speakers from across the country and this year we're expecting all that and more. In addition to meeting inspring speakers, you can meet people like you united to rebuilding the American Dream.Campaign for America's Future has a great video from all the highlights last year. Be sure to tune in and register for the Take Back the American Dream Conference today.

Wisconsin Recall Prompts Historic Turnout

Wisconsin's election today is no ordinary election. Today's ballot will decide the fates of Governor Scott Walker and several Republican state senators in a historic recall election.The turnout is already incredible with one county clerk expecting turnout near 80 percent in Dane County and state election officials predicting about 60 to 65 percent of the voting age population to turn out. These numbers are incredibly impressive for any election, especially one without a presidential candidate on the ticket.Rebuild the Dream was out in Wisconsin with Wisconsin Jobs Now, SEIU, Citizen Action of Wisconsin and the League of Pissed Off Votes to mobilize minority and youth voters in Milwaukee at Rebuild Wisconsin last month. Additionally, hundreds of Rebuild the Dream members have been working with We are Wisconsin to phone bank virtually and turn out voters in Wisconsin. While there aren't any numbers from Milwaukee, election officials are already predicting higher turnout than 2008's elections and report running out of ballots in some polling places.We're waiting on the results of tonight's recall, Here's hoping we can all tell Scott Walker "You're Fired" tonight.


What's Next For the Progressive Movement?

The Nation's Ari Berman and Van Jones will be hosting a live discussion on Friday on the state of the progressive coalition and the role of grassroots activists in re-electing the President and pushing for more progressive governance.The Nation promises a lively discussion about the role of the grassroots activists in 2008 and thoughts on their role in 2012:
After a campaign that saw an unprecedented level of grassroots activism and young voter engagement, Barack Obama’s supporters have struggled to reconcile the idealism that swept him into the presidency with the more centrist and cautious approach he has taken once in office. As the 2012 election approaches, what role will grassroots activists play in Obama's re-election campaign and in pushing him to stand up for more progressive governance?
The Nation will be hosting this discussion on their website on this Friday, June 1 at 2 PM Eastern. After a short introductory conversation, you will be able submit your own questions in real time to have them answered by Van Jones and Ari Berman.


Jasiri X video "You're Fired" features clips from Rebuild Wisconsin

Hip hop artist and activist Jasiri X just released a new, remixed video for his song about Wisconsin governor Scott Walker called "You're Fired" -- watch the video here. The video was shot at our recent "Recall | Refund | Rebuild Wisconsin" event last Saturday, May 19th.On June 5, Wisconsinites will vote to recall Governor Scott Walker -- his attacks on the families and workers of Wisconsin led to the incredible 99% uprising early last year.


Sallie Mae shareholder meeting report back!

