Save the Date: Greenlining Economic Summit Tackles “Racial Justice on the Frontlines” in Oakland Apr. 14

Black Lives Matter Founder Alicia Garza to Moderate Opening Plenary

Contact: Bruce Mirken, Greenlining Institute Media Relations Director, 510-926-4022; 415-846-7758 (cell)

OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA – On April 14, The Greenlining Institute’s 24th annual Economic Summit will boldly tackle local and national controversies as it focuses on the theme, “Racial Justice on the Frontlines.” With Black Lives Matter co-founder Alicia Garza moderating the opening discussion, community activists, political and business leaders will take on such challenging issues as gentrification, tech diversity (or the lack thereof), possible repeal of the Affordable Care Act and the impending arrival of Uber in downtown Oakland.

Each year this unique event brings together top business, government, and grassroots community leaders to connect, brainstorm, and strategize on important economic issues affecting communities of color. Last year’s Summit was sold out, and a large crowd is expected again this year.

WHAT: The Greenlining Institute’s 24rd Annual Economic Summit, Racial Justice on the Frontlines

WHO: Confirmed speakers and awardees include: Alicia Garza, co-founder, Black Lives Matter; Zachary Norris, executive director, Ella Baker Center for Human Rights; Matt Haney, president, San Francisco Board of Education; Cristina Jiménez, executive director & co-founder, United We Dream; Tara Houska, national campaigns director, Honor the Earth; Kim Carter, founder & executive director, Time for Change; Zahra Billoo, executive director of the SF Bay Area chapter of the Council on American Islamic Relations; Angela Glover Blackwell, CEO of PolicyLink

WHERE: Oakland Marriott City Center, 1001 Broadway, Oakland, California

WHEN: Friday, April 14, 2017, Registration opens 8 a.m., program starts at 8:30 and runs to 5:45 p.m.

Media interested in attending are asked to RSVP to


A Multi-Ethnic Public Policy, Research and Advocacy Institute

Greenlining Institute Calls for End to ICE Raids

Recent Campaign Spreads Fear for No Purpose, Advocates Say

Contact: Bruce Mirken, Greenlining Institute Media Relations Director, 415-846-7758 (cell)

OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA – After rumors – apparently false – circulated yesterday about a new wave of Immigration and Customs Enforcement raids in the San Francisco Bay Area, The Greenlining Institute called for an immediate end to the current crackdown on immigrants. Greenlining Institute President Orson Aguilar made the following statement:

“Because of these pointless and cruel raids, whole communities are on edge for no good reason. Officials say they’re cracking down on supposed criminals, but we know that many have been swept up who have no criminal records, along with at least one Dreamer who should have been immune from detention and removal under Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.

“What America needs is sensible, comprehensive immigration reform that enables full participation in American society by 12 million immigrants who are Americans in every way except for what papers they possess. These immigrants are part of our neighborhoods and workplaces. They pay taxes. They help build our communities. Instead of wasting tax dollars to hunt down people whose only crime is seeking a better life or to build our own version of the Berlin Wall, we should use our nation’s resources to strengthen our communities, improve our schools and make sure that all within our borders have access to health care.”


A Multi-Ethnic Public Policy, Research and Advocacy Institute

Greenlining Institute Hosts Grand Opening of New Nonprofit Center in Downtown Oakland Friday, Feb. 10

Mayor Schaaf will Help Launch Greenlining 360 Center, a Center for Collaboration and Revitalization

Contact: Bruce Mirken, Greenlining Institute Media Relations Director, 510-926-4022; 415-846-7758 (cell)

OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA – On February 10 The Greenlining Institute will host a grand opening event at its newly renovated building in downtown Oakland.  Formerly a dilapidated bank office, Greenlining set out to reclaim and revitalize the structure as a flourishing, energy-efficient nonprofit center built with local, minority-owned businesses. In addition to providing space to several other nonprofits at affordable, below-market rents, Greenlining designed the building to include community spaces for meetings and to showcase the work of diverse local artists.

At a lunch program, Greenlining Institute President Orson Aguilar will lay out the organization’s vision for the center, joined by Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf and numerous others who made the project possible. After that, a gallery walk will allow guests to see key portions of the building and view works by local artists. The day will conclude with a Happy Hour featuring cocktails and hors d’oeuvres.

