A member from OccupyEquality Nebraska, Mika Covington who also happens to be the Executive Director and acting President of Forward Equality introduced a resolution to the Board of Directors to solidify their support of the occupy movement. Forward Equality is a (501 (c) 4 pending) nonprofit civil rights organization that works with LGBTQA (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and allied) individuals to ensure equality and respect. The Board of Directors voted 4-0 with one absent on the resolution. Here is the text of the Forward Equality Resolution:
Recognizing and supporting the principle of the Occupy Movement and the peaceful and lawful exercise of the First Amendment as cherished and fundamental right in the effort to seek solutions for economically distressed Americans at the federal, state and local levels; committing to work with the Occupy Movement to take steps to eliminate economic insecurity and destructive disparities in the City of Omaha; and requesting our membership and the elected Board of Directors assist in generating solutions for economically distressed Americans.
WHEREAS, Forward Equality Board of Directors and members, like others across the United States, are frustrated by the continuing economic crisis that threatens individual, family, small local business and City finances, and our community’s quality of life, and are participating in Occupy protests to make their voices heard; and
WHEREAS, the economic roots of these protests are varied, including sustained unemployment, growing income disparity, banking system failures, stalled earning power, unjust tax systems, that all contribute to ongoing wealth disparities; and
WHEREAS, the political roots of these protests are also varied, including the growing political power of corporations, influence of money on elections and public policy and inability of average citizens to have their voices heard and needs met through formal political forums, thus contributing to citizens pursuing alternative political arenas; and
WHEREAS, more than 25 million Americans are unemployed and seeking work; more than 50 million Americans are living without health insurance; and, more than one in five American children are growing up in households living in poverty without sufficient resources to meet basic survival needs, such as food, clothing, and shelter [Ref: unemployed defined as unemployed, marginally attached to the labor force, or working only part-time for economic reasons, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Table A-15.Alternative measures of labor underutilization]; and
WHEREAS, one of the largest problems distressing our economy is the prolonged foreclosure crisis, with many owners struggling to obtain loan adjustments and too many banks continuing the use of flawed review procedures which end up flooding the housing market with foreclosures and result in blighted and de-valued housing stock due to the high number of properties being left vacant and abandoned and poorly maintained; and
WHEREAS, local governments are straining under the increasing weight of responsibility to provide for basic support services at a time of declining tax revenues and as a result of budget reductions by the state and federal government; and
WHEREAS, the structural causes of the economic crisis facing our society require decisive and sustained action at the national and state levels. Cities are harmed by the crisis and must play an important role in the development of public policy to address it; and
WHEREAS, Congress must generate solutions for economically distressed Americans by:
1. Supporting job creation, making substantial investments in the nation’s critical physical and technological infrastructure, and reducing the deficit by adopting fiscal policies with equitable corporate and individual taxation;
2. Tightening regulation of the banking and financial sector, including adoption of new rules and vigorous investigation and prosecution of individuals and corporations that violate the fraud, theft, and securities laws; and
3. Retaining or increasing community-building block grants for local schools and social services and protect public education from devastating cuts and prevent tuition levels that block fair access to higher education; and
WHEREAS, Forward Equality does not condone actions that infringe upon the lawful rights of others, obstruct or interfere with the efforts of law enforcement officers to protect such rights, or cause personal injury or property destruction; and
WHEREAS, Americans can and must resolve the divisive economic and social realities facing our nation in a peaceful way that honors our commitment to democracy, equality and justice.
BE IT RESOLVED BY THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS:
Section 1. That this organization recognizes and supports the principles of the Occupy Movement and the peaceful and lawful exercise of the First Amendment as a cherished and fundamental right in the effort to seek solutions for economically distressed Americans at the federal, state and local levels.
Section 2. That this organization commits to working with the Occupy Movement to continue taking steps to minimize economic insecurity and destructive disparities in the City of Omaha.
Section 3. That this organization requests our Congressional leaders generate solutions for economically distressed Americans.
Section 4. The Executive Director is directed to transmit copies of this resolution to local Occupy groups.
Section 5. That this resolution is hereby declared to be a measure and, provided it receives the affirmative vote of two-thirds of all the members elected to Board of Directors, it shall take effect and be in force immediately upon its adoption and approval by the Executive Director; otherwise, it shall take effect and be in force from and after the earliest period allowed by the constitution and bylaws.
This resolution creates the possibility that Forward Equality can now engage in economic advocacy work. This means that Forward Equality would like to officially begin working with OccupyEquality to ensure economic justice for all individuals. Forward Equality does not have a web page yet. Here is the link to Forward Equality’s facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/Forward.Equality