The 99 report. A Nurse reports from the ground at #OccupyCleveland.
Hey everyone. I am excited to bring you our AWOP Radio co-host, Allie McNeil’s reports from the front lines of #occupycleveland, the third poorest city in America. You can catch her report on AWOP Radio Sundays 7 to 9 eastern time. You can find Allie at Watergatesummer Blog and her new 99% Blog.
Looks like the hottest costume trend with foreclosure Banksters in Buffalo this year is the middle class homeless person.
Have some reality instead of the right wing kool-aid these two idiots have been drinking.
On Friday, the law firm of Steven J. Baum threw a Halloween party. The firm, which is located near Buffalo, is what is commonly referred to as a “foreclosure mill” firm, meaning it represents banks and mortgage servicers as they attempt to foreclose on homeowners and evict them from their homes. Steven J. Baum is, in fact, the largest such firm in New York; it represents virtually all the giant mortgage lenders, including Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America and Wells Fargo.
This is your 99 Report from the Ground of the 3rd Poorest City in the Country…Cleveland
I have been canvassing for three weeks in Ohio on Issue 2….Kasich’s Union Busting Bill that attacks the lives and work of 350,000 workers here, I have been canvassing all kinds of neighborhoods, Rich, Poor and Middle Class and realizing that there is less and less that divides all of us…Every Hood is hurting and Damaged……and this friday I also went down to OccupyCleveland….and that gave me Another Perspective….It has been my Listening Tour….
And I hear a lot of people saying “I don’t know who the 99% is ? or “What THEY want? AND maybe they need to clarify ‘their’ demands” ( And I sit and listen and think there is NO “They” there is ONLY “Us” )
And as I have been walking around , every day I was meeting and LISTENING and seeing What The 99% is…and Bearing Witness….
WHO is the 99% ?
(1) Is it the People who have Lost HOMES ? More than 8 Million ? what does that look like on the ground ? On the ground I go door to and and I keep notes of how many homes are Foreclosed, but the actual numbers reported on the News does not calculate the Homes where people have just walked away….Abandoned….And others on the Edge…ready to be added to the Stats…
I would walk around and we have been told in parts of Cleveland the Numbers are ” 1:8 Homes” Another report said 8%, I don’t know which is right. I do know this, that I would walk my canvassing routes and ALL Hoods are effected, not just poorer or middle class hoods, even the rich hoods. And the numbers were higher much higher. Like yesterday 210 homes, and more than 36 homes abandoned , foreclosed…..The Mail Taped Shut, the Water Shut off, the Windows empty forlorn, and I would walk around and look in…and sometimes there was still a Piano or garden statues in the back….and the Roses have gone wild and the Empty Bird Feeder sway in the breeze and the wind chimes sing to no one now….and I look at the back door, and I see the Kitchen….a calendar hanging no longer marking Holidays and Happy Times and on the Kitchen Doorway to the DiningRoom I can see the Marks on the Wall where some proud mama marked her Children Growing Up…And Hand Prints on the Panes in the kitchen Door…and the scratch marks on the door for the dog …..
THE 99% IS IT EMMA THE RETIRED TEACHER I MET WHO IS WATCHING HER NEIGHBORHOOD VANISH?
(2) One night I talked to a Retired Teacher at the end of the route ( full of empty houses), and I thanked her for coming to the door, and ”Emma” said,
“Not many coming to the door anymore are they ? You know if you took photos of my hood and you put them in Black and White, it does look like the Depression. You want to know why they don’t come to the door ? Because they are scared…can’t you feel it ? Can’t you hear it? The Silence ? There are the Foreclosed Houses, where folks are gone, but then there are the Houses where people are still fighting for their homes, but they are waiting for the Next Knock to bring News or take it all away. And then for the Ones that are now renting and have already lost their homes, they are scared, real scared, cause they are waiting for the NEXT SHOE to DROP, cause they still OWE people, so they know Something is Always Next….So they are too scared to come to the door. AND THE city….they shutting off water and power, and sometimes they even tidy the yards trying to fool folks and pretend it all looks good, but they our Water, Heat and Gas has gone way up because we paying for the folks that have Left- we are being punished for still being here. I taught History and I taught Math….There are folks in DC that don’t know their History and aren’t listening to the Math. Somebody better wake up….and Soon.
(3) PEOPLE SAY IT’S NOT THE RICH PEOPLE :::
Meet Irma and MARTY….I went canvassing in a Rich Hood,and it was not what people think.There were many empty houses, abandoned, some did not even have the Tell Tale Locks on them or the For sale signs, they were just Left Empty. And one house I went to one night, I arrived at their door it was cold and raining, and there were hardly any lights on….the door was clean and the Brass Knocker was polished bright….Suddenly an Elderly man came to the door, in tired Blue Sweat pants and an old sweater, and I could see his wife sitting in the Living room behind him, they had been playing checkers….And the walls were bare, you could see where paintings had hung, and there was very little furniture….And by the gleam in their eyes I could tell they were hungry for company, that folks don’t visit anymore, she looks fuzzy, her eyes glisten like an 8 yr old…and I could tell that they were living in the 2 front rooms, they had a little heater and a cat, and they were trying to take care of each other…and Marty took me to the Kitchen and made tea….it was very bare….no more fine china….And he looked at me and he said ” She doesn’t know how bad it is…I am trying to take care of her…I had to sell a lot.” I nod….I tell him she looks happy, she looks cared for. He smiles…
I don’t know What Happened, and Clearly Something Happened…I just know they have each other..and that is all they have….
(4) ABOUT VETS ARE THEY IN THE 99%….
And then Friday I ended up having a long talk with a VET ….As I walked away he wanted some more Soup…( I try to take Drinkable Soup…and I am supposed to be teaching First Aid on Fridays to the Occupy…but mostly I think it will just me Listening, I think as a Nurse, that is what I need to do right now…) And so I talked to “Joe” and I listened to him and he explained that if he knew his sister was losing his Mom’s home he wished he could have come home sooner, if he knew how bad things were he wished he could have been here…and he has PTSD, is that is what is stopping him from getting a job ? Cuz he doesn’t think so, he thinks there are not enough Jobs for any of the “returning.” And he was upset about what happened to the Marine Scott Olsen in Oakland, ”
That ‘s a Bad thing when a Marine who served two tours comes home had has a Cop Clunk him in the Head, That’s Not American, It’s Not, and it’s Not what I was fighting for”
So These are Some of the 99%…
I could give you Numbers…
I could write to DC and Obama and tell them Numbers..would that work ?
235,000 VETS Home from Iraq and Afganistan…and out of work, thousands with Wounds and PTSD….
( does that include the 22% Employment rate I keep hearing ? And the 38,000 Wounded I hear-does that include the PTSD number? Cuz no one is really saying….)
29 Million UnEmployed and Underemployed….
49 Million on Food Stamps…..
50 Million UnInsured STILL with NO healthcare,
1:4 Children Hungry….
8 million Homes Lost…..and who knows where those people are….And does that number include those I have seen sleeping in cars or Squatting ?
1:6 Living in Poverty….
There really is no Us ….Vs. Them….Because all of us are one paycheck away from being in any of these stats….
And I think Emma the Retired Teacher said it Best….”There are folks in DC that don’t know their History and aren’t listening to The Math. Somebody better wake up….and Soon.”
Kim G. Publisher