Ethnically Diverse Richmond, Calif., Worries Wall Street

Roundup: Why the City Council voted for an eminent domain plan to protect distressed homeowners.

A rash of foreclosed homes has led the city council of Richmond, Calif., to pass an action that would require homes to be sold at market value.  
National Journal
Oct. 10, 2013, 6:17 a.m.

This weekly roundup of stor­ies, from Oct. 2-9, fo­cuses on op­por­tun­ity and eco­nom­ic growth for Amer­ica’s minor­ity com­munit­ies. 


Eth­nic­ally Di­verse Rich­mond, Cal­if., Wor­ries Wall Street. The Rich­mond City Coun­cil passed a plan last month to stave off fore­clos­ure for many un­der­wa­ter homeown­ers, re­quir­ing note hold­ers to sell at cur­rent fair-mar­ket value or pos­sibly face loss of the prop­erty. Sup­port­ers or­gan­ized a rally the day be­fore the coun­cil voted on the em­in­ent-do­main concept, wherein the gov­ern­ment can seize private prop­erty for pub­lic use. Said Arch­bish­op Franzo King: “For the rich, em­in­ent-do­main works. But when the poor or black or brown people see it as a solu­tion to a prob­lem the banks don’t feel like deal­ing with, we’re on the wrong foot.” The move could have deep rami­fic­a­tions for homeown­ers and lenders across the na­tion, not just in Rich­mond, where 69 per­cent of its res­id­ents are people of col­or (about 40 per­cent Latino), nearly a third are for­eign-born and 16 per­cent lives in poverty. The Wash­ing­ton Post

Opin­ion: ‘Law­suit Lend­ing’ Puts Fam­il­ies at Risk. Febe Ze­peda, of the Rio Grande Val­ley Cit­izens Against Law­suit Ab­use, and Bal­domero Gar­za, of the League of United Lat­in Amer­ic­an Cit­izens, ex­plain how law­makers are look­ing for ways to com­bat law firms who lure cli­ents — of­ten the poor or under­e­du­cated — who pay up­front and boast a slo­gan like “If your case loses, you don’t pay.” NBC Latino


Minor­it­ies, Es­pe­cially Pro­por­tion of Black Amer­ic­ans, Feel­ing Fur­loughs. The im­passe in fund­ing the gov­ern­ment af­fects 880,000 Amer­ic­ans, but in many cases the ef­fects on black Amer­ic­ans ares es­pe­cially hard. Ac­cord­ing to the Of­fice of Per­son­nel Man­age­ment,Afric­an-Amer­ic­ans com­prise 17.7 per­cent of the fed­er­al work­force and rep­res­ent 13.6 per­cent of all Amer­ic­ans. The fed­er­al work­force is 34 per­cent people of col­or — spe­cific­ally, 8 per­cent Latino, 5.8 per­cent Asi­an, and 2.5 per­cent Nat­ive Amer­ic­ans, Nat­ive Hawaii­ans and Pa­cific Is­landers. New Amer­ica Me­dia

Im­mig­ra­tion Cases Put on Hold. “Frus­trated.” That’s how Es­trada Gonza­lez felt when the shut­ter­ing of the na­tion’s 16 im­mig­ra­tion courts can­celed his green-card hear­ing in Phoenix. Said at­tor­ney Eliza­beth Chath­am of the Amer­ic­an Im­mig­ra­tion Law­yers As­so­ci­ation: “For most people, they have been wait­ing for years for their hear­ings. Now they are in a state of limbo.” The Ari­zona Re­pub­lic

Crisis Said to Be Harm­ing Minor­ity Busi­ness. With the Small Busi­ness Ad­min­is­tra­tion sus­pend­ing its lend­ing pro­gram, Hec­tor Bar­reto, chair­man of the Latino Co­ali­tion and a former SBA ad­min­is­trat­or, said the fed­er­al fund­ing crisis is hinder­ing en­tre­pren­eur­i­al minor­it­ies. The sus­pen­sion of the SBA’s lend­ing pro­gram and pro­cess for se­cur­ing gov­ern­ment con­tracts will hurt many small-busi­ness own­ers. “The gov­ern­ment shut­down has the U.S. mar­kets slid­ing, and al­though gov­ern­ment can shut down, small busi­nesses need to keep mov­ing for­ward,” he said at the Latino Co­ali­tion’s 2013 West Coast Eco­nom­ic Sum­mit, in Oak­land, Cal­if. NBC Latino

  • Bar­reto Q&A: His­pan­ics En­tre­pren­eurs Should Se­cure More Loans. Busi­nes­s­week

Opin­ion: Minor­ity-Owned Firms and the Gov­ern­ment Shut­down: In­creased Hard­ship. By Nat­alie Madeira Cofield, pres­id­ent and CEO of the Cap­it­al City Afric­an Amer­ic­an Cham­ber of Com­merce. For­bes


New York Minor­it­ies, Wo­men Set Re­cord for State Con­tracts. Gov. An­drew Cuomo an­nounced that busi­nesses owned by minor­it­ies and wo­men se­cured a re­cord $1.49 bil­lion in state con­tracts dur­ing fisc­al 2012-13. That amounts to 21 per­cent of state con­tracts, up 12 per­cent since he took of­fice in 2007. Al­bany Times-Uni­on

5 Afric­an-Amer­ic­an-Owned Banks Se­cure $1M. The Con­gres­sion­al Black Caucus Found­a­tion will be­stow $1 mil­lion on each of five black-owned banks, hop­ing to stoke loans for in­di­vidu­als and busi­nesses in minor­ity com­munit­ies. The re­cip­i­ents in­clude In­dus­tri­al Bank, the last Afric­an-Amer­ic­an-owned bank in the great­er Wash­ing­ton area. Amer­ic­an Banker

Cali­for­nia Filipi­nos in Spot­light to Go Green. Asi­an-Amer­ic­ans rate highest among Cali­for­ni­ans eager to em­brace cost-cut­ting meas­ures and re­duce en­vir­on­ment­al im­pact, and Kalusug­an Com­munity Ser­vices is spe­cific­ally help­ing Filipino-Amer­ic­ans in the San Diego area re­duce their en­ergy bills. Mari Rose Taruc of the Asi­an Pa­cific En­vir­on­ment­al Net­work said, “We want them to save some money “¦ so they can buy oth­er things they need — food, cloth­ing….” APEN works to­ward policies that help eth­nic and dis­ad­vant­aged com­munit­ies live a green­er life­style. Among them is a bill now in the state Sen­ate that seeks to help more groups en­gage in state’s clean-en­ergy pro­grams. New Amer­ica Me­dia


Im­mig­ra­tion’s Im­pact Key in Texas Comp­troller Race. Can­did­ates run­ning to suc­ceed Texas Comp­troller Susan Combs say that if elec­ted, they would pur­sue an up­date to the 2006 ana­lys­is of the eco­nom­ic im­pact of un­doc­u­mented people in the Lone Star State. Texas Tribune

L.A.-Area Asi­ans Feel Hit of Hard Times. About 11 per­cent of Sri Lankans who have settled in Los Angeles live in poverty, and the fam­ily in­comes of an­oth­er 25 per­cent are in the low­est brack­et. Ac­cord­ing to a re­port by Asi­an-Amer­ic­ans Ad­van­cing Justice, the county’s pop­u­la­tion of Asi­an-Amer­ic­ans, in­clud­ing Nat­ive Hawaii­ans and Pa­cific Is­landers, has grown twice as fast as any oth­er. It said, “Between 2007 and 2011 the num­ber of un­em­ployed Asi­an-Amer­ic­ans in Los Angeles County grew 89 per­cent; the num­ber of un­em­ployed NHPI grew 111 per­cent. Over the same peri­od, the num­ber of Asi­an-Amer­ic­ans and NHPI liv­ing be­low the poverty line county­wide grew 20 per­cent and 84 per­cent re­spect­ively.” LA Beez


Blighted Mid­w­est Areas Wel­come Im­mig­rants. Of­fi­cials strug­gling to fore­stall fur­ther de­cay in por­tions of Chica­go, Clev­e­land, Colum­bus, In­di­ana­pol­is, and St. Louis are work­ing to at­tract en­tre­pren­eur­i­al im­mig­rants. Re­cently the Dayton, Ohio, City Com­mis­sion voted to make the city “im­mig­rant friendly,” which was enough to spur Is­lom Shakh­bandarov to tell oth­er Turks — both high-skilled work­ers and laborers — to con­sider re­lo­cat­ing to Ohio. “We want to in­vest in the places where we are ac­cep­ted bet­ter,” he said. “And we are ac­cep­ted bet­ter in Dayton.” Ad­ded Richard Her­man, a law­yer who ad­vises Clev­e­land on im­mig­ra­tion mat­ters, “We want to get back to the en­tre­pren­eur­i­al spir­it that im­mig­rants bring.” The New York Times

