portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article announcements portland metro

economic justice

AMERICA SPEAKS -- Everyone needs to join the conversation!

AmericaSpeaks is a national town hall that will take place at the Convention Center on Saturday, June 26, between 8:30 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. Everyone is invited to say where federal dollars should be spent in a Skype-style setting with people from all over the country. Progressives are warning that this may degenerate into more of a budget balancing session, trying to cut out social services such as Social Security. We need to bring diverse voices to this national town hall and raise our voices in solidarity against elite corporate and government (self-)interests!
Saturday, June 26
AmericaSpeaks National Town Hall Meeting
Portland Town Hall Meeting: Our Budget, Our Economy
Oregon Convention Center (Portland Ballroom), 777 N.E. MLK Boulevard
8:30 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Free. Seating is limited so pre-registration is required.
Register at  http://usabudgetdiscussion.org/participate

Join the national discussion on the federal budget.

Our national budget is projected to grow at an unsustainable rate over the next ten years.

Organizers in Portland are reaching out to all communities to engage them in the conversation. They would like to make sure youth, people of color, people with disabilities and people of modest means have a seat at the table for this discussion.

The organizers have secured funds to make certain that people are supported throughout the program. Meals will be provided for the day. Childcare assistance, transportation assistance, ASL Language Services, large-print and Spanish translation/interpretation are all available.

The national discussion is being made possible by grants from The Peter G. Peterson Foundation, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and The W.K. Kellogg Foundation.


Information on AmericaSpeaks

AmericaSpeaks: (503) 984-6260

Democracy in Action or Wall Street Road Show? 11.Jun.2010 10:19

Peter Peterson

If you do a little research on Peter Peterson, and this Town Hall, you'll find that it's probably a big scam. Pete and his buddies on Wall Street want to undo Social Security and Medicare. The way they are framing the debate, the "tough choices" don't include things like cutting the military budget, only "entitlements".

Don't believe the hype.

One of many articles on this big scam:

Another story 11.Jun.2010 10:47

Peter Peterson

Just a short way down the newswire:

write to them-tell them this is bogus 11.Jun.2010 16:54


Email these folks and challenge them about their real agenda.
Regardless of who shows up--if anyone does show up--this is a pointless exercise. Those who show up do not represent America--they only represent those who volunteer to show up.
With revenue-raising not on the table, it shows that they are not really serious. Without really good information about not only budget expenditures-including corporate welfare---as well as tax expenditures (all those things the corporations get to deduct before they even pay taxes---yes folks, we the people really do pay for their business lunches, jet travel and entertainment perks because they are tax deductions but they don't show up as expentidtures on the books--it will really only leave social security, medicare and medicaid and defense as the big ticket items.
The budget deficit is real as is the national debt. But the Republicans created a lot of it under Reagan and then under Bush II--where were the fiscal conservatives when Republican's ruled? I for one do not believe they really care now--this is just a political game and they are trying to suck us in.
Of course, the Democrats have sent the budget deficit soaring--and they need to get rid of the Bush-era tax cuts and get serious about both cutting defense and corporate welfare (including the bailout) and returning to the good old days of the prosperity 1950s when corporate taxes and taxes for the wealthy were high.

Scare yourself into inaction ... great strategy 17.Jun.2010 11:59

Julie Massa massajimson@gmal.com

Following the money is always necessary. I'm proud of Portlanders who take the time to follow the money. However, there is a line where critical thinking turns into the kind of paranoia and fear that leaves a person frozen and disengaged. The electorate is beyond disengaged. We've been asleep at the wheel for a long time. The cynicism and negativity fomenting in Portland toward anything new, different and not controlled exclusively by Portland is stunning. Thank you, Gail, for posting the details of your conversation with someone who actually knows what the event is about.

Newsflash: The Peterson Foundation is not the only funder of Our Budget, Our Economy. Two very liberal funders -- the W.K. Kellog and John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundations -- are also funding the event in Portland. The spirit of the event is to make certain all voices have a seat at the table. It only makes sense that funding would come from all people interested in making that happen, be they liberal or conservative funders.

Full disclosure: I'm an organizer for AmericaSpeaks in Portland. For several weeks, I have been working like crazy to make certain sharp, progressive, liberal people who very much care about entitlement programs (like me) attend the event to lend their voices and opinion to this discussion. If this was thing was a set-up, would they be paying me (a pretty good organizer) to unravel their 'corporate takeover'? If you want to sit home on June 26th and be cynical, do it. Don't ruin it for others who want to engage and make a difference.