Groups rally ahead of Obama’s Studio City fundraiser visit

Ellen Sturtz, Dan Fotou and Maja Roble with
Ellen Sturtz, Dan Fotou and Maja Roble with "Get Equal."
Corey Moore/KPCC

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Scattered demonstrations sprung up last Thursday near President Obama’s fundraiser at actor George Clooney’s home in Studio City.

Members of the housing activist group “Campaign for a Fair Settlement” held up banners near the intersection of Laurel Canyon Boulevard and Fryman Road, about a mile from Clooney’s home.

Peggy Mears led the rally. She wants the President to go after the mortgage lenders, including Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, whom she says they caused the foreclosure crisis.

“Ed DeMarco, who runs Fannie and Freddie, we want him fired," Mears explained. "Hundreds of thousands of Californians, 62 percent of the homeowners in California — Freddie or Fannie is their investor. Ed DeMarco does not believe in principal reduction.”

Gay rights activists also gathered nearby, offering gratitude for the President’s recent statement in favor of same sex marriages.

But that’s only a first step, says Dan Fotou, a member of the national “Get Equal” organization.

“In 28 states, we can be denied employment or fired for being lesbian, gay or bisexual," Fotou points out. "And [in] 39 states, we can be fired or denied employment for being trans[exual]. So that’s significant. So we’re asking Obama to do the right thing here and sign the executive order.”

That order would offer employment protections to those employees of federal contractors. Fotou says activists have been fighting for that executive order since 1965.