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Convention(al) Concerns — Middle-Class Squeeze
Denver Convention
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August 22, 2008

With celebrations set to kick off in Denver for the Democratic National Convention, BILL MOYERS JOURNAL travels to Colorado where tough economic times are hitting suburban communities. Says Mag Strittmatter, of JeffCo Action Center, a social services agency just west of Denver, "It's remarkable how many people have, in the past, brought items to us at our loading dock. They gave us clothes, and gave us food, and said, ‘Here, use these items to help people in need.’ They're the same people having to ask for help."

>Resources to get and give help in your locale.

Your Election Year Concerns

Whether or not the grand festivities in Denver address the real-life concerns that the JOURNAL found in the Denver area remains to be seen. On our Moyers on 2008 Map we've been asking what issues are on the minds of people across the nation. Does the tough economic situation in the usually affluent suburbs of Jefferson Country mirror your own town? What do you want your delegates to make sure is a solid plank in either of the conventions? Tell us on the map.

Voices from the Map

I can't see our economy as thriving in any way and am trying to figure out a way to "hold on." I know I am not alone here in south Florida. Almost every single mom I know is in the same situation. Is there any way for us to hold on to our dreams? (Florida)
I'm a 47-year old single man. 4 years art college educated. ...I try NOT to think of the future..it depresses me..I have No idea where I'll be, or how I'll survive come retirement age. (Pennsylvania)
My idea of the American dream is not to wake up every morning wondering how I am going to make ends meet. (Arizona)
Related Media:
FBI Domestic Spy PosterMortgage Mess
THE JOURNAL travels to ground zero of the mortgage meltdown — Cleveland, Ohio. Correspondent Rick Karr takes viewers to Slavic Village, one of the hardest hit neighborhoods in the nation when it comes to the spate of foreclosures caused by the subprime mortgage crisis. (July 18, 2008)

OHunger in America
Why are America's food banks suffering shortages? The JOURNAL investigates. (April 11, 2008)


FBI Domestic Spy PosterGretchen Morgenson
Financial columnist Gretchen Morgenson on the SEC, the mortgage crisis and other matters fiscal. (June 29, 2007)



Katherine Newman, photo by Robin HollandThe Downturn on the Homefront
Sociologist Katherine Newman on the global markets' effect on kitchen table issues. (January 25, 2008)

References and Reading:
Democratic National Convention

Of course, all the major and minor news outlets will be giving the convention ...conventional coverage, but this convention is slated to be the most covered on the Web in history. Check out the DNC's own site and watch the whole process online. The check out the list of bloggers with press credentials too. A Google search will certainly lead to more tens of thousands more takes on the Democrat's Denver performance.

General Resources and Reading

>Get local hunger resources.

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
HUD provides advice for homeowners facing foreclosure and other financial issues. The site also has a good list of local resources for each state.

The Center for Responsible Lending
The Center for Responsible Lending is a "nonprofit, nonpartisan research and policy organization dedicated to protecting homeownership and family wealth by working to eliminate abusive financial practices." The site includes an assessment of current legislation: HR 3915 Mortgage Reform and Anti-Predatory Lending Act.

The Drum Major Institute
The Drum Major Institute has just released its First Annual Survey On The Middle Class And Public Policy. "The poll finds that middle-class 'fearful families' are largely united on which public policies they want enacted by the President and Congress, but remain shockingly unfamiliar with what is going on in Washington."

The Mortgage Bankers Association
The Mortgage Bankers Association is an association representing the real estate finance industry. The Web site includes a Q&A on mortgage banking and the crisis and assistance for owners.

Facing the Mortgage Crisis
Public TV station KETC has created an interactive site full or resources for people in the St. Louis area encountering mortgage problems.

THE NEW YORK TIMES
Read the TIMES's extensive ongoing coverage of the foreclosure crisis. In addition, the TIMES maintains profiles and up-to-date news collections on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

"Paulson: No Bailout for Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac," ONLINE NEWSHOUR, July 11, 2008.

"Meltdown Risk, Revisited," COUNCIL ON FOREIGN RELATIONS, July 16 2008.

"Fighting Foreclosure," NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, August 7, 2007.

Published August 22, 2008

Also This Week:

CONVENTION(AL) CONCERNS
With celebrations set to kick off in Denver for the Democratic National Convention, the JOURNAL travels to Colorado where tough economic times are hitting suburban communities.

>Tell us what's concerning your community on the Moyers on 2008 map.

JOURNALIST PHILIP PAN
As the Olympics are set to close, Bill Moyers interviews Philip Pan, foreign correspondent and former Beijing bureau chief for THE WASHINGTON POST, on how the emerging economic power of China looks from the ground.

THE UNITED STATES AND CHINA
More than 30 years after the Nixons visited China — where do relations, and finances, stand?

WEB EXCLUSIVE — TIGER TEMPLE
Web exclusive interview with Chinese blogger Tiger Temple.

OUR DAILY BREAD — HUNGER RESOURCES
Why are America's food banks suffering shortages? Find out what you can do to help.

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