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In 1988, four friends co-founded Global Exchange to fight a worldview based on greed, domination, and unvarnished worship of power. We envisioned building a robust U.S. movement capable of creating change from the grassroots, powered by people-to-people ties. This year we celebrated our 25th anniversary, and we are proud to honor the dedication of people like you who have sweated and sacrificed to forge a working alternative from the ground up.

This year, Congress continued in it’s paralyzed state, coming to a crescendo during the historic shutdown this fall, while activists continued to mobilize for change to the democratic system hijacked by corporate power. We made some real headway, have much to appreciate and much work in the coming year. Here’s a recap of our favorite moments.

Together, from coast to coast and amidst broadcasts of stirring inauguration speeches, we rang in the new year and President Obama’s second term with actions calling for a real and vital change: Inaugurate Democracy: Represent US!

We then played a serious prank on April Fool’s Day and mailed a ‘Do Not Disturb ... Democracy’ doorhanger to each member of Congress, challenging them to shut out corporate influence from their office. We appreciate Congresswoman Barbara Lee for taking up the challenge!

No starker example of the connections between corporate power and the impact of U.S.-led free trade agreements could be drawn this year than the Rana Plaza sweatshop disaster and the rush to push through the little heard of, secret Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). We set our sights on stopping the TPP from getting to the U.S. Congress for a vote this year – and WON! 

We joined with thousands of activists from labor unions and social justice organizations across the world as trade ministers from the 12 TPP impacted countries and hundreds of corporate lobbyists met repeatedly through the year, in an attempt to ink the deal. Where ever closed door meetings were held, we were there to have our voices heard. We even sought out negotiators when rumors surfaced that they were in San Francisco, inquiring after their whereabouts at hotels through the city.

The Obama Administration’s goal of having the TPP arrive to Congress for a Fast Tracked vote this year has evaporated. In a revelation a few weeks ago, Wikileaks released a chapter of the secret text – revealing much more than we even feared.

Take a minute now to send your Congressperson a note to oppose Fast Track, and the TPP and stick with us in 2014 for breaking news.

We’re proud of what we’ve done together. But to achieve the visions we set out all those years ago, we’re going to need your continued support.

Thanks for joining us in 2013,

Carleen Pickard
Executive Director
Global Exchange

P.S. Share your values with family and friends. This holiday season give a gift of Global Exchange membership and ensure our strength for the next 25 years!

Global Exchange
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