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National Philanthropic Collaborative Chooses Albuquerque Team Headed by Mayor Berry

Major Funders to Support Combined Local Efforts Focused on Job Growth, Economic Mobility and Downtown Revitalization

March 6, 2014

Living Cities, an innovative collaborative of 22 of the world’s largest foundations and financial institutions has selected Mayor Richard Berry’s office to head up a team of local leaders and institutions in an Integration Initiative designed to improve economic mobility for residents, facilitate job creation, advance education and generally improve and strengthen the local economy with a focus on downtown revitalization.

Core partners with the Mayor’s office for this Integration Initiative will be President Robert G. Frank and his Innovate ABQ team at the University of New Mexico (UNM) and Terry Laudick, President and CEO of New Mexico Educators Federal Credit Union (NMEFCU), also a major contributor to Innovate ABQ. Additional community partners will be added as the initiative moves forward during the upcoming planning year. Each partner has been identified due to their willingness to bring resources and strengthen the Integration Initiative's core mission.

“Albuquerque is one of five cities in the nation that we think has great potential to be a long term innovation partner with Living Cities and our current TII cities. We’re excited about the next year of work together toward the large scale result being articulated there,” said Ben Hecht, President and CEO of Living Cities.

“This is an extraordinary opportunity for Albuquerque to bring our tremendous local leaders together with significant resources to address challenges and seek solutions right here at home.” said Mayor Berry. “We have great partners and great ideas that will create opportunities to impact our future and the future of our citizens in a very positive way.”

The Living Cities Integration Initiative provides funding to mayors and cities that show leadership in the areas of fundamental change of obsolete systems, capacity to leverage existing resources, and the will to reshape policies to meet the needs of a cross section of residents for greater economic mobility. The goals outlined by Living Cities for the Integration Initiative Phase 2 include 1) Results, 2) Collective Impact, 3) Capital Innovation and 4) Public Sector Innovation.

“It is a part of UNM's mission to help find solutions to complex societal challenges. With Innovate ABQ, we are bringing leaders in both the public and private sectors to partner with us in developing a new approach to moving knowledge from mind to market. We are honored and excited to be the educational partner in the Living Cities initiative,” said President Frank.

“Credit Unions and cooperatives have played a significant role in developing communities for many years. Our principles and commitment to people helping people and mutual self-help is not only to provide access to financial services, but also to make permanent improvement in people’s lives through education, social change and economic opportunity. Through our collective efforts with the City, Education and others within our community, we can fight poverty and provide means to prosperity,” stated NMEFCU President and CEO Terry Laudick.

The first Integration Initiative launched by Living Cities in 2010 invested $85 million in grants, flexible debt, and commercial debt from Living Cities and its members in five cities across the country.

The first year of the Integration Initiative is known as the planning year, and includes a start-up grant of $100,000 to support the planning effort. Additional funding is awarded based on concepts and associated resource requirements developed during the planning year.

Members of Living Cities include; The Annie E. Casey Foundation, AXA Equitable, Bank of America, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Citi Foundation, Deutsche Bank, Ford Foundation, The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, JPMorgan Chase & Co., The Kresge Foundation, The McKnight Foundation, MetLife, Inc., Morgan Stanley, Prudential Financial, Inc., Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, The Rockefeller Foundation, Surdna Foundation, W.K. Kellogg Foundation and Wells Fargo.

Additional information about Living Cites and the Integration Initiate can be found at