It’s that wonderful time of year. No, I’m not talking about dyeing the Chicago River green or March (hoops) Madness. It’s time for the annual National Community Reinvestment Coalition conference!
Once again, Woodstock Institute, dozens of fellow Illinoisans, and hundreds of colleagues from across the country will descend upon Washington, DC, March 25-28, to learn new skills; visit our elected officials on Capitol Hill; meet with banking, housing, and consumer regulators; and network with new and experienced advocates and industry representatives. Our goal, as always, is to create a just economy. Check out the great time we had at NCRC last year.
The fabulous line-up of keynote speakers includes Comptroller of the Currency Tom Curry, US Small Business Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet, and HUD Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity Gustavo Velasquez. And those who attended last year’s conference will be pleased to learn that Reverend Barber of North Carolina will return to inspire us.
We are pleased that Woodstock staff will be featured among the NCRC workshop presenters. Policy Director Courtney Eccles will present on Legislative Advocacy 101: Skills for Every Nonprofit and Local and State-level Policies Affecting Economic Justice. I will moderate a panel on The Need for Financial Capability to Build Assets and Wealth.
While we are in DC, Woodstock staff and allies will also meet with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the Federal Housing Finance Agency, and officials and staff in the US House and Senate. Many of us will also attend Illinois Senators Durbin and Kirk’s Thursday morning constituent breakfast.
Among our top priorities that we will communicate to policymakers are getting CFPB to issue new small business data collection and reporting rules that will encourage greater access to credit for women and people of color and generate badly needed jobs in our communities; protecting the independence of the CFPB; obtaining adequate funding of programs such as housing counseling that strengthen our neighborhoods; finalizing HMDA rules; increasing access for creditworthy lower-income borrowers to homeownership opportunities; strengthening the Community Reinvestment Act; supporting the Department of Labor rule requiring retirement and financial advisors to act as fiduciaries; and enacting student loan serving standards similar to mortgage servicing standards.
I hope to see you there! For more information or to register, go to www.ncrc.org.