Since the financial crisis began, national news outlets have reported on the big rallies that have sprung up in cities across the country. Five thousand people in Chicago. A thousand in DC. Thousands of taxpayers coming together in California, and even on the doorsteps of the Wall Street banks in New York.
But what you don't see on your television are the hundreds of taxpayer-led rallies that are happening where news cameras rarely go. In places like Bloomington, IL and Lansing, MI, citizens are organizing together to speak out against the damage big banks have done to our economy. These are people Jamie Dimon will never meet, living in places that Lloyd Blankfein will never visit - but the impact Wall Street's reckless behavior has had on their lives couldn't be more direct.
Next week, it's happening again. The Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement, affiliates of National People's Action, are bringing hundreds of taxpayers together in Des Moines, IA to stand up to Wells Fargo, one of the banks that has ravaged Iowans with hidden fees and rampant foreclosures. In Iowa, it's not just families struggling to pay the bills - the state is facing a massive budget shortfall that threatens to gut critical services that thousands of Iowans depend on. But, at the very same time, Wells Fargo execs gave themselves $26.5 billion in compensation and bonuses for 2009.
So taxpayers are headed to Wells Fargo's Des Moines office with a simple message: Use the billions of dollars you've set aside for bonuses to fill the budget gaps that are hurting families in Iowa and across the country.
On its own, a few hundred taxpayers may not seem powerful. But, the people coming to Des Moines on Tuesday aren't alone. They're a small part of the growing movement to stand up to Wall Street greed.
Are you ready to get on board? If you're in Des Moines, here's your chance.