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Vice President Harris’s Historic Call to Boost Investments in Underserved Communities: Here’s What You Need to Know

todayOctober 26, 2023

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As listeners of HYFIN, you know that we keep our fingers on the pulse of what’s happening, especially when it comes to urban development and community upliftment. Today, we’re spotlighting a major announcement from Washington that aims to create a brighter economic future for underserved communities.

1. The Big Picture:
Today, as a precursor to the annual Freedman’s Bank Forum by the U.S. Department of the Treasury, the Economic Opportunity Coalition (EOC) – comprised of around 30 private sector companies and foundations – has declared its aspiration to amass $3 billion for community development financial institutions (CDFIs) and minority depository institutions (MDIs). For those new to these terms, CDFIs and MDIs are pivotal lenders who actively work towards benefiting low-income, rural, and other marginalized communities.

2. Vice President Kamala Harris’s Call to Action:
Aiming to enhance and diversify domestic supply chains, Vice President Harris is urging businesses in the ‘Investing in America’ sectors, which span semiconductor manufacturing to biomanufacturing, to designate at least 15% of their U.S.-based contract spending by 2025 for small and marginalized businesses. Trailblazing this initiative, Micron, Air Products, and Xcel Energy are the inaugural companies to take up this commitment. To aid budding entrepreneurs from underserved backgrounds, these corporations are also pledging to provide technical assistance.

3. Google’s Pledge:
In a significant step, Google has vowed to allocate at least $1 billion annually to diverse-owned suppliers within the U.S. This initiative is expected to bolster a diverse array of suppliers and usher in lasting economic advantages for underserved communities.

4. What Leaders are Saying:
Vice President Harris emphasized that amalgamating the private sector’s capabilities with the government’s expansive reach can catalyze opportunities and prosperity for countless Americans. Secretary of the Treasury, Janet L. Yellen, echoed this sentiment, highlighting the indispensable role of public-private partnerships in elevating economic prospects for all.

U.S. Senator Mark Warner (D-VA) lauded the EOC for surpassing their initial $1 billion goal in committed deposits for CDFIs and MDIs and underscored the importance of the recent legislative milestones under the Biden administration.

5. Looking Back & Ahead:
In a reflection of their earlier achievements, the EOC confirmed that they had met their pledge from the previous year’s Freedman’s Bank Forum by securing $1 billion in CDFIs and MDIs. Today’s revelation marks a whopping 200% hike from their original aim.

The Treasury Department and the EOC have been working in tandem to amplify the outcomes of federal investments, especially for communities gearing up for sustainable economic development.

6. Stay Tuned:
The Freedman’s Bank Forum, scheduled for today, will showcase Secretary Yellen, senior officials from the Biden-Harris Administration, and luminaries from diverse sectors. The event seeks to amplify the government’s endeavors to augment economic opportunities for communities of color and to mitigate factors contributing to the racial wealth gap. For those interested, a livestream of the conference will commence at 10:00 AM ET.

In summary, this monumental announcement signifies a collaborative approach between the public and private sectors to diminish economic disparities and foster a more inclusive future. Stay tuned to [Urban Alternative Station Name] for more updates on this and other pressing urban matters.


Written by: HYFIN

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HYFIN is a media movement from Radio Milwaukee.

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