This brief, Navigating From a Good Idea to Public Financial Empowerment Commitments, outlines the experiences of the past two CityStart cohorts in moving from general interest in financial empowerment to concrete commitments to municipally-led efforts. The CFE Fund’s CityStart engagement supports local leaders in convening stakeholders, identifying local challenges and opportunities, aligning with Mayoral or municipal priorities, and then strategically planning for successful government programming. Using the experience of 17 cities who have participated already in CityStart, this Brief can provide city governments and key stakeholders interested in getting started with financial empowerment work with an understanding of how the CityStart engagement can facilitate the success of that process locally.
This issue, Issue 15, highlights the findings from the CFE Fund and Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis’ 2017 Bank On Data Pilot; along with new Bank On resources; updates on the scaling of the Financial Empowerment Center initiative under the FEC Public platform; early successes seen from CFE Fund’s CityStart initiative; updates on Consumer Financial Protection efforts; and highlights from the fifth year of the Summer Jobs Connect initiative. It also includes local updates from the CFE Coalition, and a guest column from Daniel Davis, Assistant Vice President and Community Affairs Officer at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
This issue, Issue 8, provides an update on the Next Generation Municipal Financial Empowerment awards; a brief on financial empowerment’s role in positive youth development from our Summer Jobs Connect initiative; and an announcement of a Request for Expressions of Interest for organizations to serve as a long-term partner to evaluate financial institution products for Bank On National Account Standards consistency. The issue also includes an update on the CFE Fund’s technical assistance work, the CFE Coalition’s 2016 Policy Agenda; and a guest column from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Deputy Assistant Secretary for Housing Counseling, Sarah Gerecke.
This issue, Issue 7, provides a number of Bank On updates, including the launch of the Bank On National Account Standards, the announcement of the Bank On Capacity Grant Fund, and updates on critical support from Bank On partners, both regulators and financial institution. The issue also includes a new report, jointly authored by the CFE Fund and the National Consumer Law Center, on the effect of account screening consumer reporting agencies on banking access; a series of briefs from the Summer Jobs Connect initiative; an update on the work of the Next Generation Municipal Financial Empowerment awards; and evaluation findings and resources related to SaveUSA, a tax-time matched savings program. Finally, the issue includes a guest column from Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) Chairman Martin Gruenberg on Bank On and the importance of access to banking efforts.
The CFE Fund’s Next Generation Municipal Financial Empowerment Award grows the municipal financial empowerment field by cultivating and supporting innovative ideas from new mayoral administrations. This May 2015 press release announces the five city leaders chosen through a competitive RFP process to receive this award: Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh, New Haven Mayor Toni N. Harp, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, San José Mayor Sam Liccardo, and Shreveport Mayor Ollie Tyler.
The award, generously sponsored by Capital One, includes both a planning grant and dedicated technical consulting from the CFE Fund. Together, awardee mayors, their teams, and the CFE Fund will develop innovative local government strategies to address poverty through programs such as financial counseling, access to safe and appropriate banking products, asset-building opportunities, and consumer financial protections.