In the progressive world, the term is often used interchangeably with political education, but the two are not comparable. That’s because political education centers on its content — it is more “what” than “how.” To be clear, political education isn’t exclusive of popular education. If you want to convey the benefits of ranked choice voting or the mutual aid components of the Black Panther Party, you could just as easily stand at a lectern delivering a monologue as you could opt for a popular education approach, grounded in the experiences in the room. The difference is in method more than content. Popular education uses a horizontal learning structure in which everyone in the room is both teacher and student, no matter the issue being addressed.
Sara Myklebust, research director at Bargaining for the Common Good Network, an initiative of labor and community groups, worked with [Patrick] Woodall, [research director at] Americans for Financial Reform, to try to survey units owned by large-scale corporate landlords in major cities across the country in 2019. Myklebust and Woodall were interested in whether they could document the consolidation of the market for single-family rentals, manufactured homes and apartments.
In The News: Progressive Opposition to Jerome Powell Clouds His Chances for Second Term as Fed Chairman (The Wall Street Journal)
Reappointing Mr. Powell “would be disappointing” for those who care about Mr. Biden’s agenda to address financial regulation, climate change and racial wealth gaps, said Erik Gerding, a senior fellow at Americans for Financial Reform, a nonprofit that argues for tougher financial regulation. “Having Jerome Powell continue would just mean one less vote for sustained and healthy regulation of the banking system.”
“The nonprofits Public Citizen and Americans for Financial Reform have released an early copy of their new “roadmap” for climate-finance reform to The Weekly Planet. It’s a guide to what the new executive branch might do to shift the flows of capital toward greener investments.”
“Not that this will be easy. Yesterday, Senator Pat Toomey, a Republican from Pennsylvania, wrote a letter to the San Francisco Fed implying that it should stop researching “climate economics,” labeling the topic “bitterly partisan.” He’s not wrong—climate change is bitterly partisan. But all of the country’s largest banks have issued climate policies nevertheless. And if it is partisan, that is because partisans fought greenhouse-gas regulation for so long that climate change has become a costly and whole-of-society issue. The financial system is where those costs come to roost. Any big problem, ignored for long enough, becomes a financial issue.”
There’s a looming student debt cliff awaiting us in 2021. With America in the teeth of the Covid-19–enabled economic downturn, lawmakers suspended federal student loan payments for 80 percent of federal student loan borrowers. This measure, which President Donald Trump extended a few weeks ago, is set to expire on New Year’s Eve, which means borrowers will ring in the new year by restarting their student loan payments in one of the worst job markets in a decade.
In The News: Seeking to Rein in Capitalism, Omidyar Is the Rare Funder Taking on Wall Street (Inside Philanthropy)
“So many fundamental decisions about how the economy works, and who it works for, and who is excluded are made through the decisions we make about finance,” [AFR Executive Director Lisa Donner] said. “There is a huge opportunity to have a transformative impact.”
“At these prices, this is not a market screaming, ‘We need help from the Fed,’” said Andrew Park, senior policy analyst at Americans for Financial Reform, which advocates for tighter financial rules on Wall Street.
In the News: Trump suspends interest on all federal student loans to ease financial impact of coronavirus
“With so many facing the prospect of lost wages or lost jobs, the government can and should do more than waive interest, which is merely an economic Band-Aid on the gaping financial wound the pandemic is causing,” said Alexis Goldstein, senior policy analyst at the liberal think tank Americans for Financial Reform. “The Education Department has the authority to cancel student debt, and using it would mean both short- and medium-term economic stimulus that helps all Americans.”
Under the rule, a borrower would have to sign a notice authorizing the lender to withdraw from the account after those two consecutive failures. “If I was smart, I would only sign that if there was money in there,” says Linda Jun, a policy counsel with Americans for Financial Reform, a regulatory and consumer protection coalition. “Aside from getting charged more for a negative balance, banks close bank accounts over this stuff, you could lose access to banking entirely.”