Boards of CA’s Most Influential Corporations Lack Women, People of Color

Top Companies in Tech, Insurance, Other Key Fields Don’t Come Close to Reflecting State’s Diverse Workforce

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

OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA – Top corporations in the California marketplace have boards of directors that consistently fail to even come close to reflecting the diversity of the state’s workforce, according to a new analysis by The Greenlining Institute: Corporate Board Diversity: Major Players Fail to Reflect California’s Labor Force. Greenlining examined the boards of a total of 59 companies that dominate the California market in leading industries, including tech, health, banking and insurance. Key findings of the report, based on 2017 statistics include:

  • Overall, women and people of color remain severely underrepresented on corporate boards. Women made up roughly one quarter of board members, while Latinos held only six percent of board seats.
  • Seven of 59 companies reviewed — including Facebook, Amazon, Farmers Insurance and two solar companies — had zero people of color on their boards (Facebook added its first nonwhite board member in January). Three had zero women.
  • Of companies reviewed, East West Bank had the most racially diverse board, followed closely by Kaiser Permanente, Pacific Gas and Electric, and Hewlett Packard.

“Corporate boards play a crucial role, from hiring and firing CEOs to setting corporate culture,” said report coauthor Joe Jackson, Greenlining Institute Diversity and Inclusion manager, “Currently these boards don’t come close to reflecting the diversity of California’s labor force. The ‘glass ceiling’ or ‘good old boys’ club’ — however you want to say it — still very much exists for women and people of color. Until these boards reflect California, our communities won’t have a seat on the table and will continue to be on the menu instead.”


A Multi-Ethnic Public Policy, Research and Advocacy Institute

BofA Countrywide Settlement May be Less Than Appears

Robert Gnaizda
General Counsel
510-926-4006 office

Preeti Vissa
Community Reinvestment
510-926-4022 office

Berkeley, CA – The Greenlining Institute, a national public policy and advocacy center that has been highly critical of Countrywide’s predatory subprime lending, had urged Attorney General Brown to bring suit at a December 2007 meeting. The organization labeled the so-called $8.7 billion dollar settlement “ far less than appears on the surface.” Continue reading “BofA Countrywide Settlement May be Less Than Appears”

Briefing 2/27: Gov. Brown’s Budget Proposal and California’s Diverse Majority

Greenlining Institute Presentation Co-sponsored by California Latino Legislative Caucus, Asian and Pacific Islander Legislative Caucus and California Legislative Black Caucus

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

Gov. Brown’s proposed budget will have a profound effect on California’s future and could have a particularly important impact on the communities of color that make up the state’s majority. Continue reading “Briefing 2/27: Gov. Brown’s Budget Proposal and California’s Diverse Majority”

Briefing Friday 6/7: CPUC Supplier Diversity Program Sets Record


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

SAN FRANCISCO – The California Public Utilities Commission’s landmark supplier diversity program continues to set records, bringing literally billions of dollars in contracts to firms owned by people of color, women and disabled veterans. The Greenlining Institute will release the latest figures, compiled in its annual Supplier Diversity Report Card, at a June 7 briefing and forum at the San Francisco office of the Public Policy Institute of California, featuring CPUC President Michael Peevey as well as industry representatives. A panel discussion will explore how the CPUC’s model can be expanded to other industries, including banking and insurance.

WHAT: Briefing and forum, “Expanding Supplier Diversity: An Economic Engine for Growth”

WHO: Scheduled speakers include:

  • Orson Aguilar, Executive Director, The Greenlining Institute
  • Sam Kang, General Counsel, The Greenlining Institute
  • Danielle Beavers, Economic Equity Fellow, The Greenlining Institute
  • Michael R. Peevey, President, California Public Utilities Commission
  • Dennis Arriola, President & COO, Southern California Gas Company
  • Chris Shultz, Deputy Commissioner, Community Programs, California Department of Insurance
  • Richard Chacon, Senior Vice President, Supplier Diversity and Development, Union Bank
  • Melanie Shelby, Managing Director, Gray, Greer, Shelby & Vaughn, LLC

WHERE: Public Policy Institute of California, 500 Washington Street, suite 600, San Francisco

WHEN: Friday, June 7, 2013, 9 a.m. – noon


A Multi-Ethnic Public Policy, Research and Advocacy Institute

Briefing July 24: Healthcare Reform in California after the Supreme Court Ruling

Top Experts to Assess Impact, Challenges at Update for Legislators and Media

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

SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA — Healthcare advocates breathed a sigh of relief after last month’s U.S. Supreme Court decision upholding most of the Affordable Care Act, but major challenges still remain as officials implement the law. Many questions linger, such as: Will California’s chronic budget problems endanger the 2.9 million residents expected to gain coverage through the now-optional expansion of Medi-Cal?

