Advocates for Basic Legal Equality, Inc. (ABLE) is a non-profit regional law firm that provides high quality legal assistance in civil matters to help eligible low-income individuals and groups in western Ohio achieve self reliance, and equal justice and economic opportunity.
Junction Coalition Community Lawyering Project
After residents of a Toledo neighborhood known as “Junction” learned about banks’ Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) obligations and opportunities to seek reinvestment in their community through an ABLE attorney education session, they wanted to submit comments to the Federal Reserve when the opportunity arose with a recent bank merger.
The bank immediately began meeting with coalition members and ABLE to discuss what Junction felt would represent better CRA commitments and investments in their neighborhood. Junction proposed ideas, and ABLE helped incorporate CRA terminology and frame the requests within the bank’s CRA obligations. Junction neighborhood residents led the negotiations and continue to meet with Fifth Third and other banks to secure reinvestment in their community.
Junction leaders said the legal knowledge they’ve gained through the process has assisted them in determining a future that financially benefits the neighborhood and its residents.