Statement from Executive Director Rashad Robinson New York, NY - African-American civil rights organization cautiously applauds President Obama's State of the Union announcement yesterday to create a special unit of federal prosecutors and state attorneys general to investigate the abusive practices of Wall Street banks. Just days before, a coalition of progressive advocacy and public interest organizations including, MoveOn, CREDO Action, Progressives United, and New Bottom Line delivered more than 360,000 petition signatures to the Obama Administration. The petition calls for a full federal investigation of Wall Street banks and their role in the housing crisis.

Rashad Robinson, executive director of, said, “While we applaud President Obama for siding with homeowners, taxpayers, and the millions of Americans impacted by the housing crisis, true accountability and real relief depends on the strength and integrity of the investigation and the ongoing support of the White House. We understand the impact the housing crisis has had on Black people and communities of color, and our hope is that this decision will mean that Wall Street banks are no longer allowed to operate above the law. We are resolve in our efforts and will continue to fight for the millions of people around the country who have suffered and continue to endure this housing crisis.”

“Americans across the country have demonstrated a groundswell of public outrage, and will not be satisfied with an incomplete, corrupt investigation or a weak settlement. There's clear consensus that the banks should not be allowed to return to business as usual. Going forward, any deal with the big banks must ensure that there will be a full investigation into their disastrous practices and must have a guaranteed minimum amount of money set aside for reducing the mortgage principal of 'underwater' homeowners impacted by the foreclosure crisis--any future settlement must make the banks pay the true costs associated with their actions," continued Robinson.

"We applaud the President's decision as a step in the right direction, and we also recognize the millions of people around the country who continue to march with the goal of full bank accountability, real relief, and justice for those who have suffered through the housing crisis. Our members will continue to mobilize to ensure that the Obama administration hears the calls for full accountability loud and clear," concluded Robinson.

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