Paving the Way: Nelson Mitchell

Paving the Way: Nelson Mitchell



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Published May 12. 2021 10:30PM

By AMY FORLITI, Associated Press

MINNEAPOLIS — A Minnesota judge has ruled that there were aggravating factors in the death of George Floyd, paving the way for the possibility of a longer sentence for Derek Chauvin, according to an order made public Wednesday.

In his ruling dated Tuesday, Judge Peter Cahill found Chauvin abused his authority as a police officer when he restrained Floyd last year and that he treated Floyd with particular cruelty. He also cited the presence of children and the fact Chauvin was part of a group with at least three other people.

Cahill said Chauvin and two other officers held Floyd handcuffed, in a prone position on the street for an “inordinate amount of time” and that Chauvin knew the restraint was dangerous.

“The prolonged use of this technique was particularly egregious in that George Floyd made it clear he was unable to breathe and expressed the view that he was dying as a result of the officers’ restraint,” Cahill wrote.

Even with the aggravating factors, legal experts have said Chauvin, 45, is unlikely to get more than 30 years when he is sentenced June 25.

Ben Crump and the team of attorneys representing Floyd's family applauded the ruling, saying in a statement that it “offers hope that we will see real change in the relationship between police and people of color by holding officers properly accountable for egregious behavior and for failing to honor the sanctity of all lives.”

Chauvin, who is white, was convicted in April of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter for pressing his knee against Floyd’s neck for about 9 [1/2] minutes as the Black man said he couldn’t breathe and went motionless. Floyd's death, captured on widely seen bystander video, set off demonstrations around the United States and beyond as protesters demanded changes in policing.

Even though Chauvin was found guilty of three counts, under Minnesota statutes he’ll only be sentenced on the most serious one — second-degree murder. Under Minnesota sentencing guidelines, he would have faced a presumptive sentence of 12 [1/2] years on that count, and Cahill could have sentenced him to as little as 10 years and eight months or as much as 15 years and still stayed within the guideline range.

But prosecutors asked for what is known as an upward departure — arguing that Floyd was particularly vulnerable with his hands cuffed behind his back as he was face-down on the ground. They also said Chauvin treated Floyd with particular cruelty, saying Chauvin inflicted gratuitous pain and caused psychological distress to Floyd and to bystanders. They also said Chauvin abused his position of authority as a police officer, committed his crime as part of a group of three or more people, and that he pinned Floyd down in the presence of children — including a 9-year-old girl who testified at trial that watching the restraint made her “sad and kind of mad.”

Cahill agreed with all but one of the prosecutors’ arguments. He said prosecutors did not prove that Floyd was particularly vulnerable, noting that even though he was handcuffed, he was able to struggle with officers who were trying to put him in a squad car.

Cahill said one of the other officers twice checked Floyd’s pulse and told Chauvin he detected none, while another officer suggested rolling Floyd to his side and said he was passing out. Cahill said these officers let Chauvin know that asphyxia was actually happening — yet Chauvin held his position. Cahill said when it became clear to bystanders that Floyd was in distress and stopped breathing, Chauvin continued to abuse his position of authority by not rendering aid.

In finding that Chauvin treated Floyd with particular cruelty, Cahill wrote: “The slow death of George Floyd occurring over approximately six minutes of his positional asphyxia was particularly cruel in that Mr. Floyd was begging for his life and obviously terrified by the knowledge that he was likely to die but during which the Defendant objectively remained indifferent to Mr. Floyd’s pleas.”

With Tuesday's ruling, Cahill has given himself permission to sentence Chauvin above the guideline range, though he doesn't have to, said Mark Osler, professor at the University of St. Thomas School of Law. He said attorneys for both sides will argue whether an upward departure is appropriate and how long the sentence should be.

A pre-sentence investigation report will also be conducted. These are usually nonpublic and include highly personal information such as family history and mental health issues, as well as details of the offense and the harm it caused others and the community.

