Friday, March 6, 2015

Minority Groups Rally Outside Fed

Victoria speaks at the rally outside the Federal Reserve today (Photo: Will Bredderman/New York Observer).
Minority activist organizations demonstrated in the snow outside the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, insisting that the institution keep interest rates low until stubbornly high unemployment rates in nonwhite communities drop further.
Immigrant advocacy group Make the Road NY and neighborhood organizers New York Communities for Change joined other left-leaning groups outside the lower Manhattan headquarters of the New York Fed, a branch of the national system that controls the interest rates at which lending institutions may borrow money from the United States government. The Fed has left the rates near zero since the financial crisis of 2008 in order to encourage investment, but it has indicated it might raise them this summer amid an improving economy.
The protesters, however, argued that black and Hispanic communities in New York City are still languishing in an economic doldrums, with jobless rates sitting at 11.2 percent and 5.7 percent respectively.
“These unemployment rates are not going to be better by this summer. We’re not a couple months away from a recovery,” said Shawn Sebastian from the Center for Popular Democracy, arguing that the Fed is looking only at a general joblessness picture that averages in the relatively low unemployment rates among whites. “They’re trying to look at the aggregate levels of unemployment and ignore how it’s disproportionately affecting minority communities to push this narrative about a recovery that we’re not experiencing.”

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