[COMM-ORG] taxpayer investment organizing

Discussion list for COMM-ORG colist at comm-org.wisc.edu
Tue Mar 9 08:11:57 CST 2010

From:     Rev. Lucy Kolin <news at piconetwork.org>

"Banks were created for people. People were not created for banks."

Last Friday, Nathan French, a faith leader from Hollywood Adventist 
Church - a member of PICO affiliate L.A. Voice - spoke these words to 
the Los Angeles City Council, shortly before they voted to pass 
legislation that would put the city on the path to pulling its funds 
from irresponsible banks and setting new standards for investing public 
dollars in institutions that offer tangible benefits to the community.

PICO National Network joined with SEIU, National People's Action, 
California Reinvestment Coalition, and other community allies in helping 
pass the legislation that will ensure that taxpayer money is only 
invested in banks actively working to help families keep their homes, 
expand lending to small businesses to create jobs, end toxic derivative 
deals that put public services at stake and relieve the city's enormous 
budget gap. The move will save the city at least $10 million immediately.

The vote comes at a time when cities and states across the country are 
dealing with a record $439 billion shortfall that could slash crucial 
public services and programs.   It also comes as the Senate is debating 
tightening financial regulations that would prevent banks from engaging 
in the same reckless practices that led to the near meltdown of our 

It signals a new movement by people of faith and local and state 
governments to make banks compete for their money.

Up until now, cities and towns have been on the "defensive," trying to 
figure out how to manage the fallout of the immediate crisis.  Do they 
cut the budgets for the schools or the police?  Do they layoff 
firefighters or health care workers?   Friday's vote in Los Angeles was 
different in that it put communities more on the "offensive," actively 
seeking to invest public money in institutions that share their values.

Over the coming month, PICO, together with allies such as SEIU and 
National People's Action, will be engaging faith communities and public 
institutions across the country in a campaign to follow Los Angeles' 
lead and "invest in your values."

Expect to see more of these ordinances, as well as groups of faith 
communities beginning to pool their money together to, in the words of 
Nathan French, make banks work for people, and not the other way around.
Visit www.piconetwork.org to learn more about PICO.


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