[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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