In Memorium: Remembering Alan Fisher, founding executive director of the California Reinvestment Coalition

Alan Fisher, founding director of the California Reinvestment Coalition, died Thursday, September 16, 2021, surrounded by family, following a hard-fought battle with cancer.

In the world of housing and economic justice, Alan was a titan who advocated for working-class families, communities of color, and small-business owners.

“The world seems a little sadder today than it did yesterday without him,” said CRC Executive Director Paulina Gonzalez-Brito (they/them/elle). “We are infinitely grateful for Alan and we extend our deepest condolences to his wife, Sharon Miller, and his sons. Alan left behind a legacy that is unmatched.”

For nearly three decades, Alan stood at the forefront of bank accountability work. After helping to establish CRC, he quickly took on some of the nation’s most powerful corporations. Under his leadership, he transformed what was a loose committee of housing advocates into what is now the largest reinvestment coalition in the country.

“Early on, Alan led a small but growing staff and a large coalition of hundreds in holding the largest and most powerful corporations in the world to account. Through conducting research on small businesses, facilitating bank meetings, protesting bank mergers and bad practices, and engaging in policy and corporate campaigns, Alan led CRC to many successes and did so with integrity,” said Kevin Stein, CRC’s Deputy Director. “Alan’s influence continued long after his retirement, and his efforts helped lay the foundation for recent wins relating to the successful fight to protect the Community Reinvestment Act, and the promulgation of a long-delayed federal rule that will finally shed light on whether and which lenders are providing needed access to credit to small businesses owned by women and people of color.”

Renowned for his expertise in banking, reinvestment, small business lending and economic development, Alan served many years on the boards of the National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC) and the Bernal Heights Neighborhood Center.

“We were very fortunate and grateful to have Alan work with us for more than two decades through CRC and as a board member,” said Jesse Van Tol, President and CEO of NCRC. “His commitment to economic justice was profound. He will be dearly missed.”

But, more importantly, Alan leaves behind a legacy greater than his contributions. Friends, colleagues and coworkers remember him for his passion, integrity, and his indefatigable spirit.

“We have much work ahead of us, but it is because of Alan that we have a strong organization to take this work on. We will miss him dearly,” Gonzalez-Brito said.

Alan is survived by his wife, Sharon Miller, and his two sons.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Alan’s honor to Hospitality House or a nonprofit organization of your choice.

A version of this article was originally published by the California Reinvestment Coalition.

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Redlining and Neighborhood Health

Before the pandemic devastated minority communities, banks and government officials starved them of capital.

Lower-income and minority neighborhoods that were intentionally cut off from lending and investment decades ago today suffer not only from reduced wealth and greater poverty, but from lower life expectancy and higher prevalence of chronic diseases that are risk factors for poor outcomes from COVID-19, a new study shows.

The new study, from the National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC) with researchers from the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee Joseph J. Zilber School of Public Health and the University of Richmond’s Digital Scholarship Lab, compared 1930’s maps of government-sanctioned lending discrimination zones with current census and public health data.

Table of Content

  • Executive Summary
  • Introduction
  • Redlining, the HOLC Maps and Segregation
  • Segregation, Public Health and COVID-19
  • Methods
  • Results
  • Discussion
  • Conclusion and Policy Recommendations
  • Citations
  • Appendix

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