While Occupy protests were taking place across the nation in Fall of 2011, a lone website, “Occupy the Boardroom,” invited Americans who would never make it to an occupation to write down their beliefs about the financial system and their experiences with loans and banking. 8,000 letters from individuals appeared in six weeks. Signed by those affected by recent history—Democrats and Republicans, property-owners and struggling families, businesspeople and retirees, immigrants and Mayflower descendants, religious leaders and fervent capitalists, and a lot of bank employees past and present—these letters said what Americans have gotten from our banks, what they believe, and how they think things should change.
The letters are polite, funny, outraged, moving, instructive, and inspiring. They are one of the most immediate and unfiltered records ever assembled of what went on in the housing bubble and the financial crisis—written by We the People.
In partnership with Occupy the Boardroom, a team of young editors read through and gathered the most important, compelling, and diverse of these letters. Hear, at last, what American citizens know about their country rather than the opinions of talking heads. Find out what Americans want all of us to do differently.
Greg Basta is the Deputy Director of New York Communities for Change – an organization of low income families with over 40,000 members fighting for social and economic justice throughout New York State. Greg also helped launch The Home Defenders League, a national coalition of organizations fighting for justice for over the 15 million underwater homeowners in the United States. Previously, Greg worked with community organizations and Occupy to create Occupy The Boardroom, a website that allows people to directly contact top corporate executives to give them a message from the 99%. (n +1 publishing)