In celebration of the Fourth of July, ThinkProgress has compiled the following 10 things Americans and progressives can be proud of as we celebrate our country’s independence:
1) Americans serving our country at home and abroad. 1,452,939 Armed Service members, 80,000 AmeriCorps members, and 9,095 Peace Corps volunteers and trainees are serving our country, at home and abroad.
2) Obamacare upheld. In a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court ruled that the Affordable Care Act is constitutional, paving the way for full implementation of the law in the states and ensuring that millions of uninsured Americans haves access to affordable coverage.
3) DREAM-eligible students saved from deportation. Under the Department of Homeland Security’s “deferred action” policy, students in the U.S. who are already in deportation proceedings or those who qualify for the DREAM Act and have yet to come forward to Department of Homeland Security (DHS) officials, will not be deported and will be allowed to work in the United States.
4) Obama embraces marriage equality. President Obama come out in support of marriage equality for gay and lesbian people, saying, “I’ve just concluded that for me personally it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same sex couples should be able to get married.”
5) Student loan interest rates didn’t double. Last month, Congress reached deal to prevent an increase in federal student loan interest rates that were scheduled to occur on July 1st, saving students save an average of $1,000 per year.
6) Women have greater access to contraception. In a huge victory for women’s health, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced that most employers will be required to cover contraception in their health plans, along with other preventive services, with no cost-sharing such as co-pays or deductibles.
7) World Trade Center rebuilt with union labor. One World Trade Center will be the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere and the third tallest in the world. Its was constructed almost entirely with union labor.
8) Occupy Our Homes is saving people from foreclosure. Occupy Our Homes, an outgrowth of the Occupy Wall Street movement, has helped senior citizens, veterans, and disabled Americans facing foreclosure, stay in their homes.
9) Americans speak out against sexism. After two female legislators were banned from the Michigan House floor last week after saying “vagina” during a debate about an anti-abortion measure, an estimated 5,000 people gathered at the state capitol for a reading of “The Vagina Monologues.”
10) Republicans stand up to radical anti-tax pledge. A growing number of Republicans have started to question the party’s anti-tax orthodoxy and have signaled some willingness to offset spending cuts with increases in revenue.