CDFIs

The next four episodes of Let’s Be Real focus on the NYS Community Equity Agenda, a statewide coalition that is calling for economic development that is community-led and grounded in community wealth-building and racial and economic justice. Each episode zooms in on an Equity Agenda priority, from promoting community-controlled financial institutions to ending wealth extraction throughout New York.

Next City — One evening last September, at Brooklyn Cooperative Federal Credit Union’s main branch in Bed-Stuy, the credit union staff hosted a town hall to walk members through the credit union’s balance sheet — deposits, loans, other investments, capital reserves. CEO Samira Rajan emphasized the credit union’s key ratios, like its net worth ratio — capital reserves to total assets.

A lot has been written about the shortcomings of New York’s recently-passed state budget. The upshot: New York’s electeds missed the clear opportunity to take decisive action against Trumpism and to protect communities under attack. A glaring example of this failure of leadership is the decision, yet again, not to fund a widely-supported program that invests in low-income communities and communities of color: the state’s Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund.