February 29, 2012
david.grahamcaso @ lacity.org
Los Angeles City Council Unanimously Supports Councilmember Richard Alarcón’s Responsible Banking Ordinance
Landmark Proposal to Hold Banks Accountable Approved By City Council
(Los Angeles, CA) – The Los Angeles City Council today voted unanimously to bring Councilmember Richard Alarcón’s Responsible Banking Ordinance a giant leap closer to becoming law in Los Angeles. Formally, the Council approved an amended report from the Budget and Finance Committee, which instructs the Los Angeles City Attorney to draft official language for the Responsible Banking Ordinance within 30 days. The Ordinance language would then be voted on by the Council.
“Today’s vote is a victory for taxpayers in Los Angeles,” said Councilmember Alarcón. “Banks are now on notice – if they want to do business with the City of Los Angeles, they need to demonstrate that they are reinvesting in communities in Los Angeles.”
Once adopted, Councilmember Alarcón’s Responsible Banking Ordinance will create a public, transparent process for gathering information about banks’ history of service in communities in Los Angeles when considering which financial institutions to award future City contracts. The Ordinance would not preclude any financial institutions from doing business with the City of Los Angeles, but would rather require banks interested in doing business with the City to provide specific information about their work in Los Angeles.
Dozens of community members attended Wednesday’s meeting to speak in favor of the Responsible Banking Ordinance, including a large contingent from the organizations OneLA, LA Voice and the Good Jobs LA Coalition.
“"The big banks have bankrupted our economy and shipwrecked the families in our communities,” said Dr. Ryan Bell, LA Voice clergy leader and Senior Pastor, Hollywood Adventist Church. “The Responsible Banking vote that passed City Council unanimously today is a crucial step toward much needed accountability and transparency in the city's relationship to the banks they do business with. We applaud the passage of this motion."
“OneLA has worked with Councilmember Alarcón over the last three years to protect families and their homes,” said Samuel Chu, Board President of OneLA – Industrial Areas Foundation. “This Responsible Banking Ordinance is the latest critical step toward much needed public transparency and accountability.”
“Today’s vote puts teeth into the Council resolution that was passed last year supporting the Occupy movement,” said Mario Brito, Field Director for the Good Jobs LA Coalition. “But this is only a first step. The next step is going to be convincing the City Council not to do business with unscrupulous banks.”
More information about the Responsible Banking Ordinance, which was first introduced by Councilmember Alarcón in 2009, can be found at www.responsiblebankingLA.blogspot.com.
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