fresh voices from the front lines of change







In two short years, we have gone from a nation hungry for change — to a nation with too many who are just hungry. Today, working and middle-class Americans are increasingly feeling as if no one is listening.

How did we lose control of the conversation? How do we advance a vision, a set of values, and a message that will shape the public discussion once again?

From Oct. 3 to 5, I will be at the Take Back the American Dream conference — along with thousands of people who have joined the growing American Dream movement so that together, we can tackle those questions. Will you join me?

The American Dream has drifted out of reach for so many Americans because our leaders aren’t fighting for it — and aren’t offering the American people a narrative that describes who has been stealing it from them and how to take it back.

If we’re going to take back the American Dream, we have to take back the narrative and start shaping the conversation again, and stop echoing the narratives from the right.

When we come together for the Take Back the American Dream conference, we will talk about the vision and the values that unite us — and how to talk with our neighbors about how to make America work again for people who work for a living. We don’t have a shortage of work ethic in this country, we have a shortage of work, and we have bridges to fix, safe energy to harness, and crumbling schools to rebuild.

I look forward to sharing my ideas and working with you, but first, you need to register!

With Van Jones, Robert Reich, Richard Trumka, Robert Borosage, Rep. Barney Frank, Rep. Keith Ellison, Katrina vanden Heuvel, Lizz Winstead and many more progressive leaders set to come, the Take Back the American Dream conference is sure to be a historic event you don’t want to miss.

Right now, too many staffers from the so-called "Super Committee" are meeting in back rooms finalizing plans to cut the pillars of our retirement security while they ignore the worsening jobs crisis.

But if thousands of us come to Washington and speak with one voice — the voice of the American people, who are tired of “grand bargains” designed to cut when we should be rebuilding — we can turn the debate around.

I know with the right vision, the right ideas, and the right language — and some backbone — we can do it. But only if we come together.

Register now for the Oct. 3-5 Take Back the American Dream conference in Washington. We’ll be looking for you.

Drew Westen is a professor of psychology at Emory University and the author of "The Political Brain: The Role of Emotion in Deciding the Fate of the Nation."

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