On a beautiful sunny Seattle Saturday, 400 south Seattle residents took to the streets to demand that JPMorgan Chase Bank reinvest money in the communities they have destroyed. The community members — parents, students, workers, homeowners — demanded that Chase reinvest money in the form of principle write down for every Washington homeowner. They also called on Chase to invest in a community jobs fund that would create over 30,000 jobs for the neighborhoods hardest hit by the economic crises created by the reckless gambling of Chase and other big banks.
This is part eleven in a series of posts that will explore some of the leading organizations from around the country that are engaged in unearthing and combating the influence of money in the political process.
On a typically rainy Seattle morning, Tuesday, May 2, commuters stuck in rush hour traffic were treated to a perfect view of a banner declaring peoples’ demands to big banks – PAY YOUR TAXES! The banner, hoisted up by 8-foot weather balloons and anchored by local students’ sailboat, reading “Wells Fargo-Pay Your Taxes” flew above Portage Bay to send a message to local Wells Fargo board member Judith Runstad as she departs for the company’s annual shareholders meeting in San Francisco on May 3.
Last Thursday, April 14, Washingtonians from all walks of life put on their walking shoes and set out on the People’s Walk for Our Future. The five-day, 50-mile walk included stops at places in communities that are facing devastating cuts because of Washington’s $5 billion revenue shortfall: schools, mental health clinics, and many more. Legislators are choosing to make these deep cuts over closing tax loopholes for big out-o- state banks and corporations, and walkers wanted to make clear that they would not take it lying down. Read more
At 8 p.m. on Wednesday, April 6, Lieutenant Mark Arras of the Washington State Patrol addressed a crowd of 100 people who had filled the Capitol Building rotunda with sleeping bags and pillows. They had taken up camp in the Capitol to protest state budget cuts slashing social services like health care and education. “We are asking you to leave,” Arras said. “If you are waiting for us to arrest you, we are not going to do that. We respect your right to be here. Please work with us, and we will work with you.”
Arras was greeted with cheers, thanks, and applause, which quickly gave way to a chant that had been heard many times that day, “Whose house? Our house!” Read more
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. Read more
On Thursday, February 3, the Washington State Legislature Transportation Committee held a public hearing on SB 5407, a bill that would take away the ability of undocumented, tax-paying immigrants to obtain Washington state driver licenses. The bill would make people provide a social security number or proof that they are in the US legally to get a a license. At the public hearing, several organizations including Washington CAN!, OneAmerica, El Comite, the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project, churches and faith groups, expressed their concerns about the bill. Read more
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