14th Annual Economic Summit Roundup

picture-8-193x109We celebrated our 14th Annual Greenlining Economic Development Summit in Los Angeles. Once again we brought together the leading community advocates, corporate leaders and government officials in the country to discuss “win-win” opportunities and solutions on issues related to minority economic empowerment.

Fulfilling The Promise: April 21, 2007


Sheila Bair, Chairwoman FDIC Introduced by George Dean

Janet Yellen, President Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco Introduced by Cynthia Amador

Charles Prince, Chairman & CEO Citigroup, Inc.

Richard K. Davis, President & Chief Executive Officer U.S. Bancorp Continue reading “14th Annual Economic Summit Roundup”

150 Years After the Civil War, Race Still Haunts Us

The Bellingham Herald
By Orson Aguilar

One hundred and fifty years ago, on April 12, 1861, the first shots of the Civil War were fired. A century and a half later, the issue of race still haunts us.

Back then, most everyone understood that America’s bloodiest war – more than 623,000 dead – had its roots in race. But race is not a subject Americans like to think about anymore. At every turn, prominent voices try to pretend that since we’ve achieved a colorblind society, we can forget all that old unpleasantness.

Continue reading “150 Years After the Civil War, Race Still Haunts Us”

15th Annual Economic Summit Roundup

15thAnnual_jpg-sizedWe celebrated our 15th Annual Greenlining Economic Development Summit in Los Angeles. Once again we brought together the leading community advocates, corporate leaders and government officials in the country to discuss “win-win” opportunities and solutions on issues related to minority economic empowerment.

The Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) Friday April 25, 2008

Keynote Speakers:
Sheila Bair, Chairwoman, FDIC
Introduced by Assemblymember Ted Lieu

Ivan Seidenberg
Chairman and CEO, Verizon

U.S. Attorney Joseph P. Russoniello

Award Recipients:
Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) Award 2008
Robert McNeely
Executive Vice President Union Bank California

Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) Award 2008
Shiela Bair
Chairwoman, FDIC

Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) Award 2008
Cynthia Amador
President and CEO
CHARO Community Development Corporation

Big Brain Award 2008
Assemblymember Joe Coto (D-San Jose)
Chair, California Latino Legislative Caucus

Big Foot Award 2008
Louise Perez
Executive Director
Community Resource Project, Sacramento CA

Big Heart Award 2008
Faith Bautista
Executive Director
Mabuhay Alliance, Inc.

Lifetime Achievement Award 2008
Ortensia Lopez
Executive Director
El Concilio of San Mateo County and Greenlining Co-Chair

Lifetime Achievement Award 2008
George Dean
President and CEO
Greater Phoenix Urban League

Torchbearer Award 2008
Lindsay Imai
Transportation and Housing Program Associate
Urban Habitat, Oakland CA

16th Annual Economic Summit Roundup

Friday, April 3, 2009


Keynote Speakers Richard Davis, Chief Executive Officer, US Bank

Randall Stephenson, Chief Executive Officer, AT&T


Lifetime Achievement Award

John C. Gamboa and Robert Gnaizda, Co-Founders, Greenlining Institute

The Greenlining Big Heart Award

Keith Kelley, Executive Director, Fresno West Coalition for Economic Development

The Greenlining Institute Distinguished Leader Award

Honorable Ted Lieu, California State Assemblymember, 53rd District

The Greenlining Big Brain Award

Earl “Skip” Cooper, Black Business Association

The Greenlining Big Foot Award

Martha Montoya, California Hispanic Chamber of Commerce

The Greenlining Torchbearer Award

Erik Paulino, La Unidad Latina Foundation


Jumpstarting the 21st Century Economy with Green Solutions for All Communities


Sam Kang, Managing Attorney, Greenlining Institute

Tara Marchant, Green Assets Program Manager, Greenlining Institute

Presentation by

Phil Angelides, Chairman, Apollo Alliance


Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins, Executive Director, Green For All

Honorable Felipe Fuentes, California State Assemblymember, 39th District

Honorable Dian Grueneich, Commissioner, California Public Utilities Commission

Honorable Ted Lieu, California State Assemblymember, 53rd District

Honorable V. Manuel Perez, California State Assemblymember, 80th District

Mark Toney, Ph.D., Executive Director, The Utility Reform Network (TURN)

