Greenlining Institute Applauds Governor’s EV Announcement, Urges Focus on Impacted Communities

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

OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA – The Greenlining Institute applauded the broad thrust of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s announcement today of a renewed push to expand electric vehicle adoption and strongly urged an intensified push to bring clean transportation to the communities that have had the least access to EVs and other forms of clean mobility. Low-income communities of color, Greenlining noted, have the dirtiest air, the fewest financial resources, and have been particularly disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The wildfires have shown us that reducing greenhouse gas emissions is an urgent necessity, and environmental justice communities – mainly low-income communities of color — continue to suffer from the highest levels of deadly particulates,” said Greenlining Institute Environmental Equity Director Alvaro Sanchez. “Wide adoption of EVs will be a crucial part of any strategy, but to succeed, that strategy can’t focus on affluent early adopters; it must reach the most impacted and hardest to reach communities.”

 “Transforming the transportation sector offers a huge opportunity to fight climate change and address the harm that’s been done to environmental justice communities,” Sanchez continued. “By leading the way, California can create good jobs and cleaner air in communities that have suffered the most, while re-imagining the way we move to end our dependence on polluting cars, trucks and fossil fuels.”

The Greenlining Institute has long advocated for equity in electric vehicle and clean mobility programs. Notable publications include the Electric Vehicles for All toolkit and Greenlining’s Mobility Equity Framework.

To learn more about The Greenlining Institute, visit www.greenlining.org.

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THE GREENLINING INSTITUTE
A Multi-Ethnic Public Policy, Research and Advocacy Institute
www.greenlining.org
@Greenlining

True Justice Denied to Police Murder Victim Breonna Taylor

True Justice Denied to Police Murder Victim Breonna Taylor, Greenlining Institute Says 

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

OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA – In response to today’s announcement of only minor charges — “wanton endangerment” — for one of the Louisville police officers who shot and killed Breonna Taylor, Greenlining Institute President and CEO Debra Gore-Mann issued the following statement:

“Nothing about today’s decision changes what we all know: Breonna Taylor was murdered. The declared state of emergency in Louisville confirms the seriousness of this reckless, systemic, state-sanctioned violence against Black folks and Black women in particular. The state attorney general’s decision to not file charges against any of the six police officers from the Louisville Metro Police Department for the killing of Ms. Taylor only serves to perpetuate the ongoing wave of domestic terrorism against Black men and women. This domestic terrorism will not stop until we demand that it stop.

“The timing of this decision, coming right after the historic $12 million settlement announcement with Breonna Taylor’s family, will not silence our voices or dampen the community’s demand for justice. It is both baffling and frustrating that settlement payouts for police misconduct and racial killings are funded by public tax dollars. In the end, the communities are bailing out the police department with their own dollars while also being on the receiving end of the police brutality. The law enforcement system is broken. This is not justice. This is not equity.

“In the words of Fred Hampton, the chairman of the Illinois Black Panther Party who spoke in 1969, ‘We say you don’t fight racism with racism. We are going to fight racism with solidarity.’ The fight for justice is much bigger than a handful of individual cops: It’s about the ingrained racism in a system that uses outrageous tactics like no-knock warrants and bullets disproportionately against Black and Brown people. Our response will be peaceful, but we will not be silent and we will maintain a sustained collective effort to end the oppression.”

To learn more about The Greenlining Institute, visit www.greenlining.org.

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THE GREENLINING INSTITUTE
A Multi-Ethnic Public Policy, Research and Advocacy Institute
www.greenlining.org
@Greenlining

California Companies Lead on Contracting with Diverse Businesses; Large Gaps Remain

Spending with Black-Owned Businesses Drops

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

OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA – The Greenlining Institute’s latest Supplier Diversity Report Card shows California energy, communications and water companies continuing to lead the way on contracting with suppliers owned by people of color, women, LGBTQ people and disabled veterans. Nevertheless, these 2019 figures show that significant gaps remain and show backsliding in some categories.

“It’s clear that returning to ‘business as usual,’ during and after COVID-19 will not be good for business or our communities,” said Greenlining Institute President and CEO Debra Gore-Mann. “Countless companies have spoken out against racism and police brutality, but consumers and employees are looking for more than just vague platitudes about change. We want to see companies committing to action within their own walls. At The Greenlining Institute, we believe our annual Supplier Diversity Report Card helps convert corporate intentions to corporate commitments. We look forward every year to this Report Card, which serves as one consistent step towards racial equity accountability.”

Key findings include:

  • While supplier diversity programs continue to pump billions of dollars into diverse-owned businesses, only eight of 22 companies increased their spending with Minority Business Enterprises last year.
  • Overall, the companies’ spending with Black-owned suppliers dropped nearly 10 percent. Spending with contractors owned by Black women dropped almost 37 percent.
  • Contracting with Asian American/Pacific Islander suppliers remained flat, while spending with Latino-owned businesses declined.
  • Spending with Native American-owned suppliers, a weak point in past years, improved in 2019, with half of companies increasing their level of contracting.
  • Spending with women-owned suppliers decreased slightly, although spending with firms owned by minority women increased.

