foreclosure

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TruthToTell: Community Connections- Returning Homes- Stabilizing communities after the housing crisis

On Wednesday, November 13, TruthToTell returned to the Minneapolis Urban League for the 9th in its Community Connections series of on-location public forums. In this month’s forum, TTT looks at the ripple effects of still ever-present foreclosures in the Twin Cities Metro and solutions for community stabilization in the wake storm.

Nov. 18- Encore- Community Connections VIIII- Returning Homes: Stabilizing communities after the housing crisis

TruthToTell held its 9th Community Connections forum on Wednesday, November 13 at the Minneapolis Urban League where Andy and Michelle discussed with panelists and audience members what policies and other actions are still needed to stabilize housing in Twin Cities communities that have been ravaged by foreclosures.

On Wednesday, November 13, TruthToTell returned to the Minneapolis Urban League for the 9th in its Community Connections series of on-location public forums. In this month’s forum, TTT looks at the ripple effects of still ever-present foreclosures in the Twin Cities Metro and solutions for community stabilization in the wake storm (click here to see our video preview). While we keep hearing about the “improving” economy, dropping unemployment rates, and a rising Dow Jones average, the rate of home foreclosures is still much higher than we ever saw before the crash in 2007-2008, and these rates remain highest among low-wealth communities and communities of color. Why are banks still throwing so many people out of their houses and on to the streets? Why do banks refuse to re-negotiate mortgages with homeowners based on current market rate rather than demanding exorbitant amounts of money from them to stay in their home, especially when the next step after the home owner can’t pay is usually to auction off that home at a fraction of what the bank was demanding?

As a result of these foreclosures and subsequent evictions, we see an unfortunate correlation between the rise in demand for rental properties and an increase in rental rates, as well as an increase in boarded up vacant houses and rise in homelessness. We’ll talk to our panelists, who are all organizers trying to mitigate the effects of this housing bubble. 

Please join us this Monday, for the encore presentation of Wednesday evening’s conversation where TTT hosts Andy Driscoll and Michelle Alimoradi talked with the panelists and audience members about policies that have already been passed, policies that are still needed, and other actions that organizers and community members could take to bring stability back to the communities that have been most affected by the housing crisis. 

TruthToTell: Community Connections is made possible by a generous grant from the Bush Foundation, which has enabled TruthToTell to partner with KFAI Fresh Air Radio, St. Paul Neighborhood Network (SPNN), and selected community partners to present these discussions and dialogues on important issues like education, the environment, health care, politics and elections, transportation, Native concerns, youth issues and more, into the key communities affected by these respective topics for radio, television and online distribution.

On-air guests: 

ED GOETZ- Director, CURA Housing Forum at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs

VIC ROSENTHAL- Executive Director, Jewish Community Action

JAYMIE KELLY- Home-owner facing foreclosure in South Minneapolis, recent mayoral candidate

ANTHONY NEWBY- Executive Director, Neighborhoods Organizing for Change

TruthToTell, Nov. 18- TruthToTell: Community Connections VIIII- Returning Homes: Stabilizing communities after the housing crisis

On-air date: 
Mon, 11/18/2013
Listen to or download this episode here: 

You are missing some Flash content that should appear here! Perhaps your browser cannot display it, or maybe it did not initialize correctly.

On Wednesday, November 13, TruthToTell returned to the Minneapolis Urban League for the 9th in its Community Connections series of on-location public forums. In this month’s forum, TTT looks at the ripple effects of still ever-present foreclosures in the Twin Cities Metro and solutions for community stabilization in the wake storm (click here to see our video preview). While we keep hearing about the “improving” economy, dropping unemployment rates, and a rising Dow Jones average, the rate of home foreclosures is still much higher than we ever saw before the crash in 2007-2008, and these rates remain highest among low-wealth communities and communities of color. Why are banks still throwing so many people out of their houses and on to the streets? Why do banks refuse to re-negotiate mortgages with homeowners based on current market rate rather than demanding exorbitant amounts of money from them to stay in their home, especially when the next step after the home owner can’t pay is usually to auction off that home at a fraction of what the bank was demanding?

As a result of these foreclosures and subsequent evictions, we see an unfortunate correlation between the rise in demand for rental properties and an increase in rental rates, as well as an increase in boarded up vacant houses and rise in homelessness. We’ll talk to our panelists, who are all organizers trying to mitigate the effects of this housing bubble. Please join us this Monday, for the encore presentation of Wednesday evening’s conversation where TTT hosts Andy Driscoll and Michelle Alimoradi talked with the panelists and audience members about policies that have already been passed, policies that are still needed, and other actions that organizers and community members could take to bring stability back to the communities that have been most affected by the housing crisis. 

On-air guests:

ED GOETZ- Director, CURA Housing Forum at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs

VIC ROSENTHAL- Executive Director, Jewish Community Action

JAYMIE KELLY- Home-owner facing foreclosure in South Minneapolis, recent mayoral candidate

ANTHONY NEWBY- Executive Director, Neighborhoods Organizing for Change

TruthToTell: Community Connections is made possible by a generous grant from the Bush Foundation, which has enabled TruthToTell to partner with KFAI Fresh Air Radio, St. Paul Neighborhood Network (SPNN), and selected community partners to present these discussions and dialogues on important issues like education, the environment, health care, politics and elections, transportation, Native concerns, youth issues and more, into the key communities affected by these respective topics for radio, television and online distribution.


See you tomorrow night?

 

TruthToTell: Community Connections VIIII, Returning Homes: Stabilizing communities after the housing crisis

TruthToTell presents encore of conversation on foreclosure effects on health and well-being in light of Nov 13 live Community Connections forum on foreclosure solutions. Don’t miss it!

Thursday, November 14 is Give to the Max Day. Click here to schedule your donation now!

This Wednesday, November 13, TruthToTell returns to the Minneapolis Urban League to bring you the 9th in its Community Connections series of on-location public forums. This month TTT looks at the ripple effects of still ever-present foreclosures in the Twin Cities Metro and solutions for community stabilization in the wake of the storm (click here to see our video preview). While we keep hearing about the “improving” economy, dropping unemployment rates, and a rising Dow Jones average, the rate of home foreclosures is still much higher than we ever saw before the crash in 2007-2008, and these rates remain highest among low-income communities and communities of color. Why are banks still throwing so many people out of their houses and on to the streets? Why do banks refuse to re-negotiate mortgages with homeowners based on current market rate rather than demanding exorbitant amounts of money from them to stay in their home, especially when the next step after the home owner can’t pay is usually to auction off that home at a fraction of what the bank was demanding?

As a result of these foreclosures and subsequent evictions, we see an unfortunate correlation between the rise in demand for rental properties and an increase in rental rates, as well as an increase in boarded up vacant houses and rise in homelessness. We’ll talk to our panelists, who are all organizers trying to mitigate the effects of this housing bubble. Please join us this Wednesday, when we’ll focus on policies that have already been passed and policies that are still needed to bring stability back to the communities that have been most affected. Our panelists will be:

ED GOETZ- Director, CURA Housing Forum at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs

VIC ROSENTHAL- Executive Director, Jewish Community Action

JAYMIE KELLY- Home-owner facing foreclosure in South Minneapolis, recent mayoral candidate

ANTHONY NEWBY- Executive Director, Neighborhoods Organizing for Change

Join us at the Minneapolis Urban League this Wednesday, November 13 for this important community conversation. TruthToTell: Community Connections events are free and open to the public. You can RSVP for the event on Facebook here.

TruthToTell: Community Connections is made possible by a generous grant from the Bush Foundation, which has enabled TruthToTell to partner with KFAI Fresh Air Radio, St. Paul Neighborhood Network (SPNN), and selected community partners to present these discussions and dialogues on important issues like education, the environment, health care, politics and elections, transportation, Native concerns, youth issues and more, into the key communities affected by these respective topics for radio, television and online distribution.

Week of Nov 11- TTT on Foreclosures- Join us LIVE Nov 13, 6:30pm at MPLS Urban League

TruthToTell presents encore of conversation on foreclosure effects on health and well-being in light of Nov 13 live Community Connections forum on foreclosure solutions. Don’t miss it!

Thursday, November 14 is Give to the Max Day. Click here to schedule your donation now!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

This Wednesday, November 13, TruthToTell returns to the Minneapolis Urban League to bring you the 9th in its Community Connections series of on-location public forums. This month TTT looks at the ripple effects of still ever-present foreclosures in the Twin Cities Metro and solutions for community stabilization in the wake storm (click here to see our video preview). While we keep hearing about the “improving” economy, dropping unemployment rates, and a rising Dow Jones average, the rate of home foreclosures is still much higher than we ever saw before the crash in 2007-2008, and these rates remain highest among low-wealth communities and communities of color. Why are banks still throwing so many people out of their houses and on to the streets? Why do banks refuse to re-negotiate mortgages with homeowners based on current market rate rather than demanding exorbitant amounts of money from them to stay in their home, especially when the next step after the home owner can’t pay is usually to auction off that home at a fraction of what the bank was demanding?

As a result of these foreclosures and subsequent evictions, we see an unfortunate correlation between the rise in demand for rental properties and an increase in rental rates, as well as an increase in boarded up vacant houses and rise in homelessness. We’ll talk to our panelists, who are all organizers trying to mitigate the effects of this housing bubble. Please join us this Wednesday, when we’ll focus on policies that have already been passed and policies that are still needed to bring stability back to the communities that have been most affected. Our panelists will be:

ED GOETZ- Director, CURA Housing Forum at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs

VIC ROSENTHAL- Executive Director, Jewish Community Action

JAYMIE KELLY- Home-owner facing foreclosure in South Minneapolis, recent mayoral candidate

ANTHONY NEWBY- Executive Director, Neighborhoods Organizing for Change

In the spirit of this Wednesday’s conversation, Monday, November 11 we bring you an encore presentation of our February 4 conversation about the ripple effects of foreclosures on the health and well being of homeowners. We spoke with Gayle Lindsey, who at the time she appeared on our show was facing foreclosure on her mortgage with M&T Bank. Shortly after her appearance on TruthToTell, Gayle was contacted by the Senior Vice President of the Loss Mitigation department at M&T Bank about renegotiating her mortgage.

