Councilman Goode's blog

GOODE will introduce new City Payroll Deposit Process

GOODE will introduce new City Payroll Deposit Process
City Councilman At- Large seeks to end Wachovia monopoly

City Councilman At-Large W. Wilson Goode, Jr. will introduce a City Payroll Deposits Bill on Thursday that will require City Council approval of depositories to receive City funds to cover payroll expenses.

The new legislation defines "City Payroll Deposits" as funds used to cover payroll expenses for employees paid out of the City Treasury. The proposed new law then mandates that, as of July 1, 2007 - no institution shall be authorized to receive or maintain City Payroll Deposits unless it has executed a contract with the City and - the City will immediately withdraw any City Payroll Deposits held by any institution that has not executed a contract.

Under the legislation, the City Treasurer will implement a process seeking applications from banks that wish to receive City Payroll Deposits. The process will have to incorporate all the existing provisions related to fair lending and community reinvestment requirements. The City Treasurer will then tentatively select one or more institutions to receive City Payroll Deposits and enter into negotiations to reach agreement on a proposed contract. No contract can be executed until it has been approved by City Council.

GOODE receives National Achievement Award

GOODE receives National Achievement Award
Honored for Fair Lending and Community Reinvestment Laws

(Philadelphia, March 27, 2006) City Councilman At-Large W. Wilson Goode, Jr. received a National Achievement Award from the National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC) at its March 2006 Annual Conference titled “Economic Injustice: The Ongoing Hurricane”. NCRC's 600 plus member organizations and its coalition-membership structure make it the country's largest and most influential community reinvestment coalition. The NCRC award is presented to a government leader who has most effectively protected consumer rights and advocated for economic justice.

Since taking office, Councilman Goode has introduced 30 bills that have become law including fair lending and community reinvestment legislation. The second-term lawmaker formerly served as Vice President of Philadelphia Commercial Development Corporation and as Economic Development Administrator for the Philadelphia Department of Commerce.

GOODE passes 30th Bill - Will Receive Economic Accountability Award

City Council unanimously approves
GOODE Peer Lending Performance Bill

Councilman will receive Economic Accountability Award from African-American Chamber of Commerce

(Philadelphia, March 2, 2006) – Philadelphia City Council has unanimously approved a peer lending performance bill. The new amendment to the Philadelphia Code will be City Councilman W. Wilson Goode Jr.'s 30th bill to become law. The legislation addresses strategic plans required from city depositories before the end of this fiscal year.

All nine banks authorized as City depositories are required to provide the City with a long term strategic plan to address disparities in their lending and investment activities. According to the new law, the strategic plans must now take peer lending performance into consideration. The peer lending data will be made available through disparity studies commissioned by the City.

CDC Tax Credit Program - 25 Public-Private Partnerships Citywide

The Community Development Corporation (CDC) Tax Credit Program that I created recently filled the last of 25 slots available for partnerships between major corporations and community development organizations. The program was created through legislation that was unanimously passed and signed into law in the fall of 2001.

The CDC Tax Credit Program allows 25 companies to contribute $100,000 per year to 25 community development corporations engaged in neighborhood economic development in exchange for a full credit against their business privilege tax liability. The program requires a 10-year funding commitment to economically distressed communities, giving CDCs more financial capacity to support small business and foster economic development. The success of this reinvestment model will spur economic growth in multiple areas of the city.

The tax credit program was patterned after the Philadelphia Plan of the 1990s. The major difference in the 21st century model is its focus on business and job development. The program is complemented by another law that I crafted which mandates that at least 5% of all local Community Development Block Grant spending be dedicated to economic development by CDCs.

The tax credit program is giving us an opportunity to get money to economically vulnerable neighborhoods, to spur economic development, and to expand our tax base. Most importantly, it allows us to do so using private money.

The 25 partnerships are:

Merry Christmas... Happy New Year ... Blessed Holidays ... Signing Off, WWGjr

I've enjoyed the discourse on this site. It has been an interesting outlet for me as I turned 40 this summer - throughout fall - and now winter. Seasons change.

I look forward to now becoming a reader ... rather than frequent commentator, for several reasons.

Feel free to e-mail me directly to my taxpayer-provided Blackberry at wilson.goode@phila.gov with policy suggestions and questions.

Thanks for your indulgence.

Keep it going strong!

Wachovia Reparations: It’s the Law!

On December 15, Mayor John F. Street signed landmark legislation that addresses slavery reparations into law - the first in the city’s history - and perhaps, the first reparations law in America that deals with the enslavement of African people in terms of contemporary racial disparities.

The new law has an immediate impact on the city’s largest financial institution - Wachovia - which is also the local government’s largest city depository. Wachovia disclosed financial ties to slavery last spring because it held hundreds of millions of dollars in taxpayer money through government contracts for deposits and investments locally - and more nationally. And because Wachovia wants to keep those contracts, it has to abide by slavery disclosure laws passed in Philadelphia last spring and in other localities in America.

City Council unanimously approves GOODE Fair Lending Legislation

Today, my colleagues unanimously approved my new fair lending legislation - and I am proud of each and every one of them.

Thanks to the anti-predatory lending work of Councilwoman Marion Tasco, my community reinvestment policy and legislation, as well as the policy work of the National Community Reinvestment Coalition - City Council continues to stand up to the once-powerful bank lobby in Philadelphia.

The new law will require each bank that is authorized to receive city deposits to annually submit a long term strategic plan to address disparities in its lending and investment activities. The depository banks currently submit goals for small business and home lending within low and moderate-income neighborhoods but are not required to address lending disparities based on race and gender. City depositories will now be required to create strategies to match or exceed peer lending performance in targeting all capital access and credit needs disclosed in annual disparity studies commissioned by the City.