To learn more about The Greenlining Institute, visit www.greenlining.org.

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THE GREENLINING INSTITUTE
A Multi-Ethnic Public Policy, Research and Advocacy Institute
www.greenlining.org
@Greenlining

Greenlining Institute California Proposition Endorsements: YES on Props. 15 & 16, NO on 22

“Racial Justice is on the Ballot in California this Year” 

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

OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA – With California voters facing multiple ballot propositions that will greatly impact the state’s struggle to overcome systemic racism and inequality, The Greenlining Institute has released its endorsements on key California ballot propositions, focusing on those with direct racial equity implications.

“There is near-universal recognition that the anti-racist uprisings in conjunction with the COVID-19 pandemic revealed the racialized caste system that continues to exist,” said Greenlining Institute President and CEO Debra Gore-Mann. “There is an urgent cry for change and racial justice is literally on the ballot this year. California voters have a chance to take real steps toward justice – and to stop schemes that perpetuate the status quo of the privileged few.”

Greenlining’s positions:

YES on Prop. 15: Make our property tax system fairer and boost funding available for schools and other vital needs in underserved communities.

YES on Prop. 16: Allow California to address our state’s sad history of discrimination by considering race, ethnicity and sex. “Race-neutral” solutions can never fix problems rooted in racism.

YES on Prop. 17: Allow persons convicted of felonies who are on parole to vote in California elections. California’s current felony disenfranchisement law is a remnant of an almost 150-year-old effort to keep Black and Brown citizens out of the voting booth.

NO on Prop. 19: Don’t create a new tax break that would primarily benefit wealthy homeowners.

NO on Prop. 20: Don’t return to old, failed “tough on crime” policies that would set criminal justice reform back for decades and hurt Black and Brown communities.

YES on Prop. 21:  Allow cities to establish rent control on residential properties that are over 15 years old. Protect seniors, veterans, teachers and frontline workers who are particularly vulnerable to California’s affordable housing crisis.

NO on Prop. 22: Reject this deceptive effort by lucrative, app-based companies to deprive their workers of fundamental protections.

NO POSITION on Prop. 24: Greenlining believes in a future in which all are protected from data-driven discrimination regardless of whether or not we opt out of data collection. While Prop. 24 increases privacy protections in some areas, it does not go far enough to protect consumers.

Follow this link for full descriptions of Greenlining’s endorsements.

To learn more about The Greenlining Institute, visit www.greenlining.org.

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THE GREENLINING INSTITUTE
A Multi-Ethnic Public Policy, Research and Advocacy Institute
www.greenlining.org
@Greenlining

 

New Report Urges Racial Equity in Research

Researchers Should Collaborate Closely with Communities, Greenlining Institute Says 

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

OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA – With the public’s eye increasingly focused on research – from environmental and climate studies to COVID-19 drug and vaccine trials – The Greenlining Institute  is urging researchers to be more connected to the communities they study and to incorporate equity practices into their approach. Greenlining’s new report, Making Racial Equity Real in Research, systematically analyzes barriers to equity in research and offers specific guidance for researchers seeking to overcome them.

“We all depend on research to understand our world and the problems we need to overcome, from the impact of climate change to the way epidemics spread,” said report author Hana Creger. “But the system tends to keep researchers disconnected from the communities most impacted by their work, often leaving people of color and other marginalized groups under-studied and misunderstood.”

The report lays out specific challenges, ranging from funding structures that fail to encourage researchers to work with community partners to peer-review processes cocooned in academic silos divorced from the real world. It encourages those funding and conducting research to work systematically to alter those structures and suggests researchers approach the problem through five steps:

1.   Understand the context of racism in research in the past and present;

2.   Review the challenges, best practices and opportunities available for centering racial equity in research;

3.   Conduct an internal equity assessment of your research institution, department or team;

4.   Partner with and pay a community partner; and

5.   Co-create the research questions and scope of work with a community partner.

 “The more collaborative approach we’re suggesting will lead to more innovative and useful solutions for the problems our society faces,” Creger said. “But transformative change won’t just happen by itself. It requires researchers and institutions to be willing to give up some power, redistribute resources, and treat community partners as true equals.”

Read the report here. To learn more about The Greenlining Institute, visit www.greenlining.org.

