OneCalifornia Community Development Banking Report }2009 Q2
Does your bank educate
B A N K
Preparing the Way for Lifelong Learning & Success
neCalifornia strides into its third year of Lighthouse Community Charter School
operations as a community development bank and
supporting foundation with an ever-widening family of
individuals, businesses and organizations dedicated to
improving economic opportunity. This report spotlights
visions to educate—a fierce belief in innate capacities
to learn, a focus on low-income communities and a
B A N K commitment to nurturing successful lives.
Look into the eyes of a Lighthouse Community
BANKING ON Charter School student and you’ll see beaming evidence
of the school’s mission, which is to equip each child
with the knowledge, skills and principles to be a self-
AT A TIME motivated, lifelong learner. Multiply that light by 650
students and you’ll feel the impact this K-12 Oakland will accommodate all students with ample class-
public school is having on students and their families. rooms, science and media labs, art studios, a library
Founded in 2002 to close the achievement gap, the and planned outdoor recreation space.
school has grown from 92 students the first year. The Brian Rogers, Lighthouse Board President,
student body is 80% low-income, 72% ESL (English a former teacher and Executive Director of The
as Second Language) and 90% from families where no Rogers Family Foundation, advocates the Lighthouse
one has gone to college. From the first class to graduate in philosophy of educating the whole child. “It’s our
June 2009, all 21 students—100%—are going to college. family’s hope that Oakland can create schools where
Jenna Stauffer, Director of Strategic Develop- parents can drop kids off in kindergarten and expect
ment and co-founder with fellow teachers Steve Sexton they can go to college in 12 years. We’re invested in
and Laura Kretschmar, describes the school’s inception: this school and are partners with them in this project.”
“We had taught in some of the most underserved ur- The school’s focus is on achievement—academic,
ban schools in the country and decided we had to do socio-emotional and behavioral—and learning.
something about educational equity. Our vision is being Teachers identify specific goals for their students and
“Our vision is realized and our hope is that we make a positive impact regularly analyze data and adjust practices in pursuit
being realized on the future of children, Oakland and even the world.” of these goals. Literacy is emphasized throughout
and our hope As a California charter school and a nonprofit the entire school and interwoven into every subject
is that we make 501c3 organization, Lighthouse is part of the public area. Teaching and learning extend through a longer
a positive impact school system, free from many of the procedural school day and school year.
on the future requirements of public district schools, yet still ac- Science teacher Laura Kretschmar accompanied
of children, countable for student achievement. It offers an alter- her fifth graders on the first OneCal-sponsored field
native to other schools and does not charge tuition. Ad- trip. “The earthquake lab fit perfectly with what we
mission is determined by lottery. Lighthouse’s leased were studying. It’s great for kids to have learning
even the world.” campuses for K-6 and 7-12 have been too cramped and experiences outside the classroom, to be exposed to
Jenna Stauffer high rents have drained valuable program dollars, so other Oakland students and other science experts and
the school undertook an $11 million renovation at 444 professionals.” Laura’s cousin, Alex Graf, worked in
Hegenberger Road. OneCal Bank is helping with a the film industry and was a frequent visitor to the
Above: Lighthouse fifth grader $2 million dollar loan. school. He died while working on a film in China in
on a OneCal-sponsored field Lisa Zuffi, OneCal Bank Senior Vice President 2003 and a scholarship was founded to commemorate
trip to Chabot Space & Science and Banking Group Head, shepherded the loan. “The his life.
Center. relationship with Lighthouse has been building since Two 2009 Lighthouse graduates, Angelica Cuevas
after the Bank opened in the fall of 2007 and through and Alejandro Zepeda, entering Dominican College
Pictured on the cover and in the school’s participation in the Chabot field trips.” and University of San Francisco this fall, respectively,
top right photo: (left to right) The annual OneCal-sponsored trips for Oakland public received Alex Graf Scholarships, awarded through
Brian Rogers, Jenna Stauffer, school fifth graders unite businesses and nonprofit the East Bay College Fund.
