Release: Thousands Join "We Rise" Day of Action in 16 States

For Immediate Release: March 11, 2015


Ricardo A. Ramírez (CPD), rramirez@populardemocracy.org202-905-1738

Jacob Swenson-Lengyel (NPA), jacob@npa-us.org312-316-3973

Katy Boswell (USAction), kboswell@usaction.org202-263-4532



Demand State and Local Officials Put People and Planet First

With Rallies and Civil Disobedience

***Click Here to See Photos From Events Around the Country:***



Springfield, Illinois

As the ink dries on Wisconsin’s right to work law, a slew of statehouses and city halls are pushing regressive policies that hurt workers, people of color, and the environment. But today in 16 states, families rose up to reclaim government from the grip of big corporations and the wealthy. Participants in the “We Rise” day of action lifted up an alternative agenda, demanding that elected officials put people and the planet before profit.

“What we saw today was a stirring of the democratic spirit,” said Fred Azcarate, Executive Director of USAction. “People are upset at elected officials who spend more time working for big corporations and wealthy campaign donors than representing the people they were elected to serve. Today, people rose up to reclaim government and demand that legislators work for them and their families.”

“Apparently conservatives believe they have a mandate to give big corporations another free ride on the backs of everyday people,” said George Goehl, Executive Director of National People’s Action. “But they’re wrong. They have no such mandate. Instead, as we can see in the resistance to draconian policy or Chuy Garcia’s campaign to unseat Rahm Emanuel as Mayor of Chicago, there is a new brand of populism taking root in America. People are fed up with politicians doing the bidding of big money. They’re ready for leaders who will work for, not against, people and the planet.”

“Politicians working primarily on behalf of big corporations are making it harder and harder for families to get by,” said Ana María Archila, Co-Executive Director of The Center for Popular Democracy. “Our families won’t stand for this, and today thousands of workers and families raised our voices in state houses across the country to demand that elected officials join us in leveling the playing field so that each and every family can thrive.”

The “We Rise” day of action included 28 events across the country lead by groups affiliated with National People’s Action, Center for Popular Democracy, USAction, and other allies.

Each event focused on specific positive steps state and local legislators could take to reverse inequality, repair democracy, and protect the environment. In Illinois, nearly 2,500 Clergy, union members, and everyday people stood up today to demand that the Governor and state legislators raise revenue from corporations and the wealthy, instead of imposing more than $6 billion in cuts to those who can least afford it. In Albany, more than 1,000 people marched down the street accompanied by a marching band to save public education. And in Wisconsin, hundreds decried a budget that devotes more money to prisons than schools.

Other actions took place in Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, Nevada, New Hampshire, Ohio, Pennsylvania (seven different events), and West Virginia. While each event lifted up local and state solutions, all of them elevated the message that statehouses and cities belong to all families, not just big corporations and the wealthy.