I have worked for social change for more than 20 years, fighting for causes as diverse as police reform, juvenile justice and green jobs. Over the years, I have come to believe that two major flaws are undermining our reform movements.
In a war of ideas, the weapon of choice is words. Even when equipped with better and more popular ideas, progressives are losing the fight on ideas because of how we communicate those ideas -- or fail to communicate them.
Today, April 4th, 2012, marks the 44th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s assassination. It's a good time to reflect on the state of not only Dr. King's dream, but the American dream at large.
This is about more than just one protest. What's at stake is the very right we have as Americans to speak out when we've been wronged, and to peaceably assemble as a community to seek redress from the government.
Another Labor Day has passed, but the jobs crisis is far from over. What can we do to salvage the American Dream for the millions of hardworking people for whom life has become a nightmare of struggle and insecurity?
Few progressives look to Obama or the major parties for leadership in restoring the middle class and transitioning to a green, just economy. Instead, many are returning to building people's movements. Van Jones is one of them.
Across the board, we are beginning to see progressive organizations working to scale up the size and sophistication of their efforts. Groups that have previously focused on their own particular issues and communities are banding together.
The Tea Party has their message and their movement, and it continues to impact the debate in Washington. But the movement to save the American Dream is bigger. There is a silent majority of Americans who are fighting back, and many of them have been fighting alone.