One of Change.org’s earliest successes was an economic justice campaign started by a 22-year-old nanny who got Bank of America to do away with its $5 debit card fees. That was 2011.
Since then, Change.org has grown to 100 million users and they have started petitions to fight all sorts of money-related injustices.
Often these petitions revolve around personal issues, as we see on our 5 most popular economic justice victories. The third most popular victory, for example, is a family with a sick child who fought eviction, while the fourth is a group of tenants who fought rising rents.
These campaigns show how problems that impact one person, or a small group of people, can be so relatable that hundreds of thousands of people will stand with them.
But the most popular victories on this list highlights the power of online campaigns to mobilize the citizenry to affect change on the government.
The top two victories both come courtesy of Libera e Gruppo Abele - two Italian groups that team together to fight organized crime. The No. 2 victory from 2014 asked Parliament to amend the Criminal Code governing electoral politics and organized crime in order to break the mafia’s hold on the electoral process.
The group followed that victory with the biggest economic justice victory of all time in May 2015. This victory, the biggest in Italy, officially put an end to annuities received by government officials that had been convicted of serious crimes, such as involvement with the Mafia.
To create this list, below, we took looked at all of the winning economic justice petitions on Change.org and highlighted the most popular victories by signature count.
5 Most Popular Economic Justice Victories
1. Stop the Annuity to Former MPs Convicted of Mafia and Corruption
Date of Victory: May 7, 2015
Number of Signatures: 522,991
Libera e Gruppo Abele’s landmark win petitioned the Italian government to discontinue annuities for deputies and senators that had been convicted of serious crimes, such as involvement with the Mafia, corruption, and fraud. See Victory
2. Let’s Strengthen the Law on Electoral Politics and Organized Crime
Date of Victory: April 16, 2014
Number of Signatures: 350,337
Another petition from Libera e Gruppo Abele asked Parliament to amend Article 416 of the Criminal Code governing electoral politics and organized crime in order to break the hold of the mafia on the electoral process. See Victory
3. Keep Rents at a Rate Affordable to Existing Tenants on the New Era Estate
Country: United Kingdom
Date of Victory: December 19, 2014
Number of Signatures: 349,274
Lindsay Garrett and Barry Watt are residents of the The New Era Estate in Hoxton who petitioned to keep the property firm Westbrook Partners from buying the estate and raising the rent to unaffordable levels. See Victory
4. Ibercaja: Don’t Evict my Family and my Son with Leukemia
Date of Victory: December 22, 2013
Number of Signatures: 334.073
Carmen’s family could not afford to pay its rent after her husband lost his job and her three-year-old son, Hugo, was diagnosed with leukemia. She successfully petitioned Ibercaja to stop the auction on her house. See Victory
5. Tell Bank of America: No $5 Debit Card Fees
Country: United States
Date of Victory: November 1, 2011
Number of Signatures: 306,888
Molly Katchpole, a 22-year-old nanny working two jobs, started a petition asking Bank of America to drop a new $5 a month banking fee. Gaining national media exposure, driving customers to leave Bank of America, and inspiring dozens of copycat campaigns, Bank of America dropped the fee. See Victory
Do you care about economic justice? Here are some petitions that might interest you: