HOUSING DEBT WORKSHOP/TOWN MEETING/LISTENING SESSION -- August 22 in Helena -- Co-sponsored by: o Strike Debt Helena MT (an OCCUPY HELENA Economic Justice Group Working on Debt) AND o The Montana Organizing Project

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Francis Kromkowski

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Aug 10, 2013, 12:23:59 PM8/10/13
to Occupy Helena Discussion List, Occupy Bozeman Discussion List, Occupy Missoula

 

HOUSING DEBT WORKSHOP/TOWN MEETING/LISTENING SESSION : August 22 in Helena

 

HOUSING DEBT WORKSHOP: A community dialogue about the housing debt crisis in Helena and across Montana and what can be done to ease that crisis.  

·       Thursday, August 22

 

·       at St. Paul's Methodist Church, Community Room - Time 7-9pm

 

·       Co-sponsored by:

 

o   Strike Debt Helena MT (an OCCUPY HELENA Economic Justice Group Working on Debt) -- https://www.facebook.com/pages/Strike-Debt-Helena-MT/181532472002490

   and

 

o   The Montana Organizing Project --  www.montanaorganizingproject.org; Facebook: www.facebook.com/montanaorganizingproject

 

 

·       For additional information contract Strike Debt Helena MT at 406-443-0843.

 

 

The HOUSING DEBT WORKSHOP/TOWN MEETING on August 22  is a community dialogue in Helena, open to all interested persons who care about the immense housing debt that is affecting and devastating so many of  Helena families. It is sponsored by Strike Debt Helena Montana (an Occupy Helena Economic Justice Group Working on Debt) and The Montana Organizing Project .

The event will include a panel of speakers knowledgeable about housing debt in Helena and across Montana, including:  

·       persons affected by foreclosure crises who have successfully fought back against unjust, fraudulent bank/landed practices,

·       housing crisis counselors,

·       Montana state government housing officials,

·       Montana state consumer protection officials,

·       attorneys working on housing problems caused primarily by unjust practices of banks and mortgage lenders,

·       fair housing advocates, and

·       others who recognize the immense housing debt problems affecting and devastating so many of our Helena and Montana families.

 

The HOUSING DEBT WORKSHOP panel will include:

 

·       Sheena Rice of Billings:   an affordable housing advocate who works organizer for the Montana Organizing Project. Rice  will talk about the Montana Organizing Project’s concerns about economic justice and fairness issues and about the failures of federal policies and actions since the 2008 financial crisis.

·       Chuck Munson of Helena:  an  attorney in the Montana Attorney General’s Office and the Montana Office of Consumer Protection. Munson will talk about the work of the Montana Office of Consumer Protection and its work on housing foreclosure prevention and will describe available state programs and resources for foreclosure prevention.

·       Jeannenne Maas of Helena:  a staff member of the Montana Board of Housing, a division of the Montana Department of Commerce. Maas will describe the activities of the Montana Board of Housing, a major mortgage holder in Montana, in the area of housing foreclosures and foreclosure prevention.

·       Becca Titus of Missoula: a member of the Missoula Foreclosure Defense Team of Occupy Missoula. Titus will talk about her own successful foreclosure struggle  and victory and will describe what  she and members of the Missoula foreclosure defense group have been doing to help others.

·       Flint Murfitt of Helena:  an attorney for Montana Legal Services Association (MLSA) in Helena.  Murfitt  will describe the work MSLA has done with about 170 Helena area families facing a housing foreclosure crisis.

·       A Housing Counselor from the Montana Housing Counseling program who has worked trying to help people facing foreclosure. The Montana Housing Counseling program is funded by the State of Montana’s portion of federal penalties  paid by banks for their fraudulent mortgage practices.  

·       A Helena homeowner who faced and fought foreclosure activities initiated by the Bank of America.  

·       Frank Kromkowski of Helena:  Kromkowski, a long time economic justice advocate, is a member of Strike Debt Helena MT and will serve as panel/dialogue moderator.

