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August 22, 2008
6:14 PM

CONTACT: YES! Magazine

Susan Gleason (206) 931-2613 - mobile
or Sarah van Gelder (206) 842-5009 ext 214

Beyond Red-Blue Politics, There's More We Share in Common Than Divides Us

YES! Magazine Presents a "Purple Agenda" - What Americans Really Want in This Election Year

BAINBRIDGE ISLAND, Washington - August 22 - We're headed into another campaign season featuring the politics of division, the inevitable contest of red state vs. blue state on the electoral map. Yet polls are showing that Americans share more common ground than not on a wide range of issues. In the new, "Purple America" issue of YES! Magazine, we see an America with a surprisingly broad consensus on some of the key issues affecting our future.

Americans want government-provided health insurance for everyone, even if it means paying higher taxes, according to the polls. We want to address threats to national security through diplomatic means, not through military force. We want everyone to get fair pay for a fair day's work in workplaces that support, rather than break down, families. We want action now to control the greenhouse gases that threaten our children and grandchildren.

In a time of economic hardship and increasing uncertainty, Americans are ready for real answers, not sound bites, platitudes, and the politics of personality.

The "Purple America" issue of YES! explores this fertile ground of common desires. Contributing authors include:

David Sirota: Americans are under increasing economic pressure, and many feel powerless to do anything about it. In "Seeing Red & Feeling Blue in Purple America," best-selling author David Sirota (The Uprising) travels coast to coast and finds the people who are turning their dissatisfaction into action; the populist uprising we're hearing little about.

Nanette Fondas: In "Fairness for Working Parents," author and mother Nanette Fondas lays out what truly family friendly policies would look like -those that help women thrive in the dual roles of worker and mother.

David Korten: Recent research has shown that our brains are made to support caring, cooperation, and service. In "We Are Hard-Wired to Care and Connect," David Korten says there is evidence that we can learn to get along across the red-blue divide - after all, we want most of the same things. As a bonus, we'll be healthier and happier if we do.

Related stories in the Purple America issue

* Editor's introduction by Sarah van Gelder.

* An agenda we can agree on: Large majorities of Americans agree on some of the most important issues of the day, from health care to war. "Ten Policies for a Better America" shows an agenda most of us can agree on - whether we think of ourselves as red, blue, or some other political color.

* The movement for universal single-payer health care is growing, and it's not just liberals who are behind it. Daina Saib talks to the doctors and small business owners - including Republicans - who are lobbying for health care reform in "Doctors' Orders: Health Coverage for Everyone."

* Community Housing Trusts buy land and houses, not for profit, but to keep them affordable for low- and middle-income residents. In "Community Land Trust Keeps Prices Affordable - For Now and Forever," Daniel Fireside looks at the success of Vermont's 25-year-old Champlain Housing Trust, which provides homes for 2,100 households.

* Cooperative businesses allow employee-owners to receive all the benefits of their work - and their jobs can't get out-sourced or downsized. In "Create Your Own Workplace," Layla Aslani shows how low-income women are starting cooperative businesses, becoming their own bosses, and creating lasting prosperity for themselves and their families.


YES! is an independent, non-profit, ad-free, print and online publication with a national readership. The focus of each theme-based quarterly print issue varies -- from social justice, to sustainability, peace, economics, and more -- always with an ear to emergent solutions. Where are the possibilities? What's working in communities in this country and around the world that can be enhanced, expanded, or replicated elsewhere? The stories in YES! empower readers with knowledge, creative inspiration, and possibilities for action. For more information, visit
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