Pages tagged "americandream"

INTERACTIVE MAP: Student Debt Across the United States

Over the last week, more than one thousand brave Rebuild the Dream members shared their student debt stories. What do 1,000 voices calling for change look like?They look something like this. We created a map, where you can read hundreds of student debt stories. This is a small sample of the millions of people impacted by student debt across the country. You can still submit your student debt story today and also write a letter to the editor about the importance of keeping student loans affordable. Let's get these stories out across the nation.

Arrested For A Sharpie Marker?

As part of the 99% Power movement, thousands of shareholders have been demonstrating against corporate greed at shareholder meetings across the country.In response to the highly successful shareholder actions, the City of Charlotte is taking a stand. A stand against dangerous Sharpie markers.Charlotte Police will be given special "emergency" powers for the upcoming Duke Energy and Bank of America Shareholder Meetings. These special emergency powers will grant law enforcement "unlimited discretion" and permission to search all bags for prohibited items and arrest those who have them. The ACLU has raised concerns over non-protestors getting arrested for refusing a search while walking through the city.
Law enforcement will be given broader powers during these events to search backpacks, coolers, satchels and messenger bags. That includes briefcases and carry-on luggage — the kind with wheels often used by lawyers to transport reams of documents.The new ordinances also detail a list of items that are grounds for arrest. Among them: spray paint, permanent markers, hammers, crowbars, box cutters, utility knives, chains, padlocks, lumber, plastic pipe, pepper spray, mace and police scanners.ACLU of North Carolina Legal Director Katy Parker says the Charlotte’s security rules place “unlimited discretion” in the hands of Walton.“We have a concern about that much power in the hands of the city manager — it could really chill free speech,” Parker says.
Protests or no protests, you might want to keep your kid cousin's Sharpie collection away from Charlotte for awhile. You can also visit The City of Charlotte's Facebook page to air your opinion on the new policy.

Rebuild The Dream Responds to FHFA's Delays: We Can't Wait

With over 11 million families drowning from underwater mortgages, homeowners need solutions yesterday. Today, Ed De Marco delayed relief for millions by announcing the FHFA was indefinitely postponing its decision on principal reduction. Read Rebuild the Dream’s statement on the delay:
Rebuild the Dream response to FHFA's delays:Ed DeMarco's foot-dragging is irresponsible and unjustifiableThe FHFA announced today that they are indefinitely postponing a widely anticipated decision regarding whether they will implement principal reduction as a solution for underwater homeowners.Rebuild the Dream finds this delay irresponsible and unjustifiable, in the face of a mountain of evidence favoring principal reduction, and after calls for principal reduction from economists, experts, HUD Secretary Sean Donovan, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, and countless members of Congress. Even Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac -- the enterprises Mr. DeMarco oversees -- disagree with him on the issue of principal reduction. Studies released a month ago by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac show that principal reduction is a workable, net-positive solution for taxpayers and for struggling homeowners."Rebuild the Dream's membership includes thousands of underwater homeowners across the country. These struggling homeowners tell us they are appalled and deeply distressed by how slowly FHFA is moving on this critical issue," said Ian Kim, Director of Campaigns at Rebuild the Dream. "These homeowners and their families are drowning, and Mr. DeMarco has a lifeline, called principal reduction. He should be moving heaven and earth to help save these homeowners. Instead he's dragging his feet and taking his time."Since February, Rebuild the Dream has been calling on Mr. DeMarco to move forward on principal reduction, or else be removed as Director of the FHFA."With or without Mr. DeMarco, the Obama Administration must implement broad-scale principal reduction, without delay," said Ian Kim. "Principal reduction is key to allowing underwater homeowners to stay in their homes and communities, and it is key to unshackling our nation's economic recovery."

We Said Don't Double. President Obama Says #DontDoubleMyRate

For months, Rebuild the Dream, along with US PIRG, Campus Progress and the US Student Association, has been campaigning so Congress stops Stafford loan rates from doubling. Rebuild the Dream members wrote 130,000 letters to members of Congress and made 4,000 phone calls to their Senators. It's on now. The White House is responding by jumping in and bringing national attention to this important issue.President Obama has launched a campaign to support the efforts to stop Congress from letting student loan rates double this summer. Starting with events in North Carolina, President Obama gave a speech on college affordability at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. This was followed by a visit to Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.Here's the round up from Obama's student loan interest rate push.

