Occupy Homes MN sent a delegation to US Bank headquarters in downtown Minneapolis to deliver 10,000 petition signatures asking US Bank to end cancer evictions, in solidarity with Ana Casas Wilson in LA and Jacqueline Barber in Atlanta and in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. US Bank and Wells Fargo are working together to foreclose on both women despite their very serious illnesses.
US Bank sent their head security guy to meet us outside, not wanting to let us in the building. He assured us he would deliver the petitions and balloons (pink for Breast Cancer Awareness Month) to CEO Richard Davis. Then he told us US Bank was only following the law, and that Richard Davis is in Washington several times a month talking to lawmakers trying to make the laws better for their business. If we want change, he told us, we should vote and contact our Congresspeople (funny, when we went to Washington they were nowhere to be found), and also talk to our lobbyists.
Great thinking, US Bank! Why didn't we think of that?
You can sign the petition to end sickness evictions here:
Vice-presidential candidate Cheri Honkala of the Green Party gathered with fifty community members on the steps of the Cruz home to protest Freddie Mac’s unjust policies Thursday afternoon.
Honkala, a formerly homeless single mom from Minneapolis and the first formerly homeless person to run for executive office, is considered the founder of the housing justice movement in the Twin Cities. Moved to tears, she held her school-aged nieces, who lost their home to foreclosure two years ago, as she addressed the crowd.
"My journey started on 38th Avenue when my oldest son was nine years old and homeless, and on a cold winter night we housed ourselves in an abandoned house to keep from freezing to death on the streets of Minnesota. Now, some 25 years later, I'm back here in Minnesota, and I just drove about five blocks away from here where my sister Anne and my three beautiful nieces lived for twenty years--and they lost their home," said Cheri Honkala. "Something different has to happen in this country. We are sick and tired of our babies growing up on the streets of this wealthy nation. I will do whatever I possibly can to uplift the struggle of the Cruz family and all the other Cruzes across the entire country."
After a massive public pressure campaign that focused a national spotlight on the Cruz home, PNC Bank agreed to fix their initial error that led to the Cruz family’s foreclosure. PNC has made a commitment to restructuring the original loan and/or writing a new loan to the family. But Freddie Mac, the current owner of the property, has refused to work with the family, or with PNC Bank. Instead they have listed the home on the open market and are looking to sell it as quickly as possible—to anyone but the Cruz family.
“What started on the steps of the Cruz family home has now launched into a national campaign to demand Freddie Mac work with the Cruz family and all families in the same situation across the country. This house has become a symbol for the struggle,” said Jillia Pessenda, organizer with Occupy Homes MN.
Candelight vigils will continue at the Cruz home every weeknight at 6:30 pm, at 4044 Cedar Ave S, Minneapolis.
Video of event by Toby Iverson at http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/26427310. Cheri's speech begins after 23-minute mark.
Freddie Mac has placed the Cruz home on the market and is looking to sell it as quickly as possible--to anyone but the Cruz family. Although PNC Bank agreed to finance the home for the family after a massive public pressure campaign, Freddie Mac refuses to sell the house back. We find it unconscionable that in spite of the family's ability to pay, backing of the original lender, and support of hundreds of thousands of people around the country, Freddie Mac is doing everything it can to keep this family out of their rightful home.
We will be having vigils at the home at 6:30 every night until Freddie Mac agrees to work with the family. Tonight, over 20 people came to our first vigil. Please also sign this petition to ask Freddie Mac to allow the Cruz family to buy their home back. We will also be having a press conference and rally at 3 pm Thursday at the #cruzhome with Green Party vice-presidential candidate Cheri Honkala, widely considered the founder of the housing justice movement in the Twin Cities. 4044 Cedar Ave S, Minneapolis.