Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE) is a multi-racial, democratic, non-profit community organization building power in low to moderate income neighborhoods to stand and fight for social, economic, and racial justice. The Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment is a statewide community organization working with thousands of members in eleven counties creating transformative change by helping ordinary citizens to organize and take action. California is host to the world's eighth largest economy, yet every day more and more Californians are losing their jobs, falling further behind on their rent or mortgage payments and sending their kids to failing schools. ACCE is dedicated to raising the voices of everyday Californians, neighborhood by neighborhood, so that our children have stronger communities and expanded opportunities. ACCE is helping to lead the ReFund California coalition, composed of community groups, student organizations, unions and faith leaders. ReFund is dedicated to holding big corporations and the 1% accountable for doing their part to fully fund public education and other vital services in the state.
Created in 1955, the American Federation of Labor-Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) is a democratic, voluntary federation of 57 national and international labor unions that represent 12.2 million working people. We are teachers and miners, firefighters and farm workers, bakers and engineers, pilots and public employees, doctors and nurses, teachers, painters and plumbers—and more, including 3.2 million members of our community affiliate Working America, which represents people who do not have a union at work. The AFL-CIO exists to represent people who work. The mission of the AFL-CIO is expressed in our Constitution: The American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations is an expression of the hopes and aspirations of the working people of America. We resolve to fulfill the yearning of the human spirit for liberty, justice and community; to advance individual and associational freedom; to vanquish ¬oppression, privation and cruelty in all their forms; and to join with all persons, of whatever nationality or faith, who cherish the cause of democracy and the call of solidarity, to grace the planet with these achievements. We dedicate ourselves to improving the lives of working families, bringing fairness and dignity to the workplace and securing social equity in the Nation. The AFL-CIO envisions a future in which work and all people who work are valued, respected and rewarded. While the AFL-CIO represents millions of working people who belong to unions and have the benefits of union membership, the labor federation embraces all people who share the common bond of work. Work is what we do to better ourselves, to build dreams and to support our families. But work is more than that. Work cures, creates, builds, innovates and shapes the future. Work connects us all. The AFL-CIO is an organization of people who work. We help lead a movement for social and economic justice in America and the world.
A Short History of AFSCME Local 3299 and A.F.S.C.M.E. AFSCME 3299 has over 22,000 members at the University of California. Our union represents workers from every UC facility in the state, including the ten campuses, five medical centers, agricultural and marine research stations, and all other facilities that employ UC workers. AFSCME is a big union -Local 3299 is part of a much larger union, called "A.F.S.C.M.E.," with nearly a million and a half members across the United States, and is one of the largest unions in the U.S. The letters in "A.F.S.C.M.E." stands for the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees.
Alliance for a Just Society
The Alliance for a Just Society’s mission is to execute regional and national campaigns and build strong state affiliate organizations and partnerships that address economic, racial, and social inequities. The Alliance (formerly the Northwest Federation of Community Organizations), is a national coalition of eight state-based grassroots community organizations including The Center for Intercultural Organizing, Colorado Progressive Coalition, Connecticut Citizen Action Group, Idaho Community Action Network, Indian People’s Action (Montana), Maine People’s Alliance, Make the Road New York, Montana Organizing Project, Oregon Action, Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada, Virginia Organizing, and Washington Community Action Network.
American Federation of Teachers
The American Federation of Teachers is a union of professionals that champions fairness; democracy; economic opportunity; and high-quality public education, healthcare and public services for our students, their families and our communities. We are committed to advancing these principles through community engagement, organizing, collective bargaining and political activism, and especially through the work our members do. The American Federation of Teachers, an affiliate of the AFL-CIO, was founded in 1916 and today represents 1.5 million members in more than 3,000 local affiliates nationwide.
Campaign for America's Future
The Campaign for America’s Future is the strategy center for the progressive movement. Our goal is to forge the enduring progressive majority needed to realize the America of shared prosperity and equal opportunity that our country was meant to be. To attain our ultimate goal, we spearhead a compelling progressive agenda that addresses the kitchen-table issues working families face. We regularly convene and educate progressive thinkers, organizers and community activists so our voices will be coordinated, cogent and potent. And we incubate national campaigns on the critical issues that will define America for generations to come. Americans have had it with tired conservative politics that divide us, an economy that squeezes us, a foreign policy that weakens us and a government that serves few of us. But while conservatism may be exhausted, progressives are just getting started. The Campaign for America’s Future is driving our progressive movement and offering the new vision, bright ideas and bold leadership Americans rightly demand. We are showing the way toward accessible education, affordable health care and secure retirements for all. Toward a clean energy future and away from Middle East occupation. Toward the representative, responsive and responsible government needed for all of us to enjoy life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. We cannot let the conservative failure that brought us to this precarious moment tip America into another Gilded Age and leave the world at the mercy of unaccountable multinationals, oil-drenched autocrats and merchants of terrorism. It’s our job to turn this precarious moment into a prosperous progressive era. Together, we can.