Ohio Hous­ing Pro­grams Have $1B Im­pact. Nine Neigh­bor­Works hous­ing groups in Ohio had an eco­nom­ic im­pact of $1.4 bil­lion eco­nom­ic over five years, ac­cord­ing to a re­port re­leased by the Neigh­bor­Works Col­lab­or­at­ive of Ohio. Grady Ap­pleton, ex­ec­ut­ive dir­ect­or of the East Ak­ron Neigh­bor­hood De­vel­op­ment Corp., said that high amount sur­prised even him. “It shows that you get a big bang for your buck when you in­vest with one of our or­gan­iz­a­tions.” The re­port said the hous­ing pro­grams cre­ated 5,400 jobs and $696.9 mil­lion in eco­nom­ic be­ne­fits from 2008 to 2012; in­dir­ect and in­duced be­ne­fits ad­ded the rest. Neigh­bor­Works is a na­tion­wide al­li­ance of more than 240 com­munity-de­vel­op­ment and af­ford­able hous­ing or­gan­iz­a­tions. Ak­ron Beacon-Journ­al

Opin­ion: New Rule Makes It Easi­er for Small Busi­nesses to Find Fund­ing. By Rep. Dav­id Sch­weikert, R-Ar­iz., a co­spon­sor of the re­vise JOBS Act. Ari­zona Cap­it­ol Times

Point Your Browser to .uno. Dot Lat­in has out­lined plans to roll out .uno, an In­ter­net ex­ten­sion in­ten­ded to “glob­ally con­nect and unite His­pan­ic and Latino com­munit­ies, busi­nesses, in­di­vidu­als, and con­sumers in sup­port of a bi­cul­tur­al and bi­lin­gual In­ter­net.” The Do­mains

  • Meet Juan Diego Calle, Latino Own­er of the Do­main .co    NBC Latino


CEO Sum­mit: Lat­ino­Vi­sion’s 6th an­nu­al gath­er­ing is set for Oct. 16 in New York.

What We're Following See More »
In Dropout Speech, Santorum Endorses Rubio
2 days ago

As expected after earlier reports on Wednesday, Rick Santorum ended his presidential bid. But less expected: he threw his support to Marco Rubio. After noting he spoke with Rubio the day before for an hour, he said, “Someone who has a real understanding of the threat of ISIS, real understanding of the threat of fundamentalist Islam, and has experience, one of the things I wanted was someone who has experience in this area, and that’s why we decided to support Marco Rubio.” It doesn’t figure to help Rubio much in New Hampshire, but the Santorum nod could pay dividends down the road in southern states.

Rubio, Trump Question Obama’s Mosque Visit
2 days ago

President Obama’s decision to visit a mosque in Baltimore today was never going to be completely uncontroversial. And Donald Trump and Marco Rubio proved it. “Maybe he feels comfortable there,” Trump told interviewer Greta van Susteren on Fox News. “There are a lot of places he can go, and he chose a mosque.” And in New Hampshire, Rubio said of Obama, “Always pitting people against each other. Always. Look at today – he gave a speech at a mosque. Oh, you know, basically implying that America is discriminating against Muslims.”

Cruz Must Max Out on Evangelical Support through Early March
2 days ago

For Ted Cruz, a strong showing in New Hampshire would be nice, but not necessary. That’s because evangelical voters only make up 21% of the Granite State’s population. “But from the February 20 South Carolina primary through March 15, there are nine states (South Carolina, Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Kentucky, Mississippi, and North Carolina) with an estimated white-Evangelical percentage of the GOP electorate over 60 percent, and another four (Texas, Kansas, Louisiana, and Missouri) that come in over 50 percent.” But after that, he better be in the catbird’s seat, because only four smaller states remain with evangelical voter majorities.

Rubio Now Winning the ‘Endorsement Primary’
2 days ago

Since his strong third-place finish in Iowa, Marco Rubio has won endorsement by two sitting senators and two congressmen, putting him in the lead for the first time of FiveThirtyEight‘s Endorsement Tracker. “Some politicians had put early support behind Jeb Bush — he had led [their] list since August — but since January the only new endorsement he has received was from former presidential candidate Sen. Lindsey Graham.” Meanwhile, the New York Times reports that fueled by resentment, “members of the Bush and Christie campaigns have communicated about their mutual desire to halt … Rubio’s rise in the polls.”

Sanders: Obama Is a Progressive
2 days ago

“Do I think President Obama is a progressive? Yeah, I do,” said Bernie Sanders, in response to a direct question in tonight’s debate. “I think they’ve done a great job.” But Hillary Clinton wasn’t content to sit out the latest chapter in the great debate over the definition of progressivism. “In your definition, with you being the gatekeeper of progressivism, I don’t think anyone else fits that definition,” she told Sanders.