When I met Van Jones last year at Netroots Nation - a convention of progressive activists, journalists and bloggers - he shared an insight: the rapid growth of the “Tea Party” movement had hinged on its open-source brand**. There was no copyrighted logo, official membership list or top-down leader of the Tea Party. Anyone who thought they shared its values could adopt it. But the only such brand was on the right.
Rebuild the American Dream is the open source brand for progressives whose values include civil rights, civil liberties, and supporting workers. It has gained new momentum with the launch of Jones' top-selling book 'Rebuild the Dream' this month.
The beauty of such a brand in our progressive movement is, while each candidate has a unique voice and focus, they all can leverage our common core values. Throughout the Issue pages on this site you'll see the themes below framed, specialized, expanded and adapted to this campaign and California's concerns.
Contract for the American Dream
I. Invest in America's Infrastructure
II. Create 21st Century Energy Jobs
III. Invest in Public Education
IV. Offer Medicare for All
V. Make Work Pay
VI. Secure Social Security
VII. Return to Fairer Tax Rates
VIII. End the Wars and Invest at Home
IX. Tax Wall Street Speculation
X. Strengthen Democracy
**I love Van's accurate, nerdy 21st century characterization of a political platform - open source. When I was completing my MIT doctorate, in the neighboring office Richard Stallman spent every waking minute thoughtfully, functionally duplicating thousands of lines of commercial software without looking at them, so there would be a free version - thus inventing Free Software and related sharing models we know today. Plenty of smart engineers were sure Richard would fail - or couldn't see a sustainable business model in his vision. But soon talented engineers like (activist and Electronic Frontier Foundation co-founder) John Gilmore were providing service and support for great free and open source software and becoming millionaires. Today open source and free software are central to the world's digital software economy. Now, such profound changes are happening in politics as well. That's why we embrace Rebuild the American Dream and our campaign theme is Innovating - with the People.