Written by Megan Kursik, Michigan Communities for Financial Empowerment Coordinator
Two weeks ago, I spent a busy three days in Seattle at a CFE Coalition forum, learning from city leaders working across the country to promote financial capability for their residents.
The Cities for Financial Empowerment Coalition is a group of dedicated local elected officials and staff who lead initiatives in their communities that improve access to financial counseling, affordable banking products, small business support and longer term asset development. These leaders have also instituted local policy to restrict predatory practices, like high cost payday lending.
This year, the City of Lansing was invited to join the CFE Coalition after successfully launching a Financial Empowerment Center in 2013 and Lansing SAVE, Michigan’s first universal, automatic kids savings program in January! I got to tag along to the CFE Coalition forum with Amber Paxton, Director of Lansing’s Office of Financial Empowerment.
I learned so much from the discussions at the forum, I just had to share a rundown with CEDAM’s membership in Michigan. There’s something in here for everyone!
- We were warned of predatory lending targeting small business owners
- We learned about the political process for increasing minimum wage in Seattle
- We received an update from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on proposed rules for payday lending
- And, CEDAM member Amber Paxton presented on Lansing’s partnership with Ingham County Parole to provide financial counseling to re-entry citizens, recently highlighted in the Michigan Department of Correction’s June newsletter
I’m also excited to announce that CEDAM will be welcoming a founding member of the CFE Coalition, Jose Cisneros, back to his home state of Michigan for our second annual Michigan Financial Empowerment Summit in August!
As Treasurer of the City and County of San Francisco, Jose established the first ever locally-based universal, automatic college savings program in the U.S. This year, the MI Summit will focus on building similar community-based children’s savings programs.
Find out more about the MI Summit here. I hope to see you there!