Senator Collins joins activists to discuss check cashing ratesSPRINGFIELD – A rate hike on check cashing services will be lower than originally proposed, and rates for those on public assistance will become lower, under a compromise reached today.

State Senator Jacqueline Collins joined activists from a number of groups pushing against a higher proposal at a press conference today to thank advocates and explain the impact of new rates.

“Today is a good day for unbanked households, which are disproportionately lower-income, African-American, Hispanic and working-age people with disabilities,” said Collins (D-Chicago). “working with the Woodstock Institute and other consumer advocates, we were able to protect consumers from an across-the-board double-digit increase on the maximum fees that could be charged for check-cashing by Currency Exchanges. Most importantly, public assistance checks will see a rate decrease. We must continue to reform a system where those with the least pay the most.”

Read more: Collins: Check cashing rate compromise will spare some of the state’s poorest

03142017AM4663CHICAGO – Representatives of Fifth Third Bank addressed concerns from the community today surrounding what some have called onerous security measures at branches in some Chicago neighborhoods.
 
Senator Jacqueline Collins convened a hearing of the Senate Financial Institutions Committee at the Michael K. Bilandic Building to ask why some Fifth Third Bank branches in predominantly minority communities are equipped with buzz-in doors and metal detectors, citing other parts of Chicago and the surrounding suburbs that have had robberies but do not feature similar security measures.
 
“In addition to concerns that these inconsistent security practices may send a message of exclusion or prejudice to account-holding customers and members of the community, there have been questions about how difficult this can be for persons with disabilities,” Collins said. “I hope today’s meeting will foster greater understanding between Fifth Third Bank and the community and that it encourages them to adopt a security framework that protects its employees, property and assets while also protecting the dignity of its customers.”
 
The committee heard testimony from Eric Smith, regional president of Fifth Third Bank and Marsha Lee and Pam Bosley, members of the Auburn-Gresham community, who expressed their concerns about the practices.
 
The Rev. Michael Pfleger of the faith community of Saint Sabina also spoke to concerns he heard from the community, calling the doors “jail-like” and the security measures discriminatory.
 
In closing, Collins asked for a summation of the methodology and procedures involved in selecting bank branches for heightened security features. Collins is chairperson of the Senate Financial Institutions Committee.

State Senator Jacqueline Collins issued the following statement today in response to reported remarks by President Donald Trump.

“As we prepare to celebrate the birth of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr and on the anniversary of the 2010 Haitian earthquake that killed nearly 230,000 people, I am deeply offended by President Trump’s vile and vulgar language referencing countries in Africa, Central America and the Caribbean as ‘shithole countries.’

“His remarks clearly displayed the danger of ignorance and power. In the words of James Baldwin, ‘It is certain, in any case, that ignorance, allied with power is the most ferocious enemy justice can have.’

“Former First Lady Michele Obama once said, ‘Being President doesn’t change who you are; it reveals who you are.’ President Trump’s racist rant reveals who he is.

“As a citizen of Chicago – a city founded by a Haitian, Jean Baptiste DuSable, I believe every decent minded person concerned about the values and vision of this country should be troubled by the temperament, tone and tin ear of this thin-skinned president.

“What do countries in Africa, Central America and the Caribbean have in common? They are God’s children who have been blessed and kissed by the sun. Let us not forget the words inscribed on Lady Liberty – a gift from the French in recognition of the United States abolition of slavery, ‘Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free…’”

12064554State Senator Jacqueline Collins, D-Chicago, gave the following prepared remarks this morning, joining citizens in protesting at 8140 South Ashland Ave. over security measures they see as obtrusive.

“As a community, we know it is the prerogative and the duty of Fifth Third Bank to protect its property, its assets, its employees and its customers. At the same time, what I believe we are all here to point out is that security measures such as the buzz-in doors and conspicuous metal detectors ultimately do little to deter bad actors while they simultaneous foster an environment that tells customers they are not trusted. Further, as these measures are not in force at other branches in neighborhoods with smaller minority communities, it sends a message of prejudice.

“We understand there is a concern over bank robberies in the greater Chicago area. But last year, of the 192 robberies committed in Northern Illinois, FBI statistics clearly show the problem is as likely to occur in the Western or Southern Suburbs as it is in Berwyn, Cicero, or other parts of our city and its surrounding suburbs. To focus attention on branches in some neighborhoods and not others is to misunderstand the degree of risk to all financial institutions.

“I also know that it’s not the intention of Fifth Third Bank to discriminate or act prejudicially, and so I want to join everyone here in asking that the bank acknowledge a mistake and work to correct it. We hope these steps can be taken so that Fifth Third Bank can continue to work hand in hand with us to provide essential services to the community.”

Contact Info

Chicago Office:
1155 W. 79th St.
Chicago, IL 60620
(773) 224-2830

Springfield Office:
M114 Capitol
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-1607

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