Defense attorney Eric Nelson had argued there were no aggravating factors. He said Chauvin had legal authority to assist in Floyd's arrest and was authorized to use reasonable force. He also said Floyd was not particularly vulnerable, citing his large size and struggle with officers. Nelson argued that there was no particular cruelty, saying there is no evidence that the assault perpetrated by Chauvin involved gratuitous pain that’s not usually associated with second-degree murder.

No matter what sentence Chauvin gets, in Minnesota it’s presumed that a defendant with good behavior will serve two-thirds of the penalty in prison and the rest on supervised release, commonly known as parole.

Chauvin has also been indicted on federal charges alleging he violated Floyd's civil rights, as well as the civil rights of a 14-year-old he restrained in a 2017 arrest. If convicted on those charges, which were unsealed Friday, a federal sentence would be served at the same time as Chauvin's state sentence. The three other former officers involved in Floyd's death were also charged with federal civil rights violations they await trial in state court on aiding and abetting counts.


Orange County United Way

Since 1924, Orange County United Way has been at the forefront of health and human care services in Orange County. While the community has changed over the years, our mission to improve lives and strengthen our community has remained the same, while our model has evolved to even more effectively address key critical issues.

We continue to mobilize the caring power of Orange County—by collaborating with nonprofit agencies, corporate partners, and generous donors—to meet the greatest needs of our community. By focusing on the building blocks for a self-sufficient life—Education, Income, Health and Housing—we improve the lives of our neighbors, coworkers, and friends.

We invite you to be the change you want to see in our community. Join our movement. United We Fight. United We Win. #United4OC.


Your Town Marshfield: New businesses pave the way for entrepreneurs downtown

MARSHFIELD, Wis. (WSAW) - The downtown Marshfield area has seen a burst of new business in recent years. And while the city does of have quite a bit of history, the new shops are welcomed addition.

Bleu Plate Deli and Good Day Sunshine Records were two of the biggest additions in 2020. Uptown Coffee and the Wenzel Family Plaza opened the year before. Most of the new owners are locals. Kaelie Gomez, the executive director for Main Street Marshfield said the drive from community members to make their hometown better is what makes the downtown area so successful.

The businesses have worked to keep the history of their new spaces intact. Awnings, original wood, and furnishings can be found throughout the establishments.

“You just love being surprised. Because you have an idea of what a building is supposed to be or going to be and then someone comes in and shakes it up and shares their vision and that makes this downtown community so much fun,” she said.

Over the last year, the businesses have also worked together to create a collaborative environment that welcomes all. Gomez said that openness is already paving the way for more entrepreneurs to set up shop.

“Everything down here is an ecosystem that plays off of each other all the time and it’s a really beautiful thing when you start seeing those layers and those levels build into something that is obviously a revitalization and redevelopment,” Gomez said.

Off the Matt Yoga is set to open its doors downtown this summer on S Central Ave. Main Street Marshfield said more additions are also in the works.


Ruling paves way for longer sentence in George Floyd’s death

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A Minnesota judge has ruled that there were aggravating factors in the death of George Floyd , paving the way for the possibility of a longer sentence for Derek Chauvin, according to an order made public Wednesday.

In his ruling dated Tuesday, Judge Peter Cahill found Chauvin abused his authority as a police officer when he restrained Floyd last year and that he treated Floyd with particular cruelty. He also cited the presence of children and the fact Chauvin was part of a group with at least three other people.

Cahill said Chauvin and two other officers held Floyd handcuffed, in a prone position on the street for an “inordinate amount of time” and that Chauvin knew the restraint was dangerous.

“The prolonged use of this technique was particularly egregious in that George Floyd made it clear he was unable to breathe and expressed the view that he was dying as a result of the officers’ restraint,” Cahill wrote.

Even with the aggravating factors, legal experts have said Chauvin, 45, is unlikely to get more than 30 years when he is sentenced June 25.

Ben Crump and the team of attorneys representing Floyd’s family applauded the ruling, saying in a statement that it “offers hope that we will see real change in the relationship between police and people of color by holding officers properly accountable for egregious behavior and for failing to honor the sanctity of all lives.”

