Vann Introduces Bill, Demands Banks Be Held Accountable

Brooklyn Congregations United members support passage of Responsible Banking Act. More than a dozen leaders from BCU joined a hundred leaders from across the city at the City Council Finance Committee's hearing on legislation to provide sunshine and transparency on the decisions made regarding how the City of New York deposits its $60 billion. Brooklyn Congregations United joined Queens Congregations United for Action, other Association for Neighborhood and Housing Development members and NEDAP to support Council Member Dominic Recchia and Council Member Al Vann's legislation.

Rev. David Rommereim, Pastor of Lutheran Church of Good Shepherd and Vice-Chair of Brooklyn Congregations United, provided testimony " Our work began through collecting the stories of homeowners who are behind in payments because they are unemployed, or, as they say underwater because what they owe is more than what their homes are worth. We listen to the stories of residents who are living next to dilapidated housing threatening our community. We have worked with tenants where the building owner is not making repairs and trying to push them out so he or she can pay the mortgage. We are well aware of folks who lost their jobs whether on Wall Street or in public service.... This is just not right. As a city, we can do better, We, at BCU, think that the City Council is on the right pat by calling legislation to shine a light on banking practices."

Sarah Daay of St. Stephen's Lutheran Church and Brooklyn Congregations United spoke at the press conference after the hearing stating, "I live next door to a building that has been foreclosed. It has been empty for years but the Bank with is responsible for making sure it is sealed has not done a thorough job. This building is used by squatters. The city has spent tens of thousands to clean it up and the bank will not respond. My Church and Block Association in collaboration with Brooklyn Congregations United supports legislation which will hold banks responsive to local communities."

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