You did it! A Presidential Response Is Coming!

Last week, we asked for your help collecting the final 6,000 signatures to get to the required 25,000 for an official White House response on principal reduction for underwater homeowners.We had four days and you did it.

Thanks to you, we now have the necessary signatures to get an official response on principal reduction for 11 million struggling Americans with underwater mortgages. A special thanks to our partners at, New Bottom Line, Campaign for America's Future and National People's Action and other partners and allies for helping with the final push across the finish line. We will let you know when we hear from the White House.

Delivering 100,000 Signatures

Today, I, along with my teammate Jess Morales and three Rebuild the Dream members, delivered over 100,000 signatures to Speaker Boehner’s office on Capitol Hill, asking Speaker Boehner and Congress to denounce Rep. Virginia Foxx’s out of touch remarks on student loan debt.We met outside of Longworth House Office Building at 9 am, camera, signs, and a huge stack on paper in tow. After a brief pep talk and game plan, we headed in to the building and through security to find Speaker Boehner's office. Interestingly, when we got there... the door was locked. We were met with a very curt response from a staffer, who blocked us from entering the Speaker's office and denied our requests to speak to any other staff! Jess and I shared our own stories about student debt and delivered the 100,000 petition signatures (printed double-sided, 70 names per sheet of paper, and still reams and reams of paper!) before we were ushered out of the building by police officers.[View the story "Delivering 100,000 Signatures" on Storify]Curtness and locked doors aside, Jess and I considered it a pretty successful delivery. We have video footage, photos, and got our message across: student debt is a serious issue and Congress needs to pay attention and bring solutions, not insensitive insults.

Pop Quiz: Which degree will put you more in debt? Harvard or San Jose State?

With states slashing higher education funding across the country, state universities are becoming less and less affordable. The result: for middle-income families, private universities like Harvard are cheaper options than public universities like San José State.

The Intergenerational Problem of the Public University

Last week we started a petition after Rep. Virginia Foxx had this to say about student loan debt:
I went through school, I worked my way through, it took me seven years, I never borrowed a dime of money... I have very little tolerance for people who tell me that they graduate with $200,000 of debt or even $80,000 of debt because there’s no reason for that.
What lies at the heart of Foxx's remark is a seriously misguided belief that college today is as affordable as it was when Foxx paid her way through school in 1968.In reference to Foxx's comments, Mike Konczal at the Roosevelt Institute couldn't have said it any better:
A major problem with our leaders is that they are approaching what is happening in the public university through a mental model of a world that no longer exists.

Dylan Ratigan last Friday

Last Friday I was on Dylan Ratigan's MSNBC show to talk about the Stafford loan interest rate issue with Rep. Peter Welch (D-VT).Here's the link!

6,000 Signatures Away From An Answer From The President

We're about 6,000 signatures away from getting a direct response from the President about our petition to win relief for struggling homeowners. And we have until THIS SUNDAY to get there.Rebuild the Dream is fighting for the single most important solution for the home mortgage crisis: principal reduction (reducing underwater home loans to fair market value).The White House has a special website called "We the People." Anyone can create a petition there, like we did. And if a petition gets to 25,000 signers within 30 days, then the White House guarantees that it will make an official response.6,000 signatures might sound like a lot, but it's not. We've already gotten 19,000 signatures. If everyone who reads this message, like you're doing right now, takes a moment to sign the petition, we'll blow past our goal and get an official White House response.Getting an answer directly from the President would be a major milestone for this campaign. We can do this.Sign the petition now and let's get a direct answer from the President.Heads up: signing a White House petition is a little more complicated than a regular online petition, so here's what you need to do:1. Create an account on the White House petition site. Click the "Create an Account" button at the bottom of the petition page. Fill in your name, email address, and the scrambled words at the bottom. If you can't make out the words, you can click the tiny blue button with the curvy arrows to get a new word that you can decipher.2. Verify your account. You'll get an email at the address you provided that contains a link you need to click on to verify your new account.3. Sign the petition. When you click on the verification link in your email, you'll be taken right back to our petition, and that's when you sign it by clicking the green button at the bottom.Ready? Go to our petition on and sign it now.This is just one step on the road to fixing this crisis, but it's one that will make a strong impact and create some real momentum. We owe it to the millions of struggling homeowners who are counting on us to get them some justice and a fair shake. But we also owe this to each other. This is what the Rebuild community is all about -- getting together to do big things. Let's do this.