 

According to Frank Kromkowski, a  member of  the Economic Justice Group Working on Debt called “Strike Debt Helena MT.” the co-sponsor of the August 22 Housing Debt workshop/town meeting  --  Strike Debt Helena Montana and The Montana Organizing Project  -- are  part of “a grassroots movement for economic justice and debt solutions  for the 99%,  working to bring people together to promote creative community remedies for the immense housing debt problems we face as individuals, families, and as a Helena and Montana community.”  

 

The Montana Organizing Project is a state-wide collaboration of diverse community, civic, labor and faith groups and community members who have come together to actively work for economic, racial and social justice, promoting the dignity and empowerment of people with low and middle incomes whose voices have not been heard in their communities.

 

Strike Debt Helena MT is a local  group focused on bringing people together to promote creative community remedies for and community resistance to the immense debt problems caused primarily by the unjust mortgage practices of Wall Street banks and mortgage lenders that led to the financial crisis of 2008. Strike Debt Helena MT is a working group of Occupy Helena that focuses on economic justice and debt, and it is also a local chapter of the national Strike Debt organization, http://strikedebt.org/.

 


 

 

Cover Photo


 

More about Strike Debt Helena Montana –  Economic Justice Group Working on Debt

 https://fbcdn-profile-a.akamaihd.net/hprofile-ak-ash4/373043_181532472002490_844959371_n.jpgStrike Debt Helena Montana –Economic Justice Group Working on Debt

 

 Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Strike-Debt-Helena-MT/181532472002490

 

The Strike Debt Helena Montana - Economic Justice Group Working on Debt is hard at work.  Our first action is a series of DEBT WORKSHOPS on  topics we are researching:

 

v Housing  Debt (Aug. 22)  -- St. Paul's Methodist Church, Community Room - Time 7-9pm

A panel of persons affected by foreclosures, housing crisis counselors, state government housing officials  and consumer protection officials, attorneys working on housing problems caused by banks’ unjust practices, fair housing advocates and others will lead a dialogue about the continuing housing debt crisis in Helena and across Montana.  

 

v Student  Debt (Sept. 19-- St. Paul's Methodist Church, Community Room - Time 7-9pm

 

v Medical Debt  and Strike Debt’s “Rolling Jubileehttp://rollingjubilee.org/http://rollingjubilee.org/http://rollingjubilee.org/http://rollingjubilee.org/” project  (Oct. 17)-- St. Paul's Methodist Church, Community Room - Time 7-9pm

 

Strike Debt Helena MT is work group  of Occupy Helena that focuses on economic justice and debt, working for remedies for/resistance to unjust debt caused by Wall Street practices. It is a local chapter of the national Strike Debt organization, http://strikedebt.org/

 

The Occupy Wall Street Movement is about economic justice and resistance to Wall Street corporate greed.  The Occupy encampments and protests have raised the Nation’s awareness about our corrupt economic system (dominated by Wall Street corporate wheeler dealers) that is the root of many other injustices we, the 99%) face. 

 

And that economic system has not yet changed -- the banks (and the debt of ordinary people) have only grown larger.

 

As individuals, families, and communities, most of us are drowning in debt to Wall Street for the basic things we need to live, like housing, education, and health care. Even those of us who do not have personal debt are affected by predatory lending. Our essential public services are cut because our cities and towns are held hostage by the same big banks that have been bailed out by our government in recent years.

“Strike Debt”  is an offshoot of the  Occupy Wall Street movement that aims to help change this.

 

“Strike Debt” is an offshoot of Occupy Wall Street that intends to means to address our debt issues through community direct action (including the “Rolling Jubilee” – described below ) --  more about all of this below and at the websites listed below.

 

Strike Debt  materials we are studying  can be found at:

§  http://strikedebt.org/ and

§  https://www.facebook.com/pages/Strike-Debt/244850825627699

               

Debt is a tie that binds the 99%.

