Advertisement Howard Lake | 20 November 2012 | News About Howard Lake Howard Lake is a digital fundraising entrepreneur. Publisher of UK Fundraising, the world’s first web resource for professional fundraisers, since 1994. Trainer and consultant in digital fundraising. Founder of Fundraising Camp and co-founder of GoodJobs.org.uk. Researching massive growth in giving. Its Director of Fundraising explained: “We are doing it to save lives, we see it as a public duty. Every day all over the UK our fundraisers are out on the streets meeting the public and unfortunately occasionally they may run into people who need help. We want to empower our fundraisers to be able to respond and potentially save lives.”Indeed, the idea was sparked when Astarita was out with a street fundraising team and encountered a man who had suffered a cardiac arrest.Every year in the UK around 83,000 people die as a result of cardiac arrest. British Red Cross head of first aid Joe Mulligan said: ”Putting more defibrillators onto the streets will save lives, quite simply. Most patients suffering cardiac arrests will be resuscitated within minutes using a defib so arming our street fundraisers with them, who will working on some of the busiest streets in the country, can only be a very good thing”.Lifesaving fundraisersBritish Red Cross street fundraiser Lisa Kent, 32, from Shepherd’s Bush had to put her first aid skills into action two days after her training.She said: ”I was out fundraising on the street in Sutton when I heard a bit of a commotion. A woman had collapsed and was having an epileptic fit on the pavement, there were lots of people around her but nobody knew what to do. I put her in the recovery position and phoned an ambulance and waited with her until it arrived.”Red Cross street fundraiser Teon Blake, 22, from Tottenham, has also had to put his first aid skills into practice while working.He said: “I was fundraising in Wood Green when an elderly man collapsed and hit his head on the pavement. I called an ambulance and kept him conscious and talking. He was very confused and upset and I tried to reassure him and make sure he was as comfortable as possible until the ambulance arrived.” The charity found that just 5% of casualties attending accident and emergency departments at hospitals had been treated by a trained first aider.Street fundraisers for the British Red Cross could start saving even more lives now that the charity is equipping them with lifesaving defibrillators. The charity’s face-to-face fundraisers are also being tought livesaving skills to help keep alive people who have suffered a cardiac arrest.The British Red Cross says that it is the first charity to train its street fundraisers in lifesaving first aid. It is starting in London and will roll out the machines and training nationwide next year. British Red Cross fundraisers take defibrillators to the streets 91 total views, 1 views today AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to EmailEmailShare to WhatsAppWhatsAppShare to MessengerMessengerShare to MoreAddThis1 AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to EmailEmailShare to WhatsAppWhatsAppShare to MessengerMessengerShare to MoreAddThis1 Tagged with: face-to-face Individual giving Technology
AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to EmailEmailShare to WhatsAppWhatsAppShare to MessengerMessengerShare to MoreAddThis About Howard Lake Howard Lake is a digital fundraising entrepreneur. Publisher of UK Fundraising, the world’s first web resource for professional fundraisers, since 1994. Trainer and consultant in digital fundraising. Founder of Fundraising Camp and co-founder of GoodJobs.org.uk. Researching massive growth in giving. Research on Main Street: Using the Web to Find Local Business and Market Information Advertisement [amzn_product_post]US-focused, but could also be useful to UK prospect researchers needing to research US alumni or prospects.There’s a review on FUMSI. 6 total views, 1 views today AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to EmailEmailShare to WhatsAppWhatsAppShare to MessengerMessengerShare to MoreAddThis Howard Lake | 7 April 2013 | News
Big Lottery Fund in Northern Ireland offers £50m for youth projects Howard Lake | 13 March 2015 | News 83 total views, 2 views today AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to EmailEmailShare to WhatsAppWhatsAppShare to MessengerMessengerShare to MoreAddThis The Big Lottery Fund in Northern Ireland has announced a new grant programme which will support young people to cope with challenges in their lives.The Empowering Young People programme is worth £50 million, with grants between £100,000 and £600,000.The new programme will help young carers, young people with a learning disability and young people who face barriers to education, training or employment. The money will go to projects that will empower young people to transform their lives by increasing their health and well being, getting them ready for education, work or training and building stronger relationships in their communities.Any voluntary or community sector group that receives funding will be expected to involve young people in their projectThe funding programme, which will support young people aged between eight and 25, will remain open for applications for six years.The Big Lottery Fund is running two workshops in April to provide more information about the grant programme. The first session will take place in Belfast on 21st April and Derry on 30th April. Tagged with: Big Lottery Fund Funding Ireland Northern Ireland 82 total views, 1 views today AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to EmailEmailShare to WhatsAppWhatsAppShare to MessengerMessengerShare to MoreAddThis About Howard Lake Howard Lake is a digital fundraising entrepreneur. Publisher of UK Fundraising, the world’s first web resource for professional fundraisers, since 1994. Trainer and consultant in digital fundraising. Founder of Fundraising Camp and co-founder of GoodJobs.org.uk. Researching massive growth in giving.
Howard Lake | 6 August 2015 | News GlobalGiving’s Gateway Crowdfunding Challenge returns 24 total views, 1 views today AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to EmailEmailShare to WhatsAppWhatsAppShare to MessengerMessengerShare to MoreAddThis1 AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to EmailEmailShare to WhatsAppWhatsAppShare to MessengerMessengerShare to MoreAddThis1 Tagged with: crowdfunding Digital Global Giving UK Online giving site GlobalGiving UK is again running its Gateway Crowdfunding Challenge, the winners of which receive a permanent place on the fundraising site.Participants in the latest challenge will receive free training, “a ready-made fundraising campaign to motivate your existing supporters”, and the tools to reach new networks. There are p to £3,500 in bonus prizes.The free training consists of seven online sessions on a range of topics, and takes place in October. The fundraising challenge takes place from 16 November to 21 December 2015.Successful participantOne successful participant in the Spring 2015 crowdfunding challenge was Nick from Aurora Health Foundation. He said:“I doubt my organisation would have had such a successful campaign if I hadn’t done the training. It gave an excellent foundation to my learning and gave me tremendous confidence and inspiration so I could hit the ground running when it kicked off”. Advertisement Founded in 2002 GlobalGiving UK says that it is “the original crowdfunding platform” and that it has helped not-for-profit organisations “raise over £100 million, access hundreds of skilled volunteers and connect with peers”.Applications from UK charities for the GlobalGiving Gateway Crowdfunding Challenge close on 18 September 2015. About Howard Lake Howard Lake is a digital fundraising entrepreneur. Publisher of UK Fundraising, the world’s first web resource for professional fundraisers, since 1994. Trainer and consultant in digital fundraising. Founder of Fundraising Camp and co-founder of GoodJobs.org.uk. Researching massive growth in giving.
New £15m fund for towns & cities in Northern England About Melanie May Melanie May is a journalist and copywriter specialising in writing both for and about the charity and marketing services sectors since 2001. She can be reached via www.thepurplepim.com. Advertisement £15 million of funding is available to support major culture and technology projects in towns and cities across Northern England, the government has announced.The Northern Cultural Regeneration Fund will support projects that encourage sustainable cultural and creative regeneration in the North of England and benefit areas that have historically had low levels of cultural and creative investment. As such, it will make grants of up to £4 million to support major culture and tech capital projects.The fund will build on next year’s Great Exhibition of the North, which will be held in Newcastle and Gateshead next summer and is a £5 million government-funded exhibition to showcase the best of Northern art, design and innovation. The fund is also designed to help pave the way for future investment in the Northern Powerhouse: the government’s ambition to bring together the cities, towns and rural communities of the North of England and Wales to become a powerhouse for the economy.Projects supported by the new fund could include opening a new tech start-up centre or renovating live music venues and should increase opportunities for people to experience, benefit and contribute to culture and creativity.Culture Secretary Karen Bradley said:“This £15 million fund is a fantastic chance for towns and cities to develop inspirational projects that could have a transformative local effect – particularly in communities that have seen less cultural or creative investment in the past.“We want as many people as possible to benefit from the Great Exhibition of the North, and this fund will boost the Northern Powerhouse and help build a lasting legacy across the whole region.”The first round of bids has a deadline of 30th November, and will be coordinated by Local Enterprise Partnerships in Cheshire and Warrington, Cumbria, Greater Manchester, Humber, Lancashire, Leeds City Region, Liverpool City Region, North East, Sheffield City Region, Tees Valley, York and North Yorkshire and East Riding.The successful projects will be announced in March 2018. A further round of funding may follow if all the available funds have not been committed. Melanie May | 9 August 2017 | News AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to EmailEmailShare to WhatsAppWhatsAppShare to MessengerMessengerShare to MoreAddThis22 Tagged with: Funding North East North West 89 total views, 1 views today 90 total views, 2 views today AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to EmailEmailShare to WhatsAppWhatsAppShare to MessengerMessengerShare to MoreAddThis22
