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Reprinted with the permission of the Latino Community Credit Union
Vicky Garcia, Senior Vice President of Latino Community Credit Union (LCCU) – a community investment of the Adrian Dominican Sisters – participated in a late January 2023, moderated conversation with Vice President Kamala Harris and Isabella Guzman, U.S. Small Business Administrator. The conversation was introduced by Marla Bilonick, President and CEO of the National Association for Latino Community Asset Builders (NALCAB) and moderated by Jorge Buzos of Univision.
Marla framed the conversation perfectly, explaining the important relationship between small, Latino-owned businesses and the community lenders that are “entrenched in the communities they serve … and fill an important gap by providing loans and financial services that traditional banks are sometimes not able or willing to provide.” She concluded by celebrating LCCU as a “superstar in the community lending field.”
Vice President Harris said community lenders like LCCU “understand the capacity of the community. They understand the culture of the community, the mores of the community, what the community wants for itself.” These words beautifully describe LCCU, which has established a national model for financial inclusion and has provided $1.6 billion in loans to Latinos traditionally marginalized from economic opportunity.
“Vice President Harris is a proven champion of community lenders, including credit unions like LCCU,” Vicky said. “By taking the time to come here and meet our members face to face, the Vice President is recognizing their important contribution to the U.S. economy and LCCU’s role as a driver of economic opportunity and growth.”
Vice President Harris met several LCCU members who have used LCCU loans to start and grow their businesses, buy homes, and build generational wealth. Additionally, she and Administrator Guzman visited a local bakery owned by LCCU members.
Vice President Kamala Harris visits a bakery owned by members of the Latino Community Credit Union. (Photo courtesy of the Latino Community Credit Union)
The vice president was also on hand to celebrate the federal government’s investment in community lenders like LCCU. As part of the U.S. Treasury Department $9 billion Emergency Capital Investment Program (ECIP), LCCU received a $99 million, 30-year, low-interest loan from the U.S. Treasury Department.
The federal investment provides LCCU the equity to build its capital base dramatically and quickly expand its impactful, public-private partnership model. LCCU is now positioned to raise significantly more deposits from mission-aligned private sector partners – corporations, foundations, and health systems – and immediately deploy those deposits as life-changing loans to those who need them the most.
Over the 30-year term, LCCU expects to raise $700 million in private sector deposits, which in combination with member deposits, will allow for the union to make one million fair and affordable loans, for a total of $30 billion in financing, to its growing membership of Latinos in the Southeast.
Vice President Harris concluded by underscoring that LCCU’s “one million loans will have a profound exponential impact on the economic health and wellbeing of the community.”
Watch a video of the event below or on YouTube.
October 5, 2021, New York, New York – Fifteen members of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR) drew support from 43.9% of the shareholders of Smith & Wesson for a proposal that the gun manufacturer adopt a comprehensive human rights policy in light of rising gun violence in the United States.
The Adrian Dominican Sisters, represented by Sister Judy Byron, OP, were the primary filers of the proposal. Fourteen faith-based organizations from ICCR co-filed.
In a press release, ICCR noted that this amount of support from shareholders – compared to 39% support for a similar proposal in 2019 – “demonstrates shareholders’ mounting concern with the company’s lack of attention to the growing risks of gun violence.” The proposal calls on Smith & Wesson to include in the policy “a description of the processes the company will use to identify, assess, prevent, and mitigate adverse human rights impacts.”
“Undisputedly, something must be done about the misuse of guns in our country,” Sister Judy said in her September 27, 2021, Shareholder Statement. “As a leading firearms manufacturer we genuinely believe Smith & Wesson has the knowledge and the expertise to engineer the solutions we need to reduce gun violence and save lives.”
A consultant to the Adrian Dominican Sisters’ Portfolio Advisory Board, Sister Judy went on to note that the intention of the proposal is not to put Smith & Wesson out of business or to abolish the Second Amendment. “We seek to make the business, the products, and the consumers who buy them, safer,” she said. “We seek – as everyone here must surely do – to save lives.”