Beyond the Stimulus: Opportunities & Challenges in Reforming our National Healthcare System


Dr. Gil Ojeda, Director, CPAC, UC Berkeley School of Public Health


Dr. Diana M. Bonta, Vice President, Public Affairs, Kaiser Permanente

Dr. America Bracho, President and Chief Executive Officer, Latino Health Access

Carmela Castellano-Garcia, Esq., Chief Executive Officer, California Primary Care Association

Sylvia Drew Ivie, Chief of Staff, Office of LA County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas

Honorable Dave Jones, Chair, California State Assembly Health Committee

Dr. Robert Ross, President, The California Endowment

Sustaining and Expanding Homeownership: What Works? What Doesn’t? What’s Next?


Preeti Vissa, Community Reinvestment Program Manager, Greenlining Institute


Brad Blackwell, Executive Vice President, Wells Fargo Home Mortgage

Jane Duong, Homeownership Program Manager, Mission Economic Development Agency

Glenda Gabriel, Senior Vice President of Neighborhood Lending, Bank of America

Ronald Martinez: Senior Loan Officer, Los Angeles Neighborhood Housing Services (LA NHS)

Kevin Stein, Associate Director, California Reinvestment Coalition

Other Presenters

Mistress and Master of Ceremonies

Maria Contreras-Sweet, Founder and Chairwoman, Promerica Bank

Paul H. Turner, Chairman of the Board, West Angeles CDC


Bishop Brother Eddie C. Villanueva, Founder, Jesus is Lord Church Worldwide

Reverend J. Alfred Smith, Jr., Senior Pastor, Allen Temple Baptist Church

17th Annual Economic Summit Rebuilding the American Dream


The Greenlining Institute’s
17th Annual Economic Summit
Rebuilding the American Dream

Friday, April 9, 2010
Downtown Los Angeles

The American Dream is perceived as a promise of prosperity for all citizens. The American Dream is the opportunity to raise one’s standard of living without the restrictions of class, religion, race, or ethnic group. According to the dream, this includes the opportunity for one’s children to grow up and receive an adequate education, own a home, and live a healthy life.

During the Presidential campaign of 2009, then candidate Obama stated during a speech entitled Reclaiming the American Dream, “Americans share a faith in simple dreams. A job with wages that can support a family. Health care that we can count on and afford. A retirement that is dignified and secure. Education and opportunity for our kids. Common hopes. American dreams.”

The thought that anyone can achieve what Mr. Obama was referring to defines the consummate American story and has served as the beacon of hope and prospect of upward mobility for Americans across many generations.

And though that promise still rings true today, we know that the American Dream for communities of color has been and continues to be elusive.

Today, the cost of higher education is skyrocketing. Homeownership levels are dropping due to foreclosures. Entrepreneurship is suffering due to the lack of credit for small businesses. A worsening state budget threatens to cut vital services to people that need them most. Finally, too many people remain unemployed despite the proclamation that the “recession is over.”

Join us on April 9th in Los Angeles as we discuss how we nurture new and capable leaders to Rebuild the American Dream. We will discuss current efforts that aim for a more responsive and effective government. We will discuss the need for responsible corporations to be partners in win-win efforts.

Given the current crisis, it is time to rethink what once had a greater meaning; we need to Rebuild the American Dream.

18th Annual Economic Summit: The Future of the American Dream


2010 Keynote: Congressman Barney Frank

Greenlining’s annual Economic Summit provides a rare opportunity for business and government leaders to connect with leaders from low-to-moderate income and minority communities to create viable solutions for the issues that affect us all. With over 1,000 participants, the Summit is the only event of its kind — a conference that represents a truly “rainbow,” cross-sector coalition. Our Summit creates this powerful exchange of perspectives, where relationships are developed, ideas are fomented, and “win/win”solutions are a common result. Please join us for Greenlining’s 18th Annual Economic Summit titled, “The Future of the American Dream.”

2011 Economic Summit Panels

Our “Smart” Future: Potential and Pitfalls

GLISummit20105The coming decade will witness a revolution that merges the media, energy, and telecommunications industries in ways never seen before. From the merger of cable companies with broadcast networks, to the Smart Grid system and “smart” energy technologies, how we go about our daily lives will fundamentally change.

