A group of about 20 people marched peacefully outside a Wells Fargo branch at Mission and 22nd streets on Saturday morning to demand that the bank stop foreclosures.
Occupy Bernal and the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment have held rallies on a weekly basis since December in an attempt to stop individual foreclosures and to pressure the banks to change their foreclosure policies, according to representatives.
The group chanted slogans such as “Take your money out of Wells Fargo” and “Banks got bailouts, we didn’t.”
Mesha Irizarry, who is with the alliance, said she too is losing her home in the Bayview.
“A lot of people blame us for going into foreclosure,” Irizarry said. “When you are given a predatory loan, you don’t know what is going on. A $70,000 loan suddenly becomes $250,000 with interest.”
Originally the group planned to protest in front of the home of Alfredo Pedroza, the director of California local government relations for Wells Fargo, but postponed that protest after bank representatives agreed to a meeting, according to group members.
Pedroza, who previously served as Mayor Gavin Newsom’s liaison to District 9 and the Latino community, could not immediately be reached for a comment.
Will Doherty, also known as Stardust, said the group is thankful for the work Pedroza has done for District 9, but they want him to do more for the community in his current position.
“We want Alfredo Pedroza to stop the banks from foreclosing on his neighbors,” he said.
The groups’ short-term goals are to stop the individual foreclosures and home auctions of members. So far they’ve had some success.
More broadly, the groups want the banks to stop foreclosures until January, when the California Homeowner Bill of Rights is expected to go into effect. Votes by the Senate and Assembly are expected next week.