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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

CALIFORNIA–(ENEWSPF)–October 28, 2011.  Tuesday, November 1st at 10 am in the California Plaza LA Voice congregations representing 30,000 Los Angeles families will divest out of 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 letters to the CEOs of Bank of America and Wells Fargo signed by pastors representing 25 LA Voice congregations 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 larger 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.

“We are moving our congregations’ money and asking city council to move our city’s money to responsible banks. We ask the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) to publicize calculations, not opaque numbers and to get his facts right. The responsible banking ordinance is a simple, reasonable policy based on the classic banking idea of corporate social responsibility.” Pastor Ryan Bell of Hollywood Adventist Church.

According to a study by the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, a foreclosure can cost the city as much as $27,000 in lost property taxes and other costs.   Realty Trac estimates over 18,000 foreclosed homes in Los Angeles. How is pressuring the banks to abate foreclosures going to cost us more than they already have? In other words, the city would use our money to help build an economy that represents our values—not the banksʼ bottom line, but a new bottom line that builds wealth for all. How is pressuring the bank to abate foreclosures going to cost us more than they already have? A study by the National Community Reinvestment Coalition shows that regions with higher levels of small business lending have lower levels of unemployment. Since 2006, banks have cut small business lending across California by 49% and from 2007-09 up to 80% in Los Angeles to people of color.

In other words, the city would use our money to help build an economy that represents our values—not the banksʼ bottom line, but a new bottom line that builds wealth 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 CEOs

WHEN: Tuesday, November 1st at 10 am

WHERE: California Plaza, 350 S. Grand Ave., Los Angeles, CA

VISUALS: Clergy in collar, delivering letter to Bank CEO

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LA Voice represents over 25 congregations throughout Los Angeles. www.lavoicepico.org

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On Monday, The New Bottom Line, www.newbottomline.com, will launch its “Move Our Money” campaign with a goal of moving $1 billion from banks such as Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, and Wells Fargo through (1) congregation / community group divestment actions and (2) 50+ city council divestment legislation / responsible banking ordinances. Part of the “Move Our Money” launch includes the above action taking place on Tuesday where clergy will gather in Los Angeles to move their money from Bank of America and Wells Fargo and call on the city council to pass a Responsible Banking Ordinance. 

Source: www.newbottomline.com  


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