Chauvin, who is white, was convicted in April of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter for pressing his knee against Floyd’s neck for about 9 1/2 minutes as the Black man said he couldn’t breathe and went motionless. Floyd’s death, captured on widely seen bystander video, set off demonstrations around the United States and beyond as protesters demanded changes in policing .

Even though Chauvin was found guilty of three counts, under Minnesota statutes he’ll only be sentenced on the most serious one — second-degree murder. Under Minnesota sentencing guidelines, he would have faced a presumptive sentence of 12 1/2 years on that count, and Cahill could have sentenced him to as little as 10 years and eight months or as much as 15 years and still stayed within the guideline range.

But prosecutors asked for what is known as an upward departure — arguing that Floyd was particularly vulnerable with his hands cuffed behind his back as he was face-down on the ground. They also said Chauvin treated Floyd with particular cruelty, saying Chauvin inflicted gratuitous pain and caused psychological distress to Floyd and to bystanders. They also said Chauvin abused his position of authority as a police officer, committed his crime as part of a group of three or more people, and that he pinned Floyd down in the presence of children — including a 9-year-old girl who testified at trial that watching the restraint made her “sad and kind of mad.”

Cahill agreed with all but one of the prosecutors’ arguments. He said prosecutors did not prove that Floyd was particularly vulnerable, noting that even though he was handcuffed, he was able to struggle with officers who were trying to put him in a squad car.

Cahill said one of the other officers twice checked Floyd’s pulse and told Chauvin he detected none, while another officer suggested rolling Floyd to his side and said he was passing out. Cahill said these officers let Chauvin know that asphyxia was actually happening — yet Chauvin held his position. Cahill said when it became clear to bystanders that Floyd was in distress and stopped breathing, Chauvin continued to abuse his position of authority by not rendering aid.

In finding that Chauvin treated Floyd with particular cruelty, Cahill wrote: “The slow death of George Floyd occurring over approximately six minutes of his positional asphyxia was particularly cruel in that Mr. Floyd was begging for his life and obviously terrified by the knowledge that he was likely to die but during which the Defendant objectively remained indifferent to Mr. Floyd’s pleas.”

With Tuesday’s ruling, Cahill has given himself permission to sentence Chauvin above the guideline range, though he doesn’t have to, said Mark Osler, professor at the University of St. Thomas School of Law. He said attorneys for both sides will argue whether an upward departure is appropriate and how long the sentence should be.

A pre-sentence investigation report will also be conducted. These are usually nonpublic and include highly personal information such as family history and mental health issues, as well as details of the offense and the harm it caused others and the community.

Defense attorney Eric Nelson had argued there were no aggravating factors. He said Chauvin had legal authority to assist in Floyd’s arrest and was authorized to use reasonable force. He also said Floyd was not particularly vulnerable, citing his large size and struggle with officers. Nelson argued that there was no particular cruelty, saying there is no evidence that the assault perpetrated by Chauvin involved gratuitous pain that’s not usually associated with second-degree murder.

No matter what sentence Chauvin gets, in Minnesota it’s presumed that a defendant with good behavior will serve two-thirds of the penalty in prison and the rest on supervised release, commonly known as parole.

Chauvin has also been indicted on federal charges alleging he violated Floyd’s civil rights, as well as the civil rights of a 14-year-old he restrained in a 2017 arrest. If convicted on those charges, which were unsealed Friday, a federal sentence would be served at the same time as Chauvin’s state sentence. The three other former officers involved in Floyd’s death were also charged with federal civil rights violations they await trial in state court on aiding and abetting counts.

This story has been corrected to fix a typing error to note that Cahill will sentence Chauvin, not Floyd.


Paving the Way for Healing

Trauma affects every individual in unique ways, and the peacebuilding field must better understand how integral trauma healing is for bridging societal divides. On March 17th, the Mary Hoch Center for Reconciliation (MHCR) held the second event in our webinar series, Understanding the Role of Trauma in Truth, Reconciliation, and Peacebuilding Processes. The goal of this webinar was to explore how trauma impacts efforts to bridge societal divides and what it means to take a trauma-informed approach within this work.

Screenshot of the panelists and other MHCR staff.

“It is important that any process involving humans that seeks to address and transform conflict integrates knowledge of trauma and takes a trauma informed approach.” said Colette Rausch (GMU Carter School Research Professor and host of the Think Peace Podcast). Other panelists in this discussion included: Mike Niconchuk (Senior Researcher at Beyond Conflict), Dr. Corey Henderson (Research Affiliate at the Carter School’s John Mitchell Jr. Program), Dr. Cherie Bridges Patrick (Founder of Paradox Cross Cultural Consulting) and finally, Kati Sarvela (therapist and member of the Finnish Work Environment Fund for Human Workers). Annalisa Jackson (Associate Director of MHCR) served as moderator for this discussion, directing questions towards panelists which allowed them to provide insight into their relationship with trauma and how trauma correlates with their work.

Screenshot of Colette Rausch breaking down the different responses to trauma

Colette Rausch, a practitioner with over 20 years of experience in domestic and international peacebuilding and reconciliation processes, touched upon her experiences working with individuals and communities who have experienced trauma. She explained how responses to trauma are not always directly correlated to the traumatic event: “Trauma is not necessarily in the event itself. Whether an event or situation prompts a traumatic response or effect is not universal. It is based upon an individual’s own brain and nervous system response and the person’s own history and circumstances.“

Screenshot of Corey Henderson breaking down why it is important to acknowledge our own trauma

Dr. Corey Henderson, a public health expert and behavioral scientist, shared anecdotes from his past and touched upon how trauma affects us unconsciously in ways we don’t normally notice. Henderson explained how it isn’t until we bring our experiences to the forefront that we can begin the process of healing and moving forward from our trauma.”Trauma is truth, when we don't hide from trauma we can come out of the closet with our secrets. We can walk into freedom with the things that seem to have us bound and we can cut ourselves loose to run free.”

Screenshot of Mike Niconchuk discussing why you cannot leave trauma unaddressed in any context

Mike Niconchuk, an applied neuroscientist with Beyond Conflict, shared examples from his time working in post-conflict communities in the Middle East, specifically Jordan. Niconchuk explained the effects of unaddressed trauma on these communities and how these effects increase the likelihood of intergroup violence within these communities: “To address trauma is to fundamentally instigate the peacebuilding process between individual cells in our body and between individuals in our community and then in society at large.” Trauma leaves an imprint on the brain and without properly addressing what has happened in the past, we will be unable to control the narrative of what happens in the future.

Screenshot of Cherie Bridges Patrick breaking down why addressing trauma is so important to dismantling the racial hierarchy

Dr. Cherie Bridges Patrick, social worker and racial justice advocate, spoke of the impact of racial dominance on the lives of every citizen in the country. She explained, until we acknowledge the truth and pain of racial dominance in our country, we won’t be able to achieve the future we dream of. “We have to anchor onto something that will allow us to navigate this equilibrium that happens when we start telling the truth.”

Screenshot of Kati Sarvela explaining the Four R’s of trauma informed work

Lastly, Kati Sarvela, Finnish therapist and educator, provided insights into the Finnish model for trauma-informed work. She elaborated by explaining how the Finnish government uses this and other models to make the Finnish population more trauma-informed as a whole. Kati also expounded upon the Finnish system by explaining how any trauma-informed approach must focus on the four R’s:

Realize the widespread impact of trauma and understand potential paths to recovery,

Recognize signs and symptoms of trauma within those involved in the system,

Respond by fully integrating knowledge about trauma into policies/practices and actively

Resist re-traumatization

As the United States begins the tough work of addressing racial and social injustice in our own country, leaders of this movement are advised to keep a keen eye on the role that trauma can play in conflict and divisions, and the importance of acknowledging trauma when seeking to build peace in the US. You cannot truly reconcile differences between communities or in society at large without properly acknowledging the trauma which is at the root of these differences and events such as these can help inform the trauma healing process within our country.