Lisa Zuffi, Laura Kretschmar, organizations in providing learning opportunities to To learn more and to give support, go to www.
Angelica Cuevas, Michele spark college and career goals. “We’ve been talking to lighthousecharter.org, www.eastbaycollegefund.org.
Davenport, Alejandro Zepeda. Lighthouse all along about their need to find permanent
space.” The credit package involves New Markets Tax
Bottom right: The light-filled Credits and debt from OneCal Bank in partnership
warehouse space at 444 with NCB Capital Impact. The renovated facility will
Hegenberger Road before open at the beginning of this school year.
renovation to Lighthouse The project, designed by Oakland architects Stark-
Community Charter School. weather Bondy, is being built by Cahill Contractors,
a third-generation Bay Area firm with an Oakland
history dating back to CEO Jay Cahill’s grandfather, a
1905 University of California graduate, inspired to his
PHOTOS: career by the need to rebuild San Francisco after the
COVER & ABOVE RIGHT: LINDA RUSSELL
ABOVE: CHRISTINE WALKER 1906 earthquake. Two existing warehouse/office build-
BOTTOM: COURTESY LIGHTHOUSE ings, converted into a consolidated, light-filled space,
Working Together to Find Solutions Tying It All Together with Financial Literacy
East Bay College Fund OneCalifornia Foundation
A community-based non-profit organization, the East Bay At the core of OneCalifornia’s mission to improve
College Fund provides scholarships, mentoring, on-going college economic opportunity, financial literacy promotes skills for
counseling and life skills training to East Bay (primarily Oakland) maintaining checking and savings accounts and using credit
public high school students from low-income families and commu- wisely. Essential at every stage of life, these skills are especially
nities with historically low college attendance rates. Since its incep- important for college students living away from home for the
tion, East Bay College Fund has awarded 100 four-year $16,000 first time. Without parental supervision and with enticements
scholarships with mentoring support. offered on and off campus, many students become burdened
OneCal is closely connected with East Bay College Fund through with debt during college.
Andy Fremder, who co-founded it in 2002, along with a committed A recent Sallie Mae study reported that seniors are
group of East Bay citizens, educator and community activists, and “graduating with an average credit card debt of more than
who also serves on the board of OneCal Bank. Andy says, “The problems $4,100, up from about $2,900 in 2004.” East Bay College
need to be attacked from all sides. In order for all of this to work— Fund scholars attending summer financial literacy classes
education and opportunity—organizations need to work together. at OneCal Foundation learned about the risks of easy credit.
Students need a good education to qualify for college, they need support Classes were taught by Susan Keiter of East Bay College Fund
to succeed in college, and they need to be able to come back to a and Andrea Walker of OneCal.
community that offers jobs. We’re focused on the college piece, doing Angelica Cuevas, who will be living at Dominican College,
our part. Lighthouse is doing theirs. OneCal and the businesses and said she was glad to be warned about how credit card companies
organizations that bank there are developing economic opportunities. target college students with offers. “Later when you get the
It all ties together.” bill you realize you’ve spent a huge amount. It’s one of the
Michele Davenport, Executive Director, describes the rela- main things that puts college students in debt.”
tionship between the East Bay College Fund and OneCalifornia as Alejandro Zepeda found out about overdraft charges.
“long-standing and strong” and extending far beyond the deposit “I thought the banks just charged you one time, but they can
relationship. “OneCal is our partner, their team supports our efforts get you every time you spend over the amount you thought
and programs (and vice versa), their staff is critical to our selection you had.”
process as volunteers. They offer complimentary financial literacy Emely Srimoukda, who will be attending Chico State,
courses for our scholars and have provided a credit workshop at learned a technique for managing debit withdrawals. “I’ve
our annual scholar/mentor retreat.” After attending financial litera- had a bank for a few years, and I never used the little book to
cy classes at OneCal Foundation, next door to OneCal Bank, new keep track. Susan showed us how to use it.”
