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$Occupy$Movement$

Small town (and big city) Oregon’s Occupy events took place in Bend, Ashland, Salem, Cottage Grove, Portland, Seaside, Newport, La Grande, Roseburg, Corvallis, Manzanita, Medford and growing…

Occupy Cottage Grove
Occupy Cottage Grove
Occupy Eugene
Occupy Eugene
Occupy Newport
Occupy Newport
Occupy Salem
Occupy Salem

As part of the Occupy movement, people all over the country are moving their money out of Big Banks and into credit unions and local community banks.  In a report from the Rural Organizing Project, keeping post on rural Occupy activism throughout the state of Oregon, the Rogue Valley Credit Union’s Ashland branch had 35 new accounts open after the Occupy Ashland event. And Southern Oregon leaders have created a brochure that rates their local banks and credit unions, based on just how local a banking institution is; are they regional, are there absentee shareholders, do they prioritize local business lending?

The Rural Organizing Project (ROP) based in Scappoose has created a questionnaire to interview your local banks and credit unions to find out who is local, democratic and community oriented. As a support organization for democracy activism in rural Oregon, the ROP shepherds grassroots efforts to its member groups across the state – and creates tools for use in strengthening community building.

Below is a sample of some of the questions that would be utilized to rate the localness of a lending organization – and devise a brochure representing banks and credit unions in any rural region:

  • How does the CU/bank define its role in the community? Do they have a mission in their lending? What is it?
  • What percentage of the CU/bank’s worth is invested locally (in our county, region, etc.)?
  • Do you have any programs for loaning to community development, people of color, minorities, or other underfunded groups in your community?
  • If our organization were to take on an effort to encourage depositing in your credit union/community bank, where would you suggest that we begin – who are the first people/organizations you’d reach out to?
  • How is the bank/ c.u. doing in the present economic climate? Have you noticed an increase in the number of depositors since the financial meltdown? Have your lending opportunities dropped off? What do you think is the reason?

ROP is keeping our website updated with events, strategies, stories and more from Occupy rural Oregon.  Send your details to cara@rop.org.

Numerous organizations in Oregon are working to build new economy models, and to break the cycle of big banks and big money that has broken down the democratic economic society in America and in our rural economies. Check Out:

A New Way Forward www.anewwayforward.org, Real Wealth of Portland www.realwealthpdx.org, Oregon Working Families Party www.oregonwfp.org, New Economy Working Group www.neweconomyworkinggroup.org, Sustainable Business Network of Portland www.sbnportland.org.

One reply on “$Occupy$Movement$”

A feel good article …

Find out who are the majority owners of a financial institution and who is on the board of directors. Are any of the owners or board members businesspersons who might encourage the bank to lend to businesses and real estate developers whose interests are contrary to that of the community. What a bank will say is their mission statement may be different than their underlying agenda. Find out who are the major borrowers of a financial institution.

Bullet point five needs much more due diligence than is indicated.

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