Mayor Aftab Pureval, city leaders, and partners release Cincinnati’s financial freedom blueprint

Cincinnati Mayor Aftab Pureval, left, with city leaders and partners, releasing the Financial Freedom Plan July 17, 2023. PHOTO: Twitter @AftabPureval

Mayor Aftab Pureval, along with city leaders released the Cincinnati Financial Freedom Blueprint July 17, 2023, a policy roadmap to address the city’s racial wealth gap.

The blueprint is the product of a yearlong process of community engagement, national research, and data-collection by a cross-departmental team led by the Office of Performance and Data Analytics, a press release from the Mayor’s office said.

Cincinnati was selected by the national nonprofit Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund’s (CFE Fund) CityStart initiative to create a blueprint to help address the financial empowerment needs of residents and the opportunities to meet those needs. It required prioritizing the financial stability needs of Black residents.

As part of the CFE Fund’s CityStart initiative, which is supported by Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Greenwood Initiative, the City received a $75,000 planning grant, as well as extensive CFE Fund technical assistance.

“This is such a powerful example of what can be accomplished when we come together and empower the voices of our residents,” Mayor Aftab is quoted saying in the press release. “This roadmap puts us on a path to create groundbreaking new opportunities for financial freedom, and we are committed to delivering on our vision,” he added.

Cincinnati Financial Freedom Plan. PHOTO: Twitter @AftabPureval

In the Fiscal Year 2024 Budget, the City allocated $2.125MM to fund new policy recommendations in the blueprint. Those recommended programs include:

    • Erasing delinquent medical debt for up to 30,000 Cincinnati residents.
    • Launching Child Savings Accounts for qualifying preschool students.
    • Pledging funding to launch a Guaranteed Basic Income Pilot.
    • Creating an Access to Counsel program to provide legal counsel and rental assistance for qualifying tenants.

Councilmember Reggie Harris said, “It would be a missed opportunity if the findings of this report weren’t accompanied by direct action. That’s why I’m proud this Mayor and Council set aside $2,125,000 in this year’s budget to support these life-changing programs identified during the CFE Fund’s CityStart process. These dollars will be heavily leveraged by our partners and put significant capital directly into the hands of Cincinnatians who need it most.”

As part of this blueprint, the City conducted a statistically significant survey of over 1,000 residents, including 500 African American residents, to uncovered several findings around barriers to banking access, job mobility, student loans, homeownership, and business ownership.

The City also held four focus groups to better understand what interventions residents would like to see, and more than 25 individual interviews with community activists, scholars, and organizations.



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