On Saturday, Aug. 20, members and supporters of MoveOn.org took to the streets on bikes and on foot to call for “Jobs Not Cuts” and to give out copies of their “Contract for the American Dream.”
Framed by their banner that read “Rebuild the American Dream,” the colorful contingent made its way down Manhattan’s Park Ave. from 51st St. to 25th. Chants such as “We need to tax those most able to pay/That’s the real American way!” drew thumbs up from fellow New Yorkers who were out to get some exercise and enjoy the beautiful weather on the last day of the mayor’s Summer Streets program that had closed the avenue to vehicular traffic.
One MoveOn marcher was April Newman, who said she is retired so she’s not worried about her own job, but her 17-year-old granddaughter is struggling to find work. “She’s been out looking all spring and summer, and she found a little something that lasted for a short time, but now she’s back out looking again,” Newman explained.
“It’s very hard to find any job,” she continued, “because so many people who really need the money, such as heads of households, are taking the jobs that would have gone to teenagers in a more affluent economy.”
Along the way, MoveOn members handed out copies of their “Contract for the American Dream,” a detailed policy platform with a bold economic vision for rebuilding the American Dream. This contract, which states that the United States has “a jobs crisis, not a deficit crisis,” was developed through the participation of 131,203 Americans across the country at house parties and online. It identifies what they see as the most critical steps to getting the U.S. economy back on track and restoring the American Dream. The points include:
•End the wars and invest at home in America’s infrastructure and public education.
•Create 21st century energy jobs.
•Ensure workers’ rights to a living wage, to collective bargaining, and to equal pay for equal work.
•Offer Medicare for all.
•Secure social security.
•Return to fairer tax rates, and tax Wall Street speculation.
•Strengthen democracy through clean, fair elections.
“The American Dream is slipping away for the majority of us; meanwhile, the folks in Washington are threatening to cut vital programs that families depend on, just so they can protect tax breaks for millionaires and corporations,” said MoveOn member Arlene Geiger. “It’s time for us to say ‘enough is enough’ and demand economic solutions that work for all of us, not just for those at the top. The “Contract for the American Dream” is the blueprint for this change of direction.”
MoveOn.org Civic Action is a not-for-profit organization that focuses primarily on nonpartisan education and advocacy on important national issues. To read and sign on to the “Contract for the American Dream” online, visit MoveOn.org or RebuildtheDream.com.