The New Paltz & Vicinity for Obama Economic Committee is chaired by Barbara Upton. For more information, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
April 23, 2009 Meeting Report
Present: Peter Heyman, Tanya Marquette, Linda Wells, Jim Mayes, Patty Parmalee, John Chiardia, Denise Perretta, Barbara Upton
1.Barbara gave a report on the April 11 protest to demand structural reform of Wall Street, co-sponsored by our committee and NP Women in Black. It was well attended (approximately 35 people) and very spirited. Fliers were distributed outlining the platform of ANewWayForward.org-
NATIONALIZE: Experts agree on the means—Insolvent banks that are too big to fail must incur a temporary FDIC intervention. No more blank check taxpayer bailouts.
REORGANIZE: Remove failed management and where there was criminal conduct, prosecute. Wipe out the bonuses. Create a new agency independent of the twelve biggest banks to enforce new rules and regulations.
DECENTRALIZE: Banks must be broken up and sold back to the private market with strong, new antitrust rules in place. They must be smaller, more diverse and answer to the needs of the communities they serve, not to the financial elite.
She said they were also surprised that the executive producer for the Bill Moyer’s Journal came to cover the event! Although there has been no airing of the 4/11 protests to date- we are told that the videos are “in the hopper” and may be shown at a future date on the Journal.
A New Way Forward is asking local communities to organize economic forums in June to educate people about the need for serious reform of the financial sector so that the people, not the banks are protected. (The Congressional Oversight Panel, headed by Elizabeth Warren agrees that any successful effort to address the banking crisis includes; getting rid of failed management, prosecuting when warranted and gaining control to clean up the books.) The current plan by Sec Geithner relies too heavily on trying to maintain the old order and is rife with the potential for fraud and the further gaming of the system by the financial elites. Here’s what two Nobel Laureats in Economics say about the plan. Stiglitz- http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/01/opinion/01stiglitz.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1 Krugman- http://www.commondreams.org/view/2009/03/23-2
Barbara has contacted Sen Bernie Sanders office to see if he might be able to be the main speaker at a June forum. She is also interested in creating a multi media presentation- that would include footage from our protest and have charts and a way to make what is at stake understandable. If anyone knows people who could help in such a project (or has ideas for other speakers) please contact her (at this email). Depending on our speaker’s availability and to organize well- the forum may have to be postponed to a later date.
2. Committee members reported back from our last meeting.
Peter has been in touch with the organization “Undoing Racism” to see if we could provide their workshop locally. (It has been presented to the New Paltz school district and some others) Peter has been in touch with Sophia McKenzie of Orange Co. She agrees that the key to success is to get multiple organizations involved in sponsoring and organizing the trainings. She said in Rockland Co the county executive has provided money to ensure that more county employees could participate. Sophia has been added to our com list at her request and Peter will continue to work with her and keep us informed.
Peter is also continuing to follow up with Paul Kivel, author of “You Call This a Democracy?” He may be meeting with him in NYC to talk about an event with him for this Fall. Thank-you Peter!
Tanya collected graphs and charts that show how our military spending is out of control- we spend what the rest of the world does combined and more than half our budget goes to the military. This is important information that may be incorporated into future presentations. Thanks to Tanya.
Jim researched the Swedish model for dealing with their bank crisis (sent previously). It entailed the nationalization of two insolvent banks and failed management being replaced. In a couple of years they were well on the road to recovery. In Japan where zombie banks were propped up by the government- they experienced “the lost decade”. This too could be incorporated into a presentation.Thank-you Jim.
3. John invited everyone to a healthcare forum that will be held May 14 at 7PM at the Elting Library. Someone from Physicians for a National Health Program will be speaking. There is mounting opposition from ‘powerful business groups’ that are expressing grave concerns about a public insurance option. Our road to universal health care truly depends on educating the grassroots.
As promised, here is the first link to a Bill Moyer’s show on the economic crisis. http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/03272009/watch2.html Well worth watching! This features Bill Greider who talks briefly on A New Way Forward.
Next meeting info also will be forthcoming.