Oregon Action Hosts Community Forum on Oregon State Bank Proposals

On Tuesday, January 25th, in Medford, Oregon, tucked into the hills of the Southern Cascade mountains, 28 people came together to discuss a radical concept: a bank that works to pool the resources of the community rather than to extract it and send it to Wall Street investors. Their interest was piqued by the two proposals currently in the Oregon State Legislature to create a state bank, modeled after the Bank of North Dakota, that would be owned and operated by the people of Oregon. Read more

Immigration Lessons from a Conservative State: The Utah Compact

In January a delegation of leaders and members of the Alliance for a Just Society went to Salt Lake City, Utah to learn about the Utah Compact. The Utah Compact is a set of principals designed to guide Utah citizens, goverment, and community leaders in speaking about immigration issues in a humane and respectful way. Though widely known as a conservative state, Utah’s Compact is an important,  model for  advancing a constructive dialogue about immigration issues. Read more

Washington CAN! Stages Sneak Attack at CHASE Bank’s Winter “Schmooze Fest”

On Wednesday, January 26th, Washington CAN! members gathered outside the CHASE building in Seattle to take action against one of corporations who, by successfully lobbying for tax exemptions, is responsible for the current state budget deficit and state fiscal crisis. This is the start of a series of direct actions planned against greedy banks and corporations. Read more

Direct from Main Street: Washington Small Business Views on Credit and Lending

This report shares the findings of a survey of Washington small businesses, focusing on their experiences with credit and their reactions to one current proposal to support small business and economic growth: the creation of a state bank. This report contributes to the discussion of such a proposal by sharing the perspectives of Washington’s Main Street small businesses.

Click here to download the full report. Read more

Washington CAN! Leads 800 People in Demanding an Equitable State Budget

All across the country, lawmakers are faced with grim state budget shortfalls that will mean devastating cuts to the social safety net. As a result of the national recession, Washington state faces one of the worst economic downturns in over 80 years. In the past two years lawmakers have balanced the state budget by cutting $5 billion in critical services including health care, education, the environment, services for individuals with differing abilities, and other safety net programs. Many of the programs that have been eliminated or are slated to be eliminated are programs that communities of color rely on.

In response to these crises, Washington CAN!, and Alliance for a Just Society affiliate, kicked off a season of direct action on Martin Luther King Day to advance policies that increase revenues and preserve public programs that are critical to communities. Read more

Idaho Community Action Network Calls for a Fair and Equitable State Budget

State legislatures are now in session. Lawmakers in nearly every state, including Idaho, are faced with budget shortfalls that will mean devastating cuts to the social safety net: health care, education, and services for immigrants. In response to this crisis, Idaho Community Action Network, an Alliance for a Just Society affiliate, kicked off a season of direct action to advance policies that increase revenues and preserve public programs that are critical to communities. Appropriately, they did so on Martin Luther King Day, a day when the message of social, racial, and economic justice is amplified. Read more

Main Street Alliance Leader Testifies Against Rollback of Federal Health Law

On January 18, New Jersey Main Street Alliance leader Odette Cohen, a pediatrician and owner of Son Light Pediatrics in Willingboro, NJ jumped on a train down to Washington, DC to testify at a hearing on the proposed rollback of the Affordable Care Act.

“The health care law throws a series of lifelines to small businesses,” Dr. Cohen said. “The new small business tax credits, stronger rate review, a value for premiums requirement, and state insurance exchanges – these measures will give small businesses more bargaining power and end the worst insurance company abuses. Who would want to take that away from us?” Read more

What Health Care Repeal Would Mean for People of Color

If you woke up tomorrow and discovered that you were a Member of Congress, what would be your first order of business? The economy is in the tank, so maybe you would endeavor to create a jobs program to curb unemployment. Poverty is on the rise, so you could consider options for strengthening the country’s safety net programs such as food stamps and cash assistance. States all find themselves in dire budget straits, so perhaps you would push to alleviate some of the crises by infusing more federal money into state coffers. And of course, because we need money to pay for these critical items, you could revisit the whole rich-not-paying-their-fair-share-of-taxes issue.

Or, like the actual new Members of Congress, you could promote a bill that would repeal health care reform, and prioritize the profits of corporations over the well-being of people. Read more