Self-Help Credit Union Report: Racial Disparities in Marijuana Enforcement Undercut Durham Progress Nov 19, 2015 Media Contact: David Beck, Self Help, email@example.com, 919-956-4495 Durham, NC - A new report issued by community development lender Self-Help Credit Union examining enforcement of minor marijuana offenses in Durham has found that wide racial disparities persist. Over 80% of people charged for misdemeanor marijuana offenses in Durham are African American, while whites represent only a small fraction of charges. A disproportionate share of these charges involve young African-American men, often closing or limiting their opportunities for higher education, affordable housing and decent employment. “The racial disparities in enforcement simply don’t match usage rates of marijuana, which is comparable between African Americans and whites,” said Randy Chambers, President of Self-Help Credit Union. “Not only is this fundamentally unfair, this type of enforcement comes at a high price. While we and many other organizations and the city itself are investing in Durham’s lower-income neighborhoods, an intense focus on misdemeanors in these same areas undermines our work and blocks too many young people from pursuing a better future.” The report, “Dealing with Marijuana Misdemeanors in Durham,” is based on publicly available data covering the six-month period from February through August 2015. In addition to looking at charges by race, the report also maps the home addresses of people who were charged with marijuana misdemeanors. The report finds that some of the neighborhoods most affected by enforcement actions are the same communities where Self-Help and others are investing as part of a City of Durham anti-poverty program. Significantly, the analysis shows that only 12% of misdemeanor marijuana charges are directly attributable to a citizen complaint. The majority of charges stem from actions initiated by the Durham Police Department, with a vehicle stop being the most common triggering event. Among other findings in the report: African Americans age 25 and under represent about 15% of Durham’s population, yet this group represents 46% of misdemeanor marijuana charges. Even after recent reforms, disparate enforcement has persisted, and Durham’s record is out of line with other progressive cities. For example, Durham’s charge rate today for low-level marijuana charges is three times higher than Seattle’s back in 2002. A simple misdemeanor conviction costs families up to $374 in court fees and fines. The costs in lost opportunities for education and employment are much higher, and grossly disproportionate to the infractions. Self-Help endorses the FADE Coalition’s recommendations that the Durham City Council adopt a policy that makes misdemeanor marijuana violations the lowest priority for Durham law enforcement—a policy that has already been implemented in at least eleven other cities across the nation. The report, which includes specific recommendations for implementing and enforcing this policy, was sent to Durham City Council members earlier this week and is available at: https://www.self-help.org/updates/racial-disparities-on-marijuana-misdemeanors ### 2019 News Releases 12/17/19 - Self-Help Credit Union Announces Merger with Turbine Federal Credit Union 11/04/19 - Free 'Know Your Rights' Event for People with Disabilities 10/14/19 - Self-Help Federal, Fresno, Grand Reopening 10/11/19 - Self-Help Credit Union is coming to Raleigh 09/19/19 - Affordable housing loan fund launches in Durham 08/13/19 - Trump Administration’s New “Public Charge” Rule Could Harm Low-Income Immigrants 07/29/19 - Self-Help Credit Union Announces 2019 Scholarship Winners 07/15/19 - Grand Opening Celebration Self-Help Credit Union, Charlotte 04/01/19 - Self-Help Offers Scholarships for Students Who Give Back To Our Community 03/27/19 - Imagine: the future of homegrown entrepreneurship 03/25/19 - March 30: Grand Opening, Angier Business and Children’s Center 02/11/19 - Self-Help Apopka Grand Opening Continues Legacy of Community Trust 02/11/19 - Free Disability Rights, Assistive Technology Event in Asheville, Feb 27 2/11/19 - Free Disability Rights, Assistive Technology Event in Morganton, Feb 26 01/31/19 - Black History, Black Entrepreneurship: Couple Launches Independent Pharmacy in Historic East Durham 01/24/19 - National Baptist Convention Embarks on National Campaign 01/14/19 - Self-Help Offers Hardship Loans to Furloughed Federal Employees 2018 News Releases 12/13/18 - New Video Explores Legacy of Bakersfield Credit Union First Founded by Cesar Chavez 09/25/18 - CommunityWorks Federal Credit Union Joins Self-Help To Benefit Members, CommunityTo Benefit Members, Community 08/24/18 - The MacArthur Foundation invests in Seaway, a division of Self-Help Federal Credit Union 08/07/18 - Newell Named President of Seaway, a Division of Self-Help Federal Credit Union 05/23/18 - Self-Help Credit Union, Mangum Street Grand Rededication (Durham) 2017 News Releases 09/19/17 - Self-Help Announces Third Annual "Bringing It Home" Conference in Asheville, NC 06/29/17 - In Senate Committee Hearing, CRL Lays Out Consumer Plan For GSE, Housing Finance Reform 06/13/17 - Florida’s Jax Metro Credit Union Merges with Self-Help Credit Union effective June 1 03/13/17 - Self-Help to Acquire Selected Branches of Former Seaway Bank in Chicago 2016 News Releases 09/13/16 - Family Federal Credit Union in Wilmington, CA Merges with Self-Help Federal Credit Union 07/13/16 - Self-Help Credit Union Announces 2016 Education Scholarships Winners 06/27/16 - Self-Help Announces DTC-eligible Term Certificates for SRI Investors 04/19/16 - Revolution Mill Media Event on Major New Tenant Thursday April 21, 8.30 am 04/14/16 - Self-Help Credit Union Announces 2016 Community Education Scholarships 04/13/16 - Self-Help Credit Union and Greater Piedmont Credit Union Announce Merger 03/10/16 - Lease Signing Ceremony Tuesday, 3pm March 14 between Renaissance Community Co-op and Self-Help 02/23/16 - Study: Self-Help “Fresh Start” Product Improves Credit Scores 02/03/16 - Florida’s Community Trust Federal Credit Union Merges with Self-Help Federal Credit Union 2015 News Releases 12/02/15 - CDFIs Craft3, Self-Help Complete Second On-Bill Repayment (OBR) Loan Sale 11/19/15 - Self-Help Credit Union Report: Racial Disparities in Marijuana Enforcement Undercut Durham Progress 11/17/15 - Grand Opening Thursday for Fresno’s Self-Help Federal Credit Union Branch 10/14/15 - Revolution Mill Hosting Media Tour Tuesday, October 20 at 10 am 10/01/15 - Self-Help’s Choice Community Credit Union Adopting Self-Help Credit Union Name 09/15/15 - National Cooperative Bank, Self-Help Federal Credit Union Team Up to Finance Los Angeles’ With Love Market & Café 09/14/15 - Self-Help Credit Union Hosts Brevard Branch Open House 08/24/15 - Self-Help Closes $4.6 Million Loan to Minneapolis’ Eastside Food Co-Op 08/17/15 - Statement on Julian Bond’s Passing by Self-Help CEO Martin Eakes 08/06/15 - Self-Help Credit Union “Adopt a Backpack” Drive Up and Running 07/28/15 - Self-Help Ventures Fund Ramps Up Construction On 45-Acre Revolution Mill SIte 07/14/15 - Self-Help Ventures Fund Ramps Up Construction on 45-Acre Revolution Mill Site 07/09/15 - Self-Help Credit Union Announces Education Scholarships Winners 06/11/15 - Renaissance Shops Groundbreaking Tuesday, June 16 at 10:30 am 04/09/15 - Durham Co-op Market Ribbon Cutting at 2pm Saturday 03/17/15 - Grocers on Wheels, Self-Help Credit Union Borrower, in Durham Today! 02/13/15 - Self-Help Credit Union Hosting New Economy Conference on March 18th About Self-Help Self-Help is a leading national community development financial institution headquartered in Durham, NC. Since 1980, Self-Help has provided over $8.5 billion in financing to 150,000 families, individuals and businesses. It helps drive economic development and strengthen communities by providing responsible financial services; lending to individuals, small businesses and nonprofits; developing real estate; and promoting fair financial practices across the nation. Through its credit union network, Self-Help serves over 150,000 people in California, Florida, Illinois, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, and Wisconsin. The nonprofit Center for Community Self-Help is the umbrella organization for the Self-Help family of nonprofit organizations, which includes Self-Help Credit Union, Self-Help Federal Credit Union, Self-Help Ventures Fund and the Center for Responsible Lending.