Make America Happen. . . Again

Gerald McEntee is the International President of the 1.6 million-member American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME)

Not since the darkest days of the Great Depression has an American President taken office with so many challenges awaiting him. But here’s the good news: America has overcome similar challenges before. And we can do it again.

When Franklin D. Roosevelt took the oath of office, he promised the nation bold and dynamic leadership and proved that government can be a partner with the American people to see us through dark times. Through robust public investment, FDR created jobs, provided relief and guaranteed a more secure retirement for working men and women. Today, the challenges awaiting President-elect Obama are different, but the solutions are similar: we need to reinvest in the long term stability and prosperity of our communities.

This week, AFSCME launched a new campaign, "Make America Happen," to support President-elect Obama’s efforts to revitalize our economy, provide health care for all and strengthen the middle class. We’ve created a new video as part of our campaign, highlighting the lessons to be learned from FDR’s response to the Great Depression. You can see the video and sign up for the campaign to "Make America Happen" at:

President-elect Barack Obama’s call for bold action and civic engagement in response to our present crisis echoes FDR’s inspiring call to pull the nation out of the Great Depression and forge the New Deal. The video shows how our nation triumphed over economic crisis once before and can do so again by reinvesting in public service, providing health care for all Americans and growing the middle class.

In the weeks and months ahead, the "Make America Happen" campaign will build the grassroots support needed to overcome resistance and enact the kind of bold programs that are needed to address the national crisis we face today. With Barack Obama in the White House and a new Congress in place, working families have never had more public support nor had such a historic chance to affect a major shift in American politics. It’s up to each of us right now to make the most of this critical time.

You can be a part of this historic effort. Sign our petition to advance three legislative priorities of the Make America Happen" campaign:

FDR’s leadership inspired a generation and helped America’s economy get back on track. Barack Obama offers bold leadership and new solutions to address the crises we currently face. Now, we need to be involved. Already, prominent Republicans in Congress have signaled strong opposition to much of the President-elect’s agenda, including his call to give states and local governments the support they need to continue providing the services that the public needs during a difficult recession. We cannot allow them to scuttle critically important proposals that will turn our economy around and build a better future for our country.

Take a look at AFSCME’s video and sign the petition urging quick action on an agenda to create jobs and protect vital services, provide health care for all and strengthen America’s middle class. Working together we can "Make America Happen." Again.

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