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The first American Dream conference will take place October 3 – 5, 2011 in Washington, D.C.  I am posting a number of emails that I have received and will update this thread as more information becomes available.

Please note: I am just no good at using WordPress and apologize for the mess I’m making of these posts. Please bear with me…I’m trying!

UPDATE: Democracy for America sent an email on August 19, 2011 outlining major agenda
items for the American Dream Movement. In the weeks prior to this, thousands of people got together in meetings all over the country to discuss solutions to the problems we face. I am including this email here:

Last night, Van Jones kicked off our Don’t Kill the Dream campaign with
over 15,000 DFA members listening in across the country.

Democracy for America is joining the American Dream movement and taking
the fight to Republicans across the country — at town halls, at their
district offices, everywhere — and it starts right now with you signing
onto the Contract for the American Dream.

[1]Join the movement — Sign the Contract for the American Dream right

What is the Contract for the American Dream? It’s the promise that we make
to one another that all Americans — rich, poor, or in-between, regardless
of skin color or birthplace, no matter their sexual orientation or gender
— have the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

The contract was created by over 120,000 grassroots progressives working
together at house parties nationwide last month and it includes ten
featured goals to rebuild America:

* Invest in America‘s Infrastructure
* Create 21st Century Energy Jobs
* Invest in Public Education
* Offer Medicare for All
* Make Work Pay
* Secure Social Security
* Return to Fairer Tax Rates
* End the Wars and Invest at Home
* Tax Wall Street Speculation
* Strengthen Democracy

[2]Read more about the Contract and sign on now.

Together, we can stop Republicans from killing the American Dream and
build a future based on liberty and justice for all.

Thank you for everything you do.


Levana Layendecker, Communications Director
Democracy for America


Visible links


UPDATE: There is information here in their newsletter about the conference, as well as many other issues important to us..

There is an exciting line-up of speakers and issues that will be covered. Some are yet to be confirmed. Van Jones will be speaking on the first day and will inspire everyone, I am sure! Lizz Winstead will no doubt have us rolling in the aisles! Congressman Barney Frank is also scheduled. The link below lists confirmed speakers:

I will try to get a full list of sponsors for this event. At this point, I am sure about, Democracy for America, The Campaign for America’s Future, and the SEIU. I am not certain about OFA, but I’m sure I have seen it mentioned. If you happen across the name of a sponsor that I have not included, please let me know.

Stay tuned….more to come!



A little more detail about the Contract for the American Dream, which was included as bullet points in the first part of this piece:

To produce this Contract for the American Dream, 131,203 Americans came together online and in their communities. We wrote and rated 25,904 ideas. Together, we identified the 10 most critical steps to get our economy back on track and restore the American Dream:


I. Invest in America’s Infrastructure: Rebuild our crumbling bridges, dams, levees, ports, water and sewer lines, railways, roads, and public transit. We must invest in high-speed Internet and a modern, energy-saving electric grid. These investments will create good jobs and rebuild America. To help finance these projects, we need national and state infrastructure banks.

II. Create 21st Century Energy Jobs: We should invest in American businesses that can power our country with innovative technologies like wind turbines, solar panels, geothermal systems, hybrid and electric cars, and next-generation batteries. And we should put Americans to work making our homes and buildings energy efficient. We can create good, green jobs in America, address the climate crisis, and build the clean energy economy.

III. Invest in Public Education: We should provide universal access to early childhood education, make school funding equitable, invest in high-quality teachers, and build safe, well-equipped school buildings for our students. A high-quality education system, from universal preschool to vocational training and affordable higher education, is critical for our future and can create badly needed jobs now.

IV. Offer Medicare for All: We should expand Medicare so it’s available to all Americans, and reform it to provide even more cost-effective, quality care. The Affordable Care Act is a good start and we must implement it — but it’s not enough. We can save trillions of dollars by joining every other industrialized country — paying much less for health care while getting the same or better results.

V. Make Work Pay: Americans have a right to fair minimum and living wages, to organize and collectively bargain, to enjoy equal opportunity, and to earn equal pay for equal work. Corporate assaults on these rights bring down wages and benefits for all of us. They must be outlawed.

VI. Secure Social Security: Keep Social Security sound, and strengthen the retirement, disability, and survivors’ protections Americans earn through their hard work. Pay for it by removing the cap on the Social Security tax, so that upper-income people pay into Social Security on all they make, just like the rest of us.

VII. Return to Fairer Tax Rates: End, once and for all, the Bush-era tax giveaways for the rich, which the rest of us — or our kids — must pay eventually. Also, we must outlaw corporate tax havens and tax breaks for shipping jobs overseas. Lastly, with millionaires and billionaires taking a growing share of our country’s wealth, we should add new tax brackets for those making more than $1 million each year.

VIII. End the Wars and Invest at Home: Our troops have done everything that’s been asked of them, and it’s time to bring them home to good jobs here. We’re sending $3 billion each week overseas that we should be investing to rebuild America.

IX. Tax Wall Street Speculation: A tiny fee of a twentieth of 1% on each Wall Street trade could raise tens of billions of dollars annually with little impact on actual investment. This would reduce speculation, “flash trading,” and outrageous bankers’ bonuses — and we’d have a lot more money to spend on Main Street job creation.