We also had Rachel Fang, who was using an online survey  to write her PhD dissertation on the role housing plays in our lives and the toll foreclosure takes on us. Fang says, our home is “…a place of refuge, personal security, identity and freedom, offering individuals a sense of order, continuity and place of physical belonging.

And we also had with us Chris Gray of Occupy Homes MN, talking about the scope of the foreclosure problem and the actions that Occupy Homes MN was and still is taking to mitigate the effects of foreclosures locally.

Join us for this encore presentation, and then come on down to the Minneapolis Urban League this Wednesday, November 13 for this important community conversation. TruthToTell: Community Connections events are free and open to the public. You can RSVP for the event on Facebook here.

TruthToTell: Community Connections is made possible by a generous grant from the Bush Foundation, which has enabled TruthToTell to partner with KFAI Fresh Air Radio, St. Paul Neighborhood Network (SPNN), and selected community partners to present these discussions and dialogues on important issues like education, the environment, health care, politics and elections, transportation, Native concerns, youth issues and more, into the key communities affected by these respective topics for radio, television and online distribution.

 

Foreclosures Double Feature- TruthToTell: Community Connections on Foreclosure Solutions & Encore of Health Effects of Foreclosure

On-air date: 
Mon, 11/11/2013

Thursday, November 14 is Give to the Max Day. Click here to schedule your donation now!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

This Wednesday, November 13, TruthToTell returns to the Minneapolis Urban League to bring you the 9th in its Community Connections series of on-location public forums. This month TTT looks at the ripple effects of still ever-present foreclosures in the Twin Cities Metro and solutions for community stabilization in the wake storm (click here to see our video preview). While we keep hearing about the “improving” economy, dropping unemployment rates, and a rising Dow Jones average, the rate of home foreclosures is still much higher than we ever saw before the crash in 2007-2008, and these rates remain highest among low-wealth communities and communities of color. Why are banks still throwing so many people out of their houses and on to the streets? Why do banks refuse to re-negotiate mortgages with homeowners based on current market rate rather than demanding exorbitant amounts of money from them to stay in their home, especially when the next step after the home owner can’t pay is usually to auction off that home at a fraction of what the bank was demanding?

As a result of these foreclosures and subsequent evictions, we see an unfortunate correlation between the rise in demand for rental properties and an increase in rental rates, as well as an increase in boarded up vacant houses and rise in homelessness. We’ll talk to our panelists, who are all organizers trying to mitigate the effects of this housing bubble. Please join us this Wednesday, when we’ll focus on policies that have already been passed and policies that are still needed to bring stability back to the communities that have been most affected. Our panelists will be:

ED GOETZ- Director, CURA Housing Forum at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs

VIC ROSENTHAL- Executive Director, Jewish Community Action

JAYMIE KELLY- Home-owner facing foreclosure in South Minneapolis, recent mayoral candidate

ANTHONY NEWBY- Executive Director, Neighborhoods Organizing for Change

In the spirit of this Wednesday’s conversation, Monday, November 11 we bring you an encore presentation of our February 4 conversation about the ripple effects of foreclosures on the health and well being of homeowners. We spoke with Gayle Lindsey, who at the time she appeared on our show was facing foreclosure on her mortgage with M&T Bank. Shortly after her appearance on TruthToTell, Gayle was contacted by the Senior Vice President of the Loss Mitigation department at M&T Bank about renegotiating her mortgage.

We also had Rachel Fang, who was using an online survey  to write her PhD dissertation on the role housing plays in our lives and the toll foreclosure takes on us. Fang says, our home is “…a place of refuge, personal security, identity and freedom, offering individuals a sense of order, continuity and place of physical belonging.

And we also had with us Chris Gray of Occupy Homes MN, talking about the scope of the foreclosure problem and the actions that Occupy Homes MN was and still is taking to mitigate the effects of foreclosures locally.

Join us for this encore presentation, and then come on down to the Minneapolis Urban League this Wednesday, November 13 for this important community conversation. TruthToTell: Community Connections events are free and open to the public. You can RSVP for the event on Facebook here.

TruthToTell: Community Connections is made possible by a generous grant from the Bush Foundation, which has enabled TruthToTell to partner with KFAI Fresh Air Radio, St. Paul Neighborhood Network (SPNN), and selected community partners to present these discussions and dialogues on important issues like education, the environment, health care, politics and elections, transportation, Native concerns, youth issues and more, into the key communities affected by these respective topics for radio, television and online distribution.

TruthToTell, Monday, Feb. 4 - 9AM: FORECLOSURE TRAUMA: Devastating Families & Communities; TruthToTell ENCORE, Jan 28: DOMESTIC DRONES: Watching First, Killing Second?

