LIVE BLOG from #Dream17

Aug 19, 2017 by AFP

Hello and welcome to Americans for Prosperity’s live blog of the 2017 Defending the American Dream Summit!  

5:16 p.m. : Ed Gillespie takes the main stage to close out the 2017 Defending the American Dream Summit telling activists: “I know that policies based on liberty foster prosperity… The more liberty, the more prosperity we will have.”

4: 57 p.m. :  Virginia Sen. Jill Vogel is talking about fighting for tax reform, regulatory reform and affordable health care!

4:38 p.m. : Congressman Dave Brat is speaking to activists now about the importance of the free market system.

4:18 p.m. : Kirk Cox takes the stage talking to activists about a positive, compassionate approach to policy can make a difference in Virginia.

3:51 p.m. : Up next during the last general session of the day: keynote speakers Ed Gillespie, Virginia Speaker of the House Designee Kirk Cox, John Adams and Congressman Dave Brat. Our activists are fired up!

3: 50 p.m. : The Washington Award

Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows was awarded AFP’s highest honor, the Washington Award. Check out his acceptance speech here:

3:45 p.m. : Summit attendees spent the last hour learning about how to put their grassroots infrastructure to work in their communities. Activists also heard about labor reform from top policy experts. 

2:33 p.m. : FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly takes the stage to talk about restoring internet freedom.

2:10 p.m. : AFP Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross takes the stage!

“Reducing and streamlining burdensome regulations will once again unleash the American entrepreneurial spirit and spur innovation,” said Sec. Wilbur Ross.

Check out what AFP’s Vice President of External Affairs had to say:

1:56 p.m. : North Carolina State Director Donald Bryson, AFP Senior Regional Director Derrick Sontag and Virginia State Director JC Hernandez discuss the free-market solutions at work in their states.


1:21 p.m. : Steve Forbes has taken the stage! He’s highlighting how big government has to be exposed for the harm it does to the American people. He touted deregulation coming out of Washington and highlighted the need for comprehensive tax reform.

“Regulations are another form of taxation that cost this economy over 2 trillion dollars a year,” said Steve Forbes.



1:09 p.m. : It’s a packed house as Steve Forbes and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross get ready to take the stage during the second general session.

12:56 p.m. :  Activists are eagerly awaiting this afternoon’s general session!

AFP President Tim Phillips is chatting with activists. Thanks for defending the American Dream with us!


12:27 p.m. : Food for thought! 

Activists are fueling up for our afternoon session! The first half of the day at the Defending the American Dream Summit has been packed with thoughtful discussions on un-rigging the economy through comprehensive tax reform and reigning in burdensome government regulation. 

Steve Forbes is getting ready to address activists at our next session, along with U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross. It’s going to be a great afternoon. Stay tuned to our Facebook page for  exclusive interviews with our keynote speakers and a look at what’s coming up!

AFP Virginia Grassroots Director Ben Knotts sharing the spirit of Patrick Henry with activists at lunch!


11:45 a.m. : After engaging panels on energy policy and tax reform, activists from across the country are networking, sharing ideas and discussing what they heard.

11:17 a.m. :We’ve got all the experts on our panel talking about tax reform and how to un-rig the economy! #UnRigIt


10:22 a.m. : General Session is underway with activists hearing from leaders of fellow free-market grassroots groups like Generation Opportunity, The LIBRE Initiative and Concerned Veterans for America.

9:45 a.m. : Join us!

9:38: We’re live from ! Tune in to see our first general session!

9:32: Almost time!

The General Session doors are open. Activists are taking their seats! #Dream17

9:22 a.m. : Give Me Liberty!

The 2017 Defending the American Dream Summit is official underway in Richmond, Virginia! Activists arrived this morning from all around the country to gain the knowledge, tools and energy they need to advance change in their communities.

There were high five all around from friends and Americans for Prosperity staff as our activists arrive and get ready for the day ahead.

As we speak hundreds of activists are lined up energized and ready for the doors to open for the first general session.

8:02 a.m.: Freedom-loving activists descend on Richmond, Virginia and our awesome grassroots staff is ready to greet them!  AFP CEO Luke Hilgemann was up early ready and waiting to welcome our dedicated volunteers!