Tagged with: corporate 3. B&Q & ShelterB&Q has marked a year of its partnership with Shelter with colleagues participating in a national fundraising campaign. Colleagues in stores took part in step challenges that replicated Shelter’s tower running event, Vertical Rush, which takes place at Tower 42 in London annually. B&Q also funds Shelter’s team of specialist DIY advisers who provide practical help to those settling into a new home following a period of homelessness, as well as supporting others to stay in their current home by making essential home improvements. To date B&Q support has helped 240 families. Main image: CLIC Sargent 173 total views, 1 views today 174 total views, 2 views today AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to EmailEmailShare to WhatsAppWhatsAppShare to MessengerMessengerShare to MoreAddThis29 Melanie May | 21 March 2018 | News AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to EmailEmailShare to WhatsAppWhatsAppShare to MessengerMessengerShare to MoreAddThis29 6. J D Wetherspoon & CLIC SargentJ D Wetherspoon has now raised £15m for CLIC Sargent. The milestone means fundraisers at J D Wetherspoon pubs across the country have raised the equivalent of £1 million each year since the partnership began in 2002. J D Wetherspoon is CLIC Sargent’s longest-standing corporate partner. The partnership was formed when the pub chain’s founder, Tim Martin, found himself sat opposite the charity’s then chief executive David Ellis on a train journey. The chance meeting led to the agreement of a fundraising partnership with an initial target of £500,000.Image: Geraldine Burns, Joanna Hancock (CLIC Sargent), Fiona McCann, Kate Burns, Allison Rice, Gareth McEllduff, John Hutson (Wetherspoon Director), Sharon Reid. 4. Leeds Building Society & SamaritansSamaritans is partnering with Leeds Building Society, which is aiming to raise £250,000 to help the charity support more people by futureproofjng its services and boosting capacity. Leeds Building Society colleagues and a panel of its members will be given the chance to choose how the funds raised are spent by voting for one of two projects, to be announced later this year. The first will see new technology introduced allowing volunteers to move more easily between phone, email, text and chat responses. The second will fund volunteer recruitment to help meet demand. 7. Truckman & RNLITruckman has introduced a new scheme to support UK charities, which has already helped RNLI. The West Midlands-based company has provided the RNLI’s Criccieth Lifeboat station in North Wales with one of its Truckman Utility hardtops, which will be used as a support vehicle for rescue operations. Using Truckman’s scheme, the RNLI was able to save on the cost price of the hardtop. In addition to hardtops, the scheme also allows registered UK charities to receive a discount on a range of Truckman products, including everything from tow-bars to personalised car mats. Advertisement 2. QVC & Breast Cancer CareBreast Cancer Care’s fundraising partnership with QVC raised £340,000 in 2017. Over £6.4 million has now been raised during QVC UK’s 18-year partnership with Breast Cancer Care. QVC UK employees donated £32,829.17 to the charity with employees taking part in a range of activities from cake baking, raffles and tombolas to fancy dress days in the office. QVC UK was also able to reach its £340,000 fundraising total through customer donations and creating a bespoke Breast Cancer Care product range. 1. EDF Energy Doxford & Breast Cancer NowEmployees at EDF Energy Doxford have raised over £1,300 in a fundraiser for Breast Cancer Now, the company’s official charity partner, through a range of fun-filled activities. Employees got into the charitable spirit by hosting quizzes, cake sales, raffles and a tombola, to raise a total of £1,324.10 to help fund the charity’s life-saving breast cancer research. The company-wide partnership with Breast Cancer Now began in 2016, and EDF Energy has pledged to raise a total of £450,000 over the course of the three-year partnership. Here are seven more companies supporting charities through a range of activities, including raising funds through bake sales, tombolas and challenge events, volunteering, and offering services such as B&Q’s support for people settling into new homes after being homeless. 5. Clydesdale & Yorkshire Banks & Hospice UKSince February 2008 when Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banks announced a new fundraising partnership with Hospice UK, over £6 million has now been raised by the banks’ employees and customers with 124 local hospices directly benefitting over the last 10 years. Hospices have also benefitted from over 40,000 volunteer hours while almost 400 staff have completed three separate marathon hikes, with 60 scaling Ben Nevis and 29 cycling from Workington to Whitby in 2013. In 2017 an auction of new Clydesdale Bank £10 notes featuring Robert Burn also raised £50,000.Image: CYBG CEO David Duffy by Peter Devlin Seven more corporate fundraising partnerships for March 2018 About Melanie May Melanie May is a journalist and copywriter specialising in writing both for and about the charity and marketing services sectors since 2001. She can be reached via www.thepurplepim.com.
