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Related: 2005 Wrap-Up

September 21st, 2005

Dear MoveOn member,

Hurricane Katrina exposed the deep poverty and racism that remains in our country. It showed that the President failed to deliver on his central promise—to keep us safe. But more broadly, Hurricane Katrina demonstrated that a right-wing "sink or swim" ideology is a disaster for America.

Yesterday, USA Today released a new poll showing that a record 58% of Americans disapprove of President Bush. In the same poll, nearly two-thirds of Americans said they believe it's time for troops to start leaving Iraq. It's clear we're at a turning point. We have an opportunity, together, to help lead the country in a different direction.

So today, I'm not asking you to sign a petition or fund an ad. I want to tell you what we're hearing from you about the bold steps we need to take together.

We need to do everything we can to help the victims and rebuild New Orleans. But more broadly, it's time for the 3.3 million of us in MoveOn—and millions more in the progressive movement—to raise our voices and offer our vision for an America where no one gets left behind.

What does that look like? Here's what we're hearing from you:

  • Security: It's time to really make America safe. In the months ahead, we'll push for a Katrina Commission that can identify where things went wrong, so we can prepare for—or prevent—the next disaster. It's already becoming clear that Bush and this Congress, obsessed with Iraq, have neglected emergency response, communications infrastructure and even the security of our ports, chemical plants, and nuclear materials. Together, we can drag our leaders back to dealing with the big threats we face—first and foremost, by pushing for a responsible exit strategy from Iraq with a timeline that starts now.
  • Prosperity: It's time to rebuild a middle-class America. Many people stayed in New Orleans because they literally couldn't afford to leave. In the months ahead, we'll push for increases in the minimum wage, and we'll fight attempts to exploit low-wage workers in the wake of Katrina. We'll also work to prevent Republicans from privatizing Social Security and offering more tax cuts for millionaires—policies which benefit the very rich and leave most of us behind.
  • Sustainability: It's time to create a sustainable future for our kids. Global warming almost certainly increased the force of Hurricane Katrina, according to top scientists in the field. And gas prices are out of control. It's time for a moon-shot investment in energy independence—and we'll fight for it. At the same time, we'll make sure that Republicans can't use this opportunity to push through drilling in the Arctic or to enact other bad energy policies that just benefit their oil company donors.

It's time to make government work again. Hurricane Katrina exposed the rot at the core of the Bush Administration. Folks are seeing the consequences of corruption. Together, we'll work to prevent people like Tom DeLay and Karl Rove, who have betrayed the public trust, from doing so again. We'll work for electoral reform, so that every vote is counted and counted correctly. And we'll push to see that political appointees—like the next appointment to the Supreme Court—are vetted carefully to make sure they'll serve the public, not just their friends.

Finally, it's time to throw the bums out. To make the changes the country needs, we'll need to change the leadership. 2006 is not very far away, and things look pretty bleak for Republican candidates trying to defend the disaster at home and abroad. Together, we'll make sure that great progressive Democrats have the support they need—and that Republicans pay a price at the ballot box.

On the MoveOn team, we see it as our job to identify the moments when we can have an impact together to build a more progressive country—and to let you know about them. We've never had a bigger opportunity than right now, when right-wing ideology has so decisively and obviously failed.

We're here to serve you, the 3.3 million Americans that make MoveOn powerful and possible. If you feel like we missed an important initiative, we want to hear about it. You can offer your thoughts—and rate others' ideas—about MoveOn's goals at:
http://www.actionforum.com/forum/?forum_id=266

MoveOn.org Political Action is entirely funded by our members. We have no corporate contributors, no foundation grants, no money from unions. We don't even have a major donors program. Instead of pursuing a few very wealthy folks, we've always believed it's better to have hundreds of thousands of small contributors—and we do.

If you'd like to support this work going forward, you can give now at:
https://pol.moveon.org/donate/donate.html

Thanks so much for everything you've done to help get us to this tipping point. And thanks for everything you're going to do to help build a progressive America.

Sincerely,

–Eli Pariser, Executive Director, and the whole MoveOn.org Political Action Team
  September 21st, 2005
  

P.S. You may be wondering where media accountability falls in all this. Like HurricaneHousing.org, that's work's being done by MoveOn.org Civic Action, the non-partisan branch of MoveOn. In fact, MoveOn members have contributed to several important state-level media reform victories recently. And the Civic Action team will be in touch soon with some great new developments on this campaign.