Yesterday, LA Voice, the coalition of clergy leaders representing 30,000 people from churches, synagogues, and mosques in California pledged to move $2 million and end a collective 200 years of business with Bank of America and Wells Fargo. LA Voice takes regular action for economic and social justice as part of the PICO National Network and The New Bottom Line. Joining LA Voice for the action was Van Jones, co-founder and president of Rebuild the Dream.
Yolanda Brown is Parish Life Director of Blessed Sacrament Church in Hollywood, an LA Voice coalition member. She's also a former-Senior Vice President at Union Bank. "We recognize that bottom line is important for financial institutions, but we have to recognize a new bottom line, which is the care of all of us,” Dr. Brown told the crowd.
"We the clergy and leaders of LA Voice stand here today, willing to lead by example," said Pastor Ryan Bell of the Hollywood Adventist Church, one of many LA Voice clergy leaders who are pulling out their congregation's money and organizing to pass a Responsible Banking Ordinance through the Los Angeles City Council.
Pastor Bell pointed out that in Cleveland and Philadelphia have passed similar ordinances that greatly helped the communities and cost the city next to nothing. Similar ordinances are being proposed in Seattle, San Jose, and San Francisco. Here more from Pastor Ryan Bell in a radio interview on Which Way L.A.?
Also taking action as part of LA Voice is Shakeel Saed and the Islamic Shura Council of Southern California, Father Jaime Edwards-Acton and St. Stephens Episcopal in Los Angeles, Father George Wanser and Most Holy Trinity in East San Jose, and Sister Karen Collier and Parish Life Director St Agatha Church in South LA.
The $2 million divestment pledge is a significant early addition to Move Our Money campaign's goal of moving $1 billion out of Bank of America, Chase, and Wells Fargo.