Eight Cities Selected for Round Two of Bank on Cities Campaign
The Institute for Youth, Education, and Families (YEF Institute), a special entity of the National League of Cities (NLC), recently selected eight new cities to participate in the second phase of the Bank On Cities Campaign, a technical assistance project that helps municipal leaders connect low- and moderate-income families to financial services and products. The participating cities are Denver, CO; Indianapolis, IN; Louisville, KY; Newark, NJ; St. Petersburg, FL; Rapid City, SD; Bryan, TX; and Gaithersburg, MD.
The project helps low- and moderate-income families gain access to a bank account, which in turn helps them avoid costly alternative financial services when cashing checks and paying bills. The Bank on Cities Campaign reports that these costly alternative financial services have a negative impact on local communities and financial well-being.
As part of the 2009-10 Bank On Cities Campaign, the YEF Institute will work closely with the eight selected cities to implement and adapt an innovative approach pioneered by San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom and Treasurer José Cisneros. This initiative, called Bank On San Francisco, forges connections among the city, financial institutions, and community organizations to develop and promote opportunities for accessible mainstream banking and financial education. The program has garnered the attention and interest of municipal leaders from cities across the nation who are excited about launching similar efforts in their communities.
In 2008, the first phase of the Bank On Cities Campaign assisted 10 cities in developing initiatives to expand access to free and low-cost bank accounts and financial education. Several of those cities have already started to successfully implement their "Bank On” or similar programs, including Seattle and Houston.
During the next phase of this project, the eight new selected cities will receive technical assistance from the YEF Institute to develop and implement their own version of a citywide "Bank On" campaign. For more information about Bank On Cities, visit the YEF Institute website.
This article originally ran in the IDAresources.org Update Newsletter on 08/13/09 and is available for archival purposes.