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Community Services and Revitalization Newsroom


Louisville Is Among 12 Cities Honored for Advancing Innovative Programs

Thursday September 20, 2012

MEDIA CONTACT:  Debbie Belt, 574-6587 / 303-6167


Louisville Is Among 12 Cities Honored for Advancing Innovative Programs that Help Low-Income Families Save and Build Wealth


Corporation for Enterprise Development's (CFED) Assets & Opportunity Award given to Cities which belong to the Cities for Financial Empowerment Coalition



The Cities for Financial Empowerment Coalition, a group of municipal governments – including Louisville – that is dedicated to helping low-income residents achieve long-term financial stability, was presented today with the Corporation for Enterprise Development (CFED) Assets & Opportunity Award. The award, the only one of its kind, honors groups and individuals who are advancing the field of asset-building in the United States and increasing the use of financial products and services that allow low-income families to buy a home, pursue higher education, start a business and move up the economic ladder.

Louisville is one of 12 cities that comprise the Cities for Financial Empowerment (CFE) Coalition. The group was launched in 2008 by New York City’s Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and San Francisco’s then-Mayor Gavin Newsom to bring together local governments interested in advancing programs that increase financial security for struggling households, such as affordable and accessible financial products and services, financial education and counseling, and asset protection. In addition to Louisville, the coalition includes Chicago, Hawai’i County, Los Angeles, Miami, Newark, New York, Providence, San Antonio, San Francisco, Savannah and Seattle.
Louisville's financial empowerment work is spearheaded by the city's Department of Community Services and Revitalization (CSR), which joined the CFE Coalition in April 2012 to work with officials in other cities who were interested in learning from each other and expanding programs that help people save and build assets. Louisville's financial empowerment initiatives focus on creating public, private and community partnerships around the areas of financial education, increasing opportunities to access financial services and developing innovative asset-building strategies. As the social services agency for Louisville Metro Government, CSR is involved in a number of initiatives that promote financial stability including Bank On Louisville, the Family Economic Success Program and the Microenterprise Development program.

“We are proud to be honored for our work as part of the CFE Coalition,” said Tina Lentz, Executive Administrator of CSR who serves as Mayor Fischer's official designee of the CFE Coalition. “We have seen first-hand the critical role asset-building programs play in helping low to moderate income residents in our community save for the future and create long-term opportunity for themselves. Through this coalition, the CFE has the influence to expand these programs and reach more struggling families. Our city and all of its residents will benefit from this work.”

The award was presented to coalition co-chairs Jonathan Mintz, Commissioner of the New York Department of Consumer Affairs, and José Cisneros, Treasurer of the City and County of San Francisco, at CFED’s biennial Assets Learning Conference in Washington, D.C. Keynote remarks were given by Newark’s Mayor Cory Booker, a CFE Coalition member, and Bill Corr, Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The award has been presented two times previously, to Citigroup and the Ford Foundation.

Andrea Levere, president of CFED and a presenter of the award, along with former Nashville Mayor Bill Purcell, noted that the CFE Coalition in a few short years has “single-handedly created the field of municipal financial empowerment, bringing together local government leaders from across the country with non-profits, foundations and financial institutions to provide low-income households with the support and tools they need to achieve financial security. Through its formidable coalition, Cities for Financial Empowerment has demonstrated the power of city governments to bring innovative ideas to reality and create measureable change for all residents.”
The CFE Coalition has also launched its own non-profit organization – the Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund, which supports municipal efforts to improve the financial stability of households by leveraging opportunities unique to local government.

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The Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund (CFE Fund) at Living Cities supports municipal efforts to improve the financial stability of households by leveraging opportunities unique to local government. By translating cutting edge experience with large scale programs, research, and policy in cities of all sizes, the CFE Fund at Living Cities assists with the implementation of programs that help families build assets and make the most of their financial resources. The CFE Fund is a project of Living Cities, a philanthropic collaborative of the world's largest foundations and financial institutions dedicated to improving the lives of people with low incomes and the cities where they live.

The CFE Fund also supports The Cities for Financial Empowerment (CFE) Coalition, which is a coalition of 12 cities that are already implementing broad and innovative empowerment strategies. The CFE Coalition is led by New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s representative, New York City Consumer Affairs Commissioner Jonathan Mintz, and San Francisco Mayor Edwin Lee’s representative, Treasurer José Cisneros. The other members are Chicago, Illinois; Los Angeles, California; Miami, Florida; County of Hawai’i, Hawaii; Louisville, Kentucky; Newark, New Jersey; Providence, Rhode Island; San Antonio, Texas; Savannah, Georgia; and Seattle, Washington. For more information, please visit www.cfecoalition.org.
 
Louisville Metro Community Services and Revitalization (CSR) works to promote financial empowerment for at-risk populations by providing direct access to housing, employment, education, support services and resources; and provides leadership and coordination in partnership with the community in the effort to remove barriers and offer opportunities for greater economic security. For more information, visit www.louisvilleky.gov/csr.