The CFE Fund’s CityStart initiative, supported by Bloomberg Philanthropies, offers local governments a structured approach to identify financial empowerment goals, convene relevant stakeholders for sustainable success, develop actionable strategies, and ultimately craft a blueprint that is rooted in local insights and opportunities – all with a deliberate racial wealth equity lens.

This two-phase action engagement connects critical insights about the impact of financial instability on municipal governments with tangible, sustainable strategies to improve families’ financial lives. The first phase of the initiative is a learning phase, where the CFE Fund and municipal partners look to analyze the local landscape, including systemic wealth extraction and accumulation impacting racial wealth equity; collect relevant data; and engage in intensive stakeholder roundtables to identify key challenges and opportunities.  This also includes a deliberate resident engagement effort. Based on issues identified in the learning phase, as well as administration priorities, the CFE Fund works with local government partners on a design phase to craft a comprehensive, government-led financial empowerment blueprint. Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Greenwood Initiative, whose mission is to accelerate the pace of Black wealth accumulation in the U.S., is advising the CFE Fund and municipal partners on the design and execution of the CityStart program using a racial wealth equity lens.

The CityStart initiative stems from the CFE Fund’s extensive work with local government leaders, and connects critical on-the-ground insights about the impact of financial instability on families, communities, and municipal budgets with tangible, measurable, and sustainable municipal strategies to improve residents’ financial lives, especially those of Black residents. CityStart cities have historically leveraged their engagement with the CFE Fund to further their commitment to this work. The CFE Fund recently selected the third cohort of CityStart grantees with a specific racial wealth equity focus; grantees are Buffalo, NY; Chicago, IL; Indianapolis, IN; Little Rock, AR; and Philadelphia, PA.

If you have any questions about the CityStart initiative, contact Sol Vilera Ramos, Manager.

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