scholars are invited to walk over to the Bank and open a free In their pursuit of a college education, these bright and
checking account. accomplished students, along with other East Bay College
Michele and College Counselor Susan Keiter are enthusias- Fund scholars, have overcome tremendous obstacles placed
tic advocates. The interviews, awards dinner, special events and before them by immigration, financial hardship and tragedy.
mentor/scholar retreat—all of which rely on volunteers—create com- A near fatal car accident changed Alejandro Zepeda’s life and
munity around the students. Susan works them throughout the four shaped his ambition to succeed. In his neighborhood, he’d
years to help them stay on track with their finances. witnessed many young men in trouble and decided to take
Grass roots efforts and contributions from a wide variety of a different path. He enters the University of San Francisco
individuals and foundations enable the East Bay College Fund to support this fall with steady determination. “I’ve decided to prove to
over 80 continuing scholars. Seven Great Expectations scholarships everyone who doubts me that I can accomplish my dreams.
were given in the inaugural year, 2003, and now at least fifteen are Regardless of what happens, I know that I will rise every time
given annually. Eleven scholars have graduated from college, many I fall.” As his supporters also know, the community will rise
of whom have committed to support East Bay College Fund or to give with him.
back to the Oakland community. To learn about becoming a mentor,
PHOTOS: ANDREA WALKER
East Bay College Fund scholars at a OneCal Foundation finan-
cial literacy class: (from below, far left) Emely Srimoukda,
Alejandro Zepeda, Karla Burgos and Andrew Wilson (lower
right) with Susan Keiter of East Bay College Fund; (above)
Shavonnee Clark and Tyrone Radford, Jr.
Exloring Opportunities for the Unbanked and Underbanked
Financial Literacy Q & A: Leading to Innovation Cestas Populares Update
Many people in the San Francisco Bay Area have no banking relationships
or less than what’s adequate for their financial well-being. By assessing the
problems, asking questions, and looking past old assumptions to innovations,
OneCal is finding ways to help low-income communities meet their distinct needs.
In partnership with other organizations, OneCal Foundation is implementing
several ideas to serve unbanked and underbanked individuals and foster
economic opportunity. A key component of OneCal’s involvement is the prepaid
debit card, which allows the holder to purchase items, receive direct deposit, pay
bills and load cash onto the card. No credit check or linked bank account is
required, and there is no way for the holder to overdraft.
Payroll Debit Cards
The Situation: Every summer, Oakland Private Industry Council (PIC) gives jobs
to low-income, disadvantaged Oakland youth, ages 14 to 24, and pays them with
checks. Unfortunately, many of the youth are unbanked and turn to check cashing
services, which may have predatory policies including high fees (as much as 3%
per check) and enticements to borrow against future paychecks.
The Question: Is there a viable alternative for paying employees and meeting
requirements of PIC’s payroll operations?
PHOTO: LINDA RUSSELL
The Innovation: OneCal Foundation and Community Financial Resources are An innovative project of OneCal Bank and the
partnering to provide reloadable debit cards and pay the opening fees, as well Mission Asset Fund (MAF) in San Francisco, Cestas
as most of the monthly maintenance fees, for 1,000 participating youth this Populares brings traditional informal lending circles into
summer. The participants receive their wages through these cards and, when formalized modern banking. It helps people build
summer ends, may keep the cards and be responsible for any monthly fees. credit histories and gain access to financial services.
The cards are reloadable at various locations. The Foundation will provide Amilcar Reys and Carmen Gaytan were attending
financial literacy classes through its OneCal SAFE program to educate youth financial training at Mission Asset Fund (MAF) when
about banking services and financial management. they learned about Cestas. With their daughter Graciela
and one other, they formed the project’s first lending circle.
Neighborhood Economic Development Hub Having completed their initial four-month cycle,
The Situation: In San Francisco, of the more than 50,000 unbanked individuals, the group is in an eight-month duration, allowing
34,000 live in the Mission District. Many of these people are living below the each person to borrow and repay $200 twice in the
poverty line; many are immigrants. They need help in overcoming language cycle. Through their individual accounts at various
barriers, discrimination and other issues. A myriad of nonprofits serve their banks, each person contributes $50 a month to the
needs, but the splinter approach is costly and inefficient. circle’s fund at MAF. OneCal debits the accounts
The Question: Can organizations join forces to strengthen their delivery of services through an electronic network. Loan payments are
and create a place where people can go to get their variety of needs met? reported and cash flows to MAF. MAF makes an electronic
The Innovation: A renovated warehouse at the corner of Mission and 19th Streets deposit to the account of the next borrower. Loans,
will house several nonprofit organizations dedicated to economic development. used as wished, pay household bills, tuition, car repair
By the end of this year, Plaza Adelante will open as a hub offering social services and debt.
to the community and shared business services for all tenants in the building. An- Carmen, pictured above with Amilcar and a
chor organizations are the Mission Economic Development Agency (MEDA), symbolic money basket, shares her experience. “I
Good Samaritan Family Resource Center, Mission Asset Fund, CAMINOS Pathways never thought about saving. In our country [Columbia],
Learning Center and OneCalifornia Foundation. With its Mission District Pro- we live day by day. If we have money, we spend it.
gram, the Foundation hopes to help the unbanked by providing them with Now I know we have to have money in the bank. It’s
kiosk access to financial services and prepaid debit cards, as well as financial like a family savings plan.” Both Carmen and Amilcar
literacy classes. have work histories—she a nurse at General Hospital
“Smarter” ATMs and he a chef at Little Joe’s for 17 years and before
The Situation: Typical ATMs link to customers’ bank accounts but don’t offer a full that on fishing boats in El Salvador. Due to misfortune
range of banking services. For people with no bank accounts or living in neighbor- and going on disability, they had ruined their credit.
hoods underserved by their financial institution, ATMs are useless or inadequate. Carmen says that the group and the organizations
The Question: Can a smarter machine help people avoid the high costs of predatory backing it build trust and give her a greater sense of
check cashing and payday lending practices and offer needed financial services? security. “I have friends who’ve done lending circles
The Innovation: A financial kiosk that allows users to choose from multiple languages –maybe 15 people putting in $100 every month. But
and pay a fee based on the services used, including bill payment, money transfers, they are just thinking about the money. They aren’t
international remittances, money orders, and the purchase of stored value cards, thinking about building credit.”
gift cards, phone cards and more. The kiosk will be an important part of OneCalifornia Amilcar and Carmen see building credit as a step
Foundation’s Mission District Program. Future innovations may allow for prepaid toward their dreams. He wants to start a spaghetti
debit cards to be purchased through the kiosk, as well as check cashing and payday sauce business. They are trying to buy a house. She
loan services offering interest rates and loan limits acceptable to organizations loves to buy presents for her grandchildren. “Now I
advocating for borrowers. can’t just go spend $50. It makes me feel good to have
money in the bank.” www.missionassetfund.org
To learn more, go to www.onecalfoundation.org or call 510.663.2253
Improving Community Health & Fueling Business Growth
C Clearing the Air: Loans for Clean Trucks
lean air benefits all of us, but some people fight
harder for it. For years, as a West Oakland resident, Margaret
Gordon championed air quality for her neighborhood.
Since February 2008, when she was appointed as the Port of
Oakland’s First Port Environmental Liaison, Commissioner
Gordon has brought her knowledge and passion to issues of
public health and environmental justice, as well as to issues
facing independent truckers, including better working condi-
tions and access to capacity and sustainability.
Studies of health risks from diesel exhaust in West Oakland
led to an April 2008 resolution by the California Air Resources
Board (ARB). The Emission Reduction Plan for Ports and
Goods Movement includes a return to 2001 emission levels
or below statewide by 2010, and an 85% reduction statewide
in the health risk from diesel particulate matter (PM) from all Oakland Chamber Honors Members
goods movement sources by 2020.