UPCOMING SHOW

Tune in this coming Monday from 9:00 am to 10:00 am on KFAI, (90.3 FM in Minneapolis, and 106.7 FM in St. Paul) to catch our upcoming program:

Monday, February 4, 2013

Remember – call and join the conversation – 612-341-0980 – or Tweet us @TTTAndyDriscoll or post on TruthToTell’s Facebook page.

HELP US BRING YOU THESE IMPORTANT DISCUSSIONS OF COMMUNITY INTEREST – PLEASE DONATE HERE!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

News reports these days are rife with stories about the “improving” economy, the slowly dropping unemployment rate but a surging and record Dow Jones average, bank profits, dipping gasoline pump prices – and, biggest of all, the bottoming out of real estate values and improving home sales – in volume and prices.

Why, then, are foreclosures still rising, especially among low-wealth and communities of color? Why are banks still throwing so many people out of their houses and other home units? And why are those banks selectively balking at restructuring mortgages and the debt that comes from plunging underwater – owing more on one’s mortgage than the home is worth anymore.

Most of us can only imagine what it must be like to have one’s belief in your ability to own the American Dream torn apart and being told you can no longer live in the house you have called home for, perhaps, ten, fifteen, or even twenty years – because you were oversold the mortgage to begin with and now you’re possibly among the millions of unemployed and, on top of it, owe more on the house that it’s worth. Why the bank wants it is anyone’s guess, but they want your home and you’re out of there. What this is doing to people is what February 4th’s TruthToTell is all about.

Most of us know that from the early 1990s through the early 2000s, mortgage lenders – banks and brokerages – were manipulating and fudging all the known rules for mortgage financing, lowering down payments to near zero, dropping interest rates to encourage refinancing, and issuing tempting but dangerous ARMs – adjustable-rate mortgages – ticking time bombs for homeowners if and when interest rates jumped in a future year. And they most assuredly would have  - and did. But, in most cases, the banks remained only as collection agencies for the mortgage owners, now scattered all of the world after the bank bundled them up and sold them in pieces to investors everywhere.

Housing scholar Rachel Fang cites one study (Ross and Squires [2011]) in a proposal for her comprehensive look at the role housing plays in our lives and the toll foreclosure takes on us. Our home is “…a place of refuge, personal security, identity and freedom, offering individuals a sense of order, continuity and place of physical belonging. Most participants received psycho-social benefits from their homes, regardless of tenure, and the vast majority of homeowners reported that their homes provided them feelings of safety, privacy, freedom and control…”

Studies of several kinds have zeroed in on the financial and physical environment that families and communities – especially in areas of high subprime properties and concentrations of poverty – suffer as foreclosures descend on them, but comprehensive studies are less available combining those so-called quantitative elements with clear qualitative – call it quality of life, if you will –  assessment of the psychological and physical impact on a family’s health and well-being, not to mention the collective trauma suffered by the community as a whole – like the North Minneapolis tornado did a couple of years ago – on predominantly African-American homeowners and renters that foreclosure rendered.

TTT’s ANDY DRISCOLL and MICHELLE ALIMORADI will hear from a homeowner, her advocates and the University researcher examining the relationship between the financial and physical losses to the health problems foreclosure victims and their families and communities are facing.

GUESTS:

RACHEL FANG - PhD Candidate, Housing Studies Program – College of Design, University of Minnesota

GENET BEYENE – Homeowner undergoing foreclosure

CHRIS GRAY – Organizer, OccupyHomes Minnesota

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MOST RECENT SHOW

Listen to our most recent show here, or browse our archives >

Monday, January 28, 2013

HELP US BRING YOU THESE IMPORTANT DISCUSSIONS OF COMMUNITY INTEREST – PLEASE DONATE HERE!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

REGARDING THIS WEEK'S ENCORE PLAYBACK, TWO ITEMS:

1. We had serious difficulty booking the proper guests in time to air our show on Women in Construction. That show will air with an excellent array of guests on February 25th.

2. A humorous event regarding my posting of a photo with no source links but, it appeared to me, clearly within the realm of believability after doing this show on Drones a couple of weeks ago, elicited an extraordinary reaction - starting with Art Hughes, my friend and colleague (editor of "Bring Me the News"), pointing out that the photo of three drones flying in formation over the Inaugural masses on the 21st of January was, in fact, a doctored photo published by the satirical newsreader, The Onion. I thought it funny, but believable because of what we learned in this week's show about domestic surveillance drones in rapid deployment across the US, but I conceded that photo's "inauthenticity." 

Subsequently, a rather ignorant City Pages blogger decided to make a big deal of my error and published a string of my comments under "Radio Host Duped by The Onion" and going on to name me and my show. In fact, it was wonderful publicity - and we are welcoming many new followers of our Facebook pages, but it also elicited a rash of absolutely vituperous hazing from rightwing namecallers, who continue even now heap their venomous commentary on this writer. Needless to say, they've also gone after those on my pages who challenged them, so they then deserve to be removed. Still, the ignorance that persists in the wider community about the subject of drones and their domestic deployment, primarily for surveillance at the moment, but possibly for deadly confrontation in our cities and other US venues, is as dangerous as any drone itself, and so tomorrow, we re-run our January 7th program as a reminder of the days to come.

