Racial Equity, Not Just a Theory: President Obama’s Speech on the Trayvon Martin Verdict

Racial Equity, Not Just a Theory: President Obama’s Speech on the Trayvon Martin Verdict

Unlike most people, I find myself talking about race and discrimination on a daily basis. It’s a cause that’s core to my being, and sometimes it’s not until I find myself rattling off statistics and making people at dinner parties uncomfortable that I remember  just how taboo a topic it is. However, with the recent Trayvon Martin verdict, it seems that the issue of race in America has made its way back to mainstream conversations. It’s disheartening that it took the murder of a young boy for America to revisit and talk about race, but the advocate in me is glad that we’re at least acknowledging its implications. For the…
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Why Cordray is My Homie

Why Cordray is My Homie

At Greenlining, I work hard on diversity issues in the financial services sector.  I make the case for why it’s important for people of color to be in top leadership positions. Research both by Greenlining and the federal government has confirmed that we simply don’t have diverse leaders in this sector. With people of color already the majority in California, and quickly becoming the majority nationally, we don’t fight for diversity just because it’s the morally right thing to do; we fight for diversity because it makes economic sense. We strongly believe that when decision makers look like our communities, policies are more likely to benefit people of color and…
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The Senate Avoids Going “Nuclear” to Protect Consumers

The Senate Avoids Going “Nuclear” to Protect Consumers

The good news is that the Senate finally confirmed Richard Cordray as the Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). The bad news is that it took them over 700 days. What’s even worse news is that if a minority of Republican senators had their way, the CFPB would become a leaderless and ineffectual agency.  This is exactly what lawmakers – and consumers — didn’t want when they created the CFPB in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis. Under the leadership of former Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray, the CFPB has led the charge to stop the predatory lending that led to the housing crash, in addition to…
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Help Stop the California Legislature’s Attempt to Pull the Plug on Your Phone Service

Help Stop the California Legislature’s Attempt to Pull the Plug on Your Phone Service

California has a longstanding goal of “Universal Service”—providing telephone service to every Californian. Now, that goal is in serious danger. First, some background: Any program designed to achieve universal service must ensure the following: Availability.  People can’t use phone service unless it’s available, i.e. they can actually access the phone network.  This can sometimes be difficult.  For example, it can be expensive to extend phone lines out to remote communities, and can be technically tricky to provide clear wireless signals in areas with lots of tall buildings.   And phone service needs to be reliable: The network must stay up during natural disasters, call quality must be  sufficient, etc.. Affordability.  In…
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Let’s All Take a Moment To Root for Sprint.

Let’s All Take a Moment To Root for Sprint.

Here at Greenlining, we are generally very skeptical about telecommunications mergers. Our opinions about mergers range from “this is irredeemably terrible” to “this is terrible, but we might be able to fix it,” to “we’re cautiously optimistic, but we still have some concerns.” Today, for the very first time, I am super excited about a merger—specifically, SoftBank’s purchase of Sprint. The Federal Communications Commission approved the transaction on Friday, and when I read about it, I jumped up out of my chair. (I did not, however, dance a goofy dance). Why am I so excited about this merger? Well, this isn’t the first time that SoftBank has entered the wireless…
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Southeast Asians and the Model Minority Myth

Southeast Asians and the Model Minority Myth

Everyone in the picture above could be labeled as “Asian,” but do you really think they are all from the same culture, or have similar experiences in America? For example, Hmong Californians have a poverty rate of 33.2 percent, which is triple the poverty rate of Asian Californians overall. Asians are often described as a “model minority” in America due the success that many of them have enjoyed, but  it is a myth that all Asians are prospering in the U.S. at the same rate. That becomes apparent when you break apart the enormous amount of diversity conveniently stored in the Asian label. Asia is the most populous and diverse…
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Greenlining Author Gets Glowing Review in the San Francisco Chronicle

Greenlining Author Gets Glowing Review in the San Francisco Chronicle

Janine Macbeth, our fabulous development director, is too modest give herself the shameless plug she deserves, so I’ll do it for her: Janine recently wrote and illustrated her first children’s book, “Oh, Oh, Baby Boy!”, which just got a glowing review from the San Francisco Chronicle. Alas, the review is behind a paywall so I can’t link to it, but the Chron calls the book a “remarkable” celebration of boyhood and fatherhood, adding, “It puts a spotlight on a kind of dad rarely seen in picture books, portraying a joyous mixed-race family thriving in a happily multiracial world.” And that, of course, is exactly what Janine – sometimes known lovingly…
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We’ve Got Something to Say to the Supreme Court

We’ve Got Something to Say to the Supreme Court

Dear certain justices on the Supreme Court (you know who you are): I want to acknowledge that today was a great day for the Supreme Court.  Long ago in civics class, we all learned that the Supreme Court’s function was to protect the minority from the “tyranny of the majority.” You examined the Defense of Marriage Act—an act whose stated purpose was to discriminate against same-sex couples—and boldly stated that this sort of discrimination is unacceptable. Thank you. That being said, I’ve spent some time trying to make sense of some of your other decisions—specifically, the decisions you handed down Monday and Tuesday.  I have to admit, I had some…
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