Hey everyone! Yesterday Jess and I traveled to Newark, Delaware to take part in the Sallie Mae shareholder meeting protest, held at Sallie Mae's headquarters. It was organized by the Student Labor Action Project (SLAP), Jobs with Justice, the United States Student Association, and Rebuild the Dream. Here's a write-up of what happened!To kick things off, here's the image that Tyler and Kimberly created for folks to share online as a virtual solidarity action:If you think it's as awesome as we do, head to our Facebook page to share it with your friends.Rebuild the Dream was there to deliver our petition asking CEO Albert Lord to make Sallie Mae work with students, rather than against them, and provide more repayment options. Over 42,000 members signed it. Five of us would be going into the shareholder meeting to deliver the petition signatures -- here we are, pictured below (L-R), Curtis Hierro, Chris Hicks (SLAP), Annie Mombourquette, Dan Apfel (Responsible Endowments Coalition), and me![caption id="attachment_5286" align="aligncenter" width="510" caption="From Twitter user @JessLivMo"][/caption]There were two components to the protest -- and both ended up working incredibly together to get the most out of the action. Folks would be protesting outside of the Sallie Mae headquarters where the shareholder meeting was taking place. The other component was that Curtis, Chris, Annie, Dan, and I would be making our way into the actual shareholder meeting to take control of the question and answer session and deliver the petition.Hundreds of folks turned out to hold a protest outside. Students, graduates, labor unions, community groups, and tons of others took part in a mock graduation to complete with ball and chain props to signify debt. Sallie Mae was ready for us -- they had set up orange cones and sent lots of police officers to greet us. The other component took place inside of Sallie Mae. In order to attend a shareholder meeting, you have to be a shareholder. Some of us had purchased shares, and some of us were proxies, meaning that we had permission to attend the meeting on behalf of an actual shareholder. Here are some pictures I (discreetly) took from inside the building... where we could HEAR the protest going on outside! Amazing power.And the best one -- evidence of what Sallie Mae was expecting: We made it into the meeting just as the question and answer session was starting. The session allows shareholders to ask the corporate board questions that relate to the meeting's proposals. We had each prepared a question intended to evoke responses -- but the main purpose was to make a statement. Unfortunately, they didn't allow cell phones in the meeting so we don't have footage from inside. Curtis told his story of being tens of thousands in debt. Annie shared that two months ago, she was arrested at a Sallie Mae protest held in DC. Chris and Dan demanded that Sallie Mae stop profiting off the backs of students, and I presented the petition with the help of everyone else. But they wouldn't allow us to deliver it to CEO Albert Lord himself -- even though he was sitting right up front. It was as if he was untouchable! So, his right-hand man offered to hand it to Lord himself and repeat back to us what our demands were!This action was one part of a larger struggle in student debt -- it isn't just focused on Sallie Mae. Yesterday, the Senate voted again on the interest rate... and it failed again. We have so far to go, but we have the power to organize and get our messages out. We have the power to make people listen. We're young, and we're ready. Edited To Add: Our Sallie Mae protest got media coverage from NewsWorks and the USA Today!


Put Sallie Mae On Notice Today!

This Thursday, busloads of people will head to Sallie Mae's annual shareholder meeting in Delaware to protest Sallie Mae's reprehensible business practices and overpaid CEO Albert Lord.Shareholder meetings are perfect opportunities for protest: they happen once a year, and the company's top executives are rubbing elbows with their shareholders. It's a lot of money in one spot -- money that is the direct result of high-interest loans and harassing phone calls to borrowers. Albert Lord, Sallie Mae's CEO, rakes in millions each year -- he has so much money that he built a private, 244-acre golf course for himself. Today is the day to put Albert Lord on notice.Since Rebuild the Dream members can't all attend the protest, we've created a virtual solidarity action -- and it's easy for you to do.

Use the buttons below to share this image on Facebook and Twitter and support the protesters at Sallie Mae's shareholder meeting.

Why put Sallie Mae on notice?

How much money does Mr. Lord make off students? The Shareholder Committee granted Mr. Lord a bonus of $2.5 million in 2011 -- $1.25 million of which was in cash.In addition to making millions off of private student loans, Albert Lord has boldly claimed that the student loan debt bubble doesn't actually exist.From 2002 to today, Sallie Mae has spent $25,470,000 lobbying the federal government. Sallie Mae has been one of the most aggressive lobbyists in Washington, D.C. on issues impacting students and student debt, allowing them to continue to use predatory lending practices.Read Molly Katchpole's report on some of Sallie Mae's draconian collecting practices -- including encouraging debtors to sell their blood to pay for student loans.


What does a Romney Presidency look like?

My friend Doug tagged me in a Facebook post today. It was a screenshot of Mitt Romney's latest tweet (I retweeted it, then took a screenshot myself). Here it is, in all its glory:This isn't a parody account -- it's the real @MittRomney deal. Doesn't it seem fake, though?