For 2,000 independent truckers, this resolution translates eing a community development bank means aligning with
to buying new, cleaner big rigs or installing modified “scrubbers” mission-driven organizations to build relationships vital for community
in their older models. 500 to 1,000 truckers who have yet to prosperity. The goals of the Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce—
comply will need grants and/or loans to cover the costs of new to promote commerce and industry, to advance economic growth,
or modified equipment. The Port of Oakland has selected and to enhance the quality of life in the city of Oakland—are close to
OneCal Bank to provide financing to those truckers serving OneCal’s own. In June, the Chamber awarded OneCal Bank President
the Port. The Bank is offering SBA 7(a) loan programs. The & CEO Jeff Cheung their Business Person of the Year Award.
truckers also receive banking services—free checking, savings When Jeff picked up the voice mail message announcing the award,
and online banking—as well as financial education. he had to listen twice. “In this economic climate where banks have
With OneCal’s SBA Clean Truck Loan Program, gotten bad press, to be a banker and get the Business Person of the
truckers can take advantage of the Obama administration Year award—I’m still kind of amazed.” He quickly added, “I only ac-
fee waiver on 7(a) loans, which also carry a 90% guarantee. cept it as part of recognition of our OneCal team—a great staff, advi-
If truckers require additional business capital, OneCal’s SBA sors, board members and community partners. At the awards cer-
Manager Robert Gebauer and his team will help them assess emony, Jeff spoke extemporaneously about the challenges we’re all
their needs. Whatever the bigger picture, one thing is clear. facing. Below is a recap of his thoughts on his favorite topic...
Clean trucks will benefit truckers and create healthier,
Older diesel trucks release more particulate matter (PM), Banking on Community Street
including soot, ash, and metallic abrasion particles, than newer
trucks. The majority of PM is in the form of carbon, which directly
relates to chronic respiratory diseases. The soluble organics “ In the Kellogg Foundation’s annual report,
President & CEO Sterling Speirn stated that
portion of PM—30% to 50%—contains numerous cancer-causing thinking out of the box is not a luxury any
chemical compounds. Exposure to diesel PM is an occupational more. The economic climate has crushed
hazard of truckers and dockworkers. Newer diesel engines have the box. We can’t be just thinking about
particulate scrubbers on the exhaust system, which makes them surviving. We have to think about thriving.
essentially as clean as gasoline engines. Scrubbers reduce carbon If there are any blessings to the distressed
monoxide and PM, and can be installed on older trucks. economy, if there’s any kind of silver lining,
A goal of the ARB resolution is to reduce localized health it’s that people understand we have to work
risk in communities expeditiously. Commissioner Gordon together. People are showing greater will-
has long been working toward that end. In 2001, she co-founded ingness to collaborate in innovative ways.
the West Oakland Environmental Indicators Project, which
reported diesel emissions there as five times greater than in the At OneCal we’re working harder than ever, but not just to keep up.
rest of Oakland. She planned the San Francisco Bay Area’s first We’re looking for opportunities to try things that haven’t been done
regional conference on reducing diesel pollution and improving before or do what’s been done better with more sustainable results.
public health. The “Ditching Dirty Diesel” event rallied community When the economy recovers, it won’t be enough to be back where we
organizations, environmentalists, public health groups and were before the downturn. That can’t be our measure. We have to do
government officials to focus on asthma and other health problems better, especially for low-income pockets of our community.
related to diesel air pollution. Please join us in Community Development Banking. ”
An asthma sufferer, she co-authored the Healthy Home Indoor
Air Quality Project and served on Governor Schwarzenegger’s Jeffrey Cheung, President & CEO, OneCalifornia Bank
statewide committee on State Goods Movement Action Plan.
Now, with OneCal as their banker, California truckers can
move on their own action plans for cleaner emissions. Pictured at the Chamber’s 104th Annual Meeting, members and award winners (clockwise from top
For more information: Robert Gebauer 510.550.8409. left) John Nelson, Joe Haraburda, Jim Ellis, Patricia Scates, Michael LeBlanc, Phil Arca, Jeff Cheung,
Jose Corona, Dan Cohen, Reid Edwards. Photo courtesy Oakland Chamber. www.oaklandchamber.com.