The Heart of the Beast: How the Grassroots is Taking on Big Banking
Session Type(s): Panel
Starts: Thursday, Jun. 7 9:00 AM
Ends: Thursday, Jun. 7 10:15 AM
Room: Ballroom D
Wall Street crashed our economy, perpetrated widespread fraud on millions of homeowners, bankrupted our communities and continues to inject unfettered corporate money into our democracy. That’s the bad news. The good news: In an extraordinary example of progressive power, a group of organizations and individuals built a dynamic movement to challenge big bank power and rebuild our economy. People have occupied their homes, moved millions of dollars out of big banks, taken over big bank offices and annual shareholders meetings, won a federal investigation into big bank fraud and made big bank power the pariah in media coverage. In this session, participants will dive into specific strategies—from grassroots organizing to online mobilization to popular education—that led to this groundswell. We’ll also have a lively discussion on taking lessons back into your own community to and how to make this a central issue this election cycle.
Tracy Van Slyke is the co-director of The New Bottom Line-a new and growing movement fueled by a coalition of community organizations, congregations, and individuals working together to challenge established big bank interests on behalf of struggling and middle-class communities. Coalition members include PICO National Network, National People’s Action (NPA), Alliance for a Just Society, Right to the City and dozens of state and local organizations from around the country.
Van Slyke is the former director of The Media Consortium, a network of the leading progressive, independent media outlets in the country. She is also the co-author of the book, “Beyond the Echo Chamber: Reshaping Politics Through Networked Progressive Media” (January 2010, The New Press).
Max Berger is an organizer with the Occupy movement. He worked as as a GOTV organizer in 2004, as an online organizer for Howard Dean’s Presidential campaign in 2003, and has also worked with the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, J Street and Rebuild the Dream. He attended Reed College in Portland, Oregon, but had to leave Portland after school because he wasn’t ready to retire. He currently lives in Brooklyn.
Other sessions: That Will Never Work: What Progressives Can Learn from OWS
Matt Browner Hamlin is an strategist, organizer, and writer residing in Washington DC. He currently is a Senior Economic Strategist at Citizen Engagement Lab and the founder of OccupyOurHomes.org. He has previously worked in the labor movement, electoral politics, and the Tibetan Independence movement. He blogs at numerous sites on the economy, movement building, politics, mixology, travel, and fitness.
Other sessions: Occupy Goes Home: The Occupy Movement and the Foreclosure Crisis
I am a Community Organizer with the non-profit group ACCE – Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment. I started as a member fighting for my home. I became passionately involved with the organization, by going to many cities and states and letting everyone know what ACCE has been doing for homeowners. In August of last year I was hired as a Community Organizer and I have been fighting for homeowners all over California.
Lenore is the Organizing Director at MoveOn.