Grover Norquist + hyperbole = offensive

Grover Norquist! One of my most favorite people, EVER. I love this guy. He's so... committed. Yes. Committed. Steadfast in his opinion. Fanatical, almost. If I ever feel like my commitment to something is faltering, I think of Mr. Norquist and his unwavering commitment to making sure taxes are never raised, ever, on anything at all.So ok, obviously I'm being sarcastic. I mean, no doubt the guy's committed -- but I just can't agree with never raising taxes. I just can't stomach the fact that Mitt Romney pays a 13.9% tax rate. And check out these guys -- they pay less than $0 in income tax.Last week, Facebook's Eduardo Saverin pulled a pretty crazy move and renounced his US citizenship in order to avoid paying over $60 million in taxes just before Facebook announced its initial public offering. Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) announced a bill that would "bar individuals like Saverin from ever reentering the United States again."Whoa, I like that. BAM. You wanna leave the US so you don't have to pay taxes? Fine. Bye.Even Speaker Boehner agreed with it.SO WITH THAT -- Mr. Norquist decided to weigh in:
“I think Schumer can probably find the legislation to do this. It existed in Germany in the 1930s and Rhodesia in the ’70s and in South Africa as well,” said Norquist. “He probably just plagiarized it and translated it from the original German.”
Seriously? People are still equating laws they don't like with... Nazism? Folks, let's move past that. It's offensive. It's simplistic.

Milwaukee Combines Art, Music and Activism at Rebuild Wisconsin

Wisconsin is facing a turning point in their state's history on June 5th.A year after the historic protests in the state's capitol, the people of Wisconsin have collected enough signatures to hold a recall election against Governor Walker. If enough people turn out, Wisconsin can Recall Scott Walker, Refund priorities like jobs, education, and healthcare, and Rebuild the Dream. Enter Rebuild Wisconsin. Rebuild the Dream, along with SEIU, We Are Milwaukee, We are Wisconsin, Citizen Action of Wisconsin, Wisconsin Jobs Now and the League of Pissed-Off Voters, came together to create a movement for an economy that supports 100% of Wisconsin -- not just the top 1%. Through art, music and activism, Rebuild Wisconsin brought together youth, unions, activists and local leaders for a state revival that promoted voter education just in time for the Wisconsin recall election on June 5th. Participants were encouraged to vote early and recruit friends to get out the vote.Check out some of the art and performances from Rebuild Wisconsin:[View the story "Rebuild Wisconsin" on Storify]Watch the footage from Rebuild Revivals here.Not authorized by any candidate, candidate's committee or candidate's agent. Authorized and paid for by Rebuild the Dream.

An Idea Worth Spreading: Income Inequality is a Serious Problem

Is income inequality an idea worth spreading? // Image Credit Mother Jones
 I'm a big fan of TED. When it comes to promoting ideas worth spreading, there aren't too many bigger players than the annual conference of visionaries and thinkers and all its related offshoots.That's why I was surprised when controversy broke about an income inequality talk by "super-rich" venture capitalist Nick Hanauer considered "Too Hot for TED." In the Watch the video that sparked the discussion about TED and income inequality.Although TED has posted the video online, we still need to have an important discussion on income inequality in this country. TED curator Chris Anderson seems to agree on that point, stating, "Pretty much everyone at TED, including me, worries a great deal about the issue of rising inequality."As a leader in promoting ideas that can change the world, TED should be promoting discussion on income inequality. Today, Rebuild the Dream President Van Jones proposed the creation of a TED summit on income inequality as a way to shed more light on this issue. Powerful movements such as Occupy Wall Street and the 99% movement sprung up in reaction to extreme income inequality. There is an incredible amount of discussion yet to be had on the topic of income inequality, and TED is uniquely qualified to bring together economists, social activists and other brilliant thinkers to promote those ideas.We at Rebuild the Dream encourage TED to expand the discussion on this topic -- income inequality matters and it's an idea we should be talking about.Watch the video that sparked the discussion about TED and income inequality.