Build a More Just Economy – Background

We are the 1 percent. We stand with the 99 percent.

Over the past year, Resource Generation and Wealth for the Common Good have been developing a campaign to amplify the voices of young wealthy people for tax justice.

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, Resource Generation 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.

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.

Since then, a lot has happened! Read the campaign update for the recap of all the media and organizing that has resulted.


A Call to Action

In addition, the staff of Wealth for the Common Good has been discussing and reflecting on the opportunities of this critical moment for our broader network – a network made up of many members of “the 1%.” We all sense a significant and positive shift in the work we can do together as a network to make a real impact on debates about the economy, taxes, and equity.

With that in mind, we have created a Call to Action. Consider it a work in progress and please give us your thoughts and reflections.

What speaks to you? What calls you to further contemplation or action in this historical moment? We’d love to hear from you!