Breast Cancer Care and Breast Cancer Now have announced their intention to merge into one new charity in Spring 2019.The merger will bring together the UK’s largest breast cancer research community with its largest breast cancer support community to create a charity for everyone affected by breast cancer. It will provide specialist support and information for those living with the physical and emotional impact of breast cancer, and will also fund research to improve prevention, detection, treatment and care and campaigning for better and equal NHS services for all those affected by the disease.Breast Cancer Care and Breast Cancer Now will continue operating as separate organisations as they prepare to merge. Advertisement Tagged with: merger 236 total views, 4 views today AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to EmailEmailShare to WhatsAppWhatsAppShare to MessengerMessengerShare to MoreAddThis42 The Chair of the new charity will be Jill Thompson, currently a Trustee and Treasurer for Breast Cancer Care. Delyth Morgan, currently CEO at Breast Cancer Now, will be CEO Designate for the new charity, with Samia al Qadhi to step down as Chief Executive at Breast Cancer Care on 31 March 2019.The current Chairs of both charities, Lynne Berry, Chair of Breast Cancer Now, and Emma Burns, Chair of Breast Cancer Care, will also step down at the point of merger in April 2019.The new Board of Trustees will consist of six trustees from each existing Board; Mark Astaire, Barbara Brown, Sonia Gayle, Marion Lewis, Andrew Moore, Trevor Powles, Adrian Harris, Sue Gallone, Ann Pickering, Chris Copeland and Pascale Alvanitakis Guely. At least one third of the new Board has a personal experience of breast cancer.The new Senior Leadership Team will be appointed to lead the new charity in the coming months.Jill Thompson, Trustee and Treasurer for Breast Cancer Care, and Chair of the new charity, said:“More women are being diagnosed with breast cancer than ever before, and there are well over half-a-million people living with the devastating impact of the disease. Despite the enormous progress made by both charities, the challenge that lies ahead in breast cancer is unprecedented. This merger is a bold and exciting opportunity to rise to this challenge, together, and make a significant difference to the millions affected – providing support for today and hope for the future.“Delyth will be a tremendous CEO of the new charity. Her vast experience and passion for advocating for those affected by breast cancer, will help us drive forward the new charity’s ambition that by 2050, everyone who develops breast cancer will live and receive the support they need to live well. Delyth will play a pivotal role in helping to define, establish, lead and inspire the vital work of the new charity and we look forward to seeing the pioneering work of the organisation under her leadership.”Emma Burns, Chair of Breast Cancer Care, said:“Both charities simply could not have achieved all that we have for those affected by breast cancer without the dedication and generosity of our supporters, many with experience of the devastating disease. We hope the new charity will inspire the continued, determined support we need to help people deal with the impact of breast cancer, and to fund the world-class research that will give much-needed hope for the future.“Samia al Qadhi has made an extraordinary contribution as CEO of Breast Cancer Care over the last 25 years. Thanks to her dedication, leadership and commitment to driving change for people affected by breast cancer, hundreds of thousands of women have received better care and support following the life-changing diagnosis.”Lynne Berry, Chair of Breast Cancer Now, added:“Merging now to create one, comprehensive charity for everyone affected by breast cancer is undeniably the right thing to do for those affected by the disease. Together, we’ll be a stronger charity to influence and drive progress further, with a united community and one clear voice for everyone affected by breast cancer, now and in the future.“We are absolutely delighted to welcome Jill as Chair of the new charity. Jill brings a wealth of experience and expert leadership during this time of change, as well as determination to make a difference to the lives of those affected by breast cancer.” Largest UK breast cancer charities announce merger plan About Melanie May Melanie May is a journalist and copywriter specialising in writing both for and about the charity and marketing services sectors since 2001. She can be reached via www.thepurplepim.com. Main image: Delyth Morgan and Samia al Qadhi 235 total views, 3 views today Melanie May | 5 November 2018 | News AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to EmailEmailShare to WhatsAppWhatsAppShare to MessengerMessengerShare to MoreAddThis42
