How can progressive elected officials help built the 99% movement? At the November 15, 2011 Peralta Board meeting, Trustee Abel Guillen and I presented a resolution to divest our financial assets from for-profit corporate banks and to move our banking to Coop and Community Banks. I’m thrilled to report that our resolution passed unanimously!
I view this as a perfect example of the kind of advocacy elected officials can engage in– good progressive public policy that supports and mirrors the work being done through progressive grassroots organizing. Imagine what kind of powerful movement we could build if EVERY elected official in the East Bay and throughout the state and nation began to align the use of our public resources with the needs of the 99% while simultaneously supporting popular efforts to organize and to empower regular people?
Our resolution was firmly grounded in the mission of the Peralta Colleges. We noted that as part of our mission, we have pledged to work with “our partners [to]… provide our diverse students and communities with equitable access to the educational resources, experiences, and life-long opportunities to meet and exceed their goals.” Even more important, the resolution affirmed that our District’s mission is better aligned with the goals of Community Banks, membership-based Credit Unions, Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs), that often operate from a “triple-bottom-line” that allows them to place importance on educational, financial, social, and environmental goals while meeting the needs of its communities.
The next step is for the Peralta administration to come back to the Board by the end of January with recommendations on how best to begin moving our funds. In the meanwhile, we can begin to advocate for other public agencies to follow suit. If we can do this at Peralta, we can do this everywhere!
Read the final resolution here.