Our History

The North Carolina General Assembly enacted House Bill 18 on March 1, 1939, paving the way for a new generation of black lawyers in North Carolina. The bill, authorizing a law school at North Carolina College for Negroes, (now North Carolina Central University) was passed 25 years after Shaw University, in Raleigh, N.C., closed its law school in 1914, a move that left no in-state option for blacks to receive a formal education in law. Following the Great Depression, the legislation was, in theory, a way to create a separate-but-equal option for blacks who wanted to become lawyers, without integrating the law school at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

House Bill 18 authorized the Board of Trustees to establish the North Carolina College for Negroes Law School and announced it would open in the fall of 1939. Due to the amount of time the college had to prepare and advertise the law school, only one student registered, resulting in the administration delaying the opening to the following year. Law School Dean Maurice T. Van Hecke, who was also dean of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC-CH) law school, solicited advice and opinions about the school’s curriculum from black attorneys and others. In December 1939, Durham Attorney C. Jerry Gates thanked Van Hecke for providing him a copy of the law school’s bulletin. He also wrote:

“I am profound in the opinion that the legal education of the Negro in the South has grossly neglected. The lawyer, in America, comes within the class of the accepted leaders of his people. If the Negro is to keep pace with his fellow white citizens, he must develop within his ranks robust, competent, and outstanding lawyers.”

Gates’ letter went on to express his disappointment that the Law School had no blacks on the faculty. “Having even a part-time Black on the faculty, he argued, “would have gone a long way in disabusing the average Negro’s mind of the popular notion that the Negro can’t serve in such capacity and to a great extent that he is prohibited from practicing law in the south as the white lawyer does.” “I am aware of the fact that a conscientious effort was made to secure some qualified Negro to act in this capacity,” he continued. “However, I can’t help but regret that such an effort was not successful.”

Also in December 1939, Winston-Salem Attorney W. Avery Jones wrote Van Hecke that the curriculum outlined in the bulletin “meets with my approval in every way.” “There is one suggestion that I should like to make relative to the colored law school,” he continued.

“In view of the fact that are so few law offices into which the graduates may enter and gain practical experience after graduation and admission to the Bar, it is very necessary that these students be given as much practical training in the law school as possible. It is one thing to know the principles of law involved and what ought to be done but, an entirely different thing to know how to do it. I, therefore, suggest that the students be given practical training in drawing all kinds of papers so that they will be somewhat self-reliant when they enter the field.”


Jon Stewart cherry-picks bits from Marco Rubio story to slam the New York Times

It's the talk of Washington this week: A front-page New York Times investigative piece titled " Marco Rubio's Career…

It remains to be seen how the Times’ stories will impact his campaign, but it is intriguing that one element of the Rubio’s financial dealings — his use of a state Republican Party credit card to pay for a paving project at his home — evokes a political story along similar lines dating back to the presidency of Franklin D. Roosevelt.

A “paving scandal,” in fact, torpedoed the president’s nomination of the Bronx Democratic political boss Edward J. Flynn as Ambassador Plenipotentiary to Australia in 1943.


Paving the Way: Black Women Bicycling

Marylou Jackson, Velma Jackson, Ethyl Miller, Leolya Nelson and Constance White. In 1928, these 5 African American women rode 250 miles – from New York City to Washington, DC – in just 3 days! What inspired this journey? Simply the joy of bicycling!

History doesn’t tell us much about their adventure. Once in Washington, DC they went sightseeing and paused to take this photo for a local newspaper.

Historian Marya McQuirter shares what she learned while researching the social history of blacks in D.C. during the first half of the 20th century for her dissertation on an episode of the Bicycle Story. We do know that one rider worked at the Harlem YWCA and another at the Sargent School of Physical Training. It seems very likely that they were in the forefront of promoting women and bicycling access. Thank you for helping to pave the way!

Check out some of these great organizations who ride together for simply the joy of bicycling!


History

The roots of our financial strength trace back to the Abraham Lincoln administration approving national bank charter No. 24 on July 13, 1863, which provided our predecessor First National Bank of Cincinnati its license to operate across the country. We still operate by the words written in our charter, “The capital of a bank should be a reality, not a fiction . Let no loans be made that are not secured beyond a reasonable contingency . Pursue a straightforward, upright banking business.”

