Today is the start of the first Congressional recess of 2017. Members of Congress will be in their districts from February 20 to February 26 and will use this time as an opportunity to meet with constituents, host town hall meetings, and tour site visits within the district. OFN would like to encourage you to reach out to your member of Congress this week and urge them to support funding of the CDFI Fund at $250 million in both FY17 and FY18.

This Congressional recess is a great opportunity for you to get to know your elected officials and let them know about your CDFI and the work it does in the district by requesting an in-person meeting with the Member or district staff or attending an event held by your members of Congress. To find out about an event within your member of Congress’s district, check out their Facebook page, Twitter account, or website. You can also call your Senators’ or Representatives’ district office and inquire about any district-related events your Member is hosting this week, or schedule a site visit so your Member can visit a local project you have financed.

To help you take full advantage of this—and future—Congressional recesses, OFN has prepared a Congressional Outreach toolkit with talking points to assist you in your advocacy efforts.

Wednesday we will begin week two of OFN’s #CDFIsInvest campaign which is a sustained, three-week conversation that positions CDFIs as responsible financial institutions. We encourage all stakeholders and allies of the CDFI industry to jump in and support this campaign through social media and grassroots advocacy. From February 22-March 1, we are telling members of Congress where CDFIs are investing in their districts and states by using tactics such as leveraging social media, emailing, and calling your member of Congress’s Washington, D.C. office. Sample graphics, tweets, and scripts will be available on the CDFIsInvest Toolkit on February 22 to make it fun and easy for you to join the campaign.

We are entering into an unusual budgetary cycle with Congress still working to finalize the FY17 budget while simultaneously beginning to work on FY18 requests. Let us take this Congressional recess as an opportunity to rally our network and borrowers to create unprecedented grassroots and social media visibility for the CDFI industry that Congress cannot ignore. Together, let’s tell Congress #CDFIsInvest in America, and that the CDFI Fund deserves full funding at $250 million in both FY17 and FY18!


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