Don't let the bullies win

We knew the big banks would play dirty in their fight against Richmond’s plan to stop the wave of foreclosures decimating our city’s communities. But we didn’t know they would stoop this low. 

The banks want to bully Richmond out of our plan to acquire underwater homes by threatening to make it more expensive for people to borrow money to buy homes if our plan passes.

There’s another name for this kind of bullying: redlining. It’s a tactic that was used for decades to maintain neighborhood segregation and keep people of color out of home ownership -- and it’s completely illegal. By threatening us, the banks are betting that our plan will lose political support and wither on the vine. That’s why we must hold them accountable for threatening illegal action right now.

Join me in standing up to discriminatory redlining. Sign this petition calling on the U. S. Department of Justice to investigate the banking industry’s threats.

Decades of redlining kept qualified borrowers in working class communities and communities of color from having the opportunity to own a home. Then came reverse redlining, otherwise known as predatory lending: the banks peddled high-cost bad loans to unsuspecting borrowers. The result? More than 4 million Americans have lost their homes and decades of hard-earned wealth -- mostly in black and brown neighborhoods -- has been wiped away.

Cities across the U.S., with Richmond leading the way, are developing a smart strategy to save homes from foreclosure by acquiring troubled loans through purchase or use of eminent domain. This plan, called Richmond CARES, would rewrite the rules of the game -- levelling the playing field so that homeowners have a fighting chance to keep their homes.

The plan we have to save homes is fair, sensible and has the potential to help tens of thousands of families across the U.S. It’s a win-win solution that reduces foreclosures and blight, helping to stabilize home values and improve property tax revenue for our cities.

The big banks and their allies are doing everything they can to intimidate us out of pursuing this plan -- like any bully, they want to keep the game tilted in their favor. They’ve threatened us with lawsuits, they’ve spread lies about the impact of the program. But their latest tactic -- threatening to make credit more expensive for homebuyers in any city that passes our plan -- is way over the line.

Please sign this petition calling on the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate Wall Street’s plans to discriminate against cities that use the laws at their disposal to fix bad loans and save homes.

Let’s not let the bullies of Wall Street derail this program that will help our communities recover. We’ve had enough. We’re standing up. We’re fighting for our communities. And we can’t do it without you.

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