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August 2018 Newsletter

RAISE Texas News

Plans for the 2018 RAISE Texas 10th Anniversary Summit are Underway

The next RAISE Texas Summit is coming up this December 5-6, 2018 at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. Plans are coming along great! Registration, the agenda, and details of the summit are moving forward. Stay tuned for more information to be sent out in September.

Let’s Make Texas Better Together!

The celebration of 10 Years of RAISE Texas continues but there is a lot of work still to come. Our goal is to expand financial empowerment opportunities throughout Texas and we need YOU to do that! This month we are making it easier to join us with Membership Discounts available for the next few weeks. RAISE Texas is increasing the number of members in our network so we can reach every part of our state. Everything is BIGGER in Texas including the number of people that could benefit from the financial empowerment services that our members provide in their communities. But we need YOU working with us in YOUR community. Join our network today and be part of our work over the next 10 years.

Our Work in 2014 Does Impact the Success of Financial Coaching in Texas Today!
It is always good to be able to look back at the last 10 years of the RAISE Texas Network to see the impact our work is having on Texans today! Did you know…? In January 2014, the Texas State Securities Board passed Rule 139.24, which allows financial coaches and financial counselors to assist families and individuals to complete applications for approved college savings programs and provide information on these savings programs to their clients, which is an important step to move college savings forward in Texas. This rule change was informed by RAISE Texas’ Child Support for College (CS4C) initiative and we played a major role in its passage. Even today we are working to expand high-quality financial coaching services throughout Texas to make sure that all Texans have the opportunity to reach their financial goals. #TenYearsofRAISETexas

Texas News

Texas Cities Engage in Financial Empowerment Efforts

The Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund (CFE Fund) recently announced the selection of 10 cities to receive CityStart planning grants to begin local municipal financial empowerment efforts. The CityStart Initiative provides a $20,000 planning grant along with an intensive 6-9 month technical assistance partnership to help mayors and their administrations identify financial empowerment goals, convene stakeholders, and develop an actionable blueprint. We are very proud to say that three of the ten cities selected are located in the great state of Texas! Congratulations to Dallas, El Paso and Fort Worth for receiving the CityStart planning grants. We look forward to hearing about your efforts to implement financial empowerment opportunities for the citizens of your cities. Click here to more information on the CityStart Initiative.

RAISE Texas Member Launches Program to Help Those Affected by Hurricane Harvey

On the Road Lending, a nonprofit organization that provides long-term financial mentoring and vehicle selection assistance to help low-income individuals and families overcome transportation barriers, has launched a Disaster Mobility Program to help survivors of Hurricane Harvey. With nearly one million cars flooded during Hurricane Harvey, the Disaster Mobility Program gets displaced workers into vehicles quickly and for the long-term to avoid job loss. So far, On the Road Lending has helped more than 60 clients affected by Hurricane Harvey. For more information about On the Road Lending or the Disaster Mobility Program, click here.

CPPP: Where Lawmakers Can Find Revenue to Support Public Schools in Texas
Center for Public Policy Priorities released its final installment in a 5-part series on school finance. Texas has low levels of post-secondary degrees and certifications earned by high school graduates due to the state’s failure to invest in its students. There are 5.4 million kids relying on the Texas public education system, and according to the report only 21 percent of eighth graders earned any type of post-secondary credential within six years of their expected high school graduation. Click here to read the options for improving the state’s revenue system.

National News

Article Highlights Misunderstandings between Persistent Poverty and Employment

According to a new article by Angela Rachidi, the role that employment plays in the poverty issue in America is frequently misunderstood. A 2016 poll shows that 60% of respondents believed that most poor people have been in poverty for a long time and that most of them hold steady jobs. The truth is that persistent poverty is uncommon in America and a steady job is one of the ways to lift a household out of poverty. In fact, only 2.6% of households with a consistently working adult fit the definition of persistently poor which is being in poverty for more than 27 out of 36 months. And, less than 4 percent of people experience poverty for three or more years straight. The 2015 Bureau of Labor Statistics report supports the need for steady employment showing that 95.4% of people who worked for at least half the year did not fit the definition of being poor. The article calls on policymakers and the public to understand that stable employment can help households get out of poverty so policies and programs need to increase steady employment opportunities. Click here to read the entire article.

New Report Finds Key Discrepancies in Costs of Banking in Communities of Color

Recently there has been more coverage and attention paid to the financial system in regards to racially discriminatory practices of some financial institutions. Last month, New America released a report, The Racialized Costs of Banking, detailing the findings from an investigation into the racialized costs and fees associated with entry-level checking accounts from a sample of mostly small and community Main Street banks. Key findings include:

  • Banks charge communities of color more for opening and maintaining basic, entry-level checking accounts.
  • Discretionary banking practices amplify the racialized costs of banking, and evidence of racial bias among tellers means that checking account costs and fees depend on who consumers talk to at the bank.
  • It is cheaper to maintain a checking account opened in a white neighborhood.
  • Segregation substantially shapes the cost of banking.
  • Banks’ costs and fees further limit the economic power of communities of color by requiring more earnings to be sequestered in checking accounts where they cannot be used.

Click here to read all of the details found in the report.

Strengthening Financial Security Through Short-Term Savings Act
A few weeks ago, a bipartisan group of Senators introduced the Strengthening Financial Security Through Short-Term Savings Act (S. 3218). The bill would expand access to workplace retirement savings plans, encourage people to save their tax refunds and make it easier for employers to help their workers set up rainy day savings accounts alongside traditional retirement accounts. The bill was introduced by Senators Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), Tom Cotton (R-AR), Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Todd Young R-IN). Click here for more information on the bill.