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Put Together a Professional Team to Help You Reach Your Goals

PASADENA JOURNAL — As you work toward achieving your goals in life, you will need to make moves that contain financial, tax and legal elements.

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As you work toward achieving your goals in life, you will need to make moves that contain financial, tax and legal elements, so you may want to get some help – from more than one source.

Specifically, you might want to put together a team comprised of your financial advisor, your CPA or other tax professional, and your attorney. Together, this team can help you with many types of financial/tax/legal connections.

For starters, you may decide, possibly upon the recommendation of your financial advisor, to sell some investments and use the proceeds to buy others that may now be more appropriate for your needs. If you sell some investments you’ve held for a year or less and realize a capital gain on the sale, the gain generally will be considered short-term and be taxed at your ordinary income tax rate. But if you’ve held the investments for more than a year before selling, your gain will likely be considered long-term and taxed at the lower, long-term capital gains rate, which can be 0%, 15% or 20%, or a combination of those rates.

On the other hand, if you sell an investment and realize a capital loss, you may be able to apply the loss to offset gains realized by selling other, more profi table investments and also potentially offset some of your ordinary income. So, as you can see, the questions potentially raised by investment sales – “Should I sell?” “If so, when?” “If I take some losses, how much will they benefit me at tax time?” – may also be of importance to your tax advisor, who will need to account for sales in your overall tax picture. As such, it’s a good idea for your tax and financial advisors to communicate about any investment sales you make.

Your tax and financial advisors also may want to be in touch on other issues, such as your contributions to a retirement plan. For example, if you are self-employed or own a small business, and you contribute to a SEP-IRA – which is funded with pre-tax dollars, so the more you contribute, the lower your taxable income – your financial advisor can report to your tax advisor (with your permission) how much you’ve contributed at given points in a year, and your tax advisor can then let you know how much more you might need to add to move into a lower tax bracket, or at least avoid being bumped up to a higher one. Your financial advisor will be the one to recommend the investments you use to fund your SEP-IRA.

Your financial advisor can also help you choose the investment or insurance vehicles that can fund an estate-planning arrangement, such as an irrevocable living trust. But to establish that trust in the first place, and to make sure it conforms to all applicable laws, you will want to work with an attorney experienced in planning estates. Your tax professional may also need to be brought in. Again, communication between your various advisors is essential.

These are but a few of the instances in which your financial, tax and legal professionals should talk to each other. So, do what you can to open these lines of communication – because you’ll be one who ultimately benefits from this teamwork.

[Arnetta Tolley, Financial Advisor, Edward Jones 626-744-2740 or Arnetta.tolley@edwardjones.com]

This article originally appeared in the Pasadena Journal

Bay Area

A Deep East Oakland Based Grocery Coop is Opening

​“The community here deserves life and good health,” said Romo. “And so much of that is literally what we eat.”

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The DEEP Grocery Coop worker owners (left to right) Daniel Harris-Lucas, Jameelah Lane, Yolanda Romo and Erin Higginbotham stand at Acta Non Verba’s Youth Urban Farm Project in deep East Oakland. Photo taken by Fox Nakai in October, 2020.

The four worker owners of a new grocery store in deep East Oakland want to bring more healthy food options to the area through a cooperative model. The DEEP Grocery Coop opened for online sales on April 7. By Fall, the worker owners plan to open a storefront.

“We’re coming together for the cause of changing food access in the deep East Oakland community,” said worker owner Daniel Harris-Lucas. “We’re trying to create social change and not necessarily getting into it for profit.”

   Deep East Oakland currently has limited options for healthy food. While a large chain grocery store, Foods Co., operates in the area, its organic and fresh foods sections are limited, and the store is still several miles from where many deep East Oakland residents live.

      Deep East Oaklanders largely find themselves eating what’s most accessible: highly processed foods sold in the many liquor stores in or near their neighborhoods. Worker owners of the DEEP Grocery Coop plan to stock lots of healthy foods including fresh, local and organic vegetables and fruits.

All four DEEP Grocery Coop worker owners live in deep East Oakland and are passionate about eating healthy, which can be challenging. Worker owner Yolanda Romo drives out to Berkeley Bowl to buy her groceries. She says she never sees her neighbors there, and is saddened that she has to shop at a business in a more affluent city instead of being able to get healthy foods near her neighborhood. 

“The community here deserves life and good health,” said Romo. “And so much of that is literally what we eat.”

The DEEP Grocery Coop’s worker owners acknowledge that price is an important part of making healthy food accessible, and they want their foods to be affordable for local residents.  

