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.  
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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. 

HOME OWN­ER­SHIP

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

GOV­ERN­MENT SHUT­DOWN

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

BUSI­NESS DE­VEL­OP­MENT

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

ECO­NOM­IC POLICY

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

EN­TER­PRISE AND EN­TRE­PREN­EUR­ISM

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

COM­ING UP

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

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