As space is limited, media wishing to attend are asked to please RSVP as soon as possible to

WHAT: Greenlining 360 Center grand opening

WHO: Confirmed speakers include:

  • Orson Aguilar, President, The Greenlining Institute
  • Mayor Libby Schaaf, City of Oakland
  • Lynette McElhaney, Councilmember, City of Oakland, District 3
  • Nancy Skinner, California State Senate, District 9
  • Joshua Simon, Executive Director, East Bay Asian Local Development Corporation
  • Kat Taylor, Co-Founder & Co-CEO Beneficial State Bank
  • Tim Silva, Vice President, Community Development Manager, Wells Fargo

WHERE: The Greenlining 360 Center, 360 14th St., Oakland

WHEN: Friday, February 10, 2017. Lunch program and speakers, noon–1:30 p.m.; gallery walk, 1:30-5:00 p.m.; happy hour 5:30-7:30 p.m.

NOTE: Local artists whose work will be showcased include Alan JohnsonAlfred TwuAmana JohnsonCece Carpio, Favianna RodriguezJoyce Gordon GalleryMelanie Cervantes, Pablo Soto CampoamorPancho Peskador, and Robert Liu Trujillo. Media wishing to attend are asked to please RSVP as soon as possible to

New Report Looks at How to Diversify Health Care, Provide Careers to Disadvantaged Youth

Contact: Bruce Mirken, Greenlining Institute Media Relations Director, 510-926-4022; 415-846-7758 (cell)

OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA – Well-designed programs can increase the diversity of California’s health care workforce while helping young people of color overcome high unemployment rates and establish themselves in solid careers, a new report from The Greenlining Institute argues.

“In a state where people of color make up over 60 percent of the population, people of color make up just 34 percent of physicians and 47 percent of registered nurses, and are underrepresented in other health fields as well,” said report co-author Anthony Galace, Greenlining’s health policy director. “Boosting these numbers can help to assure culturally competent care while creating career pathways for disadvantaged young people.”

Greenlining conducted extensive interviews with experts in the field and distilled them into a series of recommendations, including:

  • Forge strong partnerships between health pipeline programs and local schools. Effective programs connect mentoring and exposure to career options with school health curricula.
  • Ensure opportunities to disconnected youth and young people of color. Programs should reach out to youth who are homeless, in foster care, involved in the criminal justice system, or are neither in school nor working.
  • Facilitate culturally competent mentorship between youth and health care professionals. When a mentor and mentee share identities — such as race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, etc. — this facilitates greater connection and support.
  • Provide comprehensive wellness support. Young people of color in urban environments can face a variety of challenges, from exposure to violence to inability to afford transportation. Programs should go beyond professional education/mentorship and address these needs.

Click the following link to read the full report, “BUILDING A DIVERSE HEALTH CAREER PIPELINE: Best Practices for Supporting Young People of Color Pursuing a Career in Health Care.”

CPUC Approves Huge Boost in EV Charging Stations in Underserved Communities

CPUC Approves Huge Boost in EV Charging Stations in Underserved Communities
At Least 1,125 of 7,500 New Charging Stations Will Be in Disadvantaged Communities

Bruce Mirken, Greenlining Institute Media Relations Director, 415-846-7758 (cell)
Joel Espino, Greenlining Institute Environmental Equity Legal Counsel, 623-330-1995 (cell)

SAN FRANCISCO – The California Public Utilities Commission today approved a pilot program that will bring 1,125 electric vehicle charging stations to underserved communities as part of a Pacific Gas and Electric pilot program to deploy a total of 7,500 charging stations in its service area. The company must deploy at least 15 percent of its charging stations in disadvantaged communities with a goal of deploying an additional five percent of charging stations in disadvantaged communities or other areas with a high concentration of low-income customers. Advocates for low-income communities hailed the decision as a major step toward making clean transportation options available to all Californians, regardless of income, race, or neighborhood.

“This represents a crucial addition to California’s groundbreaking efforts to make electric vehicles affordable and accessible to communities most impacted by poverty and pollution,” said Greenlining Institute Environmental Equity Legal Counsel Joel Espino, who took part in the negotiations that informed today’s decision. “Low and moderate income Californians want and need clean transportation, and we can only reach our clean air and climate goals if EVs become a practical alternative in all neighborhoods. Access to EV charging is essential to that effort, and to dispelling the myth that electric cars are just for the wealthy.”

PG&E’s pilot program will boost EV access efforts under the Charge Ahead California Initiative (SB 1275, De León). That measure, co-sponsored by The Greenlining Institute, put in motion programs aimed at helping low-income drivers get behind the wheel of an EV. PG & E’s service territory is home to two of those programs: a financing assistance pilot in the Bay Area and a scrap-and-replace program in the Central Valley.

For additional background on the connections between electric vehicles, California climate efforts, and low-income communities and communities of color, see Greenlining’s “Electric Vehicles for All” online toolkit, authored by Espino. For real-world examples of how the Charge Ahead California Initiative and other California climate policies benefit underserved Californians, visit


A Multi-Ethnic Public Policy, Research and Advocacy Institute

New Report: Top CA Banks Do Little Contracting with Firms Owned by Minorities, Women

New Report: Top CA Banks Do Little Contracting with Firms Owned by Minorities, Women
Banks Lag Far Behind Utilities in Diverse Contracting

Bruce Mirken, Greenlining Institute Media Relations Director, 415-846-7758 (cell)
Danielle Beavers, Greenlining Institute Diversity and Inclusion Director, 609-703-0064(cell)

BERKELEY, CALIFORNIA – The banks with the largest market share in California do little contracting with businesses owned by people of color and women, a new report from The Greenlining Institute finds. In Supplier Diversity Report: Banks Still Struggle to Contract with Diverse Businesses, Greenlining found that in 2014, these top banks did just 4.42 percent of their contracting with minority-owned businesses and just 2.83 percent with women-owned businesses.

In contrast, many of California’s leading utilities and telecommunications companies routinely do over one quarter of their contracting with minority business enterprises, as Greenlining reported in September.

“While we applaud these banks for being willing to share their contracting data with us, it’s clear they have a long way to go,” said Greenlining Institute Director of Diversity and Inclusion Danielle Beavers. “We know from the experience of utility and telecom companies that qualified contractors are out there, but making use of them requires conscious effort by the companies and a push from regulators.”

Other key findings include:

  • Overall diverse contracting was low across all banks. East West Bank spent the most with minority and women business enterprises at 14.29 percent altogether, while Wells Fargo spent the least at just 5.71 percent.
  • Compared to national figures, procurement with California’s minority businesses better mirrored the state’s demographics but was still low. African American business enterprises received 1.08 percent of California contract dollars; Asian American business enterprises got 1.92 percent; Latino business enterprises secured 2.16 percent, and Native American business enterprises 0.06 percent.
  • Multi-year analysis revealed trends based on banks’ size and the ethnicity and gender of the diverse business owner. Small banks tended to increase supplier diversity while larger banks struggled.
  • Because of its size, Bank of America spent the most dollars with minority-owned businesses and accounted for nearly 40 percent of bank procurement with these firms. Still, this accounted for just 4.46 percent of the bank’s total procurement spending. This is similar to other large banks like Wells Fargo, JPMorgan Chase, and Citibank, whose national MBE spending ranged from 3.32 percent to 5.32 percent.

“Diverse businesses serve as the economic engines of their communities, and we know they can provide top-quality goods and services,” Beavers said. “Banks should recognize the value they miss when they fail to seek out diverse contractors, and regulators should look to replicate California’s success at promoting supplier diversity in the telecommunications and energy industries.”



A Multi-Ethnic Public Policy, Research and Advocacy Institute

Internet Rights and Consumer Advocacy Groups Call on Clinton and Trump to Reject Merger Mania

Contact Info:

Timothy Karr, 201-533-8838

WASHINGTON — On Wednesday, 18 digital rights, social justice and consumer advocacy groups representing tens of millions of people sent a letter to Secretary Hillary Clinton and Donald J. Trump urging the presidential candidates to reject the proposed AT&T/Time Warner merger and oppose growing monopoly power in America.

