Exclusive! The new RFP

ALAMEDA — The city of Alameda has taken the first steps toward divesting more than $36 million from its accounts at Wells Fargo over the bank’s involvement with the Dakota Access pipeline and the bank’s history of controversial practices.

The City Council voted unanimously early Wednesday morning to immediately refrain from investing in the bank’s securities and told city officials to begin the process of securing a new bank.

                                                                            – East Bay Times, February 22, 2017

The Merry-Go-Round didn’t stick around for the end of the meeting at which Council adopted the referral sponsored by Vice Mayor Malia Vella and Councilman Jim Oddie.  The next day, however, a plain brown envelope appeared on our doorstep containing a document that appeared to reflect the next step in their war against Wells Fargo.

You’ll find it below.




We are delighted to offer you the opportunity to do business with the  most diverse, inclusive, and morally upright city in the Bay Area!

The City of Alameda is not concerned with the quality or cost of the banking services you provide.  Rather, the sole criterion is ideological purity.

Accordingly, the selection will be based on the information you supply in response to this request.  (Please note that your answers will be posted on the City’s unofficial website).

  1. Are you a bank?
    1. If so, are you are a big bank?
      1. If so, are you too big to fail?
  2. If you are not a bank, are you a savings and loan?
    1. If so, is your office located in Bedford Falls?
      1. If so, where did Uncle Billy hide the money?
  3. How many of your employees voted for Donald Trump in the last election?
    1. What programs have you adopted to re-educate these employees?
  4. How many of your employees are racists, sexists, or xenophobes – i.e., members of the Republican party?
    1. When will these employees be terminated?
  5. How many of your employees are not members of a labor union?
    1. Why do you hate working families?
  6. Will you provide the relocation benefits available under the Alameda Rent Stabilization Ordinance to any of your employees who want to leave the country in disgust over the Trump administration?
  7. Would you serve a customer who walked into a branch wearing a red “Make America Great Again” baseball cap?
  8. What extra services do you offer to customers who walk into a branch wearing a pink “pussy hat”?
  9. Do you provide restrooms for customers?
    1. If so, are they labeled by gender identity?
      1. If not, which restroom should Chelsea Manning use?
  10. Do you provide parking for automobiles?
    1. If so, is parking restricted to hybrid or electric vehicles?
      1. If not, will you agree to replace each parking space with a bicycle rack?
  11. Will you lend money to any borrower regardless of race, religion, sex, creditworthiness or ability to repay?
    1. If not, why do you discriminate against the impecunious?
  12. Would you lend money to a prospective buyer of a single-family home with a two-car garage?
    1. If so, why do you want to contribute to global warming?
  13. Would you lend money to a corporation whose employees are able to purchase salt-laden snacks and sugar-laden sodas from on-site vending machines?
    1. If so, why do you want to poison workers?
  14. Would you finance a construction project that is not subject to a Project Labor Agreement requiring use of union hiring halls?
    1. If so, what alternative steps would you take to increase the cost of the project?
  15. Would you lend money to a corporation that does business in:
    1. A state whose electoral votes went to Donald Trump?
    2. A state with a Trump hotel or golf course?
    3. A state with a retail store selling Ivanka Trump shoes?
  16. How much do you contribute annually to:
    1. The Environmental Defense Fund
    2. The Edward Snowden Defense Fund
    3. The Hillary Clinton Defense Fund (aka the Bill, Hillary, and Chelsea Clinton Foundation)
  17. How many portraits of Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and Keith Ellison are hanging in your executive offices?
  18. What have you done to prevent the polar ice cap from melting?
  19. What have you done to redress income inequality in Asia, Africa, and South America?
  20. What have you done to obtain equal rights for women in Iran and Saudi Arabia?

Please send your completed questionnaire to Jim Oddie and Patty Osborne, co-presidents, City of Alameda Democratic Club, and Jeff DelBono, president, Alameda firefighters’ union, who will review it, and, if appropriate, forward it to Vice Mayor Vella for further processing.




