Real Change is Bigger than the Election

Health care, education, clean energy, and more depend on a budget that reflects our priorities. The Next New Deal (www.nextnewdeal.org) is a concrete plan for change that presents bold but practical steps in the right direction for our country.

Times are tough for the vast majority of Americans. We are struggling to deal with higher costs for just about everything, whether it is gas, food, health care, or college debt. Inequality, both racial and economic, persists and, in many ways, is worsening. In these times, it is important to remember that big problems require bold solutions.

Fortunately, we know how to embrace and realize a vision for a more prosperous and equitable nation. We've done it before by investing in people and in the structures that support a strong middle class. We can invest in quality, affordable health care for all, which will bring health and security to families, individuals, and small businesses. We can guarantee access to quality education for all. We can invest in a clean energy economy. By creating a healthier, smarter workforce, and realizing the benefits of sharing responsibility for our health care, our education, and our environment, we will also build long-term economic strength.

This is more than rhetoric. People at the grassroots level have come together around bold plans for change, and those plans are now starting to have national resonance. The Next New Deal (www.nextnewdeal.org), for example, is a concrete plan for change that presents bold but practical steps in the right direction. The Health Care for America Now! campaign is moving a national vision for health care reform that puts people before insurance industry profits. The Campaign for Community Values is advancing a dialogue that gets beyond the politics of division and focuses on how we can be stronger when we all come together.

Each of these national efforts have emerged from the bottom up, and are rooted in the needs of diverse communities in our state and around the nation. That alone should give us hope for change. Our Washington State delegation should follow the people, and use their influence in the Halls of Congress to build this vision. If this election season is about change, let's make sure our elected officials are prepared to fulfill those promises once we get back to work on health care, education, clean energy, and other policy problems.
Deana Knutsen Washington CAN! Board Chair

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