Prince is performing a series of concerts next week in Chicago. Rebuild the Dream will be there to support and lift up local community organizations working towards a new economy (Find out more about our partnership here.)
Ever wonder how this all came to be? Watch Prince explain to the ladies of The View why the partnership with Rebuild the Dream was a perfect fit.
Rebuilder,You hear it again and again. "America is broke."Whenever we ask our elected leaders to do anything, that's what they say.No scholarships for our kids? Bridges falling down and roads crumbling? No jobs program to put Americans back to work?"Well, that's too bad," they say. "We can't afford to fix anything. America is broke."This is a very dangerous lie. It freezes people into thinking there is no solution... when there is. But it gets repeated, and repeated. You start to think you're crazy -- and they are right.So that's where we need to start. Will you commit, right now, to reject this lie and help us spread the truth?Add your name now.In the coming weeks, we'll be following up with everyone who makes this commitment with opportunities to get involved and get this message out there: America is Being Robbed.Our economy today is almost as big and rich as all of Europe's COMBINED -- including economic powerhouses like Germany. Our economy today is almost twice as big as China's. (And we have only one third of the Chinese population.) No other country even comes close to our wealth.If that is so, then how come only some of us are hurting? How come big corporate profits are at an all-time high while people are out of work? Why are Wall Street banks thriving while folks are losing their homes?One reason: global corporations and big banks are hoarding so much cash, refusing to recirculate it in the form of fair taxes and good wages. Instead, they use a few of their extra bucks to buy elections and elected officials -- Paul Ryan is just the worst example, not the only one.Those politicians then try to convince us that we should all accept more misery, while their mega-donors stockpile more cash than the Pharoahs ever dreamed about having.Enough is enough.If someone tells you we're too broke to do anything positive, ask them where the money went. Ask them who got a big bonus last year. Who got a new private jet? Ask about the Bush tax giveaways for the rich. Ask about the bailouts for Wall Street. Ask about tax shelters, subsidies for polluters, Halliburton expense accounts, or the massive bill for two wars.Fighting back starts with each of us making the choice to reject the myth, and committing that we won't sit silent while today's robber barons set the terms of the debate. So say it with me:"We're not broke -- we're being robbed, and I commit to fight back!"Families aren't just "falling" out of the middle class. They're being pushed. I promise I'll be out there pushing this. But this community together has way more power than any one person.Let's stand together,Van and the rest of the Rebuild the Dream team
Rebuilder,You've probably seen a lot of stories this week about how Mitt Romney just lost the election by choosing Paul Ryan for his running mate. I think those thoughts are dangerously misplaced. Here's why:Ryan is THE most effective weapon the other side has. He makes the argument for austerity with passion, poise and skill. He is a true believer. Vice President Biden better eat his Wheaties before the debate.If they win, they can claim a clear mandate to destroy everything that made the American Dream possible. And even if they lose, they'll shift the debate to the right so that any December ‘grand bargain’ will only cut Medicare a little instead of a lot. They'll have the whole country thinking America is "broke," when the truth is that a handful of the super-rich are bleeding us dry and cutting the net out from under the middle class.Here’s the real truth: America is NOT broke, America is Being Robbed.We can prevail. But we have to bring our A game. We need to defeat their arguments, not push watered-down alternatives. So today, we're launching a BIG campaign to get this message out there: America is Being Robbed.Americans already suspect the game is rigged against them. They're just looking for who to blame, and who has a plan to fix things. We've got a chance to break through. We need to frame the terms of the debate and win the war of ideas. If we don't, even a victory in November won't stop the worst of the 1% from tearing down the American Dream.So here's our plan. From now through the election and on into December, we will:Engage artists to change public opinion. We won't persuade people with more fact sheets and numbers. We need to organize artists and musicians to create inspiring projects that expose how Americans are being robbed every day by banks, corporations and the politicians that they own.Make it an election issue. Get candidates to go on the record on our issues by filling out the 99Elect questionnaire, and use campaigns and in-district events to show which candidates are willing to help stop the robbery (even if they need a push sometimes) -- and which ones are driving the getaway car.Expose the villains and lift up the victims. Expose the people who are dodging taxes, taking subsidies and ripping us off. We'll use advertising and public pressure, and tirelessly work the media to put the heartbreaking stories of their victims front and center.Educate and explain. The right uses complexity as a weapon of deception to hide how a handful of people are robbing America. We're going to share graphics, videos, and stories, and provide you the tools to tell this story in your community with online message trainings led by some of the best progressive communicators in the business.Are you in? We need to raise $100,000 for a multi-month campaign of this magnitude. Even $10 today will help, big time.The most eye-opening part of my job is getting to meet and talk to so many people. We talk in airports, in church basements, in coffee shops. They tell me about losing the homes they raised their kids in. Picking up groceries at the food bank they used to give to. Struggling to make rent because they were scammed into a student loan with all sorts of extra fees.Wanting to work. Begging to work. But finding no jobs because big corporations are hoarding profits instead of hiring and Washington D.C. just doesn't seem to care.Somehow, Washington has made the whole conversation about budget numbers. But it's not. It's about people who are hurting. We can never forget that. We CANNOT back down.Thanks,Van, and the rest of the Rebuild the Dream teamWe're super excited to start telling this story. For more on how America is being robbed check out this video from Van's speech last year at the Rebuild the Dream event in NYC:
"I support President Obama's tax cut proposal to help middle income and and poor folks without continuing tax bailouts for the nation's wealthy. That said, with all of Washington embracing a false 'we're broke' mentality and pushing cuts that just make things worse for many American families on the edge, the President must go further and promise to protect Social Security and Medicare and veto any handouts for people making more than $250,000."
Can't make it out to Providence to watch Van give the closing keynote at Netroots Nation this weekend? Watch it live from your laptop here.The keynote starts at 4:30 PM EDT on Saturday. We’ll also hear from NAACP President Benjamin T. Jealous, Congressman David Cicilline (RI-01), Carol Shea-Porter, Rhode Island State Representative Teresa Tanzi and Chuck Rocha.Netroots Nation's website or onthe live stream above at 4:30 PM Eastern time on Saturday.
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.