“There is little evidence that anyone — other than the executives and shareholders of the merging companies — benefits from these massive deals,” the letter reads. “The recent history of media concentration is littered with broken promises and higher prices for customers.”

The letter is available here.

The signers are 18 Million Rising, the Alliance for Community Media, Color Of Change, Common Cause, CREDO Action, Demand Progress, Fight for the Future, Free Press, Future of Music Coalition, the Greenlining Institute, the Media Access Project, the Media Alliance, the Media Mobilizing Project, Open Media, New America’s Open Technology Institute,, RootsAction and Stop the Cap. The letter was also signed by Barry C. Lynn, the director of New America’s Open Markets Program.

The merger, valued at $107 billion when Time Warner’s debt is factored in, would create a media colossus with a market value of approximately $300 billion. With previous mergers of this scale, the concentration of market power has led to higher prices for consumers and fewer choices in the marketplace.

“Too many sectors are already marked by such concentration,” the letter reads, “with powerful gatekeepers controlling huge swaths of the economy and dictating their own terms in Washington, D.C.” The signers are urging the incoming presidential administration to protect our economy and democracy against the harms of corporate consolidation.

“That such a farce would be allowed after all the democracy-busting media consolidation that has been visited upon us is mind-boggling. Where are the guts to just say no?,” said Common Cause Special Adviser and former FCC Commissioner Michael Copps.

“This merger would create a massive new conglomerate with huge investments in content production and distribution — giving it extra incentives and opportunities to manipulate information flows to its advantage, violate user privacy and otherwise abuse consumers and vendors,” said Demand Progress Executive Director David Segal. “It will also create a behemoth whose lobbying and elections expenditures will allow it to entrench its power and warp the law to suit its interests. It must be stopped.”

“These organizations represent millions of people who are fed up with power-hungry companies like AT&T that want to control our lives, our wallets and our internet connections,” said Free Press Field Director Mary Alice Crim. “Instead of spending time and money on this deal AT&T should offer better internet services at prices that more families across the country can actually afford. The next president needs to stop this deal in its tracks.”

“This merger will be bad for communities of color,” said Greenlining Institute Energy & Telecommunications Policy Director Stephanie Chen. “As AT&T tries to merge its ISP operation with an entertainment company, it will spend less on improving and expanding its infrastructure and increase digital redlining across the country. Additionally, the merger will give AT&T even greater power to decide what television and movies get made, likely resulting in fewer opportunities for writers, directors and actors of color.”

“This merger would cement AT&T’s role as a gatekeeper of the internet,” said New America Open Technology Institute Policy Counsel Joshua Stager. “That’s bad for consumers, small businesses and democratic values. AT&T has a long track record of fighting Net Neutrality, deceiving customers, and funding efforts to kill municipal broadband. Government regulators should not allow such a poor steward of the open internet to further consolidate its grip on the market.”

“We should all be concerned about AT&T’s dangerous plan to take over Time Warner,” said Executive Director Matt Nelson. “Functional, affordable internet and unbiased media are essential to the success and well-being of Latinx communities nationwide. This corporate hegemon, if realized, would lead to higher prices, less diversity in ownership and programming, and poorer service overall. We have converged to stop previous attempts by AT&T and their ilk to consolidate power for themselves at the expense of our communities, and we’re prepared to do it again.”

Electric Trucks and Buses Can Reduce Pollution and Create Job Opportunities


Debra Holtz, Union of Concerned Scientists, 510-409-7936
Bruce Mirken, The Greenlining Institute, 510-926-4022 or 415-846-7758 (cell)

Electric Trucks and Buses Can Reduce Pollution and Create Job Opportunities
New Report Details Public Health and Economic Benefits of Cleaner Heavy-Duty Vehicles

Oakland, Calif. (Oct. 26, 2016)— California’s emerging market for electric buses and trucks provides a significant opportunity to improve public health in communities most affected by traffic-related pollution and to bring jobs to people who need them most, according to a new report by the Union of Concerned Scientists and the Greenlining Institute.