Stargell Commons: rcd-stargell-commonsstargell-commons-financing-plan

About Robert Sullwold

Partner, Sullwold & Hughes Specializes in investment litigation
This entry was posted in City Hall and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Exclusive! The new RFP

  1. Marilyn Pomeroy says:

    I don’t know what you are trying to prove with this article. Whatever , it was not constructive and thus disappointing

    • carol says:

      It is satire, Marilyn. And very fine satire at that! Lighten up!
      Wells Fargo screwed up, but it is trying to mend its ways. Personally, I find it ironic that the same councilman who is still coming back from his bankruptcy is the one who now proposed this holier-than-thou resolution against Wells Fargo.

  2. Erik says:

    Robert, Very much on point. Thank you. Alameda is becoming Oakland. Ideology is paramount now. Rational thought is no longer required.

  3. aen says:

    Is this move for the benefit of Alameda and its residents? Sounds like the opposite, since they are using Dakota as the excuse.

  4. If the city is going to start shopping for a new financial institution based on social responsibility criteria, then here are the types of key search terms and language to look for:

    Diversity and social inclusion: Advance diversity and social inclusion by helping to ensure that everyone feels valued and respected and has equal access to resources, services, products, and opportunities to succeed.
    Economic empowerment: Strengthen financial self-sufficiency and economic opportunities in underserved communities.
    Environmental sustainability: Accelerate the transition to a lower-carbon economy and help reduce the impacts of climate change on our customers and communities.

    Those are direct quotes from Wells Fargo’s Corporate Social Responsibility report https://www.wellsfargo.com/about/press/2016/five-year-csr-effort_0421

    To highlight an issue near and dear to Alamedans, Wells Fargo will be “Purchasing renewable energy to power 100 percent of our operations by 2017 with a transition to long-term agreements that fund new sources of green power by 2020.” We aren’t at 100 percent in Alameda, and aren’t likely to be for some time.

    The point being, good luck finding a flawless financial institution that meets a rigorous social responsibility screen. As pointed out in the post, Wells Fargo is financing an affordable housing project in Alameda, as they have been doing on a large scale all over the country. And wait until new construction starts happening at Alameda Point. Will city officials boycott ribbon-cuttings at Wells Fargo-financed projects?

    To make a fair and unbiased decision, Wells Fargo needs to be included in the competition so we can see how the competing financial institutions stack up against the one we have right now.

  5. RJS says:

    This is becoming typical of the ‘progressive’ members of the city council. Fear mongering against the feds (read ‘Trump’) in association with a simplistic emotional charge for social justice for all.

    “4 legs good. 2 legs bad”.

    Ridiculous Rhetoric abounds – along with like-minded policy.
    Where is the logic in all of this?

  6. AN says:

    Humor isn’t perhaps your strength. Right up there with brevity.

  7. Steve Gerstle says:

    People create municipal governments to solve local problems. All of the resolutions and pronouncements do little more than puff up political resumes and show fealty to party leaders. Before leading an effort to impeach Trump, please remedy our local traffic problems, especially those causing long backups at the Tubes. Rather than paying City staff to sponsor events where we stand at the edge of the Bay singing Kumbaya, provide needed services to the distraught in the Webster Street area.
    We have no shortage of bloggers in Alameda; there is no need for tax dollars to support one at City Hall.

    While I am sympathetic to the issues raised, I am capable of deciding where to invest my own money. The Council has a fiduciary responsibility when it come to public funds. There is no shortage of possible boycotts that the City could initiate. Do we really want to go through a series of Council meetings dealing with Israel BDS? Time for a small city of under 80,000 to focus on the reasons that local government was created. The Council that dis-invests from one business today, could turn on you and dis-invest from a different one next year.

  8. Gaylon says:

    “please remedy our local traffic problems, especially those causing long backups at the Tubes” Well, actually, this is a regional problem.

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