Lost Opportunity

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What must Brigitte Walker think about the presidential candidates? Ms. Walker is an Iraq War veteran, a former staff sergeant who served our country for 21 years until a spinal injury from a mortar attack forced her to leave the military. She comes from a proud family of veterans and service members, including a daughter in the army whose upcoming deployment, her third, will be to Afghanistan.


Low Down Payments Are Not Always High Risk

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By Nikitra Bailey

This article was originally published by Politico 

Just as we are beginning to see signs of recovery in housing, federal regulators are considering a policy that could threaten economic progress and financial opportunities for middle-class families. This policy would require a 10 percent or other minimum down payment on home loans before the federal government will label them “safe” as “qualified residential mortgages.”


It's Time To Debate Home Opportunity

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For months I’ve been part of a chorus of voices calling on the presidential candidates to talk about home opportunity. Their virtual silence on addressing foreclosures, restoring devastated communities, ensuring fair housing and lending, and resurrecting the American Dream has been both outrageous and baffling. Outrageous, because abuse by banks and inadequate consumer protections have cost millions of Americans their homes and visited untold suffering. Baffling, given the toll that the crisis continues to take on voters in battleground states like Nevada, Florida, and Ohio.


A Meeting at the White House on Homeownership

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Last week I attended a meeting at the White House with Obama administration officials on the housing and homeownership crisis. I joined 150 faith, civil rights, consumer protection, and community leaders from around the country to express the urgency of the crisis, share our stories, and promote practical solutions.


Campaigns Should Address the Home Ownership Crisis

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This article appeared originally on the Minneapolis StarTribune

Now that the presidential campaign is entering the home stretch, President Obama and Mitt Romney need to address home opportunity - the cluster of issues from foreclosures to fair lending to affordable housing.

The housing crisis has harmed millions of American voters and their families. They deserve to know what solutions both candidates are offering.


A Time to Dream


Photo by AFSC-SENE

This article was originally published by Caravan Magazine

By Amitava Kumar

WHAT WOULD JESUS DO?

Rather, what would Jesus do if he were without papers in the United States of America?

I asked myself this question after talking to a young man born in Mexico, with a fuzzy beard and a soft innocence about him. He had told me that his name was Jesus. He caught my attention because he was wearing a blue T-shirt with the following words imprinted in white across the chest: “I AM UN.DOC.U.MENT.ED.”


It’s Time for the Candidates to Get Specific on the Homeownership Crisis

Now that the presidential tickets are set, it’s time for the candidates to get specific about problems and solutions critical to our economic recovery and future prosperity. Along with job creation, they should start with Home Opportunity—the cluster of housing, homeownership, and fair lending issues that are so central to the American promise of opportunity for all.


Changing Stereotypes in Wake of Tragedy


The Opportunity Agenda hosted the panel "Learning from Trayvon." Photo courtesy of Ivy Ashe/The Vineyard Gazette

By Katie Ruppel  

Read original article here (PDF)

Music videos, movies, the Internet and the news have embedded the stereotypes of African American men as dangerous and violent in society, said the chairman and CEO of BET Networks, Debra Lee, at a forum on Friday afternoon.

“If we look at media in general and live off of what the mass media serves up about black men, you might arrive on the Vineyard in particular and think you are on another planet,” Mrs. Lee said in her opening remarks. “What do I mean by that? On the Vineyard you see black fathers with their children and their wives. And wait for it... they have jobs. This is not the impression that you get from media day-to-day in America.”


Arizonans Widely Support the DREAM Act In Contrast to Governor Brewer's Stance


Arizona Governor Jan Brewer. Photo by Resolution Copper (Flickr, All Rights Reserved)

Andrew Johnson contributed to this post

On August 16, Arizona’s Governor Jan Brewer signed an executive order to block state benefits, including driver licenses for recipients of Deferred Action--a new federal government program that reflects the goals of the Dream Act to temporarily delay deportation for undocumented immigrants who moved to the U.S. before the age of 16 and are currently 30 years old or younger.

Despite the Governor’s claim that this is what the citizens of Arizona want, nearly three-quarters of Arizonans (73%), regardless of their race, ethnicity and party affiliation support the DREAM Act, which would allow undocumented immigrants who graduate from college or serve in the military to become U.S. citizens (Marist Poll, April 2012).

 


Voices on the Issue: Gabby, Ryan, and Home Opportunity for All

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Even Olympians are, alas, not immune from America’s homeownership crisis. The Associated Press reported this week that the parents of U.S. Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte are facing foreclosure in Florida, while the mother of gold medal gymnast Gabby Douglas filed for bankruptcy in Virginia last year, she said, “to protect my home.”


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