ICYMI: “Unrig Our Economy” Launched At Virtual Event

March 30, 2022

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ICYMI: “Unrig Our Economy” Launched At Virtual Event Featuring Senator Merkley, Representative Schakowsky

New seven-figure campaign will operate nationally and in key congressional districts to fight for an economy that works for working people

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Representative Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), and a broad coalition of economic experts, advocates, and community groups gathered virtually to launch Unrig Our Economy, a new multi-year, national campaign to rewrite the rules of our economy and fight for working Americans. As part of the launch, progressive coalitions Tax March and Health Care Voter will merge under the Unrig Our Economy banner, uniting the campaigns’ nearly one million members.

Some highlights from the event include: 

Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR): “The truth is that American workers are sick and tired of being taken advantage of. But we all know that when the middle class does well, we all do well, and when working Americans share in the wealth they create, America prospers. So it’s time to unrig this economy and to fight for working and middle class Americans. It’s time to end the corporate price gouging that’s taking families’ pocketbooks hostage. And it’s time to ensure everyone including the wealthy and powerful pay their fair share.”

Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL): “While Big Oil and Gas are raking in all these profits, we are seeing an increase in prices. This is called price gouging. During World War II, there were laws against that and it is time for us to do that here.”

“We are not going to tolerate this corporate takeover. It is time for us to act. The COVID-19 Price Gouging Prevention Act, which I am sponsoring, will empower the Federal Trade Commission and the state attorneys general to be able to have the tools that they need to rein [corporations] in. It’s time to do this now.”

Matt Morrison, Executive Director of Working America: “There are opportunities for working people to have a much clearer and profound voice in all the policies. There’s no reason that we should allow hedge funds and major multinational corporations and sovereign wealth funds to go and drive up the cost of housing two times that of inflation in most of our communities in the last decade. We can control that; those are tools that we have at our disposal, whether at the federal, state, or local level.”

“What it’s going to take is for working people to see the path to action and to do so at scale. What we know for sure — and the evidence is not at all confused on this — is that, once working people do see that power, and know how to act, they do, and it makes huge differences in their community and the communities around them.”

Alex Harman, Director of Government Affairs, Antimonopoly and Competition Policy at Economic Security Project Action: “Corporations have power over everything — over our wages, over our choices, over what we pay. And then they have unprecedented power over policymakers to maintain this power. It is a problem for all of us…We are in an emergency. We are dealing with a pandemic and now the consequences of war. There is going to be money spent and…if [the ultra-rich] aren’t paying their fair share — which they are not — we’re going to be saddled with the consequences.”

Sa’ra Skipper, Patient Advocate: “People shouldn’t have to ration or share or choose between paying their light bill or whatever it might be in order to get their insulin or whatever vital life-sustaining medication they need…And it’s a simple solution. It’s so simple that it’s sickening almost. Something has to change and we just have to come together and know that we work better together.”

“We have a responsibility to our democracy. And even though the people that we voted in, some of the people we voted in may not be doing what’s best for us, we have to keep fighting. We are still entitled and deserve to live a life worth living without having to worry about ‘can I pay my rent’ or going to the grocery store.”

Sarah Baron, Campaign Director of Unrig Our Economy: “It’s not a coincidence that many of the same companies that are exploiting their workers that are also jacking up their prices are also paying little to no corporate income tax, actually less than certainly all of us on this panel right now. It’s no coincidence that all of these companies are doing all of these behaviors.”

Through paid media and grassroots engagement in four key House districts (NY-11, IA-02, NE-02, and CA-22) Unrig Our Economy will call out corporate bad actors and their enablers in Congress, fight for working Americans, and prove that progressive economic populism is what’s needed to return economic power to working Americans and build a strong and vibrant middle class.

The campaign’s advisory board is made up of respected economic experts and advocates, including:

  • Vasudha DesikanPolicy Director of Action Center on Race & Economy
  • Domenica GhanemDirector of Public Relations at Community Change/Action
  • Indi Dutta-GuptaCo-Executive Director of the Georgetown Center on Poverty and Inequality
  • Alex HarmanDirector of Government Affairs, Antimonopoly and Competition Policy at Economic Security Project Action
  • Matt MorrisonExecutive Director of Working America
  • Lindsay OwensExecutive Director of Groundwork Collaborative
  • Laura PackardExecutive Director of Health Care Voter
  • Maura QuintCampaign Director of Americans for Tax Fairness

To learn more about the campaign, visit UnrigOurEconomy.com or contact [email protected].