Jason joined the Alliance for a Just Society staff in 2009 as a National Organizer, working on the Main Street Alliance Project. Before joining the Alliance, he worked in electoral politics and civic engagement, including running 501c3 voter registration drives in Missouri and Michigan. Jason also established a statewide membership canvass in Oregon and ran GOTV in Ohio. Jason’s focus is on building strong local economies, passing and implementing financial reform, as well as fighting for responsible banking initiatives. firstname.lastname@example.org
Policy Areas: Student Debt, Fair Housing, Banking.
There was some very exciting news coming out of Germany this week, when the country announced that it is scrapping tuition and fees for its universities. Organizing is widely credited with building the public will and political momentum for free college. In fact, Dorothee Stapelfeldt, of the Hamburg Parliament, told reporters this week, “Tuition fees […]
It has taken six years and dozens of lawsuits and settlements after the largest housing collapse since the Great Depression – and finally we may have a way to set up and implement local principal reduction programs in cities across the country. September has brought us what is expected to be the last of the […]
As we’ve reported here and here, the state of higher education in this country has reached a crisis. The cost of tuition has risen substantially faster than any other good or service over the past 40 years. There are many that are calling the student debt crisis the next financial bubble. Under the Starbucks plan, […]
This week the Department of Justice levied a $97 million fine against the student debt servicing giant Sallie Mae. The findings of the DOJ’s long investigation revealed a host of bad practices and illegal behaviors at the company, including overcharging on nearly all military service members’ loans, and mishandling borrowers’ payments to maximize late fees […]
After three years of persistent and tireless work by Colorado Progressive Coalition members, the Colorado legislature this month finally passed meaningful protections for homeowners at risk of losing their homes. For years horror stories have abounded in the press of banks that lost paperwork, homeowners never speaking to the same person twice, promises of a […]
Foreclosures and high numbers of underwater homes aren’t making headlines around the country the way they were a couple of years ago, but that doesn’t mean the housing market is back on solid footing – or that people are no longer suffering. Thousands of families in Seattle are still dealing with the traumatic repercussions of […]
A college degree was once an investment in the future, a path to a good job, a home, car, vacation and money set aside to retire some day. But that college education has for many, become a ball and chain limiting future growth. Unless we begin to address this debt issue we will continue to […]
This is the first in a three-part series by the Alliance for a Just Society, looking at the high cost of student debt for our country and for our future. Young college graduates are putting their futures on hold as they struggle under the burden of high student debt – and a weak economic recovery […]
By Sheena Rice Montana Organizing Project It’s no longer shocking to read news articles about the scandalous behavior of big banks. Readers roll their eyes when they see JPMorgan’s CEO being awarded a total pay of $20 million the same year the bank made repeated headlines for being fined millions of dollars and incurring losses […]
Conservative intransigence — on issues as wide-ranging as appointing a permanent nominee for the Federal Housing and Finance Authority (FHFA) to implementing key components of the Dodd Frank Financial Reform law — prompted Sen. Harry Reid and Senate Democrats to change the Senate rules around cloture. Previously requiring a threshold of 60 to proceed with […]
Community and ICAN Push Council to Limit Industry From Preying on the Poor “With the average payday loan in Idaho carrying an interest rate of 350% and with the average borrower taking out 7 payday loans to pay off the initial loan”, predatory loan businesses continue to swarm into our state. Last year alone, […]
Mary Jo White, the new Chair of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, was recently confirmed to a five-year term that secures her position until 2019. With that kind of job security, Ms. White should be able to rise above the partisan pressures of Washington politics and advance a proactive agenda at the SEC that […]
The Federal Housing and Finance Authority (FHFA) is taking dramatic actions against homeowners, and cities working to fix the housing crisis. Just, this morning, Mark Harris, a Desert Storm veteran in Atlanta, who was highlighted in the Alliance’s report Wasted Wealth: How the Wall Street Crash Continues to Stall Economic Recovery and Deepen Racial Inequity […]
17 Homeowners Arrested On Monday, Alliance members from Colorado Progressive Coalition and Washington CAN! joined over 500 homeowners for a day of action targeting the Department of Justice for its continued failure to prosecute Wall Street banks and their executives for major financial crimes. In March, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder told the Senate Judiciary […]
A win for homeowners in Colorado! Alliance affiliate Colorado Progressive Coalition has been working for two years to pass “Show Me the Note” legislation, which forces banks to prove they own the deed to a home before they can foreclose on it. On Monday, U.S. District Judge, William Martinez, ruled that the unsworn testimony of […]
“The biggest roadblock to our country’s economic recovery” Re-Posted with permission from The New Bottom Line Since early 2012, New Bottom Line has driven the campaign to get President Obama to dump Ed DeMarco, acting director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency. Today, the organization celebrated the news that the president finally made a nomination […]
Community Rally Hits One Consistent Message: Get Rid of Ed Demarco Fred and Sophia Patterson have a mortgage that was bought from Bank of America by Freddie Mac. When Mr. Patterson had his identity stolen, he lost everything, and asked for some assistance. The Pattersons accepted a temporary loan modification and continued to pay […]
Oregon Action! nailed another victory to move municipal money out from under major banks. After many months working to engage local municipalities on responsible banking practices, OA! moved the Ashland City Council to unanimously pass a resolution authorizing the city to move some of its money out of Wells Fargo and to establish accounts at […]
It’s been five and half years since the largest economic collapse in 4 generations, and fiscal policy is still being executed in a way to favor the banks and not regular folks. We’ve subsequently seen a “jobless” recovery from our recession and are now seeing a “houseless” rebound of home market. But […]
As part of the escalation of tactics against mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, members of Alliance affiliate Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada (PLAN) joined Right to the City, ACCE and others to bring the fight directly to Fannie Mae at their regional headquarters in Los Angeles last week.
On August 2, members of Alliance affiliate Idaho Community Action Network successfully disrupted the foreclosure auction of ICAN member Ashlee Wemhoff’s home in Lewiston, Idaho. Ashlee’s home was put into foreclosure after her husband had an accident and was unable to work.
Mere days before National Small Business Week kicked off it was revealed that JP Morgan Chase and CEO wonder boy Jamie Dimon lost $2B (now $3B by some estimates) on derivative trades meant to mitigate risk. This was a stark reminder for small businesses that nearly 4 years after the economic collapse wreaked havoc on […]
From the Main Street Alliance Website: Main Street Alliance of Oregon has been surveying business owners throughout Oregon and is finding strong interest in electoral reform. Currently around eight in ten business owners feel the Citizens United Supreme Court decision, freeing corporations to spend unlimited sums of money in elections, is bad for small business. […]
The interest rate on subsidized Stafford Loans is set to double. If Congress doesn’t sort out its differences, seven million Americans will see their student loan rates double, creating further drag on the economy.
Student loan interest rates have taken center stage in the latest partisan political debate. In response to the economic crisis, the federal government reduced the interest rate for Stafford Loans from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent. But that was only temporary.
The Main Street Alliance has a great new video highlighting the dominating role insurance companies are playing in state health insurance policy. “Foxes Guarding the Hen House” is part of MSA’s ongoing campaign to ensure that the health insurance exchanges that are created in each state work for small businesses.
The Occupy protests that have sprouted up in over a thousand cities nationwide have had a profound effect on the political landscape. Barely four months ago, the dominant narrative was that the country is broke and we have to tighten our belts through “fiscal austerity,” with nary a mention of income inequality and who pays […]
Beginning January One, Bank of America will be charging customers $5 a month to use their debit cards. Back in 2009, small businesses banded together to fight back against ever escalating fees levied by the banks. This was a monumental win for small businesses- these fees amounted to a $16Billion a year transfer of wealth […]
More than a year after the passage of the financial reform, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau still doesn’t have a director at the helm. Robert Cordray, former Ohio Attorney General, awaits confirmation, now stalled by Senate Republicans more interested in abetting the banks and gutting the bureau than in protecting consumers. This is bad not […]
Main Street Alliance members Edgar Andrade of Bushwick, Brooklyn and Jim Houser of Portland, Oregon were joined on a press call Wednesday by Mayor Paul Bridges of Uvalda, GA to address the drastic ramifications of state-based, enforcement-only immigration laws. These laws are being enacted in states across the country, starting in Arizona and spreading to […]
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 […]
Over the past several weeks Bank of America, Ally, and GMAC have announced that they have will be halting foreclosures in the 23 states that require a judge to sign off on foreclosures before eviction. Did this decision come from enlightened bank management who understand what is needed to stabilize the housing market and pull […]
Early on a Friday morning in September, before setting off on their usual daily tasks, three business owners, all members of the Maine Small Business Coalition, gathered in a cluttered corner of an antiquarian bookstore in Bangor, Maine. Rick Schweikart, Bill Lippincott, and Suzanne Kelly, accompanied by the Chair of the Appropriations Committee in the […]
On Tuesday, August 17, all eyes were on Seattle’s Pioneer Square as President Obama was in town stumping for Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) in her critical primary race. Obama and Murray held a private meeting at a café with three small business owners to discuss the economy, as well as what could be done to […]