UFE's E-News February 2009

In this Issue:


Article One

Fearless Leader Needed

Know any good people? We’re looking for an Executive Director.

We’ve evaluated our needs – especially in light of the current economic crisis – and are excited to begin the search for a new leader.

As you might imagine, we need a highly experienced, strategic-thinking and culturally competent Executive Director who is passionate about working for economic justice and supporting social movements for greater equality. At least 10 years of senior nonprofit management and proven track record of successful fundraising are required. Women and candidates of color are encouraged to apply.

If you know people who might be appropriate – or people who know people who might be appropriate – please send them this link to the full position profile and job application process: http://faireconomy.org/executive_director_search.

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Article Two

Join the Fight for a Progressive Estate Tax in 2009

With the help of many, we've succeeded in preventing permanent repeal of the estate tax during the past decade. The final battle will be over the size of reform, and we expect it to be this year.

Unfortunately, there is a real threat that weak reform of the estate tax will prevail, resulting in little revenue and worsening economic inequality. For example, President Obama advocates freezing the estate tax at its current 2009 exemption of $3.5 million for an individual and $7 million for a couple.

Our goal is to defeat weak proposals and pass legislation that returns to a robust federal estate tax that generates significant revenue. Our strategy is to promote progressive alternatives, such as our “Sensible Estate Tax” proposal, which would maintain a lower exemption ($2 million per spouse) and introduce a progressive rate structure, with higher rates on larger estates.

Please join us this year in pulling out all the stops – calling legislators, meeting them in your home state or Washington, DC, and writing letters to the editor. Another key action is to sign the Call to Preserve the Estate Tax.

And if you live in the states of Kentucky, Missouri, Virginia, North Carolina, and Washington, please consider attending our lobby day event in Washington DC, March 10-11, to ask your legislators to support a robust estate tax. We plan to hold another estate tax lobby day in April for residents of other states.

Find more info or register for the Estate Tax Lobby Day here. or call Lee Farris, 617-423-2148 ext 133.

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Article Three

Make a Powerful Statement For Tax Fairness

Were you opposed to the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy? If so, you probably felt relieved once Obama took office.

But guess what? Tax cuts for the wealthy are still with us. Not only are the rich still reaping massive Bush-era tax savings, but Republicans in Congress continue to push for more tax cuts for the wealthy!

If you’re wealthy, you can send a strong statement against past, present, and future tax cuts that benefit the wealthy by taking the Tax Pledge today! You will be saying that it is wrong to give tax cuts to the wealthy instead of investing in education, research, job training, affordable housing, a healthy environment, vaccines and emergency services.

Using the quick online calculator, you can find out how much you personally benefitted on your taxes last year. And, by redirecting your tax cut to tax fairness and other worthy causes, you can help promote education, job training, affordable housing and much more.

President Obama has made clear that he wants to end tax cuts for the wealthy, but he's asking us all to step up in a new era of responsibility.

Let your voice be heard and take the Tax Pledge now.

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Article Four

Making Noise about Racial Inequality

For Black History month, brand new Attorney General Eric Holder was not afraid to challenge the myth of Obama ushering in a post-racial era. Holder's remarks to the Justice Department are consistent with our report, which documents the long-standing and recently created examples of structural racial inequality he challenges our country to face.

State of the Dream 2009: The Silent Depression documents many of the current racial economic issues and demonstrates the deafening silence that structural racism is often met with, a phenomenon described eloquently by Holder.

In this current crossroads of time and opportunity, in which history is being made, let us act with the bold courage that Holder is asking for by eliminating the racial wealth divide. Let us remember that history ignored is not history conquered.

  • Find the report here.
  • Read Bill Fletcher's article in Black Commentary.

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    Article Five

    Pressure Gets Results on CEO Pay

    Last month, Intel made news when it joined a growing number of companies yielding to pressure to give shareholders so-called advisory votes on executive compensation policies. Although non-binding, such shareholder reviews represent key progress towards the ultimate goal of broadening accountability and responsibility in U.S. corporations.

    Pressure came on many fronts, but one coordinated, targeted effort is from shareholder activism. For example, members of UFE’s Responsible Wealth project filed shareholder resolutions this fall at Alcoa, Prudential, Target, Schering-Plough and Yahoo. These resolutions, called “Say on Pay,” push for exactly the kind of advisory votes that Intel agreed to.

  • See our “Say on Pay” resolutions and learn about our other resolutions on Predatory Lending and Remittances.
  • Get involved in Responsible Wealth.

    Click here to help address economic inequality by spreading the word about UFE.