Board Trustee Abel Guillen

Nov. 16, 2011 | Members of the Peralta Community College Board of Trustees charged with overseeing over 45,000 students in the East Bay voted Tuesday night to acquiesce to the growing power of the Occupy movement by beginning the process of pulling its assets from large banking institutions.

The resolution, first introduced by Trustee Abel Guillen, asks the community college chancellor to provide the board a list of recommendations for beginning the move to smaller community-based banks and credit unions no later than the end of January.

In essence, the move is similar to the recent push two weeks ago highlighted by the occupy movements across the nation to transfer accounts from large institutions such as Bank of America, Citibank, Wells Fargo and Chase, among others, to smaller banks. The movement has identified the financial misconduct of big banks as a main culprit for the nation’s growing economic inequality.

Guillen, who is one of four candidates for assembly’s newly formed 18th district, said the resolution is influenced by the ideals of the protesters growing rapidly in Oakland and Berkeley.

“At every level of government, our elected representatives must foster policies and programs that support the larger economic and social goals of the Occupy Wall Street Movement, so that the people’s energy and outrage on the streets can be channeled into constructive economic actions instead of toward violence and vandalism that drain our already limited public resources,” said Guillen.

“This practical action is a clear expression of our community values and can make a real difference.”

The Peralta Community College District is made up of Berkeley City College, College of Alameda, Laney College and Merritt College.