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NYC CUs coalition to target underserved
NEW YORK (1/16/08)--Three New York City credit unions joined other groups last week to discuss serving the underserved, according to the National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions.
From left: Rob Nemeroff, vice president of marketing, Melrose CU; Linda Levy, CEO, Lower East Side People’s FCU; New York State Rep. Jose Peralta; Pablo DeFilippi, associate director of membership development, National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions; John Lewis, general counsel, United Nations; Zoe Sullivan and Alexis Iwanisziw, Queens Community House; U.S. Rep. Joseph Crowley; Shan Rehman, Chhaya CDC; Ralph Pagan, vice president of marketing and business development, Municipal CU; Melva Miller, Office of the Queens Borough President; and Shams Tarek, Office of New York State Sen. John Sabini. (Photo provided by the National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions)
The three credit unions, some of the largest in New York City, are: United Nations FCU, Municipal CU and Melrose CU. The three joined the largest community development credit union (CDCU) in the city, the Lower East Side People’s FCU, for a roundtable meeting to discuss plans to expand credit union service to underserved communities in Jackson Heights and Corona, Queens. The special meeting, organized by the federation and the Queens Community House, brought together credit unions, local community-based nonprofits, and several New York policymakers. Zoe Sullivan of the Queens Community House highlighted the “incredible need for more transparent and affordable alternatives to the banks and check cashiers who are so common in these [low-income] communities.” “CDCUs provide an effective and proven mechanism for underserved communities to gain control over their financial resources,” Sullivan said. “This results in the direct empowerment and improvement of their communities.” U.S. Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-N.Y.) who attended and expressed his support for the new collaboration. “It is by building assets that families and communities become economically self-sustaining. And having access to affordable and equitable financial products and services is a critical component toward achieving this goal,” Crowley said. New York State Sen. John Sabine, who represents Jackson Heights and Corona, also supports these efforts. “Community-based credit unions give people from all walks of life access to the American dream in a financially secure and responsible way,” he said.
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