LAC talks to Gapers Block about big business and community issues
On Tuesday, Curtis Smith, Board President of the Lakeview Action Council (LAC), a partner organization of Make Wall Street Pay Illinois, was interviewed by Gapers Block, a Chicago-centric blog. In the article, Smith was interviewed about the political effects big corporations now have on local community issues such as the lack of affordable housing and access to health care.
Before the 2008 recession, community groups like LAC organized themselves to advocate to the state government for the creation and preservation of vital social services. However, Smith highlights that at the same time, big banks and corporations organized themselves to lobby to the federal government to opt out of paying federal and local taxes, and used their financial resources to create political action councils (PACs) to raise funds to elect political candidates that endorse corporate agendas over community values.
This now organized business community has gained the ability to frame community issues in terms of needed cuts to balance the federal budget, passing the burden onto unemployed and underemployed Americans. “All these cuts have people associated with them. It’s not like you’re cutting widgets,” reported Smith. With this new bigger picture of how big business can affect local issues, LAC helped to form Make Wall Street Pay Illinois to hold big banks and corporations accountable to a community agenda.
The rest of the article interviews Annabel Park, founder of the Coffee Party movement in Washington, D.C., and examines the history of how the business community organized itself.
Thanks, Gapers Block!