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Tuesday, October 31, 2017

ILF Civic Fellowship Accepting Asian Pacific American Student Applications for 2018

ILF Civic Fellowship Accepting Asian Pacific American Student Applications for 2018
ILF Civic Fellowship Accepting Asian Pacific American Student Applications for 2018
The International Leadership Foundation (ILF) is pleased to announce that the application process for the 2018 Civic Fellowship Program is open and ongoing until December 15, 2017. Every year, ILF’s selection committee identifies approximately 30 outstanding Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander college students to spend 8 to 10 weeks interning at a federal agency in Washington D.C. during the summer.
Students accepted into the program are known as Civic Fellows and will receive a stipend of $2,000 upon program completion. In addition to their full-time federal internships, they will attend weekly professional development workshops and leadership training. Fellows are responsible for their own travel, housing, and living expenses.
“One of ILF’s goals is to prepare and advocate for the next generation of leaders in public service,” shared Chairman of ILF Dr. Paul Hsu. “It is so important to increase exposure and understanding of civic engagement so that young leaders can take action to support their communities in relevant ways.”
Based on the interests and majors of selected Civic Fellowship candidates, ILF will help place them with federal agencies, congressional offices, or the White House.
Undergraduate students of American Asian Native Hawaiian Pacific Islanders heritage are encouraged to apply. Requirements include United States citizens, minimum 3.0 GPA, and current undergraduate sophomores, juniors, or seniors. Additional documents and application materials required. Applications will open November 1, 2017 and must be submitted by December 15, 2017. To learn more or submit an application, visit www.ILFnational.org
About ILF
The International Leadership Foundation (ILF) is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that promotes the civic engagement, leadership empowerment, and economic prosperity of the Asian Pacific American community to enhance the representation of diversity in our country. Our mission is to develop young leaders in the United States, Asia, and Pacific Rim countries in the fields of public service, entrepreneurship, and international business and politics through a network of business and community leaders. Our mission is accomplished through civic leadership training and support from the ILF’s network of 15 national and global advisory boards. Since 2000, ILF has provided scholarships and educational programs with over 7,000  students to cultivate the pipeline of emerging leaders. 
Learn more about ILF at www.ILFnational.org

MAYOR WALSH ANNOUNCES REOPENING OF APPLICATIONS FOR BOSTON CULTURAL COUNCIL OPPORTUNITY FUND WITH DOUBLE THE FUNDING

MAYOR WALSH ANNOUNCES REOPENING OF APPLICATIONS FOR BOSTON CULTURAL COUNCIL OPPORTUNITY FUND WITH DOUBLE THE FUNDING
First round of funding offered 90 grants to applicants, totaling $100,000
BOSTON - Tuesday, October 31, 2017 - Mayor Martin J. Walsh, in collaboration with the Mayor's Office of Arts and Culture and the Boston Cultural Council, today announced the second round of applications for the Boston Cultural Council Opportunity Fund are now open. As a result of high demand from the first round, Mayor Walsh announced this pool of funding will be doubled, offering artists the opportunity to secure a total of $200,000 in funding to support meaningful one-time opportunities to further develop their career and expanding the reach of arts opportunities in communities.

"The Boston Creates cultural plan calls for growing support of local artists," said Mayor Walsh. "The Opportunity Fund has allowed us to accomplish that in many ways during its first year, and I'm pleased that in this round we will be able to expand our reach to serve even more artists. We are eager to see the continued enhancements this program brings to Boston's arts and culture community."

The Opportunity Fund was established in August 2017 as part of the City of Boston's effort to address needs identified in the Boston Creates Cultural Planto support individual artists and help grow access to the arts in every part of Boston. During the first pilot round, the City awarded more than 90 grants to applicants, totaling $100,000.

In this round, applicants can request up to $1,000 at a time to fund specific needs that will in turn benefit the larger community, and they are allowed to receive no more than one grant per year. Applicants chosen to receive the grant will now receive the money upfront rather than be reimbursed, as a result of feedback received from the last round of grantees.

