The Statewide Caravan to Restore the American Promise was a massive effort by Citizen Action of New York and our many coalition partners and supporters to draw attention to the fact that right now, politicians are working to strip away our social safety net in order to repay a debt caused by corporate greed. We traveled across New York State to hold lawmakers accountable for their attempts to fix the budget by compromising the quality of life, comfort, and dignity of working families, disabled people, children, and our senior citizens – our greatest generation – in their final years.
For the past three decades, Washington politicians and their benefactors have broken their promises of jobs and economic relief to struggling working families. Instead, they have turned the “American Dream” of health, education and success into an American Nightmare of poverty, foreclosures and a loss of stability and dignity.
Now, they’re coming for our Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security, all to pay for more tax cuts for the rich and sweetheart deals for big corporations. The upper one percent of Americans currently control over one third of the private wealth in America, and instead of paying their fair share, they now want to take the programs that we have spent our entire lives working to build. It’s our money and we’re not going to sit back and watch them take it!
Joining our staff, coalition partners, and concerned supporters were President Franklin Delanor Roosevelt and his wife Elanor Roosevelt, who oversaw the implementation of The New Deal, an economic overhaul in the 1930s that stimulated the recovery of the economy after the Great Depression and provided jobs and stability to thousands of working families. Arriving in a stately Studebaker, the elegant couple added an air of prestige and elegance to our caravan.
The Caravan commenced at Kleinhans Music Hall, a world-class venue that was made possible by Roosevelt’s New Deal. It was a fitting location to start off the procession and a testament to the ability of government to provide jobs and security instead of preying upon vulnerable working families.
Many citizens spoke about the need to restore the American Promise. Speakers included elderly people that rely upon essential services in order to pay for medication, disabled parents that rely upon the safety net in order to provide for their children, and concerned adults that have to care for their parents, among many others.
Meeting at 11 different locations across New York State, our Caravan garnered thousands of demonstrators, a myriad of press coverage (click here to read a list of articles) and supporters from different political parties (including Republicans!). America’s true majority came out to express their disbelief at the immense greed required to strip America’s social safety net.