financial justice

I’m pleased to present testimony on behalf of Public Bank NYC, a broad-based coalition New Economy project co-founded and coordinates. Public Bank NYC is made up of community, civil rights, environmental, and economic justice groups fighting for the creation of a municipal public bank – chartered to serve the public interest, accountable to New Yorkers, and rooted in principles of racial and economic justice.

On August 3, 2018, nearly two dozen people from NYC community organizing and cooperative development organizations packed into our conference room for an engaging lunch discussion with Álvaro Porro, Social Economy Commissioner for the City of Barcelona. Barcelona’s story presents a powerful model for New York City, and we were eager for this extended opportunity to hear about his work.

One day, Kenneth Lovell went to a local electronics store to buy a transistor radio. He left the store more than $17,000 in debt, with three bank credit cards issued in his name. How did this happen? Listen to Kenneth and his brother Patrick Lovell tell their story.

How did Brooklyn resident Kenneth Lovell, a retired janitor living on a fixed-income and with no credit history, find himself thousands of dollars in debt? It’s a refrain we’ve heard before on our NYC Financial Justice Hotline: Wall Street banks working in cahoots with retail stores, doctors’ offices, and others to exploit low-income New Yorkers. […]

This spring, New Economy Project attended Encore Capital’s annual shareholder meeting at the Hyatt Hotel in midtown Manhattan. Three members of our legal team, Eve Weissman, Susan Shin, and Nick Loh, went to the shareholder meeting to call out ways that Encore, among the country’s largest debt buying companies, harms New Yorkers.

Crain’s New York Business — Esther Roman, a 60-year-old grandmother in Brooklyn, was alarmed when she noticed in January that her $300 weekly paycheck was $27.99 short. She called her employer, a home health care agency, which said her wages were being garnished after someone sued her, claiming she’d failed to pay an old credit-card bill.

A lot has been written about the shortcomings of New York’s recently-passed state budget. The upshot: New York’s electeds missed the clear opportunity to take decisive action against Trumpism and to protect communities under attack. A glaring example of this failure of leadership is the decision, yet again, not to fund a widely-supported program that invests in low-income communities and communities of color: the state’s Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund.

This episode, we take a look at a campaign that focuses on the Federal Reserve System and its impact on working people and people of color. We take you to a rally in front of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York where we spoke with two protesters about how the Fed impacts their communities. Then, we sit down with the Director of the Center for Popular Democracy’s Fed Up! Campaign to hear about the fight to put working people and communities of color at the center of the Fed’s decision-making process.