Episode 20: Catherine Berman

Listen to Anne Price and Catherine Berman discuss the social investment platform CNote as an innovative model for expanding economic development and opportunity in historically underserved communities.


Catherine Berman is a three-time social entrepreneur, former Managing Director at Charles Schwab, and co-founder of CNote, a social investment platform.

Catherine joined Insight President Anne Price on the podcast to discuss the work of CNote to provide an innovative, accessible platform for investing in the public good by allowing individuals to invest directly in Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs). CDFIs are Treasury Department-certified organizations whose goal is to invest in economic development and job creation in low-income communities.

Sharing her vision behind CNote, Catherine discussed how a social investment platform like CNote can foster economic development and opportunity in underserved communities – including expanded entrepreneurship among historically excluded groups – while providing solid, transparent, and socially responsible returns for investors.

Considering issues of race, gender, and wealth, Anne and Catherine discussed the need to bring greater diversity and accessibility to financial services; the power of embracing our own “otherness;” and the transformative potential of being mindful of the impact of each and every dollar we invest or spend.

To listen to the full discussion, use the audio player above or subscribe to the Hidden Truths podcast on iTunes.


Read stories of borrowers who have been funded through CNote’s social investment network.

Learn more about Community Development Financial Institutions and their impact in low-income communities.

Learn more about CNote by visiting mycnote.com and following CNote on Twitter and Facebook.

 

Data For Black Lives | Black People vs Robots: Panel Discussion

Earlier this month, Anne Price shared her thoughts during a panel discussion titled “Black People vs. Robots: Reparations and Workers Rights in the Age of Automation” at the second annual Data for Black Lives conference.

The conference convened hundreds of data scientists, computer programmers, racial justice activists, and elected officials to discuss the role that data can and should play in Black communities. Click here or on the video below to watch a recording of Anne’s panel discussion.

Episode 19: Anne Price + Jhumpa Bhattacharya

Listen to Anne and Jhumpa reflect on women’s leadership, truth telling, reframing economic security and more, as they share highs, lows, and the most promising ideas of 2018 in their annual year in review.


Jhumpa Bhattacharya (left) and Anne Price (right)

2018 was a tough, wild year…but from adversity comes strength to overturn the status quo and build power.

For their annual year in review, Anne Price and Jhumpa Bhattacharya took over the podcast to reflect on these extraordinary times and highlight a range of promising ideas, policies, and people who have risen above the tumult.

From Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and women’s leadership, to new understandings of economic security and criminal justice, Anne and Jhumpa discuss the power of truth telling, narrative change, and putting new perspectives into practice and the halls of power.

Looking back and ahead, the two Insight leaders reflected on groundbreaking policy wins around eliminating administrative criminal justice fees in California, and offered a sneak peek at upcoming Insight research on millennial women and wealth.

Anne and Jhumpa also discussed thinking big and sharing leadership as two women of color  – and the real, persistent dangers of pushing for change as people coming from traditionally silenced and/or excluded communities.

To listen to the full discussion, use the audio player above or subscribe to the Hidden Truths podcast on iTunes.


To learn more about the Insight Center, click here to visit the website. Be sure to follow both @AnnePriceICCED and @jhumpa_b on Twitter.


Resources:

Past the Drought: Overcoming Barriers to Economic Security in California’s Central Valley

Past the Drought: Overcoming Barriers to Economic Security in California’s Central Valley, a report released by the Insight Center in partnership with the California Asset Building Coalition, examines why so many workers in the Central Valley of California are struggling to afford their basic needs.

Nestled in the heart of California, the Central Valley bears a legacy of racial and cultural diversity that has made it one of the world’s greatest agriculture and production centers. This sprawling geographic area – including the counties of Fresno, Madera, Mariposa, Merced, Tulare, and Kings – grows over half of all fruits, vegetables, and nuts in the United States.

Despite decades of rich contributions to the state’s economic growth, the Valley is the poorest region in California, with nearly 4 out of every 10 households unable to afford basic needs. Every day, Central Valley workers and families grapple with where to live, how to get to work, and whether they can support their loved ones.

