An essential ingredient in improving economic security for Connecticut families is building assets, including savings, housing, and business ownership. Connecticut Voices for Children, along with the Connecticut Association for Human Services, Strategic Directions and the United Way of Greater New Haven, joined by a Steering Committee of many others, are proud to have been key to a successful launch of an ongoing statewide collaborative working on asset building issues and policies. We’ve posted several handouts and presentations from the event below.
The November 7th event attracted over 120 participants, including public officials, bankers, funders, service providers, advocates and consumers, who spent the morning listening to panels, presentations and speakers before engaging in small group roundtables and discussions. The day led off with remarks from Connecticut State Treasurer Denise Nappier and a welcome from Dr. Esther Howe, Associate Dean of the School of Health and Human Services at Southern Connecticut State University.
This was followed by a panel of consumers who spoke about their experiences trying to build their financial worth. This panel was followed by a keynote speech from Jonathan Mintz, Commissioner of the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs and Co-Chair of Cities for Financial Empowerment. After an introduction from our event sponsor, Citi Community Development, Commissioner Mintz spoke about the experiences of New York City and how investing in asset building efforts on the front end saved public sector funds at the same time as building individual capability and self-reliance. The Commissioner also spoke about the ability to get a range of partners, including from the private sector, invested in the work.
The next section, “State of Assets in Connecticut,” was led off by a presentation from Ethan Geiling of CFED with a national perspective on asset building policies and a look at strengths and weaknesses in Connecticut’s asset policies. Orlando Rodriguez of CT Voices then presented an overview of Connecticut data on poverty, racial isolation and youth unemployment, with a call to build incomes and reduce disparities to help build family assets. This was followed by a panel of leaders of state and provider agencies discussing how a Connecticut collaborative might be able to address some of the issues presented.
After a welcome by lunch sponsor Liberty Bank and comments from New Haven Mayor John DeStefano, Jr., participants joined regional groups to discuss how they might better work together locally.
For more information, see these selected handouts from the presenters:
- State of the Asset Building Field, Ethan Geiling, Assets & Opportunity Network, CFED
- Financial Inequality in Connecticut: Looking at What the Numbers Really Say, Orlando Rodriguez, Connecticut Voices for Children
- An Introduction to Integrated Service Delivery
- Achieving Financial Stability for Individuals and Families Through Integrated Service Delivery, Highlights from the United Way System
- The Path to Financial Capability, Janitha McCray-Price, United Way of Greater New Haven
- Roundtable on Underserved Populations. Notes from roundtable discussion.
- Product, Services, and Savings for Low-Income Families. Notes from roundtable discussion.
The Collaborative is planning a follow up meeting for January. If you are interested in adding your name to our mailing list, please send an email to Claire Morduch.