Several changes were made to the Opportunity Fund process in order to better serve applicants. In addition to doubling the pool of funding from $100,000 to $200,000, the grants are now split into five different categories, which include:

  • Artist Career Development
This grant is available to individual artists living in the City of Boston who want to pursue meaningful one-time artistic opportunities to further their career, such as funding to help support an artistic project, funding for materials, or funding for professional development opportunities. Artists residing within the City of Boston are eligible to apply for this grant if their annual household income is under 65 percent of area median income (AMI).
  • Community Arts Experience
This grant is available to individual artists and/or teaching artists who would like to bring free arts experiences into a community located in the City of Boston. Experiences can be in libraries, schools, or less traditional arts-learning spaces such as senior centers, health centers, or community centers. The experiences must be free and open to the public, and priority is given to neighborhoods that have a lower concentration of arts activities, including Allston/Brighton, Chinatown, Dorchester, East Boston, Fenway/Kenmore, Roxbury, Mission Hill, and Mattapan.
  • Local Arts Events
This grant is available to artists leading an established, annual community-based arts experience, event, or festival who are looking for funding. Events must be free arts-focused events that are open to the public, and they must have been held at least one in past years to be eligible. Eligible expenses under this grant include promotion and marketing materials, supply and equipment needs, shuttle rentals, and fees paid to designers, artists, musicians, performers, special guests and speakers. Open Studios events are the ideal candidates for this category.
  • MCC Festivals Program Matching Grant  
This grant is available to organizations or individuals who are producing a festival in the City of Boston and who have received a Festivals Program grant from the Mass Cultural Council. Applicants can live anywhere, but the festival they are organizing must occur within the City of Boston. Eligible expenses include fees paid to performers and speakers, programming and production costs, equipment rental, accessibility services, audience surveys or research, translation costs, and marketing and promotional materials.
  • Field Trips
This grant is available to teachers at K-12 schools in the City of Boston who are planning arts and cultural field trips and are looking to help support the costs of the trip. Applicants must be teachers or school administrators at schools that are located in the City of Boston. Eligible expenses include travel, and tickets.

Another change that was made to the Opportunity Fund process is that applications can now be submitted on a rolling basis, and will be reviewed by a selection committee every other month, instead of having monthly deadlines. Therefore, applicants are encouraged to apply for the grant at least two months before their event or project occurs.

"We saw many positive outcomes from the Opportunity Fund in the past year, and we're excited to continue providing artists with expanded  support in the future," said Julie Burros, Chief of the Mayor's Office of Arts and Culture. "These grants will not only help artists in continuing their work, but it will also provide them with the means to share their work with the entire City."

Artists who receive an Opportunity Fund grant are required to submit a brief final report that describes the outcome of the experience and how the funds were spent.

For more information or to apply for the Opportunity Fund, visit here .

About the Boston Creates Cultural Plan
The cultural plan was created out of a year-long community engagement effort designed to help local government identify cultural needs, opportunities, and resources and to prioritize, coordinate, and align public and private resources to strengthen cultural vitality over the long term.  The full cultural plan can be found online on their website.

About the Boston Cultural Council
The Boston Cultural Council (BCC), under the umbrella of the Mayor's Office of Arts and Culture, annually distributes funds allocated by the City of Boston and the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency, to support innovative arts, humanities and interpretive sciences programming that enhances the quality of life in our city. For more information, please visit here.

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard Keynotes Bipartisan U.S.-India Conference, Honored with National Service Award

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard Keynotes Bipartisan U.S.-India Conference, Honored with National Service Award

Washington, DCThis evening in Washington, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard delivered a keynote address at the Indian American Friendship Council’s (IFAC) 20th Annual Legislative Conference. The congresswoman, a member of the House Foreign Affairs Asia-Pacific Subcommittee and the Democratic Co-Chair of the bipartisan Congressional Caucus on India and Indian Americans, spoke about bipartisan support behind strengthening mutually beneficial economic ties, building upon the existing U.S.-India security framework and a shared fight against terrorism, and expanding educational opportunities between the U.S. and India. Other speakers included the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, Foreign Affairs Committee Chair Ed Royce, Democrat Ranking Member Elliot Engel, and fellow lawmakers.

The congresswoman was recognized with IFAC’s National Service Award for her leadership in strengthening the U.S.-India partnership. Most recently in Hawaiʻi, the congresswoman has worked with state and local leaders to initiate a Sister-State relationship between Hawaiʻi and Goa, which will be formalized later this year.

