Join us in Tacoma, WA on April 28 & 29, 2012 for an Eviction Free Zone training. Register HERE.
#83 in Backbone Campaign's Conversations with the Cabinet podcast series
Thursday, December 8, 2011 we hosted a report from and conversation between some of America's leading housing defenders. With almost 30% of American mortgages "under-water," it is possible that no other economic issue in American politics can equal this one for its potential appeal and the substantive impacts a victory would deliver to millions of families.
This conversation was inspiring and filled with useful information for propelling our movement of movements forward. Download the Podcast, explore the valuable and inspiring organizing tools and educational resources below. Please share this with your local Occupy, social networks, friends and family members, and then ORGANIZE!
|Intro text by Bill Moyer below. Guests and resource links in order of appearance:
Occupy Our Homes activists Arturo de los Santos and Peggy Mears:
City Life/Vida Urbana Lead Organizer Melonie Griffiths:
The New Bottom Line Co-Director Ilana Berger:
New Economy Network Coordinator Sarah Stranahan.
New Economy Working Group
National People's Action - Hold Banks Accountable Campaign
Full Intro Text by Bill Moyer:
For years we have featured our most effective organizers, activists and policy leaders and engaged them in inspiring conversations to help grow a more powerful community-based and nationally-networked progressive social movement. A few weeks ago I read a quote from a Morgan Stanley analyst proclaiming that a "The Rentership Society is upon us" - the article outlined a frightening effort to bundle a quarter million foreclosed properties currently owned Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and FHA - all agencies currently under the public control of the Federal Housing Finance administration and sell them to Wall Street.
The article went on to quote anonymous wall street representatives that this would be such a great favor to the country, they would of course insist on additional tax incentives for their largess. And 250 thousand homes is just the start. With a "Shadow Inventory" of as many as 6-7.5 million homes in - or in danger of foreclosure - which could eventually follow.
In short, It seems that their plan is to create investment instruments through which Wall Street and the 1% become the landlords, and we all become their rent paying vassals.
Alternatively, more and more of us are are saying "Don't sell out America - Bail out America!" Together a chorus is growing for the "WIN/WIN" solution of universal, automatic principal reduction for under-water mortgages, i.e. reduce the amount owed to the bank so as not to exceed the actual value of the home and allow Americans to once again build their equity.
An why not? We hold the higher moral ground, as neither Banks, nor public mortgage holding entities such as Fannie Mae will get no more $ by shortsale or selling to Wall Street, than if they simply reduced principal for the 29 percent of American "under-water" mortgage holders. This would lift a giant and unnecessary burden off the backs of millions of families. It would stem the tragic flood of homes into an already depressed housing market, and redirect BILLIONS of dollars currently paid to the bloated banks, stimulating struggling local economies.
This podcast features Housing & Economic Democracy Activists stopping foreclosures and evictions both through direct action in their communities and a national mobilization for universal principal reduction for underwater mortgages.
We are excited to have Occupy Our Homes activists Arturo de los Santos and Peggy Mears calling in from a home occupation in Riverside CA that started on Dec. 6, Kwazi Nkrumah of the LA Coffee Party & Occupy LA . We'll hear from Eviction protection pioneer Melanie Griffiths, a lead organizer for City Life/Vida Urbana Boston who will share the key elements of their organizing strategy;
Then Ilana Berger, Co-Director of New Bottom Line will present highlights of their excellent Win/Win Report on the economic and community benefits of universal Principal Reduction for under-water mortgages.
Then Sarah Stranahan of the New Economy Network will wrap up with a historical perspective on the History of Fannie Mae, its decline-privatization, public bail out, and an argument for why it needs to be kept a public institution to support home ownership - the cornerstone of wealth building in America
Backbone Campaign's first Bail Out America "dress rehearsal" action at FHFA, White House and Treasury photos and video: