33 North For Change

Organizing Hollywood for Change

Rally for Systemic Reform of Financial Industry April 10, 2009

Filed under: Action,Economy,Finance — bambooforest @ 12:52 am

A new group called “A New Way Forward” (heard of them from The Nation columnist William Greider when he appeared on Bill Moyers’ show about 2 weeks ago) is organizing coordinated nationwide rallies tomorrow, Thursday, April 11, to call for systemic reform of the financial industry, including breaking up and reorganizing insolvent financial institutions that have received huge taxpayer bailouts.

The Los Angeles rally is slated for 11 am at the Federal Building (11000 Wilshire Blvd.) in Westwood.

The organizers are planning for the rallies to also be outdoor phonebanks (to call the White House and Congress), so if you attend, you should bring your cellphone. If you bring your video camera, you can also contribute footage to the montage that Bill Moyers Journal is apparently going to compile of all the protests.

More info here.


Stop Corporate Lobbying Against Employee Free Choice Using Bailout Money March 26, 2009

Filed under: Action,Economy,Finance — 33northforchange @ 12:38 am

For Immediate Release

March 25, 2009

Contact: Mary Gutierrez

Cell: 213.276.3384

Workers to Demand Bailout Accountability From Banks: Don’t Spend a Dime of Our Tax Dollars to Deny Us a Fair Piece of the Pie!

WHAT: Several banks that received taxpayer funded bail-out money have begun spending what’s expected to be hundreds of millions of dollars to defeat the Employee Free Choice Act, federal legislation that would aid in the economic recovery of our nation by allowing workers to earn better wages, health care and retirement benefits by signing a card to join a union.

In response, hundreds of workers will gather in Downtown Los Angeles and march to 7 different banks to demand that Wall Street stop using our tax dollars to block employees’ freedom to choose a union. Delegations featuring workers who have tried to organize to improve their standard of living will enter each bank and demand answers. Outside each bank, others will rally, and pass out leaflets and FREE PIE with the message that everyone who works deserves a piece of our economic pie.

Congressman George Miller and Senator Tom Harkin introduced the Employee Free Choice Act in Congress on February 10th

WHEN: Thursday, March 26 @ noon (event will end at 1:30 pm)

WHERE: March kick-off: Downtown L.A. outside of Bank of America, 333 S. Hope St.
March ending: Downtown L.A. outside of Citibank, 555 S. Flower

WHO: Workers from various industries

VISUALS: Photo ops at 2 rallies, workers with signs. Sidewalk shots of free pie, leaflets, and signs. Opportunities to embed in worker delegations into the banks.

The Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO is the chartered Central Labor Council (CLC) of the AFL-CIO in Los Angeles County and is the second largest in the country, representing over 800,000 workers through over 350 unions. Its mission is to promote a voice for workers so they can remain in the middle class, move themselves out of poverty by joining a union, encourage active participation in the political process by electing pro-union and pro-worker officials and to advance public policies that support workers and their families. As the coordinating center for labor’s political activity, the Federation believes that in educating and mobilizing workers to be politically active they can create and sustain healthy communities, and FIGHT FOR GOOD JOBS that REBUILD THE LOS ANGELES MIDDLE CLASS. Visit the Federation at www.launionaflcio.org.

With 2 million members nationwide, SEIU represents over 700,000 workers throughout California in all of its diversity. SEIU members in California are social workers, nurses, classroom aides, security officers, college professors, homecare workers, janitors, and more.


Urge President Obama: Restructure Zombie Banks March 13, 2009

Filed under: Economy,Finance — bambooforest @ 1:53 am

Are you concerned that trillions of our taxpayer dollars are going to bail out apparently insolvent “zombie banks,” with little accountability, upside to the public or financial stability to show for it?

Many of America’s most distinguished economists — including Nobel Laureates Joseph Stiglitz and Paul Krugman, and NYU professor Nouriel Roubini, who accurately forecasted the economic cataclysm we are now experiencing — contend that the zombie banks should be restructured (temporarily nationalized or put into receivership), and soon, or we’re headed for an even more severe and prolonged recession, akin to or perhaps worse than the “lost decade” suffered by Japan in the 1990s.

