Help Us Update NDN's Agenda for Hope and Progress

NDN needs your help to update our agenda. We'll be working on each section in the weeks leading up to our Annual Meeting May 21-22 in Washington, DC. You can read the current version below or on our website. Share your ideas by commenting on the bottom of the post or by email. We'll incorporate your ideas in the updated agenda that we'll be rolling-out at this years annual meeting. Come back often to join in as we work on individual sections of the agenda in the weeks ahead.

Read and comment on "Meeting the Challenges of the 21st Century Global Economy" here.

Read and comment on "Assert Responsible Global Leadership" and "Protect the Homeland " here.

Read and comment on "Strengthen Families and Communities"

Read and comment on "Modernize Our Health Care System"

For over two hundred years America has led the world on a steady march of progress. Across the globe we've helped bring peace, freedom and prosperity to more people than at any time in world history. At home, brick by brick, we've built a society that gives every new generation a greater chance at the American dream and has built the most remarkable middle class the world has ever seen. America has become more than a country, it has become an idea – of a self-governed democracy, committed to liberty, capitalism, free trade, peace and the "pursuit of happiness" – a powerful beacon of hope and light that has inspired many in what has too often been a dark and dangerous world.

Despite America's unparalleled success in recent decades in moving the world towards greater peace and prosperity, conservatives in Washington today seem intent on taking us down a different path. Their governing agenda has taken a sharp turn to the reckless right, offering an economic strategy ill-suited for the challenges we face, a foreign policy too belligerent and too ineffective, and a style of governing too arrogant and corrupt for our proud democracy. Their approach has not only failed to yield the results they've promised, but has endangered America's leadership in the world and broad-based prosperity at home in ways that will take many years to repair.

NDN believes we can, and must, restore the promise of America. We must work together to offer a new, optimistic, clear, achievable governing agenda that strongly affirms the common purpose of progressive politics, and brings along Democrats, Independents, and disaffected Republicans in a sustaining majority coalition committed to ensuring that the world we leave for our children is a better one than has been left for us.

It is in this spirit that in 2003, working with hundreds of allies from across the country, NDN proposed A Commitment to Hope and Progress: NDN's Agenda for the First Decade of the 21st Century. This annually updated Agenda serves as the basis for all of NDN's advocacy work.

If you share our concern that this bright light that has inspired the world is in danger of dimming, then join us. Join our network. Fight for these priorities – and against those reckless proposals that would undermine them. Use these Agenda items to spark a conversation and offer up suggestions of your own. But take action. For centuries the idea of America – the idea of hope and progress – has inspired millions to stand and be counted. Stand today, with us, and be part of this effort to restore the promise of America.

NDN's Agenda for Hope and Progress 

1. Meet the Challenges of the 21st Century Global Economy: Enact a 21st century economic strategy that will help all Americans succeed in the global economy and create broad-based prosperity and opportunity; restore fiscal responsibility and genuine progressivity in the tax code; champion free and fair trade; ensure the integrity and vitality of America’s capital markets and the U.S. dollar; promote entrepreneurship, innovation and broad access to capital; update national telecommunications policy to foster universal broadband; enact a new national energy strategy; raise the minimum wage; prepare for the retirement of the baby boom; and protect and promote the retirement security of all Americans.

2. Assert Responsible Global Leadership: Win the war on terrorism and end international conflicts that threaten our interests and values; foster security and democracy in Iraq and Afghanistan; ensure that America's military is the strongest, most agile, and best equipped in the world and our nation honors the service of our veterans; combat AIDS and other pandemics that threaten global stability; and work together with our allies and international organizations to advance democracy, human rights, liberty, free markets, opportunities for women, and rising standards of living across the world.

3. Protect the Homeland: Implement a comprehensive homeland security strategy; improve our nation's counter terrorism intelligence capabilities and performance; ensure that those on the frontlines have the very best tools, training and support to protect our communities; secure our nation's borders and ports without impeding the free flow of goods and people; and fight to protect the civil liberties for all Americans that have long been the envy of the world.

4. Strengthen Families and Communities: Put families, children and communities at the very center of our agenda by improving the nation's schools through higher standards, greater accountability, more choices for parents, quality teachers, and promised additional resources; fostering family friendly policies that help parents succeed at work and at home; expanding college opportunities; promoting safe neighborhoods, home ownership, and personal responsibility; keeping abortion safe, legal, and rare; embracing legal immigrants seeking a better life in America; developing an improved path to citizenship; and striving towards equal opportunity for all.

5. Modernize Our Health Care System: Increase access to quality and affordable healthcare; address the rapid rise of healthcare costs; ensure the solvency and effectiveness of Medicare and Medicaid; and invest in and encourage the extraordinary promise of the knowledge revolution in science and medical care.

6. Respect Our Natural Heritage and Move Towards Energy Independence: Fight for clean air, land, and water; combat global warming; strive for energy independence through improved efficiency, greater production here at home, and investment in renewable energy sources; and preserve our national resources so that they are available not only for the recreational uses so important to our quality of life, but also for those future generations of Americans to whom we owe our greatest responsibility.

7. Restoring our Democracy: Foster engagement in our democracy and civic life by making it easier to register and vote, ensuring all can have a voice in the national debate, and promoting civic education along with an ethic of political participation and national service.