Demos Demos is a public policy organization working for an America where we all have an equal say in our democracy and an equal chance in our economy. Our name means “the people.” It is the root word of democracy, and it reminds us that in America, the true source of our greatness is the diversity of our people. Our nation’s highest challenge is to create a democracy that truly empowers people of all backgrounds, so that we all have a say in setting the policies that shape opportunity and provide for our common future. To help America meet that challenge, Demos is working to reduce both political and economic inequality, deploying original research, advocacy, litigation, and strategic communications to create the America the people deserve. Demos’ growing body of student debt work is at the heart of our on-going effort to reduce economic inequality by creating pathways to a strong and diverse middle-class. We seek to end the debt-for-diploma system by advocating for debt relief for borrowers, addressing the causes of declining affordability, and exposing the role of Wall Street in the financialization and privatization of higher education. Expert Tamara Draut, is the Vice President of Policy and Research. When she came to Demos in 2001, Tamara developed the organization’s groundbreaking work on household indebtedness and the economic challenges facing young people. Tamara is also the author of Strapped: Why America's 20- and 30-Somethings Can't Get Ahead. Heather McGhee is Vice President of Policy and Outreach. She is a frequent writer, speaker and media commentator on several issues relevant to student debt including democracy reform, economic opportunity, racial equity and financial regulation. Robert Hiltonsmith is a Demos Policy Analyst, specializing in student debt and retirement. He is the author of At What Cost: How Student Debt Reduces Lifetime Wealth and New York’s Great Cost Shift: How Higher Education Cuts Undermine the State’s Future Middle Class. Catherine Ruetschlin is a Demos Policy Analyst, conducting economic analysis of labor markets, as well as data analysis for worker issues and the population, education, and workforce trends of young adults. She is the author of the November 2012 report Retail's Hidden Potential: How Raising Wages Would Benefit Workers, the Industry, and the Overall Economy as well as a monthly analysis of Millennial employment data. Robert Kuttner is a Senior Fellow at Demos and co-editor of The American Prospect. Most recently he has written on the double standard of debt relief as it pertains to student loans, and student debt’s drag on the overall economy.

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