As prescribed, restructuring would last only for as long as it would be necessary to get the job done. It would, however, replace management at the bailed-out financial institutions whose reckless risk-taking wreaked havoc on a global scale. It would institute government control of the assets of the bailed-out companies, so that after the companies are restructured and their assets sold off, the proceeds would be returned to the taxpayers. It would also break up those financial behemoths we’ve been told are “too big to fail” and hence are too big to regulate, so that in the future no single entity could on its own imperil the financial system if it fails.

Instead of continuing to shovel good money after bad ($750 billion in TARP funds plus $2.2 trillion more from the Federal Reserve to undisclosed recipients, and counting), why not opt for restructuring, which economic experts advocate as the cheapest, safest, quickest  and, in fact, most market-friendly path to stabilizing the financial system? Agreement on the necessity of restructuring zombie banks now spans the political spectrum as well, uniting Labor Secretary in the Clinton administration and current UC Berkeley professor Robert Reich, Senator Chris Dodd, Treasury Secretary in the Reagan administration and Secretary of State in the first Bush administration James Baker, and even former Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan.

On the other hand, in response to PBS news anchor Jim Lehrer’s query about “nationalizing the banks” in a recent interview, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner indicated that “that’s the wrong strategy for the country, and I don’t think it’s a necessary strategy.”

Please contact President Obama to urge him to consider restructuring major banks that are insolvent, and not to reject restructuring as an option, as Secretary Geithner has doneIn addition to the millions of jobs expected to be created as a result of the stimulus package, the success of President Obama’s own plan for economic recovery hinges on stability being restored to our badly shaken financial system. Many of the country’s best economic minds have concluded that that financial stabilization is unlikely without a decisive restructuring of the zombie banks. So have a number of former and current top government officials.

Please contact President Obama now. It’s no exaggeration if you tell him that our future hangs in the balance.

President Barack Obama
The White House
Comments: 202-456-1111
Switchboard: 202-456-1414
Fax: 202-456-2461
Link to online form

There is no big organizational muscle behind this effort. It’s just me and my keyboard, and the potential multiplicative force of your passing this appeal along to at least 10 people you know.

I’d appreciate your feedback, or even a note to say you contacted President Obama. Please leave your comments below or email me at <chettylane@sbcglobal.net>. Thank you for taking action!

Online sources for my post:

Joseph Stiglitz: “A Bank Bailout That Works,” The Nation

Paul Krugman: “The Big Dither,” The New York Times

Nouriel Roubini: “Fully Nationalizing Citi and Bank of America Would Be Better,” Tech Ticker (Video)

Thomas Hoenig, President of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City: “Too Big Has Failed

James Kwak: “Nationalization for Beginners,” The Baseline Scenario

The Big Picture’s list of heavy hitters for and against temporary bank nationalization

A little humor (such as it is) from Robert Kuttner: “White House Confidential,” Huffington Post


Calling folks in CD4

Filed under: Action,Arts & Education,CA Budget Process,Economy,Healthcare — bambooforest @ 1:52 am

Want to know how the CA state budget cuts will affect you, and how the economic stimulus funds will be spent locally? Folks who reside in City Council District 4 have an opportunity to find out, and perhaps have a say.

[Sorry, couldn’t upload the flyer from Councilmember Tom LaBonge’s office, so have just excerpted the flyer text below.]

For the City of Los Angeles 2009-2010 budget:


Councilmember Tom LaBonge
invites you to the
Council District 4 Community Congress

Wednesday, March 25, 2009
6 p.m. (Dinner) 6:30 p.m. (Program)
Witherbee Auditorium

Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens
5333 Zoo Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90027

Dinner and Refreshments will be served.

Shuttles will be available from the Hollywood and Toluca Lake
Field offices at 5:30 P.M., if needed.
Please RSVP to (213) 978-2616 or Jeanne.Min@lacity.org
and state whether you require transportation and from where.

As of this posting, notice of the event wasn’t up on Councilmember LaBonge’s website. Here’s the link if you’d like to check later.


Tell Your Senators Not to Compromise on Bankruptcy Reform March 11, 2009

Filed under: Action,Finance — 33northforchange @ 1:31 am

Credo has an internet petition to stop the devastating compromises that the banking industry is lobbying for: