Last week, news broke that Senate leaders were considering dropping some of the most meaningful provisions from gun violence legislation.
Even super-majorities of gun owners overwhelmingly support common-sense measures like a ban on high-capacity magazines and universal background checks. We are little more than three months after the massacre at Newtown. But most U.S. senators seem more worried about NRA attack ads in 2014 than the gun violence that is taking innocent lives today.
The answer to gun violence is not simple. In many communities, nothing stops a bullet like a job. Plus, we need more community-based violence prevention programs. But we also need strong common-sense gun laws. To win that fight, we need to reach out to spark new energy.
To engage our friends and neighbors, we are teaming up with the Creative Action Network. Dozens of artists have submitted astonishing, moving posters that remind us why we fight and inspire us to dream differently. They could not come at a better time.
The most-shared posters will be given a place of honor at a gallery show in San Francisco on April 18th, helping the artist sell prints. Click share today and you will be supporting talented individuals at the creative edge of 21st century advocacy.
Not only that: You will help change the minds of friends, relatives and neighbors, and inspire them to join the fight.In the weeks to come, Rebuilders will do more than share moving designs online. We will also bring this art out onto the sidewalks and streets of our communities -- and bring culture and creativity into a perilous political moment.
The gun crisis, along with the struggle for fair immigration laws, is a key fight of the moment. Congress's limited courage is already failing. We need to step up.
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.
ARTSTRIKE on Dec 19 was bigger than we ever imagined. Not only did talented artists create powerful work exposing the misleading ideas dominating the budget debate... we were able to reach 11 million people with their work.
11 million! More on how it happened below, but the biggest "wow" moment for us was seeing things like this:
When artist Ernesto Yerena's piece was featured on CNN.com, we knew ARTSTRIKE was working.
Here's what happened on Wednesday:
- More than 70 artists from across the nation submitted work -- some calling for fair taxes, others speaking out against cuts. There were poems, posters, art, and music. Check out artstrike.tumblr.com to see.
- Celebrities like Mark Ruffalo, Edward Norton, Russell Simmons, Moby, and more tweeted ARTSTRIKE links to their millions of fans, as did progressive leaders like Bill McKibben.
- More than 35 major national advocacy organizations shared images and promoted ARTSTRIKE to their supporters
- Van's article on CNN.com, his list of favorites on Upworthy.com, and his other blog posts were seen by more than 100,000 people
- Thousands of people shared links to pieces, posted designs on Facebook, mentioned ARTSTRIKE on Twitter, or helped spread the word by putting up posters in their community
- When you add up all the fans, followers, likes, and views... Art that persuades, inspires, and spurs people to action made it in front of more than 11 million people
To put it in context: The New York Times daily circulation is only 1.5 million!ARTSTRIKE started when Rebuild the Dream Innovation Fund partnered with artist organizations CultureStrike and 5D Stories to change the conversation around the so-called "fiscal cliff." With big banks, big oil, and tax-dodging corporations setting the agenda, we knew statistics and arguments would only take us so far.
Thanks to dozens of extraordinary artists and tens of thousands of Rebuild the Dream Innovation Fund members and allies, we put a progressive message in front of millions on Wednesday. This won't be the last time we partner with culture-makers on projects like this. If you want to help make more of this possible, you can chip in here.