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For Immediate Release: July 9th, 2003
Contact:  510-849-2423

Big Changes at CorpWatch

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

As you may know, CorpWatch has undergone a series of changes over the last nine months, due in no small part to the economic downturn that has thrown many social justice non-profits into turmoil. We have had to face the question of how to maintain our mission and vision while making cuts in program and staffing.

Maria Elena Martinez-Torres came on as Executive Director at the onset of a severe financial crisis, and successfully kept the organization afloat with her energy, commitment and dedication during this period. While Maria Elena and the Executive Committee of the Advisory Board both believe very strongly in the importance of and key role played by CorpWatch, we did not agree on the specific strategic vision for the organization -- an honest difference of opinion among people committed to the same larger goals. As a result, Maria Elena has decided to leave CorpWatch.

CorpWatch will continue to break new ground in the next year, and we are very fortunate to have hired investigative journalist and producer Pratap Chatterjee as our managing editor and program director, as a first step forward after Maria Elena's departure. Pratap has many years of experience working in radio, print and digital media, including hosting a weekly radio show on Berkeley station KPFA, working as a correspondent for InterPress Service and producing a series of dynamic websites such as http://www.whirledbank.org. He is also a long-time organizer and activist with lots of creative energy and enthusiasm. He helped launch one of our sister organizations, Project Underground, and has served as a board and staff member with many other related groups. Pratap has worked collaboratively with CorpWatch for the last several years, authoring original investigative pieces for the site on Enron, Halliburton and Bechtel, among others.

We are very excited to have Pratap join us, and are looking forward to working with him to maintain CorpWatch's mission, based on the organization's core strength--our cutting-edge website, which now receives an average of nearly half-a-million visitors a month. In the coming months we will focus our coverage and related organizing/activism on two core issues--war profiteering (a theme we've been covering amply recently with Pratap's help) and free-trade, with an emphasis on the upcoming fall meetings in Cancun--WTO, and Miami--FTAA. We'll also be working with Pratap to develop plans for the growth of CorpWatch which will include web and campaign strategies for addressing the corporate role in the US political system as the 2004 elections approach, as well as expanding into regular radio and other multimedia.

The Executive Committee wishes to thank Maria Elena for her tireless work to keep CorpWatch viable during this difficult period. We wish her the best of luck in our on-going struggle against the negative impacts of corporate globalization, and look forward to working with all of you in the future. If you wish to contact us about this transition, please email: ferrigno@pacbell.net or adiaz@igc.org.

Sincerely,
The Executive Committee of the Advisory Board
China Brotsky, Antonio Diaz, Jennifer Ferrigno and Mele Lau-Smith