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard said, “Over the years, the U.S. and India have made great strides in strengthening our important relationship, from cooperating in education to business to counterterrorism and so much more. As co-chair of the Congressional Caucus on India and Indian Americans and through my work on the House Armed Services and Foreign Affairs Committees, I’m working to strengthen the friendship and bonds that our two nations already share, and to encourage new opportunities for growth. The Indian American Friendship Council’s work to promote mutual exchange of knowledge and ideas, further understanding between elected leaders and those in the private sector, and provide a voice to the more than three million Indian Americans living in the United States has furthered this progress and expanded the U.S.-India relationship for the benefit of both countries and their citizens.”

Saturday, October 28, 2017

中華頤養院表揚18名資深員工

South Cove Manor Celebrates Long Service Employees


South Cove Manor at Quincy Point, a rehabilitation and skilled nursing care community, held its annual staff celebration recently, and recognized employees with many years of service.

In remarks to the over 100 employees in attendance, South Cove Manor Board Chairman Richard Liu (雷偉志) commented that “South Cove Manor’s long-term dedicated staff are the core of the organization and are integral to our ability to provide exceptional care for our wonderful residents.  We are grateful for the many contributions these staff members make to South Cove and to our community over many years.” 

Wan Wen Chen Qiu (陳婉文), Certified Nursing Assistant (C.N.A) and Siu Ping Wong(王小屏), Food Services Assistant, were honored for 30 years of service at South Cove.  Oi Li Wan Li(李愛麗), Chef, and Mi Ha Li(李美霞), C.N.A. were honored for 25 years of service.  Qing Nu Yang(楊卿女) and Zerui Yang(楊澤瑞), both C.N.A.s, were honored for 20 years of service.

Other staff recognized were:  Mei Hao Li (利美好)(15 years), Tammy Chen(陳美如), Ai Chan Chen(陳愛嬋), Liu Huan Huang(黃柳環), Yaowen Luo(羅耀雯), Yingzhong Xue(薛英仲) (10 years) and Xue Zhen Mei(梅雪珍), Ruimin Chen(陳銳敏), Yan Zhu Liu(劉艷朱), Shinja Choi(催信子), Sau Lai Cho(曹秀麗), and Jing Nian Chen(陳晶年) (5 years).

The annual dinner was held at Cathay Pacific in Quincy, and sponsored in part by the Wah Jin Fund, established by Bill and Josephine Chin.  All long service employees were presented with special gifts.


Founded in 1985, South Cove Manor moved in 2014 to an expanded, new state-of-the-art building at 288 Washington Street in Quincy.  The new campus significantly expanded South Cove’s rehabilitation capacity, and created a series of small resident communities for elders.  

MAYOR WALSH, URBAN EDGE CELEBRATE GROUNDBREAKING FOR WALKER PARK APARTMENTS


MAYOR WALSH, URBAN EDGE CELEBRATE GROUNDBREAKING FOR WALKER PARK APARTMENTS 
Formerly vacant parcels will create 49 new homes in Egleston Square

 

BOSTON - Saturday, October 28, 2017 - Mayor Martin J. Walsh today joined Urban Edge, elected officials and community leaders to celebrate the start of construction at the Walker Park Apartments, a $17.5 million affordable rental housing development that will create 49 new homes in Egleston Square. The City of Boston's Department of Neighborhood Development invested more than $2.6 million in Walker Park, which will involve the redevelopment of three sites on vacant and underutilized parcels adjacent to the Egleston Square Library and in the Egleston Square Main Street District.


"Building high quality, affordable housing for working families preserves the rich character of Boston's neighborhoods," said Mayor Walsh. "I want to thank Urban Edge and our partners for their work to make these new homes possible. These are the one, two, and three-bedroom apartments working families here in Egleston Square have been calling for, and I'm proud we are continuing Boston's drive to make sure all families can live and work in the City of Boston."  

Walker Park Apartments are located in the Egleston Square neighborhood of Roxbury. Residents will have access to nearby parks, shopping, public transportation and the Egleston Square Library. The development is named for longtime community activist Delphine Walker, whose home once stood on one of the three sites. All of the 49 new apartments will be rented to households who earn at or below 60 percent of the area median income (AMI), including eight apartments reserved for families earning 30 percent of AMI or below.

"We wish to thank Mayor Walsh, the City of Boston, Undersecretary of Housing and Community Development Chrystal Kornegay, and all of those who have made Walker Park possible," said Frank Shea, Urban Edge's CEO. "As Boston continues to grow, we know it is important to find ways to create quality affordable housing for families and individuals in need."

