So we invite you to be a part of the conversation. Please share a story of how you or someone you know has made a difference in their community or our country.
Tell us where you see the values of opportunity, equality, and fair play at work in your life.
Explain how you or your organization have been involved in grassroots political organizing or activism that has been effective. What was the issue and what was the outcome?
And if you have ideas or suggestions for better ways to drive an agenda about promoting the American Dream, what are they?
These stories and ideas will be the foundation of a book I am writing about the power of ordinary Americans to shape this country’s future and protect the American Dream. We would love to include yours.
Anybody who knows my grandma, Eileen, calls her fiery. She’s the kind of person who says what she thinks no matter what. Originally from New York, she and my grandfather, Sam, moved down to Winston-Salem, North Carolina because that’s where my grandfather got a job after the Second World War. They were one of the few Jewish families living there. They loved living in Winston-Salem, but it was a very different place before the Civil Rights Act. One time, my grandma sat down to eat with a black woman who was working with her. Another woman, a white woman, ran over and told her that she shouldn’t be sitting at the same table as a black person - that people could see them mingling together and would start to “talk.” My grandma told her she can, and had the right, to eat with whomever she chose. Another time, the Ku Klux Klan decided to put up a propaganda-style installation in the local public library, trying to get away with it by calling themselves a “social club,” and my grandparents joined with others to protest. Eileen was active in the civil rights movement, and I grew up hearing about how she’d drop the kids at the neighbors place, go and picket whatever the local integration issue of the day was, then go home and make dinner. “That’s just what you did,” she said. She knew that by fighting for civil rights for all people, she would make a better life for herself and her family. She believed the Civil Rights Act would help bring more opportunities for every minority -- Jews included. But beyond the belief that equal rights would help her family, she knew that joining in civil rights struggles was just the right thing to do -- that all people living in America should have the opportunity to live the American Dream.The core values that made my grandma stand up in the South are the same ones that guide my family and me living in Massachusetts today. My grandma raised my mother, and in turn me, to stand up to injustice and fight for causes that lift all boats. She made it clear that we have a generational responsibility to make the world a better place for those who follow us. That's why today I work to make healthcare more affordable for all here in Massachusetts, and why I will keep those values alive for the next generation.