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MDDCCUA participates in D.C. financial literacy listening session

Mon, Aug 12, 2013

Washington, District Of Columbia

On August 6, Maryland | D.C. Credit Union Association CEO John Bratsakis and VP of Advocacy Ricardo Pineres, along with DC FCU CEO Carla Decker and HEW FCU Director of Business Development Lisa Streeter, participated in a financial literacy listening session sponsored by the D.C. Department of Insurance, Securities, & Banking and the D.C. Department of Employment Services.  The session was focused on creating partnerships between federal agencies, District government, and community partners so that efforts to increase financial literacy amongst D.C. residents could be maximized.  The discussions during the listening session were extremely productive, and the Association is proud to report that representatives from both the federal and District governments wanted to explore how to better integrate their efforts with those being done by credit unions.

During the listening session, Bratsakis shared with participants how credit unions have taken an active role in trying to increase the level of financial literacy within the District.  Amongst the programs that Bratsakis highlighted were reality fairs, in-school branches, and web/in-person seminars.  Decker and Streeter were able to provide even more depth with regards to the programs that their credit unions participate in, especially their involvement with the D.C. Youth Summer Employment Program.

During the session, several federal agencies shared various financial literacy programs that they have been working on in recent years.  These agencies included the CFPB, FDIC, Department of the Treasury, Department of Labor, and Department of Health and Human Services.  Towards the end of the session, many of the federal agencies asked for suggestions on how they can make financial literacy programs more successful.  Amongst the issues discussed were relaxing regulations to make opening youth accounts easier, having federal agencies be more willing to work with community partners, and making it easier for localities and community partners to access resources & grant programs.  Furthermore, it was announced that District of Columbia Public Schools will be devoting resources to bringing more financial literacy programs to students in D.C. public schools.

The Association will continue to work with the District government and federal government agencies to see how we can continue improving financial literacy efforts across the city, and we will make sure that credit unions are kept appraised to these discussions.  In the meantime should you have any questions or need more information, please do not hesitate to contact Ricardo Pineres (rpineres@mddccua.org).