Paulina Gonzalez-Brito is Executive Director of the California Reinvestment Coalition. Paulina identifies as Xicana, Purepecha, Mestiza. As the great granddaughter of Mexican Arizona copper miners who took part in the historic Metcalf-Greenlee strikes in the early 1900s and the daughter of an immigrant union hotel worker, Paulina has dedicated her life’s work to economic and racial justice. She has worked for more than 20 years leading economic justice organizing campaigns to expand worker rights, immigrant rights, and the rights of low income and underrepresented communities of color.
Under her leadership, CRC has expanded its work to directly challenge systemic and structural racism within the U.S. financial system and to focus CRC’s work on building collective political and organizing power amongst and with frontline communities to close the racial wealth gap. During this time, CRC sued the Trump administration for pulling back the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s data collection duty to protect women-owned and people of color owned small businesses against discriminatory lending. As a result the CFPB agreed to stop flouting the law and commit to finalizing data collection rules to protect small businesses from discriminatory lending practices. In addition, CRC worked with a coalition of California consumer advocates to establish the country’s strongest state consumer protection agency; the Department of Financial Protection and Innovation is essential in preventing a repeat of the massive wealth transfer that occurred during and after the 2008 financial crisis.
Paulina has testified before the U.S. House, Senate and Sacramento Legislature on the need for greater oversight and accountability in the banking sector to prevent financial actors from extracting wealth from Black and Brown communities. She is frequently called upon to speak as an expert in the fields of Wall Street accountability, discrimination in lending, equitable reinvestment by financial institutions, and democratizing finance through alternative and community-owned financial models, and has been profiled/quoted in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The L.A. Times, NPR, Univision, La Opinion and other national media outlets.
Paulina currently serves on the Board of Directors for the National Association for Latino Community Asset Builders, and has previously served on the Community Advisory Council of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, the San Francisco Municipal Bank Feasibility Task Force, and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s Consumer Advisory Board.