Phone Banking: Occupy Bernal negotiates on behalf of homeowners

We are phone banking on Wednesday. July 18, from 6-9 p.m. at ACCE, 1717 17th Street in order to identify more homeowners who have loans with Wells Fargo who would like to participate in the negotiations Wells Fargo is having with Occupy Bernal, Occupy Noe and ACCE.

Please come and help out. There will be a limited amount of Pizza and salad.
Please let Deborah G. know if you’ll come. (415) 550 1030

Below is the letter we are using to reach homeowners with Wells Fargo loans.

If you are a homeowner with a Wells Fargo loan and want to be part of the negotiations, please read the letter below for the qualifying information you’ll need to have, then contact  us to see if it will be possible to be included in this round of negotiations.  Please see the letter below for the appropriate contact information.


July 2012 WELLS FARGO will negotiate with homeowners

Dear Neighbor and Homeowner,

After more than six months of struggle: emails, phone calls, requests for modifications, protests at the auction of our neighbors’ homes, a unanimous resolutions from the San Francisco Board of supervisors and most recently, the passage of the HOME OWNERS BILL OF RIGHTS by the California Legislature, WELLS FARGO has entered a negotiation process with representatives of Occupy Bernal, ACCE and Occupy Noe.

We now have the opportunity to represent more Wells Fargo loan holders. This process allows Occupy Bernal and ACCE negotiators to advocate for your home, and makes a fair settlement of your situation more likely. Please join your neighbors in waging a unified and well planned struggle to achieve homeowner justice.

To be part of these negotiations—and any potential settlement– Wells Fargo demands and Occupy Bernal and/or ACCE agrees to deliver:

  1. PROPERTY IDENTIFICATION: Name, address, phone number, loan number and email.
  2. FINANCIAL PACKAGE—Complete and up-do-date. Please check with OB or Ed Donaldson for completeness.
  3. SIGNED 3rd PARTY AUTHORIZATION, specifically naming any SF ACCE, Occupy Bernal or Occupy Noe negotiators.

If you have a Wells Fargo loan, this is an overdue and important opportunity to get real satisfaction. And be assured: no modifications, or other payments will be finalized without your full knowledge and consent.

To join this negotiation process, call or email:

  • Buck B. (415) 385-0389 BuckB@devinegong.com
  • Deborah G. (415) 550-1030 dgerson646@gmail.com

How to Talk to the Press

HOW TO USE THE MEDIA TO HELP YOU WIN ON YOUR ISSUE, FOR YOURSELF AND YOUR FELLOW FORECLOSURE FIGHTERS

July 17, 2012

By Buck Bagot, for Occupy Bernal, SF ACCE and Occupy Noe

HOW #1

• You may be nervous speaking with the press, just like if you are speaking with an elected official or their staff, or a lender. Everyone is. Don’t show it if you can avoid it. Be prepared.

• You may worry that you are not smart, well informed or expert enough to speak with the press. You are. You are an expert. Lord knows you know more about your issues than any person interviewing you from the press! But don’t be over confident or cocky.

• Oh no! What happens if they ask you a question for which you don’t have the answer? Tell the truth – you don’t know the answer. Ask if you can get back to them with an answer. Not knowing the answer to a question is a gift. It permits you to show the person that you are not a glib, BSing know-it-all. And it gives you the opportunity to get back to them and continue to build a relationship.

• If you don’t want to answer a question, don’t.

• One way to answer a question you don’t like is to give the answer to a question you do like. In other words, within reason, keep making your main points no matter what they ask you.

• Both you and the media have strong self-interest in covering your story. They need to cover something – it might as well be you, your story, your organization and your issue.

• Of course, always keep your guard up – never trust the press, unless and until the reporter has earned your respect over time – like in any relationship.

• But – most reporters are at least liberal if not progressive.  While remaining alert and wary, try to give them a way to cover your side of the issue. Even a negative reporter has the responsibility to at least provide both sides of the issue.