And now, for the doubters, comes this:


Is this a mosquito? No. It’s a Dragonfly Spy.

It's an insect spy drone for urban areas, already in production, funded by the US Government. It can be controlled and is equipped with a camera and a microphone. It can land on you, and it can take a DNA sample of you or leave RFID tracking nanotechnology on your skin. It can be operated to fly through an open window or door and attach to your clothing

Few readers and listeners are unaware that the United States is and has been sending unmanned aircraft with the rather insidious moniker – drones – over a wide swath of countries and territories overseas and targeting specific individuals with their deadly missiles. Another of these occurred Thursday or Friday of this week (Jan 3rd or 4th) inside Pakistan – again. Others occur regularly inside Afghanistan and Yemen. With good reason, howls of anguish and protest have pierced the global cyberspace and diplomatic community over the “collateral damage” –deaths and maiming of civilian innocents caught within the area of the blasts designed to destroy some single US-designated combatant the government calls a terrorist.

Hundreds of women and children have died in the wake of these targeted assassinations. At least three of those targets have been American citizens, tracked down and killed without a shred of the due process American citizens are supposed to receive in the wake of charges that they have committed crimes. This, of course, is an egregious affront to Constitutional guarantees – in other words, illegal actions – administered by this newly re-elected President, who, despite other commendable domestic actions, has adopted a dictator-like cavalier attitude toward due process when it comes to political dissent and national security issues.

This leads us to the next step in drone development: one that could, any day now, start hovering over your house, your home right here in the good USofA. 

 Hover drone

It is now estimated that some 30,000 drones have been ordered or made available to local law enforcement agencies through grants by US justice officials, only we can’t know about these, either, because the Department of Justice – read Obama Administration – refuses to inform a still-unaware public that the government may now believe it can spy on your town, your city, you neighborhood or your home with secrecy and impunity.The Justice Department's own Inspector General's Year End Report (Top Management and Performance Challenges in the Department) warns about the "challenges" such machines make for a department whose job it is to protect civil rights and privacy, not dispense with it. Where it could go from there few people want to even think about – and that would be their use as weapons, not just spy machines. (Naomi Wolf insists it’s simply a matter of time.) And drones need not be flyovers, but hovering little camera-bearing robots peeking into windows and backyards and playgrounds – as they did over the Humphrey Dome at the last Vikings-Packers game in Minneapolis Sunday, Dec. 31.

Why does anyone find this necessary? All the former police officers and executive we’ve talked with are as fearful of this tool in the hands of local police agencies and the FBI as any one of us might be.How should we respond to the secrecy surrounding the development of this surveillance machine for domestic use? How should we view the potential for the maximum intrusion into our long-revered privacy these robotics represent? Who’s looking into this extraordinary interruption of American life as we’ve known it? Who’s challenging it?

TTT’s ANDY DRISCOLL and MICHELLE ALIMORADI talk with various advocates at the national and regional levels as an alert to citizens to take action toward curbing the use of drones – domestic surveillance types, especially.

GUESTS:

COLEEN ROWLEY – Former Minneapolis office FBI agent and 9-11 whistleblower; Peace advocate, blogger, Huffington Post contributor

CATHERINE CRUMP – Attorney, Speech, Privacy and Technology Program, American Civil Liberties Union, New York, NY

MATT EHLING – President, Lead Producer, Public Record Media, St. Paul; Plaintiff, Public Record Media v. U.S. Department of Justice; CEO, ETS Productions

JT HAINES – Attorney in Private Practice representing plaintiff, Public Record Media v. U.S. Department of Justice

 

TruthToTell, Monday, Feb. 4 - 9AM: FORECLOSURE TRAUMA: Devastating Families & Communities - AUDIO/PODCAST HERE

On-air date: 
Mon, 02/04/2013
Listen to or download this episode here: 

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HELP US BRING YOU THESE IMPORTANT DISCUSSIONS OF COMMUNITY INTEREST – PLEASE DONATE HERE!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ LATE-BREAKING NEWS: 

This warms the cockles of our hearts
Victory in sight for South Side Homeowner facing imminent eviction!

About an hour after her radio interview (Monday) morning, Gayle Lindsey received a call from the Senior Vice President of the Loss Mitigation department at M&T Bank, who announced his intention to work with Gayle, and delayed her eviction hearing. Looks like a great way to lead-up to the Foreclosure and Eviction Free Zone Launch event this Saturday, 2:00pm at Green Central School.

Event Page: http://www.facebook.com/events/462830700433236/

Our hearts, prayers and solidarity go out to Anthony Newby, whose unjust and trumped up trial wraps up this afternoon.

Onwards to victory Genet Beyene, Nafeesah, and Jayne, Gayles neighbors who also face foreclosure, and who also are not going anywhere until their whole community is foreclosure and eviction free.

