The U.S. Conference of Mayors


WHEREAS, cities continue to have as a goal and virtually all of them work toward bringing more financial services and products into their low-income neighborhoods; and

WHEREAS, mayors and state officials have made use of the New Markets Tax Credit and are working to achieve more with it by encouraging the private-sector to target more of their resources and products in underserved areas; and

WHEREAS, banking development districts have not been developed to any degree of success as a tool to bring more branches and responsible banking into underserved areas; and

WHEREAS, banks have not done well in identifying low-income neighborhoods that are underserved and then follow up by opening branches in these markets with appropriate products for underserved markets; and

WHEREAS, there have been too few attempts at leveraging underused assets in inner-city neighborhoods, particularly those neighborhoods with unmet market need; and

WHEREAS, there has been a great deal of work in identifying regulatory barriers to housing, there has not been a similar effort with respect to state and regulatory barriers to economic development; and

WHEREAS, the private sector has not done a number of things to assist the economic development of low-income areas: using nontraditional methods to promote economic development; using successful business models already identified in low-income areas; committing venture capital and other capital investments to low-income markets; and

WHEREAS, cities also have need to provide assistance to minority workers; and

WHEREAS, many of the economic development needs of cities listed in this resolution could be solved with a strengthened and reformed Community Reinvestment Act that would include the rapidly developing financial institutions under its purview, strengthen its branch banking power, and increase the range of financial services required for low-income people and communities;

NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that The U.S. Conference of Mayors calls on Congress to strengthen and reform the Community Reinvestment Act, by widening its purview of financial institutions, adding to its branch banking power so as to include more low-income areas, and increasing banks' financial services to low-income people and communities; BE IT ALSO RESOLVED, that The Conference of Mayors also calls on the private sector not covered by the CRA to work closely with mayors to deliver services and products to underserved low-income areas in the many ways cited in this resolution.

2007 The U.S. Conference of Mayors
Tom Cochran, Executive Director
1620 Eye Street, NW, Washington, DC 20006
Tel. 202.293.7330 ~ Fax 202.293.2352