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Power Station

Feb 3, 2020

Ron Hantz, a great friend of Power Station, and our first guest returns for Episode 100. Ron is back to talk about a current threat that has been largely obscured by the presidential impeachment hearing. At another congressional hearing, Comptroller of the Currency and Trump appointee, Joseph Otting, testified before the House Financial Services Committee, feeling the heat of Congresswoman Maxine Waters, as he attempted to rationalize dismantling the Community Reinvestment Act. Ron takes us back to an era when banks refused to serve African Americans and other people of color, leaving whole communities without access to credit and capital. The practice of redlining used maps drawn to exclude whole neighborhoods from banking services. And this practice became policy, leading to the rise of predatory lenders. It took organizing and engagement at the local and national levels to move the US Congress to enact the Community Reinvestment Act in 1977. The CRA, overseen by bank regulators, the FDIC and the OCC, requires banks to meet lending and investment obligations in order to pursue mergers and acquisitions. This is a seminal moment for those committed to investment in underserved urban and rural communities.