When complete, Walker Park Apartments will include 13 one-bedroom, 28 two-bedroom and eight three-bedroom family apartments, an elevator for accessibility, on-site laundry facilities, on-site parking, and a pocket park along Columbus Ave.

"My family is so grateful to Urban Edge and to everyone for creating Walker Park," said Pam Walker, daughter of Delphine Walker and a resident of Egleston Square. "My mother spent many years working on behalf of the Egleston Square community, and this project is an extension of her work. We couldn't be happier to see her honored this way and to see the site of our family home provide opportunities for other families."

Walker Park Apartments is a City of Boston Lean Pilot Project, which has a goal of reducing the cost of delivering quality affordable housing by applying a new approach to design, and was supported by Massachusetts Housing Partnership and Enterprise Community Partners. As part of this pilot, Urban Edge, the architect, the construction manager, and the City were involved from the beginning of the design process, ensuring that all choices were the result of multifaceted decision-making that considers cost among other project and community goals. This process resulted in significant construction cost savings. Additionally, almost 50 percent of the subcontractors committed to working on the project are minority-owned businesses and more than 22 percent of the committed subcontractors are women-owned.

In accordance with the City of Boston's Green Affordable HousingProgram, Walker Park Apartments will utilize a high efficiency heating system as well as Energy Star rated appliances. The development will employ environmentally friendly design features throughout and will meet the U.S. Green Building Council LEED Homes Silver certifiable standard. The development will also meet the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Energy Star standards. The development team is made up of Urban Edge, Prellwitz Chilinski Associates as the architect; and NEI General Contracting, Inc. as the general contractor.

Walker Park Apartments has been made possible in part by more than $2.67 million in funding from the City of Boston, as well as $3.46 million in State and Federal Low Income Housing Tax Credits from the Commonwealth's Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD). Financing team members also include Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Brookline Bank, the Community Economic Development Assistance Corporation, MassDevelopment, MassHousing, Massachusetts Housing Investment Corporation, Massachusetts Housing Partnership, US Bank Corporation, and the US Department of Housing and Urban Development.
         
Today's groundbreaking builds on the goals of Housing a Changing City: Boston 2030, the Walsh administration's plan to stabilize the housing market, accommodate growth, improve housing accessibility and increase affordability. Since 2014, the implementation of the City's housing plan, 13,551 new units of housing have been completed. With an additional 8,412 units currently under construction, the City has secured housing for an estimated 25,000 residents, making significant progress in meeting Boston's rapid population growth.

These efforts are part of Imagine Boston 2030, the city's first citywide plan in 50 years which aims to proactively encourage a broad range of housing growth for people of all income levels and stages of life. For more information on Imagine Boston 2030, please visit imagine.boston.gov.

波克萊台商會賞楓摘蘋果

波克萊台灣商會於十月二十八日 (星期六) 相約中午 在滿山秋色(Massachusetts) 北麓的 (Northborough) 土格斯果園農場(Tougas Orchard Farm).: 舉辦賞楓, 採蘋果, 摘紅莓, 藍莓, 黑莓,南瓜與櫻桃等 家庭團聚活動.  是日風和日麗, 陽光普照,楓紅黃綠 ,綴滿山谷 ,景色怡悅 難得波士頓僑教中心歐宏偉主任率先到場,   副會長 楊羅東 徵召楊家軍踴躍出席,  游勝雄顧問負責與果園農場主人聯繫,與交通解說.  土格斯果園農場主人特別臨場說明 ,她說 " 我們來得太晚了 , 賞楓有餘,採蘋果不足 . 西岸蘋果與各種草莓 被採殆盡 , 只有東岸尚有少許 .   希望波克萊台灣商會明年能在九月初再來採摘. "  " 農場採摘規定;平均每磅2元,多以大小袋計價。土格斯農場還有主題遊樂區、提供餵牛羊、麥草車、販售糖衣蘋果、炸甜甜圈、烘焙派餅、蘋果濃汁等現做食品,真是一家大小最好的秋日活動之一。"  歡迎商友會員及早準備,明年再見.   (游勝雄  文與照片)




