Support Letter: AB 1482 Critical Protections for Low-Income Renters

Greenlining supports a comprehensive housing package that includes important tenant protection legislation such as AB 1482. The bill caps annual rent increases at 7% plus inflation, which will provide some stability to cost-burdened households. The housing affordability crisis has left many Californians just one rent increase away from homelessness, and protection against rent gouging will be an important component of any legislative package to address the housing crisis. More than half of renters in the state of California spend at least 30% of their income on housing, including over 80% of low-income Californians; of these, two thirds are people of color. Legislation that protects the most vulnerable households from displacement is crucial to ensuring that Californians of all racial backgrounds and income brackets can thrive.

Support Letter: AB 961 Community Energy Benefits – Assembly Appropriations

Greenlining is sponsoring AB 961, authored by Assembly member Eloise Gomez Reyes of the 47th District. AB 961 would adopt a recommendation in the California Energy Commission’s unanimously adopted SB 350 Low-Income Barriers Study to establish common definitions of “non-energy benefits” or community benefits of clean energy programs, develop standards to measure them, and prioritize projects that promote them in Environmental Justice Communities. This means that regulators would consider additional benefits of clean energy programs, including job creation and improved community health, in evaluating their effectiveness.

Testimony by Sharon Velasquez on How California Can Protect Consumers

Senior Economic Equity Program Manager Sharon Velasquez testified before the California Assembly Banking and Finance Committee in support of the state exploring avenues to better protect consumers, especially those of color. She served as a panelist at an informational hearing called by committee chair Monique Limón entitled The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau: An Examination of the CFPB under the current Federal Administration and Options for California to Better Protect its Consumers. In her comments, Velasquez provided recommendations on how California could counterbalance the federal deregulatory agenda and the weakening of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, particularly in the area of fair lending

Testimony by Anthony Galace in Support of AB 962, Hospital Supplier Diversity

Greenlining Institute Health Equity Director Anthony Galace testified before the California Assembly Health Committee in support of AB 962, authored by Asm. Autumn Burke to strengthen the state’s supplier diversity among hospitals. The measure, modeled on successful existing supplier diversity programs, would require major California hospitals to report their level of contracting with businesses owned by by people of color, women, LGBT people, and veterans. Galace told the committee that “AB 962 will allow health care, business, and government leaders to engage in an honest and transparent discussion about leveraging the growth of the health sector to benefit diverse businesses and the communities they serve.”

Greenlining Sponsor and Support Letter: AB 961 Community Energy Benefits

Greenlining is sponsoring AB 961, authored by Assembly member Eloise Gomez Reyes of the 47th District. AB 961 would adopt a recommendation in the California Energy Commission’s unanimously adopted SB 350 Low-Income Barriers Study to establish common definitions of “non-energy benefits” or community benefits of clean energy programs, develop standards to measure them, and prioritize projects that promote them in Environmental Justice Communities. This means that regulators would consider additional benefits of clean energy programs, including job creation and improved community health, in evaluating their effectiveness.

A Just Transition and the Electric Program Investment Charge – Comments by Madeline Stano at EPIC Symposium 2019

Greenlining Institute Energy Equity Legal Counsel Madeline Stano spoke at the California Energy Commission’s EPIC Symposium about how the Electric Program Investment Charge, or EPIC, can play an important part in a just transition to clean energy that benefits low-income and disadvantaged communities. In remarks at the Symposium’s panel on Equitable and Resilient Communities, Stano described how their work in the San Joaquin Valley showed them how low-income communities of color suffer the burdens of a fossil fuel economy, both socially and environmentally.

Stano explained how they view the Electric Program Investment Charge – a ratepayer program that supports development of clean energy technologies — as a just transition policy, quoting Canadian labor organizer Brian Kohler, who said, “The real choice is not jobs or environment. It is both or neither.”

To further that just transition, Stano urged program participants to “meet communities where they are—physically and metaphorically. Go to the communities you seek to build relationships and show up with curiosity and something to offer.”

Testimony on Southern California Edison’s “Charge Ready 2” Electric Vehicle Charging Station Application

The Greenlining Institute’s Environmental Equity Legal Counsel Joel Espino submitted expert testimony regarding Southern California Edison’s application to the California Public Utilities Commission for approval of a $760 million program to deploy 48,000 EV charging ports. Greenlining is part of this proceeding and will continue to advocate for racial equity by ensuring this investment creates the most benefits for low-income people of color.

Greenlining Support for San Joaquin Valley Energy Access Pilot Projects

Greenlining urged the California Public Utilities Commission to approve a series of pilot projects to bring long-overdue relief to low-income rural communities lacking natural gas service, providing residents with cleaner and healthier alternatives for heating and cooking, as well as home weatherization and energy efficiency upgrades.

Greenlining Strongly Opposes Proposed Rulemaking on Public Charge

The Greenlining Institute issued comments strongly opposing the Department of Homeland Security’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on Public Charge. The proposed rule would expand the list of factors considered in whether immigrants applying for green cards would be “public charges,” or dependent on government assistance. This rule threatens the food, health and housing security of immigrant families and would undermine our nation’s public health.

 

Letter to OCC re: Proposed Community Reinvestment Act Reform

The Greenlining Institute and coalition partners submitted a comment letter in response to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency’s Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR) to the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA). Greenlining pushed back against the OCC’s proposals to weaken the CRA by widening the scope and reducing the focus of the law on historically underserved communities. Greenlining made recommendations to improve and strengthen the law by adopting a focus on racial inequity and expanding regulatory oversight to bank affiliates and online lenders.