He 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 isÂ 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.Â The Bank on California program is based on the successful Bank on San Francisco program that began in 2007.
I recall that back in 2007,Â there was aÂ 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 Franciscoâ€™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.Â 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 JosÃ© 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.Â The program also worked with financial institutions to accept alternative forms of identification, such as consular identification cards.Â For many hard-working immigrants, the barrier to opening an account is having the proper documentation.Â The program expanded marketing in targeted, low-income neighborhoods to reach unbanked customers in low-income neighborhoods.Â 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.Â There are many more progressive ideas that I would love to see Mayor Pulido pursue.Â 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 FosterÂ and Antonio Villaraigosa. He already has followed the lead of Gavin Newsom, the REAL visionary for this program.