Friday, October 27, 2017

麻州大学波士顿孔子学院参加麻州第二届“中国日”活动

麻州大学波士顿孔子学院参加麻州第二届“中国日”活动

        1025日,麻州大学波士顿校区副教务长谢丽尔尼克松(Cheryl Nixson)和麻州大学波士顿孔子学院应邀参加中国驻纽约总领事馆在麻州议会大厦同麻州议会合作举办的第二届“中国日”活动。这也是麻州大学波士顿孔子学院继去年获得中国驻纽约总领事馆颁发的为中美人文交流做出突出贡献感谢状之后,第二次应邀参加该活动并设置中国文化展台。
        本届“中国日”以“新时代、新起点——互利共赢的中美合作”为主题。活动由麻州议会亚太小组陈德基(Tackey Chan)主持,章启月总领事发表主旨讲话。张美芳副总领事、李立言文化参赞,麻州众议院多数党领袖马里亚诺(Ronald Mariano)、少数党领袖琼斯(Brad Jones)等60余名州议员,麻州州长、波士顿市长代表以及麻州政、商、学、侨等各界代表近600人出席。
        孔子学院设置的书法和中国结两个展台受到热烈欢迎。许多人都觉得中文和毛笔很神奇,很好奇自己的名字用中文、并且是用毛笔写出来会是什么样子。当他们得到当地书法家梅宇国先生为自己书写的中文名字时,都视若珍宝。孔院事先编好的中国结也很快被光。“自力更生”者都很认真地学习如何编制中国结。有的人编一个还不够,还连编几个送给自己的亲朋好友。
        小小的文化展台只是丰富瑰丽的中国文化之一。但是人们由此产生了对中国的兴趣,萌生了对中国的友好,也更加了解了孔子学院。


House Passes Legislation to Protect Handicapped Parking

House Passes Legislation to Protect Handicapped Parking

BOSTON- Representative Ultrino (D–Malden) joined his colleagues in the Massachusetts House to pass legislation that authorizes the Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) to investigate charges that someone has falsely obtained, or is falsely using, a handicapped parking placard or license plate. It also allows the RMV to require documentation when determining if an applicant is eligible for a handicapped plate or placard.

“The improper use of handicapped parking is not only disrespectful, it is dangerous,” said House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo. “This legislation will help ensure that individuals with disabilities and limitations have access to the appropriate parking accommodations. I thank Chairman Straus for his vigilance on this matter.”

“People with disabilities face a lot of obstacles in everyday life,” said Representative Steve Ultrino. “This legislation aims to remove one such barrier, and to protect access to a handicapped parking space. Preventing fraudulent use and abuse of handicapped placards and parking spaces can make a big difference in helping handicapped people get around.”

“This is important legislation that will improve accessibility for people with disabilities throughout the Commonwealth by combatting abuse and fraud related to the use of disabled placards and plates,” said Representative Bill Straus (D-Mattapoisett), House Chair of the Joint Committee on Transportation. “I commend the Inspector General’s Office for their investigative work and for the filing of this bill.”
This bill creates fines for intentionally making false statements to obtain a handicapped plate or placard: $500 for the first offense and $1,000 for a second or subsequent offense

Thursday, October 26, 2017

國慶酒會維安有功 賴銘琪感謝亞裔警察

【國慶酒會維安有功  賴銘琪感謝亞裔警察】

駐波士頓臺北經濟文化辦事處處長賴銘琪伉儷於1025日,邀請紐英崙亞裔警察協會重要幹部餐敘,感謝該會全力協助今年國慶酒會維安作業,副處長陳銘俊、副組長林美呈、洪麗玲、趙昌倫、秘書王麗芬,以及僑教中心主任歐宏偉也出席這項餐會。

賴銘琪表示,從十幾年前時任駐波士頓辦事處組長職務時,即開始和亞裔警察協會聯繫,並獲得該會全力支援每年慶祝中華民國雙十國慶酒會維安工作,對於全體亞裔警察同仁不辭辛勞鼎力相助,再三表達謝意,也贈送出席賓客每人名酒一瓶。
 

亞裔警察協會會長梅定安表示,自己和該會會員都與駐波士頓辦事處建立如同家人一般的情誼,很感謝賴銘琪邀請大家餐敘,讓彼此更能加強聯繫互動,他也強調,未來將持續提供各方面的協助與服務;梅定安也一一介紹出席餐會的該會法律顧問姜家、司徒月華等人,並分享多年來與駐波士頓辦事處合作的愉快經驗。(波士頓僑教中心提供)


