For Immediate Release: January 25, 2021

Contact: Louie Tan Vital, 425-330-5787,; Cabot Petoia, 828-899-9239, 

NATIONWIDE – Grassroots organizations released the following statement in support of Professor Mehrsa Baradaran for Comptroller of the Currency:

A decade of regulatory retreat and failure has allowed economic inequality to explode to new highs during the pandemic.  It’s time for policy and regulatory decisions that benefit the public, not the super-rich. Professor Baradaran understands how technical regulatory decisions are actually decisions that either perpetuate and extend the racial wealth gap or work to close it. 

“The last four years in particular have made it crystal clear that insiders don’t make good regulators,” said Charles Khan of the Center for Popular Democracy. “Mehrsa’s extensive research and resume show she’s ready to take on the financial industry and put the public interest first.”

“Professor Baradaran’s scholarship on banks’ obligations to the public and her analysis of the tensions between human and market well-being demonstrate a belief that banks need to be part of the solution to the climate crisis and environmental racism, not part of the problem,” said David Arkush, director of Public Citizen’s Climate Program. “That is the kind of leadership and conviction we need at the OCC.” 

“Mehrsa’s work has documented the long history of racial exclusion in banking,” said Vasudha Desikan of the Action Center on Race and the Economy. “From pushing for reforms of the Community Reinvestment Act to regulation of FinTech, she has publicly challenged policy choices that reinforce these inequalities and offered better solutions for a more equitable system.”

“Under the guise of ‘FinTech,’ firms seek to offer banking services without being regulated as banks. Trump’s Acting Comptroller of the Currency supported them, increasing the potential for shadow marketplaces, regulatory arbitrage, and systemic risk,” said Maria Langholz of Demand Progress. “We need a strong break from this deregulatory, FinTech-first attitude, not another insider to continue in the tradition of Trump’s former Acting Comptroller.” 

“U.S. banks are among the world’s biggest drivers of the climate crisis. Addressing that will be crucial for this administration’s climate agenda, and it will require forward-thinking, justice-centered leadership at the OCC. Professor Baradaran’s track record shows what a strong pick she would be for comptroller,” said Jason Opeña Disterhoft of Rainforest Action Network.


The Action Center on Race and the Economy (ACRE) is a campaign hub for organizations working at the intersection of racial justice and corporate accountability. 

The Center for Popular Democracy works to create equity, opportunity and a dynamic democracy in partnership with high-impact base-building organizations, organizing alliances, and progressive unions. CPD strengthens our collective capacity to envision and win an innovative pro-worker, pro-immigrant, racial and economic justice agenda.

Demand Progress works to achieve progressive policy changes for ordinary people by organizing deep grassroots campaigns, leading smart lobbying initiatives and leveraging its staff’s policy expertise.

Public Citizen is a national, nonprofit consumer advocacy organization founded in 1971 to represent consumer interests in Congress, the executive branch and the courts.

Rainforest Action Network preserves forests, protects the climate and upholds human rights by challenging corporate power and systemic injustice through frontline partnerships and strategic campaigns.

The Revolving Door Project (RDP), a project of the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR), scrutinizes executive branch appointees to ensure they use their office to serve the broad public interest, rather than to entrench corporate power or seek personal advancement.