Rise Economy facilitated a conversation with CRA champions on what it takes to move legislation to the finish line

Screenshot of a zoom webinar.

By Madison D’Ornellas,
Digital Communications Associate

Rise Economy on Wednesday brought together fellow economic and housing justice advocates to discuss the pathways toward a California-specific, stronger Community Reinvestment Act (CRA), and how states on the east coast have achieved and utilized their own CRA regulations.

The webinar titled, “Addressing Lending Discrimination: Benefits of a California-Specific CRA,” was opened by Rise Economy Board Chair Chancela Al-Mansour.

“While we have leveraged the CRA to negotiate billions of dollars of investments in the state of California, there are some gaps in the law and its implementation in terms of who is covered, and how,” Al-Mansour said. “The financial services landscape is not the same today as it was in 1977.”

Rise Economy Bay Area organizer Aliyah Shaheed, who moderated the discussion, said: “The State CRA we envision will bring greater accountability to state-chartered banks, credit unions, the non-banking mortgage companies and certain financial technology companies and promote greater financial stability for all California communities.”

Panelists included Barika Williams, Executive Director of the Association for Neighborhood & Housing Development, Brent Adams, Senior Vice President of Policy & Advocacy of the Woodstock Institute, Thomas Callahan, Executive Director of the Partnership for Financial Equity (formerly the Massachusetts Community and Banking Council) and Jarrett Barrios, Senior Vice President of Strategic Community & Programmatic Initiatives at the California Community Foundation.

“We owe it to LMI Californians to ensure that the best products are made available to all consumers,” Barrios said while stressing the importance of bringing community perspectives into the legislative fold. “It’s an equity issue.”