IN THE NEWS
November 28, 2012
Cities for Financial Empowerment (CFE) Coalition Objects to New IRS Barriers to Filing Tax Returns (In PDF)
The CFE Coalition, on behalf of its members' more than 19 million residents, announced objection to the Internal Revenue Service's (IRS)
changes to procedures for issuing Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers (ITINs). The IRS policy change now requires new ITIN applicants
to submit their original documents, which forces immigrants without Social Security numbers to comply with a rule that causes them to be
without critical documentation for months.
April 10, 2012
Louisville Joins the Cities for Financial Empowerment to Expand Financial Literacy and Empowerment Initiatives (In PDF)
The Cities for Financial Empowerment (CFE) Coalition today welcomed Louisville, Kentucky as the twelfth member of the nation's
first coalition of local governments dedicated to financial empowerment initiatives.
January 19, 2011
Municipal Leaders Pioneering New Strategies to Help Low-, Moderate-Income Families Achieve Financial Security
Press release distributed by Corporation for Enterprise Development (CFED).
September 23, 2010
County of Hawai'i Joins the Cities for Financial Empowerment to Expand Financial Literacy and Empowerment Initiatives (In PDF)
The Cities for Financial Empowerment (CFE) Coalition welcomed the County of Hawai'i as the 11th member of the nation's first coalition
of local governments dedicated to financial empowerment initiatives.
August 30, 2010
Cities for Financial Empowerment Coalition Urges Reform of Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) Regulations
On behalf of the CFE Coalition, CFE Co-Chair and New York City Consumer Affairs Commissioner Jonathan Mintz and CFE Co-Chair
and San Francisco Treasurer José Cisneros submitted written testimony to federal banking agencies recommending ways to
leverage CRA more effectively in connecting communities to safe, affordable banking products and services.
June 11, 2010
The Cities for Financial Empowerment Coalition Weighs in on Consumer Provisions of Financial Overhaul Bill
On behalf of the CFE Coalition, CFE Co-Chair and New York City Consumer Affairs Commissioner Jonathan Mintz and CFE Co-Chair
and San Francisco Treasurer José Cisneros submitted a letter to key members of the Senate and the House. The letter
highlights three points to help guide the decisions of the Senate and House on the financial overhaul bills.
June 4, 2010
The Cities for Financial Empowerment Coalition Comments on the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation's
Proposed Templates for Safe, Low-Cost Transactional and Basic Savings Accounts
On behalf of the CFE Coalition, CFE Co-Chair and New York City Consumer Affairs Commissioner Jonathan Mintz and CFE Co-Chair and San Francisco Treasurer José Cisneros
offered recommendations to the FDIC on proposed templates for safe and affordable accounts.
May 17, 2010
The Cities for Financial Empowerment Coalition Comment on Amendment That Would Exempt
Auto Dealers from New Lending Rules
Statement of CFE Co-Chair and New York City Consumer Affairs Commissioner Jonathan Mintz
and CFE Co-Chair and San Francisco Treasurer José Cisneros.
December 2, 2009
Cities for Financial Empowerment Coalition Urges Congress to Pass
Overdraft Protection Bills as Essential for U.S. Consumers (In PDF)
The Cities for Financial Empowerment (CFE) Coalition urged members of Congress to pass both the Fairness and
Accountability in Receiving Overdraft Coverage Act of 2009 and the Overdraft Protection Act of 2009, and to
strengthen these bills further to improve essential consumer protections. In addition, the CFE Coalition urged
Congress to require real-time choice not only at ATMs, but also for debit card purchases so that consumers may
choose whether or not to proceed with transactions that would be subject to overdraft fees.
October 8, 2009
Cities for Financial Empowerment Coalition Urges Congress to Pass Legislation to Create an
Independent Consumer Financial Protection Agency with Regulatory and Enforcement Authority (In PDF)
The Cities for Financial Empowerment (CFE) Coalition urged members of Congress to support the creation of the proposed
Consumer Financial Protection Agency (CFPA) to strengthen inadequate consumer protections within the financial services
marketplace. In a letter submitted to the Senate Banking Committee and the House Financial Services Committee, the 10
member cities of the CFE Coalition collectively urged Congress to create the CFPA to improve access to safe and affordable
financial products and increase fairness and transparency in the financial services industry.
July 31, 2009
The City of Newark Joins the Cities for Financial Empowerment to Expand
Financial Literacy and Empowerment Initiatives (In PDF)
The Cities for Financial Empowerment (CFE) Coalition today welcomed the City of Newark
as the tenth member of the nation's first coalition of city governments dedicated to financial empowerment initiatives.