The report, “Delivering Opportunity: How Electric Buses and Trucks Can Create Jobs and Improve Public Health in California,” examines the state of electric vehicle technology and its potential for reducing pollution from heavy-duty vehicles while creating job opportunities for underserved communities. With the right policies and investments to speed the conversion of trucks and buses to electric power, the report concludes that California can clean its air, cut global warming emissions, and create a more equitable economy.

“Advances in technology are making it possible to expand the market for electric heavy-duty vehicles,” said co-author Jimmy O’Dea, a UCS vehicles analyst. “With transportation the biggest source of pollution in California, reducing harmful tailpipe emissions from diesel trucks and buses should be the next frontier in fighting pollution and climate change.”

Powering heavy-duty vehicles with electricity will improve air quality and public health, particularly in low-income communities and communities of color that bear the greatest burdens of traffic-related pollution in California, according to the report. The emerging industry also has the potential to produce well-paid manufacturing jobs.

“Electric trucks and buses – their manufacture as well as their maintenance – can be a great source of jobs for those left out of the economic recovery,” said co-author Joel Espino, legal counsel for environmental equity at the Greenlining Institute. “But it won’t happen automatically. We need to create effective training programs, particularly ones that focus on electrical skills, to improve access to jobs in this emerging sector for low-skilled workers.”

Other findings of the report include:

  • Heavy-duty vehicles are the single largest source of smog-producing nitrogen oxides (NOx) in California and produce more particulate matter (PM) than all of the state’s power plants combined. These vehicles also account for 7 percent of California’s global warming emissions – an amount projected to increase as freight shipments grow.
  • Electric-powered heavy-duty vehicles are up to four times as energy efficient as diesel and natural gas engines, while being quieter and boasting similar if not better acceleration times and ability to climb hills.
  • Ranges of over 100 miles per charge, and charging and refueling times under 20 minutes have been made possible by today’s battery and fuel cell technologies.
  • Some leading electric bus and truck manufacturers in California pay assemblers $13 to $20 per hour to start, higher than the overall median pay for assemblers in California, which ranges from $12.60 to $14.37 per hour.
  • Leading electric bus and truck companies in California typically require 1-3 years of related experience for assemblers, a higher standard than general manufacturing assembler jobs. This restricts entry for low-skilled workers from underserved communities, but effective hiring and job training programs (currently lacking in this emerging field) could overcome that barrier.


The Union of Concerned Scientists puts rigorous, independent science to work to solve our planet’s most pressing problems. Joining with citizens across the country, we combine technical analysis and effective advocacy to create innovative, practical solutions for a healthy, safe and sustainable future. For more information, go to

Founded in 1993, The Greenlining Institute envisions a nation where communities of color thrive and race is never a barrier to economic opportunity. Because people of color will be the majority of our population by 2044, America will prosper only if communities of color prosper. Greenlining advances economic opportunity and empowerment for people of color through advocacy, community and coalition building, research, and leadership development.  For more information, go to:

Gov. Brown to Sign Landmark Climate Legislation Today

Gov. Brown to Sign Landmark Climate Legislation Today
Advocates Call Measures to Aid Underserved Communities “Greatest Story No One Knows”

Sidney Fang, Asian Pacific Environmental Network, 510-703-1311
Laura Muraida, SCOPE, 323-789-7920,
Bruce Mirken, Greenlining Institute, 510-926-4022; 415-846-7758 (cell)
Chelsea Tu, Public Advocates, 510 717-9092 (cell)
Bill Magavern, Coalition for Clean Air, 916-214-0065

FRESNO, CALIFORNIA – In what advocates for underserved communities are calling “the greatest story no one knows,” California Gov. Jerry Brown will sign legislation today dramatically expanding California’s commitment to use climate change policy to attack pollution and poverty together. In a Fresno ceremony at 11:30 this morning, Brown will sign AB 1550 (Gomez), which guarantees that going forward, at least 35 percent of Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund proceeds will benefit underserved communities and low-income Californians.

At the same time, the governor will sign legislation allocating $900 million collected from polluters in the state’s carbon auctions to projects such as urban forestry, clean transportation, home weatherization and solar power for low-income families. Some of that money will fund another bill to be signed today, AB 2722 (Burke), which establishes the Transformative Climate Communities program, a unique effort to tie together multiple climate and clean energy efforts such affordable housing near transit, energy saving and clean transportation into an integrated community-wide approach.