This panel will examine some of the most important changes on the horizon, including how we consume information, the revamping of our electrical grid, and the technologies that will get us there. Join representatives from the private and public sectors as they debate the potential – and the potential pitfalls – of our “Smart” future.

Mastering the Art of Leadership in a Technological Age

GLISummit20107The use of technology tools by the Obama campaign to inspire, generate resources, and organize millions of volunteers has raised interesting questions about leadership, civic participation and how social change happens.

It is not possible to tackle problems like climate change, increasing wealth disparities or access to education without embracing new technologies and network strategies that enable us to reach wide audiences and mobilize support. Join us for a discussion on mastering the art of social justice leadership in an increasingly technological age.

Starting Points of Change: The Correlation of Health and Wealth

GLISummit20109In his first year, President Obama’s Administration opted to tackle two of the most critical elements for change– health care reform and financial reform. In this panel, we will discuss the relationship between financial and personal health and how this relationship impacts communities.

We will also examine the relationship and potential impact these two reforms have on communities of color, what opportunities these reforms bring, and what more needs to happen to achieve equity.Click Here to see the agenda.

2011: The Main Action Won’t Be in Congress

By Preeti Vissa

The punditocracy is anxiously war-gaming the expected battles between the Obama Administration and Congress. But while there will be plenty of strong rhetoric and political theatrics on Capitol Hill, much of the real action will occur elsewhere, in administrative and regulatory processes that typically occur offstage.

Continue reading “2011: The Main Action Won’t Be in Congress”

2015 “Selfie Awards” Salute Philanthropic Narcissism (Recipients Boycott Ceremony…but Need Not Be Present to Win)

Nonprofit Quarterly
by Phil Anthrop

Reform philanthropy from the inside or the outside? That was not a literal question for Jasmine Bluth, leader of True Philanthropy—a small group of former foundation program officers who formed their own pressure group after years of servitude, silently and agonizingly critiquing every guideline, grant, and pronouncement from the foundation presidents nearby who paid their salaries. These renegades had flown the coop, and now, after years of silent suffering, their talons came out, Twitter style, with the discreet invitation, “True Philanthropy Seeks Nominations for Selfie Awards.”

“This field has been begging for a feedback loop,” self-employed consultant Bluth posted, “and while it’s true that if the rich give away some of their money they won’t get shot, that doesn’t mean we have to be craven.”

A current challenge for awards programs is to distinguish themselves from other awards, since there is a limit to any one award’s ability to inspire desired behavior. Unhappily, the sheer number of awards programs has diluted their ingratiating effect.

For this reason, the Selfie Awards adopted a piggyback strategy—same time (April 27, 2015), same place (San Francisco)—as the annual conference of the Council of Large Foundations.

The first True Philanthropy Annual Selfie Awards (recognizing exemplary performances during the previous year) were announced in twelve categories:

  1. Outstanding Performance in Self-Congratulation by a Philanthropic Program;
  2. Definitive Self-Promotion by an American Philanthropist (Male);
  3. Definitive Self-Promotion by an American Philanthropist (Female);
  4. Most Insufferable and Self-Serving but Ultimately Destructive Funding Initiative;
  5. Most Dramatic Reversal and Abandonment of Previous Positions (with Scant Explanation) by a Private Foundation;
  6. Most Elegant Office Redesign Using Funds Designated as Paid Out for Charitable Purposes;
  7. Most Supremely Pointless (but Well-Catered) Destination Location Conference/Confab/Ideas Festival;
  8. Most Begrudging and Demeaning Treatment of a Grantee;
  9. Most Degrading and Abusive Rejection of an Unsuccessful Applicant;
  10. Most Self-Serving but Least Productive Celebrity Charity Activity;
  11. Least Productive Result yet Most Effective Publicity-Garnering Corporate Initiative; and, finally,
  12. Absolute Smallest Portion of Available Undesignated Funds from a Community Foundation.

Recognizing the essential role of lackeys accepting gifts from philanthropists—without them none of this would be possible—a special acknowledgment was promised for the Most Unctuously Groveling Nonprofit Shill in a Subordinate Role to Foundation Aggrandizement.

Not unexpectedly, Yusuf Arak, president of the Association of Large Foundations, criticized the announcement as “a juvenile and inappropriate intrusion on a serious professional meeting bringing together some of the most generous institutions that tackle society’s toughest problems with innovation and élan.”

