Gavin Newsom’s Policies Already Being Implemented

GavinNewsomHe has not even gotten the Democratic nomination and already Gavin Newsom’s policies and ideas are being implemented statewide. Imagine my suprise when I get a message from Santa Ana Mayor Pulido announcing a program he is  coordinating with Governor Schwarzenegger to bring a banking program to Santa Ana that began in San Francisco.

In a letter from Mayor Pulido that was sent out this week, he invited community leaders to participate in a program called Bank on Santa Ana, a part of the state wide Bank on California initiative that Governor Schwarzenegger began in early 2008.  The Bank on California program is based on the successful Bank on San Francisco program that began in 2007.

Just go to the  Bank on San Francisco and Bank on California websites to see that they even have the same logos and same people in the upper right-hand corner.

I recall that back in 2007, there was a shooting in front of a check-cashing place on 17th Street here in Santa Ana. My good friend Phil Bacerra informed me and many Santa Ana residents about San Francisco’s program as an idea that should be considered in Santa Ana. Many low-income families who have poor credit or can not afford to maintain high minimum checking account balances or pay particular checking account fees are forced to utilize check-cashing businesses.  Check-cashing business charge high surcharges to cash a check and there is a higher chance of being robbed when leaving a check-cashing business with a large amounts of money.

San Francisco Treasurer José Cisneros worked with the financial institutions, such as Bank of America and Wells Fargo, to help remove the barriers that low-income families face in opening a bank account and becoming more financially empowered.

The program developed a checkless, low-cost product without high minimum balances that meets the needs of unbanked consumers.  The program also worked with financial institutions to accept alternative forms of identification, such as consular identification cards.  For many hard-working immigrants, the barrier to opening an account is having the proper documentation.  The program expanded marketing in targeted, low-income neighborhoods to reach unbanked customers in low-income neighborhoods.  Bank on San Francisco also partnered with nonprofits in San Francisco to identify customers ready to enter the financial mainstream.

Bank on San Francisco also caught the attention of Seattle, Providence, R.I., and Miami, which have considered similar programs.  There are many more progressive ideas that I would love to see Mayor Pulido pursue.  I hope this is the beginning of a turnaround for him. I hope that this is only the beginning of a new and improved mayor. I hope he is following the lead of other progressive California big city mayors like Gavin Newsom, Bob Foster and Antonio Villaraigosa. He already has followed the lead of Gavin Newsom, the REAL visionary for this program.

  2 comments for “Gavin Newsom’s Policies Already Being Implemented

  1. Thomas Anthony Gordon
    August 28, 2009 at 5:14 pm

    But a Santa Ana Planning Commissioner tells us that he thought of this idea and denanded that Santa Ana implement it.

    Why would he try and claim credit for something someone else has already done?

  2. Adrianne K
    September 12, 2009 at 12:34 am

    It might be useful to determine when the Planning Commissioner first tried to implement it–was it before or after the SF and CA state programs? There should be a paper trail.
    Occasionally though, the same good idea crops up in more than one place.

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