In a resounding endorsement of a Resolution before the Seattle City Council that is likely to lead to the divestment of city funds from the Big Banks passed tonight in a unanimous vote. THE RESOLUTION ORIGINATED AS A RESOLUTION PASSED BY OCCUPY SEATTLE'S GENERAL ASSEMBLY.
I first saw the good news on Occupy Seattle's twitter feed
Seattle City Council unanimously pass resolution in favor of #occupyseattle !
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Incredibly inspiring testimony from occupiers at the city council meeting. Most council members very supportive #occupyseattle
1 hour agoOccupySeattle #OccupySeattle
Many here at city hall talking in favor of divestment proposal for city of Seattle
2 hours ago
From the Seattle P.I.
Seattle City Council backs Occupy Seattle
In a lengthy resolution that borrows language from the Declaration of Independence — it has 14 “Whereas” clauses — the Seattle City Council on Monday gave its blessing to the Occupy Seattle protest.
The resolution, which passed on a 9-0 vote, was sponsored by activist Council members Nick Licata and Mike O’Brien.
The sweeping resolution covers everything from a review of Seattle’s banking and investment practices, to a demand that Bush-era cuts in federal income taxes be allowed to expire.
The resolution’s broad wording suggests that the nation’s economic ills go back to the Reagan era, declaring:
“WHEREAS, over the past 30 years, gains in our economy have accrued largely to the top 1 percent income earners, who now control 40 percent of the wealth in the United States due in part to public policies that can be changed . . .”
They made me proud to be from Seattle.
Here are some excerpts from the Resolution:
Seattle City Clerk
A RESOLUTION recognizing and supporting the peaceful and lawful exercise of the First Amendment as a cherished and fundamental right in the effort to seek solutions for economically distressed Americans at the federal and local levels.
Status: Adopted as amended
Date adopted by Full Council: November 14, 2011
Date introduced/referred to committee: November 7, 2011
Committee: Full Council
Sponsor: LICATA; CO-SPONSOR: O'BRIEN
1. The City will review its banking and investment practices to ensure that public funds are invested in responsible financial institutions that support our community. The Council may also consider future legislation to promote responsible banking and provide an incentive for banking institutions to invest more in our City, particularly with regard to stabilizing the housing market and supporting the creation of new businesses. This review should include evaluating City policies on responsible depositing and management of City funds.
2. The City will examine the number of home foreclosures in Seattle, the geographic neighborhoods in which the foreclosures are occurring, and lender information on homes involved in the foreclosure process, including real estate owned homes. Furthermore, the Office of Housing will work with the Seattle-King County Asset Building Collaborative's Foreclosure Prevention Action Team to gather qualitative data on the circumstances and causes of foreclosures and the foreclosure methods and practices of lenders, including reviewing apparent inequities many people in Seattle face when lender foreclosure proceedings occur.
3. The City will continue to address economic inequality and wealth disparities by race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and gender. Through the City's Race and Social Justice Initiative and 2012 City Council committee work programs, the Council will continue to identify effective approaches to asset building, job training, access to banking and other financial services, educational attainment, family support, access to health care and other ways to address historic trends in disparities.
4. The Council will request a report from the Department of Finance and Administrative Services on all exemptions or waivers allowed for City taxes to examine the impact of both tax shifts and lost revenue to the City against the economic and social benefits the exemptions are intended to bring to the City.
5. The Council will consult with advocates of tax reform and experts on equitable taxation and review past tax reform efforts in order to work effectively with the State Legislature toward a more equitable tax structure.
6. The Council will analyze how city election campaigns are currently financed and explore alternatives.
7. As federal and state assistance dwindles, the City resolves to continue to use available resources to provide assistance for the most vulnerable people in Seattle.
8. The City recognizes that reforms in education and career preparation are essential for building a viable future and that the disparities in these areas begin very early in life and they continue through adulthood. The Council will seek maximum possible funding for Early Learning and Basic Education in the State Legislative Agenda. During challenging times, it is also critically important to support community colleges, technical colleges, and state universities as they provide access to retraining and workforce development opportunities.
Section 4. The Council and the Mayor recognize and support the important responsibility the Seattle Police Department exercises in protecting for everyone our First Amendment rights to freedom of speech and assembly while, at the same time, appropriately enforcing City laws and regulations.
I think this is a useful template for resolutions that other Occupations may want to bring forward in their own cities and towns.