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Campaign Updates

07/11/2017

Fed Up, Over 30 Racial Justice Groups, and Over 13,000 Petition Signatories Demand Black or Latinx Richmond Fed President Ahead of Humphrey Hawkins

As Trump appoints a white, male Wall Street lawyer to the Fed, racial justice orgs join thousands of petition signatories to demand appointment of a person of color in Richmond

07.12.17

While President Donald Trump has nominated to the Fed a white, male Wall Street lawyer, over 30 racial justice organizations – including the NAACP, PolicyLink, the Urban League, and National Council of La Raza – and over 13,000 petition signatories are demanding that the next Richmond Fed president be a person of color who represents the interests of consumers, labor, and communities of color. The groups and signatories will be sharing their sign-on letter and petition to members of Congress and Senators ahead of Janet Yellen’s Humphrey Hawkins testimony this week.

The position of the Richmond Federal Reserve is perhaps the most important open policy-making position that Trump does not control. The position became open when the previous president of the Richmond Federal Reserve, Jeffrey Lacker, resigned in disgrace because he leaked market-sensitive information from Federal Open Market Committee for the benefit of hedge funds. In over 100 years of history, the Richmond Federal Reserve has been led exclusively by white males. Class B and C members of the Richmond Federal Reserve Board will choose the next president and the Board of Governors, led by Chair Janet Yellen, will approve or veto their decision.

The importance of diverse representation in this key policy making position is illustrated by an important new Federal Reserve research paper that shows both that racial disparities in the labor market cannot be explained by any observable characteristic (such as educational attainment) and that these disparities can be significantly mitigated by genuine full employment. Jeffrey Lacker refused to see these obvious connections between labor market slack and racial disparities, he was a notorious hawk who dismissed the cause of rates of unemployment at 9% as a result of applicants being unable to pass a drug test. The organizational signatories to the letter to Janet Yellen and the Richmond Federal Reserve Board as well as the individual signatories to the petition contend that the Federal Reserve cannot afford to appoint yet another white, male, with a cozy relationship with Wall Street who does not prioritize the needs of working families, consumers, and communities of color.=

Dozens of Fed Up members will be present at the House hearings on July 12, wearing the campaign’s hallmark green t-shirts to deliver the letter and the petition to Members of Congress, Senators, and Chair Yellen.

The Fed Up campaign expects that Chair Yellen will be asked during her testimony to explain what the Fed is doing in order to promote diversity within the Fed’s leadership, particularly given the opportunity to name a new Richmond Fed President.
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www.thepeoplesfed.org

Fed Up is a coalition of community organizations, labor unions, and policy experts across the country calling on the Federal Reserve to reform its governance and adopt policies that build a strong economy for the American public. The Fed can keep interest rates low, give the economy a fair chance to recover, and prioritize genuine full employment and rising wages for all communities

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Contact:

Ady Barkan, (917) 605-4345abarkan@populardemocracy.org