~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Backbone Campaign Lumbar Club Cookout & Sing-along At the Annual Localize This! Action Camp Wednesday August 1, 6:30-10PM ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Vashon AYH Ranch Hostel 12119 SW Cove Road
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Order of Fun: 1. Grilled Salmon or Portobellos and Vashon-grown sides. 2. Presentations from Bill Moyer, allies and activists 3. S'MORES! 4. Sing-along and skits 'round the campfire 5. More S'mores!
Dinner is $20, but...
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Space and food limited - please RSVP by July 21. Click here to
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Join us for our Eviction Free Zone Training in Tacoma, WA April 28 & 29, 2012.
Location: First United Methodist Church in Tacoma, 621 Tacoma Avenue South, Tacoma, WA 98402.
Join us for this incredible opportunity to learn from some of the country's leading community organizers and pioneers in eviction protection. Whether you are a lawyer, an advocate, or a community activists the folks from City Life/Vida Urbana will blow your mind and help move you and your community into action.
Let's declare all our communities Eviction Free Zones!
VCS Progress Report to Potential Investors & Community Members:
We want to update Backbone supporters and fellow Vashon Islanders on our proposed Vashon Community Solar (VCS) project at the King County Transfer Station on Vashon.
Since late October we have been working with a multi-departmental team at the County. We’ve identified an empty expanse of land north of the Vashon recycling centre as ideal: excellent solar exposure, easy access to the main panel, reasonable security, and no conflicting plans for other usage. The site is large enough to permit installation of the largest size solar array permitted under the legislation, generating up to 75 kW, and thus will have good economies of scale.
Whatever you do... DO NOT MISS these two action videos: The Supremes Perform at DC Rally - Tight video of highlights from the hilarious Sesame Street & Dr. Pepper inspired Supremes. Please SHARE video and LIKE Backbone on Facebook. Mission Impossible video footage compiled from two autonomous projection squads makes the most out of both efforts.
Dear friends and allies, Thanks to your support and the skills, energy, hospitality and hard work of a large team (listed below), our Occupy the Courts adventure in DC was a GREAT success! Backbone Campaign successfully built upon the work we started last year with the For the People Rally & Summit on the First Anniversary of the Citizens United decision. This year, street theater, giant banners, and even light projections on the Supreme Court and HQ of the US Chamber of Commerce figured into the broad tactical display over a a number of days.
These images and antics will continue to fuel the movement to abolish corporate personhood and the corrupt equation of money (property) with speech as is demonstrated by last year's efforts being featured in recent articles in The Progressive & Yes! Magazine. All this work is bringing us closer to the day when we all live under a social contract truly based on human rights as the Declaration of Independence promised.
While I was in DC, it was Backbone organizer Jared Middle Calf played a critical role in the imagery design, production and implementation of related efforts in Seattle. Jared and Backbone collaborators Eiya Wolfe, Denise Henriksen, and many others did an amazing job, persevering despite a snow storm with great images and a fun movement expanding production. Congratulations to them all.
The past week has been full of video editing and media collection and catching up with family stuff and Team Backbone. But it was also punctuated with some personally humbling, but gratifying opportunities. I got my first ever invite from our local NPR affiliate KUOW to speak to the then looming AG/Wall Street Bank deal (a deal which thankfully did not happen and did not become part of the State of the Union). Excerpt here. And one of my favorite social commentators Punk Patriot published an interview we did about the Occupy phenomenon and the current populist moment. I'm excited by these opportunities because I've been learning so much over the years, and sometimes it's really nice to have more room than a banner to express one's thoughts.
Please check out our new Supremes video, the photos, and maybe even my recent interview with the Punk Patriot. We look forward to an PIVOTAL 2012 and locking arms with you all along the way.
In gratitude and collaboration,
Bill Moyer Backbone Campaign
THANK YOUS: Nothing of value ever happens at the Backbone Campaign that doesn't involve
collaboration and that was never more true than with our recent actions. Allies for the DC Occupy the Courts were Move to Amend, Code Pink, the Other98%, and Peace House occupiers who made our short but sweet visit highly productive. In Seattle's GMOP, "Get Money Out of Politics" formed as a working group of Occupy Seattle, but is now thriving on its own.
A special note of gratitude to Ariel Zevon and Laura Love for lending their incredible talents. Laura's beautiful voice and spirit along with Ariel's incredible script writing, performance and co-directing of the entire DC effort were an awesome contribution. Devin Prewett and Greg Jacobson were the able and hard working, ready for anything technical team handling logistics, light and sound. Dawn Levy and Heather Ault pitched in in multiple ways with both the Supremes and with our late night projection action. All kinds of other contributions from hospitality, to sewing, to performing to you name it was given by Stacey Bridges, Moya Atkinson, Tighe Barry, Laird Monahan, Nancy Price, Crystal Zevon, Jay Marx, Doreen Moyer, Joan Stallard, David Barrows, Charles, Knoxville, Denise Valdez, Coralie Farlee, Robert Alexander, John Leonhard, Eric Byler, Eric Perlman, Martin Sonnenberg, Barry Gurley, Denise Henrikson, Laura Daughenbaugh, Bob Powell, and finally, the amazing Steffon Moody who painted the new 28th Amendment - ALL these people deserve our collective gratitude.
Backbone Campaign's recent mission in DC to provide messaging for the Freedom Plaza occupation resulted in a dozens of mainstream press hits. We actually had 2 images in the NYTimes in one day! Our purpose was to associate the Occupation movement with values most of the 99% identify with. Here's a collection of many of them along with some other photos from various actions.
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:
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: