Press Democrat Wins 25 Awards in California Journalism Awards

The Press Democrat was honored Tuesday with six first-place awards from the California News Publishers Association, which praised the newspaper for its coverage of disasters, homelessness, business and education.

Overall, the newspaper received 25 awards in 23 categories in the annual CNPA California Journalism Awards. In most categories, the entries were judged against work produced by daily newspapers in California with 15,000 to 50,000  subscribers. In 10 of the categories including photojournalism, public service, digital journalism, page design, sports game story and special sections it was matched against the largest newspapers in the state.

“These awards are a reflection of the skill and effort that is devoted to our news report every day in every corner of the newsroom. Although our staff is now producing our print and digital news report from their homes as we cover the virus threatening our community, we remain united to deliver essential news,” said Catherine Barnett, executive editor of The Press Democrat.

The awards recognized journalism published in 2019. First-place awards include:

Breaking News Coverage, for staff coverage of the Kincade fire. “This entry is a great example of how bold and dynamic the printed newspaper can be, especially during coverage of a huge news event in the region. I was impressed not only with the depth of coverage, but also the quality of reporting and writing, the exceptional photos and the great play they were given, and the clean design. Each day over the five days the readers were given coverage not only of the fire, but also how the fire was affecting their daily lives,” the judge wrote.

Local Government Coverage, for staff coverage of homeless camps along the Joe Rodota Trail and efforts by local government to respond to the problem.

Business Coverage, for a series of stories by Bill Swindell on insurance issues impacting people rebuilding from the 2017 wildfires.

Youth and Education Coverage, for a story by former staff writer Susan Minichiello on racial and academic divisions in Healdsburg schools. “Clearly well-researched. The story flowed well and thoughtfully tackled the charged topic of racial disparities between charter and public schools,” the judge wrote.

Photo Story/Essay, for photography by Press Democrat staff documenting efforts to defend Windsor from the Kincade fire.

Artistic Photo, for an image by Kent Porter capturing a meteor streaking across the sky as a burning oak tree sent orange sparks into the wind.

The newspaper received six second-place awards:

Breaking News Coverage, for staff coverage of the 2019 floods. “This was another solid example of how the printed newspaper can rise to the magnitude of a big, local story. The depth and quantity of coverage was warranted by the seriousness of the news. Another great use of exceptional photos,” the judge wrote.

Photojournalism, for staff coverage of the 2019 floods and the Kincade fire.

Front Page Layout and Design, for three front pages produced in January, February and October.

Sports Action Photo, for an image by Chris Chung of an Oakland Raiders’ running back leaping into the air for a touchdown.

Sports Feature Photo, for an image by Porter of two softball players giving a treat to a dog, the team’s mascot.

Home Page Layout and Design, for pressdemocrat.com.

The newspaper received four third-place awards:

General Excellence, for two complete and consecutive editions of the newspaper in September.

Public Service, for staff coverage of homeless camps on the Joe Rodota Trail. “Compelling, in-depth coverage of one community wrestling with a problem that is both chronic and worsening,” the judge wrote.

Inside Page Layout, for three poster pages created by staff designer Elissa Torres to celebrate the Warriors’ last season at Oracle Arena.

News Photo, for a photo by Porter showing a firefighter battling flames in the Kincade fire.

The newspaper received seven fourth-place awards. They include: Column Writing, for two columns by sports columnist Kerry Benefield; Sports Game Story, for a Benefield story on Cardinal Newman’s football championship; Sports Feature, for a story by sports columnist Phil Barber advancing the Raiders’ final game in Oakland; Online Coverage of Youth and Education, for a Minichiello story on school security in the wake of a mass shooting at a Florida high school; Feature Photo, for a Beth Schlanker photo of a Christmas tree lot in the rain; Photo Illustration, for a stylized image of a cape buffalo made by John Burgess; and Special Section, for the “Year in Photos” magazine.

The newspaper received fifth-place awards in two categories: In-Depth Reporting, for coverage of the rebuilding underway after the 2017 wildfires; and Business Coverage, for a Julie Johnson story on cannabis tourism.

Two other publications owned by Sonoma Media Investments, the Press Democrat’s parent company, also were recognized.

The Sonoma Index-Tribune took first place for Enterprise Story, Coverage of Youth and Education, Column Writing, Editorial Comment and Artistic Photo. It was a top five finalist for 17 awards, including second place for General Excellence for sonomanews.com.

The Petaluma Argus-Courier won first place for Photo Story/Essay and Editorial Cartoon. It was a top five finalist for 13 awards.

North Bay Children’s Center Aides in Sonoma County Expansion of Emergency Child Care Program to Support Health Care Workers Treating Coronavirus Patients

Sonoma County has launched three emergency child care centers for children of critical health care workers, who are bracing to treat a surge of coronavirus patients in coming weeks as the local outbreak is expected to approach its peak.

The effort, a partnership by county officials and local nonprofits, has begun providing free child care for families of 58 children ages 6 months to 13 years old through April 7, when the county’s shelter-in-place order was initially set to expire. The program is equipped to extend through the end of May, if needed, and expand service to a total of 100 children, although parents may have to begin paying a fee after April 7.

The goal is to provide families of health care workers with crucial support as public officials warn that coronavirus cases in the county are expected to mount, putting a strain on local hospitals.

“For those families who don’t have any other options, that is who that emergency child care is for,” said Melanie Dodson, executive director of Community Child Care Council of Sonoma County, known as the 4Cs. “Maybe a grandparent was caring for a child, but because of COVID-19, the grandparent is at high risk and they need another option ­— or now that their kids aren’t going to school, they need care for the whole day.”

To curb the spread of the virus, the county has ordered that all day care facilities, preschools and elementary schools suspend day-to-day operations. However, child care centers may still serve families of health care workers and other essential services employees as long they follow strict guidelines, including limiting classrooms to no more than 12 children and assigning staff to only one location.

Using a mix of state and local funding, the nonprofit 4Cs has helped set up three centers in partnership with the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Santa Rosa, North Bay Children’s Center and Sonoma County Family YMCA. It’s also working with a handful of small family child care providers for infants and toddlers.

Susan Gilmore, president and CEO of the North Bay Children’s Center, said the group has opened one classroom at Steele Lane Elementary School in Santa Rosa.

“(Health care workers) are very grateful to have this,” she said. “Without child care they can’t work. The lack of child care is crippling for the essential workforce.”

The program in Sonoma County is being funded through a combination of federal, state and local sources, including a state tobacco tax for childhood development. The county has so far allocated $600,000 to the program, according to the nonprofit First 5 Sonoma County.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency is expected to reimburse up to 70% of that spending.

If the program is extended past April 7, it could expand to include additional child care providers and support more families.

Angie Dillon-Shore is the executive director of First 5 Sonoma County, which is helping distribute the $100,000 in state tobacco tax money. She said the program, which is offering child care workers a hazard pay premium, could be a much-needed boost for the local child care industry.

“Child care providers are some of the lowest-paid workers in the economy, even though they’re considered essential,” she said. “They’re putting their own health on the line if they have kids of their own.”

Essential health care workers and licensed child care providers are encouraged to contact the Community Child Care Council of Sonoma County at info@sonoma4cs.org or 707-544-3077.

Redwood Credit Union Gives $800,000 to Support Immediate Coronavirus Relief Efforts

In response to the unprecedented economic, health, and community wellness impacts of the Coronavirus outbreak and related shelter-in-place directives, Redwood Credit Union (RCU) is distributing grants to more than 45 nonprofit organizations across Lake, Marin, Mendocino, Napa, San Francisco, and Sonoma Counties. A list of these grantees is available on RCU’s website at redwoodcu.org/nonprofit-grant-recipients.

The grants will serve the most pressing needs of vulnerable populations in one or more of RCU’s core funding priority areas of:

  • Food and housing security (basic needs)
  • Health and financial wellness
  • Education and workforce development

“We know people are struggling right now because they have lost jobs or had hours reduced, and don’t know how they’ll make ends meet,” said Brett Martinez, president and CEO of Redwood Credit Union. “We hope these grants make a difference in helping our nonprofit partners who are working hard to meet a significant surge of need due to this crisis.”

In addition to the grants, RCU is honoring dozens of sponsorship commitments for fundraising events that have been cancelled due to the need for social distancing. “Nonprofit organizations rely on event proceeds to fund core programs and keep the lights on,” says Matt Martin, senior vice president of community and government relations. “We understand the impact of these cancelled events and want to do our part to make sure these organizations can continue providing vital services to our community.”

RCU is also posting frequently updated information and resources for their members and the community at redwoodcu.org/coronavirus.

About Redwood Credit Union

Founded in 1950, Redwood Credit Union is a full-service financial institution providing personal and business banking to consumers and businesses in the North Bay and San Francisco. RCU offers complete financial services including checking and savings accounts, auto and home loans, credit cards, online and mobile banking, business services, commercial and SBA lending, and more. Wealth management and investment services are available through CUSO Financial Services L.P., and through RCU Services Group (RCU’s wholly owned subsidiary), insurance and auto-purchasing services are also available. RCU has $5 billion in assets and serves more than 355,000 members with full-service branches from San Francisco to Ukiah. For more information, call 1 (800) 479-7928, visit redwoodcu.org, or follow RCU on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for news and updates.

Bank of America Supports Khan Academy’s Efforts to Keep Everyone Learning

Among the many unprecedented issues the world is facing because of COVID-19, one of the most pressing is how to ensure that hundreds of millions of students can continue to learn over the weeks and months ahead amid widespread elementary and secondary school closures.

Khan Academy ‒ an educational nonprofit with free, interactive learning materials for students and free tools for teachers and parents ‒ is uniquely positioned to play an essential role in supporting the continuation of learning at home. However, the organization needs additional resources to manage the expected strain on infrastructure and the cost burden of adding new programs and services to help tens of millions of students, parents and teachers across the country.

Bank of America has been a longtime partner of Khan Academy’s work and is committed to supporting families and communities in this time of uncertainty. Through its extensive presence in local markets around the U.S., Bank of America will be supporting Khan Academy’s crisis response and helping the nonprofit drive awareness and reach more families.

“I am inspired by how quickly Bank of America saw the opportunity to help the country and encouraged us to think big,” said Khan Academy Founder and CEO Sal Khan. “None of us could foresee a situation quite like the one we’re facing, but it is our collective duty to step up. We need to move quickly because thousands of schools are closed and the closures are likely to accelerate in the weeks ahead.”

With Bank of America’s support, Khan Academy is able to scale their new initiatives to help parents, students and teachers during school closures:

  • Detailed daily schedules for students ages 4 to 18 that parents, teachers and district administrators can use to keep students learning at home. (http://khan.co/KA-school-closure-schedule)
  • Webinars for parents and teachers to help them continue student learning at home.
  • Sal Khan personally hosts a livestream and answers questions weekdays at noon EST/9 a.m. PST on Facebook and YouTube.
  • Khan Academy is exploring ways to further support students, parents and teachers with live “office hours” and mechanisms to answer academic and logistical questions.
  • Bank of America will leverage its reach, including its local community partnerships across the nation, to help ensure that all American households know about the free educational resources that are available to them on Khan Academy.

“The sudden school closures create an immediate need for millions of families who are struggling to navigate this crisis,” said Anne Finucane, vice chairman at Bank of America. “Sal Khan and the team at Khan Academy have a bold vision for how to help close the education gap and keep advancing learning through this period of disruption, and they have the track record to get it done.”

Khan Academy offers free interactive practice exercises and instruction that covers many core academic subjects from pre-K through the early years of college, including math, science, arts, and humanities. More than 18 million learners use Khan Academy exercises, quizzes, and instructional videos every month. Khan Academy has been translated into more than 40 languages, and the entire learning system and all instructional materials are available in Spanish.

Khan noted that running highly personalized interactive software for hundreds of millions of students who are not in school is resource intensive for a small nonprofit. “Our team is ready but we can’t do it alone,” he said. “This crisis will accelerate the number of students we need to support and the types of programs we need to put in place. We’re deeply grateful for Bank of America’s support.”

“In times like these, the private sector has a responsibility to help bring this type of innovation to scale quickly,” Finucane added. “At Bank of America, this is how we operate ‒ serving our clients and communities, taking care of our teammates and making progress on society’s biggest issues. This support is only one of the many ways we are working with nonprofit partners in markets around the world to address issues related to this humanitarian crisis.”

###

Reporters May Contact:
Khan Academy, press@khanacademy.org, (650) 429-8154

Bank of America, vanessa.a.cook@bofa.com, (704) 604-9705

About Khan Academy
Khan Academy is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with the mission of providing a free, world-class education for anyone, anywhere. Khan Academy’s platform is free for students, teachers and parents, and includes thousands of interactive exercises, videos and articles that cover a range of K–12 subjects, as well as the early years of college. We also offer Khan Academy Kids, an award-winning free app for children age two to seven. Our learning system is mastery based, which allows students to master key concepts at a pace that’s right for them before moving on to more challenging content. More than 18 million learners use Khan Academy every month in 190 countries and more than 40 languages. As a nonprofit, Khan Academy relies on donations from foundations, corporations and individuals around the world, as well as earned revenue. For more information, visit khanacademy.org, or join us on FacebookTwitter or Instagram.

About Bank of America
At Bank of America, we’re guided by a common purpose to help make financial lives better, through the power of every connection. We’re delivering on this through responsible growth with a focus on our environmental, social and governance (ESG) leadership. ESG is embedded across our eight lines of business and reflects how we help fuel the global economy, build trust and credibility, and represent a company that people want to work for, invest in and do business with. It’s demonstrated in the inclusive and supportive workplace we create for our employees, the responsible products and services we offer our clients, and the impact we make around the world in helping local economies thrive. An important part of this work is forming strong partnerships with nonprofits and advocacy groups, such as community, consumer and environmental organizations, to bring together our collective networks and expertise to achieve greater impact. Learn more at about.bankofamerica.com, and connect with us on Twitter (@BofA_News).

Bank of America Announces Additional Support for Consumer and Small Business Clients Experiencing Hardship From the Impact of the Coronavirus

Bank of America today announced additional support for its 66 million Consumer and Small Business clients in response to the unprecedented challenges of the coronavirus. The company is offering assistance to clients through its Client Assistance Program and continuing to provide access to the important financial services on which these clients rely.

“Our clients rely on us every day and for every aspect of their financial lives,” said Dean Athanasia, president of Consumer and Small Business at Bank of America. “We’re going to continue to provide convenient access to the important services they count on, and the additional assistance and support they need during this difficult period. Our priorities are taking care of our team and each other, and continuing to fulfill our fundamental role serving our clients.”

Working on a case-by-case basis, as we’ve done in many other situations including the government shutdown and natural disasters, Bank of America’s additional assistance for clients impacted by the coronavirus includes:

  • Consumer and Small Business deposit accounts: clients can request refunds including overdraft fees, non-sufficient funds fees, and monthly maintenance fees.
  • Consumer and Small Business credit cards: clients can request to defer payments, refunds on late fees.
  • Small business loans: clients can request to defer payments, refunds on late fees.
  • Auto loans: clients can request to defer payments, with payments added to the end of the loan.
  • Mortgages and home equity: clients can request to defer payments, with payments added to the end of the loan.
  • In all of these instances, there will be no negative credit bureau reporting for up-to-date clients.
  • We have also paused foreclosure sales, evictions and repossessions.

All Bank of America teammates who work with clients are trained to identify and assist impacted clients and provide the right support to address their unique needs. Clients facing financial hardships related to the coronavirus are encouraged to visit the company’s Client Resources website and contact the client services team for assistance.

Bank of America understands the critical role financial services plays in the daily lives of individuals and small businesses, and is dedicated to maintaining reliable access to all of our capabilities, whether clients choose to manage their finances digitally, over the phone or in person.

  • Bank of America’s full range of banking solutions is also available through Online Banking and the company’s mobile app. These channels offer convenient and secure ways to check account status, pay bills, transfer/send money and deposit checks at any time and from almost anywhere. Within the mobile app, Erica, the company’s virtual financial assistant, is there to help.
  • All of Bank of America’s 4,300 financial centers across the country have an external ATM with 24-hour access; approximately 3,000 (70 percent) have drive-up ATMs; and approximately 400 have drive-up client service representatives available to serve clients. Clients can use Bank of America’s interactive Financial Center and ATM Locator to sort and filter nearby financial centers to match their needs – whether that’s the closest drive-up ATM or financial centers open on Saturdays. Clients can also schedule an appointment to connect in person with one of our specialists.
  • For clients who prefer or need to visit a financial center, the company is taking proactive steps to protect clients and teammates, including enhanced cleaning procedures throughout each day and other measures to limit the risk of exposure, based on recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

Bank of America

Bank of America is one of the world’s leading financial institutions, serving individual consumers, small and middle-market businesses and large corporations with a full range of banking, investing, asset management and other financial and risk management products and services. The company provides unmatched convenience in the United States, serving approximately 66 million consumer and small business clients with approximately 4,300 retail financial centers, including approximately 2,800 lending centers, 2,600 financial centers with a Consumer Investment Financial Solutions Advisor and 2,000 business centers; approximately 16,800 ATMs; and award-winning digital banking with approximately 38 million active users, including approximately 29 million mobile users. Bank of America is a global leader in wealth management, corporate and investment banking and trading across a broad range of asset classes, serving corporations, governments, institutions and individuals around the world. Bank of America offers industry-leading support to approximately 3 million small business owners through a suite of innovative, easy-to-use online products and services. The company serves clients through operations across the United States, its territories and approximately 35 countries. Bank of America Corporation stock (NYSE: BAC) is listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

Bank of America Announces Additional Support for Consumer and Small Business Clients Experiencing Hardship From the Impact of the Coronavirus

Bank of America today announced additional support for its 66 million Consumer and Small Business clients in response to the unprecedented challenges of the coronavirus. The company is offering assistance to clients through its Client Assistance Program and continuing to provide access to the important financial services on which these clients rely.

“Our clients rely on us every day and for every aspect of their financial lives,” said Dean Athanasia, president of Consumer and Small Business at Bank of America. “We’re going to continue to provide convenient access to the important services they count on, and the additional assistance and support they need during this difficult period. Our priorities are taking care of our team and each other, and continuing to fulfill our fundamental role serving our clients.”

Working on a case-by-case basis, as we’ve done in many other situations including the government shutdown and natural disasters, Bank of America’s additional assistance for clients impacted by the coronavirus includes:

  • Consumer and Small Business deposit accounts: clients can request refunds including overdraft fees, non-sufficient funds fees, and monthly maintenance fees.
  • Consumer and Small Business credit cards: clients can request to defer payments, refunds on late fees.
  • Small business loans: clients can request to defer payments, refunds on late fees.
  • Auto loans: clients can request to defer payments, with payments added to the end of the loan.
  • Mortgages and home equity: clients can request to defer payments, with payments added to the end of the loan.
  • In all of these instances, there will be no negative credit bureau reporting for up-to-date clients.
  • We have also paused foreclosure sales, evictions and repossessions.

All Bank of America teammates who work with clients are trained to identify and assist impacted clients and provide the right support to address their unique needs. Clients facing financial hardships related to the coronavirus are encouraged to visit the company’s Client Resources website and contact the client services team for assistance.

Bank of America understands the critical role financial services plays in the daily lives of individuals and small businesses, and is dedicated to maintaining reliable access to all of our capabilities, whether clients choose to manage their finances digitally, over the phone or in person.

  • Bank of America’s full range of banking solutions is also available through Online Banking and the company’s mobile app. These channels offer convenient and secure ways to check account status, pay bills, transfer/send money and deposit checks at any time and from almost anywhere. Within the mobile app, Erica, the company’s virtual financial assistant, is there to help.
  • All of Bank of America’s 4,300 financial centers across the country have an external ATM with 24-hour access; approximately 3,000 (70 percent) have drive-up ATMs; and approximately 400 have drive-up client service representatives available to serve clients. Clients can use Bank of America’s interactive Financial Center and ATM Locator to sort and filter nearby financial centers to match their needs – whether that’s the closest drive-up ATM or financial centers open on Saturdays. Clients can also schedule an appointment to connect in person with one of our specialists.
  • For clients who prefer or need to visit a financial center, the company is taking proactive steps to protect clients and teammates, including enhanced cleaning procedures throughout each day and other measures to limit the risk of exposure, based on recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

Bank of America

Bank of America is one of the world’s leading financial institutions, serving individual consumers, small and middle-market businesses and large corporations with a full range of banking, investing, asset management and other financial and risk management products and services. The company provides unmatched convenience in the United States, serving approximately 66 million consumer and small business clients with approximately 4,300 retail financial centers, including approximately 2,800 lending centers, 2,600 financial centers with a Consumer Investment Financial Solutions Advisor and 2,000 business centers; approximately 16,800 ATMs; and award-winning digital banking with approximately 38 million active users, including approximately 29 million mobile users. Bank of America is a global leader in wealth management, corporate and investment banking and trading across a broad range of asset classes, serving corporations, governments, institutions and individuals around the world. Bank of America offers industry-leading support to approximately 3 million small business owners through a suite of innovative, easy-to-use online products and services. The company serves clients through operations across the United States, its territories and approximately 35 countries. Bank of America Corporation stock (NYSE: BAC) is listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

For more Bank of America news, including dividend announcements and other important information, visit the Bank of America newsroom and register for news email alerts.

Buck Institute Update On COVID-19

Buck Institute update on COVID-19

In full support of Bay Area efforts to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, the Buck Institute is closed through April 7, 2020.  Essential scientific activity is being maintained, including work interrogating the potential mechanism of action of the coronavirus. The Buck’s leadership has been in communication with county, state and federal officials and has offered the Institute’s resources and scientific and technological expertise to aid in efforts against the spread of the pandemic.

Our researchers are particularly attuned to the threat the virus poses to our aging population. Unfortunately, our immune systems become less robust with age, which puts older adults at particularly high risk for COVID-19.

Here is some practical science-based advice for older adults as we deal with this public health crisis:

Minimize physical contact with other people, including (unfortunately!) family – especially young family members. Children and young adults are more likely to be asymptomatic or minimally-affected carriers of the virus. This is not the time to volunteer to help with childcare.

Leave the house only if you have no alternative to get the things you need. Don’t have friends or family over. If you need to go shopping, go early in the morning; many places are starting to have “senior hour” as soon as they open. Leave stores if there is a crowd.

Many older adults rely on caregivers who have their own families which may include young children. At a minimum, make sure all caregivers know not to come to “work” (the older adult’s home) if they are sick or if they have had contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.

Wash your hands often, especially after re-entering the house/car or handling anything that was just handled by others. That includes gas pumps, door handles, packages, ATM machines, and the like. Soap and water work great, better than hand sanitizer. There are many videos online that offer advice on how to properly wash your hands.

Cancel any non-essential doctor’s appointments or procedures. If you’re not sure what is essential, talk to your doctor by phone or video chat. Certainly any routine “every 3 months”, “every year”, or “every 10 years” exam should absolutely be postponed. If at all possible do doctor’s visits by phone or video chat. Many practices are rapidly ramping this up, and the federal government is making it easier to do so.

Learn how to have medicine delivered so you don’t have to pick them up. Learn how to use a grocery delivery service, and food delivery services. Ask you family to teach you (via video chat!). Don’t hesitate to ask family or friends to help with essential errands. Everyone wants to pitch in, and everyone has extra time now.

Try to keep a month’s extra supply of essential medications and medical supplies on hand.

Stay social! The new trend on twitter is #PhysicalDistanceNotSocialDistance. Call your friends, call your family. Learn how to video chat. Talk to people through the door or over the backyard fence. Just because you need to minimize physical exposure to people doesn’t mean you have to be isolated!

Stay active! This is so, so, so important. Develop an exercise regimen you can do at home. If you live in a less crowded area, keep going for walks, just keep a 6+ foot distance from others.

Eat well! Use food delivery services and friends/neighbors to keep getting fresh food. Don’t eat too much salty/unhealthy food. Seniors are often at risk of malnutrition. Try to keep on eating fresh and healthy.

Stay productive! Many vital tasks can be done at home. Ask your local hospital or non-profit if they need help with calling people, organizing, etc. Organize your group of friends and neighbors to help each other while minimizing physical contact.

If you haven’t already, compete an advanced directive and health care proxy. This is not fatalistic – it’s necessary anyway, and not something you want to do while you’re sick.

If you do feel sick or get a fever (even mild), call the doctor. Call first, don’t go in person. If you having trouble breathing, do not hesitate to call 911. In other words, get advice early, stay away from the hospital unless necessary, but if necessary,  go there quickly.

https://www.buckinstitute.org/covid-19-information/

Bank of America Commits $100 Million in Support of Communities Around the World Impacted by Coronavirus Pandemic

Bank of America today announced it is committing $100 million to support local communities in need as the world faces unprecedented challenges from the coronavirus. The funds will help increase medical response capacity, address food insecurity, increase access to learning as a result of school closures, and provide support to the world’s most vulnerable populations.

“We must all work together as one global community – public and private sectors, as well as individuals – to address this healthcare and humanitarian crisis,” said Brian Moynihan, chairman and CEO of Bank of America. “As the needs in our local communities continue to rapidly escalate, we must take swift action to provide resources where there are gaps, and help local communities protect their most vulnerable populations.”

The majority of Bank of America’s funds will be distributed on the ground in local markets, focused on both immediate needs facing local communities and providing ongoing support in the months ahead. The company will also increase funding to several national and global organizations that are on the front lines, tackling the most pressing issues in local communities.

“Building on the efforts of local, state and international governments, we are focusing our resources on the number one priority – looking after people,” added Moynihan.

Bank of America
At Bank of America, we’re guided by a common purpose to help make financial lives better, through the power of every connection. We’re delivering on this through responsible growth with a focus on our environmental, social and governance (ESG) leadership. ESG is embedded across our eight lines of business and reflects how we help fuel the global economy, build trust and credibility, and represent a company that people want to work for, invest in and do business with. It’s demonstrated in the inclusive and supportive workplace we create for our employees, the responsible products and services we offer our clients, and the impact we make around the world in helping local economies thrive. An important part of this work is forming strong partnerships with nonprofits and advocacy groups, such as community, consumer and environmental organizations, to bring together our collective networks and expertise to achieve greater impact. Learn more at about.bankofamerica.com, and connect with us on Twitter (@BofA_News).

Bank of America has delivered more than $2 billion in philanthropic investments since 2009, with approximately $250 million in 2019 alone. In April 2019, the company announced a $5 billion Bank of America Community Homeownership Commitment™ to benefit low- and moderate-income homebuyers and communities across the U.S. over the next five years. Also in 2019, Bank of America Community Development Banking provided a record $4.88 billion in loans, tax credit equity investments and other real estate development solutions. Between 2005 and 2019, Bank of America financed 202,800 affordable housing units. To meet the unique needs of its 12 million small business owners, the company provides advice, solutions and dedicated support. Bank of America maintained its position as the nation’s top small business lender at the end of 2019, with $38.9 billion in total outstanding small business loan balances (defined as business loans in original amounts of $1 million and under), up 7% year over year.

For more Bank of America news, including dividend announcements and other important information, visit the Bank of America newsroom and register for news email alerts.

www.bankofamerica.com

Redwood Credit Union Ranks 4th in Nation

Redwood Credit Union (RCU) has recently been ranked the 4th healthiest credit union in the United States (out of approximately 5,400 credit unions), according to Glatt Consulting’s Credit Union Industry HealthScore, which measures credit union strength and growth.

Glatt Consulting, an independent firm that studies the financial health of credit unions, uses 17 performance metrics to calculate its Credit Union Industry HealthScore, including financial and operational strength and growth, asset quality, asset and liability management, and productivity. With $5 billion in assets and more than 355,000 members, RCU is the only credit union to have been ranked in the top five in each of the last six years.

“Financial strength and stability are key factors for any financial institution. As a credit union, our continued strength and growth allow us to support members and the community in both good and challenging times,” says Brett Martinez, President & CEO.

In addition to receiving the Glatt ranking, RCU has, for the sixth year running, been awarded the highest, 5-star rating for financial strength from Bauer Financial, an independent organization that ranks the financial strength of both banks and credit unions.

About Redwood Credit Union

Founded in 1950, Redwood Credit Union is a full-service financial institution providing personal and business banking to consumers and businesses in the North Bay and San Francisco. RCU offers complete financial services including checking and savings accounts, auto and home loans, credit cards, online and mobile banking, business services, commercial and SBA lending, and more. Wealth management and investment services are available through CUSO Financial Services L.P., and through RCU Services Group (RCU’s wholly owned subsidiary), insurance and auto-purchasing services are also available. RCU has $5 billion in assets and serves more than 355,000 members with full-service branches from San Francisco to Ukiah. For more information, call 1 (800) 479-7928, visit redwoodcu.org, or follow RCU on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for news and updates.

 

Comcast Announces Comprehensive COVID-19 Response to Help Keep Americans Connected to the Internet

On the heels of offering new, low-income Internet Essentials customers two months of free internet and raising the speed of that program’s service to 25/3 Mbps, Comcast today announced additional steps to help ensure people stay connected to the internet as more schools suspend classes and companies encourage employees to work from home due to the Coronavirus.

“During this extraordinary time, it is vital that as many Americans as possible stay connected to the internet – for education, work, and personal health reasons,” said Dave Watson, Comcast Cable Chief Executive Officer. “Our employees also live and work in virtually every community we serve, and we all share the same belief that it’s our Company’s responsibility to step up and help out.”

Comcast is taking steps to implement the following new policies for the next 60 days, and other important initiatives:

  • Xfinity WiFi Free For Everyone: Xfinity WiFi hotspots across the country will be available to anyone who needs them for free – including non-Xfinity Internet subscribers. For a map of Xfinity WiFi hotspots, visit www.xfinity.com/wifi. Once at a hotspot, consumers should select the “xfinitywifi” network name in the list of available hotspots, and then launch a browser.
  • Pausing Our Data Plan: With so many people working and educating from home, we want our customers to access the internet without thinking about data plans.  While the vast majority of our customers do not come close to using 1TB of data in a month, we are pausing our data plans for 60 days giving all customers Unlimited data for no additional charge.
  • No Disconnects or Late Fees: We will not disconnect a customer’s internet service or assess late fees if they contact us and let us know that they can’t pay their bills during this period. Our care teams will be available to offer flexible payment options and can help find other solutions.
  • Internet Essentials Free to New Customers: As announced yesterday, it’s even easier for low-income families who live in a Comcast service area to sign-up for Internet Essentials, the nation’s largest and most comprehensive broadband adoption program. New customers will receive 60 days of complimentary Internet Essentials service, which is normally available to all qualified low-income households for $9.95/month. Additionally, for all new and existing Internet Essentials customers, the speed of the program’s Internet service was increased to 25 Mbps downstream and 3 Mbps upstream. That increase will go into effect for no additional fee and it will become the new base speed for the program going forward.
  • News, Information and Educational Content on X1 and Flex: For those with school-age students at home, we’ve created new educational collections for all grade levels in partnership with Common Sense Media.  Just say “education” into your X1 or Flex voice remote. To help keep customers informed, we also have created a collection of the most current news and information on Coronavirus.  Just say “Coronavirus” into your X1 or Flex voice remote.
  • 24×7 Network Monitoring: Underpinning all of these efforts, Comcast’s technology and engineering teams will continue to work tirelessly to support our network operations. We engineer our network capacity to handle spikes and shifts in usage patterns, and continuously test, monitor and enhance our systems and network to ensure they are ready to support customer usage. Our engineers and technicians staff our network operations centers 24/7 to ensure network performance and reliability. We are monitoring network usage and watching the load on the network both nationally and locally, and to date it is performing well.

For more information and updates from Comcast related to Coronavirus, visit:

http://www.comcastcorporation.com/COVID-19/

About Comcast

Comcast Corporation (Nasdaq: CMCSA) is a global media and technology company with three primary businesses: Comcast Cable, NBCUniversal, and Sky. Comcast Cable is one of the United States’ largest high-speed internet, video, and phone providers to residential customers under the Xfinity brand, and also provides these services to businesses. It also provides wireless and security and automation services to residential customers under the Xfinity brand. NBCUniversal is global and operates news, entertainment and sports cable networks, the NBC and Telemundo broadcast networks, television production operations, television station groups, Universal Pictures, and Universal Parks and Resorts. Sky is one of Europe’s leading media and entertainment companies, connecting customers to a broad range of video content through its pay television services. It also provides communications services, including residential high-speed internet, phone, and wireless services. Sky operates the Sky News broadcast network and sports and entertainment networks, produces original content, and has exclusive content rights. Visit www.comcastcorporation.com for more information.