- Seeks “to build broad public and congressional support for action on a wide range of ... policy issues”
- Supports the agendas of the Democratic Party
Americans United For Change (AUFC) was founded in 2005 “to fend off President [George W.] Bush’s top policy priority at the time: privatizing Social Security.” According to AUFC, Bush, along with “his allies in Congress” and “special interests,” was seeking to “break the solemn promise America made to its senior citizens by dismantling Social Security with an expensive and risky privatization scheme.”
In 2006 AUFC broadened its scope to matters besides Social Security, aiming “to build broad public and congressional support for action on a wide range of long-stalled policy issues.” Specifically, AUFC began to advocate:
- “increasing the minimum wage”
- “allowing Medicare to directly negotiate lower prices for prescription drugs”
- “improving access to affordable healthcare for all Americans” [by means of government-controlled, socialized medicine]
- “making college more affordable” [by increasing taxpayer funding of tuition for low-income students]
- “protecting our homeland”
- “creating a responsible energy policy”
AUFC opposes any U.S. expansion of efforts to explore and drill for oil, calling instead for the development of “clean” alternatives such as wind and solar power.
AUFC supports the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA), asserting that this proposed legislation “would protect employee rights to form unions.” In reality, the EFCA would make it easier for organizers to intimidate workers into forming new unions, and would authorize federal arbitrators to render final and binding resolutions for any union negotiations that are not settled quickly -- thereby vastly increasing the government’s dominion over the private sector.
Though AUFC characterizes itself as a “non-partisan” organization, its agendas are entirely consistent with, and supportive of, those of the Democratic Party. AUFC candidly seeks “to amplify the progressive message” and “to contribute to a grass roots groundswell for progressive policies.”
In 2006 AUFC ran a series of television ads challenging President Bush’s policies vis à vis such varied matters as the Iraq War, college loans, and health care. Targeting especially “key regions” where public opinion on the issues in question was split fairly evenly, these ads repeatedly impugned the Bush administration’s so-called “Stay the course” philosophy, in favor of the mantra “It’s time for a change.” That AUFC motto dovetailed seamlessly with the slogan "Change we can believe in," the rallying cry of the 2008 presidential campaign of Barack Obama (whom AUFC strongly supported.
In addition to advertising initiatives like the one described above, AUFC uses a variety of approaches to disseminate its message to the public. These approaches include:
- “targeted press and editorial outreach”
- “online petitions and organizing”
- “attention-getting events”
- “grassroots organizing”
- “community meetings”
- “aggressive PR tactics”
In 2009, AUFC President Brad Woodhouse became the communications director for the Democratic National Committee under President Obama. He previously had served as communications director for USAction, and as a leader of the anti-war group Americans Against Escalation in Iraq.
In March 2009, AUFC announced that it soon would be spending approximately $700,000 on a host of television advertisements to promote President Obama’s first national budget. Also in early 2009, the organization launched a state-by-state ad campaign aimed at persuading the American public—and, by extension, their elected representatives in Congress—to support Obama’s economic-stimulus package. Among the activist groups and labor unions that helped cover the cost of these ads were the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, MoveOn, and the Service Employees International Union.