“AB 1550 invests real dollars in projects that both reduce greenhouse gas emissions and allow the neediest families to save on electricity, transportation, and other household costs — underscoring the fact that California can reach its climate goals while also tackling the crisis of extreme inequality,” said Chelsea Tu, staff attorney at Public Advocates.

“This may be the biggest story that almost no one’s noticed,” said Greenlining Institute Environmental Equity Director Alvaro Sanchez. “California decided to fight poverty with the same program that fights climate change and pollution, bringing jobs, investment and consumer benefits to disadvantaged communities. We’ve created a model for the nation to follow.”

“While some legislators dance to the tune of Big Oil, others are mainly interested in bringing their districts tangible benefits, like the clean transportation and energy investments being made today,” said Coalition for Clean Air Policy Director Bill Magavern. “And it was those Assemblymembers who provided the votes to give SB 32 the majority that it had lacked last year.”

“Now, our families will benefit from solutions that reduce fossil fuel pollution, improve the air our children breathe, and secure critical investments for our neighborhoods most deeply impacted by the climate and economic crisis,” said Miya Yoshitani of the Asian Pacific Environmental Network. “We applaud the legislature and the governor for lifting up community-led solutions that bring shared prosperity and a healthier climate.”

“The passage of this year’s historic climate legislation package means that by 2030, California communities will be less polluted and more resilient,” said SCOPE Research Director Laura Muraida. “AB 1550 and AB 2722 are critical to ensuring that disadvantaged communities — largely low-income communities of color — are at the center of this transformation.”

Last year, The Greenlining Institute collected 10 case studies that illustrate the impact of California’s climate investments on underserved communities. Stories of real Californians impacted by these clean energy policies, as well as background on the laws themselves, can be found at (English) and (Spanish).

New Report Card: Contracting with Minority Businesses Grows but Some Companies Flunk

New Report Card: Contracting with Minority Businesses Grows but Some Companies Flunk
California Utility/Telecom Contracting with Minority Firms Reaches $5.7 Billion

Contact: Bruce Mirken, Greenlining Institute Media Relations Director, 510-926-4022; 415-846-7758 (cell)

BERKELEY, CALIFORNIA – California’s utility and telecommunications companies spent $5.7 billion on contracts with minority-owned businesses in 2015, but this generally strong performance was distinctly uneven, The Greenlining Institute reports in its latest SupplierDiversity Report Card. Comcast, for example, did less than 10 percent of its contracting with minority-owned businesses, earning a D- for minority contracting.

The Supplier Diversity Report Card will be released publicly Sept. 14. Journalists can preview it now at the link above. The report card assigns letter grades to individual companies for their performance in multiple contracting categories, and includes analysis and recommendations aimed at increasing contracting opportunities.

“Driven by smart California policies that promote contracting with diverse businesses, many of these companies do as much as 30 percent of their contracting with firms owned by African Americans, Latinos, Native Americans and Asian Pacific Islanders – leading the nation in diverse contracting,” said Greenlining Institute Energy and Telecommunications Policy Director Stephanie Chen. “This creates jobs and opportunities in communities that too often get left behind, but the uneven performance between companies shows there’s still work to do. Given the growing role that tech and green tech are now playing in the utility sector, it’s clearly time for those companies to step up to the plate.”

Key findings include:

  • The top spender in dollars spent with minority business enterprises was Pacific Gas & Electric, spending $1.6 billion in 2015 with MBEs, or 28.36 percent of its total 2015 procurement. Sprint had the largest percentage of MBE procurement at 30.82 percent ($406 million).
  • California’s supplier diversity leaders remain best-in-class, but momentum seems to be leveling off.
  • Generally speaking, procurement with African American, Native American, Asian Pacific Islander and women of color-owned businesses leaves ample room for improvement.
  • The most successful companies employ several common best practices, such as including supplier diversity in procurement decisions from the very start and providing focused capacity-building, technical assistance, and mentorship support that help suppliers get better at what they do best.