Coachella Valley, CA, March 6, 2019 – California nonprofits Lift To Rise and the California Reinvestment Coalition (CRC), together with Rabobank, N.A. (Rabobank), are pleased to announce a joint effort to assure banking opportunities in California communities. The Organizations and Rabobank are working together to identify and implement industry-leading best practices, to make banking services available to as many eligible customers in California as possible. In addition, Rabobank is pleased to welcome back eligible former customers whose accounts may have been closed due to earlier concerns over residency status, as well as eligible new customers.
In February of 2018, the US Government Accountability Office (GAO) issued a report highlighting the regulatory complexities banks have faced when providing services on the Southwest border and the resulting decrease in the availability of such services. Rabobank’s collaboration with Lift To Rise and CRC has enabled the Bank and the Organizations to work together to address the need to assure banking services to border communities, in particular. As part of this endeavor, Rabobank is providing financial support to Lift To Rise and CRC to support their work assisting underserved communities throughout the state.
“Our work with CRC and Rabobank demonstrates that when our institutions are guided by the voices of residents, we can achieve unprecedented change for our communities,” said President and CEO of Lift To Rise, Heather Vaikona. “This work proves the power of partnerships that connect our residents’ concerns to the systems that shape their daily lives.”
“Californians from all walks of life, including immigrants and non-citizens, should have equal access to basic banking and financial services,” said CRC Executive Director Paulina Gonzalez. “We are incredibly proud to have worked with Lift To Rise, Rabobank, and community members to secure meaningful protections and resources for some of the most vulnerable members of our state.”
“This joint partnership with the CRC and Lift To Rise underscores Rabobank’s fundamental commitment to California communities, and highlights what can be achieved when business and communities work together to make California a better place for all,” said Julie Castle, Chief Banking Officer of Rabobank, N.A.
Rabobank’s branches are concentrated in agricultural, migrant, and heavily Latino parts of California, such as the Coachella and Imperial Valleys, whose residents were the first to initiate the campaign to protect their access to banking services. While primarily known for the vacation city of Palm Springs and namesake music festival, the Coachella Valley is a rural region that faces high poverty rates and soaring housing costs. Nearly half of Coachella Valley residents live at or below 200% of the poverty line and Latino residents who make up more than 50% of the population are three times more likely to face poverty.
Lift To Rise, an innovative cross-sector community partnership, and CRC, an organization representing over 300 community groups that is committed to a fair, inclusive economy throughout California, are working to build regional equity and bring economic opportunity and investment to the region.
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About Lift To Rise
Lift To Rise is a collective action partnership that works to achieve a future where all Coachella Valley families are healthy, stable and thriving. The organization’s work catalyzes both institutional and grassroots leaders to effectively collaborate and shift their attention and activities toward mutually reinforced interventions that address the underlying causes of poverty.
Learn more at www.lifttorise.org and by following the organization on Twitter (@Lift_Rise) or Facebook (@LiftToRise).
About California Reinvestment Coalition
The California Reinvestment Coalition (CRC) is a coalition of 300 community organizations working in low-income communities of color across the state. CRC builds an inclusive and fair economy that meets the needs of communities of color and low-income communities by ensuring that banks and other corporations invest and conduct business in those communities in a just and equitable manner. The organization envisions a future in which people of color and low-income people live and participate fully and equally in financially healthy and stable communities without fear of displacement, and have the tools necessary to build household and community wealth.
Learn more at www.calreinvest.org and by following the organization on Twitter (@CalReinvest) or Facebook (@CalReinvest).
Rabobank, N.A. (National Association) is a nationally chartered bank serving California communities grounded in agriculture. Headquartered in Roseville, Calif., and with more than $13 billion in assets, Rabobank provides a wide range of financial products and services for individual, business, and food-and-agribusiness customers. Its 100 branches, multi-function ATMs, and online and mobile banking resources empower Californians to bank when, where and how they want. Committed to service, Rabobank’s more than 1,500 employees take pride in improving their communities personally and professionally. To strengthen underserved communities in the state, Rabobank has been a regular supporter of nonprofit organizations Accion and Hidden Harvest, and in 2016 Rabobank gifted $1 million to the Imperial Valley Food Bank. In 2018 Rabobank donated $1 million to Hancock Community College to increase access to education for members of the community in Santa Maria and surrounding areas. Rabobank, N.A. is a Member FDIC and Equal Housing Lender. Visit www.rabobankamerica.com.
California Reinvestment Coalition
President + CEO
Lift To Rise
Director of Corporate Communications