Story of the campaign…
During the same weekend in September when our organizing team came together to shape strategies, the Occupy Wall Street protest was gathering steam. The team realized that this could be a powerful moment to identify publicly as people with wealth standing for a more just distribution of resources and fairer taxes.
To test out this theory, RG staff members Elspeth Gilmore, Jessie Spector and other New York RG members made signs, similar to those being carried by OWS protestors, identifying themselves as members of the 1% who stand with the 99%, and took to the streets. The signs provoked lots of reaction and discussion on the street, and a picture of Elspeth holding her sign went viral on facebook. (insert Elspeth’s picture)
To keep in line with the messaging the Occupy movement was using, the team came up with the slogan: I am the 1 percent, I stand with the 99 percent. And so we decided to make the blog to mirror the site We are the 99 percent, and create a place where people with wealth and privilege people could voice their solidarity with the Occupy Movement.
What we’ve accomplished so far…..
* There are now over 150 posts on the blog. Your stories are amazing! They have been reposted and retweeted and reprinted thousands of times. (include more pictures in this section)
* Many of you have been on the streets at Occupy protests in cities all over the country, identifying yourselves as members of the 1% standing with the 99%. Some of you have evenpublishedyourthoughts about what it’s like to hold up those 1% signs.
* Our organizations have been fielding tons of media requests, including Los Angeles Times, Christian Science Monitor, CBS News, Marketplace, and Al Jazeera. Thanks to so many of you who have been willing to talk to the media, we’ve been able to share the story of our support of the Occupy Movement with national and international outlets, conducting over 50 interviews and generating over 100 media impressions.
* Some of us went to DC to lobby Congress directly as part of the Patriotic Millionaires lobby day to ask policymakers to increase millionaire tax rates. Many others called our lawmakers on our call-in day, with the message “Tax me! I support proposals to raise taxes for wealthy households like my own. No budget cuts until we raise revenue from those of us who have benefited the most and have the greatest capacity to pay.”
* Inspired Legacies and Responsible Wealth have signed on as co-sponsors of the blog (along with RG and WFCG). And we’ve heard from many other organizations that work with folks in the 1%, who have declared their support and shared the link with their networks.
* Our tax team led an amazing workshop at Resource Generation’s annual retreat, Making Money Make Change, and introduced over a hundred young wealthy attendees to the campaign. The curriculum they developed will be used for future workshops and teach-ins.
* We are hearing from new volunteers – Hooray! – Who are interested in keeping the momentum going.
What’s next, and how you can get involved…
We want to build on this momentum by organizing hundreds of other 1 percenters who can be a part of this movement and mobilize our community for action. We are working on tax justice workshops and educational materials and planning a mobilization around Tax Day in April.
Here are some ways 1 percenters can plug in:
1. Organize a tax justice workshop.
Take a look at the materials from our workshop. (Post and link) Contact us if you are interested in organizing a workshop or teach-in, and we can support you through the process. Or, just use these materials to start conversations about how our current tax system widens the wealth gap every year, and what we can do to create a progressive tax system.
2. Join our conference call on February 6th, 8 pm ET to learn more about tax justice and how the 1 percent can stand with the 99 percent. (Link to sign-up page)
3. Write a blog post or opinion piece.
We are recruiting writers for a tax justice blog series and can work with you to draft, edit, and place a piece.
4. If you haven’t already, post your sign on the tumblr blog! Please encourage others to do the same.
5. Talk to friends and family members about wealth and taxes.
6. Support tax reform policies in Congress now. (http://wealthforcommongood.org/)
7. If you’re under 35, join Resource Generation! (www.resourcegeneration.org)
8. Provide financial support for organizing.
One of the critical roles we can play in the Occupy Movement and its related organizations is through financial support. If you are looking for ideas, checkoutthisextensiveresourcelist. Resource Generation and Wealth for Common Good are also fundraising to continue this campaign. Contact us if you would like more information.
9. Sign up to stay connected to our tax justice and We Stand With The 99 Percent organizing. (firstname.lastname@example.org)