Tax Reform: They Say They Care About You. THEY’RE LYING

Tax Reform: They Say They Care About You. THEY’RE LYING

There they go again. Earlier today, Congress passed a so-called “tax reform” bill weighted heavily towards the top one percent. Desperate for a legislative victory, Congress passed this much-maligned tax plan after failing to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare. House Speaker Paul Ryan, a major booster of the bill said, “We’ve got to start winning. That’s what this does.” The Speaker also lauded this bill as a sign of “hope and new opportunity.” He’s lying. Or maybe he’s duped himself. Any basic analysis will find that this tax bill is a scam that props up the powerful at the expense of the powerless. By giving a…
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Tariq Meyers: Lyft’s Head of Inclusion and Diversity Discusses Advocacy, Empathy

Tariq Meyers: Lyft’s Head of Inclusion and Diversity Discusses Advocacy, Empathy

Here at Greenlining’s Leadership Academy, we’ve been on a journey. Over the summer we posted a series of blogs from our Greenlining Fellows, exploring their own personal transformation and #ChangeFromWithin, and what that means for leadership development; I also posted some reflections on what it all means. You can read those prior posts here. I recently spoke to a few of our alumni from prior years, and am offering some of their thoughts, Tariq Meyers is the Head of Inclusion & Diversity at Lyft. Tariq served as a 2014-2015 Economic Equity Fellow at The Greenlining Institute and helped support minority and women-owned businesses and helped lead resistance to bank mergers…
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Jane Kim on Politics, the Private Sector and Leadership

Jane Kim on Politics, the Private Sector and Leadership

Here at Greenlining’s Leadership Academy, we’ve been on a journey. Over the summer we posted a series of blogs from our Greenlining Fellows, exploring their own personal transformation and #ChangeFromWithin, and what that means for leadership development; I also posted some reflections on what it all means. You can read those prior posts here. I recently spoke to a few of our alumni from prior years, and will offer some of their thoughts this week and next. First up: Jane Kim, a Greenlining Fellow in 1999-2000. She has been a member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors since 2011, where she spearheaded the effort to make San Francisco City…
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The Community Reinvestment Act at 40: It’s Hard to Fight Redlining If You’re Colorblind

The Community Reinvestment Act at 40: It’s Hard to Fight Redlining If You’re Colorblind

We recently marked the 40th anniversary of the Community Reinvestment Act, and as an economic equity advocate, I’d like to share some reflections on its ability to both provide and delay economic opportunity for communities of color. The law needs to be modernized on multiple fronts since it predates the internet and banking has changed a lot in 40 years. For now, I’ll focus on why a colorblind Community Reinvestment Act can’t completely overcome redlining. But first, what is the CRA? Following massive civil rights organizing by communities of color for social and economic justice, Congress enacted the Community Reinvestment Act in 1977 as a direct response to redlining —…
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Health Care in the Crosshairs: Why We Still Need to #GetCovered

Health Care in the Crosshairs: Why We Still Need to #GetCovered

For now, the Affordable Care Act  remains the law of the land. Republicans have led numerous efforts to repeal the ACA since it became law in 2010; in fact, Senate Republicans voted to repeal the ACA three times in July 2017 alone. Fortunately, targeted opposition from advocates across the nation led to the downfall of the Graham-Cassidy bill, the latest attempt to dismantle health care reform. Nevertheless, with open enrollment looming, health advocates must remain vigilant: Conservatives will keep trying to defund, or repeal the ACA. The Graham-Cassidy bill was the most egregious effort to repeal the ACA thus far. The Congressional Budget Office reported that Graham-Cassidy would have stripped millions…
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What Will Make the Change We Need in the World?

What Will Make the Change We Need in the World?

Over the last few months we posted a series of blogs from our current Greenlining Fellows, exploring their own personal transformation and #ChangeFromWithin, and what that means for leadership development. You can read the series here. Here at Greenlining’s Leadership Academy, we’ve been on a journey. We invite you to join us. Don’t act like you haven’t been thinking about it; so many of us are. These last few days –no, weeks — actually, the last few months — are taking their toll on my psyche and state of mind. The emotional tug of war I’m in with media trying to stay informed, then forcing myself to unplug to stop…
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Big Data and Social Justice are on a Collision Course

Big Data and Social Justice are on a Collision Course

Have you ever felt like you missed the boat on a huge opportunity? I do. A friend once told me to buy bitcoin when it was $80; now it’s almost $5,000 and my stomach clenches thinking about what could have been. I get that same feeling when I think about big data and the opportunity it presents for communities of color. The world’s most valuable resource is now big data; it’s even been called the “new oil.” Machine learning and predictive analytics are the oil rigs and refineries that mine and process data to find valuable business insights. Corporations race to tap into big data because it helps them innovate…
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An American Heritage: Black Tradition of Patriotic Expression

An American Heritage: Black Tradition of Patriotic Expression

There is nothing more patriotic than the commitment to ensure and uphold our most sacred national values: equality, justice and liberty. One form of patriotic expression, when these values are violated, is to cryptically or symbolically resist. From dance and song used to coordinate resistance to bondage to lunch counter sit-ins – these, and countless other actions, are rooted in service to defending America’s values. Born from Black America’s history of leadership in advancing liberty and equality, this form of service has become a custom in American patriotic expression. Most recently, we’ve seen professional athletes take up this tradition by kneeling for racial justice. CLICK TO TWEET: #TakeAKnee is part…
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Addressing Racial Inequity in the Financial Sector

Addressing Racial Inequity in the Financial Sector

Earlier this month the Greenlining Institute honored Congresswoman Barbara Lee with a Racial Justice Warrior award and Maria Contreras Sweet with a Small Business Advocate award at our inaugural Financial Services Forum. The forum brought together more than 120 community leaders, nonprofits, advocates, bank executives, and financial industry regulators to discuss how the financial sector can increase access to capital, jobs, and economic opportunity for people of color in California. Throughout U.S. history, financial institutions and federal regulators have played a crucial role in determining who gains access to economic opportunity in this country, and who does not. In the era of federally sanctioned redlining from the 1930s to 1970s,…
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Why the Most Important Telecommunications Work I Did This Week Was Participating in A Trumpcare Protest

Why the Most Important Telecommunications Work I Did This Week Was Participating in A Trumpcare Protest

I just went to Washington to lobby on telecommunications issues and ended up helping to (I hope!) save America from Trumpcare. Three times a year, the telecommunications team flies from California to Washington D.C. to visit the Federal Communications Commission.  I serve on the FCC’s Consumer Advisory Committee, which makes recommendations regarding consumer issues.  Three weeks ago, I would have written that the CAC “advocates on behalf of consumers.”  However, since then, FCC Chair Ajit Pai added six new members to the committee, all of whom are industry hacks or work for free-market think tanks.  I was a bit surprised by this, but I shouldn’t have been—after all, Chairman Pai…
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