I first heard one of our convention guest speakers, Heather McGhee (photo), at the National People’s Action Organizers Conference and then soon after on Bill Moyers’ new television show.

Both times she blew me away.

She delivers one of the sharpest analyses of how we got here. And, her vision of what a country that truly “Puts People First” looks like stretched my mind about what is possible and what is worth fighting for.


Come get blown away by Heather and our other impressive convention guest speakers July 14.



Here are a few more reasons our guest speakers will blow you away:

  • Lisa Graves – I’m not sure we’d know nearly as much as we do about ALEC were it not for Lisa and the Center for Media & Democracy’s work.
  • Sally Kohn – Around the office we call her the next Rachel Maddow. She’s sharp as a tack, witty and brave enough to be the progressive voice on Fox News. Yes, Fox News.
  • Mark Schultz  – He’ll share how Minnesotans are taking on corporate power and how they forced a Univ. of MN College of Ag VP to resign for clearly doing the bidding of corporate ag. Sound familiar? A very timely subject for our “Fire Rastetter” campaign.   

But, what truly never fails to blow me away about the convention is the energy that you bring to it.

It’s powerful to be in a room full of like-minded Iowans who are all willing to act on their vision for an Iowa that puts people first.

That, plus our our penchant for clapping, celebrating victories and having a good time when we’re together makes the convention one of the best events we do all year.

That’s why I hope that you will join me at the Iowa CCI Convention July 14. Don’t miss out. 

In Solidarity,

Katie Bryan
Communications Director

P.S. And, of course, we’ll take action. Together we will send a strong message to a key decision maker at the center of one of our big organizing campaigns. Be there to help us tell them to do the right thing. Register today!

You should have seen the smiles on the faces of the six CCI members who proudly closed their Wells Fargo accounts this morning. And, those of the three dozen others there to cheer them on. It was a fun action!

Members moved their money and closed $30,000 in accounts in protest of Wells Fargo’s investment in private prisons, financing of payday lenders and factory farms, and the bank’s questionable lending practices leading up to the financial crisis.

“Wells Fargo has taken money from our community, and given back pain,” said CCI member Gloria Aguilar, who closed a Home Equity Line of Credit, “I will not do business with Wells Fargo until they change their practices and put people before profits.”

Aguilar and other Latino members of Iowa CCI singled out Wells Fargo’s relationship with GEO Group, one of the largest private prisons in the country. According to the GEO Group’s proxy statement dated March 23, 2012, “Wells Fargo & Company reported that, as of December 31, 2011, it beneficially owned 4,446,026 shares with sole voting power over 4,398,614 of such shares, shared voting power over 794 of such shares, sole dispositive power over 4,300,251 of such shares and shared dispositive power over 80 of such shares.”

“Private prisons make money by tearing families apart, and it’s wrong for Wells Fargo to be helping them out” Aguilar said, “all we’ve heard from Wells Fargo is ‘no!’ and we’re here today to tell Wells that we’ll be saying ‘no’ to them until they change their ways.”

Iowa CCI will continue to encourage Wells Fargo customers across Iowa to close their accounts until the bank pledges to stop engaging in activities that profit at the expense of everyday people. Our efforts are part of a national big bank Move Our Money campaign.

Here are pictures from today’s action:

Created with flickr slideshow.

Learn More

  • Interested in moving your money? Read more.
  • Click here to read more on our work to hold Wells Fargo accountable.

Join the Fight

    • Join as an Iowa CCI member today or chip in $10 to support our organizing on this issue.
    • Sign up for our E-Mail Action list to get the latest updates.
    • Follow us on Facebook and  Twitter for more fun photos and live action updates.


    Click LIKE and TWEET to give Gloria, Amalia, Martina, Victor, Jess & Vanessa a virtual high five for moving their money!


Follow these Steps!

Keep in mind that everyone’s financial situation is different, and some of these steps may not apply to you.  On the other hand, there may be some things you need to take care of that are not on this list.  The best thing to do if you are serious about moving your money is to call us at 515-255-0800 so we can discuss these options with you.

This checklist has been provided by the Consumers Union, and you can access the complete checklist – with an explanation for each step – right here.

1. Open a new bank account with a small deposit. CCI currently has checking and savings accounts at three institutions in the Des Moines area: Iowa State Bank,Bankers Trust, and Veridian Credit Union.  For a list of options near you, we encourage everyone planning to move their money to visit the websites of the Iowa Credit Union League and the Community Bankers of Iowa.  Setting up a new account is not time consuming, and in some cases can be done online.  These community banks and credit unions will be able to make your transition as smooth as possible.

2. Make a list of all the automatic withdrawals and deposits to your current account. This will ensure that you are covering all your bases as you transition from one account to another. You will need to notify these institutions – any bills that you automatically pay, for example – of your new account information once you have a new account ready. Leave nothing out!

3. If you have direct deposit, ask your employer to reroute your paychecks to your new account.  Ask what date the first deposit will occur and use this date to guide you as you set up your new account.

4. Once you know what date your direct deposits will transfer, reschedule each automatic payment or debit to come out of your new account.Make sure to ask the company what date the change will apply.

5. Leave at least a small amount of cash in your old checking account. This will cover any expenses or checks that you may have forgotten about.