March 31, 2009
Cities across the Nation Call for Overdraft Protection Reform
The Cities for Financial Empowerment Coalition announced it formally submitted comments to the Board of
Governors of the Federal Reserve System in support of prohibiting banks from automatically enrolling consumers into so-called “courtesy” overdraft protection programs.
March 18, 2009
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom Announce Los Angeles and Providence Have Joined the Cities for Financial Empowerment National Coalition to Expand Financial Literacy and Asset-Building Initiatives
The Cities for Financial Empowerment (CFE) Coalition announced Los Angeles, California and Providence, Rhode Island have joined the nation's first coalition of city governments dedicated to financial empowerment initiatives.
January 1, 2009
Cities Break Out the Piggy Bank
Next American City
The Next American City, Inc.
June 19, 2008
AIG Commits $1.45 Million to CFE Coalition to Expand Financial Empowerment Efforts
Launched in March of this year by Mayor Bloomberg and San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, the Cities for Financial Empowerment Coalition today received a $1.45 million
grant from the AIG Financial Literacy Fund to support innovative citywide financial education initiatives in the six coalition cities: New York City, San Francisco,
Miami, San Antonio, Savannah, and Seattle.
April 18, 2008
The Office of Financial Empowerment
Marketplace Money from American Public Media
Last month, the Left Coast and Right Coast decided it was time to work together. New York and San Francisco announced a new coalition that they titled "Cities of Financial
Empowerment." Miami, San Antonio, Savannah and Seattle are also part of the effort.
March 18, 2008
Mayor Bloomberg and San Francisco Mayor Newsom Launch the Cities for Financial Empowerment Coalition
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom today announced the
launch of Cities for Financial Empowerment (CFE), a coalition of City governments seeking to address and expand the role of municipal government in improving the financial health
and security of residents with low and moderate incomes. The CFE Coalition will be
co-chaired by the City of New York led by Consumer Affairs Commissioner Jonathan Mintz and the City of San Francisco led by Treasurer José Cisneros.
September 20, 2012
Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) Announces Third Report in "Municipal Financial Empowerment: A Supervitamin for Public Programs" Series
DCA Commissioner Jonathan Mintz announced the release of Municipal Financial Empowerment: A Supervitamin for Public
Programs, Strategy #3: Integrating Safe and Affordable Bank Accounts. The report details DCA’s efforts to increase access to mainstream banking
for New York City's more than 825,000 unbanked adults, including the availability of on-site direct deposit enrollment.
August 23, 2012
Department of Consumer Affairs, Columbia University and City University of New York Announce Report About the Professionalization of Financial Counseling
The Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) Office of Financial Empowerment (OFE) today released the second report in its Municipal Financial Empowerment:
A Supervitamin for Public Programs series about the "supervitamin effect" of integrating financial empowerment and asset building strategies into core social services. This report
focuses on the importance of professionalizing the field of financial education and counseling and examines OFE's efforts to standardize professional training by developing credit-bearing
training courses at both the undergraduate and graduate levels in partnership with City University of New York (CUNY) and Columbia University School of Social Work (CUSSW).
January 17, 2012
Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) Comments Regarding Private Education Loans and Private Educational Lenders (In PDF)
DCA submitted comments to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (Docket No. CFPB-2011-0037) regarding the experiences of New
Yorkers with the private education loan market.
December 12, 2011
Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) and City University of New York (CUNY) Celebrate the First Graduating Class of Their New Course in Financial Counseling
DCA Commissioner Jonathan Mintz and CUNY Senior Vice Chancellor for University Relations and Secretary of the Board of Trustees Jay Hershenson celebrate the final
class of Consumer and Personal Finance, a professional training course designed to prepare students to understand the fundamentals of managing personal finances and how to impart this financial
education and practices to their clients. To ensure the quality and consistency of services at the City's Financial Empowerment Centers, DCA developed a formal training program with CUNY in 2009.
This course is now available as a full-semester, three-credit course through CUNY's School of Professional Studies.
December 7, 2011
Department of Consumer Affairs Integrates Financial Empowerment into Public Programs and Discovers a "Supervitamin" Effect
The Department of Consumer Affairs Office of Financial Empowerment released Municipal Financial Empowerment: A Supervitamin for Public Programs.
The report is the first in a series that documents early signs of successful impact of integrating financial empowerment and asset building strategies into core social services
such as workforce development, homelessness prevention, domestic violence interventions, adult education, welfare to work, community courts, and more. The report outlines the
theory, early successes, lessons learned, and longer term implications for better and less expensive outcomes in social services as a result of integrated financial empowerment "supervitamins."
November 9, 2011
Safe and Affordable Banking Begins at Home: New York City Connects Employees to Free Checking Accounts
The Department of Consumer Affairs, Office of Payroll Administration, and Mayor's Office of Operations announced NYC Direct Deposit, a program to help thousands of City employees get their pay safer, cheaper, and easier than ever before.
