Thursday, April 28, 2011

New Yorkers to Wall Street on May 12: Make Big Banks & Millionaires Pay


National Movement Connects the Dots to NYC, Demands Reform and Fair Share in Taxes from Financial Sector
A growing coalition of community, labor, and progressive groups announced today plans for a week of events starting May 9th, calling for Mayor Michael Bloomberg to end taxpayer-financed giveaways to Wall Street and ask for fair-share taxes from millionaires to mitigate his proposed budget cuts. The week of action will culminate in a major mobilization in Lower Manhattan on Thursday, May 12.

The coalition, uniting under the banner “Make Big Banks and Millionaires Pay” will contrast the corporate welfare, property tax giveaways, and seemingly endless local and national tax cuts enjoyed by the financial sector with Bloomberg’s proposed cuts to childcare, classrooms, public safety, and dozens of other services working New Yorkers rely on.

“The big banks wrecked our economy and are back to making billions in profits and lavish bonuses, while the rest of us are still cleaning up the mess they created,” said Mary Brosnahan, the Executive Director of the Coalition for the Homeless. “Now Bloomberg has a choice: ask Wall Street bankers to contribute their fair share to fixing New York City, rather than enacting devastating cuts to working families.”

The organizers promise more than a typical “rally” on May 12
th, with a day of diverse, creative actions across the downtown financial district. Michael Mulgrew, President of the United Federation of Teachers, said: “On May 12, tens of thousands of New Yorkers will descend on Wall Street, creating a giant school without walls throughout the financial district. Together, we will educate our city and expose the people and institutions that are destroying our jobs and our economy, and the politicians who are letting them get away with it.”

The week of actions coincides with a growing national movement by communities increasingly questioning the practices of the financial industry and fighting back against attacks on working people. “We are connecting the dots from the big banks that crashed our economy, destroyed millions of jobs and foreclosed on millions of family homes to the human impact here in the financial capital of our country, ” said Michael Kink, Executive Director of Strong Economy for All Coalition.

As the week of action approaches, organizers plan to release new data detailing the tax breaks and giveaways New York City doles out to the banking industry, as well as the effect of Wall Street-caused foreclosures on New York’s communities and tax revenue. “When New Yorkers see the skewed choices this city has made, it is no longer an abstraction,” added Kink. “Homeless shelters are bursting at the seams, and child care and senior centers are closing down -- not because we have gone broke, but because Bloomberg has chosen to spend hundreds of millions in subsidies for the people who need it least.”

The following community groups and unions have joined the May 12 coalition (list in formation):

Center for Children Initiatives
Center for Working Families
Citizen Action of New York
Coalition for the Homeless
Community Voices Heard
Housing Works
Make the Road New York
New York Communities for Change
New Deal for New York Campaign
Organization for a Free Society
Picture the Homeless
United Students Against Sweatshops
Urban Youth Collaborative
1199 SEIU
CWA 1104
CWA 1180
CWA District 1
Professional Staff Congress – CUNY
United Federation of Teachers

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