“California’s New Majority” – Report Summarizes State’s Changing Demographics

Contact: Bruce Mirken, Greenlining Institute Media Relations Coordinator, 510-926-4022; 415-846-7758 (cell)

First “Majority Minority” State’s Evolution Will Impact Politics, Education, Business

BERKELEY, CALIFORNIA – In a new report issued today, The Greenlining Institute summarizes the remarkable, continuing evolution of America’s first “majority minority” state. Drawn primarily from state Department of Finance estimates and the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey,  “California’s New Majority” will provide a useful reference for journalists, businesspeople, political leaders and others needing to understand and reach California’s diverse population.

The full report, assembled by Greenlining Research Director Daniel Byrd, Ph.D., is available online here. Among the highlights:

  • By 2040, Latinos will make up approximately 48 percent of California’s population. The Latino population will increase by roughly 15.5 million people from 2000 to 2040 – more than the entire current populations of Los Angeles and Orange counties combined.
  • During the same period, the state’s Asian population will increase by 3.4 million, making up 13 percent of California’s population.
  • California’s Asian population is highly diverse, with no clear majority among a wide variety of nationalities and cultures.
  • While California’s African American population will grow by nearly 300,000 people, the black percentage of the population will decline slightly.
  • Alameda and Solano counties have the highest percentages of African Americans, while Imperial and San Benito counties have the highest percentages of Latinos. San Francisco and Santa Clara counties have the largest percentages of Asians.

“Grade Inflation” Widespread in CRA Reviews, Greenlining Institute Charges

Bruce Mirken, Greenlining Institute Media Relations Director, 510-926-4022415-846-7758 (cell)

WASHINGTON – Federal bank regulators increasingly look the other way when major banks’ CRA reviews show low performance on lending, investments or services, allowing bank mergers that aren’t in the public interest to proceed, The Greenlining Institute charged in a letter just sent to Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen and FDIC Chairman Martin Gruenberg.

“Some regulators seem to see the banking world as being just like Lake Wobegon, where ‘all the children are above average,’” said Greenlining Institute Executive Director Orson Aguilar. “We’re seeing grade inflation that could render CRA evaluations meaningless if it’s allowed to continue. Banks with such weak records on community lending and investment shouldn’t be allowed to merge without tough conditions.”

Greenlining’s letter cites the recently approved purchase of CapitalSource, which had a record of strong CRA performance, by PacWest Bancorp, which has had a weak record. PacWest, which received “low satisfactory” ratings on lending, investment and services, still received an overall rating of “satisfactory” and was approved to swallow CapitalSource without being required to meet commitments to improve. The letter points out several other examples in which banks’ “low satisfactory” evaluations in multiple areas still led to an overall rating of “satisfactory.”

In the letter, Greenlining urges Yellen and Gruenberg to take several steps, including holding public hearings on all bank mergers, increasing transparency regarding CRA evaluations, and publicly affirming their intent to hold banks to a higher standard than barely-adequate performance.


A Multi-Ethnic Public Policy, Research and Advocacy Institute


“Billions for Banks: What’s in it for Main Street?” Dr. King March Against Banks on January 15th in S.F.


Orson Aguilar
Executive Director
510-926-4004 office

Preeti Vissa
Program Manager
510-926-4022 office

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.

Continue reading ““Billions for Banks: What’s in it for Main Street?” Dr. King March Against Banks on January 15th in S.F.”

“Inside Job” Wins Oscar, But Will Financial Reform Be Gutted?

Contact: Bruce Mirken, Greenlining Institute Media Relations Coordinator,
415-846-7758 (cell)

Congressional Attacks on Funding Could Cripple Protections for Consumers, Economy

WASHINGTON – Tonight’s Best Documentary win for “Inside Job” serves as a reminder of the critical importance of financial reform even as implementation of reform is under attack by congressional Republicans seeking to cut off funding, policy experts at The Greenlining Institute said tonight.
Continue reading ““Inside Job” Wins Oscar, But Will Financial Reform Be Gutted?”

“Obamacare” Turns 3 March 23, Major Milestone for Americans of Color

Millions to Gain Coverage as Key Provisions Come into Effect

Contact: Bruce Mirken, Greenlining Institute Media Relations Coordinator, 510-926-4022; 415-846-7758 (cell)

BERKELEY, CALIFORNIA – Millions of Americans will gain health coverage thanks to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), the landmark health care reform law sometimes called “Obamacare” and signed into the law by the president on March 23, 2010. Some significant protections have already taken effect, while other key provisions of the law will start to roll out during 2013, taking full effect in January of 2014.

