Unfair to Immigrants, Costly to Taxpayers

This op-ed, originally published in the New York Times, is co-authored by Andrew Friedman, co-executive director of Make the Road New York, an Alliance affiliate.

Every year thousands of immigrants being held on Rikers Island are transferred to federal custody and deported. Only about half of them have a criminal record, many of them are here legally, most of them have their due process rights violated and all of them are subjected to substandard conditions before being returned to their countries of origin. Continue reading “Unfair to Immigrants, Costly to Taxpayers”

Big Banks Must Step Up to Address the Revenue Crisis

The big banks live in a parallel universe.

In their universe, the financial meltdown was beyond their power to stop.  The recession that left more than 1/10th of the American workforce unemployed is a shame they had little to do with.  The massive government bailout of the financial system was an opportunity to make a tidy profit so that you could give your executive hefty bonuses.  And the budget deficit that was catapulted to its current highs because of the recession proves that the government has gotten too big. Continue reading “Big Banks Must Step Up to Address the Revenue Crisis”

Main Street Alliance Leader Don Orange Shares His Story in Washington, D.C.

On March 17, Main Street Alliance leader Don Orange, owner of Hoesly ECO Auto & Tire in Vancouver, Washington, joined House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and other members of Congress at a press conference highlighting how the new health care law is already benefiting millions of small businesses and consumers as its one year anniversary approaches on March 23rd.

Don is the Chair of the Main Street Alliance of Washington, a coalition of more than 2,000 Washington small businesses affiliated with the national Main Street Alliance network. His business is a family-owned and operated auto shop with five employees. Don’s business is benefiting from the Affordable Care Act’s small business health care tax credit, which is offsetting his 2010 health care costs by 14 percent.

“As a small business owner, I know we need to keep moving forward on health care,” Don said. “We won’t go back, and we won’t let the benefits of the new law be taken away from us. The health care law is good for small businesses and good for our communities – it’s good for America.”

Click here to read Don’s full story.

Video: Washington CAN! Quarantines State Capitol from Bank Lobbyist Germs

On Bankers’ Lobby Day (February 7), members from Washington Community Action Network quarantined the state Capitol building in Olympia to protect lawmakers from from lobbyist “germs” of misinformation. Lobbyists were there to dissuade lawmakers from voting for House Bill 1847, which would eliminate outdated tax breaks for big Wall Street banks and private jet owners and help raise revenue in a state is facing a $5.6 billion budget deficit. The revenue raised would go directly to saving the state’s Basic Health Plan. Continue reading “Video: Washington CAN! Quarantines State Capitol from Bank Lobbyist Germs”

Oscar Winner Calls Out Wall Street During Acceptance Speech

A bright spot from last night’s long Academy Awards Show:

“Forgive me,” said director Scott Ferguson, as he accepted his Oscar for the film Inside Job, which exposes our economic crisis as a crime perpetrated by a greedy few upon the working class, “I must start by pointing out that three years after our horrific financial crisis caused by financial fraud, not a single financial executive has gone to jail, and that’s wrong.”

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. Continue reading “Direct from Main Street: Washington Small Business Views on Credit and Lending”

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. Continue reading “Washington CAN! Leads 800 People in Demanding an Equitable State Budget”