The region’s households of color, immigrants, and women face an even greater risk of economic insecurity, even when one is working – and, often, working multiple jobs – to make ends meet. What’s more, the Valley is often left out of a policy agenda dominated by the Bay Area and other metropolitan regions – making it even more difficult for communities to identify resources, strategies, and partners dedicated to improving the economic outcomes of the region, its neighborhoods, and its families.

Using Insight’s Self-Sufficiency Standard for California, the report highlights key findings and offers recommendations for change so that all Central Valley residents have the opportunity to thrive.

Click here to view and download Past the Drought: Overcoming Barriers to Economic Security in California’s Central Valley.

Episode 18: Shawn Fremstad

Listen to Anne Price and Shawn Fremstad discuss economic exclusion and recently proposed changes to “public charge” regulation that, if implemented, would block citizenship for immigrants drawing on public assistance programs.


Anne Price, President of the Insight Center, welcomed Shawn Fremstad on the podcast to discuss the history and continued harmful impacts of economic exclusion for immigrants in America.  

Shawn is a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress. He is also a senior research associate at the Center for Economic and Policy Research, a Ford Foundation public voices fellow, and a consultant on policy issues to various national nonprofits. He is an expert on poverty, family, and economic security.

Under the Trump administration there has been a rise in anti-immigrant rhetoric and policy, and in recent days the American public has seen horrible images of migrants running from tear gas near the U.S.-Mexico border as a consequence of such actions. However, there is another issue that has not received as much attention in the public discourse — the administration’s proposed changes to “public charge” regulation, which would, in effect, block citizenship for poor immigrants and punish those who draw on public assistance programs.

In addition to spotlighting the impact this policy change could have on immigrant families, their communities, and our country at large, Shawn also provided updates on the latest developments regarding the Farm Bill, work requirements, and TANF reauthorization.

Before Trump’s “public charge” rule can be finalized, the administration is required by law to review and respond to every unique public comment they receive about the proposed regulation. Shawn encouraged listeners to submit their public comments by Monday, December 10. Click here to submit your comment to stop Trump’s cruel attack on immigrant families.

To listen to the full discussion, use the audio player above or subscribe to the Hidden Truths podcast on iTunes.


Resources:


To learn more about Shawn’s work, please visiting the Center for American Progress website and follow him on Twitter @inclusionist.

Episode 17: Brandon Greene and Noe Gudiño

Listen to Jhumpa Bhattacharya, Brandon Greene and Noe Gudiño discuss the impacts of administrative criminal justice fees and fines on formerly incarcerated individuals as they try to move on with their lives after serving time.


Brandon Greene is a Staff Attorney and Clinical Supervisor of Clean Slate Practice at East Bay Community Legal Center. Noe Gudiño is the 2018 Elder Freeman Policy Fellow at Legal Services for Prisoners with Children and a junior transfer student at Cal State University East Bay where he started Level 5, a campus organization servicing formerly incarcerated students.

Brandon and Noe joined the podcast to discuss the impacts of administrative criminal justice fees and fines on formerly incarcerated individuals as they try to move on with their lives after serving time.

Ahead of the Alameda Board of Supervisors’ upcoming vote on whether to eliminate these fines and fees, Brandon shared highlights from the East Bay Community Legal Center’s recently released report, “Pay or Prey,” which details the social and economic harms caused by these administrative fees specifically for people of color in Alameda County.

Noe discussed his current work with Debt Free Justice California, a statewide coalition, and shared their recent survey results showing the staggering amounts of debt and far-reaching consequences stemming from these often exorbitant fees and fine. If you or someone you know would like to complete the Debt Free Justice California survey, please contact Noe here.

To listen to the full discussion, use the audio player above or subscribe to the Hidden Truths podcast on iTunes.


Resources:


To learn about Brandon Greene, please visit ebclc.org and follow him on Twitter @brandonlgreene. And be sure to learn about Noe’s work at prisonerswithchildren.org.

Opinion: End criminal justice fees that harm minorities and poor

By Jhumpa Bhattacharya and Theresa Zhen | The Mercury News

The Bay Area is known for its progressive values. We view ourselves as committed to ensuring everyone, regardless of race or ethnicity, is safe, economically secure and able to reach their full potential.

In line with these values, San Francisco recently took a groundbreaking step forward by eliminating administrative criminal justice fees that are largely uncollectable and cause undue harm to communities of color and low-income communities.

