* RTD’s founding was first announced in a February 22, 2011 Huffington Post article in which Van Jones outlined “the steps needed to renew and redeem the American Dream.” Among them:
- “Increase revenue for America’s government sensibly by making Wall Street and the super-rich pay their fair share.”
- “Reduce spending responsibly by cutting the real fat—like corporate welfare for military contractors, big agriculture and big oil.”
- “Maintain the American Way by treating employees with dignity and respecting their right to a seat at the bargaining table.”
- “Rebuild the middle class—and pathways into it—by fighting for a ‘made in America’ innovation and manufacturing agenda, including trade and currency policies that honor American workers and entrepreneurs.”
A few days after the publication of Van Jones’ article, a host of “American Dream” protests and rallies—conceived by Jones—were staged in numerous cities across the United States. Most of these events had a heavy socialist and anarchist presence, particularly the main gathering in Washington, DC where Jones himself delivered a speech. The permit for that DC rally was filed by the International Socialist Organization.
* In May 2011, MoveOn.org produced and posted a YouTube video designed to help introduce the “American Dream Movement” to the public and to lay some groundwork for the organization’s scheduled launch of June 23. The video made it appear that the electronic ticker outside the Manhattan headquarters of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation, the parent company of Fox News, had been hacked and reprogrammed with a script that read:
“We are being lied to. Right wingers are destroying the middle class and trying to kill our unions. The country is not broke. We are the richest country in the world. USA is twice as rich as China. Our economy is bigger than most of Europe combined. We are not broke. We are being lied to. We will rise up We will fight back. We will spread the truth.”
These themes were revisited at RTD’s June 23 kickoff event, where Jones focused his message on the U.S. economy and the allegedly dangerous falsehoods which the political right was promulgating. Most notable among them, said Jones, was the notion that America was on the precipice of bankruptcy. He also asserted that raising taxes on the wealthy would cause no harm to the economy: “You do well in America, you should do well by America.”
RTD’s Partner Organizations:
- As of April 2012, Rebuild The Dream (RTD) had 84 partner organizationswith which it had collaborated to build a grassroots network in all 435 U.S. Congressional Districts. Among these partners are such groups as 350.org, AFCSME, America Votes, Americans for Democratic Action, the Campaign for America’s Future, Campus Progress Action, the Center for Economic and Policy Research, the Center On Wisconsin Strategy, Change to Win, Code Pink, Color of Change, Common Cause, the Daily Kos, Democracy For America, Demos, the Economic Policy Institute, the Ella Baker Center on Human Rights, the Energy Action Coalition, Faithful America, Green for All, the Institute for Policy Studies, MoveOn.org, Peace Action, People For the American Way, Planned Parenthood, the Progressive Democrats of America, the Progressive States Network, the Sierra Club, TrueMajority, USAction, and the Working Families Party.
- For a comprehensive list of RTD’s partners, click here.
- According to an independent news source, the AFL-CIO, the Service Employees International Union, and the Center for Community Change were also partners of RTD at one time.