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Bloomberg Maloney help N.Y. celebrate new CDCU
NEW YORK (4/30/10)--The East River Development Alliance (ERDA) Monday celebrated the grand opening of the ERDA FCU, a community development credit union (CDCU) that will serve residents of New York City's Long Island City, Astoria, Woodside and Sunnyside communities.
Cliff Rosenthal, president/CEO of the National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions, speaks at the grand opening of East River Development Alliance FCU, New York.
The credit union will focus much of its work on the Woodside, Ravenswood, Astoria and Queensbridge Houses, which make up the primary membership of the new CDCU. The new credit union is one of only two new federal charters granted in 2009--both CDCUs. The event drew more than 500 attendees. Cliff Rosenthal, president/CEO of the National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions, which assisted ERDA organizers for nearly five years, joined keynote speakers including:
* U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.); * New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg; * New York City Comptroller John Liu; * New York State Assembly Member Catherine Nolan; * New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn; * New York City Council Members Jimmy VanBramer and Peter Vallone Jr.; and * New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) Chairman John Rhea.
"The federation has been working with ERDA credit union organizers since their start, nearly five years ago," said Rosenthal. He noted
New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg helped celebrate the grand opening Monday of the East River Development Alliance FCU, which will serve residents of several New York City neighborhoods.
that communities interested in organizing a CDCU "can learn a lot from ERDA's experience." In a neighborhood where three in 10 residents lack bank accounts and most residents use check cashers, the ERDA FCU seeks to revolutionize the way public housing residents manage their money, build capital and achieve their financial goals, the federation said. ERDA Founder and President Bishop Mitchell G. Taylor, explained: "ERDA is dedicated to making public housing developments places of great opportunity, places which house a positive vision of the future for the people who live here. The establishment of this financial cooperative, owned by residents, makes resident empowerment and ownership real. The opening of the ERDA FCU marks the next phase of ERDA's work for change, and presents a model for every public housing neighborhood in New York City."
Carmen Simon (left), CEO of East River Development Alliance FCU, New York, and Bishop Mitchell Taylor (standing) help open a credit union account for New York City Housing Authority Chairman John Rhea. (Photos provided by the National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions)
Bloomberg echoed the need for more community-controlled financial institutions to serve the city's unbanked. "Nearly 50,000 Queens households--many in public housing--don't have bank accounts, and one of the major reasons is a lack of access to local credit unions," Bloomberg explained. "The East River Development Alliance is committed to helping public housing residents in Long Island City move up the economic ladder, and its new federal credit union is a major step forward." Maloney who represents Long Island City, said: "Opening a credit union opens the door to financial security--and financial security brings hope, stability and wealth to a community. This is great news for western Queens and the people who live and work here." The ERDA FCU has secured 1,000 pledges to open accounts from community residents, and $1.1 million in non-member deposit pledges, many from local credit unions, including United Nations FCU, the federation, Alternatives FCU, Bethex FCU, Consumers FCU, Lower East Side People's FCU and Amalgamated Bank.
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