Melanie May | 24 January 2019 | News Funds Online subscribers will find:Some 8,000 funders giving £8 billion, all on one website. Funds Online combines data from DSC’s previous four funding websites – Trustfunding.org.uk, Governmentfunding.org.uk, Companygiving.org.uk & Grantsforindividuals.org.ukA new user dashboard that will help subscribers to keep track of applicationsAn improved search function aimed at giving a quicker, more intuitive experienceMobile access via a range of devicesA team of expert researchers updating the data to help users save time in their searchDebra Allcock Tyler, DSC Chief Executive, said:“With the new dashboard, you can track all the information you need and its incredibly easy to know what your journey has been through the funding landscape, which will save you lots of time in the future.” Advertisement DSC makes finding funding sources easier with launch of new site About Melanie May Melanie May is a journalist and copywriter specialising in writing both for and about the charity and marketing services sectors since 2001. She can be reached via www.thepurplepim.com. The Directory of Social Change has launched a new website to help charities find new sources of funding.The new Funds Online website combines the data from DSC’s long-standing collection of online funding search products, and aims to help charities find over £8billion in funding from some 8,000 different funders. The platform has been designed with a range of features aimed at making finding funding as easy as possible for everyone, from trustees and volunteers to professional fundraisers.Charities looking for funding will be able to start their search with a simple online search, and use their dashboard to log and track their applications all in one place. [youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qORxAZR581k[/youtube] 199 total views, 1 views today Tagged with: Directory of Social Change Funding [youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t2tIj3EVtuE[/youtube] 200 total views, 2 views today AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to EmailEmailShare to WhatsAppWhatsAppShare to MessengerMessengerShare to MoreAddThis32 AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to EmailEmailShare to WhatsAppWhatsAppShare to MessengerMessengerShare to MoreAddThis32
Retirees protest cuts, April 1.WW photo: Kris HamelApril 26 — The attack on retired city of Detroit workers’ pensions intensifies. Ever since the filing for bankruptcy by Detroit’s emergency manager last summer, it has been clear that the real plan was to use the large pension funds to pay off the banks that hold the largest part of the city debt.In an October ruling, federal Bankruptcy Court Judge Steven Rhodes decided that pension funds were fair game, even though the Michigan state Constitution clearly protects public pensions. Rhodes held that federal bankruptcy law superseded the state constitution.Last November, representatives of the emergency manager testified that they wanted to slash pensions by 84 percent. A “Plan of Adjustment” filed with the court in March detailed cuts to pensions of 34 percent across the board for nonuniformed retirees and 14 percent for police and firefighter pensioners. Cuts had already been made to all medical coverage for those not receiving Medicare; dental and vision protection plans were ended. Cost of living increases to pensions were stopped. These had added 2.25 percent per year.Outside the federal courthouse, retirees and their supporters have marched and rallied month after month. In one of the biggest actions, hundreds blocked the street on April 1, marching and blasting speeches over loudspeakers for several hours, demanding “Hands off our pensions!” and “Make the banks pay!”A brief glimmer of hope for retirees appeared as the media spread a new proposal to limit cuts to only 4.5 percent. But retirees soon learned that the city intends to go after $239 million of their nest eggs through additional reductions taken from thousands of retirees who put money each week into an annuity fund run by the pension boards.The media, continuing to serve the interests of the Wall Street bankers, have tried to make it seem that something shady or illegal had been done — claiming that “excess interest” was paid to those investing into the annuity fund. The fund was considered generous, paying a minimum of 7.9 percent