News reports these days are rife with stories about the “improving” economy, the slowly dropping unemployment rate but a surging and record Dow Jones average, bank profits, dipping gasoline pump prices – and, biggest of all, the bottoming out of real estate values and improving home sales – in volume and prices.

Why, then, are foreclosures still rising, especially among low-wealth and communities of color? Why are banks still throwing so many people out of their houses and other home units? And why are those banks selectively balking at restructuring mortgages and the debt that comes from plunging underwater – owing more on one’s mortgage than the home is worth anymore.

Most of us can only imagine what it must be like to have one’s belief in your ability to own the American Dream torn apart and being told you can no longer live in the house you have called home for, perhaps, ten, fifteen, or even twenty years – because you were oversold the mortgage to begin with and now you’re possibly among the millions of unemployed and, on top of it, owe more on the house that it’s worth. Why the bank wants it is anyone’s guess, but they want your home and you’re out of there. What this is doing to people is what February 4th’s TruthToTell is all about.

Most of us know that from the early 1990s through the early 2000s, mortgage lenders – banks and brokerages – were manipulating and fudging all the known rules for mortgage financing, lowering down payments to near zero, dropping interest rates to encourage refinancing, and issuing tempting but dangerous ARMs – adjustable-rate mortgages – ticking time bombs for homeowners if and when interest rates jumped in a future year. And they most assuredly would have  - and did. But, in most cases, the banks remained only as collection agencies for the mortgage owners, now scattered all of the world after the bank bundled them up and sold them in pieces to investors everywhere.

Housing scholar Rachel Fang cites one study (Ross and Squires [2011]) in a proposal for her comprehensive look at the role housing plays in our lives and the toll foreclosure takes on us. Our home is “…a place of refuge, personal security, identity and freedom, offering individuals a sense of order, continuity and place of physical belonging. Most participants received psycho-social benefits from their homes, regardless of tenure, and the vast majority of homeowners reported that their homes provided them feelings of safety, privacy, freedom and control…”

Studies of several kinds have zeroed in on the financial and physical environment that families and communities – especially in areas of high subprime properties and concentrations of poverty – suffer as foreclosures descend on them, but comprehensive studies are less available combining those so-called quantitative elements with clear qualitative – call it quality of life, if you will –  assessment of the psychological and physical impact on a family’s health and well-being, not to mention the collective trauma suffered by the community as a whole – like the North Minneapolis tornado did a couple of years ago – on predominantly African-American homeowners and renters that foreclosure rendered.

TTT’s ANDY DRISCOLL and MICHELLE ALIMORADI hear from a homeowner, her advocate and the University researcher examining the relationship between the financial and physical losses to the health problems foreclosure victims and their families and communities are facing.

NOTE: DOCTORAL CANDIDATE RACHEL FANG IS SEEKING INDIVIDUALS AND FAMILIES IN FORECLOSURE TO INTERVIEW FOR HER STUDY -  If Interested or willing to contribute to this important work, call (or text) her at  612-327-0006-or email her atfang0010@umn.edu

GUESTS:

RACHEL FANG - PhD Candidate, Housing Studies Program – College of Design, University of Minnesota

GAYLE LINDSEY – Homeowner in foreclosure

CHRIS GRAY – Organizer, OccupyHomes Minnesota

TruthToTell, Monday, July 9−9AM: ALL ABOUT THE COURTS AND JUDGES: Dispensing Justice? Or Bias? - KFAI FM 90.3/106.7/KFAI.org

Monday, July 9, 2012

Remember – call and join the conversation – 612-341-0980 – or Tweet us @TTTAndyDriscoll or post onTruthToTell’s Facebook page.

HELP US BRING YOU THESE IMPORTANT DISCUSSIONS OF COMMUNITY INTEREST – PLEASE DONATE HERE!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Back in February of this year and a couple of years backTruthToTell aired a couple of editions exploring the possibility of instituting an entirely new way of selecting our judges in Minnesota. Wisconsin’s circus of judicial elections, especially for the state Supreme Court over there (think shoving the face of a colleague there last year), is a very bad one in the minds of many court-watchers. That electoral system only mimics those envisioned in the outgrowth of the US Supreme Court ruling negating one of Minnesota’s cherished Judicial Canons that had, till then, prohibited as a possible conflict any overt campaign discussion of issues that could one day come before the court for which a given candidate was running. The 5-4 SCOTUS ruling opened wide the political campaigns of judges and justices, and this politicization of judicial races portended for the legal community nothing but trouble.

Legislation promoting a state constitutional amendment ordering new system of appointing judges and justices, then putting their performance before public scrutiny later – when their terms came up for renewal – has fared poorly over several sessions, despite it promotion by some of Minnesota’s most prestigious political and legal celebrities.

I erred in last Winter’s announcement and script when I stated that this new system of appointing judges called “retention elections” – was supported by Hennepin County District Judge Kevin Burke, whose credentials as a Chief Judge and an Assistant Chief Judge among the 62 judges of the Hennepin Court are significant, to say the least. Judge Burke wrote and simply stated he has never supported the proposed system.

