Washington, DC—The DollarWise Economic Mobility Campaign has awarded its DollarWise Innovation Grants for 2021 to seven cities, including Columbia (SC), Jackson (TN), Las Cruces (NM), New York City, Topeka (KS), White Plains (NY) and Youngstown (OH). Each city was awarded $10,000 to launch or expand economic mobility efforts in their communities.

The DollarWise Economic Mobility Campaign is dedicated to eliminating poverty, promoting opportunity, and building intergenerational wealth within underserved and underrepresented communities.

The DollarWise Innovation Grant Program identifies and supports substantive and impactful economic mobility initiatives that can be scaled and implemented in additional cities nationwide. The DollarWise Campaign is an initiative within the U.S. Conference of Mayors’ Council on Metro Economies and the New American City.

“I applaud the work of each of our winning mayors for the important work that they are doing promote economic mobility in their cities,” said Columbus, OH Mayor Andrew Ginther, who Chairs the Council on Metro Economies and the New American City. “Our DollarWise Economic Mobility Campaign aims to support concrete local initiatives that can make a real difference in people’s lives. Our goal is to create innovative programs to help people climb up the economic ladder. And with the immense economic challenges presented by COVID-19, our work is more important than ever.”

The DollarWise Innovation Grants are made possible through the generous support from the Bank of America Charitable Foundation, DollarWise’s founding sponsor.

“Bank of America is dedicated to advancing underserved and underrepresented communities,” said Kerry Sullivan, President, Bank of America Charitable Foundation. “We are proud to support the economic mobility work in each of the winning cities and are encouraged by those that are focused on creating innovative programs and bettering their communities for years to come.”

2021 DollarWise winners include:

  1. Columbia, SC Mayor Stephen K. Benjamin, whose city’s CLIMB Program will launch a Universal Basic Income effort focused on helping underserved fathers reconnect with their children.
  2. Jackson, TN Mayor Scott Conger, whose city will launch a mobile financial capability program that will bring critical financial capability services directly to underserved communities.
  3. Las Cruces, NM Mayor Ken Miyagishima, whose city will develop a program to help provide internet connectivity to underserved students so that they can have access to online learning.
  4. New York City, NY Mayor Bill de Blasio, whose city will use a DollarWise Innovation Grant to support a city-wide rapid response service – the Owner to Owners Business Transition Hotline – to help small business owners sell the enterprise to their employees as a business continuity and COVID-19 recovery strategy. This service is part of Mayor de Blasio’s Employee Ownership NYC Initiative. To find out more, visit owner2owners.nyc.
  5. Topeka, KS Mayor Michelle De La Isla, whose city will launch an initiative to help mitigate student homelessness by eliminating fines and fees that can cause housing instability.
  6. White Plains, NY Mayor Thomas Roach, whose city will use DollarWise funds to support a professional skills development program for youth living in public housing.
  7. Youngstown, OH Mayor Jamael “Tito” Brown. The City of Youngstown will use DollarWise funds to eliminate fines and fees and restore driver’s licenses for those who need them.

The DollarWise Economic Mobility Campaign will work closely with each of these cities to help them implement their programs. The DollarWise Campaign will also leverage the subject matter expertise of its Council on Metro Economies and the New American City, including the Aspen Institute’s Financial Security Program and Interise, to ensure programmatic success.