Aguilar, Orson

Orson Aguilar is Executive Director of the Greenlining Institute, a multi-ethnic coalition - originally founded to combat "redlining" by banks and create reinvestment into low-income communities - of nearly forty community-based, faith-based, and civil rights/immigrants rights groups.

Cap-and-Trade Rules: Hold the Applause

By Orson Aguilar and C.C. Song

There has been a lot of cheering over the Dec. 16 decision by the California Air Resources Board to adopt rules setting up the nation’s first cap-and-trade system for reducing carbon emissions. While the regulations represent an important first step and contain several positive elements, their flaws are serious and shouldn’t be ignored.

As the regulations now stand, their ultimate result could be a massive giveaway to the state’s biggest polluters.  Instead of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, the proposed rules could result in billions of dollars in windfall profits to polluting industries at the expense of California’s most vulnerable communities.

Reforming The Banks: The Next Step in Enhancing the Community Reinvestment Act

By Orson Aguilar
Greenlining Institute

Public anger over bank bailouts and fat Wall Street bonuses has put enormous pressure on President Obama to crack down – but a crackdown isn’t enough. It’s time to take positive steps to push our banking system to better serve all of America’s diverse communities.

Happily, an existing law provides the perfect vehicle. It just needs some long-overdue updates.

That law is called the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA). Originally passed in 1977 to curb the illegal practice of “redlining” – discriminatorily refusing to lend to residents in minority and low-income communities, even while taking deposits from those neighborhoods – CRA encourages banks to meet the credit needs of the communities in which they operate.