6. Transfer the final funds from your old account into the new account. Once you are sure that no more money will be withdrawn from your account, you can move the remaining balance into your new account.

7. Once the transfer clears in your new account, follow the procedures for closing an account at your old financial institution. You can use this sample letter created by CCI to officially close your account. On June 15, everyone who is ready will deliver these letters to Wells Fargo, officially closing their accounts.  Any money remaining in your account on that day will be returned to you. You should receive written confirmation that your account has been closed within 30 days.

Take the pledge: It’s time to “Move Our Money”

America deserves better. We’ve had enough.

I have a Wells Fargo (or other big bank) account and I’m ready, willing and able to move my money!

I want to be a part of a coordinated week of action to maximize our “Move our Money” impact. Email me the details.


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Latest Signatures
18 Abbey Floyd 50322 May 18, 2012
17 Maria Houser Conzemius 52240-3046 May 18, 2012
16 Danielle Wirth 50276 May 18, 2012
15 Paul Haider 60654-8885 May 18, 2012
14 Elda Fuentes 50313 May 11, 2012

Pledge to move your money with us on June 15! >>>

There are plenty of reasons to move your money.  Moving your money sends a powerful message to Wells Fargo that we will no longer stand for their predatory practices that profit at the expense of our communities.

Join us, and tell Wells Fargo that you’re fed up with their cavalier, condescending and arrogant attitude.  On June 15, CCI members from across the state will close their accounts with Wells Fargo in a powerful message of solidarity with all the people that Wells Fargo has taken advantage of over the years.

Follow the steps!

Moving your money can seem like a daunting task, but if you follow these steps carefully and precisely, you can make the transition from a big bank to a new bank or credit union smoothly. Please contact us at 515-255-0800 if you plan to move your money so we can discuss these steps with you in detail!

Share your story!

  • Have a Wells Fargo story to share – about a foreclosure, a payday loan or about working there? Contact us today!
  • Already moved your money? We’d love to know – shoot us a line!
  • NEVER had money in a big bank before? We’d like to hear from you too! Let us know why.

Learn more

Click LIKE and TWEET to spread the word.

CCI members arrested on April 23 say they will keep pressuring the bank to put people first

Ten members of Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement pled guilty to charges of loitering after taking an arrest outside of Wells Fargo’s Des Moines headquarters at 666 Walnut on April 23. CCI members were prostesting Wells Fargo’s record on predatory lending, investing in private prisons, funding factory farms and payday lenders, and refusing to pay their fair share of taxes.

Three CCI members provided statements to the press and to the court prior to sentencing:

Kenn Bowen, retired, Winterset, IA: “Wells Fargo is a perfect example of the corporate rot that destroys our democracy. What they do is horrendous to millions of people and yet I am the one who is now subject to fines.”

Jim Yungclas, retired, Grinnell, IA: “Somewhere along life’s journey, I got the idea that we lived in a democratic, capitalistic society formed to serve the common good. This system only works when it controls capitalism so it serves the common good and is not allowed to grow into a corporate self serving monopolistic greed machine. Part of that control is the right to speak truth to power.”

Stephanie Simmons, retired, Guthrie Center, IA: “I took that arrest because it was the right thing to do. I believe it is always right to speak up against the outright greed of corporations like Wells Fargo, who hurt hardworking, everyday people, the environment, the poor, the imprisoned and the immigrant.”

Click here to watch an additional statement from Hazel Zimmerman, 81, a family farmer from Carlisle, IA.

All ten members vowed to face arrest again, if necessary, until Wells Fargo agrees to change their policies toward everday people and put communities before profits.

Two Iowans arrested at Wells Fargo shareholders’ meeting in San Francisco 

Family farmer, Latino community organizer among at least 15 arrested at big bank protest in California attended by thousands of people

IowaCCI member, Wells Fargo shareholder, and family farmer Larry Ginter from Rhodes, IA was arrested Tuesday afternoon along with CCI member Ruth Schultz and fifteen other shareholders from across the country after attempting to speak directly to CEO John Stumpf inside the Wells Fargo annual meeting in San Francisco, CA, while thousands of everyday people protested outside.

Ginter, Schultz, and members of National People’s Action wanted Stumpf to account for Wells Fargo’s awful record on tax dodging, home foreclosures, predatory lending, private prison investment, payday lending and factory farm financing, bank bailouts, record profits and lavish CEO bonuses.  Stumpf received $19.8 million in compensation in 2011.

CCI member Larry Ginter's first arrest. At the Wells Fargo shareholders meeting for confronting Wells CEO John Stumpf.

“Stumpf refused to yield the floor so we stood up and spoke out against the big bank’s anti-people agenda and were arrested,” Ginter said.  “It’s pretty bad out there in the rest of America, and Wells Fargo needs to realize that they have a responsibility to make life a lot better for a lot of people.”

Schultz and Ginter were among just 25 protesters who successfully made it into the shareholders’ meeting.  Wells Fargo reportedly turned away hundreds of other legitimate shareholders with grievances against Wells Fargo.  Following their arrest, Ginter and Schultz joined several thousand other protestors outside the shareholders’ meeting.


Please LIKE and TWEET if you are proud of Larry, Ruth and the thousands of others confronting Wells Fargo’s CEO today!