Student loan showdown: Van Jones Latest Crisis Not to Be Wasted

The latest crisis according to Van Jones.

Rebuild the Dream
Student loan debt in America is more than one trillion dollars — in fact, student debt is now even greater than credit card debt in America. It gets worse: If Congress doesn’t act by July 1, interest rates on student loans will double for millions of families.

When we started campaigning on this impending crisis in February, we knew it was an uphill battle. President Obama had said very little, Mitt Romney had said even less, and we certainly didn’t trust Congress to take money out of lenders’ pockets, even if doing so would be good for the economy.

But yesterday, President Obama made this issue a major priority in his campaign, and — even more amazingly — Mitt Romney said he agreed. “Michelle and I … only finished paying off our student loans about eight years ago,” President Obama said yesterday. “We’re supposed to be saving up for [our daughters’] college educations, and we’re still paying off our college education.”

Now that Obama and Romney have both spoken out, we can see a clear path to victory in Congress. That’s why it’s absolutely crucial that we run coordinated on-the ground actions in the next six weeks to pressure persuadable members of Congress to keep loan rates low.

We think running a campaign of this scope is necessary, but it’s going to cost about $50,000.

Can you chip in $5 to convince Congress to keep student loan interest rates low?

If interest rates double, mammoth student lenders stand to make a huge amount of money — you can bet they have teams of lobbyists making hefty campaign contributions to ensure that their interests are well represented. Those lobbyists’ salaries are paid by students’ interest payments, and it’s on us to make sure those students’ voices are represented, too.

That’s why coordinated on-the-ground actions are so important: the best strategy we have to override lobbyist contributions is to show members of Congress that the lobbyists are out of step with their constituents. Your donation plays a crucial part in making those actions possible:

  • $25 gets a 500-page petition printed to deliver to a member of Congress
  • $50 gets flyers, signs, and posters for a rally at a member’s office
  • $500 gets a whole bus full of people with student debt to a demonstration

This week, President Obama is shining a national spotlight on this issue — but next week, he could be talking about something else, and we will still have this fight on our hands. It is up to us to follow through. Our time to convince Congress is now.

Click here to chip in $5 to help launch a nationwide coordinated campaign to convince Congress not to double student loan interest rates.

This fight is just round one. Make no mistake: after this, we need to campaign hard on the issue of student debt all the way to election season this Fall, and beyond. Next year, we expect an even bigger fight for the Pell Grants that make it possible for poor and working-class kids to attend college. Next year, we must stop the big lenders from gutting the student loan system as we know it. We need to make college more affordable, not less!

But to win next year, we must win now.

Join us. Chip in $5 now so we can win this crucial campaign.

Thanks,
Natalie and the Rebuild the Dream team

      
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