A new and exciting campaign is being launched this week across the country.

It is no secret that the largest corporations in the country – the Wells Fargos, the Wal-Marts, and the Verizons – are undermining our democracy, poisoning our environment and widening the gap between rich and poor.

The question is, are you ready to do something more to confront corporate power? Something big. Something that will take all of us.

Iowa CCI is joining with thousands of workers, retirees, families fighting foreclosure, the unemployed, students, immigrants and environmentalists to confront abusive corporate power head on. This is an unprecedented group of national organizing networks coming together to demand corporate accountability at shareholder meetings this spring.

Our demands are precise and simple: corporations must pay their fair share of taxes, treat workers fairly, provide principal reduction to protect homeowners, pledge to keep money out of the election, and shift investments away from abusive private prisons and fossil fuels and into job creation and renewable energy.

Will you pledge to be a part of building this movement of and for the 99 percent?

This week is just the beginning. We have the rare opportunity to create a powerful shift in our country. It’s a “go big or go home” moment, and I say let’s go big together. There is a critical role for you to play in this movement to take our country back, whether you are at home, in the streets or in the boardroom. You are invited. You are needed.

Help us make sure that corrupt CEOs and Boards of Directors wake up every morning thinking about the 99%. Join us in the movement to confront corporate power.

You can stay up to date on this new movement by checking our calendar regularly for updates. In the meantime, click “Like” or “Tweet” below to spread this news far and wide:

But sweetheart AG settlement still a real possibility

 

Congratulations! President Obama has heard the calls of the 99% and announced a full, federal investigation into the fraudulent activities of big banks.

In Tuesday’s State of the Union address, President Obama said:

“We’ve put in place new rules to hold Wall Street accountable so crises like this never happen again … I intend to fight obstruction with action … And tonight, I am asking my Attorney General to create a special unit of federal prosecutors and leading state attorneys general to expand our investigations into the abusive lending and packaging of risky mortgages that led to the housing crisis. This new unit will hold accountable those who broke the law, speed assistance to homeowners, and help turn the page on an era of recklessness that hurt so many Americans.”

Congratulations to all of you who fought for and won this amazing victory. This wouldn’t have happened without you.

Now we need to make sure that this investigation has real teeth-that all administration resources go to uncovering the truth about the activities of the big banks.

And in order to provide real and meaningful relief to millions of homeowners, the end result must be at least $300 billion in principal reduction and restitution for those who have lost their homes, especially targeted to the most hard hit communities. This will reset the housing market and the economy.

In the meantime, there is still a sweetheart deal in the works between state Attorneys General and the big banks. We must continue to fight and make sure the banks are held accountable for their crimes and that any agreement will not interfere with President Obama’s promised comprehensive investigation.

If you haven’t yet called President Obama to tell him “no sweeheart deals – we need a full investigation,” please call him today!

Click “like” or “tweet” to spread this action far and wide:

BREAKING NEWS from our friends at the New Bottom Line coalition:

It’s the eleventh hour and the White House is about to strike a deal with big banks.

President Obama wants to be able to point to a big bank foreclosure settlement in Tuesday’s State of the Union as a measure of progress towards more Wall Street accountability. But the deal on the table is appalling, especially when compared to 2011 big bank bonuses.

Proposed total restitution for the millions of Americans who lost their home due to illegal foreclosure tactics: $20 billion. 1

2011 big bank bonuses: $144 billion. 2

Something is very wrong with this picture.

$20 billion is only a fraction of what is needed to reduce principal balances on millions of underwater homes; it is shameless that the White House isn’t demanding more money for principal reduction from the same big banks that crashed the economy.

Can you call the White House right now and tell them to launch a full investigation into Wall Street and make sure big banks are held fully accountable for the crimes that caused so many to lose their homes?

Right now big banks are sitting on an unprecedented mountain of cash: over $1.6 trillion. According to The New Bottom Line’s Pulling Back the Curtain report, big banks are set to award $144 billion in bonuses and compensation for 2011. The money is there.

We need the President to make sure Americans get back to work and keep their homes, not pad the pockets of the wealthiest Americans. He can do this by launching a full investigation of Wall Street, not just letting big banks off with the current sweetheart deal that is on the table.

Call the White House today and demand that any settlement with big banks:

1. Includes at least $300 billion in principal reduction

2. Includes a full investigation into Wall Street conduct leading up to and a during the financial crisis

3. Does not include blanket immunity for big banks from future legal challenges

 
Footnotes:  
1 http://www.huffingtonpost.com/van-jones/obama-housing_b_1221921.html?ref=politics
2 http://www.newbottomline.com/the_new_bottom_line_releases_pulling_back_the_curtain_exposing_the_1_behind_the_2011_big_bank_bonuses

 

Click “Like” or “Tweet” to spread this action alert far and wide:

 

Call Obama today and tell him to investigate Wall Street banks.

We know President Obama is with the 99% in words. Let’s make sure he’s with us in action, as well.