The Association of Large Foundations, which for several years had presented awards for the Best Annual Report and the Best Leadership on Public Policy, decided to fight this upstaging battle, statuette to statuette.

“We’ve seen this kind of attack before,” observed Arak. “This is not so different from California, in 2007, with legislation from that Greenlining Institute, whose so-called ‘Foundation Diversity and Transparency Act’ attempted to coerce foundations into divulging a PC definition of gender, racial, and ethnic diversity on an annual basis.”

“We fought that off in 2008 with $38 million in targeted consortium grants,” added Brent Williams, president of the Bear Flag Foundation, “and guess what happened? That legislation crawled away by itself into a back room with our lobbyists and the brute force of reason.”

“The simple fact is, we can pay for a bigger spotlight than they can,” Arak confided in an interview with theEleemosynary Chronicle.

Surely, when wealthy donors compete, the public can only come out ahead. That’s how the Titanium Philanthropy Award came into being, with an eye-popping $100 million prize, Oprah Winfrey as its extra-special host, and the Boys Choir of Harlem as its premier $100 million recipient. Simultaneously, ten million YouTube views of the three-minute-long Selfie Award ceremony gave True Philanthropy a similarly permanent place in the philanthropic pantheon.

“Actually, it’s not the size but the number of spotlights,” Bluth cheerfully tweeted to her 450,000 followers.

Phil Anthrop is a consultant to foundations in G7 countries.

2015 Consumer Education Awards

SmartGrid Consumer Collaborative

In effort to recognize companies and organizations who serve as role models within SGCC and the industry in the development and implementation of a consumer education programs, SGCC honored the top Utility, top Technology Vendor and top Non-Profit Organization at our 2015 Consumer Symposium: Consumer Value in Action on February 2, 2015.

All SGCC members were considered for the awards. In consideration of potential new members, non-SGCC members were also eligible for these awards. The criterion by which candidate companies were selected is based on five behaviors and how they make Smart Grid CLEAR to consumers:

  • Consumers first: Demonstrated true consumer centric approach in the development and implementation of consumer education and awareness programs
  • Leadership: Exhibited initiative in the area of consumer education and is recognized as a consumer advocate and thought leader in the industry
  • Excellence: Demonstrated innovation and imagination in the creation of consumer facing initiatives and programs
  • Authenticity: Has demonstrated a high level of integrity in engaging with consumers and other key stakeholders in the industry
  • Results: Has been able to demonstrate, in a quantifiable way, a direct impact on consumer awareness and behavior

2015 Award Winners:
SGCC is proud to announce our 2015 Winners:

Peak Energy Savings Credit & Energy Wise Rewards, Pepco Holdings Inc
Pepco Holdings Inc. (PHI) is one of the largest energy delivery companies in the Mid-Atlantic region and has developed more than a dozen energy management programs to help customers save energy. PHI’s Energy Wise Rewards program allows Maryland customers to take more control of their energy use, save money, and take a step toward a more sustainable lifestyle. By combining customer education for its AMI-enabled dynamic pricing program, Peak Energy Savings Credit, and the Energy Wise Rewards program, the company positioned its offerings as “Two Ways to Save”. These programs allow customers to select one way or both ways to reduce energy use. Materials educate customers on the many ways to save energy, increasing awareness of both programs. By offering various programs that help customers save energy and reduce costs, PHI has been able to personalize its energy management programs to meet the specific needs of a diverse customer base.

Points and Rewards, Opower
Opower’s Points and Rewards product capitalizes on 400 years worth of consumer behavior data and global best practices to allow customers to earn points for saving energy and participating in utility programs. Points and Rewards is truly a customer-centric approach and has successfully driven a number of outcomes including customer satisfaction, digital engagement, and program participation. From motivating customers to sign up for electronic billing to driving participation in energy efficiency programs, Points and Rewards helps utilities accomplish key smart grid objectives.

Consumer Education & Awareness Campaigns, The Greenlining Institute
Greenlining envisions a nation where race is never a barrier to economic opportunity and communities of color thrive. They work with policymakers, utilities, and community leaders to ensure that energy education and awareness reach all communities, including those who speak languages other than English, are culturally isolated, or otherwise hard to reach. They conduct trainings and educate communities on clean energy and affordability issues and recently launched UpLift California, a way to show the benefits of clean energy happening in communities right 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.

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