Eight Cities Selected to Participate in National League of Cities' Project to Build Financial Inclusion for Families

Jan 19, 2016, 07:08 ET from National League of Cities

WASHINGTON, Jan. 19, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The National League of Cities (NLC) today announced a diverse cohort of eight cities competitively selected to participate in the Financial Inclusion Systems and City Leadership (FISCL) project. 

The eight mayors will come together for a Mayors' Institute on Financial Inclusion in April. The Mayors' Institute will give the mayors and their advisors an opportunity to engage with national experts and peers to develop practical solutions to local challenges to help residents gain a solid financial foothold.

The selected cities include:

Boston, Massachusetts
Dubuque, Iowa
Durham, North Carolina
Hattiesburg, Mississippi
Lansing, Michigan
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
St. Petersburg, Florida

"While many cities across the country are experiencing economic recovery and growth, this prosperity has not reached residents across all rungs of the economic ladder," said NLC President Melodee Colbert-Kean, councilmember and former mayor, Joplin, Mo. "This project will give mayors a unique opportunity to implement and strengthen innovative strategies to address the financial challenges many residents face on a daily basis."

The Mayors' Institute is part of FISCL, a two-year project supported by MetLife Foundation and designed to help cities build sustainable city-wide systems that improve residents' financial health and stability.  By participating in FISCL, mayors and other city leaders will grow their capacity to develop initiatives that help families expand access to safe and affordable financial services and financial education, accumulate savings, reduce debt, and build assets. 

In addition to the Mayors' Institute, NLC's FISCL initiative will support the eight cities to improve the financial stability of families through ongoing technical assistance, opportunities to apply for grant funds to support local financial inclusion efforts and numerous opportunities for peer learning and exchange.  The project cities also will have an opportunity to showcase their local strategies at NLC's National Summit on Financial Inclusion, a convening of cities across the country that will take place in early 2017.

"As mayor, I see many residents grappling with complex financial struggles. Fortunately, in Pittsburgh we have several high-quality financial inclusion initiatives. Yet, many of these initiatives are disconnected from one another, which places a substantial burden on residents attempting to navigate a confusing system while struggling to make ends meet," said William Peduto, mayor, Pittsburgh, Pa. "NLC's support and guidance will allow us to raise the profile of our initiatives, identify gaps in services and perhaps most importantly, develop a process to seamlessly connect local services in order to more effectively meet the financial needs of all of Pittsburgh's families."

This project builds upon NLC's successful partnership with MetLife Foundation. In 2014, with MetLife Foundation's support, NLC conducted in-depth research on financial inclusion programs in cities across the U.S. which informed the design of the project and which culminated in the comprehensive report, City Financial Inclusion Efforts: A National Overview. This report highlights the growing commitment of city leaders to address their residents' financial inclusion challenges.

About the National League of Cities: 
The National League of Cities (NLC) is dedicated to helping city leaders build better communities. NLC is a resource and advocate for 19,000 cities, towns and villages, representing more than 218 million Americans.

About MetLife Foundation:
MetLife Foundation was created in 1976 to continue MetLife's long tradition of corporate contributions and community involvement. Today, the Foundation is dedicated to advancing financial inclusion, committing $200 million over the next five years to help build a secure future for individuals and communities around the world. To learn more about MetLife Foundation, visit www.metlife.org.

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SOURCE National League of Cities