HOW IS THE ECONOMIC MELTDOWN IMPACTING OUR COMMUNITY? CPI SPEAKER TO ADDRESS ISSUE DEC. 7 IN LA MESA

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December 1, 2011 (La Mesa) -- Clare Crawford, Executive Director of the Center on Policy Initiatives, will address the La Mesa-Foothills Democratic Club about the 2008 economic meltdown and its effect on our community. The event will take place at the La Mesa Community Center, 4975 Memorial Drive in La Mesa on December 7 from 7:00 until 8:30 p.m. during the Club’s holiday party. All community members are invited to attend this free event.

Crawford will cite in her talk CPI's own recently released report, "The Real Cost of Wall Street's Reckless Practices."  The CPI study focuses on the full cost of foreclosed properties to our neighborhoods, a cost that is much greater than that suffered by the bailed-out banks themselves.

Clearly, thousands of Americans feel disenfranchised by the actions of Big Banks and Wall Street, a press release issued by the club states. “Despite having been bailed out by billions of dollars of taxpayer money, banks continue unfettered with their foreclosure of Americans' homes.”

According to Pascale Joassart -Marcelli in the November 6 San Diego Union-Tribune, since the 2008 financial crisis, over 50,000 homes have been foreclosed in the City of San Diego alone. The loss of property value goes well beyond that of the families who lost their homes. The CPI report indicates that when a property is foreclosed, it loses about 25% of its value.  Neighboring properties lose substantial value as well.

Since most Americans have much or all of their wealth in their home equity, there is a domino effect on their ability to pay for education, home repair, travel, health care, and retail purchases. As a result, much less money is pumped into the local economies. This in turn affects local tax revenues and government's ability to fund fire and police departments, as well as public schools.

“One can see the connection among peaceful protest, predatory Wall Street actions, and the subsequent impact on quality of life,” a press release issued by the La Mesa-Foothills Democratic Club states. “No city has been spared this spiral of economic disaster.

Crawford joined the CPI as Organizing Director in 2010, bringing over 17 years of experience working with disenfranchised and impoverished communities as an organizer and advocate.  She has been a leader in efforts to advance the rights of workers, immigrants, and low-income communities.  She has led campaigns for public school reform, renters' rights, affordable housing, electoral reform and hometown rights in Texas, Oregon, and New York as well as San Diego.  She was named Executive Director of the Center this year.