This is an article that was written for The Summit, the Stonehill College student newspaper. Carolyn is taking a service-;earning course on leadership and is working to organize Stonehill students to come to the Federal Reserve Meeting in Brockton
Federal Reserve Coming to Brockton
Stonehill Students Help Organize One of Nine National Town Hall Meetings
By Carolyn Powers
On November 1st, 2009 members from the Obama Administration, the Federal Reserve, and Congressman Barney Frank will be hosting one of nine national town hall meetings in Brockton. Focusing on the current foreclosure crisis sweeping across our nation, this meeting is the only one of its kind being held in the North East.
Thousands of people will be coming from all corners of our northern states to voice their opinions on this matter. These people have lost their homes, their lives have been turned upside down, and they are finally getting the chance to have our federal government hear them out.
How aware are you about this crisis? Do you know this is going on?
Imagine you have 30 days to get out of your dorm room. No chance to fight it, you’re out. Reslife won’t listen to your cries, your parents can’t help you, you’re evicted. What would you do? Where would you go?
For over 3 million families in America, this has become their reality. A foreclosure epidemic is in full effect. When Katrina blew through New Orleans, 133,000 families were left homeless. Hundreds of thousands of people were left to find other places to live across the country. Now, 30 times that number have been displaced.
The cause of these evictions stems back to around 2003. Around this time, low-income families began being fed faulty subprime loans. These loans were distributed by privately owned, non-regulated mortgage companies. With no necessary background information, or income statement, families were given the opportunity to finally live up to the American dream; they could own their own home. But there was a catch; hidden in the mountain of paperwork associated with mortgages were hidden fees and plans to increase interest rates.
This is when the house of cards fell. Families who had been able to make their payments suddenly were unable to. It soon became a struggle to pay off their loans and they ultimately couldn’t do it anymore. To make matters worse, their banks wouldn’t meet with them. They were simply evicted.
As a result of this our economy has suffered tremendously, millions of jobs have been lost, homelessness has increased, violence is on the rise, the amount of abandoned buildings is overwhelming, health risks have risen, and the list goes on.
The other problem is that this is not just affecting the low-income families; it is affecting you. As college students here at Stonehill, it is often easy to feel protected by our bubble. These foreclosures aren’t kicking us out of our dorms; they aren’t making us feel unsafe or unprotected. But the reality is we are not going to be protected forever. Someday soon we are all going to graduate, apply for jobs, purchase homes, and do all the things that grownups are supposed to do. But right now, at the state our economy is in, this is not going to be the easiest task.
We have all heard our parents and older peers tell us how brutal the workforce is right now. Hearing that it is impossible to get a job these days is not new news. But what are we doing about this problem?
Here at Stonehill, students have organized with Brockton Interfaith Council to help coordinate one of nine National Town Hall Meetings about the foreclosure crisis. On November 1st at 6:00pm, members of the Obama Administration, the Federal Reserve, and Congressman Barney Frank will be hosting a meeting open to the public. Stonehill will be providing transportation for all students who are interested in attending.
By attending this meeting we are showing the Federal Government that we care about these foreclosures and about our future. If we show up in large numbers from this campus we are showing that Stonehill cares. We want our national leaders to recognize the fact that we care about the decisions they make because these decisions affect us. It is vital that we make our mark. These foreclosures have evicted over 3 million families and it is time they stop.
If you are interested in attending the meeting on Nov. 1st please contact me at email@example.com or Nicole Carbone at firstname.lastname@example.org
Carolyn Powers- Class of 2010
Communication Major/ Spanish Minor