Center for American Progress
The Center for American Progress is an independent nonpartisan policy institute that is dedicated to improving the lives of all Americans, through bold, progressive ideas, as well as strong leadership and concerted action. Our aim is not just to change the conversation, but to change the country.
Consumers Union is the policy and action division of Consumer Reports. We work with our million plus activists to pass consumer protection laws in states and in Congress. We hammer corporations that do wrong by their customers, and encourage companies that are heading in the right direction. Most of all, we listen to consumers. Join us! We will regularly ask about your experience in the marketplace — the marketplace for products, health care, financial services and much more. Have your credit card rates gone up? Did you buy a product that turned out to be on a recall list? Did your visit to a hospital result in a dangerous infection? When we get ready to work up new, consumer-friendly policies, the first thing we do is find out what’s going on out there directly from you. Then we put our experts on the case. We think about what a better system would look like, and who could make the key changes to get us all there. Then we launch a campaign for reform. Our campaigns have already helped reduce hospital infections, lower credit card rates and improve card services, expand access to health insurance, improve the security of your financial information and much more.
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.
Generation Progress is a national organization that works with and for young people to promote progressive solutions to key political and social challenges. Generation Progress engages a diverse group of young people nationwide, inspires them to embrace progressive values, provides them with essential trainings, and helps them to make their voices heard—and to push policy outcomes in a strongly progressive direction. Our work is based on the idea that young people don’t have to wait to change the world; they have the power right now to tip the balance on critical issues from economic opportunity to access to education to environmental sustainability to human rights and civic engagement. At the same time, we work to see that new generations of progressives are better trained, better informed, more inclusive, and more united than ever before – so our country will have leaders with the skills, experience, and vision to address the most important challenges of the future.
Higher Ed Not Debt
Jobs With Justice
At Jobs With Justice, we are leading the fight for workers’ rights and an economy that benefits everyone. By bringing together labor, community, student, and faith voices at the national and local levels, we are creating innovative solutions to the problems workers face today. Leading the Debt-Free Future campaign, Jobs With Justice is working to make college more affordable, reign in student lenders and for-profits through stronger regulations, and win debt relief for all working families by combining innovative communications strategies and solid research and policy advocacy with grassroots action and mobilization.
National Campus Leadership Council
The National Campus Leadership Council provides a venue for student body presidents and their teams to come together and confront exigent issues facing our generation. Since launching in January 2012, NCLC has empowered a broad network of more than 600 current and former student body presidents to more effectively shape the public discourse on issues ranging from student debt and youth jobs to campus safety and civic engagement. We help student leaders share best practices, identify innovative solutions, and generate greater expertise to ensure young leaders are effective stakeholders and spokespeople on campus and beyond.
National Education Association
The National Education Association (NEA), the nation's largest professional employee organization, is committed to advancing the cause of public education. NEA's 3 million members work at every level of education—from pre-school to university graduate programs. NEA has affiliate organizations in every state and in more than 14,000 communities across the United States.
The New York Public Interest Research Group (NYPIRG) is New York State's largest student-directed research and advocacy organization. NYPIRG's Higher Education Project works on a federal, state, and local level fighting for access to an affordable higher education. NYPIRG's #ReformNYTAP Campaign is working to #MakeNYCollegeAffordable by protecting, restoring, and expanding the states Tuition Assistance Program (TAP). Students from across New York State have been working with NYPIRG's Higher Education Project for over 40 years fighting against tuition hikes, high student loan debt, public disinvestment and more!
New York Students Rising (NYSR) is a statewide network of students and campus-organizations dedicated to defending public higher education and empowering students in New York State. NYSR began in May of 2011 in response to tuition increases and budget cuts at the State University of New York and the City University of New York. NYSR has helped win the removal of the Shale Gas Research Institute after it's ties to the fracking industry were discovered. In addition, NYSR campuses have won gender neutral housing and have gender identity included in campus non-discrimination policy.
Ohio Student Association
The Ohio Student Association is a statewide youth network that organizes, advocates, and trains young people across the state of Ohio to build and wield local and statewide power to fight for educational justice. We began in January 2012 as an organization focused on increasing access to higher education, and increasing the student voice in university decisions. As we have grown, we have developed a holistic approach to fighting educational injustice. We recognize that who gets to college is often determined by race , class and other factors out of the control of the individual. Now we focus on both higher education and K-12 education, as well as related community issues. We are fighting for educational justice, because we believe that every child in Ohio has the right to a quality education from Kindergarten through college.
