Chase: No Clue What Really Matters
by April Friendly, Northside P.O.W.E.R. leader
Imagine a Chihuahua dog attacking an Alien. Yes, an Alien, the immortalized character from the 1970’s science fiction horror film series. The Alien is an apparently indestructible creature that has inhabited a planet and has found a way to use humans as incubators to ensure the future of its species. It could be said that this little pooch has taken on a seemingly impossible task. And still, the Chihuahua is a dog, and dogs do what dogs do – in this case, they yap away unfazed by their daunting duty.
One could even make the argument that it would be an inevitable loss for a small not-for-profit grassroots organization to wage a campaign against one of the world’s most powerful banking institutions. And yet, like the miniature Chihuahua, Northside P.O.W.E.R. is indeed taking action to call JPMorgan Chase Bank to task and demand that it be accountable for its actions in this housing crisis. Specifically, Northside P.O.W.E.R. is demanding that Chase Bank donate vacant, bank-owned properties that are in relatively good condition to a non-profit housing organization so that these properties can again be made available to families as affordable rental properties within our communities.
Chase Bank executives should step up and take responsibility for the bank’s actions. They should ensure that Chase Bank walks its talk and lives up to its marketing slogan “Chase What Matters”. Unless they are actually telling the American public that they are only willing to “chase what matters” to them and their stockholders. On Friday, July 13, Chase Bank released its second quarter earnings, reporting a profit of $5 billion ($717 million of this profit comes from its real estate sector). It appears that Chase Bank has no problems organizing other people’s money to create dividends for its executives and shareholders. It must have been omitted from the office memo that customers are stakeholders too: foreclosures and fraudulent banking practices are still rampant and going unpunished.
Even in the wake of Chase Bank’s $2 to $9 billion trading loss this May (the latest reported number is $5.8 billion…for now) executives and investors are still being celebrated. Included in that list is Chicago’s very own James Crown. Crown is revered as one of the most influential and powerful people in Chicago, a long-standing board member with Chase Bank and the chairman of Chase Bank’s Risk Policy Committee (the committee responsible for oversight of the corporation’s credit risk, investment risk, and reputational risk and for this recent, staggering trading loss).
Mr. Crown, it’s understandable that you are busy – you’ve been goggled and you sit on almost a dozen boards and hold a full-time job. So we’ll call you. Now, it’s time to answer the call of your own community. As one of Chicago’s most powerful people, Mr. Crown, use your influence to benefit the many rather than the few. With Chase Bank making a $717 million profit this quarter in real estate, a growing list of Chase Bank owned properties, a steady pace of Chase Bank foreclosures and under-water mortgages in the Chicago area, you have an opportunity to make a difference for your hometown. Mr. Crown, answer our call and Give It Back!
For the record, by the end of the movie series, the Alien species did not prevail. Organization, training, persistence and intensity won the battle.
Work with us in stabilizing our communities by turning vacant houses into homes for families.
Join Northside P.O.W.E.R. (People Organized to Work Empower and Restore) Learn more by visiting our website www.northsidepower.org. Email us at email@example.com or call us at 773.262.2297.
I invite you to attend our monthly meeting on the 4th Thursday of each month. Our next meeting is July 26 from 6:30 – 8 pm. We believe that everyone’s time is valuable, so we begin and end on time. Our address is 7659 N. Paulina Ave., Chicago.