Wednesday, October 25, 2017

MAYOR WALSH LAUNCHES PROGRAMS TO INCREASE ECONOMIC MOBILITY FOR BOSTON RESIDENTS


MAYOR WALSH LAUNCHES PROGRAMS TO INCREASE ECONOMIC MOBILITY FOR BOSTON RESIDENTS


Boston Builds Credit will raise credit scores for 25,000 Boston residents 


BOSTON - Wednesday, October 25, 2017 - Mayor Martin J. Walsh today launched a first-in-the-nation Citywide credit building initiative,  Boston Builds Credit (BBC), which will help 25,000 Boston residents attain a credit score of 660 or higher by the year 2025 through financial education and one-on-one financial coaching. The program will be launched in Roxbury, and will expand to Dorchester and Mattapan in the following years.

"A good credit score is crucial in today's economy, and Boston Builds Credit gives us real tools to continue our work in addressing income inequality and increasing economic mobility for thousands of our residents," said Mayor Walsh. "The health of a city ultimately depends on the financial health of our residents, and Boston Builds Credit, as well as Bank On Boston, will strengthen our communities by giving our residents more access to career, education and financial opportunities, including homeownership."

This innovative program is a partnership between the Mayor's Office of Financial Empowerment (OFE), United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley, and LISC Boston. The planning process and program development is supported by a grant from Citi Community Development. Funding to start implementation of the three-year project, totaling $2 million so far, will come from  from Citi, Bank of America and the lead partners. Mayor Walsh announced Boston Builds Credit, as well as Bank On Boston, at an event welcoming the Cities for Financial Empowerment (CFE) Coalition conference to Boston. The CFE Coalition is a nonprofit that works to improve the financial stability of low-and-moderate income households through local government. Boston was selected to become a member of the Coalition in 2015 as a result of Mayor Walsh's commitment to addressing Boston's income inequity.

In Boston, an estimated 100,000 people do not have a credit score, and 136,000 have a poor credit score. These individuals pay higher interest and fees on mortgages, home insurance, car loans, and college financing, causing "expense inequality," a term used to describe the sustained overpayment of interest and fees on financial products.

A good credit history is a prerequisite for everyday financial products and services such as low-cost credit cards, bank accounts or car loans. Renting an apartment, paying for home insurance, signing up for utilities and even landing a job can also be affected by a person's credit history, or the absence of one. A good credit score is necessary to attain the tools to access a college degree, buy a home, or start and grow a small business.

BBC's interim goal is to help 3,000 Bostonians achieve a prime, and/or average credit score increase of 30 points over the next three years.

United Way has convened many of the partners over the past few months, including community-based organizations, employers and financial institutions to develop the initiative and raise funds, as well as provide training to financial coaches in partnership with the Credit Builders Alliance. In addition to its partnership with Boston Builds Credit, United Way this year is also investing over $800,000 in community-based organizations in Boston to support financial coaching and credit-building work.

"We are grateful for the collaboration of so many committed community and funding partners who are participating in this initiative and who will be working with us to promote economic prosperity for all Bostonians," said Michael K. Durkin, United Way president and chief executive officer.

"Boston Builds Credit is a great partnership that focuses on moving the needle on a key driver of economic inequality with strategies that meet people where they live and work" said Bob Van Meter, executive director of LISC Boston.

"According to the Boston Builds Credit plan released today, an estimated 100,000 Bostonians do not have a credit score, and 136,000 have a poor credit score, resulting in them paying higher interest rates and fees." said Bob Annibale, Global Director of Citi Community Development. "The new Boston Builds Credit program is ambitious in its scope and inclusive in its approach, and will work toward helping thousands of the city's most vulnerable Bostonians build and rebuild strong financial identities that enable them to achieve their financial goals."

The City and its partners, in collaboration with numerous community partners, have developed the following plan to guide BBC's implementation:

1.   Implement Citywide Strategies:
  • Launch a public education campaign to reach residents with credit building information and tools
  • Train credit building specialists to provide services
  • Build a network of credit building resources with multiple points of access  
BBC is partnering with more than 25 non-profit agencies collectively representing over 100 Boston community-based organizations to implement credit building across the City. Credit building workshops, along with individualized credit building services will be available both directly and through referrals across this network.
  • Facilitate access to safe credit products
BBC is partnering with a number of financial institutions to ensure that safe, affordable credit building products are available and that consumers are aware of and have access to these products.