First National Bank of Minneapolis was founded, paving the way for our headquarters that are still located there today. Now, we have more than 11,000 employees in the Twin Cities metropolitan area and several prominent buildings, including our downtown Minneapolis headquarters at the U.S. Bancorp Center and nearby U.S. Bank Plaza.

A branch of our predecessor San Miguel Valley Bank in Telluride, Colorado became infamous when it was the first-ever bank robbed by notorious outlaw Butch Cassidy. As one of the oldest banks in the country we’ve had run-ins with a few unscrupulous figures, including Baby Face Nelson and John Dillinger. These days, our cybersecurity center prevents countless threats each day using a combination of expert and artificial intelligence.

Our namesake United States National Bank of Portland opened its doors in Oregon. Timing would turn out to be favorable, as two decades later, a federal law prohibited other banks from using United States in their names from that time forward. Today, we’re the largest bank in Oregon, and our name is visible on stadiums, skyscrapers and more around the country.

Our predecessor Mississippi Valley Trust Company loaned $15,000 to help Charles Lindbergh finance his historic transatlantic flight. The St. Louis bank later became part of Mercantile Bancorporation, which we acquired in 1999. Today, we’re both the largest bank in Missouri and have relationships with many of the most recognizable names in the aerospace industry.

The sign atop the First National Bank Building was placed and became an icon in the skyline of St. Paul, Minnesota. While we no longer have employees located in that building, we continue to have significant operations nearby in St. Paul, and our headquarters at 800 Nicollet Mall are just 10 miles to the west across the Mississippi River in Minneapolis.

During the Great Depression, regulators allowed banks to limit the percentage of deposits that customers could withdraw from their accounts. First National Bank of Cincinnati, however, had the financial soundness to forgo implementing such a limit on our customers. Nearly a century later, that soundness remains – we’re among the highest-rated banks in the world and continue to perform well on stress tests performed by the Federal Reserve.

Part-time First Capital National Bank employee Nile Kinnick won the prestigious Heisman Trophy while playing football at the University of Iowa. For a time, he kept the iconic trophy at our branch for safekeeping. An autographed photo hangs today on the wall of our branch in downtown Iowa City.

1950s

As automobile sales boomed in the post-war era of the 1950s, we began opening drive-up branches across the country. More than half of a century later, drive-up banking was core to how we served socially distanced customers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

First National Bank of Minneapolis named Mary Ellen McLean its first goodwill ambassador, a position dedicated to addressing the needs of clients who identify as women. That focus continues today, as we’ve published leading research such as our Women and Wealth Insights Study and hosted the U.S. Bank Women and Wealth Summit. The work has been championed by our Wealth Management and Investment Services Vice Chair Gunjan Kedia, who was recently named to the 100 Most Influential Women in U.S. Finance by Barron’s.

1960s

Our predecessor Bank of Sikeston in Missouri provided Sam Walton with a loan to open the first Walmart store outside of Arkansas. Today, helping companies expand remains central to our business, and we have relationships with approximately 90% of the Fortune 500.

1970s

We began adding automated teller machines, or ATMs, to our branches across the country. In recent years, we rolled out interactive teller machines, or ITMs, that have features like cashing checks and paying bills. We’ve also mobilized our ATMs to collect donations for relief efforts during natural disasters such as wildfires or hurricanes.

Japanese-American architect Minoru Yamasaki, most famous for designing the iconic twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York City, designed the current U.S. Bank tower in Denver.

1990s

Not long after our employees started using personal computers at home and not long before we rebranded to U.S. Bank , our predecessors entered the digital age with the introduction of online banking. Today, almost 80% of consumer transactions and more than 50% of loan sales happen digitally.

Late 1990s and early 2000s

In the years surrounding the new millennium, a flurry of regional mergers and acquisitions laid the foundation for our company today. The decade brought together First Bank System (Minnesota), Star Banc Corporation (Ohio), Firstar Corporation (Wisconsin), Mercantile Bancorporation (Missouri), and our namesake U.S. Bancorp (based in Oregon at the time) under the U.S. Bank brand.

