Who's Stealing the American Dream and Ways to Stop Them

Stealing the American Dream

East Bay Democracy for America Meetup

May 22 – Tuesday

1. “Heist: Who Stole the American Dream?” Teaser screening of a new, groundbreaking documentary on the roots of the American economic crisis, with Director/Producer Don Goldmacher. Associate Producer, and EB DFA Organizing Team member, Tara Merchant will be there too. 

Special Benefit Screening of Heist on April 19 – this Wednesday night. See details below.

2. Exposing “Payroll Protection” – Disingenuous ballot initiative prohibiting unions from political use of funds raised through payroll deductions, among other restrictions. 

3. Primary Election – When we hold the Meetup the primary will be only 2 weeks away. Time to Get-Out-The-Vote! Presentation of key races needing your support. National DFA All Star congressional candidate Jose Hernandez faces a Tea Party challenger in Tracy/Modesto. Also Abel Guillen, East Bay DFA straw poll winner. Bring your calendar so you can sign up. 

Meetup @
Rockridge Public Library
5366 College (near Rockridge BART)

6:30 pm –Pizza and schmoozing
7:00 pm – “Heist” documentary teaser screening with Producer

RSVP: http://www.meetup.com/dfa-78/events/57599302/

“Heist: Who Stole the American Dream?”

We’ll screen the 22-minute version of this groundbreaking documentary on the roots of the American economic crisis. Question & Answer after the screening with Producer Don Goldmacher. DFA Organizing Team Member Tara Merchant was the Associate Producer.

Heist vividly reveals four decades of growing dominance of corporate interests, resulting in the dismantling of the Main Street economy, as millions of manufacturing jobs were outsourced, organized labor was decimated, industry was widely deregulated, and tax policies were implemented that favored mega-corporations and wealthy elites. American businesses had morphed into multi-national corporations with no allegiance to the success of the US economy, doing anything to increase their bottom line, even if it meant impoverishing the American middle class. Media deregulation and consolidation created a situation where the American public was left out of the debate about what was going on in the US, politically and economically.

In addition to critical historical background, Heist offers real world solutions and up-to-the-minute footage from the current Occupy Wall Street movement.

'Heist'..."has the virtue of taking the long view of a crisis that recent films like “Inside Job” and “Too Big to Fail” have only sketchily explored. It makes a strong case that government regulation of business is essential for democracy to flourish."
—Stephen Holden, New York Times

"If you want to understand why the protesters want to 'Occupy Wall Street,' see this film!"
--John Katovich: Former General Counsel: The Pacific Stock Exchange, The Boston Stock Exchange, EVP: NASDAQ.

“Market fundamentalism, the dogma that economic growth is the solution to our problems and that the poor and middle class will not be left behind because of the prosperity that will 'trickle down' to them, became the unquestioned narrative, along with the endless media celebration of globalization. But virtually nothing trickled down, the rich became super-rich, globalization hollowed out American industry, and finally the system came crashing down in 2008….What we have in Heist is a much-needed corrective to this, a counter-narrative…. The danger is that this brilliant movie….will be suppressed and marginalized... Heist is a very real attempt to restore our humanity, and thus needs to have the widest distribution possible."
--Morris Berman, author, Why America Failed

2. So-called “Paycheck Protection” Initiative

A group of Orange County political players created an initiative qualifiying for the November 2012 ballot that would limit the use of government workers’ union dues for political purposes, among other restrictions.

Likely to be a knock-down fight, as blocking the use of dues for political purposes or requiring prior consent would greatly restrict the unions’ ability to advocate for their causes. It would also divide union members on political action, according to unions. The proposed initiatives would affect all public employee groups, including the Service Employees International Union, the California Teachers Association and the California Correctional Peace Officers Association. The umbrella union groups, such as the California Labor Federation which is affiliated with groups representing some 4 million workers, are closely watching the ballot proposals.

According to CTA President Dean E. Vogel, the measure restrains public and private sector unions from political spending while providing loopholes for big businesses. “California voters already rejected two of these ‘paycheck deception’ attacks in the past 13 years because they know a scam when they see one,” says Vogel. “Wall Street already outspends unions by huge margins, and this initiative would make the imbalance worse in our state. We can’t create a better future for our students and our state by silencing the voices of California’s working class — especially teachers, firefighters, police and nurses.”

Corporations nationwide have outspent unions on politics about 15-to-1 over the past 11 years, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

3. Primary Elections Action Item – Get Out The Vote

Our Meetup is just two weeks before the Primary Election. We'll have representatives from two important campaigns with specific "asks" for Get Out the Vote:

• Jose Hernandez (third place in the National DFA All Star contest) is running for Congress in CD10 (Tracy/Modesto) against a Tea Party candidate.

• Abel Guillen (EB DFA straw poll winner) running for Assembly in AD18.

Bring your calendars so you can sign up.

May 22 – Tuesday

Rockridge Public Library
5366 College (near Rockridge BART)

6:30 pm –Pizza and schmoozing
7:00 pm – “Heist” documentary teaser screening with Producer

RSVP: http://www.meetup.com/dfa-78/events/[masked]

We urge anyone interested in Progressive change to consider joining the EB Democracy for America team: Frances, Janet F, Janet S, Mark, Michael, Norman, Sumi, Tara, Vincent & Yvonne.


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  • Beverly A.

    I felt that it was very informative however I think the backbone of being successful is to be constantly educating the public in personal ways, not just doing door to doors around elections, but possibly on a scheduled basis so that we can tell folks what is good that has happened and what we to work on to help them directly and indirectly. We need a VoterTeacherCore!

    May 23, 2012

  • Hilary C.

    Couldn't stay for the whole thing, but it was well attended for being not on its regular night, and people seemed engaged.

    May 23, 2012

  • Andres E. J.

    I will be attending as a representative of the East Bay Chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA).

    April 16, 2012

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