Letter to OCC and FDIC re: Changes to the Community Reinvestment Act

The Greenlining Institute submitted a comment letter in response to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation's proposed changes to the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPR) to the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA). The Greenlining Institute submits this letter in support of modernizing and strengthening the CRA, while maintaining the original intent of the law: to combat redlining and discrimination in the financial sector. We highlight that the proposed rule does not meet the original spirit of the CRA and should not be adopted into law. We emphasize that changes to the CRA should focus on strengthening the law by adopting a focus on racial inequity and driving more investments to communities of color.

Letter: Greenlining urges Legislature to Promote Racial Equity in Healthcare during COVID-19 Relief

The California Legislature must prioritize racial equity in COVID-19 relief efforts. We call upon the Governor and legislature to 1) expeditie Medi-Cal coverage for undocumented elders, 2) prioritize support and resources for local clinics and community health centers, 3) increase access to free telehealth and internet services for low-income families, 4) provide oversight to hospitals and eliminate surprise medical billing, and 5) encourage health system contracts with diverse businesses as they spend relief funds.

Letter: Greenlining Urges State of California to Center Racial Equity in COVID-19 Response

Addressing the immediate impacts of COVID-19 is rightfully the main focus of our state’s response. In time, however, we must address the health, economic, and social fallout of this global pandemic and dedicate significant resources towards rebooting our economy and society. In doing so we have a responsibility to prioritize the needs of the most impacted and least equipped communities to bounce back on their own. This is our moment to collectively rewrite the story of what our world will become and what is possible when we work together. It demands that we let go of failed systems from the past and employ innovative strategies, so that we can build a new tomorrow together.

The Greenlining Coalition to Speaker Pelosi: Diverse Businesses, Communities, and Non-Profits Must be Included in the Economic Recovery

The Greenlining sent a letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi to thank her for her work negotiating the CARES Act and highlighting ways to ensure that the CARES Act targets the families and businesses who need the most help at this time. Greenlining urged Speaker Pelosi to ensure that the $850 billion business fund benefits ethnic businesses and diverse workers by appointing an Inspector General and Oversight Committee that is representative of communities of color, oversees the small business fund and is under strict transparency measures. In addition, Greenlining urged Speaker Pelosi to promote equity in the distribution of $150 billion to medical centers by ensuring that funds go to community health centers, encouraging contracts and procurements with diverse businesses and promoting transparency in spending. Greenlining also emphasized that the next stimulus targets small, diverse nonprofits .

The Greenlining Coalition to Governor Newsom: Support Diverse Small Businesses and Non-Profits

The Greenlining Coalition wrote a letter to Governor Gavin Newsom thanking him for his exemplary leadership during this crisis and urging him to ensure that vulnerable communities, diverse small businesses and grassroots nonprofits are prioritized in state-level recovery programs. Greenlining detailed policy recommendations that could help avert disaster for Black, Latinx and AAPI small business owners in California, as well as support diverse nonprofits and the communities they serve.

Testimony: House Committee on Financial Services, Subcommittee on Diversity and Inclusion

Greenlining urged the committee to promote greater transparency regarding diversity in the banking industry, stating:
  1. Diversity and inclusion are the building blocks of a fair society. Numerous academic and private-sector studies have shown that diverse businesses outperform homogenous organizations time and time again;
  2. Transparency in an institution’s approach to diversity does not require any change to that institution’s business plan or practices, it merely gives consumers in our diverse nation the ability to fairly evaluate where they spend their hard-earned dollars; and
  3. By 2040, the US will be majority people of color. Our communities have a right and responsibility to contribute to our nation's public, private, and non-profit sectors, and transparency data can help make clear where our participation is lacking.

Comments: California Air Resources Board Must Adopt a Stronger Advanced Clean Truck Rule

The California Air Resources Board Must Adopt a Stronger Advanced Clean Truck Rule

Greenlining supports a stronger Advanced Clean Truck rule standard. As it stands, the ACT proposal would result in zero-emission trucks comprising four percent of California’s trucks by 2030; this is an insufficient standard and will fail to address the imminent, severe climate and public health consequences our state faces. We urge the California Air Resources Board to strengthen its proposal through the following mandates:

  1. Increasing the overall mandates to ensure that by 2030 no less than 15 percent of medium and heavy-duty trucks on the road are zero-emitting.
  2. Including Class 2b pickup trucks in the mandates beginning in 2024.
  3. Outlining CARB's longer-term objectives for achieving 100 percent zero-emission trucks in various categories, and explaining how this phase of the rule is consistent with those objectives in attaining federal and state air quality and greenhouse gas objectives.
  4. Committing to adopt corresponding fleet purchase requirements in 2021.

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