By Haven Shannon, Program Associate
This week, we hosted a community conversation on Predatory Lending. After a welcome from Watsonville’s City Manager, Matt Huffaker, Professor Heather Bullock from UC Santa Cruz’s Blum Center presented to the audience the findings of Mamas con Mas, a report that identified that the City of Watsonville had almost three times the number of predatory lenders as compared to the City of Santa Cruz.
Maria Cadenas, Executive Director of Santa Cruz Community Ventures (SCCV), shared SCCV’s recommendations to address predatory lending in Watsonville, including:
Those present then discussed barriers facing the community, their vision for the future of Watsonville, and suggestions of what could be explored to address the issue. Some of the community recommendations included:
Some of those present included: City Councilmen Aurelio Gonzalez and Lowell Hurst, Carmen Mansir Herrera of El Pajaro CDC, Erwin Reeves, Community Affairs Regional Manager at the FDIC, as well as leaders of organizations such as Salud Para la Gente, Mid-Pen Housing, Opportunity Fund, Families in Transition, First5 Santa Cruz, FoodWhat?!, Community Foundation of Monterey County, and Health Improvement Partnership of Santa Cruz County.