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Mayor Vincent C. Gray Proclaims April ‘Financial Literacy Awareness Month’

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Mayor Vincent C. Gray Proclaims April ‘Financial Literacy Awareness Month’

The Gray Administration kicks off a month-long financial empowerment series; the Mayor urges residents to become financially literate.

Today, Mayor Vincent C. Gray issued a proclamation commemorating April 2012 as “Financial Literacy Awareness Month” in the District of Columbia.

The announcement highlights real progress District residents have made via the efforts of the City’s Bank on DC program, yet acknowledges that more work remains to be done. Through this proclamation, the Mayor recommits the resources of the District government to aiding residents in maintaining their finances, supporting their households and building wealth.

“I’m committed to boosting economic development and opportunities for all, and an important part of this is helping make sure people manage their money effectively for themselves and their families,” Mayor Gray said. “The District’s Bank on DC program is committed to providing our residents with the financial-literacy tools they need to be successful consumers in their communities. This month we highlight the importance of financial-literacy awareness for all of the District’s residents.”

Bank on DC strives to raise awareness among unbanked consumers – particularly those in the low-to-moderate-income market segment – about the benefits of account ownership. The program is designed to empower residents to work towards creating a sustainable economic model for their households. Initiated in April 2010, this collaborative offers financial services to the 37,000 un-banked households and 72,000 under-banked households in the District. This program is intended to help the unbanked and under-banked improve financial literacy, build assets and save money.

Bank on DC is sponsoring several events to encourage financial literacy this month. In partnership with the Community Preservation and Development Corporation (CPDC), Bank on DC will provide District residents with access to financial education and services via its Financial Empowerment Series. The series is free and open to the public. The 12-week, 90-minute classes will be offered on a three-month rotation. The program offers six classes facilitated by Bank on DC banking partners while integrating six online modular lessons to measure inputs and outcomes of each resident through BODC’s My Starting Point portal. This online digital platform will support the in-class instruction delivered by the banking partners.

“This series will increase awareness of the financial tools one must have in his or her mental toolkit,” said Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development Victor L. Hoskins.

“The Banking on Our Future program is the cornerstone of what we do at Operation HOPE,” said Founder, Chairman and CEO John Hope Bryant. “Operation HOPE is honored to work with Mayor Gray and the members of this council and countless others to help bring the powerful message of financial dignity and literacy to the Washington, D.C., community and throughout the nation.”

A few of the topics to be taught are the basics of banking, budgeting, credit building, understanding cards (i.e. debit cards, credit cards, gift cards, prepaid cards), and an introduction to savings and investment accounts.

Locations for the workshops along with their respective on-site contacts are:

  • Edgewood Terrace, 635 Edgewood Street NE; Tiffani Berry, (202) 627-9953; tberry@cpdc.org
  • Mayfair Mansions, 3819 Jay Street NE, Unit 6; Sonya Hochevar, (202) 396-0225; shochevar@cpdc.org
  • The Overlook, 3700 9th Street SE; Jennifer Smith, (202) 248-0593; jsmith@cpdc.org

The first Financial Empowerment Series offering was held on Monday, April 2nd. To register for the series, residents should contact the site managers at the desired location. For more information on Bank on DC and the financial empowerment series, contact the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development at (202) 727-2265 or visit the Bank on DC website at www.bankondc.org.

Community Preservation and Development Corporation (CPDC) is a nonprofit affordable housing developer in the mid-Atlantic region and a leader in the affordable housing industry. CPDC has developed over 4,000 units of housing. The majority of these properties are developed with onsite Community Centers. Visit www.cpdc.org.

Bank on DC (BODC) is a collaborative effort between the District Government, the Federal Reserve, financial institutions and numerous nonprofit organizations to provide greater access to financial services/products and education to the unbanked and under-banked residents of the District. Special acknowledgement of BODC financial partners: Agriculture FCU, Amalgamated Bank, Bank of Georgetown, Bank of America, District Government Employees FCU, DVA FCU, HEW FCU, Industrial Bank, PNC Bank, United Bank, and Wells Fargo. Visit: www.bankondc.org.