Disclaimer: Content on the YP4 blog does not necessarily reflect the views of Young People For or People For the American Way Foundation. The views, ideas, statements or claims posted on this site by members of the public cannot in any way be attributed to either Young People For or People For the American Way Foundation.
As Presidential candidate Barack Obama and John McCain squabble over the details of their campaign statements, one thing they cannot dispute is that fact that the middle class is fighting to survive. In a recent study by the Congressional Joint Committee on Economics, the numbers tell a story of increasing expenses, stagnant incomes, and near non-existent savings for the average American and his/her family. Specifically, in the past six months gas and energy prices at an all-time high have met with major job cuts in every sector. The average American now spends more on mortgage, childcare, and health needs up to the thousands of dollars when compared to years past.
I had the pleasure of attending this year's Center for American Progress' Campus Progress national conference in DC and was struck by what was said during a particular session on Hip Hop. As the front of the room filled with other conference participants, I could hear the buzz of individual conversations about the diversity in the room. The panel included Jeff Johnson (moderator), artist M-1, Billy Wimsatt and Angela Woodson. I've admired these Progressive leaders for years and waited with anticipation for the session ahead.
As the national party conventions approach, it is interesting to see how the media pushes and pulls the last two remaining Presidential nominees.
I intern full-time on Capitol Hill for one of the best Democrats in Congress. I see tons of letters in favor of his work every day, and can only applaud the office culture of community and inclusion he shapes by example.
Today Senator Hillary Clinton pledged her "full support" for Democratic presidential nominee Senator Barack Obama. Needless to say that there's little else to do with one's back against the wall, it is good to know Senator Clinton can look past her harsh words in months past. To do anything else would have been political suicide.
Leadership without vision fails followers. People without dreams fail society.
What happens when we let go of our dreams? What in the past year do you wish you could have done differently? While these thougts come to mind typically at the start of a new year, they may fit well into the start of your summer plans.
I often wonder how society got to where it is today. There is great evidence to suggest that some people lived their dreams to the fullest, good or bad, while others simply lived to get by. I venture to think those that live to just survive never have their stories told so maybe they had no passion for life.
Today, May 27th, is a very important day. Today marks the start of the trial of Alvin Clay of Little Rock, Arkanasa. To say that this trial would be a stretch of the backbone of our justice system, a presumption of innocence, would be an understatement.
For many Americans in neighborhoods struggling with drugs and violence, the justice system is a threatening burden bringing fear instead of protection. While it may be right to say that those who have nothing to hide have no reason to be afraid, those who fight on the side of justice sometimes find themselves victim of their own network. This is the seat Alvin Clay after nearly a decade as a defense lawyer.
When I first heard about the organization called Do Something, I found myself likening it to YP4 without a Progressive backbone. Much like my favorite youth-empowering org, Do Something encourages young people to get up and get moving. As some might say, their motto suggests that young people cannot just follow your dreams - it's important we chase after them!
Have you ever stopped to think of just how blessed you are? Not necessarily privileged, but blessed.
I had the pleasure of giving my first loan on kiva.org yesterday and it suddenly hit me that I am blessed. Yea, I may be a struggling college student from a crumbling, white-flight-ridden community but I still have enough to help others. Though many of us would rather save for an upcoming summer vacation, I challenge our YP4 community to save for donations instead. Perhaps you could find a struggling breadwinner, a young political hopeful, or even an older adult in need of your help...the potential to do good is endless.
Yesterday former Democratic Presidential nominee John Edwards endorsed Barack Obama for President. This recent development is particularly meaningful in sending the message to Hillary Clinton that it is time to throw in the towel. The continuing Primary race is bad for everyone in very real ways. First off, Democratic polticians cannot publically berate each other and expect the public to believe later that they will function smoothly when this is all over. The nature of debates thus far has made it impossible for an Obama-Clinton ticket to seem at all good for the country. On the same note, I would entertain the idea of an Obama-Edwards ticket which I've been calling for since the start of the race in 2007.