Call the White House and the Obama campaign office and tell them that the best way the President can win YOUR vote is by standing strong with homeowners and making sure banks pay their fair share in any settlement over mortgage fraud and illegal foreclosures.

 

Take just five minutes to make two calls now:

  • Call the White House at (202) 456-1111

  • Call Obama for America at (312) 698-3670

Tell him:

“Hi, my name is ________, and I am calling from Iowa. I’m calling to ask President Obama to stand up for homeowners and hold Wall Street accountable. There must be a full investigation into the big banks before any settlement is reached. Any settlement must include at least $300 billion worth of principal reduction for underwater homeowners.”

Once you’ve made your call, please let us know!

After you’ve made your call, read more about the big bank bonuses reaching near record levels in the new report: Pulling Back the Curtains.

 

Please click “Like” and “Tweet” below to ask your friends to take action, too!

Report from the New Bottom Line shows that bonuses would go a long toward helping struggling homeowners.

 

READ THE FULL REPORT HERE:
PULLING BACK THE CURTAIN.PDF

While the rest of us continue to struggle to put food on the table and keep a roof over our head, Wall Street has once again handed out mammoth bonuses in 2011. The nation’s top six banks—Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Citigroup, Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs—paid out $144 billion in bonuses and compensation this year, making 2011’s payday the second highest on record for these six firms.

The New Bottom Line report, “Pulling Back The Curtain: The 1% Behind The Big Bank Bonuses” details this and more and is especially timely for two reasons:

1. The big banks are ballyhooing that their bonuses/compensation are way down and the press is buying the spin. They are still awarding themselves billions of dollars when they should be using that money for principal reduction, paying their fair share and providing good loans.

2. The Attorneys’ General and the White House are meeting today in Chicago to hammer out the final details of a settlement that will let the big banks get away with $20-$25 billion in principal reduction. This is nothing compared to the $700+billion of underwater homes right now.

Highlights of the report include:

  • The nation’s top six banks — Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Citigroup, Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs — paid out $144 billion in bonuses and compensation for 2011, second only to the record $147 billion they paid out in 2007 at the height of the economic boom.
  • Just half of the banks’ bonus and compensation pools would be enough to begin writing down the principals on all underwater mortgages in the country.
  • If the six banks took half of their bonus and compensation pool and put it directly into a public service jobs fund, they could create 1.8 million jobs, and still have enough money left over to pay the average employee $60,605.
  • Just 72% of the $144 billion in bonuses and compensation at the top six banks would have been enough money to plug the $102.9 billion in budget holes for all 50 states for the current fiscal year.
  • The report gives examples of how the money could be spent in California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, and Ohio. For example, just nine minutes of bonuses and compensation at Wells Fargo would be enough to restore $1.9 million in cuts to the Iowa DNR.
  • The report states that average banker pay at the six biggest banks hit an all-time high in 2011. The average employee at these banks will take home $121,209 for 2011, more than twice the national median household income of $49,445. At pure investment banks such as Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs, average bonuses and compensation in 2011 were double and triple the $121,209 figure.

“Pulling Back The Curtain” also provides a behind the scenes look at why these bonus and compensations numbers are approved by profiling a cross-section of the six big bank boards of directors.

Our Solution:

Given that the country is in an economic crisis triggered by the banks’ mortgage fraud, the report calls on Wall Street to reject these high bonuses and compensations and “start investing back in the 99%” by:

  • writing down principals on underwater mortgages;
  • doing fair and sustainable loan modifications to prevent foreclosures;
  • increasing lending to small businesses;
  • making affordable loans to families, states, and local governments; and
  • paying their fair share of taxes.

Iowa CCI is a proud and active member of the New Bottom Line, a coalition of community, faith-based and labor organizing groups from across the country working to make life better for everyday people everywhere.

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Did your county pass it?

 

A record number of Iowa counties have again adopted the Master Matrix scoring system this year to give counties the right to appeal a factory farm permit issued by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR).   Eighty eight counties passed it in 2012, up from 79 counties in 2010.  Thanks to all CCI members who contacted their county officials on this important clean water issue!

The Master Matrix is the only form of local control citizens have to stop factory farm construction permits. We need all 99 counties on board!

Click here to see the DNR’s map of counties. If your county is on the list below, they did not pass the Master Matrix for 2012 – urge them to pass it next year.

  • Decatur
  • Iowa
  • Jasper
  • Keokuk
  • Lee
  • Mahaska
  • Osceola
  • Plymouth
  • Wapello
  • Warren
  • Washington

 

The construction evaluation resolution—also known as the Master Matrix—is the only tool available to citizens to stop proposed factory farm construction sites. Meaning if your county doesn’t pass it, you and your neighbors might be S.O.L (manure.outof.luck) when it comes time to fight a factory farm in your area.

Every year, each county’s board of supervisors must vote to readopt the resolution and mail it in to the Iowa Department of Natural Resources before Jan. 31. We firmly believe that all counties should have local control over factory farm siting.