Change America Now (CAN)

Change America Now (CAN)


* National campaign of approximately 30 leftist organizations that supported the “100 Hour” legislative agenda outlined by the Democrat-controlled 110th Congress
* Led by the Campaign for America’s Future, USAction, and Americans United For Change
* Became inactive in 2012

Active from December 2006 until 2012, Change America Now (CAN) described itself as “an independent political organization created to educate citizens on the failed policies of the Republican Congress, and to contrast that record of failure with the promise offered by a Democratic agenda.”

As a coalition of some 30 partner organizations, CAN’s principal founding purpose was to support the so-called “100 Hours” legislative agenda outlined by the Democrat-controlled 110th Congress which first convened in January 2007. That agenda—whose name derived from the Democrats’ pledge to pursue a particular set of priorities within its first 100 business hours—sought specifically to “increase the minimum wage, lift the prohibition on Medicare negotiating with pharmaceutical companies for lower prescription drug prices …, cut the interest rate on student loans in half to make college more affordable, and end tax breaks for big oil companies and invest new resources into alternative sources of energy.” CAN aimed to unite “progressive voices from across America” to “champion these issues and pass them into law as a down payment on advancing a broader agenda for American families.”

To justify its support for this agenda, CAN cited the findings of studies conducted mostly by the Center for American Progress, a George Soros-created think tank whose leading figures at that time included Hillary Clinton and John Podesta.[1]

The CAN coalition was led by Americans United for Change, the Campaign for America’s Future (CAF), and USAction. When CAF co-director Robert Borosage co-chaired CAN’s initial meeting on December 6, 2006, he told those in attendance: “Democrats [a month earlier] ran the most populist elections in memory. We need to make sure the Democrats deliver on their promises, and that the 100 Hours Agenda is just the first step in creating an economy that works for working people.”[2]

In early 2007, CAN endorsed the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA), which was co-sponsored by 227 Democrats and 7 Republicans in Congress. Under previously existing law, an employer was not required to recognize a union until its employees had voted in a secret ballot to unionize. This procedure protected workers who preferred not to unionize from being intimidated, by union organizers, into acting against their own wishes. Under the EFCA’s “card check” provision, however, workers would be required to go on the record publicly for or against unionization. For additional details on EFCA, click here.

Joining CAN as organizational endorsers of the EFCA were: ACORN, the American Friends Service Committee, the American Library Association, the Center for American Progress, the Center for Community Change, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, Democratic Socialists of America, the Earth Action Network, Human Rights Watch, the League of United Latin American Citizens, the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the National Council of Women’s Organizations, the National Immigration Law Center, Pax Christi USA, the Sierra Club, the United States Student Association, and USAction.

Over the next few years, CAN was much less active politically. By September 2012, the coalition was defunct.


[1] To a lesser degree, CAN also buttressed its positions with research published by Americans United for Change and the National Women’s Law Center.

[2] Additional CAN coalition partners included, among others, ACORN, American Family Voices, the Center for American Progress Action Fund, the League of Conservation Voters, the League of United Latin American Citizens, MoveOn, the National Council of Churches, the National Organization for Women, the Older Women’s League, People for the American Way, the Service Employees International Union, the Sierra Club, the United States Student Association, and the U.S. Public Interest Research Group.

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