Nation Books/Perseus Books Group: NY, 2012.
Van Jones is a former special advisor to the Obama Administration regarding green jobs. He was appointed because of his work within cities providing jobs for unskilled workers while implementing green renovation and other ecological services. After resigning as advisor, he worked to found the grassroots organization Rebuild the Dream. He also wrote The Green Collar Economy.
In Rebuild the Dream, Van Jones compares three movements: Obama's presidential campaign, The Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street. He discusses the hope that people had with Obama's election and why it fell short. He discusses the importance of the Tea Party, how it has been successful. He talks about why Occupy Wall Street resonated with millions of people and how it can move forward, participating in the needed changes for our economy.
The organization Rebuild the Dream was growing before the initial protests. They were a fledgling group. It has a platform called the Contract for the American Dream with ten points to follow for strengthening the middle class, to reestablish the dream that has been at the heart of our country for so long. The points are included in the book as well as at RebuildTheDream.com. As the group supported the Occupy movement, Jones believes their organization can support the movers of Occupy in becoming a greater part of the political and electoral dialogue. Rebuild the Dream networks with other grassroots organizations in support of rebuilding our economy. Several miscellaneous measures are discussed as necessary for improving the economy.
Like Van Jones, I was not a part of the Occupy movement, but my heart was totally with them. When the media kept harping about their lack of agenda, I thought about the many obvious reasons they were protesting and that it was enough for them to force people to look at the problems. I knew that they were standing for the same things I believed. It was heartbreaking to see the city authorities' responses. Even more upsetting was Washington's wish to pretend it wasn't happening or there wasn't justification. I also want to see the many issues addressed. I hope that this will be back front and center at election time, with no politician able to hide from the demands of our people. Ideally, there would be some progress before then, but I'm not counting on it. I am looking forward to the impact that the millennial generation could make on United States policies, and I hope many of them will read this book.
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