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The ANHD Blog raises the profile of our issues, and educates our member groups, city decision makers, and the general public on our core issue areas. The ANHD Blog offers sharp, timely and effective commentary on key public policy issues, as well as our work and the work of our member groups.

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ANHD and the National Movement to Hold Banks Accountable

November 30, 2011

For the past year, ANHD has been working with the New York City Council to pass Intro. 485, The Responsible Banking Act. Our National Policy Convening, held on November 18, revealed that we are not alone as cities across the country are pushing similar legislative campaigns. Over 130 elected officials, policy experts and community organizers from twelve cities including Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, San Diego, St. Louis, and Washington DC, attended the day-long convening at the NYU School of Law. Everyone in attendance came away feeling like they were part of a growing movement and energized by the day’s speakers who talked about their respective cities’ ordinance with a sense of promise and urgency. The conference, jointly organized by ANHD and the National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC), served as an opportunity for participants to learn about the effectiveness of local ordinances and exchange information about their achievements, setbacks and strategies related to creating and administering local tools to resuscitate community development, affordable housing, and small business lending, investment and retail banking services. "I just want to thank ANHD and the advocates in this room," said Council Speaker Christine Quinn who spoke at the convening. "Because the truth is, were we worried about issues of how banks interact with our neighborhoods and the Council? Yes. Were we worried about foreclosure, worried about small businesses? Yes. Had we really thought about this vehicle, this idea on our own? No. It came out of collaboration. The best ideas come from collaboration." In addition to Speaker Quinn, ANHD was thrilled to be joined by Council Member Richard Alarcon from Los Angeles, Councilor Felix G. Arroyo from Boston, Council Member Wilson Goode Jr. from Philadelphia, and New York Council Members Al Vann, Domenic M. Recchia, and Brad Lander. “We began the process to get our responsible banking bill passed because we saw the effective examples of Cleveland and Philadelphia, two leaders that have laws in place,” said ANHD Executive Director Benjamin Dulchin. “Replicating their models really seemed exciting to us.” New York is now poised to be the third city to pass such legislation. Although Speaker Quinn did not commit to an exact date during the convening, she did exclaim, "One way or another, Intro 485 will become the law of the City of New York very soon." And as NYC goes, so too may go other municipalities as expressed by Council Member Alarcon. “I agree if New York passes this ordinance it will be a powerful message for the entire United States of America. If Wall Street is burdened with this banking responsibility I think then all the ships will follow and hopefully all the ships will rise.”

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