Detroit, Rocked City: How the Bankruptcy Led to Retirement Attacks that Could Spread Nationwide

Detroit, Rocked City: How the Bankruptcy Led to Retirement Attacks that Could Spread Nationwide

Session Type(s): Panel

Starts: Friday, Jul. 18 4:30 PM (Eastern)

Ends: Friday, Jul. 18 5:45 PM (Eastern)

Join us for a discussion on one of the biggest factors in income inequality: the right-wing assault on retirement security. Learn about the Detroit bankruptcy and what it means for the economic security of public service workers nationwide. We’ll examine how the attacks on pensions, Wall Street’s 401(k) scam, and the right-wing war on Social Security fit together. And we’ll keep it real with a retired Detroit city worker who’s now up a creek without the paddle he’s been promised, a Wall Street watchdog who has been investigating Wall Street’s favorite pension gutter, and an expert on the Detroit bankruptcy and the implications it will have for workers and retirees across the country.



Gwendolyn Beasley

Gwendolyn Beasley served the City of Detroit for 34 years as a clerk at the Detroit Public Library. Over three decades, Gwendolyn made concessions and took wage freezes with the assurance that her modest pension would be there for her in retirement. Under the “Grand Bargain,” Gwendolyn would see her modest $1300 a month pension cut by more than six percent after already losing her city-funded health care. Gwendolyn represents an entire generation of Detroiters who worked hard, played by the rules, and how now are facing devastating cuts to their livelihood.

Reesa Kossoff

As the Communications Director for the National Public Pension Coalition, Reesa Kossoff is a leader in the fight to protect the retirement security of working men and women all across the country. In addition to her work devising the messaging strategy around the Detroit bankruptcy, Kossoff works hand in hand with state coalitions to counteract legislative attacks on public pensions. Prior to NPPC, Kossoff worked on a variety of issue and candidate campaigns across the country — including serving as the Director of Regional Press for President Obama’s Ohio team in 2012.

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Diane Oakley

In January 2011, Diane Oakley was named executive director of the National Institute on Retirement Security. With the Board of Directors, Oakley leads the organization’s strategic planning, research, and education initiatives. Before joining NIRS, Ms. Oakley served as senior policy advisor to Congressman Earl Pomeroy, who represented the state of North Dakota. Oakley played a key staff role in formulating legislative strategy on a range of tax, pension, Social Security, financial services, and workforce issues. Prior to her service on Capitol Hill, Ms. Oakley held leadership positions with TIAA-CREF, a leading financial services provider. She holds a B.S. in Mathematics from Fairfield University, where she graduated Cum Laude. She earned an M.B.A. in Finance from Fordham University.

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