As individuals, families, and communities, most of us are drowning in debt to Wall Street for the basic things we need to live, like housing, education, and health care. Even those of us who do not have personal debt are affected by predatory lending. Our essential public services are cut because our cities and towns are held hostage by the same big banks that have been bailed out by our government in recent years.

We are not a loan and we are not alone. Strike Debt came from a coalition of Occupy groups looking to build popular resistance to all forms of debt imposed on us by the banks. Debt keeps us isolated, ashamed, and afraid. We are building a movement to challenge this system while creating alternatives and supporting each other. We want an economy where our debts are to our friends, families, and communities — and not to the 1%.

 

 

Debt resistance is just the beginning. Join us as we imagine and create a new world based on the common good, not Wall Street profits.

Strike Debt emerged from a series of Occupy Wall Street/Occupy Theory open assemblies that began in May 2012 in NYC. We are spreading the word that debt is a global system of domination and exploitation of the 99% by the 1%. Strike Debt links diverse individuals and communities to resist the debt system.

Our initiatives include publishing The Debt Resistors’ Operations Manual and beginning the Rolling Jubilee Project , hosting teach-ins and debt assemblies, supporting the Occupy Student Debt Campaign‘s pledge of student debt refusal, and launching the Rolling Jubilee Project, a mutual aid project in which donors buy debt at steeply discounted prices and then abolish it. We are also planning creative direct actions across the country, ranging from symbolic debt burnings to targeted shutdowns of predatory lenders of all kinds.

The Rolling Jubilee Project  http://strikedebt.org/#initiatives

Strike Debt  buys debt for pennies on the dollar, but instead of collecting it, we abolish it. We cannot buy specific individuals' debt — instead, we help liberate debtors at random through a campaign of mutual support, good will, and collective refusal.

Strike Debt kicked off this effort on November 15 with The People's Bailout, a variety show and telethon in NYC,  http://www.lepoissonrouge.com/lpr_events/peoples-bailout/ All proceeds will go directly to buying people's debt and cancelling it.

 

The Debt Resistors' Operations Manual  http://strikedebt.org/#initiatives

 This manual — written by an anonymous collective of resistors, defaulters, and allies from Strike Debt and Occupy Wall Street — aims to provide specific tactics for understanding and fighting against the debt system. You'll find detailed strategies and resources for dealing with credit card, medical, student, housing and municipal debt, tactics for navigating the pitfalls of personal bankruptcy, and information to help protect yourself from predatory lenders. Recognizing that individually we can only do so much to resist the system of debt, the manual also introduces ideas for those who have made the decision to take collective action.

 

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Strike-Debt/244850825627699

 


Members of Strike Debt Helena Montana – Economic Justice Group Working on Debt say why they’re involved:

 

v I want to work against the isolation and manipulation of individuals created largely by a sociological debt problem.  This national disgrace, that victimizes all, is driven by finance hocus pocus and money politics ~Sandy Oitzinger

·       

v I want to create awareness of, and solutions for, the student debt crisis which is crippling a whole generation of young people including my kids. ~Jan Siemers

 

v I am involved with Strike Debt Helena MT because I believe the communal efforts of our Strike Debt working group can be an important local part of the grassroots movement for economic justice and debt solutions for the 99%.  It can  bring people together to promote creative community remedies for and community resistance to the immense debt problems caused by Wall Street and corporate greed.  As individuals, families, and communities, most of us are drowning in debt due to the selfish, greedy actions of the financial wizards whose only concern is for profit for Wall Street banks and corporations.  Their profits (at the expense of the 99%) are now at record levels -- while the majority struggle for the basic things we need to live such as decent employment, affordable housing, education, health care, child care and the other elements of safe and secure communities.  Those of us who do not have the staggering personal debt problems that many have are still affected and deeply moved by the injustices and sufferings of our sisters and brothers in deep debt and by predatory lending and other unjust and exploitative practices of Wall Street banks and corporations.  Our Strike Debt work can help to end this and begin a new day.   ~ Frank Kromkowski

 

 



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