WHY

• The media can be one of your/our most powerful weapons. Any relationship with a member of the media is extremely valuable. Try to use any contact with the press to begin what may become ongoing relationships. Take them very, very seriously.

• The media is one of the most powerful weapons we have. It’s a way to way to get your story out more broadly; influence your targets – the people who have the ability to grant your demands; impress powerful allies who have the power to help you win; get your demands – what you want – out to the general public; and let other people in foreclosure know that they are not alone, and that the best things they can do to save their homes is become a foreclosure fighter ans fight back, collectively.

• Make sure to get their full contact information.

• Let a leader or organizer from your organization know about any contact with the press. Review with others how you can use the contact to help you and your fellow foreclosure fighters win.

HOW #2

• Decide what you want to tell the press before they speak with you. Write down an outline. Make sure you tell them what you want them to learn.

• Prepare a short rap on who you and your family are/personal; your situation; and what you need from the Bank to resolve your situation.

• You want a new loan from the Bank that both pays them back and keeps you and your family in your home, affordably.

• You take some personal responsibility for being in foreclosure, but the Bank has even more responsibility, and they won’t admit and take that responsibility.

• The Bank made promises they didn’t keep. They were and are “predatory” lenders. They preyed on people desperate for credit, most of them people of color. Give examples.

• The Bank has no concern at all for their “customers” like you who suffer catastrophe – like your injuries and surgeries.

• In your story, tell how you and your family ought back even before meeting OB/SF ACCE/ You got a nonprofit loan counselor. You contacted Rep. Nancy Pelosi.

• If it applied to you – and if it didn’t, mention the other foreclosure fighters you have met – many folks are ashamed of being in foreclosure. They never ask for help, and they lose their homes. You asked for help. You demanded a fair deal. You joined – and helped found – Occupy Noe. Now you and your families are “foreclosure fighters.” Your fighting to save your home, with other people in foreclosure and your neighbors. And your helping other people in foreclosure come out of the shadows, fight back, and save your homes.

• When you convince B of A to give you a fair, affordable deal, it will help not only you and your family, but thousands of other families in the same fix.

• You have learned a lot. You’ve met scores of other foreclosure fighters, and neighbors. You’ve helped lead negotiations with your and other lenders; worked with the Mayor’s office, the Board of Supervisors, and Rep. Nancy Pelosi. You’ve even learned to be a press spokesperson (pause for the to chuckler!).

• At the end of any contact with the media, thank them. Repeat what you want them to report on/quote. Ask them if and when the item will run. Ask them if they require any additional information. Get it to them, and fast. Track if your item appears. Send them a thank you note.

• In coordination with your organization, always contact them again in the future – personally, not just through a press release – any time your have story that you
want them to cover/that might interest them.

A Call for Collaborators

PDF version of this Call for Collaborators—please distribute

The Good Neighbor Award Ceremony & Foreclosure Fighter Fiesta

Andover St. between Cortland & Ellert (Next to library)

Saturday, May 19th, 1:00-4:00 pm

YOU are invited to co-create this event with us.

WE’RE HAVING A BLOCK PARTY POTLUCK to honor our wonderful foreclosure fighter neighbors + activists. We’ll celebrate the successful actions that have helped keep neighbors in their homes and acknowledge the amazing work we’ve done to help stop foreclosures.

Meet folks who care about people.

SEEKING entertainers, acoustic musicians, a deejay, production manager,
production assistants, planners, food/beverage help, set up/clean up angels, sponsors, people to poster, social network help, a press liaison, seeking involvement of related organizations (i.e.: MEDA, ACCE, SF Housing), tabling assistance, graphic designer, decoration, kid’s activities (sidewalk chalk, bubbles, crafts, face painter), gate monitors, journalists to spread the good news, documentarians, food/drinks for pot luck, and more.

Let us know what YOU want to do.

Join us for production meetings on Sundays at Progressive Grounds on Cortland & Bennington, 10-11:30 a.m. May 6 & 13. Friday night, May 18, 6-8 p.m.

Want to collaborate? We need YOU!