     They have plans to receive grant funding that will allow those with food stamps to buy California grown produce at a 50% discount. As a small cooperative, with no boss that expects a large profit, the worker owners can focus instead on sustaining the store and themselves while keeping prices as low as they can for the community.

    They also are making connections with small local Black and Brownled farms, like Raised Roots, who find it difficult to get their products into larger chain stores.

Education is key to The DEEP Grocery Coop’s project, as the knowledge of how to eat healthy is less accessible to the largely Black and Brown population of East Oakland, and is falsely associated as only being for white people. As an example, Romo points out quinoa, a wholegrain seed that is high in protein fiber and B vitamin.

“Quinoa is a supercheap Peruvian necessity and someone branded it,” Romo said. “That branding isn’t catered to communities of color but to white people who have more choices.”

To share knowledge, worker owners have done free cooking demonstrations and informative healthy food discussions. They share knowledge about healthy foods through instagram

Their instagram account also serves as a place to educate the public about the cooperative model, which worker owners say allows them more autonomy. As they begin to sell foods online and eventually open their in-person store, they hope to serve as a model for other deep East Oakland residents who want to create businesses that better serve their community. 

“I hope this inspires others in the community to be worker owners and to make decisions and run their businesses the way they want to do it,” said Romo. “The topdown model that we see everywhere and the huge corporate chains that surround East Oakland haven’t helped.”

Decision making in the DEEP Grocery Coop will be more localized, allowing it to cater to the deep East Oakland Community. Worker owner Jameelah Lane expects the store to be full of “things that resemble East Oakland” like vibrant colors, graffiti painting and good music. She wants the store to have “culturally recognizable foods” like bean pies and tamales. 

The DEEP Grocery Coop worker owners are not the only people who helped create the store. Mandela Grocery Cooperative, a non-profit youth urban farm project called Acta Non Verba, and an organization that helps launch Bay Area Blackled cooperatives called Repaired Nation, all acted as a steering committee to help train and guide the worker owners during the projects formation.

    But, as originally planned, all those organizations have given full control to the worker owners at this point. The workerowner staff are still relatively new to each other, with the full fourperson crew not coming together until last summer. They are excited about what they have been able accomplish in such a short time and about starting to bring more healthy foods to deep East Oakland.

“We want to inspire people to be change-makers instead of waiting for it,” said Harris-Lucas. “We’ve been able to really grow something just from the common love for our community.”

Anyone throughout the Bay Area who wants to support the coop can now order food on their website: https://thedeepgrocery.coop, and arrange a curbside pickup. People can also donate to support the project through the store’s gofundme campaign.

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Wells Fargo Invests in 5 Additional Black-Owned Banks

Wells Fargo is also supporting each MDI’s development through a banking relationship in the form of a single touchpoint coverage model that will help them access Wells Fargo’s expertise and pursue strategic priorities like entering new markets, expanding locations, designing new products, and hiring staff to support loan growth.

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Wells Fargo has invested in 11 Minority Depository Institutions in 2021 as part of a $50 million pledge and a commitment to foster economic growth in Black and African American communities

     On Tuesday, Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) announced equity investments in five African American Minority Depository Institutions, or MDIs, as part of its March 2020, pledge to invest up to $50 million in Black-owned banks. 

     As part of the equity capital investment, Wells Fargo is also offering access to a dedicated relationship team that can work with each MDI on financial, technological, and product development strategies to help each institution strengthen and grow.

    “The country’s MDIs are vital to minority communities, but over the last two decades, many have declined or have closed. The capital investment we are announcing is important, but it’s our relationship approach that will make the difference in their futures. We want to be a partner to these important institutions and, in turn, have a positive effect on local communities,” said William Daley, vice chairman of Public Affairs at Wells Fargo.

     Tuesday’s announcement includes investments in the following institutions:

  • Carver State Bank in Savannah, Ga.
  • Citizens Trust Bank in Atlanta, Ga.
  • First Independence Bank in Detroit, Mich.
  • Liberty Bank in New Orleans, La.
  • Unity National Bank in Houston, Texas

    These investments follow Wells Fargo’s Feb. 8, 2021, announcement regarding its investments in six African American MDIs and takes the Company’s total investment to 11 MDIs to date. 

    In addition, Wells Fargo will be making its nationwide ATM network available for customers of these 11 MDIs to use without incurring fees.