One Wisconsin Now
The Institute for One Wisconsin is a 501(c)(3) statewide research and education organization of 80,000 online supporters that utilizes research, communications, rapid response and online organizing to achieve its vision for a Wisconsin with equal economic opportunity for all. The Institute operates in a joint agreement with One Wisconsin Now, a 501(c)(4) advocacy organization, and its shared research and staff have appeared in thousands of media articles at the national, state and local levels and is a sought after source as an established news maker. The Institute for One Wisconsin has conducted groundbreaking research on the alarming impact of the trillion dollar student loan debt on key measures of household economic activity, new car purchases and home purchases. One Wisconsin working with public officials, partners and stakeholders and engaging students, borrowers and the general public to advance common sense solutions to the student loan debt crisis.
OurTime.org is a nationwide non-profit organization that leverages online organizing, new media, and popular culture to enhance the political voice of young Americans. Each day, we break down news and need-to-know policy into quick memes, short videos, and key bullet points. We also lead campaigns that register voters, remove ballot barriers, and fight for economic opportunity.
Scholarship America believes that every student deserves an opportunity to go to college, regardless of their financial status. In 1958, an optometrist in Fall River, Mass., had a simple but profound idea—if everyone in his community gave just a dollar to an educational fund, it would be enough to help nearly every student in the community attend college. Dr. Irving Fradkin called his plan "Dollars for Scholars," and it has expanded into what today is the nation's largest non-profit, private-sector scholarship and educational support organization—Scholarship America. Since its founding, Scholarship America has distributed more than $3.1 billion to 2 million students across the country through its programs, including Dollars for Scholars, Dreamkeepers, and Scholarship Management Services.
The Service Employees International Union unites 2 million members, including 75,000 who work at American colleges and universities, in the belief in the dignity and worth of workers and the services they provide. SEIU members are dedicated to improving the lives of workers and their families and creating a more just and humane society.
Student Debt Crisis
StudentDebtCrisis.org is a non-profit organization dedicated to fundamental reforms to the way in which higher education is paid for in America. Central to our mission is a belief that a well-educated citizenry is essential to our prosperity as a nation in the new, 21st Century economy. Quality education is the key to our ability to compete and succeed on a global scale and, to the extent we burden our workforce with enormous debts to obtain the knowledge and skills they need to excel, we limit not only our future economic choices, but our freedom in general. The future economic success of our nation is wholly dependent upon a workforce with the critical thinking skills necessary for innovation, entrepreneurship and prosperity. SDC’s core belief is that, in order to unleash the full potential of those skills, we can no longer burden students with the ever-increasing costs of an education that benefits society in general, not just the students receiving them.
Student Veterans of America
Student Veterans of America’s mission is to provide military veterans with the resources, support, and advocacy needed to succeed in higher education and after graduation. We achieve that mission by providing student veterans with critical programs and services via a campus-based, peer-support network known as the SVA chapter. Since SVA’s founding in 2008, the chapter network has grown from 20 campuses to more than 950 institutions of higher education in all 50 states and three countries overseas.
The Education Trust
The Education Trust promotes high academic achievement for all students at all levels—pre-kindergarten through college. Our goal is to close the gaps in opportunity and achievement that consign far too many young people—especially those from low-income families or who are black, Latino, or American Indian—to lives on the margins of the American mainstream.
The Institute for College Access & Success
An independent, nonprofit organization, the Institute for College Access & Success (TICAS) works to make higher education more available and affordable for people of all backgrounds. By conducting and supporting nonpartisan research, analysis, and advocacy, TICAS aims to improve the processes and public policies that can pave the way to successful educational outcomes for students and for society.
Working Families is a progressive independent political organization that fights for economic and racial justice — and wins. Formed by labor unions, community organizations and grassroots activists, our aim is to advance bold policy goals that support dignity and justice for working class communities and communities of color. Working Families combines issue advocacy campaigns with a year-round electoral engagement to win ground breaking policies and elect strong progressive champions.
Young Invincibles is a national organization committed to mobilizing and expanding opportunities for young adults between 18 and 34 years of age on issues like higher education, health care, and jobs. YI was founded in the summer of 2009, motivated by the recognition that young people’s voices were not being heard in the debate over health care reform. Co-Founders Ari Matusiak and Aaron Smith and a few friends wanted to change that, so they set up a one page website, asking young people to share their stories, believing in their generation’s capacity to stand up and make itself heard. In a little more than a year, ‘YI’ went from a group run out of a law school cafeteria to a national organization, representing the interests of 18 to 34 year-olds and making sure that our perspective is heard wherever decisions about our collective future are being made. We do this through conducting cutting-edge policy research and analysis, sharing the stories of young adults, designing campaigns to educate on important issue areas, informing and mobilizing our generation and advocating to change the status quo. We still believe in our generation – now more than ever. We know that our generation will define the future we share as a nation. These are difficult times. But this is also our time.