Call Annie S. & Beth today: 415-847-1323 or Annie B. 415-821-7617
Or email anniesprinkle@me.com
More info: occupybernal.org

How to Spiffy Up Your OccupyBernal List Subscriptions

Here are some instructions to get the digest form (one email per day) of any Occupy Bernal email list.  Also, how to unsubscribe.

These instructions work for all lists.  However, in this example, we will use the General Assembly list ga@lists.occupybernal.org to illustrate how to do it.

We are working on a simpler way;  please bear with us.  For now you need to use the mailing list website to set your own subscriptions. This should take less than five minutes.


This is how to get the digest form of a list:

  1. Go to http://lists.occupybernal.org/index.fcgi/firstpasswd
  2. Enter your email address and click the Request first password button.
  3. Check your email for a message from SYMPA with the subject Bernal neighborhood organizing
  4. Click on the link in the email, which will send you to the mailing list web page.
  5. Type in a password of your choosing and click the Submit button.
  6. In the navigation, click on the Lists of Lists link.
  7. Find the name of the list (such as ga@lists.occupybernal.org) for which you want to change your subscription mode and click on the name of the list.
  8. In the left navigation, click on the Subscriber Options
  9. In the drop-down menu labeled Receiving mode, choose either digest MIME format or digest plain text format and click the Update button.
  10. Take a deep breath, relax, and feel good about continuing to help our neighbors fight the banks so they can stay in their homes, while not getting too many messages in your inbox.


This is how to unsubscribe from a list:

  1. Go to http://lists.occupybernal.org/index.fcgi/firstpasswd
  2. Enter your email address and click the Request first password button.
  3. Check your email for a message from SYMPA with the subject Bernal neighborhood organizing
  4. Click on the link in the email, which will send you to the mailing list web page.
  5. Type in a password of your choosing and click the Submit button.
  6. In the navigation, click on the Lists of Lists link.
  7. Find the name of the list (such as ga@lists.occupybernal.org) for which you want to change your subscription mode and click on the name of the list.
  8. In the left navigation, click on the Unsubscribe.
  9. Make sure to check the website on a regular basis since you will no longer hear about what is going on through your email.

Occupy Bernal Newsletter for December 28, 2011

Welcome to the first issue of the Occupy Bernal Newsletter! (let us know if you have a better name)

In This Issue:


General Assembly Gathers For First Time on Bernal

The Occupy Bernal General Assembly (GA) met for the first time last Wednesday, December 21. About 60 people attended the meeting at the Bernal Heights Neighborhood Center. Many participants focused on the issue of keeping Bernal residents in our homes by preventing pending foreclosures and evictions of owner-occupied properties and rental-unit properties. The GA set up six workgroups and set a next meeting for 7:00-9:00pm on Wednesday, January 11, in the same location if available. For more information, check out the minutes of the meeting and media coverage from the Huffington Post, the SF Weekly, and Bernalwood.


Join a Workgroup!

A great way to get involved in Occupy Bernal is to join one of the six workgroups created by the General Assembly (GA) meeting. Click on the link below to read more about the GA or a workgroup and to subscribe to the email lists that are right for you.

  • Announcements Only: a low-traffic moderated email list to receive occasional news about Occupy Bernal
  • General Assembly: the main regular meeting place for everyone involved in Occupy Bernal
  • Communications: organizing press, newsletter, website, email lists, social networking, etc.
  • Coordination: coordinating meeting logistics, facilitator training, and other activities that must take place between GAs
  • Education: research and develop educational materials and long-term strategies
  • Housing and Foreclosure Workgroup: organize to keep Bernal residents in our homes
  • January 20 Action Workgroup: organize local Bernal actions and participation in larger actions
  • Outreach: encourage broad and diverse participation and publicity for Occupy Bernal activities and events


Mark Your Calendar for Upcoming Meetings

Anyone in support of the Occupy movement is welcome to attend these upcoming Occupy Bernal meetings:

  • TOMORROW: 7:30pm on Thursday, December 29: January 20th Action Workgroup meeting, Coleridge Park Homes 190 Coleridge St (at Virginia Ave, across from mini-park)
  • 7:00pm on Wednesday, January 4: Housing and Foreclosure Workgroup meeting, Bernal Heights Neighborhood Center, 515 Cortland Ave
  • 7:00pm on Wednesday, January 11: General Assembly meeting, Bernal Heights Neighborhood Center, 515 Cortland Ave

If you don’t see a meeting listed for the workgroup you’re interested in, then join the workgroup email list and help organize a meeting!