Not-So-Fair : Lending Disparities in Philadelphia

According to the most recent data, race is still a determining factor in whether you will receive a home mortgage or small business loan in Philadelphia.

"The CRA (Community Reinvestment Act) and Fair Lending Performance of Financial Institutions in the City of Philadelphia" is a report soon to be released by the National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC). It is the most comprehensive study of lending disparities by city depositories ever conducted in urban America.

NCRC states, in the report’s executive summary, that the City’s program of requiring community reinvestment goals from banks receiving City deposits has boosted their performance in making home loans available to working class and minority communities.

But NCRC also concludes that “when separately analyzing home purchase, home improvement, and refinance loans, racial disparities remain greater than income disparities”. African-Americans still received less than 20 percent of all home loans in 2003 - although African-Americans comprised over 40 percent of the city’s population.

Click Read More to see the rest...

Councilman Cohen - Rest in Peace

While I am still in shock over the news, I feel compelled to write something.

It was an honor to serve with both Councilmen Longstreth and Cohen during my less than six year tenure.

They both taught me alot - from distinct perspectives.

Longstreth taught me the original thinking behind the strong mayor-weak council form of governing in Philly (he ran for mayor in 1955)- and the original thinking behind "at-large" council seats here.

Cohen taught me that an "at-large" councilperson represents as many people as the mayor - if not more(he ran for mayor in 1971) - and to embrace the role of at-large lawmaker.

I will undoubtedly write more about my colleague. For now, I remember him as a teacher.

Some Goode News on Small Business Lending - But No CIGAR!

The City Controller's office has just released its annual report on small business lending in Philadelphia, tracking it from 1998 until 2004
(http://www.philadelphiacontroller.org/bus_lending.pdf).

For the second year in a row, the majority of loans to small businesses were disbursed in low- and moderate-income (LMI) communities.

From 1998 until 2003, the loan availability in LMI areas grew from only 39 percent to 52 percent of all loans to small businesses. Last year, there was a modest increase - with 54 percent of the loans being made to those communities.

The annual review of small business lending in Philadelphia was directed through my first legislative initiative - by my first resolution in City Council at my very first meeting after being sworn-in. It followed the release of the Greater Philadelphia Capital Access Report, a regional study of small business lending by my office that showed lending disparities by neighborhood income and neighborhood race.

Small business loan availability in LMI Philadelphia communities took a big leap in 2003 to 52 percent from only 40 percent the year before. Not by coincidence, 2003 was also the first year that City Council required our city depository banks to submit annual lending goals for LMI areas under my landmark community reinvestment legislation.

The National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC) is currently under city contract to study both small business and home lending disparities by our city depositories with regard to race, gender, class and geography.

NCRC studies, as recent as last year, still ranked Philadelphia at the bottom of the top 100 metropolitan areas in providing equitable access to capital and credit. Stay tuned...

RENDELL, the Minimum Wage - and Citizen Action.

Earlier this week, the Governor's office invited Philadelphia City Council to join the governor at a rally to support raising the state minimum wage - Rendell now wants to move the minimum wage to $6.25 per hour in January, and to $7.15 per hour the following year.

But only one other councilmember attended yesterday - Marion Tasco. Why?! It's not an issue that can be readily identified with Rendell.

Not only did Rendell speak against raising the minimum wage at the state level on the 2002 campaign trail - but he was also a major force, as Mayor, in blocking Angel Ortiz's effort to set a local minimum wage standard in 1998.

City Council finally set a local minimum wage standard this spring for local government, its agencies, and businesses that contract with the city. Our standard is at least 150% of the federal or state minimum wage, whichever is higher. The new standard immediately impacted over a thousand temporary and seasonal workers within local government who are experiencing skyrocketing gas prices in addition to other high costs of living. It also will impact scores of employees of city contractors when those contracts are issued.

FORTY YEARS LATER, VOTE OR DIE ?

Voting rights for African-Americans were guaranteed under the 15th Amendment to the United States Constitution ratified on February 3, 1870 - but not until 40 years ago was there a federal law to fully protect those rights. The Voting Rights Act of 1965 was signed into law on August 6 of that year by President Lyndon B. Johnson primarily to end practices of racial discrimination that blocked voter registration and included the use of poll taxes, literacy tests, and grandfather clauses to politically disenfranchise African-Americans.

As we reflect on the last forty years of progress that has been made in terms of Black political empowerment both locally and nationally, it is now time to also address the generation gap that exists within this community and the nation as a whole.

In Philadelphia, I am the only member of City Council that was born after the Voting Rights Act was signed – in fact; I was born only a few days later. And, although there are seventeen members of council - only two, other than me, are under the age of fifty.

STATE MINIMUM WAGE RAISED FOR LAWMAKERS ONLY

The Daily News has an editorial today titled : "MONEY FOR NOTHING
- STATE LAWMAKERS TAKE A STAND FOR THEMSELVES"

It rightfully notes that "THE MINIMUM $11,380-a-year raise that Pennsylvania state legislators voted themselves last week is more than their constituents who work full-time at the state minimum wage make in a year."

Clearly, as a lawmaker who voted against City Council's last pay raise to $98,000 ( $102k with the recent COLA), I am distressed that my counterparts would vote for the raise without the consideration of a minimum wage hike for all Pennsylvanians.

But, also as someone who has accepted the raise, I understand that many lawmakers believe that they deserve the raise. Some do, many do not.

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