South LA residents join coalition calling for responsible banking law in LA

imageBy Jacob Hay, Good Jobs LA

On Monday, residents from South LA communities joined activists from a broad coalition representing the 99% – including Occupy LA, ACCE, PICO/LA Voice, SEIU and Good Jobs LA – for a rally at city hall calling on LA city leaders to hold Wall Street banks accountable and pass the “Responsible Banking Ordinance.”

The law, being considered by the LA City Council’s Budget and Finance Committee, would publish a report card of bank activity – such as loan modifications to keep people in their homes and local investments to create jobs – so the public and city leaders will know which banks are helping or hurting Los Angeles communities in order to better guide banking relationships involving taxpayer dollars.

Overall, LA homeowners are estimated to lose $78.8 billion in home values as a direct result of the 200,000 foreclosures for 2008-2012.

imageForeclosures not only throw families out of their homes and sink home values in local communities, they cost governments and taxpayers significantly. The typical foreclosure costs local governments more than $19,229 for safety inspections, police and fire calls, and trash removal, and maintenance. In LA, theses costs are estimated to be $1.2 billion.

“After all the damage Wall Street Banks have done to our communities, shouldn’t our city keep a scorecard and stop doing business with the most irresponsible banks,” said Silvia Sanchez, an unemployed South LA resident and mother of four who recently lost her home to a Chase bank foreclosure. “LA should not spend one more cent of our money on banks that are needlessly throwing families out of their homes and cutting back on job-creating investments.”

The City Council’s Budget and Finance Committee is set to vote on the Responsible Banking Ordinance in January.

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