The Greenlining Institute, which has played a leading role in advocating for the needs of underserved communities in healthcare reform, has assembled a stellar panel of experts to brief policymakers and journalists next Tuesday on the ruling’s implications for California as well as possible paths forward.

Continue reading “Briefing July 24: Healthcare Reform in California after the Supreme Court Ruling”

Briefing Today: Brown’s Budget a Mixed Bag for California’s Majority

Greenlining Institute Analysis to Be Presented at Sacramento Briefing Today at 10 a.m.

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

SACRAMENTO – Gov. Brown’s proposed budget could help move California toward greater equity and fairness for the communities of color that make up the state’s majority, but serious questions remain, reports a just-released Greenlining Institute analysis to be presented at a state capitol briefing this morning at 10 a.m. Continue reading “Briefing Today: Brown’s Budget a Mixed Bag for California’s Majority”

Briefing Today: Controversial Report Questions Not-for-Profit Hospitals’ “Community Benefit”

Data from 7 Biggest CA Hospital Chains Compared to “Black Box”

Bruce Mirken, Greenlining Institute Media Relations Director, 510-926-4022; 415-846-7758 (cell)
Carla Saporta, Greenlining Institute Health Policy Director, 503-347-6893 (cell)

BERKELEY, CALIFORNIA – In a new report out today, The Greenlining Institute questions whether California’s biggest not-for-profit hospital systems are meeting the “community benefit” requirements mandated by their tax-exempt status. The California Hospital Association preemptively criticized Greenlining’s research even before it was officially released.

“America makes a bargain with these hospital companies: If you operate for the public benefit, you can be tax-exempt,” said Greenlining Institute health policy director and report co-author Carla Saporta, MPH. “But when we delved into the data, we found that the publicly reported information for the largest companies is so opaque and incomplete it’s almost like a black box. We’re disappointed that the CHA chose to respond with spin rather than addressing the facts, and I just wonder what they’re afraid of.”

“We can’t tell if these wealthy hospitals are truly meeting the needs of the communities they serve,” added report co-author Justin Rausa, MPH. “Better information will serve both the public and these hospital chains.”

The report, “Not-for-Profit Hospitals and Community Benefit: What We Don’t Know Can Hurt Us” will be presented at a Sacramento policy briefing today at 1:00 p.m.

WHAT: Policy briefing, “Not-for-Profit Hospitals and Community Benefit: What We Don’t Know Can Hurt Us”

WHO: Speakers include
·  Orson Aguilar, Executive Director, The Greenlining Institute
·  Assemblymember Bob Wieckowski, 25th District
·  Carla Saporta, Health Policy Director, The Greenlining Institute
Responder Panel:
·  Tina Castro, Director of Mission Related Investments, The California Endowment
NOTE: Representatives from the seven hospital systems analyzed have been invited, but none have confirmed.

WHERE: California State Capitol Building, Room 126, Sacramento

WHEN: Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2013, 1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Greenlining researchers examined the publicly available records of California’s seven largest not-for-profit hospital systems, including Kaiser, Dignity Health and Sutter Health, whose combined operating budgets exceed $36 billion. Among the key findings:

  • The data in publicly available tax forms and community benefit plans is often so incomplete as to make it impossible to form a clear picture. When contacted for additional data, all seven hospital systems and the California Hospital Association were unwilling to provide any additional information.
  • The hospitals spent on average roughly 7.2 percent of their operating budgets on community benefit, with the percentages varying widely between systems and between hospitals within each system.
  • Most community benefit spending went to public program shortfall and financial assistance (also called charity care). Less than one sixth went to programs designed to improve community health.
  • As federal health care reform reduces the number of uninsured, savings caused by the reduced need for charity care should be used to bolster programs aimed at keeping people healthy and reducing the need for costly care.
  • In order to improve transparency and accountability, the California Legislature should increase the state Office of Statewide Health Planning & Development’s regulatory authority over community benefit reporting, with sufficient funding to carry out these responsibilities. Legislators should also act to give members of vulnerable communities a place at the table when Community Health Needs Assessments are conducted.

“Health care reform presents a major opportunity,” Saporta said. “With fewer Californians uninsured, the savings from reduced need for charity care can be used to enhance programs that keep people and communities healthy, while preserving care for the four million Californians expected to remain uninsured.”


Broad Coalition Pushes Bill to Boost Initiative Participation


Contact: Bruce Mirken, Greenlining Institute Media Relations Coordinator, 415-846-7758 (cell) Michelle Romero, Greenlining Institute Our Democracy Program Manager, (408) 550-3121 (cell)

SACRAMENTO – A broad coalition of organizations has come together in support of new legislation to broaden participation in California’s ballot initiative process. Senate Bill 1233, authored by Senator Alex Padilla (D-San Fernando Valley), passed the Senate Standing Committee on Elections and Constitutional Amendments Apr. 19 and will next be heard in the Senate Committee on Appropriations sometime in May.

SB 1233 would require the state to translate initiatives and referenda into all applicable minority languages currently covered by the federal Voting Rights Act, including Spanish, Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese, Korean, Tagalog, Hindi, Khmer, and Thai.

The Greenlining Institute brought the issue to Senator Padilla earlier this year, after completing a statewide listening tour to hear from California voters about their experiences with the initiative process. “We kept hearing about how voters were being misled and excluded by the initiative process because petitions are only available in English,” said Michelle Romero, Greenlining’s Our Democracy program manager. “By failing to provide language access to initiative petitions, the state is basically denying the rights of millions of citizens to participate in our democracy and help determine what goes on the ballot.”

The Federal Voting Rights Act of 1965 requires counties with sufficiently large limited English speaking populations to provide elections materials, such as a voter information guide and sample ballot, in the groups’ languages. However, initiatives and referenda are not covered by current law.

“The language of initiatives is complex even when it’s in your native tongue,” said Macy Yang, president of the Hmong American Political Association. “Millions of Californians have the legal right to ballots in their native language, so it’s only fair to have petitions translated as well. All voters should have a voice in what goes on the ballot.”

“Our 19,000 member congregation has been deeply rooted in the South Los Angeles community since 1882, and the population we serve includes the large language minorities of Los Angeles,” said Denise Hunter, president and CEO of First AME Church of Los Angeles and FAME Corporations. “We support SB 1233 to secure their fundamental right of voter participation.”

Endorsers of SB 1233 include: American GI Forum Berkeley Organizing Congregations for Action California Church IMPACT El Concilio of San Mateo County Ella Baker Center for Human Rights First AME Church and FAME Corporations Hmong American Political Association Mission Language & Vocational School National Council de la Raza & its California Affiliate Network

According to the Migration Policy Institute, roughly 6.9 million Californians do not speak English very well, including 47 percent of California’s naturalized citizens.


THE GREENLINING INSTITUTE A Multi-Ethnic Public Policy, Research and Advocacy Institute


Broad Support for Pavley/Lara Bill for Deep Reductions in Climate Pollutants Post-2020

SACRAMENTO, February 20, 2014 – California Senators Fran Pavley (D-Agoura Hills) and Ricardo Lara (D-Huntington Park/Long Beach) introduced SB 1125 Wednesday, which calls for deep cuts in greenhouse gases that are at the root of climate change as well as short-lived climate pollutants like black carbon and methane responsible for air quality and health impacts across the state. The bill builds on the success of California’s landmark climate and clean energy law, AB 32, and calls for extending the state’s climate pollution reduction plans beyond 2020.

Statements supporting the bill follow:

American Lung Association in California:
“The American Lung Association in California supports SB 1125 (Pavley) because it will strengthen California’s efforts to transition to a clean energy economy that supports healthy air and lungs. Establishing mid-term goals for climate action will spur faster progress toward cleaner fuels and technologies and more sustainable communities that will benefit all Californians including millions of individuals suffering from asthma and other lung Illnesses.”
– Kimberly Amazeen, Vice President for Programs and Advocacy

Asian Pacific Environmental Network:
“When the Chevron refinery explodes and pollutes our community, we know it’s more than just carbon, so we support strengthening California’s climate laws to tackle multiple types of climate pollution.” – Mari Rose Taruc, State Organizing Director

Breathe California:
“This legislation will keep California on track for a healthy future, by planning measures that reduce pollution and protect the air we breathe. Now is the time to begin planning beyond the 2020 target in California’s 2006 landmark climate protection law.”  Andy Katz, Government Relations Director

California League of Conservation Voters:
“SB 1125 marks an important step forward towards implementation of AB 32, and a step forward for the next generation in climate leadership in the legislature. We commend Senators Lara and Pavley for their commitment to reduce near-term pollution impacts as well as their vision to set the course beyond 2020.  These efforts will support the clean energy and public health advances already realized through AB 32 programs and build toward a sustainable and healthy California for all of our communities.” – Sarah Rose, Chief Executive Officer

Californians Against Waste:
“AB 32 helped begin the transition California’s waste management system from a major source of greenhouse gas emissions to a source of greenhouse gas reductions, while creating tens of thousands of jobs in the recycling, composting, and recycled-content manufacturing industries. However, there is much more that can be done to cut emissions from this sector, including short-lived methane, and support California manufacturers that reduce their carbon emissions by using recycled materials. SB 1125 is an important step in that direction.” – Nick Lapis, Legislative Coordinator

