Contacts:

Orson Aguilar
Executive Director
510-926-4004 office
orsona@greenlining.org

Preeti Vissa
Program Manager
510-926-4022 office
preetiv@greenlining.org

Press Conference:

555 California St (BofA headquarters) at 11:30am, at the beginning of the march

Berkeley, CA – January 15, 2009, approximately one hundred California consumer advocates and community members, led by the Greenlining Institute, will march along California Street in San Francisco’s financial district to deliver a Main St. message to the Federal Reserve and the new Obama administration.  They will be accompanied by a Mariachi Band.

The march will begin at the BofA headquarters and continue along California Street with brief stops at BofA, Wells Fargo, Citigroup, JP Morgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and U.S. Bancorp.  All have been recent beneficiaries of multi-billion dollar federal bailouts.  There will be a press conference prior to marching at 11:30 am in front of the BofA headquarters, led by Pastor-elect Jim Smith Jr. from the Allen Temple Baptist Church.

The will march end at the Federal Reserve Bank, where the group will be addressed by senior management officials.  At this second press conference in front of the Federal Reserve, Assemblyman Ted Lieu will discuss California’s 90-day Mortgage Foreclosure Moratorium, which is supported by Speaker Bass and now being considered positively by the Governor.  Ted Lieu, former chairman of the Assembly Banking Committee, has been California’s leading legislative expert and advocate for fundamental changes to protect homeowners during the foreclosure crisis and recently met with the Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee Barney Frank on these issues.

This Martin Luther King message to the Obama Administration, which takes office five days after our protest, is that the banking industry has received up to $350 billion dollars in bailouts and still has done little for Main St.

The Greenlining Institute, along with other California community leaders will urge the banks and the senior management they meet with to revitalize underserved neighborhoods and CRA.  The group will provide each bank with a list of “8 Pro-Main Street Banking Principles” as guidelines for better banking practices during the new administration.  The list of principles includes:

  • declaring a six month Foreclosure Moratorium, as well as monetary support for community home counselors,
  • providing greater banking services to the unbanked,
  • substantially increasing philanthropy to low-moderate income families and communities,
  • banks acting as advocates for major reform in home lending,
  • greater support for small minority-owned business and micro-businesses,
  • greater transparency on the use of bailout funds and
  • limits on excessive executive compensation.

Greenlining will be meeting key congressional leaders and members of the Obama Administration in early March in DC to follow up regarding the banking principles that will be set forth during the march. (Attached please find the 8 Pro-Main Street Banking Principles)