By Michael Huttner and Jason Salzman
It's felt like election season again this past summer, with progressives under familiar attack at every turn. There's no better time to fight back than now, with Congress reconvening next week.
So, today ProgressNow is kicking off a Help Obama Change America campaign to inspire people everywhere to help Obama pass health care reform, enact other core campaign promises, and move the country forward.
Our campaign has a couple of components.
The first is our book, titled 50 Ways You Can Help Obama Change America, which is being released this week and is available in bookstores across the country. It covers not just policy-oriented actions, but an array of service and community-building activities for people who want to make a difference. There's something for everyone.
The second component of our campaign is a Help-Obama-Change-America contest. ProgressNow and its state partners, which are hosting the contest, are emailing over two million invitations to the public to submit ideas and stories on how help Obama change America, from home, in their community, across the country or even around the world.
It never hurts to offer a little incentive, especially if your incentive has the potential to drive extreme right wingers crazy, so among our prizes is a grand-prize of a trip for two to Honolulu, Hawaii for a private tour of the hospital where President Obama was born, followed by an opportunity to take part in a community service project there on MLK Day of Service, January 18, 2010.
Submit stories and ideas on how people can help Obama change America for the better. Anyone is welcome to enter by sending us their stories by September 30. The winners will be announced on November 4, 2009 -- one year to the day that Obama gave his memorable victory speech in Chicago. See more details on www.50WaysYouCanHelpObama.com.
The contest and book are designed to inspire more people to help--at a time when progressive values are under serious attack in Washington and across the nation.
We're honored that the late Sen. Edward Kennedy graces the cover of 50 Ways:
"In 50 Ways You Can Help Obama Change America, Michael Huttner and Jason Salzman have given us a practical handbook on how every American can do something for our country," wrote Kennedy. "This should be required reading for anyone interested in making a difference and helping President Obama get our nation back on track."
In its small way, we hope our book and contest will advance Kennedy's vision of progressive reform in America. And we also hope it contributes to changing the dialogue in this country, at a time when it's beginning to look a little too much like the Bush era with books by right-wingers Michelle Malkin, Glenn Beck and Bill O'Reilly topping this week's national bestsellers list.
Something in the air tells us that in the next few months, progressives will make their voices heard even louder than they did during the campaign. Let's get fired up, ready to go.