Besides being grateful for my family and good health, I am grateful for having a job and for my wonderful colleagues at Woodstock Institute. And I am so pleased to welcome Spencer Cowan this week as our new Vice President for Applied Research. I am also very fortunate to work with so many talented and dedicated partners, board members, policymakers, funders and others. We all face obstacles and challenges, but when we face them together we feel better and we are stronger for it.


As some of us gear up for the winter holiday season and get overwhelmed with shopping and wish lists, let us also remember to show our gratitude by giving generously to the many worthy organizations who are serving the less fortunate in our communities. Due to state and federal budget cuts, many nonprofits that provide food, shelter, counseling, healthcare, legal assistance and other services are struggling to meet demands. We always welcome your support for Woodstock Institute’s work documenting inequities and working for policy change on pressing economic security issues.


Each of us can play a part. If you’re unable to make a financial contribution, you can make a donation of food, household items or in-kind services. Kids can help, too, by sharing their time or savings or by helping to select and deliver items for donation.


If you think that the big bank executives who benefited from the federal bailout and are expected to receive enormous year-end bonuses should do more to show their gratitude, you may be interested in efforts by the New Bottom Line campaign to encourage a few of these executives to forgo their bonuses this year to help families and communities affected by the foreclosure crisis. Finally, I am thankful to Barney Frank for his leadership on the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 and wish him well as he retires from Congress. Our fight to preserve and implement the Dodd-Frank reforms continues and I look forward to working with all of you on this and other financial justice issues in the coming year.