Amisha Patel, Executive Director of Grassroots Collaborative, made the following statement regarding the Chicago City Council Progressive Caucus announcement of their opposition to the Emanuel Administration’s plan to voluntarily pay $106 million in interest rate swap termination penalties as part of a massive borrowing plan:
“I commend the Progressive Caucus for siding with Chicago working families over Wall Street banks. For our democracy to function, we need elected officials who do their due diligence. We have seen what happens when they don’t – we still live with the parking meter deal every single day.
“For years, Chicago mayors have entangled Chicago taxpayers in losing deals with Wall Street banks with little to no oversight. The City Council should not sign off on any voluntary payouts to big banks. At a time when our neighborhoods have even less resources, why does the Emanuel administration want to siphon even more money to Wall Street?
“We should be fighting to get every dollar possible back for our city. We support filing a claim with the Securities Exchange Commission, stopping doing business with banks who refuse to negotiate these toxic deals, and suing the banks to recover our losses from these fraudulent deals.
“Grassroots Collaborative supports the Progressive Caucus and their colleagues working to ensure that in tomorrow’s City Council vote, Chicagoans will get the transparency, accountability, and full exploration of our financial options that we deserve.”
Grassroots Collaborative is Action Now, American Friends Service Committee – Great Lakes Region, Brighton Park Neighborhood Council, Chicago Coalition for the Homeless, Chicago Teachers Union, Enlace Chicago, Illinois Hunger Coalition, Jane Addams Senior Caucus, ONE Northside, Service Employees International Union Healthcare Illinois Indiana