'Tech Untaxed' Report Shows Declining U.S. Corporate Tax Rates

by: Catherine Dunn

How much does Apple, the world’s most valuable company, pay in taxes? About 9.8 percent–less than a third of the U.S.’s 35 percent top corporate income tax rate–according to a report being published Tuesday (aka, Tax Day). That’s down from Apple’s tax rate of 24.8 percent in 2009 and 14.7 percent in 2010.

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$559 Million of Cap and Trade Funds Now Going to Underserved Communities

Consumers Union Blog
by Kristin Retter

Earlier this month California Governor Jerry Brown released a revised state budget, and the Greenlining Institute has issued a press release praising the new funds available to support AB32 and SB 535 projects.

AB 32, The Global Warming Solutions Act, generates revenue from the sale of carbon permits through the cap-and-trade program, and SB 535 requires that 25% of those funds benefit the most heavily polluted and disadvantaged neighborhoods, with at least 10% supporting projects located within these communities. These funds have already started to make an impact on the people living in these neighborhoods by creating new jobs, improving transportation, and helping residents lower their utility bills.

The revised budget issues new funding, with at least $559 million in cap and trade funding now going to underserved communities.  According to the Greenlining press release, some of the increased funding will support the following;

  • Low-income energy programs– These programs help pay for better weatherization and the installation of solar panels for low-income households, which helps to reduce energy use and monthly energy bills.
  • Urban forestry– Increasing and maintaining trees and other plants in an urban setting increases the air quality by helping to remove carbon from the air, increases the quality of life for residents, and actually cools the surface of the ground, which reduces the heat trapped in cities.
  • Charge Ahead Initiative– This initiative helps to increase access to ride and vehicle sharing programs in underserved communities using low or zero emissions vehicles, and to helps replace high pollution vehicles with low or zero emissions vehicles.
  • Affordable housing near public transit– This will help low-income families have access to transportation and be able to live near their schools and jobs, which will reduce air pollution and increase quality of life.

These initiatives are improving air quality and decreasing emissions to fight climate change while at the same time rectifying some of the ill effects of poverty by providing more options for low-income households.

1 Million Electric Vehicles in California? A Look at the State of the State

by Chris Clarke

Environmentally speaking, there wasn’t much new in Governor Brown’s State of The State message Wednesday morning. The Governor remains committed to building a high speed rail system. He said that the state’s drought meant we needed to keep working on the Bay Delta Conservation Plan, as well as restoring and protecting wetlands.

For the most part it was all pretty basic stuff, reaffirming prior policy declarations from the Governor’s office. But one issue the governor mentioned has attracted some notice from environmental and clean-tech activists.

The issue? Our famously automobile-dependent state’s annual gasoline habit, and the technology that offers to replace it.

Here’s what Brown said about our typical methods of getting people and cargo from place to place in California:

[O]ur biggest challenge remains the amount of gasoline Californians use. Each year, our motor vehicles use more than 14 billion gallons of gasoline to travel over 330 billion miles. To put those numbers in perspective, the sun is 93 million miles away…

In so many other ways, California is a pioneer. We have 25 percent of the nation’s foreign born and we are the first state in modern times to have a plurality of families of Latino origin. So it’s not surprising that California is the state where immigrants can not only dream — they can drive.

We are also the state of innovation, of Silicon Valley and more venture capital investment than any other state — by far.

We’re on our way to a million electric vehicles and we’re building the nation’s only high-speed rail.

That “million electric vehicles” statement is a verbatim nod to a campaign called “Charge Ahead California,” a coalition of grassroots and mainstream green groups that is in fact pushing for a million electric cars in the state. Considering that there are close to 20 million cars registered in the state at the moment, that seems a fairly reasonable short-term goal, but it’s still quite a bit beyond the 50,000 or so electric cars now plying the state’s roadways.

Brown’s plug for the incentive won him praise from a number of groups. “We are strongly encouraged that the governor not only recognized the importance of cutting our gasoline use and putting a million electric vehicles on the road, he pointed out the crucial role that immigrants and communities of color can play in that effort.” said the Greenlining Institute’s Vien Truong. “We must move ahead with policies that put clean vehicles within reach of all Californians, regardless of income, race or neighborhood.”

Electric cars account for less than two percent of new car sales in the state, according to Charge Ahead, but some demographics are adopting the cleaner-tech vehicles more readily than others. Witness reporter Dana Hull’s piece this week in the San Jose Mercury News, in which she reports on “charge rage” among tech industry workers: employees are buying the cars faster than employers can install parking lot chargers, leading to conflict.

That’s likely a growing pain of the sort any fledgling consumer-industrial sector experiences. The fact is, Brown’s right: our state’s profligate use of gasoline is a major contributor to our climate footprint.

Governor Brown attempted to put our gasoline use into perspective by mentioning the distance to the sun. Most of us don’t really have a visceral idea of how far away the sun is. A more useful perspective might come from how much of the ecosystem’s ability to soak up the greenhouse gases we use in our annual driving habits.

Each gallon of gasoline burned in a car generates roughly 14 pounds of carbon dioxide (CO2), the major greenhouse gas contributing to our current climate woes. That means the 14 billion gallons of gasoline we burn each year in the state put 196 billion pounds of CO2 into the air. We reported last week on a study that indicates the state’s largest old-growth redwoods may remove as much as 2,400 pounds of CO2 from the atmosphere each year: if those figures are correct, you’d need almost 82 million redwoods the size of the world’s largest to absorb the CO2 from our gasoline use.

At a typical old-growth forest density of about 20 very ancient redwood trees per acre that would cover 40 percent of the state, which would make it a lot harder to drive everywhere.

Or compare the raw figures to commonly touted greenhouse gas benefits of some prominent renewable energy projects. BrightSource Energy has touted the CO2 emissions reductions from its Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System as “the equivalent of taking more than 70,000 cars off the road.” Taking the company at its word, the state would need to build 283 more Ivanpahs to offset our annual car habits’ climate damage.

Transportation accounted for 37.6 percent of the state’s greenhouse gas emissions in 2011, making our cars, trucks, SUVs, and semis the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the state. Every individual trip we take may not add much to the overall CO2 burden, but with close to 20 million cars in the state, those little trips do add up. And in a society that offers significant infrastructural disincentives to non-motorized travel, it can be hard to push ourselves to find alternative ways of getting around.

Which the Governor addressed, a bit obliquely, at the end of his address:

Overcoming these challenges will test our vision, our discipline and our ability to persevere. But overcome them we will and as we do, we will build for the future, not steal from it.

Sounds like a plan.

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.

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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.

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