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Updated: Mayor Walsh to host public forum on financial empowerment with Mayors across the country

March 17, 2015

Mayor's Office

Published by:

Mayor's Office

Discussion will focus on how cities can address income inequality and financial empowerment.

Today Mayor Martin J. Walsh gave an update on the “Municipal Strategies for Financial Empowerment” public forum taking place this Sunday, March 22 from 3:30pm to 5:30pm. The panel will feature Mayor Walsh, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray, other Mayors from around the country, and an audience question and answer period. The event will be held at the Campus Center at UMass Boston and is part of a two day US Conference of Mayor’s Leadership meeting being held in Boston. The event is sponsored by Citi.

“In Boston we are building an economy that works for everybody, and putting programs and strategies in place to lift individuals and families out of poverty, by giving them the tools to build financial security,” said Mayor Walsh. “This forum is a place to talk to residents about their experiences, and hear from peers in government about the work being done across the country to put those seeking financial empowerment on the path to achieving their dreams.”

“Research from shows that almost half of nationwide households lack the necessary savings to cover the loss of a job, emergency car repairs or even medical bills,” said Bill Mills, CEO of North America for Citi. “Mayors across the country are stepping up to play a central role in bolstering household financial security, and we are proud to join the U.S. Conference of Mayors and the Cities of Opportunity Taskforce to support and showcase their innovative initiatives.”

"Financial empowerment is a crucial topic in neighborhoods throughout Boston and across the country," said UMass Boston Chancellor J. Keith Motley. "We're proud that Mayor Walsh is leading the national discussion on this issue, and we're pleased to contribute by hosting this distinguished panel."

Mayors nationwide are leading efforts to address economic resilience and systemic inequality, challenging issues gripping our cities and our country. The 2-hour panel will be moderated by Dr. Eric Rosengren, President of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston. The Mayors will discuss municipal strategies for credit building, wealth creation, consumer and family protection, and financial empowerment, aimed at improving outcomes for low and moderate income households. The program will include a 40-minute question and answer period with the attendees. Participants are asked to RSVP here:
Mayor Walsh is a national leader on these complex issues, serving as Vice Chair of The U.S. Conference of Mayors Cities of Opportunity Task Force alongside Chair Mayor DeBlasio.  Established at the Conference’s Annual Meeting last June, the Task Force aims to bring mayors from across the country to together to leverage the power of local governments to advance a national, common equity agenda with local policies and best-practices that will help to expand opportunity for all.

"The nation’s mayors cannot stand idly by when Washington does not act,” US Conference of Mayors CEO and Executive Director Tom Cochran about the ongoing work of the Conference's Task Force. “We have an obligation to do what we can from where we sit to address issues of inequality and grow economic opportunities for the people living in cities and their metropolitan areas all across the country."

In 2014 Mayor Walsh launched the Office of Financial Empowerment in Boston, which offers residents financial coaching and career development tools, and signed an Executive Order for payment certification requirements for vendors with city contracts to prevent wage theft.

Due to miscommunication between the U.S. Conference of Mayors and the Boston Mayor’s office regarding Mayor de Blasio's schedule, the participation of Mayor de Blasio was announced without confirmation. He is not scheduled to appear on the public panel.