2.   Test Citywide Strategies in Specific Neighborhoods

BBC will provide intensive and coordinated outreach to and services for residents living and/or working in particular neighborhoods identified as high need. This place-based strategy will be piloted first in Roxbury where there is need and to take advantage of the Roxbury Center for Financial Empowerment, which already offers free financial coaching. In subsequent years, the place-based strategy will be tested in two additional neighborhoods - Dorchester and Mattapan.

3.  Effect Systems Change
  • Promote investments imbued with a credit building lens 
BBC will seek to build the field by encouraging more grantmakers, municipalities and social investors to increase their investments in programs that integrate credit building to enhance both client and organizational outcomes.
  • Replicate in other municipalities
BBC will serve as a national model for other municipalities interested in creating similar city-wide credit building initiatives. To do so, BBC will develop an implementation toolkit that will be available along with training and consulting opportunities to interested municipalities.
  • Disrupt predatory practices
BBC will work to disrupt high-cost, predatory practices by promoting the introduction of better products and services into Boston, starting with the three neighborhoods identified for place-based credit building.
  • Promote access to accurate, real time, accessible credit education
BBC aspires to open up a dialogue with credit industry stakeholders and to help bridge gaps in understanding, debunk myths, and foster a collective sense of urgency to help set consumers and small businesses up for success.
  • Promote consumer protection
BBC will advocate for strong consumer financial protections at both the local and state levels, and contribute where appropriate to federal efforts to educate legislators on issues and initiatives that seek to improve the lives of all Americans.

BBC invites the participation of additional partners - Boston's community-based organizations, employers, small business owners, financial institutions, the credit industry, funders, residents and others - to join this effort. For up-to-date information on BBC, please visit www.bostonbuildscredit.org

Bank On Boston:

Mayor Walsh also announced the launch of Bank On Boston, a new City-led program to connect residents with reliable, non-predatory financial products and services that can help them save, grow, and access their money.  

In Boston, approximately 10 percent of households do not have a checking or savings account, and  rely on costly alternative financial services, such as check-cashing and payday loans. Bank On Boston will identify local financial products and services that meet "safe banking" standards, known as Bank On Certified Accounts. Bank On Certified Accounts must be low-cost or no-cost, easy to use, and safe.

Bank On Boston is part of a nationwide movement of Bank On programs led by the Cities for Financial Empowerment (CFE) Fund. Bank On Boston will raise public awareness, expand access to financial education, and help connect residents to other OFE asset building initiatives such as Boston Saves, the Boston Tax Help Coalition, and Boston Builds Credit. The program in Boston is organized by the Mayor's Office of Financial Empowerment (OFE) and the Mayor's Office of New Urban Mechanics (MONUM), with the help of local financial institutions, community organizations, and city, state, and federal partner agencies. Find out more about the national Bank On movement at www.cfefund.org/bankon or about Bank On Boston at www.bankonboston.org.

About Office of Financial Empowerment
Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh has made addressing income disparities a priority of his administration.  As part of this undertaking, he formed the Office of Financial Empowerment in 2014. The Office of Financial Empowerment's mission is to connect City residents seeking to improve their financial situation with access to asset building programs, financial education and individualized coaching, and income support. By assisting residents to obtain the tools to achieve financial prosperity, economic well-being can become a reality for Bostonians of all ages.   Additional information may be found at www.ofe.boston.gov and  Twitter: @OFE_Boston.

About United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley
United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley harnesses the power of communities working together - individuals, businesses, nonprofits and government agencies - to create positive, lasting change for people in need.  United Way focuses on improving two foundations of better lives: Educational Success and Financial Opportunity.  This include ensuring that individuals and families have safe housing, healthy food, quality child care, a job that allows them to support themselves and their family, and access to financial tools and coaching to help them build a better future.   By funding the most effective nonprofits and programs, measuring their progress and mobilizing volunteers, United Way ensures donations deliver the greatest impact and real results in the community.  Additional information may be found at www.unitedwaymassbay.org, Twitter: @UnitedWayMaBay.  

About Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) Boston
LISC equips struggling communities with the capital, program strategy and know-how to become places where people can thrive. It combines corporate, government and philanthropic resources. Since 1980, LISC has invested $17.3 billion to build or rehab 366,000 affordable home and develop 61 million square feet of retail, community and educational space. LISC supports eighty financial opportunity centers across the country including here in Boston.  LISC Boston has invested $286 million in community revitalization since 1981.