Late last week, Attorney General Eric Holder announced a working group comprised of state and federal officials who will investigate Wall Street banks' role in the housing crisis. The development comes in response to the ongoing work of ColorOfChange and our partners.
Here's an excerpt from the DOJ's announcement:
Attorney General Holder announced that the new Working Group will consist of at least 55 Department of Justice attorneys, analysts, agents and investigators from around the country. Currently, 15 civil and criminal attorneys are part of the Working Group, along with 10 FBI agents and analysts who will be assigned to the Working Group efforts. An additional 30 attorneys, investigators and other staff around the country will join the Working Group efforts in the coming weeks. This team will join existing state and federal resources investigating similar misconduct under those authorities.
The goals of this collaboration will be: to hold accountable any institutions that violated the law; to compensate victims and help provide relief for homeowners struggling from the collapse of the housing market, caused in part by this wrongdoing; and to help Americans finally turn the page on this destructive period in our nation’s history.
Friday's news is of great interest to the ColorOfChange community. Earlier this month, we joined a coalition of progressive advocacy and public interest organizations to deliver more than 360,000 petition signatures to the Obama administration asking for a full federal investigation. And on the eve of the President's State of the Union address, ColorOfChange Executive Director Rashad Robinson wrote an op-ed in The New York Times highlighting the ways in which the banks' predatory practices have decimated Black wealth.
Our campaigns team is keeping a close eye on this new working group and the administration's response to the clarion calls for real accountability. After all, ColorOfChange members have raised their voices on this issue in a number of ways, from signing our petition to sharing photos of their efforts to push back against banks' overreach in communities around the country. Media outlets, including The Nation and The Huffington Post, have recognized our members' work pushing for accountability. Stay tuned and join us as we keep working for real relief and justice for the millions of people who have suffered through this housing crisis.