By Rosalie Tirella
I just got a call from a Green Island pal. The bad news: Bank of America is closing their Millbury Street (read: inner-city) branch soon.
This is killer (as in horrific) news! There are so few banks who want to make a commitment to the inner city, so few banks who want to come into poor neighborhoods and do business. They don’t see the profit in setting up shop in a place where, for the most part, they will be cashing social security checks/DET checks for poor people in the beginning of each month. Plus, it’s a bit more dangerous (robberies, etc).
STILL the residents of Green Island have always prided themselves on being able to retain a legit BANK – a real honest to goodness bank and not some check-cashing/loan sharking business, which is what you usually find in the inner-city/poorer neighborhoods. When I was a little girl growing up in Green Island my mom did her banking at the same spot – it was Mechanics Bank then. The people were always so nice and polite to her – and to us kids.
When there was a gap years later, my mom had to cash a check at Golemo’s just down the street (on Millbury St.) – a son of a bitch loan sharker/exploiter of poor people – who cheated hundreds of people of hundreds of thousands of dollars and who was at the end of a police search. He flew the coop, ended up on the lam and was finally – just recently after many years – arrested. I remember Golemo, the evil pig, cashed my mom’s check for her – and took a 1/4 of her money (from the check). I saw this and somehow you never ever forget something like this as a kid. The obvious evil – the out and out wrong doing. Taking my mom’s money – stealing it.
We don’t want this to happen again in Green Island! It happens in Main South, it happens in Piedmont and it happens in downtown – right across the street from the Hanover Theatre. The pawn shop across from the Hanover does the exact same thing – cashes the checks of poor people who have no bank accounts (day laborers, people on the brink of homelessness) – and charges them exhorbitant fees. Which ultimately pushes poor people into actual homelessness – or some other tragedy. Pigs. Every check cashing joint – pigs. Every one of them.
Please, Bank of America, STAY on Millbury Street! Please don’t abandon Green Island. All the folks of Green Island depend on you to do their banking business – in a fair, professional manner! Don’t feed us to to the sharks – the loan sharks …