X. Strengthen Democracy: We need clean, fair elections — where no one’s right to vote can be taken away, and where money doesn’t buy you your own member of Congress. We must ban anonymous political influence, slam shut the lobbyists’ revolving door in D.C., and publicly finance elections. Immigrants who want to join in our democracy deserve a clear path to citizenship. We must stop giving corporations the rights of people when it comes to our elections. And we must ensure our judiciary’s respect for the Constitution. Together, we will reclaim our democracy to get our country back on track.

Be sure to check back here often! I’ll provide more information as it is received. Thanks for your interest!

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choiceladyKQµårk 死神ADONAIbitoKalima Recent comment authors
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Hey – be a bit careful here. Some of these (Reich, Borosage) are part of the PL. While I know Reich is on Common Cause, a most sensible organization, I’m pretty fed up with people like this being invited over and over and over. Where are the NEW voices? I see only a couple.

I remain deeply cynical about this – I went to Borosage’s conference two years ago, and it was ALL hair on fire lefties with not a new idea to their name.

Beware, too WHERE they hold it – Borosages’ progressive conference is at the Shoreham at $250 per night. Limousine liberals don’t cut it with me.

I’m not saying NO – I AM saying, keep an eye out for the same old same old.

Their “Medicare for all” is back to the unwinnable. We have yet to convince Americans that will work – and I’m a big single payer supporter. If we also do not utter one single word about changes in CONTROL then this is neo-liberalism which is as shopworn a concept as every other damn thing we’ve done. We also need to renew manufacturing of basics, and not a word about 21st-century investments talks about the critical link between steel, iron, auto, and other capital and durable consumer goods and the workers they employ.

Where are the people talking about transforming corporate ownership and management? Where are there discussions even about sharing in the fruit of one’s labors?

This is EXACTLY what the Center for American Progress has proposed over the years prior to 2008 – the platform for Hillary (save for the Medicare for all which she did not support).

Fine. Let’s keep pounding the drum for what is better – but let’s not believe there is anything new here. There are no new people, no new ideas, no OLD ideas revived. It’s neo-liberalism which is far better than the last 40 years, but it’s not the answer because it never gets to the root of corporate power. It’s PART of the answer.

It is part of Obama’s answer. And that may not be enough if these people do NOT give him credit for it. (And yes – he supports Medicare for all – IF there are votes for it. He embraced Vermont’s single payer plan as their state option with a waiver to begin in 2014.)

But by leaving out blue collar economies, this troubles me. There is nothing about agriculture, industry, mining, any of the places where non-college people may flourish.

Same old same old. I went to this in June 2009. Why should I go there again?

KQµårk 死神

One of the myths on the left is states can’t make single payer work alone. C’mon look at the populations of Scandinavia countries who progressives love to point to when they talk about single payer. Many states have greater populations than the 5,000,000 that live in Finland for example. Like you said even a state with a smaller population like VT can make it work. I mean there’s no real competition between states now for providers, save for Big Pharma.

BTW has anyone noticed how much Rx costs have dropped in the last 5 years?

I went from paying over $400/month out of pocket to about $200/month even without insurance. Out of the 7 scripts I take 5 are only $10 with my Walgreen’s plan that costs me $20/year. It’s the Dr’s visits and testing that gets me now.


KQ – I hate Wal-Mart, but one thing they did superbly is offer people low-cost – VERY low-cost – pharmaceuticals, and Walgreens and several other chains took that up as well. When they do something well, they should be honored for that.

There are a couple of other reasons prices are falling – patents are running out and true competition is setting in driving prices down. So far monopoly and negotiated pricing have not overwhelmed the new, widespread availability of once-restricted drugs. ACA, should it survive the budget axe, will do even more to lower drug prices. We shall all hope that remains true.

At any rate – this is good to hear from someone who is using these things. I take one med, so I’m NOT a good template for what is happening “out in the real world”.

I do agree that we can build single payer state by state. However, given the disarray of forces here, CA is not going to be one of them anytime soon. Another indication of the lack of solidarity on the left Emerald notes well in her comment to me above.

Ah, well. Those who can, do. Those who can’t? Too many live in CA. I wish they’d go away.

KQµårk 死神

It’s really just because Walgreens is closest and in my area we only chain drug stores which are about the same anyway. We could actually get a little bit lower prices at Wal-Mart (I know same people) but they have terrible service and hours.


for some reason Walgreens always used the Union Building Trades to build their stores and now defunct restaurants. Wal-Mart never has and is fanatically anti-Union.
Almost as fanatical as I am about livable wages and Jobs with Justice! 😉


Another reason to use Walgreens over Wal-Mart. But Wal-Mart has a larger list of drugs, so if people NEED them, then they should do what they must – hold your nose, go to Wal-Mart. Your life is precious, and sometimes we have to just bite the bullet. It is one thing WM did well. One.

KQµårk 死神

Cheers Emerald! This is the positive type of action all Dems and progressives should be taking.


Em, thanks for posting this and I hope many take time to read it and become active. All of use have to soon start picking out a good pair of gloves for door knocking and GOTV for the Dems and defeat the Baggers in Congress and reelect PBO! We will be outspent (thank you SCOTUS) so we have to outwork! Too many people sat out the 2010 midterms and what did we get? People need to study the issues, be prepared and mobilize! It can be done and we have examples from Wisconsin, Ohio and Michigan!


I clicked on the links under the heading “Visible links” and it redirected me to my post about GOD.

Now, I’m not gonna turn down the free traffic to my wonderful post but I feel that wasn’t your intention.

I did go to the Democracy for America website and signed up. I like Van Jones. A good guy. hope he can get some traction for 2016.