“Millions of Americans who don’t have health insurance today will have it in 2014 because of health care reform,” said Greenlining Institute Health Policy Director Carla Saporta. “That includes 4.7 million Californians who will now be eligible for affordable coverage, and most of them will be people of color. It’s important for everyone to start learning about the new options that will be available to them.”

The Greenlining Institute has been working with Covered California, the state health insurance marketplace created by the law, to ensure that the new insurance options reach all communities.

Key Facts and Resources

  • Thanks to the law, Americans already cannot be denied coverage due to preexisting conditions. This is of particular importance for people of color, who often suffer higher rates of chronic illnesses such as diabetes and childhood asthma. Several other protections are already in place, including a provision allowing adult children to remain on their parents’ policy up to age 26.
  • The ACA creates state-level health insurance marketplaces, called exchanges, which will be a little like Amazon.com for health insurance. Individuals, families and small businesses will be able to shop and compare insurance plans and purchase them through the exchanges. Individuals and families with incomes up to four times the Federal Poverty Level will be eligible for subsidies to help them purchase coverage. An estimated 790,000 Californians will get such help. Small businesses can receive tax credits to help cover their employees
  • California’s exchange, Covered California, has already launched its website. People can begin purchasing insurance through Covered California on Oct. 1, with the policies taking effect Jan. 1, 2014.
  • A major boost in coverage will come from expansion of Medicaid (called Medi-Cal in California), which will now cover incomes up to 138 percent of the Federal Poverty Level. In California, over two thirds of the newly eligible will be African American, Asian/Pacific Islander, Latino, or other nonwhite ethnicities. How California implements this expansion, however, is still being worked out in Sacramento. Greenlining is urging Gov. Brown to do what is equitable for all Californians by having the state continue to oversee Medi-Cal and continuing to allocate resources for our counties to ensure a robust safety net.
  • Unfortunately, even this massive expansion of health coverage won’t reach everyone. About four million Californians are expected to remain uninsured, the majority of whom will be people of color.
  • For information on the ACA and its impact nationwide, see http://www.healthcare.gov/; the Spanish version of the site is at http://cuidadodesalud.gov/. For information on Covered California, see http://www.coveredca.com/ or call toll-free (English and Spanish) 888-975-1142.
  • The Greenlining Institute has created a small business primer in English and Spanish that explains the tax credits available to small businesses. See https://greenlining.org/issues/health-equity/2012/affording-health-care-tax-credits-in-the-affordable-care-act-benefiting-your-small-business/


A Multi-Ethnic Public Policy, Research and Advocacy Institute


19 Organizations Tell Obama: Share Goldman Sachs Settlement With Struggling Homeowners

A Multi-Ethnic Public Policy, Research and Advocacy Institute

Contact: Bruce Mirken, Greenlining Institute Media Relations Coordinator, 510-926-4022; 415-846-7758 (cell)

Letter Calls For Treasury’s Share of Settlement to Go to Principal Reduction, Mortgage Counseling, Reclaiming Foreclosed Homes as Affordable Housing

BERKELEY, CALIFORNIA – In a letter sent Friday to President Obama and Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner, a coalition of 19 organizations led by the Greenlining Institute call the just-announced settlement between the Securities and Exchange Commission and Goldman Sachs “disappointing,” arguing that it “does nothing for struggling homeowners.” The letter calls for the Treasury Department’s $300 million share of the proceeds to be used for principal reduction for borrowers who are “under water” due to crashing home values, grassroots mortgage counseling for struggling homeowners, and to allow local nonprofits to purchase and repair foreclosed homes for use as affordable housing.
Continue reading “19 Organizations Tell Obama: Share Goldman Sachs Settlement With Struggling Homeowners”

1st Committee Hearing Monday for EmPower California Act, AB 865

Bill Would Boost Small Businesses

Contact: Bruce Mirken, Greenlining Institute Media Relations Director, 415-846-7758 (cell)

SACRAMENTO – AB 865, the EmPower California Act, will receive its first committee hearing Monday, April 13 in the Assembly Utilities and Commerce Committee. The bill, introduced by Assemblymember Luis Alejo (D-Salinas), would set up a program to encourage recipients of California Energy Commission grants or loans to boost procurement from business enterprises owned by women, minorities, disabled veterans and LGBTQ individuals. Similar, highly successful programs already operate under the purview of the California Public Utilities Commission and the California Department of Insurance. The measure also creates a task force to promote diversity in the clean energy economy.

