Activists “occupy” foreclosure auction


By Jacob Hay, Good Jobs LA

More than 50 activists organized by Occupy LA and Good Jobs LA disrupted Bank of America’s auction of 7,000 homes – including homes in South LA – at the Norwalk Courthouse. The protest took place last Friday, December 2.
As Bank of America sold the homes of LA families to the highest bidder, protestors chanted “banks got bailed out, we got sold out,” “keep LA families in their homes” and held signs declaring “we are the 99%”. Activists also set up tents – a symbol of the occupy movement – in middle of the auction.

“We are here to stop Wall Street banks from throwing people out of their homes,” said Laura Jamie, a South LA resident who attended the protest. “My community has already been devastated by the foreclosure crisis and today Bank of America is making the problem worse. I’ve heard them auctioning off homes in my own neighborhood – on streets I drive down every day.”

The group called for a moratorium on foreclosures and for Bank of America and other Wall Street banks to end the practices that crashed the economy and continue to hurt LA communities.

Money available from the Neighborhood Excellence Initiative

News Release

Bank of America Charitable Foundation Seeks Nonprofits and Community Leaders Transforming Their Communities in Los Angeles

$200 Million in Grant Support – More Than $800,000 in Los Angeles Alone –

Available Through the Bank’s Neighborhood Excellence Initiative®

Applications Due June 1, 2011

WHAT:       The Bank of America Charitable Foundation has issued a call for applications for the Neighborhood Excellence Initiative, its signature philanthropic program that recognizes and rewards service and leadership by organizations, individuals and students in 44 U.S. cities and in London. Applications for the Neighborhood Builders® (nonprofit organizations) and Local Heroes (community leaders) categories of the program are due by June 1, 2011* and can be submitted online at Neighborhood Excellence Initiative.

WHO:         In 2011, Bank of America will honor, more than 90 Neighborhood Builders (four in Los Angeles) who work to strengthen the social and economic health of their neighborhoods. Each will receive $200,000 in unrestricted grant funding and participate in the bank’s strategic leadership training program. Also this year, the program will recognize more than 225 Local Heroes (10 in Los Angeles) who champion causes vital to their local communities and inspire others to get involved through community service. Each recipient will direct a $5,000 contribution from the Bank of America Charitable Foundation to an eligible nonprofit of their choice.

By the end of 2011, Bank of America’s total commitment through the 8-year-old Neighborhood Excellence Initiative will exceed $150 million, and nearly 700 nonprofits organizations and nearly 3,400 community leaders and high school students will have been recognized for their service, achievements and leadership.

HOW:         Award recipients are chosen by local selection committees comprised of private, public and nonprofit sector leaders and chaired by local Bank of America executives in the 45 participating communities.

*Applications for the Student Leaders® category of the program, which honors more than 225 exemplary high school students (five in each market) with a passion for improving their neighborhoods, were due in January. Student Leaders recipients will be announced in the summer; Neighborhood Builders and Local Heroes, in the fall.

Bank of America Corporate Philanthropy

Building on a long-standing tradition of investing in the communities it serves, Bank of America is delivering on a 10-year goal to donate $2 billion to nonprofit organizations engaged in improving the health and vitality of their neighborhoods. Funded by Bank of America, the Bank of America Charitable Foundation gave more than $200 million in 2010, making the bank one of the largest corporate cash donors in the United States.  As a global company doing business in more than 150 countries, Bank of America approaches investing through a national strategy under which it works with local leaders to identify and meet the most pressing needs of individual communities.  Reaffirming a commitment to develop and sustain a culture of service, bank associate volunteers contributed more than one million hours in 2010 to enhance the quality of life in their communities worldwide. For more information about Bank of America Corporate Philanthropy, please visit

Bank of America donates $50,000 to L.A. Regional Foodbank

Bank of America presented a check for $50,000 to the Los Angeles Regional Foodbank Saturday as 150 of its employees gathered at the facility to assemble about 1,000 packages of food for low-income senior citizens.

The Los Angeles Regional Foodbank, a 96,000-square-foot facility in South Los Angeles, disburses 34 million pounds of food each year through a network of 875 distribution centers across Los Angeles County.L.A. Regional Foodbank President and CEO Michael Flood receives a check for $50,000 from Bank of America.

The seniors who will receive the bags of food are part of the Commodity Supplemental Food Program. Many of them live only on Social Security, which on its own often does not provide enough money for a nutritious diet. Other seniors in the program are able to work but have lost jobs due to the economic recession. “The program is designed to provide them with a pretty substantial amount of food on a monthly basis, so it can prevent them from going hungry,” Los Angeles Regional Foodbank President and CEO Michael Flood said.

Bank of America has donated a total of $1 million to organizations that fight hunger in several cities across the nation. “It’s something that Bank of America wanted to do because they’ve heard that the demand for food assistance has increased so markedly throughout the United States,” Flood said.

According to the Department of Labor, California has fared particularly badly in the economic recession. The state’s unemployment rate of 11.2 percent is one of the worst in the nation, and the number of people out of work for a year has doubled in the last 12 months. These numbers are reflected in the 36 percent increase in demand for food assistance in Los Angeles.Bank of America employees assemble bags of food for low-income seniors.

“Although the Foodbank has increased its volume as far as what we can distribute, it’s still not enough to meet the demand that’s out there,” said Foodbank Communications Director Darren Hoffman.

In 2008, the Bank of America Charitable Foundation donated $200 million to charities, a record for a financial institution. This year the bank pledged to donate $2 billion over the next 10 years to nonprofit organizations “engaged in improving the health and vitality of their neighborhoods.”

Bank of America National Program Manager Dannille Campos said that even though banks are struggling through the economic crisis, “This is a time when the needs are so great, so there’s no way we can cut out philanthropic dollars when the community is so in need right now.”

In addition to assembling food packages at the Foodbank, Bank of America employees also volunteer at food distribution sites in El Monte, Van Nuys, Pacoima and Inglewood, which serve over 1,000 senior citizens. At the distribution sites, Bank of America teaches financial education courses that focus on budgeting and savings.

Organizers of Saturday’s event said it was easy recruit the 150 Bank of America employees needed to assemble the food packages. “The Bank of America associates are very much involved in the community events that we do, so they’re constantly looking to see what we have,” said Marketing Program Development Specialist Angela Molina. “It’s a good feeling to know that the associates are so involved.”