August 9, 2011
Department of Consumer Affairs Launches Investigation into Debt Settlement Companies
Consumer Affairs Commissioner Jonathan Mintz announced that DCA is issuing subpoenas to 15 debt settlement companies,
all of which were the subjects of complaints by New Yorkers and/or are based in the New York City area. This investigation is the next step in DCA's
ongoing efforts to protect consumers from the predatory practices of debt collectors, process servers, and other key industries.
June 27, 2011
Department of Consumer Affairs Commissioner Mintz Announces the Launch of the 2011 Protect Your Money Campaign
The public awareness campaign highlights the successes of real New Yorkers who sought help from the City to deal with a
debt settlement scam, a home improvement contractor who refused to finish the job, opening a bank account instead of using check cashers, and foreclosure
prevention counseling that helped a New Yorker keep her home.
May 10, 2011
Mayor Bloomberg and Consumer Affairs Commissioner Mintz Celebrate the 10,000th Financial Empowerment Center Client
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Consumer Affairs Commissioner Jonathan Mintz joined the City’s Financial Empowerment Center's 10,000th client at a
ceremony at Gracie Mansion. Since 2009, the Centers' financial counselors have conducted more than 18,700 counseling sessions, reviewed more than 7,100 credit reports, created
more than 5,200 budgets, helped New York City residents pay down more than $4.2 million in debt and build more than $367,000 in savings.
February 11, 2011
Commissioner Mintz Applauds FDIC Charge That Republic Bancorp's Refund Anticipation Loans are Unsafe and Unsound without the IRS's Debt Indicator
November 29, 2010
New York City Awarded National League of Cities' 2010 Gold Award for Municipal Excellence
The National League of Cities announced that New York City has won the 2010 Gold Award for Municipal
Excellence. The Award, in the category of cities with a population of more than 500,000, went to the Department
of Consumer Affairs' (DCA) Financial Empowerment Centers as an outstanding program that improves the quality of
life in America's communities. DCA's network of more than 20 Financial Empowerment Centers provide free,
one-on-one, multilingual professional financial counseling to New York City residents.
July 22, 2010
Statement of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg on Grant to Continue and Expand Most
Promising Anti-Poverty Programs in New York and Other Cities around the Country
"Today, New York City learned the Obama Administration has selected our Center for Economic Opportunity and Mayor's Fund to
Advance New York City as recipients of a grant from the Social Innovation Fund administered by the Corporation for National and Community
Service. Over the last four years, New York City has designed a series of programs that have changed the way governments think about
reducing poverty in America. This grant, and the new federal partnership it creates, provides a mechanism for New York City to replicate
five of our most successful pilots with leaders in seven other urban areas."
October 5, 2010
Mayor Newsom and City Leaders Launch "Kindergarten to College" Financial Savings Program for Families
Mayor Gavin Newsom today joined San Francisco leaders to announce the launch of Kindergarten to College (K2C), the nation's first universal children's savings account program,
designed to put all children on the path to college. The City will open a savings account with an initial seed deposit for every kindergartner entering public school.
February 23, 2009
San Francisco Fair Lending Working Group Presents Findings and Recommendations to the Land Use and Economic Development Committee of the Board of Supervisors (In PDF)
The Fair Lending Working Group, established through the efforts of Supervisor Sophie Maxwell, Assessor-Recorder Phil Ting, and Treasurer José Cisneros,
is comprised of representatives from community-based organizations that counsel at-risk homeowners, financial service institutions, the mortgage broker industry, real estate professionals,
and advocacy groups. The group's recommendations fall within four policy objectives: preserving homeownership and preventing foreclosure; preventing predatory lending practices; protecting
tenants' rights during and after foreclosure; and ensuring that affordable housing development and retention remain a top City priority.
January 31, 2009
Treasurer José Cisneros, Senator Mark Leno, Assemblyman Tom Ammiano and Supervisor Sophie Maxwell Discourage Use of "Rapid Refund" Loans (In PDF)
Elected Officials joined the United Way, Tax-Aid and the IRS in the Bayview District to discourage tax filers from taking out costly refund anticipation
loans and to urge low-income clients to file their taxes for free through the Earn It! Keep It! Save It! coalition.
November 20, 2008
Mayor Gavin Newsom and Treasurer José Cisneros announce over 24,000 accounts opened for Bank on San Francisco clients (In PDF)
San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom and Treasurer José Cisneros announced that 24,714 Bank on San Francisco checking accounts have been
opened and remain active since the inception of this groundbreaking program two years ago.
