Take Back America 2008
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Omni Shoreham Hotel, March 17, 2008
Highlights From The Conference
Dianne Archer, Robert Borosage, Donna Edwards and Van Jones helped kick off Take Back America 2008. Robert Borosage reminded us of the stunning news about the Bear Stears bailout, while Donna Edwards, called on progressives to "believe in our own politics."
The rising cost of health care, along with the rising cost of everything else, is a major concern for Americans. Roger Hickey moderated our panel — including Jacob Hacker, Ezra Klein, and Maya Rockeymoore —on a progressive plan for health care for all.
It was an emotional moment when Jesse Jackson and Roger Wilkins embraced, during our session "Progressive Movement in a Democratic Era: The Lessons of King and the Civil Rights Movement," and recalled lessons from the 1960s to guide 21st century change.
From the quagmire in Iraq, to the disastrous response to Katrina, the subprime debacle, and the growing credit crisis, Jared Bernstein, Arianna Huffington, John Podesta, and Brad Woodhouse documented the atrocities of the Bush legacy.
As the world economy reeled from the aftershocks of our credit crisis, Sarita Gupta, Rob Johnson, Naomi Klein, and David Sirota took on "Debt and Debacle: America and the Global Economy."
One of the underappreciated success stories of 2008 is the growing ability of the progressive movement to accumulate resources and use them to push toward a set of common goals. That was on clear display at a news conference here at the Take Back America conference, where union, women's, Latino, youth and grassroots organizations laid out what amounts to a roughly $350 million effort to build a lasting progressive coalition this year and beyond.
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You see them more and more often on television, and some of their names have become household words, but what has been the political impact of the blogosphere? CAF's Terrance Heath, and fellow bloggers Chris Bowers, Digby, Ari Melber, Tracy Russo, Pam Spaulding closed their laptops long enough to talk about it.
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Gala Dinner Awards
Norman Lear accepts the America's Future Lifetime Leadership Award at the Take Back America 2008 Gala Awards Dinner.
Maria Leavey Award
Jim Gilliam of Brave New Films won the most votes in the Campaign for America's Future's 2008 Maria Leavey Award, given to the person whose behind-the-scenes work has contributed the most to the progressive cause. Read profiles of Gilliam and the other candidates.
See conference highlights from Take Back America 2007 which laid the groundwork for progressive power in 2008.
We took Willie Nelson up on his invitation to create our own version of his song "A Peaceful Solution," and made this video for Take Back America .