We celebrated the opening of our current headquarters building, U.S. Bancorp Center at 800 Nicollet Mall in Minneapolis. Today, we’ve grown to 11,000 employees in Minnesota.

Also that year, we expanded to Europe with the acquisition of NOVA Corporation, which we would later rename Elavon in 2008. Today, Elavon is one of the largest payment processors in the world and has a few thousand employees in North America, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Poland and other European countries.

Our logo rose to the top of the U.S. Bank Tower in Los Angeles, which at the time was the tallest building on the West Coast and since then has made appearances in numerous movies and television shows. We have more than 6,000 employees in California who’ve joined our team through a long history of acquisitions.

Our prudent approach to risk management led to us be the only bank among our peer group to remain profitable every quarter during the financial crisis and recession. We helped our customers navigate these challenging times and, as a result, we were able to keep growing. We drew on our position of strength to expand and gain market share, especially in sectors like corporate and commercial banking.

We tapped into our financial strength during the recession to make several acquisitions, including Illinois-based holding company FBOP. One of its banks had a substantial community development arm focused on the historic Pullman neighborhood on the South Side of Chicago. For more than a decade since, we’ve continued that work by investing more than $100 million into the neighborhood and working with partners including The University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

Also that year, as smartphones were rapidly adopted, we launched our first iteration of the U.S. Bank Mobile App, which primarily allowed customers to check balances, view transactions and transfer funds. Today, we are focused on continually improving our award-winning app, which now includes a voice assistant, seamless digital account application experiences for most U.S. Bank consumer products, personalized insights, mobile check deposit and much more.

To give back to those who have served the United States, we launched a program to donate mortgage-free homes to veterans in need. To date, we’ve donated dozens of homes with a combined value of more than $4 million and have expanded the program to include home repair and vehicle donations.

That year, we also celebrated our 150th anniversary by ringing the closing bell at the New York Stock Exchange. Our then CEO, Richard Davis, and current CEO, Andy Cecere, were joined by a group of long-tenured and active military or veteran employees.

For the first time in our history, we launched a national advertising campaign focused on our brand rather than specific products. With the tagline “the power of possible,” the campaign celebrated our role in helping customers achieve financial goals big and small.

Andy Cecere succeeded Richard Davis as our CEO. He joined our company more than three decades earlier in 1985 and helped engineer the mergers and acquisitions of the late 1990s and early 2000s before ascending into roles including chief financial officer and chief operating officer.

U.S. Bank Stadium®, located just blocks away from our headquarters building in Minneapolis, hosted Super Bowl LII. Shortly before kickoff, we ran a national TV spot on NBC featuring a rescue dog named Squirt whose family found the power of possible with U.S. Bank .

We celebrated the opening of our first-ever branch on the East Coast, located in Charlotte. In the branch, consumers can access self-service tools for routine transactions, demo digital tools and talk to bankers about their financial needs. As banking evolves, we are continually focused on both investing in digital tools and optimizing our branch operations.

At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, we stood ready to help our customers, employees and communities including relief assistance for customers instituting a premium pay program for front-line employees expediting community giving programs and other changes. We also helped obtain Paycheck Protection Program loans for more than 108,000 small businesses – with nearly 85% going to businesses that reported having 10 or fewer employees.

In June after the death of George Floyd, our headquarters market of Minneapolis was the epicenter of an international social justice movement. Acknowledging the role that the banking industry must play in reversing systemic economic and racial inequities, we allocated $100 million in annual capital and $16 million in grants to Black-owned or -led businesses, housing and workforce advancement, and committed to doubling Black suppliers.

The COVID-19 pandemic continued to impact the world as we continued to provide relief. The second wave of the Paycheck Protection Program increased the total loans we made to 165,000, worth more than $10 billion by April. This aid served the smallest of the small businesses – 90% of which have fewer than 20 employees


Watch the video: Pearl Harbor: The Last Word - Paving the Way: Nelson Mitchell. History