Sam Stein, Huffington – 8/8/11

WASHINGTON — In the wake of the deal to raise the nation’s debt ceiling, widely viewed as yet another setback for the progressive community, advocacy groups on the left are redoubling efforts to change the political narrative.

S&P’s decision to downgrade the United States’ debt and the market selloff that followed has only emboldened those voices who believe the main structural problem plaguing the economy has less to do with debt and more to do with a lack of economic growth.

On Monday afternoon, and Rebuild the Dream announced a campaign to build up a popular movement that could match (if not surpass) the debt reduction crowd in both size and energy. And they have borrowed a concept from former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) as their organizing principle.

The campaign, led by Van Jones, President of Rebuild the Dream; Justin Ruben, Executive Director of; and Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.), among others, is debuting a new Contract for the American Dream. They describe it as “a progressive economic vision crafted by 125,000 Americans … to get the economy back on track.” Its debut will involve a nationwide day of action, as well as an ad in The New York Times to run sometime this week, organizers said.



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