I really would like to get into contact with people at OWS who plan actions or deal with civic engagement stuff. I started the Civic Engagement Committee at OLA. We have been able to get LA City Council to pass a Resolution in Support of OLA and our solidarity with OWS:
We have also been able to influence 2 other pieces of legislation at LA City Council and on Wed we're going to be working with the council for the 4th piece of legislation we hope to influence.
One of the pieces of legislations we have been able to help move forward is a Responsible Banking Ordinance which would require the banks that want to do business with the City of LA and their $30 billion in deposit, to provide info about how many LA house they foreclosed on, how many small business loans in LA they have made, how many LA community groups they have invested in, and other important info. The banks will be scored on this info and the banks with the best scores will get preference. The banks are going nutz over this right now.
I just realized NYC council has a similar measure in front of them. I think we can hit the banks were it hurts by having our cities require they act responsible in our cities. I would love to talk to anyone at OWS that can help me make this happen. Please forward.
I started helping to organize for Occupy LA (OLA) just 8 days after Occupy Wall Street (OWS) began its protest. Others had started the organizing in LA just 2 days before I joined. I started the Civic Engagement Committee here, was one of the original members of the City Liaison Committee that met with city officials, and started the Welcome Committee (sorta like your info committee), the disability accessibility committee and I have been helping out where and when I can ever since (often working 10-15 hour days).
I wanted to reach out to OWS to see if we could coordinate a few things. I am not sure if you guys have heard but we were able to get our City Council to pass a resolution in support of OLA and our solidarity with OWS. They specificly name OWS and the first resolution you guys released. It also goes on to list some of the economic issues we face in LA, California and across this nation and around this world. It also includes information about the Responsible Banking Ordinance that LA is considering passing.
It is my understanding that NYC has the potential of having a similiar ordinance, bill or law. I believe the name of it is the Responsible Banking Act (intro 485) which was recently introduced in the NY City Council. I believe you have some allies for this on NY City Council including Councilmember Vann, The Chairman of the Community Development Committee and Councilmember Recchia, the Chairman of the Finance Committee. I also believe Council Councilmember Quinn, Leory Comrie, Letitia James, Margaret Chin, and Ruben Wills all support this ordinance.
I also believe there are several groups who have already come out in support of this bill including: Asian Americans for Equality, Brooklyn Congregations Untied, CASA New Settlement, Centro Hispano Cuzcataln, Chhaya CDC, Cypress Hills LDC, Fifth Avenue Committee, Good Old Lower East Side, Housing Convervation Coordinators, Make the Road NY, Northern Manhattan Improvement Corporation, Pratt Area Community Council, Queens Community House, Queens Congregration United for Action, and St. Nicks Alliance.
Capital One is the worse offender in 2009 (the most recent year data is available for). They scored the worse on investing in the NY community! Bank of American was #1 worst in 2008. JP Morgan (which gave the NYPD over $4million on the day of mass arrests on the Brooklyn Bridge) was the 5th worst bank both of those years. The 10 worst banks in investing back into NY are some of the biggest we are fighting against. These banks would not get preference if this Responsble Banking ordinance passes.
I am very interested in coordinating with OWS on this issue. We may be able to really start to hold banks accountable if we can get New York, LA, and Boston to pass these similar Responsible Banking Ordinances. We may be able to really hit the banks where it hurts them the most. I know LA City invests about $30 billions (including pensions) into banks and they are not investing in our own community. We've already seen some of the paid lobbyists who have come out to oppose this ordiance. They represent "non-profit" business associations in LA which represent Big Banks, Corporatins, and lobbyist groups.
I am not sure if OWS has a Civic Engagement Committee or other Committee that handles actions within city council. If there is, please forward this to that group. If there is not, could you help me find out how I can get OWS involved in these sorts of things? I am also going to try to reach out to Boston. In addition, Philideliphia and Cleveland are 2 major cities that already have laws like these. So, I'll reach out to them too.
Here are some links:
Article from New York about banks and ordinance (there is a link at the bottom to the report that gives all the research info):
LA's page for it's own Responsible Banking Ordinance: