The series of meetings were part of NCRC’s annual virtual Advocacy Week.

Screencapture of a zoom meeting.Rise Economy and dozens of representatives from its member organizations met with elected officials and representatives from federal financial regulatory agencies this week to discuss current legislation as well as several pressing topics ranging from Bank Merger Act reform to CRA modernizations. 

The meetings were held as part of the National Community Reinvestment Coalition’s 2024 Just Economy Conference Advocacy Week.

“Every voice matters, especially when it comes to informing banking regulators about how they can better assist in meeting the financial needs of low-to-moderate income and Black, Indigenous, and People of Color communities,” said Doni Tadesse, Rise Economy Southern California Organizer. “Our goal with Advocacy Week is to engage with Washington, D.C.-based decision-makers, raise concerns about the bank merger process, emphasize the needs of BIPOC communities, and bring attention to the fact that some banks are directly financing climate change.”

Rise Economy convenes a California delegation each year to meet with DC-based regulators and policymakers. This year, Rise Economy met with the Acting Comptroller of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) Michael J. Hsu, Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau of the United States Rohit Chopra, Chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) Martin J. Gruenberg, and representatives from the office of  Rep. Maxine Waters, Ranking Member of the Financial Services Committee.

Members like Lori Gay, CEO of Neighborhood Housing Services of Los Angeles County, and Elias Garica, Training and Advocacy Manager of California Community Economic Development Association (CCEDA), raised concerns directly with regulators. Chief among those concerns were banking inclusivity, state public banking options like CalAccount, the possible too-big-to-fail merger of Capital One and Discover Financial Services, and the recently approved merger of Washington Federal and Luther Burbank banks, among other economic issues.

“We’ve generally been concerned about all of the litigation against all of the rules, like CRA modernizations, that we’re pushing for,” Kevin Stein, Rise Economy Chief of Legal and Strategy, said to staff from the Office of Rep. Waters. 

The California delegation included representatives from Rise Economy member organizations such as the East LA Community Corporation Services, Thai CDC, Inclusive Action for the City, the Fair Housing Advocates of Northern California, and Community Vision.