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CDFIs rally to support New York State Fund
ALBANY, N.Y. (5/16/08)--About 80 participants from all areas of the state came May 8 to Albany to highlight the work of Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs), and voice support for the New York State CDFI Fund at the New York Coalition of CDFIs Statewide Conference.
The New York Coalition of Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) steering committee includes, from left: Cliff Rosenthal, National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions president/CEO; Bob Radliff, CEO, Capital District Community Loan Fund; Leni Hochman, chief financial officer, Alternatives FCU; Donna Gambrell, director, U.S. Treasury Department CDFI Fund; Justine Zinkin, CEO, Neighborhood Trust FCU; David Raynor, executive director, Leviticus 25:23 Alternative Loan Fund; and Rafael O. Morales, Federation public affairs officer and coalition coordinator. Not pictured are: Gina Bolden-Rivera and Greg Gamble, Carver Community Development Corp., New York; Kristin Giantris, Northeast vice president, Non-profit Finance Fund, New York; and Dana Brunett and Hubert Van Tol, Rural Opportunities Inc., Rochester, NY. (Photo provided by the National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions)
The conference was organized by the National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions. Following the conference, 13 credit union leaders met in Albany to discuss the future of community development credit unions. Organized with Alternatives FCU, Ithaca, N.Y., the summit was an opportunity for affiliated credit unions in the federation’s northeast region to create a structure for future collaborations. Tristam Coffin, CEO, Alternatives FCU, approached the federation to organize the meeting because “there are so many things that are common to all credit unions, and spending less time and money doing some of those things will allow us to be much more successful,” she said. Attendees were interested in collaborating on a variety of issues, including staff training, marketing and data processing. The group determined that its goal is to “perpetuate the survival of community development credit unions through innovative collaborative solutions.” Participants included community development credit union leaders, federation staff, and the federation’s community development partner, Paragon FCU, Montvale, N.J. The group intends to continue meeting and will invite more credit unions to participate through the federation. “CDFIs are needed now more than ever amid this subprime crisis,” said federation President/CEO Cliff Rosenthal. “It’s not just about housing, the problems in the financial system have translated into a contraction of credit for all sorts of enterprises and all sorts of lending. That says to us that the diversified funding that CDFIs provide, whether it’s for housing, micro-enterprise, or small businesses, is more critical than ever.” New York State Rep. Darryl Towns and Senate Bank Committee Director Pete Edman addressed CDFI conference attendees. “Because you’re small, and lean and mean, you’re able to get products out there that are needed, without having to go through months of shareholder meetings to come up with these ideas,” Towns said. “You’re there on the ground floor, and we appreciate you for that. We hope that over the next few months and as we face the next budget, that we will be able to reach your targeted goal to create a pool of $15 million over the next three years [to support CDFIs].” Edman, who coordinates the state Senate Banking Committee for State Sen. Hugh Farley, the sponsor of the New York CDFI legislation in the Senate, expressed the senator’s support for the work of CDFIs in extending affordable housing to residents of low-income urban and rural communities throughout the state.


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