    “Guided by our founding principles to promote financial stability and equality for all communities, Citizens Trust Bank is proud to partner with Wells Fargo in expanding these efforts. The partnership enhances our ability to deploy more capital in our markets and beyond. We appreciate Wells Fargo for its commitment and alliance in providing solutions to the very important challenge of addressing inequalities that disproportionately impact communities of color,” said Cynthia N. Day, president and CEO of Citizens Trust Bank.

    Wells Fargo’s financial commitments are in the form of critical equity capital, which is foundational to the MDIs’ ability to expand lending and deposit-taking capacity in their communities. The investments, primarily non-voting positions, are designed to enable the banks to maintain their MDI status. 

    Wells Fargo is also supporting each MDI’s development through a banking relationship in the form of a single touchpoint coverage model that will help them access Wells Fargo’s expertise and pursue strategic priorities like entering new markets, expanding locations, designing new products, and hiring staff to support loan growth.

   Wells Fargo’s financial commitment announced Tuesday complements additional initiatives that aim to serve all of our customers and communities:

  • On March 30, 2021, Wells Fargo closed on a $5 million patient capital loan to Hope Enterprise Corporation (HOPE), a 501(c)(3) and a certified Community Development Financial Institution that is dedicated to strengthening communities, building assets, and improving lives in the Delta and other economically distressed areas of the Deep South. HOPE plans to use the funds as secondary capital for its credit union, providing financial services to underserved markets and people in the Deep South. Based in Jackson, Mississippi, HOPE serves Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Tennessee.
  • On March 25, 2021, Wells Fargo was one of several U.S. banks and payment technology companies named as investors in Greenwood, the digital banking platform for Black and Latino individuals and business owners, as part of Greenwood’s $40 million of Series A funding. Greenwood is partnering with FDIC-insured banks to give customers the ability to spend and save securely and will feature best-in-class online banking services, innovative ways to support minority-owned banks, and give-back programs focused on Black and Latino causes and businesses.

       In the 10 years spanning 2009 to 2018, Wells Fargo was the No. 1 financier of home loans to African Americans and originated more mortgages to help Black home buyers purchase homes than the four other largest bank lenders combined.

 

 

Edith Rocío Robles is the assistant vice president of Corporate Communications for Wells Fargo Community Banking, Bay Area Region.

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Rep. Barbara Lee Welcomes Kamala Harris Back to Oakland for First Time as VP

“I was honored to welcome back a daughter of Oakland and Berkeley, and a woman warrior for equality and justice, Vice President Kamala Harris,” said Lee. “I had tears in my eyes watching Air Force 2 land at the airport in Oakland. She brings us hope and shows us the American dream is real. It is so inspiring for young people in this community, and frankly for everyone else here, to see her in the White House helping lead our country through this very difficult time.

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Vice President Kamala Harris and Congresswoman Barbara Lee. Photo Courtesy of Barbara Lee's office

Congresswoman Barbara Lee (CA-13) welcomed Vice President Kamala Harris back to her hometown of Oakland on Monday for the first time since taking the office of the vice presidency.

Lee greeted Vice President Harris on the tarmac of Oakland International Airport alongside Senator Alex Padilla (D-CA) and Lt. Gov. Eleni Kounalakis.

They traveled to Red Door Catering, a local business that prepares fresh, local ingredients for diverse events and dining experiences. While there, they discussed the impact the pandemic has had on small businesses and the importance of Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs). Notably, Red Door Catering received both financial and technical support from two Bay Area Community Development Financial Institutions: Action Opportunity Fund and ICA.

“I was honored to welcome back a daughter of Oakland and Berkeley, and a woman warrior for equality and justice, Vice President Kamala Harris,” said Lee. “I had tears in my eyes watching Air Force 2 land at the airport in Oakland. She brings us hope and shows us the American dream is real. It is so inspiring for young people in this community, and frankly for everyone else here, to see her in the White House helping lead our country through this very difficult time.

 

“I thank Vice President Harris for her leadership helping small businesses, especially in communities hit hardest by this pandemic. It was a privilege to have her travel to our community today to lift up the important role of CDFIs as an economic engine for businesses and communities like ours. CDFIs are not just about access to capital – they are also about economic justice for people and communities that have long been denied equal opportunities.

 

“The vice president also has been a great partner to Congressional Democrats as we worked to pass the American Rescue Plan, which invests $60 billion in our nation’s small businesses.

 

“This is just the beginning of what we have to do to rebuild our economy, address economic and racial disparities, and respond to the other major challenges facing our country. I look forward to continuing to work with Vice President Harris and the Biden Administration to build back bolder.”

Alex Katz is a district communications manager in Barbara Lee’s office.

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