So I wrote and called to discover that Judge Burke favors the election of judges in Minnesota. I then suggested that he come on, not just to defend the judicial electoral status quo, or some variation of it, but to discuss the plethora of reforms needed in the courts and criminal justice system.

So. From the horse’s mouth, as it were, we can delve into court reforms and criminal justice disparities along with the ways judicial campaigns should be conducted if straight elections are to remain our primary selection method.

Of course, governors will continue to appoint when judges step down or retire before their terms are completed, and the field of candidates will be, as currently done, whittled to three by a nonpartisan merit selection commission, and from those top three contenders, the governor will usually – but not always – make his (or her) appointment. He or she may appoint whomever they wish as Gov. Pawlenty and others have done.

We – TTT’s ANDY DRISCOLL and MICHELLE ALIMORADI will spend the hour with:

HENNEPIN COUNTY DISTRICT JUDGE KEVIN BURKE.

 

 

 

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Monday, July 2, 2012

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It’s 2012. Four years since the “crash” of 2008, when the real bailout could have been to the bank, but through the device of saving homeowners from the conflagration of foreclosures from the crooked system of subprime loads to people who might not have been able to afford a mortgage of any size, but at usurious interest rates – both conventional and ARMs (adjustable rate mortgages).

Millions who worked hard to keep up their payments to no avail in this economic bust of an economy have been turned out of their homes, some of them from homes they owned for 15 years or more.

Recently, in the spirit of Occupy Wall Street and its local incarnations, Occupy Homes Minnesota has begun stonewalling such foreclosures on behalf of Twin Cities homeowners, many of them in communities of color, where the subprime market ran rampant or interest rates drove payments well beyond the mortgagers ability to keep up.

The foreclosures have thrown thousands into the streets and homeless shelters and left neighborhoods decimated of their housing stock while rising vacancy rates turn communities into war zones.

One of the families resisting with the help of Occupy Homes MN is the Cruz family of South Minneapolis. Despite promises to fix what was an unjust demand for accelerated payments from the beginning – admitted by both PNC Bank Mortgage Company and indicted, but bailed-out mortgage packaging giant, Freddie Mac – several police raids and clashes with protesters has led to well over a dozen arrests – including that of internationally respected Minnesota-based hip hop artist, Brother Ali.

TTT’s ANDY DRISCOLL and MICHELLE ALIMORADI talk with members of the Cruz family and their advocates as well as Brother Ali himself.

GUESTS:

BROTHER ALI – International Rap Artist and member of the Occupy Homes movement


 

 

•DAVID CRUZ – Son of the first-generation Latino family homeowners losing their home (shown with sister, ALEJANDRA)

•NICK ESPINOSA – An Organizer with Occupy Homes Minnesota

TruthToTell Monday, July 2 − 9AM: FORECLOSURE & BETRAYAL: Sticking It to Homeowners-Again - KFAI FM 90.3/106.7/KFAI.org

Tune in this coming Monday from 9:00 am to 10:00 am on KFAI, (90.3 FM in Minneapolis, and 106.7 FM in St. Paul) to catch our upcoming program:

Monday, July 2, 2012

Remember – call and join the conversation – 612-341-0980 – or Tweet us @TTTAndyDriscoll or post onTruthToTell’s Facebook page.

HELP US BRING YOU THESE IMPORTANT DISCUSSIONS OF COMMUNITY INTEREST – PLEASE DONATE HERE!

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It’s 2012. Four years since the “crash” of 2008, when the real bailout could have been to the bank, but through the device of saving homeowners from the conflagration of foreclosures from the crooked system of subprime loads to people who might not have been able to afford a mortgage of any size, but at usurious interest rates – both conventional and ARMs (adjustable rate mortgages).

Millions who worked hard to keep up their payments to no avail in this economic bust of an economy have been turned out of their homes, some of them from homes they owned for 15 years or more.

Recently, in the spirit of Occupy Wall Street and its local incarnations, Occupy Homes Minnesota has begun stonewalling such foreclosures on behalf of Twin Cities homeowners, many of them in communities of color, where the subprime market ran rampant or interest rates drove payments well beyond the mortgagers ability to keep up.

The foreclosures have thrown thousands into the streets and homeless shelters and left neighborhoods decimated of their housing stock while rising vacancy rates turn communities into war zones.

One of the families resisting with the help of Occupy Homes MN is the Cruz family of South Minneapolis. Despite promises to fix what was an unjust demand for accelerated payments from the beginning – admitted by both PNC Bank Mortgage Company and indicted, but bailed-out mortgage packaging giant, Freddie Mac – several police raids and clashes with protesters has led to well over a dozen arrests – including that of internationally respected Minnesota-based hip hop artist, Brother Ali.

TTT’s ANDY DRISCOLL and MICHELLE ALIMORADI talk with members of the Cruz family and their advocates as well as Brother Ali himself.

GUESTS:

BROTHER ALI – International Rap Artist and member of the Occupy Homes movement

DAVID CRUZ – Son of the first-generation Latino family homeowners losing their home. 