Upcoming events are displayed near the top of the right sidebar of the website where you can click on an event to see more information or you can display the full-size calendar.


Member Profile: Thomas German Facing Foreclosure

For this issue, we offer a profile of Occupy Bernal member Thomas German who is facing foreclosure of his home. Thomas German was born in Mobile, Alabama, a bit after New Year’s Day of 1940. After serving in the U.S. Navy, Thomas, aka “Tommie” or “German”, found employment as a die setter at the San Francisco Mint. He rented a home in Bernal in 1967. Living in the neighborhood for some years, he decided to purchase the home he was renting on Andover Street in 1974 for $21,000. How did he end up in foreclosure? You can click here to read the entire profile.


Know Someone Facing Eviction or Foreclosure?

Are you facing eviction or foreclosure? Do you know someone who is facing eviction or foreclosure? Occupy Bernal is here to help owners of owner-occupied properties and renters in rental-unit properties. Please fill out the Add/Edit Property to Map and Listing form so that the Housing and Foreclosure Workgroup can research the situation and keep our Bernal neighbors in our homes. Check out the Map of Bernal Owner-Occupied and Rental-Unit Properties Facing Foreclosure or Eviction that the workgroup is already investigating.


Housing Is a Human Right

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted unanimously by the United Nations General Assembly on December 10, 1948, includes Section 1 of Article 25 which reads as follows:

“Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.”


Needs and Donations

If you are able, please donate any of the following items (you can bring them to a General Assembly meeting or click on “Contact” above to let us know you’d like to arrange to deliver them to us):

  • Masking tape (several rolls)
  • Clear mailing and storage tape (several rolls)
  • Reams of blank 8 1/2″ x 11″ paper
  • Butcher block paper (large pad)

We also need donations of the following services:

  • Spanish interpretation for meetings
  • Spanish translation for flyers, posters, website
  • Chinese translation for flyers, posters, website

Cash donations are also accepted to cover photocopying, Internet, venue reservation, and other organizing costs (no salaries or other overhead).


Social Networking Online

Join us on Facebook at facebook.com/groups/occupybernal.

The Occupy Bernal Twitter feed to follow is @occupybernal.

Minutes of Occupy Bernal General Assembly on December 21, 2011

Here is the digest form of the minutes of the Occupy Bernal General Assembly on December 21, 2011. Thanks to Kat, our notes taker!

OCCUPY BERNAL GENERAL ASSEMBLY

21 December 2011

(Decisions at the top for posting on the website; detail follows for GA email list only)

Decisions:

  • Molly, Steve, and Stardust took photos; no one objected to having their picture taken for use on the web or in media.
  • We approved 80/20 consensus. So…the consensus level of support needed to pass a proposal in the Occupy Bernal General Assembly will be 80 percent in favor. Vote was: 2 stand aside; 1 “disagreeable”; all others in favor of 80/20.
  • Created Housing and Foreclosure Workgroup. Unanimous vote.
  • Created January 20 Action Workgroup. Unanimous vote.
  • Created the following additional Workgroups: Outreach, Education, Coordination, and Communications (including media work and setting up occupybernal.org website, email lists, and email). Vote was 2 stand asides; all the rest in favor. (This vote was taken after most of the group had left at the break.)
  • Next Occupy Bernal Meeting: January 11, 7-9 pm. Location to be determined although intention is to reserve the Bernal Heights Neighborhood Center again. Unanimous vote.