WHAT: Utilities and Commerce Committee hearing on AB 865, the EmPower California Act

WHO: Sekita Grant, Greenlining Institute Environmental Equity Program Manager; Simeon Gant, Green Technical Education & Employment Executive Director; committee members

WHERE: State Capitol, Room 437

WHEN: Monday, April 13, 3 p.m.

2 Weeks Away! Register for 2015 Academy Graduation!

RSVP Today: 2015 Greenlining Academy Graduation & Celebration

GLI Academy GraduationIt’s that time of the year again! Please join us at our 2015 Greenlining Academy Graduation on Thursday, August 13th! This year’s Academy Graduation will be held at the Oakland Museum of California in beautiful Oakland, California! This year we’ll be celebrating the accomplishments of our four Policy Fellowssix Health Equity Fellows, and nine Summer Associates. The keynote speaker for this year’s graduation is Ezra GarrettExecutive Director of the PG&E Foundation, and Vice President of Community Relations and Chief Sustainability Officer for Pacific Gas and Electric Co.

Registration for our 2015 Academy Graduation is open on Eventbrite! General Admission is free. Please plan on joining us at 5:30pm for a light reception and toast to the graduates. The Oakland Museum of California is accessible by BART. The venue is a 2-3 minute walk from the Lake Merritt BART station. For those who will be driving, we are providing a subsidized $1/hr parking rate to our guests in the museum’s parking structure. Don’t delay, RSVP today! 

New Publication: 2015 Supplier Diversity Report Card

2015 Supplier Diversity Report CardEarlier this month, we released our latest publication, the 2015 Supplier Diversity Report Card. Each year, Greenlining analyzes and assesses the supplier diversity practices of the largest utility and telecommunications companies in California, and assigns each company letter grades based on the rates and amounts of contracts with diverse-owned businesses.

Greenlining’s 2015 Supplier Diversity Report Card finds that contracting with minority-owned businesses by California energy and telecommunications companies dropped in 2014 and contracting with Latino-owned businesses plunged to its lowest level in the past five years. While the overall level of contracting with diverse businesses remains high, the drop in 2014 represents a surprising interruption in years of steady progress.

Supplier diversity is an important engine that brings jobs and business opportunities to underserved communities, and helps companies get better products and services at lower cost — learn more by downloading our report today.

New UpLiftCA Stories Up on Website!

UpLift ConnieEarlier this year, we launchedUpLiftCA.org, an effort to educate our communities about California’s climate and clean energy laws and how the fight against global warming helps consumers, generates jobs, and builds healthy, thriving neighborhoods.

Communities have been targeted by an aggressive disinformation campaign from Big Oil and its front groups, and we intend to make sure they hear the truth. We’re happy to share that we have new stories that illustrate exactly how our climate change policies are helping everyday Californians. Read the new stories!

Help us make sure that these stories are being seen and heard by sharing them with your own networks! We’ve created a social media outreach toolkit with pre-made posts for Facebook and Twitter with accompanying graphics that you can download and use. Together, we can continue to uplift California. 

Financial Reform 5 Years Later: Promises Unfulfilled

Wall StreetJuly 21, 2015 marked the 5-year anniversary of the passage of the Dodd-Frank Act, one of the largest pieces of financial reform legislation in recent times. When President Obama signed the act, he said the law would, “lead all of us a to a stronger, more prosperous future.” Despite some positive steps, that promise still remains largely unfulfilled.

In a recent Huffington Post column, Chief Operating Officer Preeti Vissa highlighted the wins of Dodd-Frank, namely the creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and more importantly, underscored the remaining challenges that still need to be addressed. Chief among these challenges is the need for clear diversity standards from the Offices of Minority and Women Inclusion. Communities don’t need a list of suggestions, but rather definitive standards that have teeth and the potential to create lasting change that the financial sector desperately needs to serve the growing majority of communities of color. Read the article on The Huffington Post.

Op-Eds: Greenlining in the News!

July was a busy month for Greenlining in the news. We had a number of op-eds published across the country speaking to a range of different issues affecting our communities.

