|This article appears in the September 7, 2007 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.
LaRouche Youth Rally States
To Fight for the General Welfare
by Lewis Whilden,
LaRouche Youth Movement
"Of course! That would work! It's so elementary, how come nobody but LaRouche could come up with this?" So said a supporter of our movement, commenting on LaRouche's Homeowners and Bank Protection Act of 2007 (HBPA). This is typical of the pattern of responses we are getting around the country to LaRouche PAC's and the LaRouche Youth Movement's nationwide mobilization to get governors, state legislators, and city councilmen to make LaRouche's HBPA a part of their own fight to stop the bleeding amongst their constituents due to the housing collapse, therefore preventing the crisis from triggering a blowout of the financial system and providing the first step towards reorganizing that system in the way laid out in LaRouche's Draft Platform for the Democratic Party. LaRouche PAC is calling on these elected officials to produce resolutions demanding that the Federal government intervene in this crisis by putting the mortgage-carrying banks under bankruptcy protection and freezing existing mortgages, placing a moratorium on foreclosures, and ensuring that we prevent mass evictions (which could number up to 7 million) in communities around the United States. The historical precedent for this action is Franklin Roosevelt's April 1933 call for similar action to be taken, in the throes of the Great Depression. We must keep people in their homes!
What follows is a summary of our mobilization and responses thus far. There is a clear pattern of openness to LaRouche's solution at the local level, compared to the responses from the Federal level. For this to change, it will require the maximum amount of pressure from the local level, as well as the impassioned commitment of every reader of EIR to take this fight up as their own. Nothing short of Federal intervention will avert this crisis.
Into the Heart of the Crisis
The Midwest LYM, who are in the heart of the foreclosure crisis in the city of Detroit, jump-started the mobilization at Toledo, Ohio's City Hall. There, the Mayor's assistant immediately directed us to a basement meeting being held on the subject of foreclosures. We talked to both the Commissioner of Housing, and the Director of Neighborhoods. They were both clear that this crisis involved the entire system, but said that they were trying to "deal with the effects" of the crisis on the ground. Both officials are open to follow-up meetings with our organizers to discuss LaRouche's solution.
We also went to four events addressed by Gov. Ted Strickland of Ohio. The governor told us about the housing commission he has set up to address this problem, which he did not deny was a crisis for the whole monetary system. He referred us to his aide, who wants us to present our written testimony to this commission.
A delegation of Midwest LYM also attended the Midwestern Legislative Conference in Traverse City, Mich., where we mobilized support for a resolution addressing the housing crisis. Many calls were made from around the country into this conference by activists and supporters pushing our resolution, and opening doors to future events as a result of the calls and the organizing. Though we did not succeed in getting our resolution through, the event was characterized by our organizers as "wide open." The general response of the legislators was that the situation was certainly a crisis, agreeing with LaRouche's approach to the matter, but when called upon by us to act, they denied that it was the type of crisis that could trigger a collapse of the whole financial-monetary system. A representative from the Midwest of Canada told us that though he might not agree with everything, "You guys are the trendsetters, you are always ahead of the curve, I wanted to see what you were talking about." We encountered much foolishness: "This is a local problem" kind of thinking, coupled with some cynicism, which would have prevailed that day in Traverse City, had we not been there in force to re-moralize these reps with LaRouche's solution.
Similarly, at the Southern Governors' Conference in Biloxi, Miss., where the governors were lectured, or rather, subjected to attempted brainwashing by Federal Reserve presidents from various cities, about the virtues of the "services economy": If not for our intervention there, the Southern governors would do nothing but blow bubbles.
In Massachusetts, the Boston LYM recently carried out a successful intervention at the National Conference of State Legislators, where many legislative contacts were made from throughout the country; they are being followed up and organized to support LaRouche's housing legislation. They took advantage of this momentum by deploying to the Massachusetts State House. The LYM was recognized universally as the only youth movement doing anything. Some staffers we talked to were eager for action, with one asking bluntly, "How can we implement this?"
The Oakland, Calif. LYM has been concentrating on organizing at the state capitol in Sacramento, serving as a breath of fresh air in the State House, countering the Schwarzenegger fascist stink. We encountered a high level of openness, and were able to meet with 16 Assemblymen's and Senators' offices, from both the Democratic and Republican parties. When we told some people in these offices that their religious belief in free-trade is what got us into this mess, we encountered some freakouts, but a few staffers were up to thinking about this challenge, transforming the way they thought about the situation, and recognizing that LaRouche's HBPA is the only way we can seriously address this crisis. All they need to do now is move on it.
Mayors and City Councils Reached
The Los Angeles LYM visited the office of the Mayor of the City of Los Angeles, meeting for half an hour with the head of the Housing and Economic Development office. The discussion focussed on the powers of the mayorwhat can a mayor do around this crisis, since he has no ability to deal with it himself? The office ended up recommending a specific city council member for us to meet with, giving us his contact number.
In Seattle, the LYM has been targetting local city councils. They presented LaRouche's HBPA to the Shoreline City Council. Our youth movement was invited to address the panel by the deputy mayor, speaking in front of the entire city council. They also got LaRouche's program out to city councils in Bellingham, Everett, and Edmonds.
The Seattle LYM also met with a Republican city councilman from a suburb of Seattle for two hours, which moved the councilman to take immediate action on LaRouche's initiative on housing. In discussion of the financial crisis and the capital budgeting approach to fixing the situation, he telephoned one of his state senator friends and informed him about the "excellent, bold ideas," of the LYM. He pledged to take LaRouche's Economic Recovery Act with him to the National League of Cities convention where he sits on the board of directors, and present LaRouche's ideas there.
In South Dakota, our farmer friends distributed the HBPA at a rally for Sen. Tim Johnson (D), who is recovering from a stroke. We were able to get it to every state legislator there, with one legislator pledging to help us convey this idea to South Dakota's governor.
Finally, the intention of our constituency mobilization is for its momentum to be directed with full force into Washington D.C., where it is necessary for the Congress to intervene. In Washington, we've been circulating the bill and LaRouche's Draft Platform for the Democratic Party, on Capitol Hill and at surrounding institutions, so that when Congress returns after Labor Day, we have set up the environment in which LaRouche's HBPA will dominate the discussion. The organizing for the success of this mobilization will have a dynamic effect: The more work we do in the constituencies, the more pressure will be put on the Congressmen to act!
This is an unfolding crisis, but one that is not irreversible if we act now. Everyone reading the EIR should print multiple copies of LaRouche's Homeowners and Bank Protection Act (download at www.larouchepac.com) and distribute them to their local officials. Let's build a caucus of local and state officials to act on this matter, so that a sea of local government resolutions from around the country floods the Congress with the reality of the housing crisis. Let this be the first FDR-style legislation passed in the effort to spark an economic recovery of the United States.