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Fort Worth receives competitive grant to kick-start financial empowerment efforts

Posted Aug. 8, 2018

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The City of Fort Worth, along with the Cities for Financial Empowerment (CFE) Fund, announced its selection as one of 10 cities to receive a planning grant and technical assistance to identify and plan for local municipal financial empowerment strategic priorities.

The CFE Fund’s CityStart initiative, with support from JPMorgan Chase and others, offers mayors and their administrations a structured approach to identify financial empowerment goals, convene stakeholders for sustainable success, develop concrete strategies and ultimately craft an actionable blueprint rooted in local priorities and opportunities.

Fort Worth will receive an intensive six- to nine month technical assistance engagement partnership, along with a $20,000 planning grant. In addition to Fort Worth, other cities chosen through a competitive process include Albuquerque, N.M.; Anchorage, Alaska: Dallas; Durham, N.C.; El Paso, Texas; Portland, Ore.; Rochester, N.Y.; Saint Paul, Minn.; and Tulsa, Okla.

“I am excited Fort Worth has been awarded a planning and technical assistance grant from the Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund,” said Mayor Betsy Price. “I, along with my colleagues on the City Council, are committed to ensuring that all residents of Fort Worth achieve financial empowerment. We recognize that when we strengthen our most economically-vulnerable citizens, we strengthen the entire community. We look forward to working with and learning from CityStart to ensure all Fort Worth residents achieve financial empowerment.”

Jonathan Mintz, president and CEO of the Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund, said: “Cities control a host of policies, programs and funding streams that can transform the lives of residents with low incomes on a large scale. Across the nation, more and more city leaders are embracing high-quality financial empowerment programs to improve the financial stability of their city residents and communities. We congratulate Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price and look forward to working with her to empower Fort Worth’s residents, and we thank JPMorgan Chase for their longstanding commitment to and investment in municipal financial empowerment.”

The CityStart initiative draws on the CFE Fund’s extensive work with local government leaders in more than 60 cities, connecting critical on-the-ground insights about the impact of financial instability on families, communities and municipal budgets with tangible, measurable and sustainable municipal strategies to improve families’ financial lives.

Price, working with the CFE Fund, will create and host a daylong financial empowerment “boot camp” event that brings together key local constituencies, including city leadership, mayoral leadership, local funders, community organization partners and financial institution representatives.

Based on issues identified in the boot camp, as well as the goal to align services to better serve the community, Fort Worth will craft its municipal financial empowerment blueprint identifying actionable implementation steps. CityStart cities have historically leveraged their engagement with the CFE Fund to further their commitment to this work.

“The city is ready to lead the effort to create a more aligned system that identifies and addresses key issues preventing residents from achieving greater financial stability,” Price said. “We are ready to build a comprehensive strategy that utilizes the community’s resources and responds to the full range of local opportunities and needs.”

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