When the Supreme Court upheld “disparate impact” claims under the Fair Housing Act, Executive Director Orson Aguilar penned an op-ed column on the importance of the ruling, published in the Chicago Tribune and 16 other papers around the country.

On the tech side of things, Orson penned an op-ed in the San Jose Mercury News, outlining how fingerprinting requirements for Lyft would hurt disadvantaged communities’ access to job opportunities.

And just this past week, Orson made the case in American Banker that even when bank mergers do get approved, the story still isn’t over, especially when it comes to accountability for Community Reinvestment Act plans.

2011 IPO Applications Available Now!

The Greenlining Academy Presents:
“IPO: Investing Pays-Off”


IPO High School Summer Camp 2011

The Greenlining Institute is excited to share an exciting opportunity for youth leadership development, the 2010 Investing Pays-Off (IPO) High School Summer Camp. We are certain this program will be a life changing experience for young leaders. Click here for 2011 IPO Fact Sheet
Continue reading “2011 IPO Applications Available Now!”

28,500 Californians Tell Senators to Stop Coddling Wall Street and Confirm CFPB Director


SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA – That was the message of petitions delivered to Senator Dianne Feinstein’s office today by a delegation of Bay Area community leaders.  The petitions, which call on the Senate to confirm Richard Cordray to a full term as director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, bore the signatures of more than 165,000 people, including over 28,500 Californians.

Liana Molina, Payday Campaign Organizer with the California Reinvestment Coalition, explained, “Senators have a simple choice: they can either bring his nomination to a vote, or they can continue coddling Wall Street.    With over 200,000 Californians in foreclosure in 2012, we’ve seen what happens when Congress chooses Wall Street.”

After favorable action by the Banking Committee, Cordray’s renomination goes before the full Senate. Director Cordray has earned wide and bipartisan praise for his leadership of the CFPB up to now. Unfortunately for Californians, a group of 43 Senators are threatening to block Cordray’s nomination indefinitely, unless the CFPB is first dramatically weakened.

Vivian Richardson from the community organization ACCE explained: “Every week we learn about another bank scandal.  Every day, more families lose their homes to foreclosure wrongfully. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau needs to be empowered to lead the charge in stopping Wall Street from profiting at the expense of Main Street. Congress needs to get their act together, confirm Cordray, and get down to the business of protecting consumers.”

Jon Fox, Consumer Advocate with the California Public Research Interest Group explained, “Senator Feinstein must use her position in the Senate to lead the fight for consumers. Californians need her to stand up and take the lead on this issue, and ensure that the CFPB can do its job protecting consumers.”

“For over four years, Republicans have made a historically unprecedented mockery of the filibuster. The Senate is supposed to provide “advice and consent” on presidential nominations, not use minority tricks to undo laws passed by Congress, signed by the President, and supported by large majorities of the public,” explained Rick Jacobs, founder and chair of CourageCampaign.org, a leading California-based progressive organization. “Americans stand firmly behind the CFPB, and Richard Cordray is by all accounts an ideal candidate to lead it. Senator Feinstein can help restore democracy to the Senate. We’re confident she will.”

“Under Richard Cordray, the CFPB has been a strong voice for consumers,” said Greenlining Institute Executive Director Orson Aguilar. “California consumers, and especially the communities of color that got hammered during the financial crisis, need a strong champion, because we’ve seen the devastation that predatory lending causes. Richard Cordray has been that champion.”

The California Reinvestment Coalition, the Communications Workers of America (CWA), the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE), the California Public Research Interest Group (CALPIRG), the Greenlining Institute, Jobs with Justice, the San Francisco Labor Council, and CourageCampaign.org took part in today’s delivery. They also met with Senator Feinstein’s office to discuss the importance of Cordray’s confirmation.

The CFPB was created after the financial crisis of 2008 to end predatory lending and bring basic standards of fairness and transparency to the world of credit cards, mortgages, education loans, auto loans, debt collection, credit scoring and other financial products and practices.

The CFPB has already:

  • Returned nearly half a billion dollars to consumers cheated by credit card companies;
  • Moved to end the era of mortgages designed to rake in up-front fees before they self-destruct;
  • Targeted harmful lending practices that disproportionately harm people of color, such as predatory auto lending;
  • Stood up for students and families trapped in high-cost private education loans; and deceptive lending practices; and
  • Protected military families against illegal foreclosures and deceptive lending practices.

# # # # #

Brett Abrams : 516-841-1105 : brett@fitzgibbonmedia.com