Despite having lost the Democratic presidential nomination, “the Bernie revolution” will continue with the “next phase” launching nationwide Wednesday night.
Some 2,600 watch parties and meetings are set to take place across the country tonight as former Democratic presidential candidate and U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) addresses thousands of his supporters to “lay out some of the next steps we can take as a movement to empower a wave of progressive candidates this November and win the major upcoming fights for the values we share,” according to Our Revolution President Jeff Weaver, who also served as Sanders’ presidential campaign manager.
The following is written by Keith Kelleher, president of SEIU* Healthcare Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, and Kansas.
This month people like Adriana Alvarez will come to Oak Brook, Ill. for the annual McDonald’s shareholders’ meeting. As McDonald’s pats itself on the back for its highest-ever stock price, Adriana and hundreds of other McDonald’s workers will protest and call for $15 and union rights.
Adriana is someone to watch. Earlier this year she met with other fast food workers in Denmark. There she said: “I really fear for Christmas because I can’t afford the toys my son wants and I know he will be disappointed.”
One day after Chicago Public Schools officials announced $100 million in proposed budget cuts, the Chicago Teachers Union closed its Bank of America account on Wednesday in protest over the controversial interest rate swap agreements held between the bank and school district.
CTU says cash-strapped CPS, which is facing a $480 million budget hole this fiscal year, has lost more than $502 million to “predatory” swap deals with financial institutions, including Bank of America. According to the union, Bank of America has collected $77 million in profits off of its interest rate swaps with CPS.
“What we hope is that our withdrawal of funds will spark people all over this city, all over this state and all over the country to start withdrawing funds from Bank of America until they give back some of the ill-gotten gains they’ve made off the backs of our students,” CTU Vice President Jesse Sharkey said outside the Bank of America at 135 S. LaSalle St.
Chicago’s Progressive Reform Caucus wants the Emanuel administration to “delay or abandon” its proposal to use roughly $100 million in borrowed money to pay termination penalties for interest-rate swap agreements.
The caucus opposes the “Emanuel administration’s plan to voluntarily pay massive interest-rate swap termination penalties” because it could result in “windfall profits for big banks” and cost “taxpayers more over the next few decades,” Ald. Scott Waguespack (32nd) said during a press conference at City Hall on Tuesday.
The interest-rate swap agreements in question, held between the city and financial institutions, date back to former Mayor Richard M. Daley’s administration. The $100 million in swap termination payments is part of a $2 billion borrowing package set to go before the Chicago City Council on Wednesday.
“The administration has said we’re getting out of these risky deals, but what we’re getting out of this deal is an irresponsible financial move by the administration,” Waguespack said. “We need to stop this plan, abandon it today, and not move forward on behalf of taxpayers.”
Representing more than 200 Chicago window washers, SEIU Local 1 reached a deal with Corporate Cleaning Services and a coalition of other contractors and “ratified a history making agreement on July 19.”