The Social Justice Vision at Stephen S. Wise Temple

Our congregation will see Social Justice as a calling that derives from our sense of God and the imperative of Jewish Tradition. The Stephen S. Wise Temple community will use our influence, power and compassion to be a force for positive, meaningful and effective change in the quality of life on behalf of all the citizens of Los Angeles and the world.


Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Paul Koretz Responds Favorably to LA Voice Endorsed Resolution (and to Rabbi Stern's call)

Following is a press release from Paul Koretz's office.  LA Voice received word of Richard Alarcon's intention to bring the resolution discussed below up at city council.  Word went out to the LA Voice clergy base to encourage our city council representatives to support the resolution.  After reviewing the details of the resolution, Rabbi Stern called Paul Koretz's office to encourage his support.  Happily, Council Member Koretz supported the resolution and it passed.  Rabbi Stern is grateful to the staff of Mr. Koretz's office as well as Mr. Koretz himself for the follow-up phone calls affirming support.  Paul Koretz will remain an important resource, advocate and partner for the continuing Social Justice work at our synagogue, his responsiveness to the Investment/Divestment Resolution below reflects the strength of our community's relationship with his office. 

Press Release                                                  Contact:  Paul Michael Neuman
March 5, 2010                                                     (213) 473-7005

Koretz speaks out strongly in favor of “Responsible Lending” motion

Los Angeles City Councilmember Paul Koretz today voted in favor of Richard Alarcon’s motion to promote socially responsible, community-friendly banking practices.

Councilmember Koretz said, “This a tremendous effort that can help protect people and neighborhoods.  We need banking in our society, but we need banks that are responsive to community needs and fair and just in how they treat their customers.  It will be greatly beneficial to have our city encourage responsible banking practices, including by favoring banks that invest back in the communities of Los Angeles.”

The motion by Alarcon will lead to the creation of a “report card” to evaluate the track record of banks that want to do business with the City. The report will include date on such things as the number of small business loans, evidence of working with homeowners facing disclosure, the numbers and locations of branches and ATMs, and the use of federal TARP funds.

Councilmember Koretz added, “I’m especially pleased that the City will now be able to use its authority and influence to guide banks towards helping people keep their homes – the last thing we should want is to have more people, who are already desperately struggling to stay afloat, lose their homes to foreclosure.  We want banks that truly help families, small businesses and neighborhoods.  In these tough economic times – which were caused, in large part, by irresponsible and predatory banking practices – we need banks to do their fair share serving the communities and helping the people of this City.  Today our City Council took an important step for that very cause.”

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