Kelly Report Redefines the American Dream
Congresswoman Robin Kelly recently released her Kelly Report on the New American Dream. The report details how the once very attainable American Dream has evolved and how strategic investments in people, workers, education, manufacturing, and technology will create jobs and foster opportunities that could potentially empower families to redefine the American Dream.
This is the third Kelly Report that the Congresswoman has released since she took office as the U.S Representative of Illinois’s second district in 2013. Each of the reports has examined critical issues and proposed solutions. Previous Kelly Reports have examined preventing gun violence and ending health disparities.
“This is definitely something that I have been thinking about even when I ran for Congress. Because I’ve worked in local government, and then I was a State Rep, and I also worked for Cook County at one point, I saw the economic needs,” said Kelly. “When I really looked around,
I had already done gun violence and I did health so it became clear to look at economic empowerment because when people feel empowered economically it affects so many other portions of their life.”
In the first few pages, Kelly welcomes readers to the new Kelly Report by sharing a very personal story about how her grandparents became business owners in New York City about 70 years ago when Kelly’s grandmother bought a grocery store in Harlem on a whim. The family shop, Ross’s Grocery created economic opportunity in the neighborhood and forever changed the trajectory of their family. In the Report, Kelly signifies that “it was in this store where the Kelly family’s American Dream began.”
The report also includes researched and thoughtful readings on community, workforce, and family development as well as how to create equity in the workplace and adapt to the quickly evolving job market that we live in. Kelly called on academics, community leaders, business strategists, and government colleagues to provide their insight on The New American Dream and what it means for us as civilians.
“Most people in office think about other things like health and gun violence like me, but everyone thinks about economics. That’s how people have a roof over their heads, put food on the table, can further their education, and travel and have fun,” said Kelly.
According to Kelly, it was easy to get people involved in the third Kelly Report and “people were very willing to share their opinions and two cents,” she said.
In Sept. 2017, Kelly introduced her Today’s American Dream Act which, if passed, would establish new programs and amend several existing programs related to workforce and community development.
“Key parts of the American Dream have changed or been sifted out of reach for so many families and this bill is really designed to foster conversation about moving the ball forward. We know there are solutions but it’s just that we have to prioritize how we appropriate funds and the investments we make on a federal, state, and local level,” said Kelly.