[Note: As always any sample messages, letters, etc. that we provide are just that, “samples.” The samples are just what we’re sending out from this end and you are strongly encouraged to use your own judgment, voice and perspectives. Our prose, tone and approach can always be improved upon and quite frankly a good mix of perspectives is better than following our samples verbatim. We don’t do messaging for the group (nor do we aspire to) or ever speak for the group, but instead merely facilitate our members’ ability to speak at once for more power and volume. If you’re a “professional communicator” or would like to help with recruiting, research, administration, etc. shoot us a note and we’ll be happy to get you involved. There is no lack of work to be done.]
Local Outreach: “All Politics is Local”
While we’ve proven our group value in national media, we’ve not even scratched the surface in your town or locale. How many people in your area read The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal or visit MSNBC? Maybe 1% max, if that? Winning this battle is 99% about exposure and exposure is far, far easier to get on a local level than a national level. Many of you already “know Joe” at your local newspaper, TV station or talk radio station and if you don’t, you know someone that does. Even if you live in Lizard Lick, NC for instance, 30 minutes of “Googling” and you’ll have virtually every media contact point in your town and every town within 100 miles.
If we could do the research for you, we would . . . if nothing else, we’ve proven to you that we’ll willing to bust our posterior to research and provide you with information and contact points, but this critical outreach effort falls upon your shoulders almost entirely. Here are some tips: newspapers are important, but don’t think only newspapers. When researching newspapers typically “letters to the editor,” “career” and “political reporters” are the best options. Think “out of the box” to squeeze every contact point you can out of your local area. Think blogs, websites, niche publications, union meetings, church groups, TV stations, talk radio, Tupperware parties, showers, tractor pulls, a wine tasting, little league games, town hall meetings, civic gatherings, cultural events, etc. Wherever there are people gathered, 90% want HR3149 passed once they know it exists and 1/3 at least have “bad credit” and a “dog in the fight.”
If they join our FB PAG at: http://groups.to/h.r.3149 or shoot us an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org with ”sign me up” in the subject line to join our e-mail group, then great, but the only thing that really matters is that every American gets exposed to the lesislation so they can decide if they wish to get involved and join the fight. If you expose it, they will join our fight . . . not until. REMEMBER, YOU ARE SIMPLY DOING WHAT WE ARE TRYING TO DO, HELP PEOPLE HELP THEMSELVES.
Please keep us posted on your efforts, what succeeds and where it succeeds so we can share your successed with other members of the group.
The Dire Numbers and Human Toll of America’s Economic Meltdown
70+ Million Americans Suffered “Bad Credit” (Previous to July ’09) long before the full economic collapse – that’s more than 1/3 of the entire population between 20 and 75 years old
379,000 Bankruptcies Filed Q1, 2010, (17 percent increase over Q1, 2009 during a year in a year which they soared upward by 32%)
35% Increase in Foreclosures and a 16% Increase in Foreclosure Notices Q1, 2010 (over Q1, 2009) and 1 in every 4 Homes in America are at least 10+ % “underwater” (a.k.a. upside down).
Consumers shedding debts by defaulting on loans is rampant and growing. Debt still averages nearly $45,000 per American, or about 122% of disposable income. Most analysts believe a “sustainable” debt load is around 100% of disposable income which means the hemorrhaging and loan defaults have just begun.
The primary numbers and statistics propelling the almost complete collapse of Americans' personal credit are as follows:
8+ Million Lost Jobs (Some estimates are as high as 11 M)
15 Million Unemployed (44.1%, 6.5 M more than 27 Weeks)
9.1 Million Working Only Part-Time (No Full-Time Opportunities)
2.3 Million Have Given Up All Hope and Stopped Looking
9.7 % Unemployment, 17.5 % if Under-Employed Included
Fact: The vast overwhelming majority of the damage statistics above were caused by: A) Wall Street’s greed and B) Lack of Congressional oversight that encouraged risky lending
The Human Toll: A Bleak Dead End Reality for Millions of Americans
50+ % of all jobs and 80+ % of all white collar jobs mandate a personal credit check previous to hiring and many companies conduct post-hiring checks and use the reports as a basis for termination. Perhaps most alarming is the fact companies are increasing the practice instead of decreasing it as our economy continues to decline along with Americans’ credit reports.