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THE GREENLINING INSTITUTE
A Multi-Ethnic Public Policy, Research and Advocacy Institute
www.greenlining.org
@Greenlining

New Report Calls for Reimagining Community Development

“Greenlined Economy Guidebook” Urges Decision-Makers to Put Community First 

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

OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA – With the COVID-19 pandemic highlighting profound, structural inequities in U.S. society, The Greenlining Institute lays out a bold vision for a more equitable economy and calls for a radical rethinking of community development in its newly published Greenlined Economy Guidebook.

“It’s not enough to just rebuild an economy that’s clearly broken,” said guidebook author Sonrisa Cooper, Greenlining’s Community Development Program Manager. “The pandemic has shown us how deeply racism and inequity are embedded throughout our economy. This guidebook offers a way to rethink how we do everything — from housing and infrastructure to parks, transportation and more — putting community at the center. We need a Greenlined Economy.”

The guidebook offers a path to an economy that is cooperative, regenerative, democratic, non-exploitive and inclusive. It lays out the barriers that currently get in the way of such an economy, including unequal power dynamics that keep community members shut out of decision-making, a top-down mindset, the lack of capacity-building for redlined or disinvested neighborhoods, siloed programs and funding sources, an unwillingness to prioritize grassroots groups, and a system focused heavily on profit.

The guidebook lays out six standards for equitable community investment, followed by concrete examples of how they might be applied in particular situations.  The standards are:

1.   Emphasize race-conscious solutions, because race-conscious policies like redlining and urban renewal got us to this point, and race-neutral approaches can’t fix it.

2.   Prioritize multi-sector approaches, since while programs may be siloed, the problems communities face are not.

3.   Deliver intentional benefits to underserved communities, rather than just assuming that benefits will “trickle down.”

4.   Build community capacity, which has too often been eroded by long-term disinvestment and discriminatory policies.

5.   Be community-driven at every stage, from goal-setting to analysis.

6.   Establish paths toward wealth-building that can reach as many as possible and include pathways beyond just homeownership, with lower barriers to entry.

“We’re asking for a dramatic transformation of how things have been done in our economy for a long time,” Cooper said. “Our current economic system isn’t built to meet the needs of communities of color. If the current crisis has shown us anything, it’s that the time to start doing things differently is now.”

To learn more about The Greenlining Institute, visit www.greenlining.org.

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 THE GREENLINING INSTITUTE
A Multi-Ethnic Public Policy, Research and Advocacy Institute
www.greenlining.org
@Greenlining

California’s Health Care Workforce Should Be More Diverse, New Report Says

Greenlining Institute Study Highlights Barriers for Youth of Color  

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

OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA – With California facing a serious shortage of health care workers as it copes with COVID-19, a new report from The Greenlining Institute looks at the barriers that keep young people of color out of the health field and what can be done to overcome those barriers.

The report, Opening Pathways for Youth of Color: The Future of California’s Health Workforce, notes that while Black, Latino and Native American communities make up 62 percent of California’s people, less than six percent of California physicians are Latino and just five percent are Black. In partnership with the Alameda County Health Pathway Partnership program, Greenlining conducted surveys and a focus group with program alumni to get a picture of the challenges they face in pursuing health careers and what sorts of support would reduce those challenges.

“Young people of color want to work in the health care field, but too many obstacles get in their way,” said report coauthor Christian Beauvoir. “The starkly higher rate of COVID-19 deaths for Black and Latino Californians reminds us how important it is to have a diverse health workforce that can deliver culturally competent care.”

Among the report’s key findings:

Challenges young people of color faced included

  • Finances, including cost-prohibitive expenses associated with college applications and tuition,
  • Transportation, with lengthy commutes and lack of money forcing many to use riskier transportation alternatives to cut costs, and
  • Lack of support systems to help them get into and navigate higher education.

Key supportive factors participants cited included

  • Exposure to a variety of health careers and professionals,
  • Social support and mentorship, particularly for first-generation and low-income youth, and
  • Financial assistance that eased the cost burden and reduced the need to choose between further education and holding a job to support themselves and their families.

The report concludes with a series of policy recommendations designed to reduce the barriers cited and increase availability of supports, including passage of Proposition 16 to allow the state to more effectively address racial disparities in education.

To learn more about The Greenlining Institute, visit www.greenlining.org.

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THE GREENLINING INSTITUTE
A Multi-Ethnic Public Policy, Research and Advocacy Institute

www.greenlining.org

Public Statement on The Two Hundred

The Greenlining Institute and the Two Hundred are two separate organizations that do not coordinate policy agendas.

The Greenlining Institute’s mission remains to advance economic opportunity and empowerment for people of color through advocacy, community and coalition building, research, and leadership development. We believe and advocate for environmental protections in redlined communities of color disproportionately burdened by pollution in California. We know that environmental, social and economic justice is racial justice and that communities of color have the right to lead on all decisions that impact their communities.

