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City of Albuquerque Establishes Blueprint for Financial Empowerment

Blueprint will provide education and access to financial security for Albuquerque residents.

June 20, 2019

Today, Mayor Tim Keller announced the BankOn Burque Blueprint for Financial Empowerment. The blueprint was established following a stakeholder engagement process that will focus on what the City of Albuquerque can do to promote access to safe, affordable banking and financial education among City employees and community members.

The BankOn Burque touches on four keys of financial empowerment emphasized by Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund (CFE), who provided funding and technical assistance to the City for the blueprint process: asset building; banking access; consumer financial protection; and financial education and counseling. 

The first phase of the BankOn Burque blueprint is to provide access to secure and affordable checking and savings accounts for City of Albuquerque summer youth employees, interns, and other seasonal employees, as well as provide age-appropriate financial literacy training. In the second phase, expert financial advisors will guide the scaling of financial education and access to safe banking practices to all City employees and Albuquerque residents.

“The City of Albuquerque has a responsibility to provide services that protect and enhance the lives of all residents,” said Mayor Keller. “Creating a foundation for success, especially for our young people, and those who have come to work for the City, is critical to ensure the best possible path to success for the rest of their lives.”

A stakeholder group of over 30 representatives of Albuquerque-area economic development, financial inclusion and advocacy organizations began meeting last November. The consensus of the group was to focus on promoting access to safe, affordable bank or credit union accounts and financial products, and on providing financial literacy education to economically at-risk Albuquerque residents, beginning with seasonal City employees and interns.

The BankOn Burque blueprint discusses Albuquerque’s high poverty rates, high rates of delinquent debt, incidence of wage theft and relatively large unbanked population, defined as reliance on non-traditional financial transactions, which can lead to predatory lending and unnecessary fees for cashing checks, paying bills and everyday transactions.

“We’re thrilled with Mayor Keller and his team’s commitment to financial empowerment for Albuquerque residents, and we are proud to assist in their participatory Blueprint process,” said Jonathan Mintz, President and CEO, Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund. “Building up residents’ financial stability, including safe core products in the financial mainstream, are critical to family and community success.”

About Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund:

The CFE Fund, a national non-profit organization, provides funding and technical assistance to mayors and their teams in almost 80 cities to develop, launch and replicate financial empowerment strategies to improve the financial stability of low and moderate-income households by embedding those strategies into local government infrastructure. The CFE Fund’s City Start initiative is supported by JPMorgan Chase Foundation and others.