Local neighborhood group DC Reinvest is committed to giving back to the communities of Columbia Heights, LeDroit Park, Pleasant Plains, Shaw, U Street, Howard University, and lower Georgia Avenue by getting rid of Wells Fargo banks all over the D.C. area.
Over the years, Wells Fargo banks have been the institution and the biggest hurt to the community, Poms said. The District of Columbia has over $2 billion in city funds invested in Wells Fargo and contracts to manage its treasury services. The bank is the city's primary bank, the group said. With $2 billion invested many taxpayer funds are being used to pay costly fees to the bank, DC Reinvest said.
Poms and Zach Lesher, both local community members in LeDroit Park and members of the D.C. chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America, explained what it means to want to reinvest and give back to the community. “We hope that the other money is reinvested into a new institution to build a community-based bank that could be owned by the city to reinvest back into the communities that can benefit from special based and lending projects,” said Poms.
Wells Fargo’s illegal lending practices mainly targeted against African Americans and Latino’s according to Poms and Lesher. Wells Fargo has been accused of targeting minorities with predatory high-cost home loans that pushed many African American and Latino households into foreclosure. Many lawsuits have been opened up against Wells Fargo banks, these suits allege that Wells Fargo played a huge part in the housing crisis.
Wells Fargo's website says they've established a "set of Fair and Responsible Lending Principles that span our full residential real estate lending process." The Washington Post reported in May that the bank is the subject of a lawsuit in Philadelphia, claiming that the bank discriminated against African American homebuyers.
“The city’s unsubstantiated accusations against Wells Fargo do not reflect how we operate in Philadelphia and all of the communities we serve,” Wells Fargo spokesman Tom Goyda told The Post in a statement.
But what does DC Reinvest want from the community? First off, attend the local Advisory Neighborhood Commissions meetings. DC reinvest believes that if more people are aware of the issues with the local Wells Fargo bank in the community action should be taken to save the community.
“We believe Wells Fargo should not be the institution to represent the people of the District of Columbia, we believe that we have higher values than what Wells Fargo has demonstrated they have.” Said David Poms.
To get involved and volunteer you can visit the DC reinvest website at www.dcreinvest.org.