The Greenlining Institute Mourns the Passing of Co-Founder Bob Gnaizda

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

OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA – It is with profound sadness that The Greenlining Institute announces that Robert (Bob) Gnaizda, one of the organization’s co-founders and a ferocious advocate for racial and economic justice, passed away on Saturday. On behalf of our Board of Directors, employees, and coalition partners we extend our deepest sympathies to Bob’s family during this difficult time.

“Since the mid-1970’s Bob was a tireless leader who created community around a simple, shared and powerful vision,” said Greenlining Institute President and CEO Debra Gore-Mann. “To bring together grassroots community leaders from the African American, Asian American, Latino and disabled communities to both fight institutionalized discrimination and redlining and to proactively bring investments and opportunity into these communities. Bob was fearless. He and John Gamboa forced big banks and other institutions to listen, and brought billions of dollars in investment into communities that had been redlined.”

“Before racial and economic justice was a popular hashtag, Bob was bold enough to say what others wouldn’t and brave enough to do what most wouldn’t,” said Greenlining Board Co-Chair Tunua Thrash-Ntuk. “He wielded a pen and paper that was guided by his vast and unrivaled knowledge of our national economic and banking system. Coupled by his love of people, Bob never shrank in the face of the racial justice fight against outsized circumstance — be it a financially endowed CEO, a Federal Reserve Chairman or a powerful member of Congress or the Cabinet. His uncanny knack for strategy yielded Greenlining and the communities it serves countless wins that bent the arc of justice toward righteousness.”

A community luminary and longtime civil rights advocate, Gnaizda was one of the key leaders who put together the multi-ethnic racial and economic justice coalition that eventually became The Greenlining Institute in 1993. At first, he and fellow co-founder John Gamboa were the organization’s sole staff members, formulating a strategy that used the Community Reinvestment Act to push banks to lend and invest in long-redlined communities of color. His warnings about the growth of predatory lending in the early 2000s led to him being interviewed in the award-winning documentary about the 2008 crash, “Inside Job.”

“Bob is one of the most underappreciated civil rights leaders of our time because he never cared about being honored or celebrated, he cared about the work,” John Gamboa said.

“Bob Gnaizda was a social justice creative genius,” said Orson Aguilar, who led Greenlining after Gnaizda and Gamboa retired. “He mixed his vast legal skills with a creative organizing approach that often mixed baseball statistics with current and historic events. He always sought to uplift leaders of color and never backed away from talking about race. Nobody has worked harder than Bob to build a long-lasting, multi-ethnic coalition. Bob had an enormous spirit that will leave a long-lasting impact on all of us who were fortunate to have worked alongside him in our march towards social and racial justice.”

“Bob was a brilliant lawyer, advocate and comrade for social and economic equity for, with and in our communities,” said Ortensia Lopez, another co-founder and longtime Greenlining Institute board member. “Bob was always ahead of his times and always had great insights and strategies to address our issues. I am honored, privileged and thankful to have worked with him on so many issues.”

A private funeral for Robert Gnaizda will take place in Petaluma on Saturday, July 18, 2020. Plans for a public online memorial are being developed and will be announced later.

To learn more about The Greenlining Institute, visit www.greenlining.org.

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THE GREENLINING INSTITUTE
A Multi-Ethnic Public Policy, Research and Advocacy Institute
www.greenlining.org
@Greenlining

 

Greenlining Applauds Small Business Relief in California Budget

Assistance Marks “Ray of Sunshine in a Rough Year”

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

OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA – The new state budget about to be signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom provides important relief for hard-hit small businesses, The Greenlining Institute said today. The help will be especially important for entrepreneurs who are people of color or women.

The budget includes $100 million to support the California Industrial Bank’s loan guarantee program that provides financial assistance to small businesses. It also expands of the first-year exemption from the $800 Minimum Franchise Tax normally required of LLCs, a provision which sunsets in three years. The LLC fee waiver will boost small business creation by low and moderate-income entrepreneurs, who tend to be disproportionately people of color and women, by giving them the same ability as wealthy entrepreneurs to protect their personal assets in case their business fails.

“These provisions represent some small rays of sunshine in a really tough budget year,” said Greenlining Institute Economic Equity Director Adam Briones. “As our state faces one of the worst economic crises we have seen in a decade due to COVID-19, and the racial wealth gap only continues to grow, it’s more important than ever that small businesses owned by low-income people of color have all the help they can get in both building new assets and protecting what they have. Ultimately, this means more jobs and prosperity in communities dealing with unprecedented economic challenges.

“We want to thank Assemblymember Dr. Joaquin Arambula, who is a continual champion for California’s vulnerable, diverse small businesses, for his important leadership on these issues.”

To learn more about The Greenlining Institute, visit www.greenlining.org.

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THE GREENLINING INSTITUTE
A Multi-Ethnic Public Policy, Research and Advocacy Institute
www.greenlining.org
@Greenlining