Cell: (909) 641-8313
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
LA Voice Congregations Divest From Big Banks and
Call on City Council to Pass the Responsible Banking Ordinance
Faith leaders move their money and fire back at big banks: "We are Los Angeles. Earn our business." as Chamber, CCA, CAO, Council Member Parks, obscure issue
Tuesday November 1, 2011 at 10 AM at Bank of America located at 333 S. Hope Street, LA Voice PICO congregations representing 30,000 Los Angeles families will divest from Bank of America and Wells Fargo alongside a diverse coalition of faith leaders and community organizations as part of the New Bottom Line's "Move Our Money" campaign. Clergy leaders will deliver divestment letters to the managers of Bank of America and Wells Fargo and will be joined by Van Jones, President and Co-Founder of Rebuild the Dream.
In November 2010, LA Voice hosted 826 Angelenos at Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church in Hollywood to call on City Council to pass the Responsible Banking Ordinance (RBO). The clergy divestment on November 1st is one of a series of divestment actions LA Voice is planning with congregations from across the city as part of a national campaign seeking to hold big banks accountable. Religious leaders from LA Voice challenge bank advocatesʼ representation of the Responsible Banking Ordinance. CAO Miguel Santana has his facts wrong. The ordinance does not trigger early termination fees, but creates a system for rewarding reinvestment and good behavior and deterring banks from practices that harm the local economy.
"We say to the banks, 'You will not use our money to harm our families by foreclosing on them and cutting loans to our small businesses.' We are moving our congregations' money and asking city council to move our city's money to socially responsible banks. The Responsible Banking Ordinance is a simple, reasonable policy based on the classic banking idea of corporate social responsibility. Pass it now. Our people cannot wait." says Rev. Dr. Ryan Bell of Hollywood Adventist Church and member of the PICO National Clergy Leadership Council.
According to the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, a foreclosure can cost as much as $27,000 in lost property taxes and other costs. Realty Trac estimates over 18,000 foreclosed homes in Los Angeles. Another study by the National Community Reinvestment Coalition shows that regions with higher levels of small business lending and less aggressive foreclosure policies have lower levels of unemployment and dependency on public services. Despite these facts, since 2006, banks across California have cut small business lending by 49%. From 2007 to 2009, big banks cut lending to small business owners of color in Los Angeles by 80%.
The city should use our collective money to help build an economy that represents our values-not the banksʼ bottom line, but a new bottom line that builds prosperity for all.
WHO: Diverse coalition of Los Angeles clergy joined by clergy from regions from across the state, Van Jones (Rebuild the Dream), community residents, and partnering organizations
WHAT: Los Angeles Clergy to divest from Wells Fargo and Bank of America and deliver letter to Banks
WHEN: Tuesday, November 1st at 10 am
WHERE: Bank of America, 333 S. Hope Street, Los Angeles, CA 90071
VISUALS: Clergy in collar, delivering letter to Bank managers