Coalition for Clean Air:
“Senators Pavley and Lara are leading the way to a healthier, greener California that continues to clean up the emissions fouling our air and atmosphere.” – Bill Magavern, Policy Director

Environmental Defense Fund:
“We applaud the Senators’ bold action – true leadership requires taking a near- and long-term view. Cutting short-lived climate pollutants is the most important thing we can do right now to slow the rate of climate change in the next few decades and address pressing public health concerns. At the same time, this proposal keeps the state at the forefront of innovation and climate leadership through 2020 and beyond.” – Lauren Faber, West Coast Political Director

The Greenlining Institute:
“Climate change disproportionately hurts low income communities, who also suffer higher rates of asthma, cancer, and other preventable illnesses tied to pollution. Sadly, our zip codes have more impact on our life expectancy than our genetic codes, and that’s just not acceptable.  This bill helps make sure California continues setting the pace in creating environmental equity for all. ” – Vien Truong, Environmental Equity Director

Natural Resources Defense Council:
“Senators Pavley and Lara are taking a pivotal step to extend the success of California’s pioneering initiatives to combat climate change beyond 2020. Businesses and state planners are making investment decisions that will shape California’s energy landscape for decades to come. We need to act now to provide the right signal that a low carbon future is here to stay in California.”  – Alex Jackson, Legal Director, California Climate Project, Energy & Transportation Program

The Nature Conservancy:
“The time for more action on climate change is now. We commend senators Pavley and Lara for their critically important leadership today to tackle this global challenge.” – Louis Blumberg, Director of the California Climate Change Program

Physicians for Social Responsibility- Los Angeles:
“We applaud Senators Lara and Pavley for introducing this legislation as we need to take the next step in creating strong climate policies that reduce short lived climate pollutants. By doing so, we improve health outcomes at the community level, save health care dollars and cool the planet faster. A recent analysis shows that California can save up to $193 million and avoid 30,000 hospital admissions and ER visits with cleaner air. Reducing black carbon, methane, ozone and hydro fluorocarbons can also directly benefit low income and communities of color who are often more exposed to these pollutants.” – Martha Dina Argüello, Executive Director

Union of Concerned Scientists:
“SB 1125 inaugurates the next step to advance policies to further reduce emissions that cause both climate change and air pollution.  UCS strongly supports California’s on-going leadership on climate action, and we are happy to support Senators Lara and Pavley, both great champions of the kind of forward thinking policies we will need to address the issue of climate change as well as to improve the quality of life for all Californians.  We are especially pleased to see that this bill addresses short-lived climate pollutants like black carbon and methane as these reductions will do so much to improve public health in addition to addressing global warming.” – Adrienne Alvord, Director, California and Western States


Media Contact

Eric Jaffe
Resource Media
(415) 397-5000 x311

Broadband Adoption Act Highlights Urgently Needed Update of Telecom Law

Greenlining Institute Joins Broad Coalition Supporting Rep. Matsui’s Bill to Expand Broadband Access

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

BERKELEY, CALIFORNIA – The Greenlining Institute today announced its strong support for the Broadband Adoption Act of 2013, just introduced by Reps. Doris Matsui (D-CA), Henry Waxman (D-CA) and Anna Eshoo (D-CA). According to Greenlining’s telecommunications policy experts, the expansion of broadband access advocated in the bill is urgently needed to ensure that Americans of color can compete in today’s information-centered economy.

For decades, federal law has provided for Lifeline service, to ensure that low-income Americans have access to telephones. The bill updates the law to recognize that broadband has become just as essential in today’s economy as landlines once were.

“Today, even entry-level jobs in fast food and other sectors often require online applications, as do the University of California and Cal State systems,” said Greenlining Institute Energy and Telecommunications Policy Director Stephanie Chen. “This bill is a small but urgently needed step toward bringing the basic communications network of the 21st century within reach of all Americans.”

Chen noted that Latinos and African Americans are lagging in broadband access, even in tech-centric California. While only 16 percent of white Californians lack broadband access at home, the figures for African Americans and Latinos are 26 and 42 percent, respectively. Regardless of race, 60 percent of Californians with household incomes below $40,000 per year don’t have broadband at home.

“Today, broadband is as essential as landlines were in 1960,” Chen added. “Without it, you’re out of luck. Our whole economy, and indeed our whole society, will be stronger when everyone has affordable access to this vital tool.”


A Multi-Ethnic Public Policy, Research and Advocacy Institute