“America is supposed to be the place to come to build a new life, a better life”
October 28, 2022 by AFP
This summer, as inflation hit historic highs, Americans for Prosperity staff and volunteers hosted more than 130 True Cost of Washington events at gas stations and grocery stores in more than 30 states to drive down prices and connecting Americans to Washington’s role in inflation and solutions. for our current economic difficulties.
This week’s interview features AFP operations contractor Greg Dowell, who shared his most moving encounter with a Wisconsin family and left us with an important reminder:
“America is NOT meant to be a country of desperation or grudging acceptance. It’s meant to be the place where people can come or already be here and build a new life, a better life, with a hard work and determination.
How do you feel now that the True Cost Truck is retired?
GD: It’s a bit sad, but to make a difference, you have to change. There is more work to do and leaving the truck behind will give us more flexibility to reach people in need.
You have been to many cities. Was there anything in common from stop to stop?
GD: It was my first time discovering the northwest and southwest of America, so every place felt very new and foreign to me.
However, by organizing events and speaking with people, I felt a common theme of acceptance, let’s say despair, at the state of the nation. Many people don’t know or even believe that they can make a difference in what happens in our nation’s capital.
What did you hear the most from the clients you spoke with during the tour?
GD: Gratitude. Some people knew what was happening when they arrived at an event. Others came with skepticism. All left us with heartfelt thanks to me and the team. The little things make a difference.
How have you seen inflation and high prices affect people? Was there anything sticking out?
GD: The “click” challenge, where we captured people filling their tanks all the way, was the most consistent reality check.
People had really gone from $10 fill-ins to another. The anxiety and worry that this choice caused them was immense. People who were just trying to get to work to do their job didn’t know if or how they were going to get there.
Then there were all the stories of canceled trips and failed summer leagues. People are trying to survive, not thrive, and that’s not how it should be.
What was your most memorable experience on the tour?
GD: In Wisconsin, I had the opportunity to speak to a woman with her child at a gas station. As I explained to her that we were helping with gas prices, she held back tears.
She explained that she lives in low-rent housing and her building supervisor has given notice to everyone in the building to fix this or that or face consequences, even possible evictions .
She didn’t know how she was going to pay for the repairs, but saving that money would definitely help offset that cost.
How many kilometers have you traveled?
GD: I do not really know. 5,000 to 7,000 miles?? Will drove the most, and I probably drove second. I mainly drove the van while Will took care of the truck.
What is one thing you would like people who can make a difference to know about what you saw or heard from people throughout the tour?
GD: That they can, and must, do something to solve this problem.
America is NOT meant to be a country of desperation or grudging acceptance. It’s supposed to be the place where people can come or already be here and build a new life, a better life, with hard work and determination..
Set us up for success. Don’t burden us with more and more failed policies.
Read our interview with Greg’s True Cost Tour bandmate Nathan Sanders for more behind-the-scenes details on the True Cost of Washington Tour.