Richmond, CA struggling families 2 – Wall Street criminals 0!
On Tuesday September 10, the Home Defenders League and HDL partner ACCE, joined by the Richmond Progressive Alliance, the Mayor of Richmond Gayle McLaughlin, and City Council champion Jovanka Beckles, beat back a Wall Street-led campaign of threats, litigation, and a full-scale election-style campaign dedicated to ending the Richmond, CA program to help underwater homeowners in that city, using eminent domain if necessary.
On that Tuesday night (well, really Wednesday morning), the City Council voted 4-3 to move forward with the Richmond CARES program despite the huge attacks from Wall Street bankers against it. That was the first victory of the week and it is a really big deal.
The importance of this victory cannot be overstated. If the lies and fear mongering of Wall Street bankers had been allowed to intimidate Richmond’s City Council into backing down, the entire Local Principal Reduction idea would have collapsed. Instead, the movement is spreading. This week, San Francisco Supervisor David Campos announced a resolution standing in solidarity with Richmond and exploring a similar program there. And in Seattle, more than 30 groups came together in the Reset Seattle Coalition and packed the Seattle City Council to launch an LPR campaign there, too.
We've set up a way to thank the four City Council members - Gayle McLaughlin, Jovanka Beckles, Tom Butt, and Jael Myrick - who voted to continue the Richmond CARES program on our Facebook page here.
You can also help keep this fight spreading to other cities by chipping in $20 here.
The second big victory from this week came on Thursday, when US District Court Judge Charles Breyer declined to grant an injunction – filed by Well Fargo and Deutsche Bank – to stop Richmond CARES before it even got started. This prompted the following quote,
“It’s Richmond two and Wall Street zero” because investors’ attempts to “bully and intimidate” the city had failed at city hall and in court, said Amy Schur, a campaign director for a group called the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment, which supports the eminent-domain plan.
HDL supporters have been critical in this campaign so far. Nearly 25,000 signed petitions supporting LPR and Richmond and over 250 called Wells Fargo’s CEO to tell him to drop his lawsuit against the city. 300 people showed up at the vote on Tuesday, including over 150 from HDL partner the ACCE, and the vast majority of them praised the Council for taking this bold step and urged them to move forward with the program.
We’re really proud of how Home Defenders and our partner ACCE were able to beat back the bankers’ attack and ensure that Richmond did the right thing. Thank you for standing up to Wall Street and being a part of this historic week of victories.
You can see a little bit of the fight here at our Facebook page and get a full background on Local Principal Reduction by clicking on the links above or going here: http://www.homedefendersleague.org/local_principal_reduction