President-elect Trump’s Administration will bring profound change to Washington, D.C. and to our nation. But what kind of change will it be, and what does this mean for CDFIs and the communities we serve?
One thing I know that will not change is our purpose and vision to align capital with justice so that all of us—the full spectrum of our nation’s people—will have the resources and opportunities to act in the best interest of our communities, ourselves, and future generations.
More than 150 million people living in communities across America are living paycheck-to-paycheck or worse. Our work directly impacts these families and their communities. We will not waver in our passion and in our commitment to positively shape financial outcomes for our fellow Americans.
We, as an industry, have a responsibility to educate the new Administration about how CDFIs invest in America—by lending to and investing in undercapitalized communities and Americans left out of the economic mainstream. Over the next few weeks and beyond, OFN will work closely with our Member CDFIs and the industry to collect borrower stories, include more CDFIs on the Policy Map, and organize our industry data as we embark on an outreach initiative. Our aim is to inform the new Administration and new members of Congress how we uniquely provide value, bridge gaps, bring together communities, and deliver opportunity finance to fuel the entrepreneurial spirit of our nation.
The same challenges and injustices that first led us all to work for and with CDFIs remain. Economic inequality, persistent poverty, and the lack of investment in people of color, in rural America, in women, in Native communities, and in other disinvested communities still need to be addressed. This is the positive and lasting transformative change we seek.
Still, we recognize that change only happens at the speed of trust. While our vision for transformative change remains clear, our progress will depend upon our ability to build bridges and inspire confidence that our CDFI industry is a proven, trustworthy steward and partner for positive change.
OFN is committed to working with the new Administration and sharing the vital role CDFIs play as engines of economic growth and opportunity. Together with you, our Member CDFIs, we will demonstrate how CDFIs bring communities together. Our role as bridge builders and helpers has never been as important as it is now.
OFN will hold Advocacy Day from May 16–17 and we invite you to join us as we seek to build those bridges and to speak for the communities we serve. Stay tuned to OFN on social and via this blog and we will keep you informed as we move ahead.