Making Wall Street Tremble: Case Studies from Innovative Corporate Campaigns
Session Type(s): Panel
Starts: Thursday, Jun. 20 9:00 AM
Ends: Thursday, Jun. 20 10:15 AM
Room: 210 AE
Over the past year, grassroots campaigns have taken on some of the biggest Wall Street corporations in the country and scored real, tangible victories against behemoths like Walmart, Bank of America and Hyatt. Come learn from the strategists and on-the-ground organizers running these campaigns and hear their case studies to learn what they did, how they did it and where they’re headed next.
Brian Young is the co-founder and Managing Director at the Corporate Action Network, a hub to support campaigns fighting corporate abuse with innovative organizing technology and tactics. Previously, he directed John Kerry’s digital operations in his political and official offices, including overseeing fundraising and organizing using Senator Kerry’s 3-million+ contact email list and revamping the Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s web presence. He also consulted on Howard Dean’s ground-breaking Presidential campaign, ran a Congressional campaign, and, before getting involved in politics, was an award-winning documentary filmmaker.
In 2011, Shabnam Bashiri helped bring the energy of the Occupy movement into Atlanta neighborhoods, by taking on foreclosures and evictions. Shab was one of the founding members of Occupy Our Homes Atlanta, and has worked to build a national housing justice movement which has brought countless victories to homeowners across the country facing foreclosure or eviction. She is now the national coordinator for Occupy Our Homes and is on the National Leadership committee of the Home Defenders League. Recently she played a key role in organizing the ‘Justice to Justice’ week of action, where homeowners from around the country traveled to Washington D.C. and risked arrest at the Department of Justice to demand prosecution of Wall Street executives.
Barbara Collins has worked at Walmart for over six years in Placerville, California. As one of the Organization United for Respect at Walmart’s (OUR Walmart) top leaders, Barbara bravely led her coworkers out on strike last Black Friday, demonstrating to Walmart workers nationwide that they could take bold action and return to work. Barbara supports her two children on her Walmart wages as a single mother and is forced to rely on public assistance. Her bravery in speaking out about issues in her store has led to major local victories and inspired others to become part of the movement to change Walmart.
For the last 17 years, Andrea has been a union organizer committed to working with low wage workers and building a progressive labor movement. Andrea is Assistant Director of the Making Change at Walmart campaign and directs worker organizing and the development of Organization United for Respect at Walmart (OUR Walmart). OUR Walmart is an association of Walmart workers across the country who are coming together to build power by striking and taking action to change working conditions at Walmart. Previously, Andrea was the Executive Vice President and Organizing Director of SEIU United Services Workers West (USWW) an umbrella organization of property services worker local unions in California that have organized and secured and maintained health care and living wages 40,000 janitors, security officers, higher education and airport workers in. For 11 years Andrea led organizing for Justice for Janitors, and Airport Workers United campaigns in California that brought over 10,000 new workers into the union over the last decade. Andrea started her union organizing work with the Hotel and Restaurant Worker’s union (HERE) in Las Vegas, NV organizing hotel workers into the union. Andrea Dehlendorf lives in Oakland her five year old son, Enzo.
Maurice Weeks is the Campaign Coordinator for ACCE – The Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment. For the last year and a half Maurice has organized community led campaigns in the areas of Education, Predatory Debt, and Housing Justice that expose the unaccountability of wealthy Wall Street businesses and individuals and demand that they pay their fair share to Re-Fund California. In 2012 Maurice worked with student activists as they occupied their campuses, took over the capitol, and inspired their fellow classmates to rally behind the Millionaires Tax (later Proposition 30). More recently Maurice has helped shape a campaign to stimulate local economies by demanding big banks write down principal on mortgages and that they renegotiate predatory debt with California municipalities.
In 2009 Maurice earned a bachelors degree in Sociology and Peace and Conflict Studies from Swarthmore College. Originally from Newark, NJ, he currently lives in Oakland, California.
Cathy Youngblood has been housekeeper at the Hyatt Andaz in West Hollywood, CA for the past 3 years. A native of Ohio, before becoming a housekeeper, she slung steel in a GM auto plant for 13 years, as well as working in factories making potato chips and packing cosmetics. At the age of 59 she graduated from Cal State Dominguez Hills with degrees in Anthropology and African-American Studies. Cathy is currently touring the country as part of a campaign, Someone Like Me, calling on Hyatt to add a 13th member, a hotel worker, to its Board of Directors. Someone Like Me is part of a larger struggle for workers rights, respect and dignity for hotel workers across North America.