interest per year — and more if the pension fund did well during boom years — but it operated openly and along well-established accounting principles. Not being a profit-making enterprise, the pension boards paid out extra funds when they could, in good years. Yet the pension funds remained some of the best run and well funded in the U.S.Anger great among activist retireesIf workers had not invested in the city-run annuity program, it is likely that they would have chosen some other annuity plan among the many that cater to workers. Now, the emergency manager wants to take back hundreds of millions of dollars paid out to workers from 2003 to 2013.In a serious setback, the pension boards and the official Committee of Retirees (nine members appointed by the bankruptcy court) have apparently agreed to this new plan. First reports were that some retirees would lose their entire pensions in this “claw back.” Later reports state that the maximum cut will be capped at 20 percent (4.5 percent across the board and 15.5 percent maximum annuity recovery). It is hard to believe that officials sworn to protect pensioners, many of them seasoned unionists, would announce an agreement without having every “i” dotted and “t” crossed, as in any contract negotiation. Retirees currently have no idea how much this will cost them.Anger is great among activist retirees who have been protesting these past months. Some have gathered funds and are airing “Vote No!” radio ads prior to the distribution of ballots to all retirees and survivors of retirees. Many are especially upset over the requirement in the agreement that all appeals on the constitutional issues be dropped.Organizing by the “Stop Theft of Our Pensions Committee,” a rank-and-file group, along with other organizations, is in high gear for a series of May 1 rallies and marches to denounce the cuts and other attacks on the working class of Detroit.Crisis manufactured to go after pensionsWhile the emergency manager is eager to go after annuity funds that he has labelled excessive, he refuses to consider going after $300 million paid out to Bank of America and the United Bank of Switzerland. These bankers were responsible for illegal “bond swap” practices that contributed to the financial crisis in Detroit. Instead, with Judge Rhodes’ approval, Detroiters will now pay an additional $85 million to these two criminal banks.Another $500 million was paid out by the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department two years ago to settle another crooked bond swap deal, yet no officials even mention making an attempt to recover those funds. Nor is there any discussion in the court of going after hundreds of millions of dollars owed by the state of Michigan to Detroit in revenue-sharing funds never paid to the city. Tens of millions owed by banks on foreclosed properties have also never been pursued.Many retirees have asked how it was possible to go from threatening to take 84 percent, to 34 percent, and now 4.5 percent. If that is the case, then perhaps they don’t need to take any money from retirees at all!Part of the reduction is reported to have come from a “recalculation” of the expected return from pension fund investments over the next decades. While no one can accurately predict that figure, the emergency manager based his initial calculations on a figure of 6.25 percent. Now he is using a figure of 6.75 percent. This small change wipes out much of the deficit. But the same firm that advised Detroit’s emergency manager also estimated that Florida’s state pension fund could safely assume an 8 percent rate of return. The conclusion is inescapable that the entire Detroit bankruptcy was manufactured, probably for the goal of looting the pension funds.By getting the retiree associations to drop their lawsuits, the Wall Street sharks hope to set a precedent for the whole country that pension funds are up for grabs.Detroit workers continue to fight under the slogan “Hands off my pension,” demanding that it should be the banks that pay for their own crisis. Plans have been announced for a July 24 national demonstration in Detroit at the start of the final trial on the bankruptcy.Sole is a retired city of Detroit employee and past president of SCATA-United Auto Workers Local 2334 at the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department. He is a founder of the “Stop Theft of Our Pensions Committee” and a legal party of interest in the Detroit municipal bankruptcy.FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare this
FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare this July 26 — The Democratic National Convention has barely begun, and it is already quite clear that a large number of people who had hoped that the Sanders campaign would push the Democratic Party to the left and give people a chance to vote in November for real change are not just disillusioned, they are hopping mad.They should be.The familiar stench of capitalist politics drifts over the convention. The commands of big money are being carried out behind the scenes through an opaque alchemy brewed by a tightly controlled political machine.The Democratic Party, especially since the New Deal of Franklin D. Roosevelt, has posed as the party of the people, in contrast to the Republicans. A skeptic might point out that Roosevelt himself was the scion of a rich and powerful political family, and only did what he thought was necessary to placate the masses and save the system in a time of capitalist breakdown and rising class struggle. Yet the popular image of the party remains.And so it is that the convention, which has so many working-class delegates, a good number of them union activists, people of color and immigrants, and caucuses of LGBTQ people as well as artists and writers with a progressive outlook on social themes, has already, for the most part, been whipped into line to support Hillary Clinton as the party’s nominee. But not without the biggest struggle in many, many years, with those in the Sanders camp feeling the nomination was stolen from him.Clinton is the first woman to be nominated for president by either of the two big U.S. capitalist parties. That’s how backward this country is politically and socially. Since 1918, many women have actually served as heads of state in other countries around the world — guide2womenleaders.com lists 175 of them! Finally, it could happen here. But Clinton is a woman who is trusted by the big money men not to depart from the rules they have imposed on Washington.Rule number one: She must accept the dictates of the warmongers and send U.S. troops around the world whenever the U.S. transnational corporations and banks demand it to advance their far-flung profit interests. She as well as all the preceding Democratic Party presidents, including Barack Obama, have understood this and have never used their powers to refuse the generals, even making war without getting a declaration of war from Congress — a clear violation of the Constitution.The flap over Clinton’s emails and Benghazi just underscores the fact that, as secretary of state, she was in the middle of that completely illegal assault on the sovereign state of Libya, which has since been ripped apart by mercenaries serving competing oil cliques.Rule number two: She must maintain the status quo of rule by the super-rich while trying to placate the masses with minor reforms. This has been standard operating procedure for Democratic administrations, like those of Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton.Bill Clinton especially promised improvements for the masses of Black people and cultivated an image to go with his promises. But in reality he consciously destroyed welfare, the last resort for poor women of color with children, and supported legislation that led to the highest level of mass incarceration in the world — with a disproportionately high percentage of Black people behind bars. Meanwhile, the gap between rich and poor is greater than it has ever been.One thing the elections have shown, even at this early stage, is that a large section of the population is fed up with the status quo and looking to change things. The Sanders movement appealed to workers and low-income youths based on their class interests.The Trump campaign is stirring up fear and anger to reinforce racism and xenophobia. Trump and his ilk want to turn them against anyone but the super-rich, who really run the show and are the cause of rising economic insecurity.The capitalist system is in a growing crisis, as technology displaces workers and thereby undercuts the very market they need to realize their profits. And the bosses always try to solve their problems on the backs of the workers.The argument is already being made strenuously by the Democrats to support Clinton because the alternative, Trump, would be unthinkable. But it is a false argument. Yes, Trump is an openly racist agitator in comparison with Clinton, but voting for the Democrats will neither stop the racist police violence nor advance the struggle for urgently needed social change. That has to happen in the streets, in the workplaces, everywhere that the masses of people can be engaged to fight in their own defense against the exploiters and the masters of war.The best outcome at the present time is that the Sanders movement, the Black Lives Matter movement, the low-wage worker movement, the LGBTQ movement, the reproductive justice movement, the movements against deportations and mass incarceration — all retain their independence from both capitalist parties, stay in the streets and collaborate to unite and fight this racist, oppressive, exploitive and dangerously unstable system.