It’s time for Alameda County to step up and do the same.

Charged to people who have already paid their debt to society, criminal justice administrative fees serve no formal punitive function and are often assigned to people who simply cannot afford to pay them.

In Alameda County, there is an outstanding debt of over $21 million owed by more than 35,000 individuals. The fees range from charging $450 to people who used a public defender for motions, trials or other evidentiary proceedings for a misdemeanor case, to fees for probation supervision, for example, which are $90 a month, or $6,100 for the average probationer per case.

Such crippling fees force families who are already financially stressed to make untenable choices between paying court-ordered fees or covering basic expenses, like feeding their children. They therefore often end up with insurmountable, uncollectible debt.

Click here to read the full op-ed.

Digging Deeper on the “Tools that Profile, Police, and Punish the Poor”

In mid-September, Insight president Anne Price had the pleasure of sitting down with Virginia Eubanks, an associate professor of political science at the University at Albany, SUNY, to discuss her work and her new book, Automating Inequality: How High-Tech Tools Profile, Police, and Punish the Poor.

Virginia has worked as a welfare rights advocate and spent the past several years examining how automated social exclusion is growing by the use of predictive models and algorithms that are replacing or augmenting human decision-making in our social welfare system.

Click here to read excerpts from their conversation.

 

Episode 16: Dr. David Pate Jr and Jacquelyn L Boggess

Listen to Anne Price, Dr. David Pate Jr and Jacquelyn L. Boggess discuss the harms of economic and social welfare policies on families, specifically the impact of child support debt.


Dr. David Pate Jr is the Chair and Associate Professor at the Helen Bader School of Social Welfare at the University of Wisconsin MilwaukeeJacquelyn L. Boggess is a policy analyst and the Executive Director of the Center for Family Policy and Practice (CFFPP).

Combined, the two have decades of research and a wealth of knowledge on low income African-American men, fatherhood and child support debt. Dr. Pate shared his research on how black men are affected by the social welfare system and the challenges that impede their ability to attain economic security. Jacquelyn explained her take on the current state of the social safety net and how her experiences in and out of the courtroom have shaped her work.

Stay tuned for a new groundbreaking tool, which will launch in a few weeks, to better evaluate fair child support rates for families in Mississippi, Georgia, Louisiana, and Wisconsin.

To listen to the full discussion, use the audio player above or subscribe to the Hidden Truths podcast on iTunes.


Resources:

This Labor Day, We’re Investing in the Work of Black Women,” Aisha Nyandoro on Medium

A New Basic Income Pilot in Mississippi, feat. Aisha Nyandoro,” The New Basic Income Podcast

A basic income pilot in Mississippi will provide 15 black mothers with $1000 for free every month, and it could lead to a much bigger experiment,”  on Business Insider


To learn about Dr. David Pate Jr by visiting uwm.edu/socialwelfare and following him on Twitter @DavidJPate. And be sure to learn about Jacquie’s work at CFFPP.org and follow her at @Jacboggess.

Why a Social Wealth Fund Must Account for Racial Inequity

By Anne Price and Jhumpa Bhattacharya, Medium

There has never been a more critical, more insistent time to reimagine and implement economic policies to address the rise of extreme racial and economic inequality, and change the rules that govern power and the concentration of wealth.

Wealth — what you own minus what you owe — acts as the buffer between temporary setback and economic catastrophe; it allows us to live and retire with dignity and security. Without savings or wealth of some form, economic stability is built on a house of cards that quickly crumbles when income is cut or disrupted through job loss, reduced work hours or wages, or if families suffer from an unexpected health emergency.

The difference in wealth holdings between the ultra-wealthy and everybody else continues to widen. Today, about 160,000 U.S. households own more wealth than the poorest 90 percent combined. And the differences in wealth between whites and people of color is at its highest level in 25 years. In 2016, the typical white household held $171,000 in wealth — 10 times that of the typical Black household, and about 8 times that of Latinx households.

We can and must steer our economy to create a just and fair society that tackles inequality and climate change, and empowers each American to share in the investments that are now hoarded by a select few. The public wealth fund is one key model that has drawn increased study as a way to address these issues.

Click here to read the full article.