County of Hawaii Joins Cities’ Financial Empowerment Coalition

From the Mayor’s Office:

Hawai‘i County has joined a group of municipalities to advance an innovative program to promote access to safe and affordable financial products and services, increase financial literacy and asset-building for its residents.

The Cities for Financial Empowerment (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 Gavin Newsom’s representative, Treasurer José Cisneros.  Other member cities are Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, Newark, N.J.; Providence, R.I.; San Antonio, Savannah, Ga.; and Seattle.

“During difficult economic times, municipalities across the country must find innovative ways to do more with less,” said Bloomberg. “We welcome the County of Hawai‘i to what is becoming a robust network of local governments who are all committed to helping residents get through financial uncertainties. Together, we continue learning and strengthening the many unique programs that are providing thousands of Americans with the tools for a stable financial future.”

Hawai‘i County will expand the diversity of the coalition to share particular opportunities and challenges faced by largely rural county structure.  The county currently supports several financial empowerment strategies through public, private, and community partnerships. A notable example is the children’s savings account pilot project at five elementary schools in East and West Hawai‘i that encourages island children and their parents to save for their future.

“We are honored to be part of the CFE coalition to learn innovative practices and share particular opportunities and challenges facing our families,” said Hawai‘i County Mayor Billy Kenoi. “The county is committed to delivering programs, incentives, and regulatory changes that will encourage our families to earn more, save more, protect assets, start businesses and become homeowners.”

Leaders in financial empowerment and asset building fields will present early results of local initiatives, state and national best practices and trends Dec. 9-10 at the Hawai‘i Asset Building Symposium: “Springboard to Prosperity – Building The Financial Stability, Wealth, and Well Being of Hawai‘i’s Working Families,” at Sheraton Keauhou. The symposium is supported by County of Hawai‘i, Hawai‘i Community Foundation, HEI Inc., Office of Hawaiian Affairs, Department of Hawaiian Home Lands, and Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.

For more information about the symposium call Hawai‘i Alliance for Community Based Economic Development (HACBED) at 808-550-2661 or visit their website www.hacbed.org.  To learn more about the County of Hawai‘i’s Financial Empowerment Initiative contact the Department of Research and Development, Economic Development Specialist, Alex Frost at 327-3662 or afrost@co.hawaii.hi.us.

The mission and accomplishments of the CFE coalition can be found at www.cfecoalition.org.

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