Scrapbook: Bank Issue

This video shows the efforts of the Organization of the Northeast (O.N.E.) to push local financial institutions into investing more of their money in the Uptown and Edgewater neighborhoods of Chicago. It contains a series of segments from 1974, including a session with Gov. Dan Walker, a meeting with the Uptown National Bank, and three newsreels which show the backlash against some local banks, as well as the O.N.E.'s success in negotiating a pact with four of the banks in these neighborhoods.

00:00Copy video clip URL Tape begins. The audio explains that this is an accountability session for Illinois Governor Dan Walker that was held on March 12, 1974.

00:17Copy video clip URL Video recording begins. A man speaks to the reporter, who says that the crowd is there to ask about finances in the Uptown and Edgewater neighborhoods. They want to know if the local banks will loan money to residents and shift state funds to the local banks so that they can be used to work on community projects.

02:00Copy video clip URL Gov. Walker answers the first question. “In respect to the investment of state funds in banks, and then using the leverage of the state funds to get the banks to do particular things…is a policy that was started in the treasurer’s office under the administration of Adlai Stevenson.” He says that he will raise the subject with the treasury, and that he believes that the office has continued to follow Stevenson’s precedent.

02:48Copy video clip URL This segment shows a different meeting. “On March 21, 1974, the Community Economics Action of the Organization of the Northeast sent a fact-finding team to talk with officials at the Uptown National Bank in an attempt to determine how responsive the bank is to community needs.” The bankers are asked about the amount of money being lent to the community, and whether or not they are assisting small business owners. According to the narrator, ” the Uptown National Bank has never made a single loan under an SBA program, despite the efforts of that agency to work with the Uptown National Bank.”

06:40Copy video clip URL The bankers are asked whether or not they participate in the Illinois student loan program – they do not. The narrator says that “as of June 1973, the bank had no money at all out in student loans.”

07:47Copy video clip URL This segment shows an interview with Stanley Hallett, vice president of the South Shore bank, who discusses some of the ways that financial institutions can “stem the tide of disinvestment.” He talks about the importance of credit in a community, which is crucial to organizations, businesses, churches, and individuals. He says that it is a lot easier to “ship the money out” to other areas than to put the time and resources into working with local people, but it is an investment in the bank’s future and the future of the neighborhood.

11:38Copy video clip URL The narrator describes the aim of their organization, and asks for support for their campaign. “The Economics Action of the Organization of the Northeast wants to see an end to disinvestment in Edgewater and Uptown. Our program, community building through community banking, is designed to bring new deposits of public and private moneys to cooperating institutions in return for new investments in our community’s future.”

12:06Copy video clip URL This segment shows a Channel 5 newsreel of a “soup line” demonstration led by the O.N.E. in protest of Uptown National Bank’s “Depression mentality” in lending less than 5 percent of its deposits to the area’s residents.

13:49Copy video clip URL A Channel 7 newsreel discusses the practice of “redlining,” the term for the practice of denying mortgage money to specific neighborhoods, which has become a problem in parts of the south and west side. They also say that the O.N.E.  has found some success by negotiating a pact with the banks, who have agreed to raise their lending limits.

16:13Copy video clip URL Another Channel 5 newsreel discusses the success of the O.N.E. in Uptown. The negotiators claim that it is the first time in the country that financial institutions have set goals for reinvesting in their communities.

18:32Copy video clip URL End of tape.



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