Action Update: Give It Back, Chase
Northside P.O.W.E.R., marched on a Rogers Park branch of Chase Bank on Wednesday, April 18, 2012 demanding that Glenn F. Tilton, the Midwest Chairman of JP Morgan Chase meet with organization representatives to discuss a plan to return 500 vacant, foreclosed homes in Rogers Park and the nearby suburbs to the local community. The units would be owned and managed by a local, reputable nonprofit housing organization that would rent them as reasonable rates.
Northside P.O.W.E.R. members took over the lobby of the Chase Bank at 1763 W Howard St. in Chicago and demanded that the manager call Mr. Tilton’s office to urge him to meet with organization representatives. This action followed a letter and several attempts by phone to schedule a meeting.
Initially the branch manager refused to make the call, but Northside P.O.W.E.R. members chanted in unison & refused to leave the lobby. After about 15 minutes of occupying the lobby, the manager and Northside P.O.W.E.R.’s spokesperson agreed that we would wait outside while she and the spokesperson made the call together. Tilton’s representative agreed to call us back today to schedule a meeting. We will keep you posted on the status of the campaign. If they do not honor their commitment, we will escalate.
Five years into the foreclosure crisis a record number of Americans continue to struggle to keep their homes. Northside P.O.W.E.R. supports and demands broad solutions to the current underwater crisis including mortgage resets and halting foreclosures.
Northside P.O.W.E.R. also wants immediate improvements it its own back yard. During the housing boom over 3,600 units of affordable rental housing were lost in Rogers Park alone. This loss was due to condo conversions fueled by the lending practices of many banks including Chase Bank. Now, after the burst of the housing bubble and the deep recession, many of those condominiums stand vacant due to foreclosures.
In the North Shore communities neighboring Rogers Park there were fewer rental/condo conversions during the boom, but this did not protect those communities from bad mortgages and the resulting unprecedented wave of mortgage foreclosures.
About Northside P.O.W.E.R.
Northside P.O.W.E.R. is the community organizing arm of A Just Harvest, an anti-hunger organization on Chicago’s north side. Since the start of the Great Recession A Just Harvest is serving about 30% patrons more in its nightly meal service and the line for our monthly produce give-away stretches down the length of the block. A Just Harvest began organizing for social change as a way to alleviate the root causes hunger and poverty. Northside P.O.W.E.R. is also member of IIRON and the national organizing network National People’s Action.