October 10, 2008
Treasurer José Cisneros celebrates the grand opening of Mission SF Federal Credit Union (In PDF)
San Francisco Treasurer José Cisneros joined Supervisor Tom Ammiano,
Assemblymember Mark Leno and the National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions to announce the grand opening of the Mission SF Federal Credit Union and Mission SF Community Financial Center.
October 27, 2008
The City of Chicago Joins the Cities for Financial Empowerment to Expand Financial
Literacy and Empowerment Initiatives (In PDF)
The Cities for Financial Empowerment Coalition today welcomed the City of Chicago as the seventh member of the nation's first coalition of city governments dedicated to financial empowerment initiatives.
April 6, 2012
Louisville Joins 'Cities for Financial Empowerment' Coalition
Citing the work that Louisville has done in improving the financial health of its low to moderate
income residents, Mayor Greg Fischer received an invitation from New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and San Francisco Mayor Edwin Lee, co-chairs
of Cities for Financial Empowerment, to join a coalition of other cities who have shown innovative thinking. The coalition currently includes
eleven other cities.
March 18, 2009
City of Miami Announces New FREE Connection to Federal Benefits
Mayor Manny Diaz and Florida Department of Children & Families Secretary George Sheldon
held a press conference to call on Miami residents to utilize the new FREE Direct Connect to Benefit Bank
Services to file their income taxes and connect with state and federal benefits at the same time.
February 20, 2009
New Benefit Bank Allows Miami's Struggling Families to Maximize Their Benefits (In PDF)
Department of Children and Families' Chief of Staff Jason Dimitris and William Porro, Special Projects Administrator for
City of Miami's ACCESS Miami, announce the launch of the Benefit Bank at the ACCESS Community Partners Summit. The Benefit Bank electronically
connects the State's and City's application processes and offers clients a common Web-based application form for all benefits.
June 21, 2008
Mayor Manny Diaz Hosts Hundreds of Mayors at The U.S. Conference of Mayors 76th Annual Meeting
Senator Barack Obama (IL), the presumptive Democratic Presidential Candidate, today addressed hundreds
of mayors during The US Conference of Mayors (USCM) meeting in Miami, hosted by City of Miami Mayor and USCM Vice President
Learn more about the conference
Read Mayor Manny Diaz's Address (In PDF)
November 23, 2009
Mayor Booker Launches Bank on Newark Program; City Partners with Newark Now and Financial Institutions to Provide Residents with Vital Banking Services (In PDF)
"Bank on Newark" will enable low-income residents to maintain bank checking and savings accounts, which will reduce their dependence on fee-charging check-cashing agencies.
It will also enable them to have pay, Social Security, and welfare checks directly deposited to these accounts, which will reduce chances of them being robbed or stolen. In addition, residents
will gain access to other vital banking services, like loans and mortgages, and education about those services from banking professionals.
Forging a Path Towards Opportunity
Providence City News
CFE Coalition Member City News
Issue 274 - January 8 2009
As the nation grapples with tough financial times, Providence has not waited for additional help from
the federal government to address the needs of neighbors with the highest risk of losing their jobs and homes.
September 24, 2008
Mayor David N. Cicilline Invited to Testify before Congressional Committee on City's Efforts to Reduce Poverty
Mayor David N. Cicilline has been invited by U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer to testify at a hearing before the Joint
Economic Committee in Washington, DC. Mayor Cicilline is the only U.S. mayor invited to testify at the hearing entitled Leave No Family
Behind: How Can We Reduce the Rising Number of American Families Living in Poverty. The Mayor is expected to highlight efforts underway
in Providence to help rebuild the economic ladder for struggling families in tangible, measurable ways.
January 9, 2008
City's new program boosts economic success for San Antonio families
The City of San Antonio's Department of Community Initiatives (DCI) is launching a new program
funded by the Annie E. Casey Foundation and Making Connections-San Antonio aimed at developing financial wealth
and self sufficiency for San Antonio families with the opening of the Center for Working Families (CWF).
April 24, 2009
Bank On Savannah Campaign Set to Launch
The "Bank On Savannah" campaign targets families that rely on high-cost financial services,
such as check cashers, by providing access to low-cost checking accounts offered at participating area banks.
The yearlong campaign has a goal of bringing in more than 1,000 customers to mainstream banks by offering
accounts with incentives such as opening balances of less than $100, no monthly maintenance fees, and access
to individualized free financial education.
September 22, 2008
Mayor announces help for people without bank accounts
Mayor Greg Nickels today launched “Bank on Seattle-King County,” a new
initiative to connect people without bank accounts to affordable mainstream financial
services including checking, savings, credit and financial education opportunities.
Visit Bank on Seattle-King County