Jun 15, 2020
It took years of activism by community leaders before Congress enacted the Community Reinvestment Act in 1977. This legislation was meant to undo redlining, decades of discrimination by banks against African Americans, Latinx and other non-white people seeking mortgages and small business loans. It required bank lending and accountability and made it possible for affected communities to participate in the oversight process. As Paulina Gonzalez Brito explains on Power Station, this lack of access to capital led to a wealth stripping industry by predatory actors, primarily payday lenders, that continues today. As executive director of the California Reinvestment Coalition, which engages 300 organizations across the state in requiring banks to meet their CRA obligations, Paulina now leads a vigorous campaign to prevent the Trump Administration from dismantling this key civil rights law. The story of who is leading this assault, and how, is essential listening. The pandemic of racism calls for action and saving the CRA is at the heart of the matter. We must all participate in the next chapter.