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Reps. Raúl M. Grijalva and Keith Ellison, Co-Chairs of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, announce their tour: Speakout for Good Jobs Now! Rebuild the American Dream, being held in cities across the country this summer.
The media, right-wing pundits and, unfortunately, even some Democrats have been talking about intangibles like “the debt ceiling” or “the jobs picture.” Only recently have we begun hearing about what matters most: people.
Progressives understand that what we should all really be talking about is people – hard-working families who are facing tough decisions and looking for leadership from Congress. We see a country needing renewal. We see people – not just the latest jobs numbers, but real people – ready and willing to work. People who are hungry for opportunity.
This summer, that’s what they’re going to get. We’re announcing the Speakout for Good Jobs Now! Rebuild the American Dream Tour. The Web site will be live this evening, so stay tuned. This is our chance to demonstrate progressives’ commitment to the middle class and to demand that other elected officials work to create an economy built for working families, not just wealthy CEOs. We’re formally rolling this out tomorrow at an event on Capitol Hill, but we wanted to give the Netroots community a preview of what this is and why we’re so excited.
This tour is about real people telling their stories, talking directly to lawmakers who agree with them up on the same stage about how we create jobs and get this country working again. The working people of this country need leaders who understand today’s tough economic reality and will focus on making their lives better. So, starting tomorrow, progressives will demonstrate our commitment to do something about it.
It’s time we reward people for what they contribute, not what they can get away with taking. We shouldn’t be shipping good American jobs with good American benefits to countries with cheap labor and no benefits and calling that “free trade.” If working people are going to take a hit in tough times, it shouldn’t be to pay for tax breaks for millionaires and oil companies.
We’re going big with this because nothing else will work. The status quo isn’t just “broken” – it’s putting our nation’s future in serious jeopardy. Republicans want to take apart Medicare and Medicaid to pay for yet another upper income tax cut. We tried this before with trickle-down economics, and we know what it produced: long unemployment lines, huge budget deficits, and no prosperity for middle class America. That’s what we’re seeing again: cutting successful programs to the bone and making sacrifices unless you’re big enough for a corporate welfare handout. Republicans have decided our current economy is your fault, and now you’re going to empty your pocket to pay for it.
This tour is about more than just creating jobs. It’s about employer decisions, and government policies, that work for workers, not just corporations; bosses who reward hard work with the pay and benefits hard work deserves; a Congress that stands up for the millions of us wondering where to turn for help; a political system that gives every American the same power and access, no matter how much money they make or how many connections they had in the past. This isn’t a wish list – it’s a recipe for a fair and successful democracy, and there shouldn’t be anything controversial about that.
The bottom line: Working people deserve a consistent voice at the table, and if we lose that voice, we’ll lose what our grandparents fought so hard to leave us. This tour is going to give you that voice. We can’t reveal the entire schedule just yet, but no matter what part of the country you live in, chances are there’s a Speakout event coming to a city near you.
We’ve spent our careers looking out for the people we represent, and our Progressive Caucus colleagues have done the same. We don’t believe in ending Medicare and Medicaid, or in sacrificing education to corporate tax cuts. We believe in shared opportunity and working for the whole public, not just the wealthy. We believe in keeping our commitments to our retirees and working people.
These are more than Congressional town halls. This is the start of nationwide movement to take back America. It’s about who’s suffering and who’s winning in this current economy, and how we can change that equation. It’s about working families earning a good living in America. Democrats, Republicans, independents and everyone else – we’re all going to be at the Speakout for Good Jobs Now! We hope you’ll join us this summer, and together, we can rebuild the American Dream.