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Tulsa Receives Competitive Grant to Kickstart Local Municipal Financial Empowerment Efforts

This article was archived on 9/9/2018

The Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund (CFE Fund) announced Tulsa as one of 10 cities to receive a $20,000 planning grant and an intensive six to nine month technical assistance engagement partnership to identify and plan for local municipal financial empowerment strategic priorities.

The CFE Fund’s CityStart initiative, with support from JPMorgan Chase and others, offers cities a structured approach to identify financial empowerment goals, convene stakeholders for sustainable success, develop concrete strategies, and ultimately craft an actionable blueprint rooted in local priorities and opportunities.

The CityStart Grant will help Tulsa begin work on Action 23 from the Resilient Tulsa Strategy, which empowers the Bank$afe program in Tulsa. Bank$afe provides access to unbanked and underbanked individuals learn about safe and appropriate banking products through education that will help Tulsans reach self-sufficiency.  

“We recognize the importance financial stability has in building a strong and cohesive community and how financial literacy can improve the lives of Tulsa children and families,” Mayor G.T. Bynum said. “This grant is a great opportunity to advance economic opportunity for all Tulsans and lay the ground work in creating a more resilient Tulsa.”

“Cities control a host of policies, programs, and funding streams that can transform the lives of residents with low incomes on a large scale. Across the nation, more and more city leaders are embracing high-quality financial empowerment programs to improve the financial stability of their city residents and communities,” said Jonathan Mintz, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund.

As part of the planning process, the City of Tulsa, the Tulsa Area United Way and the CFE Fund, will construct and host a municipal financial empowerment "boot camp" event that brings together key local partners. Based on issues identified in the boot camp in conjunction with the Resilient Tulsa Strategy, the City will craft its municipal financial empowerment blueprint identifying actionable implementation steps.

Financial stability is a key focus area for the philanthropic work of the local United Way, so we recognize the importance of convening Tulsa area organizations to determine ways to improve the financial outlook for families in our community. This grant provides an exciting opportunity for the city of Tulsa to do just that,” said Alison Anthony, president and CEO of the Tulsa Area United Way.

The CityStart grant moves us closer to implementing key actions within the Resilient Tulsa Strategy that will help Tulsans reach long-term financial stability and prosperity,” DeVon Douglass, Tulsa Chief Resilience Officer said. “By convening local partners in financial empowerment and aligning our priorities together, we will serve Tulsans better.”

The CityStart initiative draws on the CFE Fund’s extensive programmatic work with local government leaders in over 60 cities, connecting critical on-the-ground insights about the impact of financial instability on families, communities, and municipal budgets with tangible, measurable, and sustainable municipal strategies to improve families' financial lives.

“We congratulate The City of Tulsa and Mayor Bynum and look forward to working with him to empower Tulsa residents, and we thank JPMorgan Chase for their longstanding commitment to and investment in municipal financial empowerment,” Mintz added

In addition to Tulsa, other selected cities chosen through a competitive process include: Albuquerque, NM; Anchorage, AK: Dallas, TX; Durham, NC; El Paso, TX; Fort Worth, TX; Portland, OR; Rochester, NY; and St. Paul, MN.

 About the Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund (CFE Fund)
The CFE Fund supports municipal efforts to improve the financial stability of households by leveraging opportunities unique to local government. By translating cutting edge experience with large scale programs, research, and policy in cities of all sizes, the CFE Fund assists mayors and other local leaders to identify, develop, fund, implement, and research pilots and programs that help families build assets and make the most of their financial resources. The CFE Fund also supports the award-winning Cities for Financial Empowerment Coalition, a 10-year-old organization whose invited member cities share best practices and cutting edge strategies for municipal financial empowerment success. For more information, please visit or follow us on Twitter at @CFEFund.