The practice is simply wrong even in a good economy, but in this economy it is by far the most cruel and inhuman form of workplace discrimination possible. Anyone with damaged credit that is without a job has very little chance of ever becoming re-employed and anyone that is under-employed has little chance of ever changing jobs for higher pay. Both scenarios create a catch 22 in which millions of Americans can never fix their damaged credit reports and are thrust into a cycle of ever escalating financial decline.
For these millions of Americans there is one way out and only one way out: HR3149: The Equal Employment for All Act that has been sitting stalled in the House Committee on Financial Services since August 2009. With exceptions for specific financial positions, the legislation would make it illegal to use personal credit reports to hire and fire. The legislation is an easy quick fix that would allow millions of Americans to get a job or become more gainfully employed in order to fix their damaged credit. Unlike all the current jobs initiatives and those being discussed, this initiative is absolutely free to the American taxpayer and doesn’t add one penny to the deficit.
In surveys and comments to articles Americans overwhelmingly support the legislation by as much as 90 percent. Only one real obstacle to passage exists: NO ONE KNOWS THE LEGISLATION EXISTS. Even though similar legislation is already law in three states, virtually no one else in America is aware such workplace protection against this horrible form of discrimination is even possible. As citizens within a democracy, every American should have the right to know about the legislation so they can decide for themselves whether to support it. That cannot and will not happen without your voice . . .
The Brainwashing, Misinformation and Propaganda
Before the early ‘90s credit reports were relegated to their rightful role in America: evaluating risks for obtaining credit or borrowing money. Then while no one was watching an no one cared because virtually everyone had almost perfect credit, the three major credit bureaus unleashed massive multi-million dollar marketing campaigns (that continue today) to convince companies that credit reports indicate character and pulling them on employees and potential employees mitigates risks for theft and fraud. They were successful in their brainwashing efforts without even one single shred of data or conclusive study that shows any link whatsoever between credit reports and fraud. Please don’t believe me and instead take it straight from the mouth of a Trans Union executive during recent sworn testimony during the state hearings in Oregon where the legislation is now law:
While the credit bureaus currently have no basis or data to back up their multi-million dollar marketing campaigns and propaganda . . . simply give them time. Funding = conclusions and we all know data somewhere will be manipulated somehow to show a correlation. While they are scrambling to fund such a study, we’re hoping they will also fund a study on American CEOs . . . we’ve already started the research . . .
Add the above linked perspective to the Goldman Sachs prosecution announced last week and it’s a blatantly obvious conclusion that greed fuels theft, corruption and fraud not damaged credit reports.
Are we trying to say that because Wall Street and many in the American elite with good credit steal that "the people" should be given jobs so they can steal? Of course not! We're saying instead that there is no statistical correlation between bad credit and theft in the workplace. Just as Wall Street and the high powered corporate world should have checks and balances such as Sarbox which is already law and new legislation hopefully on the way . . . virtually every business in America already has checks and balances in place to stop theft and fraud. Will some people with poor credit steal and commit fraud? Of course . . . just like some people with good credit. The real question is what do people without jobs do? Just how much longer do you think the fragile fabric of America will hold without some relief for "the people?" That's the real question . . .
The Money and Political Realities
Selling the personal credit reports of Americans to companies to discriminate against workers was an idea for a new revenue stream dreamed up by the big three credit bureaus back in the 1990s. The money tree grows larger and larger ever single day as the practice spreads to a higher and higher percentage within virtually every company in America. No matter how bad the economy gets someone out there will still have good credit and will have an unfair advantage in the workplace unless legislation is passed to protect “the people.” Since August 2009, political corruption has stalled the legislation within the House Committee on Financial Services. The money being funneled into that committee by the big three credit bureaus is exposed in the following blog entry:
In closing, we’ve either made our case or have not. Simply realize that millions of Americans will lose their homes, children will starve, family units will dissolve and the loan and credit defaults and damaged credit reports will continue to grow and spread like a cancer unless legislation is passed to protect “the people.” This is the ultimate catch 22 in which bad credit = no job and no job = bad credit. If the economy suddenly rebounded and 8 million new jobs were created by the end of this week . . . it simply would not help the millions and millions of Americans who are credit dead and dying due to this horrible form of workplace discrimination. A law and only a law will can save them . . . there simply is no other solution.
While there are thousands of other news stories to report, such as where Tiger Woods dropped his pants this week, isn’t this story more critically important to the American people and our nation than 99 percent of all other stories? The situation and no win scenario for millions of Americans will never go away without legislation to protect "the people." The cancer of credit death grows larger every single day and is snowballing at an ever escalating pace. It will only continue to grow until you report the story.
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