(possible: ALEJANDRA CRUZ – Daughter of the same family)

NICK ESPINOSA – An Organizer with Occupy Homes Minnesota

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Monday, June 25, 2012

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Time was – back in the 1950s – those of us from Catholic grade schools who found ourselves attending public high schools – in my case Central High School from St. Luke’s Parish (now St. Thomas More) in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis – religious education was continued by way of what were called “Release” classes. Every Wednesday afternoon, the agreement between the schools and the church allowed Catholic students to be “released” from their class(es) early to walk a few blocks to a Catholic Church (in our case, St. Peter Claver – where the “Black Catholics” go. Still do, but very mixed now), sit around talking some catechism and all that for an hour, then woke up and went home. Probably between ten and twelve showed up each week.

This went on for the first year, perhaps another half-year before I gave up on that nonsense.

Meanwhile, in place of the discredited high school fraternity/sorority system that prevailed in Minnesota until thrown out in the early 50s under a somewhat scandalous shadow, came the Hi-Y (boys) and Y-Teens (girls) clubs established under the rubric of the YMCA and YWCA, respectively. About five to seven clubs for each gender and themselves taking on Greek names (Kappa Hi-Y was the one I joined). Of course, we Catholics were theoretically forbidden to belong to one of these because the Y’s are “Christian” – meaning Protestant (horrors!). The Catholic answer to all this were the CYC’s – Catholic Youth Centers – all put together to keep us Catholic and away from all the others. Our school was St. Paul’s true melting pot. About 80% of the city’s Jewish kids attended Central (you’d know many names) and they had their own groups. The boys belonged to AZA, the girls – B’nai B’rith.

All this to say that religion and religion youth groups have forever been part of a teen’s life in Minnesota’s public schools. But, those organizations, while well-attended and active, were off-campus, and, as far as I know, the elementary schools were out of bounds altogether. No religious group claimed the right to use public school resources or spaces for their religious or social activities. Meetings, classes, social events and dances, etc., were all staged elsewhere and the classrooms were free of such intrusion.

The Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life has tracked most of this record of court cases and disputes between churches and state institutions. One of their surveys may shock you:

“Federal courts, …civil libertarians point out, have consistently interpreted the First Amendment's prohibition on the establishment of religion to forbid state sponsorship of prayer and most other religious activities in public schools.

“Despite that long series of court decisions, polls show that large numbers of Americans favor looser, not tighter, limits on religion in public schools. According to an August 2006 survey by the Pew Research Center, more than two-thirds of Americans (69%) agree with the notion that ‘liberals have gone too far in trying to keep religion out of the schools and the government.’ And a clear majority (58%) favor teaching biblical creationism along with evolution in public schools.”

This is shocking news, running counter to Supreme Court rulings dating to 1940 that were clearly designed to separate public schools from intrusive religious credos. Until 2001, when, in a 6-3 decision (Child Evangelism Fellowship [CEF] vs. Milford (NY) Central School), the US Supreme Court threw out a district policy forbidding the use of school property for religious purposes, effectively freezing out CEF from establishing its “Good News Clubs” there. Such a ban violated freedom to promote a viewpoint, said the majority. Outside groups could be banned, but not based on their views. The dissenters rabidly stated that the CEF was using Good News Clubs to proselytize, but the majority said that doesn’t matter. A Minnesota case is pending in the Federal Court of Appeals.

Much of this would no doubt be buried in the arcane business of local school governance and the courts were it not for 1) a series of articles by MinnPost.com’s Education Reporter and Columnist, Beth Hawkins, and 2) a new book by investigative reporter Katherine StewartThe Good News Club: The Christian Right’s Stealth Assault on America’s Children. The latter will be in town to appear and sign books and talk about this phenomenon under the auspices of Americans United (for Separation of Church and State). All of this in advance of a Child Evangelism Fellowship strategy conference to be held here in MInneapolis in July.

TTT’s ANDY DRISCOLL and MICHELLE ALIMORADI will talk with the reporters/authors and an AU representative about the legal history, the political climate and the future of the precedents in the arena of religion on the public schools.

GUESTS:

 KATHERINE STEWART  - Free-lance Investigative Reporter (The New York TimesThe Guardian, theDaily BeastBloomberg View, and Religion Dispatches); Author, The Good News Club: The Christian Right’s Stealth Assault on America’s Children.


 BETH HAWKINS – Education/Public Policy Reporter/Columnist and Blogger (Learning Curve), MinnPost.com

 


 

 DEREK BIRKELAND – Board Member/Treasurer, Americans United (for Separation of Church and State) – Minnesota

Katherine Stewart presentations and book-signings:

MONDAY, JUNE 25, 7:30 P.M. – MAGERS & QUINN BOOKSELLERS
 - 3038 Hennepin Ave.  Minneapolis

TUESDAY, JUNE 26, 7:00 P.M.
– COMMON GOOD BOOKS
 - 38 Snelling Ave. S.
– Saint Paul