When Boston City Councilor Felix G. Arroyo filed his economic development plan entitled “Invest in Boston” at last week’s City Council, we hope bank officials around the commonwealth were listening.

Arroyo’s economic development plan calls for a drastic change in the process in which the city uses to choose which banks the City’s money is invested in.

If passed, “Invest in Boston” would require the City to ask banks who want the City’s deposits to report their lending to small businesses and qualified home owners, as well as their record in refinancing mortgages, implementing foreclosure prevention programs, and other important practices in Boston that foster economic growth in the city.

Councilor Arroyo introduced the ordinance in his first term and believes now more than ever it is important that the measure is passed.

“When banks start investing in our neighborhoods again, we will see more jobs, a stronger housing market and revitalized small business districts,” said Arroyo.

El Mundo strongly agrees with and wholeheartedly endorses Councilor Arroyo when he claims that “banks that want to do business with our City should understand the needs of small businesses and show that they support our communities.”

The “Invest in Boston” ordinance also establishes the Municipal Banking and Community Reinvestment Review Commission, which would evaluate financial institutions and approve them for deposits on the basis of whether or not they are investing in a meaningful way in Boston.

This is called accountability and for too long these institutions have had little or none when it comes to giving back to the communities they serve – especially in Boston that is a majority-minority city.

“Every taxpayer in our country bailed out the banks. We were told that once the banks got bailed out our economy would turn around yet while Wall Street was bailed out, our Main Streets were not,” said Councilor Arroyo.

It’s about time somebody made the call to “Invest in Boston”. Thank you Felix, we just hope it doesn’t fall on deaf ears, again.

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