UFE's E-News November 2008

In this Issue:


Article One

Building on the Moment

It‘s just possible that a new movement for a fair economy has begun.

Maybe the presidential election was the kickoff event. The economy was the number one issue, and change won the day, right?

In his victory speech, Obama said, "This victory alone is not the change we seek. It is only the chance for us to make that change."

As a former community organizer, Obama knew he was taking on a massive challenge, and if he were to succeed, he would need a massive amount of support.

We believe that an important first step in delivering that support is to make decisions about fundamental economic issues such as:

  • Who‘s the economy for?
  • What would a fair economy look like?
  • What political and economic rules need to be changed to achieve an economy that works for everyone?
  • What‘s the appropriate role for government in setting and monitoring the rules for the economy?

  • Share your thoughts:

  • With the Obama transition team.

  • With us.
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    Article Two

    Join the Week of Action About the Economy

    During the week of December 7 and beyond, organizations around the country are organizing Town Hall Meetings and Teach-Ins to help folks learn about the economic crisis and strategize about fixing our economy. Please consider getting involved.

    Events are being planned in many cities. To find out how to get involved contact Maude Bauschard at mbauschard@usaction.org. For Boston-area events, please contact Lee Farris at lfarris@faireconomy.org. Starting Dec. 1, you can find or list events at http://www.RoadToEconomicRecovery.org.

    If you‘re interested in helping to organize a Teach-In or Town Hall Meeting on the Economic Crisis, check out this guide by our friends at the Institute for Policy Studies. It includes how to find speakers, talking points and more.

    USAction is holding a free online Economic Crisis Webinar Series on Dec. 2 and Dec. 16 at 2pm. The webinars will help you talk more effectively to individuals, groups and the media in your community. Learn more and register at: https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/303110048

    Jobs with Justice has a Call to Action as well.

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    Article Three

    UFE Report Helps in Discrimination Complaint

    Our prescient report, "State of the Dream 2008: Foreclosed," continues to make waves and keep the focus on the impact of the subprime mortgage crisis on people of color. One recent example is a discrimination complaint filed with HUD‘s Office of Fair Housing & Equal Opportunity against two rating agencies by the National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC).

    According to its press release, NCRC alleges that the rating agencies, Fitch Inc. and Moody's Investors Service's, "substantially contributed to the housing and foreclosure crisis in African-American and Latino communities by making public misrepresentations about the soundness and reliability of subprime securities‘ ratings."

    For evidence of the overall impact on people of color, NCRC references our report in both the complaint and the press release.

  • NCRC‘s Press Release (PDF)

  • NCRC‘s Housing Discrimination Complaint (PDF)

  • State of the Dream 2008: Foreclosed
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    Article Four

    Roundup of Recent Reports

    A study released by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (PDF) shows that the US has the third highest economic inequality and poverty of the 20 countries studied. That means that the supposed greatness of the USA is being enjoyed by a smaller percentage of our population than every other country except Mexico and Turkey.

    The Center for Economic and Policy Research shows that young workers are the most hurt when there is a recession. Workers between the ages of 18 and 29 are more susceptible to past policies that have kept working wages low and reduced the bargaining power of workers overall. The study also found that young workers who are unionized fare better in a downturn than non-unionized youth.

    The Center for Study of Working Class Life reports that there are still over a million families facing foreclosures as the sub-prime virus tapers off. In the US, 20.9% of family households currently report being in economic distress, while executives running the corporations, which are responsible for this crisis walk away with billions.

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