Media Advisory for May 15, 2012
Contact: Margot Friedman, New Bottom Line, at 202-332-5550 or firstname.lastname@example.org
http://www.newbottomline.com/move_our_money twitter: @NBLcampaign
Los Angeles, New York City Councils to Pass Responsible Banking Ordinances
Momentum Builds from Coast to Coast to Leverage Taxpayer Dollars to Hold Banks More Accountable During New Bottom Line’s “Move Our Money” Month
New Bottom Line Co-Director Ilana Berger Available to Provide Overview of Nationwide Trend, Make Connections to Local Groups Working on Ordinances
(New York, NY) On Tuesday, the nation’s two largest cities, Los Angeles and New York City, are expected to pass Responsible Banking Ordinances to collect better data on banks’ community reinvestment activities and encourage institutions that want to do business with the cities to be more accountable to local concerns. LA Mayor Villaraigosa is expected to sign the ordinance, making Los Angles a national leader in bank accountability.
Similar ordinances are being considered in Oakland, CA; Seattle, WA; Boston, MA; Austin, TX; and Portland, OR. In March, homeowners facing foreclosure persuaded the City of Brockton, MA to move its money out of Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, and other big banks that refuse to negotiate loan modifications. In February, the Kansas City, MO City Council passed a resolution directing the city manager to select banks that are responsive to the community’s needs and do not engage in predatory lending.
“Nationwide, citizens are looking for ways to hold the banks more accountable and demanding that their tax dollars are placed with institutions that help rather than hurt them. Cities are huge customers of banking services. It makes no sense to reward big banks like Bank of America, Wells Fargo, and JPMorgan Chase that tanked the economy, continue to foreclose on millions of families, and aren’t helping to rebuild neighborhoods,” said Ilana Berger, Co-Director of The New Bottom Line .
The Los Angeles ordinance will gather data on banks’ participation in foreclosure prevention and home loan principal reduction programs, as well as other community reinvestment information. The New York City ordinance would require banks to provide information on reinvestment activities, including foreclosure and loan modification information, that would be used to evaluate the banks that want to hold city deposits.
The Los Angeles and New York City Councils take this action during “Move Our Money Month,” sponsored by The New Bottom Line, which assists organizations and individuals with divesting funds from Wall Street banks and opening accounts at smaller institutions and credit unions that support local communities.
The Move Our Money Website gives customers tools for moving their money, organizing actions at banks, and reporting back the amount of money moved. To date, almost $80 million has been moved since the Move Our Money campaign launched in November, 2011. This video Why It's Time for The New Bottom Line explains how the big banks have consolidated (from 37 banks 20 years ago to just four today, controlling $7.7 trillion) to sap families and communities of resources and how everyday people are working to create a new economy that works for all of us.
The New Bottom Line is a growing movement fueled by a coalition of community organizations, congregations, and individuals working together to challenge established big bank interests on behalf of struggling and middle-class communities. Together, we are working to restructure Wall Street to help American families build wealth, close the country’s growing income gap and advance a vision for how our economy can better serve the many rather than the few. Coalition members include PICO National Network, National People’s Action (NPA), Alliance for a Just Society, the Right the City Alliance, and dozens of state and local organizations from around the country.