Opening Comments of The Greenlining Institute On The Proposed Decision And The Alternate Proposed Decision

I. Introduction

In accordance with Rule 14.3(a) of the California Public Utilities Commission’s (“CPUC” or “the Commission”) Rules of Practice and Procedure, the Greenlining Institute (“Greenlining”) submits these Opening Comments on both the Proposed Decision of ALJ Pulsifer Regarding Residential Rate Design (“PD”) and the Alternate Proposed Decision of Commissioner Peevey Regarding Residential Rate Design (“APD”).[1] The Commission should reject the APD completely and modify the PD to minimize the impact of multiple rate increases on California Alternate Rates for Energy (“CARE”) customers.

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Comments of the Greenlining Institute on the Federal Reserve Proposed Regulation II: Debit Card Interchange Fees and Routing

The Greenlining Institute appreciates the Federal Reserve Board’s solicitation of public input for the proposed Regulation II regarding debit card interchange fees and routing.

In light of Greenlining’s mission to ensure safe and equitable access for all communities to the financial sector, we are especially concerned about any disproportionate impact the implementation of (or the failure to implement) this proposed rule could have for unbanked Americans.
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Public Comment to California Redistricting Commission Concerning Staffing & Community Outreach Decisions

Dear Commissioners:

On Wednesday, January 12, 2011, the California Citizens Redistricting Commission will consider two important items that will lay the foundation for its work for the coming months; this includes a staffing plan and a community outreach plan.

Staffing Plan

In the final months leading to the final selection of all 14 Commissioners, the California Secretary of State’s office stepped into a self-appointed roll of determining staff positions, creating job descriptions, and circulating the job announcement among traditional employment networks.  We can all appreciate that the work of the inaugural and newly minted Commission is robust and highly integrated, however, Greenlining believes that the first key role of the Commission is to determine the best structure of the Redistricting California organization, this includes what positions need to be created and their duties.

The influence of another California department without the confirmed authority of the Commission may erode the public’s confidence that the 14 Commissioners are in fact leading the plan for an independent redistricting process. Furthermore, we would expect that the Commission draw from the lessons learned during the recruitment and selection process of the commissioners themselves, and would take all affirmative action to circulate the staff job announcements in such a way that would facilitate the recruitment of California’s best and brightest policy/legal/administrative professional and executive leaders, including those of ethnic and minority background.

We would urge the Commission to consider the following:

Letter From Greenlining to the CPUC Urging Consideration of New Steps to Protect Consumers Facing Shut-Off of Gas and Electricity

On September 14, 2010, Greenlining and four other consumer groups wrote to the California Public Utilities Commission to urge the CPUC to quickly take up several issues not yet fully addressed in CPUC proceedings aimed at protecting consumers facing shut off of their utility service. The groups urged the CPUC to address the discrepancies in shut-off rates between different utility companies and between CARE and non-CARE customers, customer outreach and language access issues.