This week in the ongoing battle of the People vs the Banks, the people are winning!
Oakland: Oakland City Staff, Mayor Quan, Congressperson Barbara Lee and State Assembly person Nancy Skinner hosted a press briefing alongside community allies in support of a Comprehensive Foreclosure Prevention Package. (Check out out CJJC member Manuel De La Paz as he tells how the threat of foreclosure has impacted...
(español sigue) Did we bail out Freddie Mac so they can use our money to put us out of our homes? No! The Perez family is fighting Freddie Mac for their home after they were denied a loan modification three times. They will be squaring off with Fannie Mae at a hearing on Thursday, October 18.
Let’s pack the...
Dates to Remember
- 10/30 Last day to request a Vote-by-Mail Ballot by mail
- 11/6 Election Day - If you are voting by mail, the ballot must be received on Election Day. You can drop it off at a polling place, as long as the polls are open. Polls are open 7:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Election Day is coming up soon. Know what you are voting for!
Proposition 30. Temporary Taxes to Fund Education. Guaranteed Local Public Safety Funding. Initiative Constitutional Amendment.
Proposition 30 is the result of a historic compromise between the Restore California Coalition and Governor Jerry Brown, the first time a governor had to negotiate directly with a coalition of...
Sunday night was a historic moment. Governor Brown vetoed the Trust Act, turning his back on immigrant communities in crisis. [español sigue]
He also vetoed the Domestic Workers Bill of Rights, the Farm Worker Protection Bill, and the UC Workers Bill — grassroots bills that would have uplifted, improved, and made safer the lives of the immigrant majority, people of...
SF Immigrant Community Reacts With Outrage to Governor’s Vetoes
Groups Unite Around Vetoes of Trust Act, Domestic Workers’ Bill of Rights and Farm Workers’ Heat Protection Bills
WHAT: Immigrant groups respond in outrage to Governor’s vetoes of Trust Act, Domestic Workers’ Bill of Rights, Farm Workers Heat Protection Legislation
WHERE: State Building 455 Golden Gate Avenue
WHEN: Thursday October...
Our Work Continues With Resilience and Courage
By Cinthya Muñoz Ramos
Thanks to Melanie Cervantes, Favianna Rodriguez and ACUDIR for the collaboration on these beautiful posters!
As our newspaper goes into print Oct 12, we await a signature that would mean life-changing possibilities for thousands of Californians and their families, the fighting chance at staying together.
For the last two...
What to do?
Sign the Petition
Tell Fannie & Freddie it’s Time to “Clean House”
Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae together have received $153 billion of bailout money and that figure is expected to go over $353 billion by the end of 2013.
Their work is supposed to help the...
Thank you to those who were able to join us for Puentes Solidarios, a celebration of Causa Justa :: Just Cause’s work to build unity between Black and Latino communities, and organize everyday people to make change.
We were moved by member testimonies, ranging from shaky-voiced first-time public speakers to old pros like Margarita Ramirez and Alma Blackwell, who are...
[español sigue] Ticket sales are now closed for Bridges of Solidarity! At noon today (Sept 19) we sold out and are not able to offer any more tickets to the event.
Unfortunately, we will not be selling tickets at the door, because we have reached the capacity of the venue with pre-sale tickets.
It is shaping up to be an...
By Paul Kiel
ProPublica, Sept. 11, 2012, 1:35 p.m.
Over the past several years, we've reported extensively on the big banks' foreclosure failings . As a result of banks' disorganization and understaffing — particularly at the peak of the crisis in 2009 and 2010 — homeowners were often forced to run a gauntlet of confusion, delays, and errors when seeking a mortgage modification.
[link to original article]
But while evidence of these problems was pervasive, it was always hard to quantify the damage. Just how many more people could have qualified under the administration's mortgage modification program if the banks had done a better job? In other words, how many people have been pushed toward foreclosure unnecessarily?
A thorough study  released last week provides one number, and it's a big one: about 800,000 homeowners.
Bank of America in particular (the largest of all the servicers when HAMP launched) has been far slower to modify loans than even the other large servicers, as other analyses we've cited  have shown . Rick Simon, a spokesman for Bank of America, said the banks' “home retention results are significant and in line with our industry peers to date."
The study's authors — from the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, the government's Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), Ohio State University, Columbia Business School, and the University of Chicago — arrived at this conclusion by analyzing a vast data set available to the OCC. They wanted to measure the impact of HAMP, the government's main foreclosure prevention program.
What they found was that certain banks were far better at modifying loans than others. The reasons for the difference, they established, were pretty predictable: The banks that were better at helping homeowners avoid foreclosure had staff who were both more numerous and better trained.
Unfortunately for homeowners, most mortgages are handled by banks that haven't been properly staffed and thus have modified far fewer loans. If these worse- performing banks had simply modified loans at the same pace as their better performing peers, then HAMP would have produced about 800,000 more modifications. Instead of about 1.2 million modifications by the end of this year, HAMP would have resulted in about 2 million.
That's still well short of the 3-4 million modifications President Obama promised when he announced the program back in early 2009. But it's a big difference, and a reasonable, basic benchmark against which to compare the program's failings.
The report does not identify these poor performing banks, but it's not hard to ID them. A “few large servicers [have offered] modifications at half the rate of others,” the authors say. The largest mortgage servicers are Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo and Citi.
Bank of America in particular (the largest of all the servicers when HAMP launched) has been far slower to modify loans than even the other large servicers, as other analyses we've cited  have shown .
Rick Simon, a spokesman for Bank of America, said the...
August 22, 2012
Judith A. Greene
Los Angeles County began its participation in the Secure Communities deportation program on
August 27, 2009, making it one of the first jurisdictions in America where the program, also
known as S-Comm, was activated. Like the program itself, LA County's participation started
with little fanfare but has since been riddled with controversy. As S-Comm deployment has
been expanded throughout California, it has come under fire for its failure to achieve stated
priorities, its damaging effect on community policing, and its role in multiple civil rights
violations including racial profiling of Latinos, the criminalization of immigrants, and the illegal
detention of U.S. Citizens by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
While S-Comm has become a proxy flashpoint for the broader debate about immigration reform,
all sides agree that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has been overly secretive about
every aspect of the program. Indeed, DHS's own internal reviews have acknowledged the
agency's fault in creating confusion about the program.
As more data and details about S-Comm have become available, many local jurisdictions have
sought to mitigate its harms. Some states like New York, Illinois, and Massachusetts tried to
leave the program entirely, but they were forced to participate by DHS. Recently, multiple local
jurisdictions, including Cook County, Illinois and Washington, DC, have passed legislation to
limit local compliance with immigration detainers. Immigration detainers are the mechanism
through which S-Comm seeks to detain immigrants in local jails in order to facilitate transfer
ICE for deportation proceedings. California is considering legislation known as the TRUST Act
(AB 1081) to ensure that immigrants who pose no threat to public safety are not incarcerated at
local taxpayer expense.
This report attempts to shed light on one issue: the fiscal cost borne on local jurisdictions by S-Comm.
Data released by the Los Angeles County Sheriff Office – only after it was compelled to
provide it through litigation – show an enormous potential cost savings to the county and to the
state if detention of immigrants would be limited. More data is required to ascertain the full
fiscal impact of S-Comm. But, as this report makes clear, S-Comm is an expensive burden that
Los Angeles, and California, can ill afford:
- •Los Angeles County taxpayers spend over $26 million per year to detain immigrants
- for ICE.
- •Individuals in Los Angeles County custody who are subject to immigration
- detainers spend, on average, 20.6 extra days in county custody.
- •California taxpayers spend an estimated $65 million annually to detain immigrants
- for ICE.
According to data records compiled by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, 5,184
people who were booked into the jail system during the first three months of 2011 were handed
over to ICE, the deportation enforcement arm of the Department of Homeland Security.2 Using
these figures, it is possible to estimate that over a year’s time, 20,736 County Jail prisoners will
be released into ICE custody.
Additional Days in Detention
The average length of stay for people who were released from the Los...
CJJC is one of several housing organizations featured in a documentary on housing by Fault Lines, produced by Anjali Kamat, and airing on Al Jazeera English this week at 6:30pm ET. Faultlines Doc "For Sale: The American Dream." She also wrote about it on Huffington Post. The documentary includes some of our members and housing counselors.
It is especially timely considering CJJC, as part of the Right to the City Alliance is taking part in a national campaign called "Fannie/Freddie99." The march will be led by families directly affected by Fannie and Freddie's foreclosure policies. In California, the campaign kicks off at the Right to the City Member Congress in Los Angeles on September 10 and 11.
Check out some of the stories of people who have been affected by the policies of Fannie & Freddie in service of the 1%, here http://wearethefanniefreddie99.tumblr.com/
Our coordinated national campaign is due to Fannie and Freddie’s influence over the entire banking and financial system and control over half of all mortgages in the country. In California, they are the investor/guarantor on 60% of home loans in California.
If you'd like to see "For Sale: The American Dream" Here's the link!
@AJFaultlines and @anjucomet
Presenter: Josh Rushing
Producer: Anjali Kamat
Assistant Producer: Joel Van Haren
Camera: Singeli Agnew
Additional Camera: Matt Bockelman
Editors: Leslie Atkins, Warwick Meade
Executive Producer: Mathieu Skene
Additional Production Assistance: Amina Waheed, Ryan Loughlin
Other Sciences / Social Sciences
California neighborhoods reeling from record foreclosures also experienced lower levels of voter turnout in the 2008 presidential election, according to researchers at the University of California, Riverside.
Voters who lost their homes were not the only ones who appear to have been affected, sociologist Vanesa Estrada-Correa and political scientist Martin Johnson determined in a study believed to be the first to assess the effect of foreclosure on political participation. Voters who remained in neighborhoods impacted by foreclosure were less likely to vote than individuals in more stable communities, the researchers discovered.
The findings of Estrada-Correa and Johnson appear in "Foreclosure Depresses Voter Turnout: Neighborhood Disruption and the 2008 Presidential Election in California," published in the peer-reviewed journal Social Science Quarterly and available online.
The journal is published by the Southwestern Social Science Association.
Nationally more than 3.5 million families were dislocated by foreclosures in 2008. In California, nearly 641,000 homes were lost to foreclosure between the first quarter of 2008 and the first quarter of 2011. Communities in the Inland Empire in Southern California and the Central Valley were hit especially hard. People of color and low-income homeowners were more likely to experience foreclosure.
Estrada-Correa and Johnson examined foreclosure data and voter-turnout records by ZIP code, controlling for factors such as poverty, ethnicity and proportion of neighborhood residents with a four-year college degree. They found that in communities with a large proportion of residents displaced by foreclosure even the neighbors who remained in their homes were less likely to cast ballots.
"Neighborhoods affect the political participation of their residents," the scholars wrote. "Other things being equal, individuals are more likely to vote when they live in places where neighbors vigorously participate in politics, while individuals are less likely to vote when their neighbors are less civically active. Given that foreclosure creates instability in communities, areas that experience higher levels of foreclosure have lower voter turnout."
A body of research on voter turnout has found that homeowners are more likely to go to the polls than renters, and people who have lived in their homes for longer periods of time have a much higher turnout rate than people who have only lived in their current residence for a short period of time. That trend holds true among residents of high- and low-income neighborhoods.
The issue is not only one of an involuntarily mobile electorate facing challenges of reregistering at a new address or with no address—courts have ruled that even a park bench can serve as a lawful address for voter registration, the researchers said, citing Maria Foscarinis, executive director of the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty.
Foscarinis points out that "as a practical matter, registering, holding on to your documents and even focusing on your civic rights and duties may be impossible when basic survival needs are at stake."
Foreclosure disrupts neighborhoods both by removing invested members of the community, as well as exposing others who remain in the neighborhood to economic anxieties, Estrada-Correa and Johnson...