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Public Meeting Transcripts

Public Meeting Regarding NationsBank and BankAmerica

Friday, July 10, 1998

Transcript of Panel Twenty-Eight


       1              MS. SMITH:  Ms. Scott will be a panel of one. 
       2              MS. SCOTT:  Thank you.  I hadn't anticipated
       3   that.  
       4              Good afternoon.  My name the Lue Venia Scott
       5   and I'm a program manager in the Oakland office of the
       6   California Community Economic Development Association of
       7   CCEDA.  My testimony today is on behalf of CCEDA and our
       8   Executive Director, Ralph Lippman
       9              CCEDA is a statewide membership association
      10   of community-based organizations that are actively
      11   engaged in the revitalization of California's low-income 
      12   neighborhoods.  In their respective communities, CCEDA
      13   members produce results in many areas of community
      14   building, including, but not limited to the production
      15   of housing, industrial and commercial space, employment
      16   training, job creation, business startup and expansion
      17   and the provision or facilitation of human services. 
      18              State associations provide clearinghouses for
      19   information and action.  To build the capacity and
      20   expand the resources for community-based organizations,
      21   30 state associations advocate on behalf of the nation's
      22   2,200 CDCs. 
      23              Critical partners are banks like NationsBank
      24   and the Bank of America.  Forty-eight percent of the
      25   nation's community development corporations reported the
      26   receipt of more than $50,000 in grants, investments or


       1   loans in a National Congress of Community Economic
       2   Development study, which was published in 1993, called
       3   "Against All Odds."  This amount has substantially
       4   increased over the last five years as deal structure
       5   changed, subsidies shrunk and our members grew more
       6   financially sophisticated. 
       7              State associations and CDCs are very
       8   concerned that mergers may result in the attenuation of
       9   partnerships with banks for community economic
      10   development projects.  In this time of devolution and
      11   consolidation of resources at the state level, any
      12   decline is a serious concern.  
      13              We have found that local groups and state
      14   associations have a much more difficult time negotiating
      15   support from their banks following a merger. 
      16              This is particularly underscored today.  The
      17   Bank of America, its foundation and Community
      18   Development Bank have been unflagging partners of the
      19   work of in CCEDA and its members. 
      20              Jim, Wagele, Susan Howard, Don Mulland and
      21   Mike Mantle have been responsive and supportive.  
      22              The rural initiative and the economic
      23   initiative are national models.  To be at this juncture
      24   in the merger and still have uncertainty in the absence
      25   of written commitment about the organizational fate of
      26   the Community Development Bank, the initiatives and the


       1   foundationss targeting is, in our view, unacceptable. 
       2   California deserves better. 
       3              We believe that CD Bank has acquired
       4   considerable knowledge and expertise regarding
       5   development in California.  We would like to see it stay
       6   here.  
       7              We note the integral role the foundation has
       8   played in the operation of California's community-based
       9   groups.  A percentage of the bank's earnings would
      10   ideally be earmarked for California's communities with
      11   the decision-making group that is close to the ground in
      12   the west, not the southeast. 
      13              We would like to see an established target
      14   goal that would help us to back into conclusions
      15   regarding how far the new initiatives will go. 
      16              Finally, the nations state CDC associations
      17   want a firm commitment from banks that are merging to
      18   work with their state associations.  We want every
      19   financial institution to recognize that policy advocacy
      20   and training are important to the viability of community
      21   economic development. 
      22              We suggest that merging institutions invest a
      23   portion of their resources to support the work of state
      24   CDC associations.  An alternative approach beyond a
      25   direct multi-year commitment to CCEDA and groups like us
      26   such as housed in California could be for the banks to


       1   utilize the National Congress for Community Economic
       2   development as an intermediary which would serve as the
       3   granting entity and then distribute funding to
       4   affiliated state groups in which the newly-merged entity
       5   would do business. 
       6              We believe that banks understand that a rich
       7   and vibrant environment is good for the community and
       8   for business.  We believe that they understand that
       9   public policy is moving to the states.  We urge a
      10   written commitment to support California and state
      11   associations.  Thank you.
      12              MS. SMITH:  Thank you very much.  Any
      13   questions? 
      14              Thank you very much for coming this
      15   afternoon.  
      16              We have gotten ahead of schedule.  So, to
      17   make up for all the breaks we didn't have yesterday,
      18   we're going to take a one-hour break now.  
      19              (Recess taken.)                             

Last update: December 3, 2010