Losing Hope, Taking Action


National progressive leaders gathered outside the White House last Wednesday, on the one year anniversary of Obama’s inauguration, with the message of Losing Hope and Taking Action. As they voiced our frustrations to Obama, we renew our commitment to bringing about change—join us in signing the letter below and don’t stop there. Demand that President Obama be the leader you want him to be when you voted for him by taking these personal, concrete actions for CHANGE.

Losing Hope: Time to Take Action

Progressives Assess One Year of Obama’s Presidency

Last Wednesday, January 20, there was a press conference and rally by representatives of several progressive groups to assess the first year of Barack Obama’s Presidency. The group gathered in front of the White House.

They reviewed Obama’s record on health care, the environment, the domestic economy, civil liberties and foreign policy during his first year in office. Many who had high expectations a year ago are losing hope, and recognize that the changes they long for—peace, a clean environment, affordable healthcare, housing and good jobs–will only happen with a more organized, mobilized citizenry that puts pressure on the administration.

They prepared compelling visuals about Losing Hope and copies of the Institute for Policy Studies’ new report, Barely Making the Grade: Obama’s First Year in Office. They also had a group of “prisoners” in orange Guantanamo jumpsuits.

Some quotes from the speakers:

“Obama inherited the Wall Street meltdown of the U.S. economy from the Bush administration. Unfortunately, he continued the Bush policy of bailing out the big banks without asking for major structural reforms. Now we see those banks passing out record bonuses while tens of millions of Americans suffer from unemployment and financial ruin. In 2010, Obama needs to institute a Financial Speculation Tax which would raise hundreds of billions of dollars and discourage speculative activity on Wall Street, and break up banks with over $100 billion in assets so that we no longer have banks that are “too big to fail.”
John Cavanaugh, Executive Director of the Institute for Policy Studies.

“Obama’s message of hope and change, so exciting a year ago, now rings hollow for those of us hoping he would usher in an era of peace. He has escalated the war in Afghanistan, increased the drone attacks in Pakistan, continued the Bush policy of unconditional support for Israel and refusal to talk to Hamas, and we have yet to see whether he will bring the troops home from Iraq. On the foreign policy front, this is not the change we hoped for.”
Medea Benjamin, Cofounder, CODEPINK: Women for Peace

“We are losing thousands of units of subsidized housing in Washington DC and millions nationwide because this administration hasn’t invested the funds we need. If Obama’s administration is truly going be different from the last, then it has to provide the resources we need for low-income housing.” DC housing activist Linda Leaks, Empower DC

“We had hoped January 11, 2009 would be the last time we would be marking the terrible anniversary of the opening of Guantanamo prison, and we were heartened by Obama’s swift and clear Executive order promising to close it. Today I am one of over 150 people around the country on a twelve day liquid-only fast, people who are saddened and frustrated that the prison remains open and the policies of indefinite detention remain in effect. So we fast, and organize, and mobilize in the face of broken promises, broken laws, and broken lives.”
Matt Daloisio, Witness Against Torture

“Obama should have embraced the concept of Medicare for all and started the debate around healthcare reform from there, said ‘The for-profit private health insurance industry’ that will be even more entrenched in this new bill will never work. We will keep educating about the need to extend Medicare to all as the fastest, surest way to give everyone access to quality, lifetime healthcare.” Dr. Robert Zarr, Physicians for a National Health Program

Sign the letter to Obama today!

Use these action tools to demand the change you want to see

Dr. Robert Zarr, Physicians for a National Health Program
Phil Radford, Greenpeace USA
Emira Woods, Foreign Policy in Focus
Linda Leaks, Empower DC
John Cavanagh, Institute for Policy Studies
Medea Benjamin, CODEPINK: Women for Peace
Matt Dalosio, Witness Against Torture

Posted By: Robert L. Hanafin, Veterans Today Staff Writer

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